Monday, March 16, 2009

Berlin: Halo!

Church in German wasn't much different than it has been in English, Tongan, Spanish, Lithuanian, or Russian. :) I sang the hymns in English, and attempted to hear as much as I could from the whispering German sister missionary, Sister Wittmack, who translated sacrament meeting for us. There were about 75 people in attendance. The topic for the day was missionary work. Elder Neumann sang a solo in English, a song with which I became familiar on my mission. I think it's called "O, Lord My Redeemer." It was a nice familiar reminder of missionary work for me.

For Sunday school, we went to Brittney's youth class, which consists of the three youth (three British - thus, English speaking - girls whose father and mother moved the family to Germany 11 years ago) and any English speaking visitors. Brittney teaches the class while trying to handle both Ellie (2.5 years) and Peyton (2 months) because the ward has not called a nursery teacher. The Bishop keeps telling them that he will, but they've lived here for seven months now, and they are still without. This week, there were a brother and a sister (14 and 16, respectively) who are living in Trier, Germany, where their father is teaching at the university. They are from New Mexico and will return there in about four months. Brittney did a great job teaching the lesson on missionary work, and it was really nice to be able to have it in English.

Relief Society was also about missionary work (are we sensing a theme here?), and the same sister missionary translated for us. For such a small ward, they have a mix of women in Relief Society: an American, a British woman, younger returned missionaries, older converts, visitors from other faiths, and out of town visitors like Katie and I, and the mother of the New Mexican siblings. Though it was all in German, it's nice to be able to feel the same Spirit and know that we are all hearing the same lesson each week. Their lesson was the lesson, I'd heard the week before in my Relief Society. (Also, probably not of interest to most, but I thought it was interesting that they had the exact same chair in the classrooms, as we had in Lithuania: light wood with green cushions and metal legs.) I guess the Europeans saints must shop at the same places. :)

Sunday was a long day for Ellie and Peyton. Peyton seems to have a never-ending case of colic. I was able to get her to sleep during church and held her the whole time, so she didn't wake up. But she always seems uncomfortable. As Katie has said, several times, "Life is hard, being Peyton." Poor Peyton. She's adorable though, and will hopefully (for Britt and Casey) grow out of this colic-stage soon.

Last night, all of us went to Casey's game against Ludwigsburg in the O2 World arena. They won. I can't remember the score, but it was something like 86-57. Casey plays for Alba Berlin, which is part of the German league, as well as the Euroleague. They seem to be a good team and Casey made some really great shots last night. I think he made every shot he attempted. Ellie gets really excited to go and see daddy's basketball games, and last night was no exception. She wore her miniature Jacobsen #4 jersey. Very fun. We spent much of the evening with Tori, the girlfriend of Casey's teammate and best friend in Berlin, Adam Chubb. She lives in Philadelphia, but has been here visiting Adam for the past two weeks and will be here for another week. Long distance relationships are difficult. She's a really nice girl though, so I can see why they both do their best to keep it going.

This morning (today is Monday), Katie and I took a site-seeing tour by bus to get an overall feeling of the city. The bus drove us past the majority of the most-visited tourists sites in the city and helped us get an idea of what we wanted to come back and see. It was about an hour and forty five minutes. (We took a tour like this when we were in Barcelona, because we only had a couple of days there and I've decided that I like this overall view of a city in a short time.)

After the tour, we came back to the house in time to see Ellie come home from kindergarten. She LOVES going to kindergarten. She told us about all her friends there, mostly the teachers and the older kids in her class. They don't separate the kids by age, so she has some five-year olds in her class. They, along with three of the teachers are her favorite friends.

Katie and I are now babysitting for Ellie and Peyton, while Britt and Casey are taking some time to celebrate Casey's birthday. His birthday is on Thursday, but today is his only day off this week. They are having a spa day (afternoon) and then will come home to change, feed Peyton, and then be of for dinner. I'm glad that we're here to take care of the girls for them. It also gives us some downtime at home. Maybe I should take a nap, since I keep waking up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep for two hours. Now, cross your fingers that Ellie and Peyton stay asleep and take their full afternoon naps! :)

(I'm not changing the times Blogger automatically posts. I'm not sure why, but it's still posting in Mountain Time. Right now local Berlin time, it's 1:55 pm.)


Flynnur said...

Does Ellie go to German kindergarten? If so, I bet she's picking it up quickly.

Kimberlee Koplin Mills St. Clair said...

I am so incredibly jealous! Jared and I keep talking about our next adventure, and heading back to Germany. Possibly this summer (I really, really hope!). We LOVED Germany, and have so much more exploring to do there. So, your travels make me extremely jealous. Maybe next time you will invite me?

eclaires said...

Yes, Ellie does go to German kindergarten. She knows a lot of German. She also totally understands that we don't know German, so she thinks it's really silly to speak German to us.