Monday, July 3, 2017

June 2017

 We started the month of June attending Stake Conference in St. Gallen.  When we arrived two of our wonderful Elders were helping with parking.
 We spoke in the Saturday evening session.
 The next morning it was great to be in church with our wonderful Schaffhausen Sisters!
 Some of our München Missionaries volunteered to help one of our members by singing at her friend's funeral service--and it was on their P-day to boot!  I was proud of them :)
 Later that week our mission leadership gathered for our June Mission Leadership Council
 After the Thursday night portion of our MLC, I always give them a little treat and a hug or a handshake before they head out to the hostel to bed.
 Our June Mission Leadership Council...
 We had a brief field trip to another church close by to go up in the tower and look out over Munich.
That Sunday President Kohler went to Reinach to attend church.  We have great sisters serving there!  And with this visit, he completed his goal of attending church and speaking in every unit in the mission--all 71 of them--way to go!
Then it was time to begin our final round of zone conferences.  It was a sweet time to be with all of our missionaries!  We started in Zürich--meeting with our Bern, St. Gallen and 1/2 of the Zürich Zones.
 Lunch time is always a highlight of the Conference.
 President Kohler speaking to the missionaries after lunch.
 Our next conference was in Stuttgart with the Stuttgart and other 1/2 of the Zürich Zones.
Our wonderful Relief Society Sisters always serve our lunches with such love.
 Lunch Time! 
Thursday we were in Munich to meet with our München Zone.
 Lunch Time
 After lunch we always gather and sing Ausserwählt zu dienen (Called to Serve) to the members who have prepared and served us our lunch.  On this day there was this sweet family who was helping.  After singing, all of the missionaries always go by and shake the hands and thank each of the members who helped with lunch.  These little kids were enamored with the missionaries.
 At the end of these special zone conferences we had a chance to greet each missionary one-by-one with a hug and a goodbye.  And President Kohler had ordered a special gift for each one.  Then we had our pictures taken with each missionary for them to have.
 On the first two days I didn't have anyone to capture the goodbyes, but in Munich Erika was there and caught some of the moments.

 Here is the special gift:  a free-standing obelisk.  You will have to ask your missionary what significance that has :)
 Thursday evening two of our diligent office elders helped Svetlana move some of her furniture from the mission home basement--thanks, Elders!
Saturday was our final conference in Salzburg, with our Wien and Salzburg Zones
 .  Erika loved being with the sisters.
 Lunch Time!
 More goodbyes and pictures--it really wasn't a sad time, but a sweet time.
 Here are some of the missionaries lined up waiting to get a picture with us and say goodbye.

 We love these missionaries!
 The next day we drove to Wels, Austria to attend church and check on our sisters there.
 And then back to Munich--and it was Father's Day!
 Monday morning bright and early we made a trip to the airport with Sister Jachens...
 and Sister St. Laurent--we will miss you both!
 and in staff meeting that day we were overwhelmed with a beautiful gift from all of the senior couples in the mission-- a gorgeous cow bell from Switzerland!
 And we sent the Gardners off--they are our last senior couple to send home--thank you for your service!
Toward the end of the month we held a European Mission Reunion to see those missionaries here who have already gone home.  
We all enjoyed our time together.
On our final Sunday we three spoke in our Munich ward.  Many of the missionaries who came for the reunion joined us on Sunday.  
 The net week we said farewell Elder Gubler, we love you!
 Getting some things done in the office on one of our last days.
 We were presented with an amazing gift--an album with pictures and "personal touch" signatures from every missionary in the mission.  It also contained many wonderful notes.  Wow!
 On Friday we first took Sister Church to the airport--get better soon!
 Then the Browns arrived!  
We were so excited to welcome President & Sister Brown and their son McKay--and they were so excited to be here!
 At the office the Browns were welcomed with a rousing rendition of "Ausserwahlt zu dinenen"--and Happy Birthday since it was McKay's birthday.
After spending the day together in orientation it was time to say goodbye.  It was sad for us to drive away as we headed to our hotel to fly home the next morning.

 This past three years have been utterly life-changing for our entire family.  We have worked with almost 700 missionaries and loved every single one of them.  We have been truly blessed to have this opportunity and will continue to pray for the success of the best mission in the world!