Monday, March 16, 2015

Halle, Groitzsch, Leipzig and East Germany

March 16, 2015

Everything is going great in the Halle area and I have more pictures this week. 

A clock tower in the center of Halle, Germany
   My area is pretty big--not only do we have our city, which we usually stay in, we have like a hundred small towns, too.  It is probably a half hour train ride to the north of our area to the south end of our area.  We buy monthly street subway cards and then daily cards for when we have to travel out of our train district (a certain area where a monthly card works for a city).  The weather isn’t bad--it rains a little bit but most of the time it is a light drizzle or something.
When we go finding we go street finding, we walk from one place to another and then for “dooring” we use what are called klingels --they are the buzzer things for apartments like the one in Jerry's apartment from Seinfield.
A church in the center of Halle, Germany

   In the ward, we go to family home evening with the single members, and Sunday School on Wednesday. The 4 missionaries in the ward are over half the ward choir and we are there Wednesday night for practice after seminary. I don't think that we will have to sing as a companionship for special music but I do not know for sure.

    This week was fun. 
A tower in Groitzach, Germany

One of the places visited during
companion exchange in Groitzsch, Germany
I had my first companion exchan
ge in Groitzsch which is a really small town in my district. Then last Saturday, the elders from Groitzsch had a baptism for an 8 year old kid they have been teaching.  It was fun because I got to go to Leipzig and see a baptism.
Companion exchange selfie in Groitzsch
Some of the members are good about missionary work but most are not quite sure how to do it because in East Germany they weren't allowed to so it is a new thing to do member missionary work.  Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that where I am serving used to be in East Germany.

This week I had a really good pasta salad and surprisingly I really enjoyed eating it. On Saturday, we ate with a blind member of the ward and a college kid that is in the ward. That was fun and yesterday (Sunday) we ate at another member’s house.  They gave us a lot of food but the main dish was fish with pasta and they asked me lots of questions about what is was like growing up in LA.  Everywhere I have eaten has pretty good home cooked food.  We also eat at bakery's here but they are everywhere so they are pretty cheap.  We also eat at döner joints which is a turkish food.

   Today, we have to get a bunch of random stuff to fix some things that are broken in the apartment.
(a question from dad) “Is your bed made up of a sheet made in the shape of a sleeping bag and it coves a big down-filled type blanket thingie?  If looks like that, and that is what we had in Denmark...called dynabetraks” (Elder Fisher’s response) That is a good description of the blanket but it is really warm and it I think it is called a veckerdecker or something like that (mom note: it might be daunedecke which is the German translation of duvet).
   I haven`t taken a picture of the street I lived on yet but I will now. My companion actually knows a lot of German because his trainer made him do all the talking so he was forced to learn it. The favorite sport here is soccer but people like to play volleyball and basketball too.

   I liked dad’s scriptures this week: "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Doctrine & Covenants 121: 7-8 and thought they are really useful.

Elder Fisher

Mom's commentary: As I was growing up, I heard my dad tell of his service in the army and touring Berlin with a guide on the East German side. I remember being amazed when the Freiberg temple was announced for East Germany because it was under such strict communist rule. I also remember staying up late and watching the news conference of the people tearing down the Berlin wall. To have a son serving a missionary in that area is truly amazing.

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