November started out with the holidays of "All Saints Day" on the 1st and "Day of the Dead" the next day. It is like our Memorial Day where they decorate the graves. They spend the month(s) before getting them ready for all to see! This is the beautiful Zentralfriedhof Graz Kirche or Central Cemetery Church in Graz. The cemetery is huge and is located just next to, and behind the church.
We have not been inside the church yet but the outside architecture is amazing.
We met our good friend Laurel Scofield there for a little tour of the cemetery. She wanted us to experience how pretty it is at this memorial time. Laurel is originally from Utah and is married to an Austrian. They live here in Graz and she is a member of our church. She and Klaus have become like family to us.
Not alot of grass around the graves- mainly all stone, with small planting areas within.
This section is the crematorium.
At the entrance/parking lot of the church, it was like a carnival. Concession stands everywhere to buy treats, flowers, candles, wreaths, and other things.
I thought this was an interesting grave.
Family members pay a ton of money to decorate the graves, and keep them looking good.
Candles like these are lit and last for the two days of holiday. Every grave has at least two or three candles but most have more as you can see.
The candles are beautiful at night. This grave had the most of any. It is the grave of the famous Austiran race car driver Jochen Rindt from Graz. He is a hero to many here- died in 1970, only 28 years old, in a crash while preparing for another Grand Prix race. He had won 5 of the 10 total races, so far, and had enough points to win without racing any more (a bit hard to race after you die). His widow, the daughter of a famous Finnish racer, recieved the trophy for him.
After our District Meeting celebrating Elder McKinzie's birthday and eating some of my lemon Jello cheesecake dessert.
Some more street scenes of Graz.
The pink building is where the Mühlberger's apartment is.
Our dear friend Sister Eva Mühlberger and her brother who was visiting them. She wanted us to meet him, and Elder Tew had a great discussion with him. He is not a member of our church , but enjoyed talking about the Gospel so much, that she invited us to stay for lunch, which we made together, so they could talk longer. He was very open and receptive. He has allowed Eva to do the temple work for his wife and 2 children that died in an accident. He is the father of Amrei, who took us on a tour of Vienna with Lindsey & Bryan. We hope to see him again soon. He lives by Vienna.
I love Autumn so much as you will see in this post.
Maroni or chestnuts. "CHESTNUTS ROASTING IN A HOT OVEN" oh, I guess that is not the Christmas song. During waffle night Baldur baked a batch of chestnuts and they were warm and delicious for dessert! Normally they are roasted on a grill but this worked just great. The Austrians love them very much and they are a real treat. This is the time of year for them.
To bake or grill the Maroni, you first slice through the shell, so when they are hot you just peel the shell off. They have a different taste, soft and chewy. These were the best I have tasted but I could only eat 3 or 4.
First timers Elders Mitchell and Plumb were not quite sure at first but after a few decided they liked them. They are good sports!
We don't go out to dinner very often but we went to the Lindenwirt with Bro. Hanselmayer. His wife was in Rome and he needed company. This hotel/resturant is not far from where we both live. The food was delicious. This is my dinner, baked chicken on typical Austrian salad. Yum!
I love the colors of Autumn!!
Another cemetery we visited after church.
This is the family grave where Bro. Immo Luschin is buried, who translated the Book of Mormon into German. He could speak 17 languages. We visit his wife regularly. One of their daughters- Astrid Krammer lives a few minutes from us back home!
Beautiful view overlooking Graz. Too bad it was a hazy day.
Our neighbor, Eve took this picture of the Tahlersee (Tahl Lake) on my walk with her. She is a fun and interesting person that we are just getting to know. So glad I could spend some girl time with her and her lovely dog that looks just like Lassy.
Some of our YSAs on the front row, at THE PIANO GUYS concert in Vienna. It was incredible.
We were so excited to be there along with some of our peeps. Since we are such good friends of Jon Schmidt's cute parents, he worked magic for us to be there, with several tickets.
The Great Wall of China, over 5,000 miles long, one of the 7 Wonders of the World (their goal is to perform at all 7), as they play Kung Fu Panda, classically, as requested by their kids!
Bringing joy into the lives of people around the world, with fun music like at this rest home!
If you get a chance to see them in concert be sure to take the opportunity. The best concert ever!!
All the Piano Guys having fun entertaining us with their final encore number!
Jon arranged for us to have a "Meet and Greet" with them after the show. They are truly the nicest guys, all Mormon dads from Utah. They are on a concert tour in Europe till Thanksgiving. Then all throughout December till Christmas is their Christmas Tour in the USA. Every show is sold out. I don't know how they have such energy every night for such a power packed show but they are absolutely amazing. We love them so much.
Steven Sharp Nelson, Elder Tew, Jon Schmidt, Sister Tew, Paul Anderson, and Al Van Der Beek.
All the Peeps with the wonderful Piano Guys! A memory to cherish. They were so generous and kind to us. They even gave me their brand new CD/DVD "Wonders". We have already used their beautiful music and DVD to show several people who we have visited. The "How Great Thous Art" video is so inspiring. A huge Thank you!!
I couldn't resist taking a pic of this fun colorful building just outside of the city limits. This is the back side but we saw people going in and out of it. I think the colors are huge tiles not bricks.
This is another great neighbor and good friend Val. She lives in the apartment just behind us. I went on a walk/hike with her in the mountains near by. Everyone has a dog and Val has just aquired Solteri a couple months ago. Sweet dog. We gave Val a copy of the Book of Mormon last Easter.
Beautiful Autumn trail.
Val, Solteri, and I ended our adventure here by St. Martins Church. This building, next to it, is a convention center of sorts, now.
The arch to enter the courtyard was a picture to take, since this is the year Rick and I were born. Notice the Styrish Panther.
All the leaves are raked and ready for winter at our Graz church building at Eckertstrasse 136.
Autumn at Schloss Eggenberg.
There is a reason they call this time of year FALL!
Until next posting, I leave you with this pic of our German name tags. As of tomorrow November 16, we have lived in Graz, Austria exactly one year. What a year this has been!