Our ward was allotted a certain number of tickets from our stake to go see President Monson in Munich. Due to the last minute nature of this trip, the church was unable to secure larger venues to accommodate all who would have liked to be there. I feel so fortunate that we were able to get four tickets and left Jake and Morgan with a lovely coworker of Ryan's. We were able to sit together thankfully, but it was in the top far right balcony. Hey, it worked!
In addition to the packed nature of this small auditorium at the Residenz palace in the heart of Munich, I think everyone was anxious about translation. They had some headsets for translation in English and Spanish and I was able to get just one for the four of us. The first speaker was in German and then the Area Seventy had a translator stand with him as did President Monson. The amplifier system wasn't the best were we were seated unfortunately, but we got most of it. It really is remarkable that this can work out in the end!
Satan sure was working hard on us Saturday morning! A couple kids woke up extremely grumpy and I was exhausted from an over-scheduled week. But we made it there and it was wonderful to see and listen to a living prophet I truly admire. President Monson has a long history of visits to Germany - the first being in 1968. He loves the countryside and in autumn, who wouldn't?! He is 85 now and seemed to be in good health, eager to cater to some of the children who came forward to shake his hand, get his autograph or to receive a framed portrait from an 8 year old little girl. Very sweet.
President Monson's life has been filled with listening to and then acting on the promptings of the Holy Ghost to reach out and help others. His words spoke to my heart. He spoke about the need to rescue others and bring them back to the safety of activity in the gospel. How the catalyst is the principle of love. "May we join the ranks and be fishers of men" . . . "Be doers of the word and not hearers only". . . "Show love" . . . "We are on the Lord's errand and entitled to His help" . . . "Live together in love." He always has good stories!
Love, Love, Love. Live together in love. Man, that's such a tall order and yet so true! Minute by minute there are so many opportunities to choose the wrong course of thought and action in this young family of mine! I haven't felt 100% this weekend and was even more prone to be short-tempered and flustered, but I tried, failed, cried, and tried some more again.
On Sunday today, instead of regular ward meetings, we met at the chapel as a stake to listen to President Monson be broadcast from a large venue in Frankfurt. And again, this morning was a trial for me to get us all out the door! It's like herding cats around here sometimes! We made it there and it was unclear where English translation would be happening. We finally settled in the Relief Society room because it was the least populated and took our chances. Once again, the format was the same with a German speaker, then the Area Seventy, then President Monson. This time, you didn't have to wear headphones, the broadcast was in German but there were translators at our chapel piped in over the speaker system in each room. I am so grateful for this whole effort so I could listen and understand!
President Monson's remarks were similar to yesterday's but different stories and a few other themes. The first part of his talk focused on patterning our lives after the Savior's life. He taught forgiveness by forgiving, compassion by being compassionate to those around him, was ever loyal, ever loving. He asks us to Follow Him. Great stories - two on the theme of remembering birthdays of those who are lonely and reaching out to others. Again he talked about inviting individuals back into full activity in the gospel through ward events and harnessing their talents to incorporate them into the fold. Great stories!
In the end, I'm glad we made the effort to be there for both meetings. Not easy with four little ones, but totally worth it to feel the Holy Ghost testify truth to me and to feel my heart pricked with things I can be doing better to become a better daughter of God.