|Last session of our Personal Finance Self-Reliance Group|
We had a pretty standard week of work. We visited with several of our senior missionaries as we usually focus on this during the second week of each month. We started with E/S Bradshaw in Hungary on Monday morning. We were pleased to see that they had a successful My Path Devotional the previous day and had formed 5 self-reliance groups. Wow! What a great start to their mission. They also have been asked to participate in the stake bishops training session later this month.
We also met with our couples from Manchester England, Stockholm Sweden, Lyon France, Birmingham England, Scotland and finally with Sister Ezard from Croatia. We love each of these visits and are inspired by the service of these missionaries. Sister Ezard shared with us her experiences in personally working with a brother in Bosnia. As she shared the doctrine with us that she had shared with him, we were also touched. Our theme with the missionaries this week was treasuring up in our minds and then being led by the Lord (D&C 84:85). He then reveals His will for us in different circumstances and we become instruments in His hands as we share what he prompts us to share.
We also met with our SRS managers on Tuesday. In fact on Tuesday we had Zoom conferences scheduled at 9:00 (Lyon France), 10:00 (Birmingham England), 11:00 (Area SRS Manager and Operations Manager), 12:00 (PEF Mentoring meeting with Ceu Cavaco and other PEF loan workers), 1:00 (Scotland missionary couple), 2:00 - 4:00 (SRS Management team meeting). That made 7 continuous hours of Zoom meetings!
|Zoom conference with our SRS managers|
On Wednesday, we returned to our German class in the morning and then went to our Book of Mormon class during the lunch hour. We were taught by Elder Goodall this week from 1 Nephi 21 and 22. The words of Isaiah truly came alive. There was much discussion about one of our favorite scriptures from Isaiah, 1 Nephew 21:16 "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands". Very inspirational, the following drawing was also shared with us. It shows Our Savior passing the sacrament. The reaction of those in the congregation is precious, especially the children.
Right after Book of Mormon class, we drove to Nuremberg to visit the "Gesellschaft für Familienforschung in Franken". This is were we can access the familienregisters for so many of our ancestors. Because of excessive rain and road construction, it took us almost 3 hours to arrive. We went ready with three pages of names and villages to search out. From 4:15 pm until 6:00 pm we accomplished our task and ended with 194 printed pages of names. We then drove home that same night, another 3 hours, arriving just after 9:00 pm. The drive went well until we hit some major road construction slowdowns that ended up with heavier rain and darkness. We were very glad to be home.
|Sister Rueckert finding the "familienregister"s on the computer|
|Separating the printed lists that we took home with us|
Most of these 194 printed pages had at least 30 names per page, meaning that we came home with almost 6,000 names. If we tie in even 20% of them as relatives, that will still be over 1,000 names that can be ready for temple ordinances. This just adds to our long list of family history and temple work to do when we get home. We know that we have been led by the Lord to find these records.
|Stacks of lists, stapled by name and location|
Thursday we were back at work. One of the tasks in front of us is working on getting subtitles for SR videos in the different languages. It appears that some of this work finally got started for Hungarian this week. We want these subtitled videos to be available on lds.org for the different country pages in different languages. On Friday we quickly shared the transcripts for some of the videos that are not already translated word for word.
We are preparing for next week's Area Self-Reliance Committee meeting and for our upcoming SRS managers conference next month. We are also organizing and preparing for upcoming trips to train the several new SR missionaries that will be arriving this month and next.
On Thursday night we met with our group of recently returned missionaries. We finished lesson 4 of the My Plan for Returned Missionaries course. This is always a highlight, to work with these young sisters who still have that strong spirit that they bring from their mission.
|Sister that returned recently from Spain, France and the Caribbean islands|
|View from a better angle of these three sisters|
|Returned Box, it had been opened on the bottom and rebound|
|This is our communication of what was wrong with the box|
|Broken mug an backdrop of the nativity set|
As we went through the box, we found items that we had not sent, including these boots and a wrapping cloth. We suspect that most of the damage may have been after the box had been repackaged and returned with the additional items.
We're still not sure if we lost other items from the box, but we are preparing to rebox and send some of the items. We were able to mostly rebuild our broken items. We will save them to be taken in our hand luggage when we return home.
|Our breakables, put back together after much work by Sister Rueckert|
We spent much of the day beginning the deep cleaning of our apartment before we leave. Our time will be very limited in October and November, so we wanted to start what we could get done now. On Saturday we finished our bedroom, including cleaning under the bed, behind the dressers, washing windows, etc. The photo below shows the fruits of our labors. We believe that the bedroom will be ready to go. We also were able to clean behind the refrigerator and the clothes dryer as well as the inside of the utility closets.
|Ward Family History activity|
|Ward Family History Activity|
|Member adding names to the tree. Over 60 names identified on the tree. We contributed about 10 to this tree.|
|Sample from our research. We identified a relative in Sturm family #9|
Finally on Sunday we were able to attend our worship services and participate in a few more Self-Relianc groups in our ward. I was able to facilitate our Portuguese My Foundations group during Sunday School. Then both of us participated in the Personal Finance group that was completing our last group session. This group had two missionary couples and Brother and Sister Vaughn. They were not able to participate in the Wednesday night group due to conflicting Church callings. However, we have really enjoyed sharing with them in the group. We have all grown together in this process. At one point they shared the following "This class will be a touch point in our lives that we will always look to". They showed their appreciation this day by giving a nice vase to each of the missionary couples. The photo below is of ours, a beautiful memory of our days in Frankfurt am Main. Thank you Martin and Jonette!