Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why Did Sean have to be in Germany so quickly?

Sean is halfway through his first transfer in the city of Krefeld and so far things are going well for him. He and his companion Elder Hawker are getting along fairly well and they are teaching several people. Thus far they have only been able to teach the 1st discussion and after that some of the people show little if not interest. Even still Sean is plugging along and enjoying the work.

Sean has found this city to be a more layed back city. The people are very friendly and overall very inviting of the Americans. I am not sure if that is because the Frankfurt area in general houses many US military or what but it might be helpful. Becky who served in Berlin and Wes who served in Munich found the areas to be tougher and the people to sometimes be a bit courser than Sean is finding in his first area. I imagine there will be some that Sean will encounter that won't be quite as friendly but so far he is loving it.

In Sean's last email he said there are 30 German bakeries surrounding the areas that they teach. He and his companion work very hard NOT to go into one of those bakeries as they know the food is really good and they are trying to watch their waistlines :) 19 year olds boys and waistlines...I don't think they really need to worry about that.
This past week Sean's Mission President wrote us a letter and expressed his thanks to us for Sean's willingness to serve the people of Germany in the Frankfurt Mission. He also shared how important it was that Sean was there now and how he was needed SO much at this time. As I read that I realized THAT is WHY Sean had to report to the MTC in only 5 and 1/2 weeks. Most missionaries who get called to foreign countries are often given 3-4 months to get ready and then arrive at the MTC. Not Sean. Sean was needed and he was needed right now!
I wanted to add a photo or two of Sean and his first companion along with his MP and his MP's wife but my scanner is not working right so I will try and get those entered next time. I will include photos that I copied (cheated :) ) from the net of some of the finds that one would find in a good German bakery. It's a good thing that Sean and his companion walk most of the time. IF they do eat at the bakeries they can walk a lot of the extra food off of them.
Sean did say that walking and riding the bahn is their main means of transportation in the city of Krefeld. The area is large enough that bikes are not necessary. Sean would love to be able to have a bike and ride though. One advantage of being onthe Bahn is that he and his companion can begin to share their message of the Gospel and have a better chance at talking without having the door shut in their faces...always pros to everything :)
I am also including in this blog entry a photo that was taken using Elder Guin's camera. This is the group of Elders and one solo Sister who entered the MTC on December 17th. As you can see this photo was taken on a day after they had all attended a Temple Ceremony in the Provo Temple. Sean really enjoyed those days and hopefully will have the chance to attend the Frankfurt Temple while in Germany.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sean is LOVING Germany!

Sean has been in Germany for a week now and from his first email it sounds as if he is truly loving it thus far. He had written a longer email but it was somehow erased so he quickly sent a shorter one before it was erased as well. It has been fairly warm in his mission and I am sure he is glad for that. Similar tempertures in Frankfurt as we are having here.

I used Google Earth to locate his area and look at it some. I was able to get a a view of the area he was living in and serving in. I did this with Becky and Robbie when they were on their missions as well. It's amazing how technology allows us to keep closer to those we love :) Here is a arial photo that I copied from google earth. Of course you can tell from the photo that this picture was taken in the summer but even still it's pretty cool to see.
Sean has been amazed at the prices of food in Germany and how much is available in the grocery stores in his area. Much different then it was for Becky who served in Berlin. Berlin carried very little and yet his area has all sorts of foods that you would find in most US stores.
Sean feels that his German sounds pretty bad right now but I imagine just about every missionary new to the field feels that exact same way. I remember Becky and Robbie feeling that way as well. It sounds like Sean has a great companion from Las Vegas and a great Ward to serve in as well. She is working on his German and wanting to nail the language down and be able to speak it well long before he comes home.
This past Friday Elder Oaks of the Twelve Apostles visited the missionaries and spoke with them. Sean really enjoyed that. Thus far Sean is doing great and happy to be where he is and serving a mission. I am glad that he is happy and having the oppurtunity to do some great things!