Sunday, October 23, 2016

Opening our Hearts, Minds and Trunks

On Wednesday we had our devotional of the year.  It was part of the Area Review, which is carried out by a team of General Authorities from headquarters.  This review was led by President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and included President Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy and Bishop Causse, Presiding Bishop.  As part of their review of the Europe Area, they took time for a one hour devotional on Wednesday with Church employees and missionaries throughout the Europe Area.  We had six general authorities, including the three members of our Europe Area Presidency and all of their wives in attendance. 

Elder Kearon spoke, representing the Area Presidency and Sister Wendy Nelson spoke, representing the wives.  We also heard from the three visiting authorities.  Each spoke on schedule, allowing about 20 minutes for President Nelson at the end.  The talks were wonderful, expressing so much love and gratitude to the employees and missionaries.  Sister Nelson gave an excellent personal example of the Holy Ghost giving us individual insights, telling us that the Holy Ghost is "one size fits all".  President Nelson shared his appreciation of the Europe Area Plan and than stated the Lord's plan for all of us, which is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man".  He told us that all the work that we do relates to the Holy Work done in the temples.  We need the ordinances to be performed so that the Power of God can be manifest.

At the end of the devotional, all of the general authorities and their wives greeted each person individually in the foyer.  A significant amount of time in a very busy schedule showed us once again their love and gratitude for all.

Our week began on Monday with another devotional with our senior missionaries.  We were able to participate just hours after returning home from our trip to France.  We were taught by Elder Matheson, who spent his career in this field, including teaching at BYU.  He gave us many good ideas to ponder and put into practice.  He used to share this type of presentation at BYU Education week.  We are blessed to be instructed in so many ways.

The remainder of the week was filled with our normal responsibilities and activities.  One of our favorites is our weekly meeting with our returned missionaries in our ward.  We have been helping them on a series of "My Continuing Mission" lessons, now on week six.

However, as the week moved on Sister Rueckert was becoming weaker.  Finally on Friday we took her to the doctor to treat a urinary infection.  She is now on the mend, but has taken some needed time to rest and recover during this weekend. This included bringing home take out Chinese food for our date night.  On our date night we saw a very good Christian movie called "War Room".  It is certainly worth a see.

Back downtown in Frankfurt as we went to visit the same urologist that we had visited a year ago.
Yesterday (Saturday) we had our ward trunk or treat Halloween party.  Our international ward really gets into this party.  Very impressive costumes and preparations!

Elder Rueckert heading to the Halloween party, with the only costume we could find in what we brought on our mission.  He was a Russian Pirate.

One of our ward members wants to "Make Halloween Great Again", a little spoof on our U.S. elections

This is our favorite little family.  They are truly "Incredible"

Very extensive displays near the trunks.  This one is from Minecraft

This is our our administrative assistant and her husband.  We love them!
I thought they were rolling out the red carpet, but Sister Rueckert says it was a big tongue.

This is from the ghostbuster family.  Their children had matching costumes.

As the ward part ended it was time to sneak a peek at our family Halloween party which was just getting started in the U.S. The following are a few of the photos of our children and grandchildren which we took from the Zoom video conference.

A couple of super three year olds

Three siblings and their dad

Two sisters and their mother
Little Red Riding Hood with the wolf and the Grandma (from a text message, not through Zoom)

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