4 down and 1 to go; in this case not a punting situation, we just completed our 4th visa trip and we will take one more such trip in November and then when that visa expires we will head for home. It hardly seems possible but we’ll save that discussion for another time. This past week was another amazing experience. We were able to travel to Frankfurt, Germany for this visa trip where we attended the Temple in Fredricksdorf, about a 30 minute drive northwest from Frankfurt. It was great to get back to the temple and be reminded of why we are here and what we have promised our Heavenly Father we would do with our lives. It is a very small temple but its beauty greatly overshadowed its size.
When we came out of the Temple Sister Webb’s sister who is living in Wales was there with her husband to meet us. They had ferried across the English Channel and driven down to Frankfurt to spend a couple of days with us. It is the first any of her family has been able to “personally connect” since her Mom passed away in June so it was a special time for both of the sisters. They spent one whole day together while Thayer’s husband Keith and I got in a round of golf at the Mainz Golf Club. It was great to be back on the course but it has been a long time. I can say that I ended the day with at least the same amount of balls as I started with but they were all much less quality and much more used than the starting line-up.
We spent one day on a river tour up the Rhine which was breathtaking. We will definitely want to go back and take a longer trip so we can see more of the Rhine Valley. There were castles on every bend, some in use and some not, old toll houses in the middle of the river and vineyards growing up and down the steep mountains on both sides of the river. Those vineyards had to be planted on at least a 60degree incline.
We stayed in a hotel in Weisbaden which is home to the big American military base in Germany, although we saw no signs of any military personnel anywhere we went. We spent one afternoon walking through the parks and exploring the city there a little and stopped for dinner in a little sidewalk café. It reminded us a lot of our trip to Prague. Our last day, as we travelled back to the airport, we stopped in a little town, “Weilbach” I think it was called, for some lunch. We found a small local restaurant there so we went in and sat down. It became quickly apparent that this was going to be more difficult that we had considered. We of course spoke no German and the waitress, cook, other patrons, or anyone else in that establishment spoke no English. There was no one who could help us understand what we were ordering. So after being taken back to the kitchen to actually “see” the entrees (which did not help at all), and numerous hand gestures and guttural noises we just ordered one each of the first four meals on the menu and shared. It was quite fun, the food was tasty, and the waitress let out an audible sigh and wiped her forehead with the back of her hand upon discovering that we truly enjoyed our meal and had eaten everything.
We are now back on duty as it were facing the numerous tasks that pile up when we are away. Elder Bennett of our Area Presidency is on a Mission tour with Pres. and Sister Gibbons and will be in town the end of this next week. We have a missionary Zone Conference on Thursday and then a Mission District Conference on the weekend with sessions on Saturday and Sunday. We will be broadcasting this conference across Siberia and Kazakhstan (our entire mission). We are hoping that with a successful broadcast of training and general sessions we can set the stage for becoming a Stake very soon.
Life is good, the weather is warm, we are still able to get up in the mornings and carry on for most of each day! What more could one ask. We pray for each of you, our family and friends, every day and thank you all for taking the time to write and email and call to keep us connected. We love you all.
|Worlds largest Cuckoo Clock|
|A Castle on the Rhine|
Notice the Vineyards all the way up the Mtn
|Sister Webb w/her sister in Wiesbaden|