Sunday, October 2, 2011

Senior Couples' Retreat and Marta's Baptism

We arrived at the Hotel Hoog Soere on Friday afternoon, September 16th for a senior couples retreat.  It was a quaint little hotel tucked into the forest near Apeldoorn, and it reminded me of Germany.

We were charmed by the setting.

Elder Beckstrand was less charmed that he was having his picture taken yet again.  I couldn't resist getting the purple velour bedspread.  They must have been expecting royalty!

President and Sister Brubaker treated everyone to a delicious dinner in the hotel. The food was excellent.

Elder Anderson took some ribbing about his black eye.  He was on a joint teach with the elders and one of the men at the care facility took a swing at him.  He swears that when he got his call they didn't tell him missionary work could be hazardous to his health.  Guess anything's possible.  That's quite a shiner!

Evertons are delighted to be at the party.

And so are the Beckstrands!

Rounding out the table are the Bushes and Tibbitts.  The Van Komens were in Utah for his brother's funeral, and the Saldens didn't come because Brother Salden wasn't feeling well.  We missed them.....

I should have gotten a picture of the whole meal, it was absolutely fabulous!  But I couldn't resist taking a quick shot of the dessert.  Such pretty presentation for a scoop of ice cream.

The waitress was kind enough to take a group shot following our dinner.  It was such a lovely evening.

Saturday morning after breakfast we held a JoVo meeting, then drove to Ede to the reinactment of Operation Market Garden from World War II.  The Allied forces, which included 5 countries, dropped thousands of paratroopers behind enemy lines at this location. 

England and the United States were both involved.  Today we saw many military vehicles with British logos.

I hope all these ambulances are not going to be needed.

We stood around a visited while we waited for the planes to arrive.

After about 45 minutes they started to appear on the horizon.

As they flew over our location about 25 parachuters dropped from each plane.

That same procedure happened again and again.  Sometimes as many as 100 parachuters were in the air at the same time. We learned that during the war thousands of allied forces were dropped at this location over a 4 day period.  Sadly, the Germans got wind of the operation and laid in wait for them.  Many allied soldiers were shot as they descended and an additional 6,000 soldiers were taken prisoner.  

It was a pretty sunny day, but the wind was a little brisk.  Sister Brubaker points out the approach of another plane to Elder Bush.

It's unusual to see this group in casual clothes.  It's even more unusual for President and Sister Brubaker to take a weekend off - they work very hard to keep the mission running smoothly.

Is that about all of the jumpers, do you think?

Guess not.   There were several hundred more who landed.  Each year the military reinacts the WWII event in honor of the soldiers who died here.  It wasn't one of the Allied's more successful operations.

After leaving the parachute jump, we drove to the Hoge Veluwe National Park and did some sightseeing.  This is the hunting lodge where the original owners entertained their wealthy guests.  The property was bought as a hunting preserve and when the owners died they willed it to the country of the Netherlands as a national park.  The world renowned art museum, the Kroller Mueller, is located inside the park.  We didn't take time to visit the museum because we had to return to Amsterdam to get the computers set up for the JoVo Center.

To top off the weekend, we shared Marta's baptism on Sunday.  We were privileged to joint teach with the sisters as they taught her the lessons.  What a thrill to see her accept the truths of the restored gospel.

She asked Elder Favero (second from the left) to baptize her and Elder Bastien (far left) to confirm her.  The sisters are so thrilled to have been instrumental in her conversion.  They are Sisters de Groot, Jeffs, and Larson.

Marta gets a chuckle out of her son Hans when she told us he would be next.  We'll cross our fingers.  He's been coming to JoVos, but he's got a few issues to work through.  We'll keep praying for him.

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