Thursday, January 6, 2011

Year End in Berlin

We have had a whirlwind of activities the last several months running from one thing to the next with little time inbetween: We have made numerous trips to the airport, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day to drop off and pick-up missionaries. There have been leadership training all over the mission, zone conferences and interviews. We had a 4 day Mission President training with the Europe Area Presidency in Dresden, in October and a Mission Tour with Elder & Sister Teixeira for 3 days in December. The last two months we have had many visitors and enjoyed the time we had with them - Grandma, Gary, Ty, Liz, Dale, Nancy, Neli, Dave, Annette, Sam, Ruth, Edward, Emma Lucy, Isaac, Eleanor, Megan & Collin.

Christmas Zone Conferences were a highlight because they carry a special, sweet spirit. It was well worth the hours upon hours of travel to visit the missionaries! We enjoyed the time with them and took the opportunity to show a Pimentel family tradition, playing the hand bells together. The missionaries took part and did a great job. At two of the conferences we played inside due to the storm outside. At the other two conferences we stood outside and sang and rang the bells to those walking by, and to those who opened their window to listen. It really is sweet to hear testimonies of the birth of our Savior through song.

It is interesting to note that for the first time since 1981, ALL of Germany experienced a snowy "White Christmas"! Germany is also experiencing the coldest winter in more than 40 years!

Miracles in the mission:

  • Elder Ott said, after learningn of his first assignment, that he really wanted to serve his mission in Berlin, Germany, and he was called there. When at the MTC someone said how great the city of Kiel is and what a great missionary Elder Badger is. As we worked on the assignments of companionships and cities, it just wasn't working out. Finally, when the new Elder Ott was teamed up with Elder Badger, in Keil, the transfer plan worked.
  • Sister Wakefield arrived in the mission unable to have the balance to ride a bike. Her Trainer, Sister Kocharyan from Armenia had also arrived in the mission originally unable to ride a bike. Both sister missionaries not only can ride bikes now but like doing it.
  • Elder & Sister Christian in Prenzlau have started holding Sacrament Meeting for a group of members in Schwedt who have found it difficult to travel to attend church in Prenzlau. The first meeting they held, 8 members came.
  • Church meetings have started in Hof as members have worked with Elder Tjaden & Elder Christensen from Plauen. The first Sacrament meeting held had 20 members in attendance.
  • There were many baptisms during Nov. and Dec., people who have been searching for the Gospel and finally found it. Many were baptisms of part-member families. What joyous events.

"When filled with God’s love, we can do and see and understand things that we could not otherwise do or see or understand. Filled with His love, we can endure pain, quell fear, forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength, and bless and help others in ways surprising even to us. John H. Groberg, Ensign, Nov 2004

May you all feel the love God has for you. We know He lives! Love, Jay & Colleen & Mike

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