Thursday, July 23, 2015

Getting Settled and Loving It

We have now been in Germany for two days and we are actually getting quite settled.  Finally the Vonage phone is working, so anyone can call us at our normal home phone number (801) 280-2157 without paying for a long distance call.  Please remember that we are in a time zone 8 hours ahead of Standard Mountain Time.

By the way, this is the first time in our married life that we have been living without anyone else in our home.  Our apartment overlooks a green area, which includes a cemetery and beautiful trees.  See the following photo that shows the view from the balcony of our apartment, which is on the 10th floor.

We took this photo on the night that we arrived.  The next morning, we went out for an early morning walk and jog (couldn't sleep, since our body clock was confused).  We walked into the cemetery area and were enchanted with the experience.  It was serene and beautiful.  We repeated the experience this morning with a little more exploration and continued peace.  It has been one of the highlights of our time here.  See photos of parts of our experience, including beautiful gravesites:

Our apartment is small, but sufficient.  Our small kitchen table is in the corner of our living room, but it works just fine for the two of us.  The following is our first dinner at home, last night.  It is wonderful being married to a wonderful cook, no matter the new circumstances:

We are adjusting to new eating habits, eating lunch at home each day.  Today we had bratwurst and saurkraut, genuine tasty German cuisine.  Our kitchen is small and there is no dishwasher, but we don't make that much mess, so it isn't hard to clean up after ourselves.  Tonight, was the ultimate as Debbie was able to experiment with the oven and make her first half batch of chocolate chip cookies from the ingredients that we brought with us.  They turned out wonderful!

We actually do more than just eat (and exercise).  We have had some full days in the office, in fact we enjoy the office because it is air conditioned, more than we can say about our apartment.  We have gotten to meet with our supervisor, John Mulligan, who is retiring in just two months.  He and his wife have already been called to be Self-Reliance missionaries in Angeles, Philippines.  He is a great supervisor that gives us great support and space to create our own contribution to this work.  We have had some productive meetings with a few of our managers and today were able to spend more than an hour with Elder Timothy Dyches, of the Europe Area Presidency.  We have been able to get our computers and phones hooked up, learned how to use the printers and copy machines, followed up with various matters and are preparing for a visit with our German manager tomorrow and upcoming trips to Spain next week and Albania beginning with the next weekend.  We enjoyed a wonderful lunch Book of Mormon class with the other senior missionaries on Wednesday.

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