Tuesday, June 22, 2010


June 22, 2010

On April 14, Iceland’s EYJAFJALLAJOKULL volcano began erupting, spewing volcanic ash over most of northern Europe. All air traffic was cancelled, transfers postponed, and we could see a hazy mist outside for days.
D&C 121:45-46. The greatest confidence one can possess is confidence before the Lord. I would certainly like to be in that position, so how do we get to that point? I finished reading and marking my new fresh copy of the Book of Mormon (assignment from the Mission President). Red – every name or pronoun referring to God or Jesus. Blue – every principle or teaching. Yellow – every direct quote from God and Green – every attribute of God. This was an amazing project and my comprehension was increased and I could see the message of the book over and over again. 1. Repent 2. Be baptized 3. Come unto Christ.
World Cup Fever is taking over. It’s almost as much fun as being in New England when the Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox and Bruins are all doing well. Tomorrow for the German game we’re going to show it at our Center and it should be great fun. People are the same everywhere.
Anya, a women with two adorable kids, is trying to help me with my German. She comes from East Germany and wasn’t even allowed to believe in God as a child. She came to a baptism last week and as she watched the baptism and the curtains close afterwards, it reminded her of capital punishment and watching an execution. She kind of freaked out. Ausflipped. Ausgeflippt. I think she believes in God much more than she lets on.
We’re doing well and I can’t believe how busy we are. Joe and Audri spent last weekend with us and it was so much fun. We went on a cruise down the Rhine river to Rhinefels Castle (with the other senior couples) and then to an authentic German restaurant. After three hours of listening to German on Sunday they kind of had a glazed look in their eyes. Like me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010

Time is absolutely flying by and we can't believe we have been here almost six months. On February 22 President Uchtdorf dedicated West Germany for the building up of the church. Everyone was so excited and the leaders have been telling us that we are on the verge of a great breakthrough. The next Sunday, the 28th, a hurricane-strength wind blew all day long and was so intense that it blew a tree completely over outside of our building. I'm still wondering if the two incidents are related because I don't believe in coincidences any more. Could the Lord somehow be sweeping the land in preparation for the gospel? President Monson in 1975 dedicated East Germany and within a few short years the wall came down and a temple was dedicated. Absolute miracle. The temple was announced before the wall came down.

Somehow the word got out that Elder Ence was a cheerleader in high school and all of the young adults thought that was hilarious and they tease him constantly and ask for cheers. He showed them what he learned on his mission – how to ride a bike backwards and they were pretty impressed. So, somehow the word got out that Sister Ence cuts hair and Elders are knocking at the door looking for free cuts.

The European Center is right next to us so lots of things are happening. The doctors are here so all missionaries with health problems come for treatment and usually stay awhile with our Elders. So, on April 1, we got an Elder from the Ukraine and I couldn’t even read his nametag. They teamed him up with two other Elders and the three got on the Bahn (train) and started doing what they always do – talking to anybody and everybody. The two got off, thinking that the Elder from the Ukraine was right behind. He wasn’t. Alone on the train, no bahn pass, no German language, no phone or numbers. The two Elders responsible contacted the Mission President who thought it was an April Fool’s joke and wasn’t very happy. The “traveling Elder” met a woman who could help him make a phone call to his sister in the USA who called President Ninnow, who organized search and rescue and who now was finally convinced that this was not a joke. The good thing was they got good contact information from the good Samaritan who helped. Kind of reminded me of the Kingston Trio and, The Man Who Never Returned”. Last month an Elder from Bulgaria arrived for rabies treatment. He was cornered and bitten by three gypsy dogs while on a p-day hike. He had left his companion to retrieve his camera at the top of the mountain near the gypsy camp and was surrounded by the dogs who followed him and kept nipping at his heels. Don’t think he’ll ever break that rule again.

Anybody can send us mail with one US stamp. Send it to: Elder or Sister Ence, Frankfurt Germany Pouch, 50 E. North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. I would especially love pictures from Grandchildren or Worcester Primary. Or any letters from anybody.

Monday, June 7, 2010

We're here!

Well, here we are in Deutschland and finally starting our blog. Sorry it took so long – everything kept coming up in German. We are loving it here and think we have a great assignment. We were called to the Institute Outreach Center here in Frankfurt which means we work with the 18 – 30 year olds. Elder L. Tom Perry had a revelation that the future of Germany was in the hands of these kids and so our job is to strengthen their testimonies, get them on missions and eventually to the temple. The matchmaking part is kind of fun. We have family home evening with a dinner, lessons and games, Institute night, Friday night waffle and activities night plus dances, service projects and anything else we can think of. Many times we just sit and talk to them. They all speak English but would rather speak German. Seems we are the party people and I seem to be exhausted every night. Bill doesn’t slow down and even runs up 10 flights of stairs two at a time several times a day. I manage the 8 flights but at a much slower pace. We work with and teach with some of the best missionaries ever. They treat us like General Authorities and we just feel it is a privilege to help them and they have discovered that we’re a pretty good resource for whatever they need (teaching companions, car questions, haircuts, broken stuff). I’m trying to learn the language but it is so schwer (hard). Bill speaks pretty well and is remembering more every day from his time here back in the early 60’s.