Well, I'm back into blogging mode now after the holidays and right before I start back to work on Monday. I'm going to write about our family trip to the temple in Frankfurt.
First off, four unexpected things happened, that were very surprising and very cool.
1) my old missionary companion from the Hamburg area was at the temple with his wife and four children.
It was amazing to speak to that friend. We knew each other for only three short months in Düsseldorf some 17 years ago and saw him once last easter and it is like talking to a brother or a father. It is uncanny how close we feel after all those years. It reassures me that the Lord is somehow looking out for us. He has a 6 month tour of duty in Bosnia (I think) for Nato starting in May, so It may be another year before we see them again.
2) the kids friends from Norway (lived in Düsseldorf the last 10 months) were at the temple and played with the kids.
I know how hard it is to leave friends behind, or how hard it is to find friends at all. Our kids have left many friends behind and had many friends leave them in the last 24 months. So, seeing the kids' good friends one more time was very nice.
3) We met a friend from Duisburg whose son is going on a mission to Denver, Colorado where Tamara and I lived for 5 years.
That was great. It helped us get to know the family better and we were able to give them some valuable information about Colorado to their boy. He leaves for the Missionary Training Center at the end of January.
4) Hannah lost her tooth (and the tooth fairy found her at the temple too).
Hannah still gets excited about the tooth fairy and Santa, although she is starting to figure things out a bit. Something about Santa using the same wrapping paper as mom came up this year.
The best part of the visit was the peace and calm that came over our family. It has stayed with us since and been a great blessing.
We expected to find peace at the temple, but it was better than we hoped and worth mentioning. Before going I told the kids to look for this peace and think about how they could bring the peace back to our home. Here are a few examples of how the peace touched our family as we stayed in the temple youth hostel:
- Shantal and Spencer voluntarily made all of the beds while I was bringing luggage and food into the kitchen and our room
- Hannah slept next to Shantal on the top bunk (normally Hannah wants Shantal in another family)
- Hannah let Spencer teach her some German (normally they bicker over who is right and who knows more, etc.)
- Emma slept with Spencer (normally only Shantal can do anything for Emma)
- Emma didn't push Ian's buttons so much (i.e., make him scream, because it's oh so much fun)