Monday, September 22, 2014

September Specials

 A birthday for Sister Tew! We celebrated after District Meeting with a french toast breakfast.

 This was the day of my birthday at FHE. Baldur (very left) made a fabulous German Chocolate cake.

Live action of the FHE birthday celebration with some of our peeps!

 As we were driving  in the small village of Thal (where Arnold Schwarzenegger is from), we saw this most interesting church and went inside. I had to post it for you to see.

 This is the chapel looking from the back toward the front. We think it is Catholic but not sure.

 It is built to look like being under the sea. The seats are molded and hard, so the tiny cushion helps just a bit. I was fascinated by the unique design & decor, and even put my two euros in the box for a cool sea shell souvenir.

An interesting bush outside the church- like an Austrian flag!

And another unique one!

 Hayli Egbert is our new YSA from Arizona. She is here for 11 months to study business and enjoy Austria. She emailed Bishop Lex before she came, so we got in contact with her to meet her at the train and help her get oriented, especially with our YSA group. This month she is taking classes from the University to learn some German, but when her other classes start in October, she will take them all in English. Alot of American students come here for that reason. She is great and we love her very much already!

 Bro. and Sis. Pail hosted a BBQ in their beautiful yard which was fun and a great intro for Hayli. Afterwards, some of us hung around for a while  playing Five Crowns on their covered patio.

 Ok, So this was a fun excursion to try to find a lost member at this address. Pretty scary, I expected a zombie or something to jump out at us at any moment. It was even raining to make the mud worse. Turns out that he moved to the city to forget all the junk that he has accumulated. We left a note for him and he actually called us back that day when he came here. He wants us to visit him in town!

 All of us Sisters after Zone Training in Vienna.

 We had some time after Zone Training to meet with Aigerim and take her and our Graz Sisters to lunch. Aigerim is working towards baptism soon. What a great young woman from Kazakhstan. I posted in an earlier posting about her and told you that she is in Vienna to study Bio Chemistry.

 This is the beginning of a party called a Polterabend at our church for Phillip and Lilly who were getting married the next week. They do all kinds of fun things to celebrate an upcoming marriage. 

 As you can see... this is one of them. Sister Heika Lex has lots of ideas. Don't know how thrilled Phillip was though.

 The idea was that everyone had a pole with a cloud tied to the end with a string and Lilly had to cut them off and read the good advice on the back. Live action below:                                                                        
 Everyone loves Heika for her hard work and fun loving spirit.

 We helped out in the kitchen. Elder Tew is trying to make a funny face for the pic but looks rather interesting don't you think?

 All of these band members are in our JAE group and used to perform alot until they all got so busy with school, work, etc. that they don't really have the time now. They are really good. They played for Phillip (who used to sing with them) and people were having a good time dancing.

 At transfers, we received 19 year old Sister Pentz (tall) as comp to Sister Threlkeld and Elder Mitchell (right) as comp to Elder Plumb. It is exciting to have a fresh golden straight from the MTC come to us. What a fabulous, positive, enthusiastic 18 yr. old Elder from Seatle, WA. We are enjoying these new missionaries that joined us here in Graz.

 Elder Tew is having a good discussion with our new investigator Ben after Institute. Ben is an amazing young man of 27 who was born in Nigeria. He moved here a few months ago and is working as a barber. He attended our church a few times in other places and looked up the church here and just came. (Another Lisa story) He is being taught by the Elders and is looking at Oct. 19th to be baptized. The Lord has guided another wonderful soul to His church! 

 These are all the Elders in our District now. Bruck an der Mur received 2 more, making 4 there now. So here they are after our last District Meeting with two study chairs, 2 boxes of  B of Ms that they needed, a fan, and their other stuff. They took them with them on the train and it was quite a sight! Watch the parade below:


 Hummm interesting... So the grocery store that we shop at just upgraded and put three new cigarette machines outside their doors. The price went up a bit but that doesn't seem to stop anyone of any age from putting their 4,4 euros (about $6) in for a pack of 20. The devil must be laughing alot- that he was able to influence people to make and market a product that is so nasty, smelly, addictive, annoying, unhealthy and hazardous to everyones health, and even get people to pay money for it! Many people of all ages smoke here, and it can be a stumbling block for some investigators.

 This is what we found in the front yard of a Catholic Church.  It is a metal statue of a priest with an interesting pet. Notice the fangs on that thing!  We drove here to meet our RS Pres. and her husband to follow them in our car to visit a couple, who live far out in the country, who are members that don't come to church. We see lots of interesting things as we visit people.

 Here is another one of them. Actually this nice, friendly dog belongs to the Struckl couple that we visited. It was so funny to see him try to come and play with us through the cat door. Watch him below:  

 We were laughing at the dog as we talked to them on their grapevine covered patio. Bro. Zorn and Elder Tew were able to give them both a blessing. It was beautiful day. She came to church Sunday!

 It is pumpkin season!! And that means more pumpkin seed oil or Kurbuskernöl. Steiermark is famous for this dark Kernöl which is a staple for salad and more.

 When we passed this field, we were able to see the different stages of the pumpkin harvest. The middle of the photo are the plants before the machine comes to put the pumpkins in rows as you see at the top. Somehow the seeds are taken out and the remains that you see in the front of the picture, will be tilled under to fertiize the soil for next year.

 As we were driving back from visiting the Struckls, we had to turn around as we passed this cute place by. What a find!! So many different kinds of pumpkins and such fun looking ones. And the Kern öl is the best out in the country they say.

 We made our purchase!

 And here are our pumpkins- safe at home! And of course a liter bottle of Kern öl. They mix this oil with a vinegar and either salt or sugur depending the taste they want and this is the dressing for the leafy salads. We had to buy some to use for our Institute dinners, so they wouldn't "run us out of town" for not using their famous provincial salad dressing!

 Our bird pumpkin family. These are not painted at all- they grow this way. Heavenly Father is a great artist, don't you think?!?

 Elder Tew is playing his harmonica that our friend Pam sent him. (Thanks Pam) We are watching Raphael so his parents could go on a motorcycle ride. The playing  was putting Raphael to sleep and the funny thing is that Rick put himself to sleep while playing it.

The Beins are  wonderful and we hope they will be an eternal family in the near future!

 I am feeding Raphael his lunch.

 Just thought I would update you on the peacocks at Schloss Eggenberg. We just found out that at this time of year after mating season is over, the males loose their beautiful tale feathers and start to grow new ones for the next year's mating season. We thought these were the young birds, but no, they are the adult males without their plumage. Works out nicely for Schloss Eggenberg though, because they sell the tail feathers in the gift shop for 3 euros a piece. 

And  the last pic of the day!!  Sister Threlkeld, Sister Pentz, Sister Tew and Elder Tew all dressed up for church yesterday in our Trachten(traditional) clothes. (we planned it)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bryan and Lindsey came!!!

We had a wonderful time with our oldest son Bryan and our youngest daughter Lindsey as they left their cute families and came to visit us and travel around some of our mission, in southern Germany and Austria. There is no way that I could post all of our fabulous trip, but here are some pics that will give you a flavor of what we did. Just to mention that we saw castles, fortresses, palaces, mountains, lakes, churches, cities, momuments, museums, statues, an armory, chocolate factory, and oh, so much more in the 9 days they were with us. And the food.... yumm!!! They flew into Munich, Germany where we picked them up, and we did a complete circle, returning to Munich when they flew home. They arrived back home on August 20th.

Hohenschwangau Castle

 Neuschwanstein Castle

 Linderhof Castle

Then off to Oberamergau, the home of the every 10 year Passion Play of  Jesus Christ's life that they do, as they promised Him they would, if He would save them from the plague about 350 years ago. He did, and they have kept their promise. This is a frescoe of the story of Hansel and Gretel, as they paint such stories on many homes there. 

Now in Garmish, home of the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspizte, we finally found a nice restarant for dinner. Do they look hungry? They served us great food, very quickly, as we kindly requested!

 Innsbruck- from our Hotel window!

Inside one of the many churches we visited throughout the trip.

 Having fun on the mountain top after riding the Funicular ( tram) up. Those are rocks that you see, not snow.

 Loved this view of the Alps.

Innsbruck from the mountain top!

 We all took a turn being a turtle at the alpine zoo.

 Quite a resemblance. Don't know who the left one is though.

On to Salzburg, and it's most notable landmark on the old-town hill- the fortress castle!

Up on top enjoying lunch and the view!

Here's the  live action view!

 Close by- Mondsee (Moon Lake) village- the church where the Sound of Music marriage was filmed!

Inside the church.

The Sound of Music gazebo at the Hellbrunn castle gardens!

Missionary mom and daughter with Mozart, who was born and lived alot in Saizburg.

 Missionary dad and son. Perfect dessert after a perfect dinner. Tomorrow on to one of Pres, Monson's favorite places in the world!

 A ride across the King's lake (Königsee) and a hike up the mountain in Berchtesgaden.

 Tempted to dive into the beautiful blue-green water! 

A little live action crusing back!

Nice cozy family group shot, thanks to Bryan's long arm.

 Beautiful little city built on the lake. Linds especially loved Hallstatt. The following short video will show you why!

 Church in Graz, back home, dressed in Styrish clothes. Bryan and Linds were asked to speak in Sacrament meeting. They did a wonderful job. Thanks guys.

Sunday, August 24th, was also our 41st Wedding Anniversary and we put our bright yellow lock on the Love Lock Bridge in Graz to lock our love!! Bryan and Linds got to witness it!!!


Our romantic anniversary picnic dinner in Vienna!

 Linds posing in the Vienna Boys Choir practice room. The boys were all gone with their families for vacation but we had a great tour from our friend Amrei who works there. We did take this pic of them on the wall!

A look of the city from the window of a lovely restaurant on the top floor of a huge building.

Most famous landmark- St. Stephan's Dom (Cathedral)

We found a new friend, Mr. Elephant in front of a museum.

Vienna City Hall (with big screen to show movies at night!)

 Back in Graz eating the fabulous "Döner".

On top of a unique church built into a mountain, called Mount Calvary's Church (well named!)
Here's the church front- notice the figures of Jesus, Pilate, etc. on the balcony, and the 3 crosses from the previous picture, in the background, above the left of the church and to the right of the tree.

 Having a chocolate high at Zotter's Chocolate Factory. Notice Rick in the background stationed at the Coconut (Kokos) chocolate flowing liquid fountain.
Do I really have to leave my fav?

 Chocolate heaven for sure!
 Picture perfect walking around the grounds of the factory.
Riegersburg Castle in the background of Zotter- never conquered- see why?
 Sneaking a little kiss at the castle!

 The double spiral staircase in Graz.

 The porcelain snowman looking at his future,was a hit with Bry and Linds.

 The Armory. Loved the horse!!

The Graz Armory has enough armor and weapons in its four large floors, for over 5,000 men, said to be the largest collection of its kind in the world. A large variety and amount of weapons! 

 Our Graz Clock tower on top of Schlossberg.

 Back in Munich and there were tons of people everywhere at the city center. This is the City Hall with the Glockenspiel, which has 43 bells and 32 characters that act out historical events.

This is what it sounds like!

This is the highlight of the 10 minute program!

Now for the grand finale- get ready to kick up your heels!

 We even took time to play games at the hotel which we love to do.

Farewell  till we meet again!  It was marvelous, and we love you so much Bryan and Lindsey (as well as our entire family)!! To you all we say: