Sunday, February 14, 2016

One egg says it all!

This is an egg that we bought at the Easter Market in Frankfurt yesterday, I will use it as my theme for the week. First we bought it at the Easter Market, a large market specializing in Easter.  The eggshell was died red and than the color was etched off to create the design and the message.  It becomes meaningful because we bought it on the day that we were celebrating Valentine's Day, the day before February 14, which is the Sabbath.  The third message of this egg is the mixture of German and English.  The word "Ei" in German means egg, but it is pronounced as an English "I".  So literally it means Egg Love You, but of course we read it as I Love You.

It has been a productive and enjoyable week in Frankfurt, Germany.  We have been busy preparing for a two week  trip to Cape Verde and Portugal.  We will be leaving on Wednesday of this week.  We will update more about this trip when we are experiencing it.  We have also expanded our role of Missionary Contact Couple to include 5 senior couples that are serving in the Eastern European countries but who have an assignment from their mission president to work with Self-Reliance within their mission. It has been great to talk to missionaries serving in Greece, Romania, Albania and Bosnia this week.  They are amazing missionaries that are dedicated to serving the Lord.  The challenges that the Church faces in these countries can be overwhelming, but with faith, these missionaries move forward making a significant difference. 

There are many things that add to our joy as we serve in Frankfurt, Germany and we would like to share some of the uniqueness of this beautiful part of the world.  One of our favorites is the view of the skyline of Frankfurt from our apartment.  The following is a photo we took on a clear night this week.  It's not as good as seeing it in person, but it is still a beautiful site.

Also this week, during our German language class, we saw this beautiful rainbow after the rain of the day had stopped.  The rainbow is over the apartment building where we live.

In Germany, Valentine's is not such a major holiday as in the U.S.  Probably only 30% of the people celebrate.  However, we did, since we have the privilege of serving together. We are not only missionary companions but also each other's "Valentine".  It was a little different, but we did manage to find some roses and chocolate and the egg that I showed above, at a much better price than we would pay in the U.S. during this time of year.

Some of the decorations that Sister Rueckert made for Valentines

For our Valentine's dinner, we had reservations at the Chicago Meatpackers, a restaurant in Frankfurt that serves American food, especially beef.  We had perhaps the best ribs that we have ever eaten.  They were wonderful! This restaurant even had free parking right next door.  It finished off a wonderful Valentines celebration, which we completed before the official Valentine's Day.

Hard to see but the wall in the restaurant has "Chicago" stuff

During the day we visited the Easter Market.  These are held all over Germany.  This one was held inside an old monastery.  Entrance fees are minimal and there are many people selling easter eggs and decorations, food, etc.  The following are a few photos that we took:

Front door with the Easter Market advertisement

Our Easter Bunny bread.  Tasted good!

Our purchases for the day, Easter Market and Valentines combined
Spiritual insight of the week:

I wanted to share what I had learned in my study of 2 Nephi chapter 2.  I have always heard the controversy of why did God ask Adam and Eve to obey conflicting commandments.  Recently I read Elder Gerald N. Lund's summary of what President Howard W. Hunter taught as follows:

Lehi makes five important points as to why the Fall happened and how it helps the Lord fulfill his divine plan of redemption (See 2 Nephi 2).

  1. Opposition is necessary for man's progression (v. 11)
  2. The Lord set up opposing choices (v. 15)
  3. He gave man his agency (v. 16)
  4. In order to make that agency operative, both choices had to be enticing (v. 16 and also D&C 29:39)
  5. God allowed Satan to operate in the Garden and in this world to allow the negative option to be enticing in opposition to the positive one.
This helped me to understand that even though Adam and Eve had not yet eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Our Heavenly Father already set up the two choices in a way that Adam could be "enticed" and experience the law of opposition, which was necessary for man's progression.  

What I find out over and over again, is that those things that I don't understand are because of my lack of understanding, not because there are errors in the doctrine or the gospel.  I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and love to have my understanding expanded as I study the scriptures and the words of latter day prophets.