On Sunday, we woke up super early, forgot that it was fast Sunday, and Mike made crepes for breakfast. I know I'm a horrible person for saying this, because we really should have been fasting (and we would have been, had we remembered), but those things were REALLY delicious. No, I mean it. They were PHENOMENAL. By far the best crepes I have ever had.
Anyway, the bishop came and picked us up for church at 8:15 on the dot (those Germans... immer so puenktlich). We got to church a little bit early, so Mike and I went and sat in one of the classrooms with a piano so that he could get his fix in - it'd been almost a month since he'd played. Church was great - we had classes first, then the main meeting, so it was backwards from here in America, but I didn't mind it. I found that I payed more attention than usual. I acted as a translator for both Mike and a lady who didn't speak German, and it was VERY exhausting. Mike said that I did a really good job, though, so that made me happy. Apparently I'm not too bad at doing the whole talking/listening/translating at the same time thing! If I didn't have my heart set on teaching, maybe I'd make a good translator someday, but who knows/cares. Anyway, the lessons were great. We talked about the role of women in our Heavenly Father's plan for us, then in Sunday School we talked about Paul and the Corinthians ( I will admit that my brain was turned off for most of that). Sacrament meeting was a little different than here in America, though, because they just passed the microphone around for testimonies. It was definitely a little odd to me.
After church, we had SO MANY people come up to us and welcome us to Germany and the ward, and tell us that if we needed anything, we could call them. I swear I got more business cards there than at a job fair! One kind lady, Tanja, even gave us some towels as a welcome gift. I seriously felt so welcome and loved, and I don't even know these people. It was a great feeling to know that we have a sort of family/home away from home already. That's the great thing about the church - it's the same wherever you go. The doctrine and scriptures don't change, even if the language and people do. It's great. It was especially great to hear these people's love for the gospel and the scriptures as they bore their testimonies. It was awesome translating, because I really had to listen! I loved it.
Monday - Wednesday
So, since Monday, Mike and I have been in Altenberg, which is just outside of Koeln (Cologne for all you non-Germans out there). I've been in meeting after meeting, learning about the German health insurance, visas, classroom etiquette, and how to prepare a lesson, and Mike has been working on homework and watching NetFlix and playing Foosball. I think he's gotten the better end of the deal here. Ha. But seriously, this orientation has actually been really helpful, and I have met so many new people! It's great to see how other people plan on teaching their classes - I've gotten plenty of ideas on what to do and what not to do.
Haus Altenberg (where we are staying) is such a beautiful place, right by a cathedral. It's beautiful. There are some pictures below.
Enjoy the pics. If nothing else, just skip all the boring reading and enjoy seeing what Germany looks like. I mean, you don't have to read what I write, because it's mostly just me rambling anyway, so unless you're REALLY interested in what I have to say, it's irrelevant. Besides, if there's an exciting story somewhere in a post, you're likely to know from the title. :)
The Koelner Dom
Haus Altenberg, the place of the conference
Mike, with his big cheesy grin
I just really liked these flowers. I swear, Germans have the prettiest gardens!!
The cathedral by Haus Altenberg
Ummm... I really have no words to describe the ridiculousness contained in this photo.
The Dom at Haus Altenberg
Dom at Altenberg again
... and again
This girl was so dedicated! She did yoga as soon as she got here. Pretty intense stuff, too.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post!