Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas Markets and Seminar in Germany

Our first week back in Germany has been wonderful.  Our primary purpose in coming back to Germany this last time was to prepare for and help carry out a seminar for our 10 Self-Reliance Services managers and the two members of our Operations team.  Our new Area Self-Reliance manager, Thomas King, led the way, while we were able to support him and the seminar.  After three days of preparation, we had our monthly Self-Reliance Committee meeting early Thursday morning and then spent the remainder of Thursday and Friday holding a seminar for our managers.  We feel like it went very well, more about that later.

In the past few days we have been to the airport several times to take and pick up many including Elder Joseph A. Sitati and Elder Robert C. Gay.  They will both be spending time with us during the next two days in an Operational Review of the Self-Reliance Initiative in the Europe Area.  In a few moments of calm, we had time on Saturday to visit the Christmas Market in Frankfurt, Germany with our friend Tim Sloan.  Tim also came to Germany for the Operational Review.  He visited the Christmas market with us and treated us to a wonderful dinner.

Christmas markets are a big deal in Germany!  Most cities have them.  They are full of lights and food and Christmas decorations.  The one in Frankfurt is one of the bigger ones.  The following photos show a few of the highlights:

Back to the seminar.  We have wonderful managers in Europe.  We absolutely love working with them.  In our seminar we spent a lot of time discussing the doctrine of Self-Reliance.  They all have such wonderful thoughts that it was difficult to move through the agenda materials.  However, in this process, we all felt the spirit over and over, testifying of the truth of the principles that we discussed.  As part of the seminar, we had a Thursday night team building activity at a bowling alley.  This was a wonderful experience.  The photos below show the team waiting for dinner at the Bowling Alley and then Debbie, as she gave specific awards to each of the managers the next day.  Unfortunately Elder Sitati had some problems with his flight in and did not arrive in time to participate in the seminar.  He is currently in Rome, giving training and a devotional to the Saints there.  He will be back with us for the next two days.  All in all, we loved our seminar and our managers.  We feel like it was a great success.

Finally, as we prepare for our meeting tomorrow, I noted the following gingerbread house in the hotel where our visitors are staying.  By the way German Ginger Bread is very good!