Monday, March 31, 2014

Trip through Bavaria - More March Memories

 We are on our way to our Senior Mission  Conference in Zollikofen, Switzerland. We rented a huge van and picked up the Smiths and Wades in Saltzburg so we could all go together. The Wades traveled up from Klagenfurt to meet us. The six of us did some sight seeing for a couple days on the way to the Conference.
                                                                       We traveled through parts of Bavaria, Germany and of course we had to visit our favorite castle Neuschwanstein. Here it is in the distance nestled among the beautiful Alps.
 This church was just waiting for a picture. This is on the way to the castle.
 Getting closer and using our zoom on the camera.
 I cheated on this picture because it is a pic of a place mat I bought at the gift shop. But I wanted you to remember how famous this castle is. Not only did King Ludwig ll build it but Disney loved it also and fashioned his fairy castle after it. You will also remember the poster we have of this picture on the wall by our family room. When we came here 33 years ago, we were too late for the tour so we bought the poster instead.  I have always loved this castle. We got on the tour this time!! We have read up on Ludwig ll who was King of Bavaria from 1864-1886. Quite a fastinating story. He also built 2 other castles.
 We paid extra for a horse drawn ride up the hill. Money well spent!
 The entrance and into the courtyard.
 Going up the stairs to begin the tour of the inside. We were the last ones on the last tour of the day, and we're excited!
 Oops, I snapped this pic right before I saw the sign for no photographs inside. Pretty cool though to give you a flavor of what it looks like.
 We could take pics from the inside out.
 Looking out a window to the magnificent view.
 This pic was after buying our stuff at the gift shop. They don't care about cameras here.
 Some outside shots.

 Fabulous castle but the King died before it was finished on the inside. We did see several spectacular rooms though. 
 Great detail! You can see where Disney got ideas for his fairy tale movies.
 Goodbye Neuschwanstein...hopefully we will see you again.
 Across the way is the castle of King Maximilian, the father of Ludwig ll.
 Some fun Bavarian pictures.

I will continue our trip on the next posting.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March Memories

 We walked by this fabulous church on the way from an appointment here in Graz.
 While walking around Schloss Eggenberg we found the peacocks posing for us...
... even spreading their feathers.
 And of course we had to take a shadow pic. We think this one looks pretty cool!
 We visited the Hanselmayers and she served us open faced sandwiches.  Yummm.  Bro. Hanselmayer is such a great example of endurance and trusting in the Lord. His testimony is so strong and humble.  His wife is not a member but was the perfect hostess until she had to leave for a concert. We enjoyed getting to know this good brother a little better. He speaks mostly German and Elder Tew translated for me.
  •  Osei (Paul) Boateng was baptized. The Sisters found him while riding the Streetcar to church and he started asking questions. He was pretty golden right from the start. He is 43 years old, from Ghana, and is happy to have a new life now in the Church.

 Our next potential Baptism is Albert Handy. Here he is with Osei after the Baptism.
 I make lots of cookies every Monday for FHE and to take to people. These Chocolate Crinkles are a favorite with everyone!
 Anna Sinitsyna has been working and living with the Suppan family this year and will be leaving to return to Russia in a couple of weeks.  She is so strong in the Gospel since her Baptism last October and is excited to share her newfound truths with her friends and family. She is a great missionary already. Here she is with part of the Suppan family, Marlene, Sister Suppan and Phillip. Bro. Suppan and Clements were gone but we snapped this pic while Elder Tew and I were there Visiting Teaching the girls. Sister suppan had shoulder surgery a couple weeks ago.

 Kristin Pail could hardly wait for dessert after the dinner and Institute lesson. She really piled on the whipped cream and cherries on her piece of chocolate cake and said "This is what I have been waiting for all day!!"
 Heather and Dominique liked it also.
Elder Tew couldn't resist buying these on the way home from the Senior Couple Missionary Conference we had in Switzerland last week. He said he had to get rid of all his extra Swiss money (Franks). We brought the biggest Toblerone Chocolate to District meeting where the Missionaries devoured it in minutes.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

March Madness - Fasching!

 FHE activity the JAE's helped out decorating for the Ward Fasching party to be held the next day.
 Julia and her husband Kevin were in charge of the party and did a fabulous job.
 The holiday "Fasching" is called Karneval in Germany and similar to Mardi Gras in the USA.  If you want details then you can google it. The main celebration is the Tues. before Ash Wed. and here in Graz, everything shut down in the city center for the parade of sorts and celebrating. We snuck away for an hour to watch. 
 At first it was raining and cold but later it cleared up and was nicer to be out. Hey, who knew there is an Austrian Minion?
 We were standing by these people and asked if we could take their picture.They loved posing for us. People wear masks to scare away the winter and darkness as spring approaches.
 I wish I could post all the entries. There was a little bit of everything.
 Even Uncle Sam came for a visit, also a western train with cowboys & girls lipsinging to John Denver songs. We felt right at home.
 These guys were fun esp when they put their huge head pieces on.
 When people go to all this trouble to dress up, they love it when you ask for a picture. Just random costume pics of people walking by. Thought you could get some good ideas for next Halloween!

 This guy thanked us for noticing him and wanting to take his picture. I think it made his day and ours.
 People looked at our name tags to see what we were dressed up as. Felt good to be missionaries!
 Superman emerges from his Wohnung! (apartment)
 We had to show off Superman to our sweet neighbor Val who has the apartment at the back. She is great and loves the cookies we bring her. She has given us a couple of small spring potted plants. We are hoping to get better aquainted as time goes by.  We know her husband died a few years ago and that she is kind of in charge of the building. She speaks great English!!!
 Superman is off to the Ward Party with his reporter girlfriend Lois Lane. Or should I say off to the rescue! (One of the Elders is holding his cape and I just noticed that I have an arm coming out of my back., hee,hee)
 This is weird! An iceman dude with Pipi Longstockings hanging out for a meeting with us in the JAE room. This is actually Marlene and Baldur our JAE (or YSA)  group leaders.
 All of us six Graz full-time Missionaries with Ward Missionaries Anna and Bro. Hoffman. Just so you know, Bro. Hoffman is Bob Dole for tonight. I love this pic.
 We love Bishop Thomas Lex and his cute wife Regina so much. What a fun idea to dress up as cows, but people thought they were dalmations! Notice the horns, people! They are the parents of a missionary son serving in Romania and 5 other children.
 Elisa loves Superman anything, so freaked out when she saw him. Notice the Superman pez dispenser that Superman is holding. He gave out close to 6 packs of pez candies that night. What a nice hero. (A side note:  Elder Tew did get Pres. Miles's permission to dress like this. Pres. Miles said he has never had such a request but knowing Elder Tew, he said, go for it and enjoy.)
 Fun to see adults dress up for a ward party.
 Helga Bein and son Raphael. He turned 18 this year so he and his mom come sometimes to our JAE functions and I wanted to get a picture of them here at the ward party before they left for home.
 The Kobers are such a great family. Bro. Kober is not a member but is in charge of the ward library. Sis Kober is the Stake Young Women Pres, Their oldest daughter is Julia and oldest son Bernhard is our Ward Mission Leader. They have 2 other younger kids. Bro. Kober does alot and loves coming to everything. Someday he will quit smoking and be baptized.
 Our cute Sis. Knapp. Her husband was working this night but they are the parents of 10 children and most are here in the ward. Eight boys and the two youngest are girls. One son is in the Bishopric, another is the ward clerk, etc. They have lots of grandkids. Oh, one thing I just found out is that one of her daughter-in-laws, Ruth ( from Switzerland and is here in the ward),  served a mission in Romania and was Chariti's Trainer. She remembered Sister Porter very well.  Always a small world in the church!
 Party time is over and taking down the decor went really fast with many hands.
Superman fades off in the distance to re-emerge next year!!