Well, we are settling in to our new home in Frankfurt. It’s been really really fun. We love it here. I’m writing now on my mission blog, if you want to find me, I’m here:
I’ll check in here from time to time, though. Maybe to introduce our new home, I’ll post here my first letter back to some of my dear friends, sent after or first week or two.
The pic below shows the old Area Church Offices on the left and our apartment building in the middle. We live on the 6th floor.
This is the view from our window:
Here’s a bit of news:
Well, we’ve been here more than a week now and we are loving it! This is a bit of a group letter to you, my dearest friends, just to let you know all is well and we are really happy.
We arrived in Frankfurt on Tues 22 August. We are living in an 11 floor block apartment building that houses several of the senior missionary couples here and a few of the young missionaries. The apartments are right next to the old church office building and Frankfurt Stake center, but this month the big move is happening for all the church employees—we’ve gone to a large very nice office complex about a 15 min drive from home. It’s called the Phoenix Haus.
The Phoenix Haus will be the Church Office Building for Europe. The church purchased the building a few years ago and major renovations have been happening. I’ll attach a pic of the building and our apartment building. We (the Church) don’t occupy the entire building, but the hope is that as the church grows here, in time we will. The inside looks like brand new and it’s all beautifully finished with beautiful photo murals on the walls and quotes etched into the office windows and state of the art workspaces.
We go to the office every day 8:30 or 9:00 to about 6:00. Slowly we are learning what they want us to do and it’s a little overwhelming. Communications (formerly Public Communications or Public Affairs) is the department in the Church that shows us off to the world. For us, the focus is from European countries to all the rest of the world. It feels rather like a newsroom or a place for journalists. We have to find stories and write them, so we stay tuned in to all of the other departments and what they are doing. We have communication directors in about 15-18 of our 34 countries. Some of the countries in our central European area don’t have many members or national directors. We’re having a big conference with all of the national directors in 1.5 weeks, so we’re spending a lot of time getting ready for that.
This is our Central Europe Area:
One of the jobs they’ve just given me is to create content for the 7 large flat screen TVs in the building that the employees will see. I need to gather interesting news items and information that will quickly summarize what’s going on in the area and it will be shown on a rotating or revolving screen for all the employees to see. There are about 260 employees working in the area offices now, with an additional 26 missionary couples and quite a few interns, many from BYU.
This evening we’re going to the Friedrichsdorf Temple with our small office staff. (We joined one other Sr couple and have 2 bosses and a new BYU intern.) The temple is about a 15 min drive from the office. I’ll be doing the temple work for a dear relative I knew, my Tante Hilde.
One of the fun things about this mission is that we have our evenings and weekends free. We can do whatever we want and go wherever we’d like. Last Saturday we went to a town called Hanau, where the brothers Grimm were born and lived. We visited the castle/ palace there and the old churches and enjoyed wandering around the town. This coming weekend we’ll join a group of missionaries going to visit Wartburg, a town with a castle where Martin Luther hid out. While there he translated the New Testament into German. Every week there are outings and fieldtrips or we can do our own thing. All the missionaries have lists of places to go and see. There is so much interesting history here!
The grocery stores are great. We’re eating simply and well. We love our small apartment with a sitting room, small kitchen, small bathroom and a bedroom. We keep our windows open day and night. They look out over a huge old cemetery a block or two away. It’s a lovely place to walk. We are enjoying this simple focused life. And I’m enjoying being surrounded by German words!
The weather has been beautiful, in the 70s. The air feels crisp with a touch of Fall. We will love the seasons here. We’re happy and grateful for this fun opportunity to learn and to serve. I hope we can do all they need us to do. It will be fun (and a little scary) to figure it out!
Love to you from Frankfurt,
This is our little apartment, cozy and nice.
I can walk from one end of the apartment to the other in about 15 steps. It’s just perfect for our needs. We’re going to be very happy here.
Well, that’s a first taste of our new world. If you’d like to see more, including more about the work, daily life and our fun outings, look in on the mission blog from time to time. I’ll be over there now. Love to you all.