Saturday, February 28, 2015

12/15/14 Weihnachtsfeier Christmas Celebration, New carol "bald ist Nikolaus"? & Zone Conference--maybe final one

Previously on 12/8/14--Thanksgiving dinner was good this week. Christmas Package coming. little time. sorry :( Love!
Elder Standring

12/15/14--We had our ward's Weihnachtsfeier (Christmas Celebration) and it went really really well. My companion and I had been practicing with the ward choir after church on sundays, (they really needed more men's voices) and Elder Awerkamp even played the organ for the song that we sang as a Men's Choir, The First Noel. We'd invited a lot of our friends, but sadly none of them showed up. There was one couple that did show up that we were helping to move. A man from the ward had provided a trailer for their furniture so as we were talking in the car he asked if they'd heard about it and we even took a special detour to show them where the church was and which bus to take and where to get out. He did a great job, and.. They came!

I've actually really come to learn why they have advent calendars, it's not just to count down the days until Christmas! Maybe I've already told you this, but every Sunday in December leading up to Christmas is called an "Advent Sonntag". There's even a first, second, third, and fourth with a specific something that happens on each one, you can't mix them up. Also, St. Nickolaus isn't the same as Santa Claus! on the 5th or 6th of December (I think it's the Saturday before the first Advent), the children put their boots out and St. Nikolaus comes and puts presents in them! He also looks different than Santa. The bishop's family invited us to celebrate the first advent with them at home and I experienced my first real "Adventsingen" which is basically like a mix between a family home evening and Christmas carolling. I learned a song too! I don't remember the verses, but I do remember the words for the chorus:

blah blah bla-ah bla-ah bla-ah-aaaah
blah blah bla-ah bla-ah bla-ah-aaaah
lustig, lustig tra-la la-la laaaa
bald ist Nikolaus Abend da!
bald ist Nikolaus Abend da!

Zone Conference is tomorrow. It's also going to be a joint-zone conference, so all the missionaries from the Düsseldorf zone will also be coming. Exciting stuff. I never thought it'd come, but this will probably be the last zone conference I go to on my mission, so everyone from my group will likely be giving their leaver's testimonies... that's scary.

Elder Awerkamp's birthday is also today, as well as his twin brother's. Sadly his brother is in the Friedrichsdorf Zone, but we called the assistants to the president and they said we could call the other Elder Awerkamp. He was really happy about that. To celebrate, we ate some delicious German Bakery sweets (amazing I tell you) and he actually wants to cut his own hair for his birthday... and with the big conference tomorrow and the mission president going to be there... well, pray for him please. :)

Elder Mark Standring

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