Saturday, September 26, 2009


In September, Swiss farmers bring their milk cows down from the alps, where they have spent the summer grazing in heaven and producing heavenly milk. From the milk the farmers make heavenly cheese. The return from the alps (alpabfahrt) is an annual celebration in many locations in Switzerland. The farmers dress in traditional costume and they deck the cows in flowers to express appreciation for their generous gift of milk. The best producers have the most flowers and carry the biggest bells.

We went to Schupfheim to witness a celebration. These celebrations are after the tourist season, and the town is full of locals. It was very down home and wonderful.

On his birthday in March, we had promised Sergio a tour in the Emmenthal, because he had never been there. Here we are enjoying lunch yesterday at a lovely little "farmer" restaurant in Emmenthal.A milking stool on the left and cow bells. These were on display in the restaurant.

Today, before the parade, we saw these darling girls dressed in typical Bern traditional dress.

The parade has begun, and we see children dancing. You can see musicians seated in the street to the left making the dancing music.
Marlies arranged for us to have reserved seats on the balcony of their hotel!

A yodeling club, walking along casually with their hands in their pockets and yodeling

The best producers for this family

The alphorn players

The farmers and their families are obviously proud of their beautiful cows.

All the family helps!
These aren't miniature cows, but goats. They return with the cows, as do the chickens and rabbits we saw in cart baskets.

Isn't she beautiful?

A performance of yodelers and alphorns after the parade

We bought cheese from this family.

After the parade we are waiting here in this tent set up for eating. Our waiter will bring the brats and pomme frits (french fries). From left, Sergio, Claude and Brigitte Fluckiger (who organized the day for us) me, Greti, and Marlies.

It was a fabulous opportunity to see this traditional day! We loved it!
Readers of this blog will think we are on vacation instead of a mission!
Oh, the benefits of being senior missionaries!

Friday, September 18, 2009


The title says emergency, but it wasn't serious--unless you consider thirty hungry missionaries a serious emergency!

We had a wonderful zone conference today. It was uplifting and inspirational, and we felt very motivated when it was over.

There was a little glitch though. About a half-hour before the lunch break, our zone leader came over to talk to President and Sister Matern. I was right next to them, but didn't fully understand their German conversation. I could tell something was wrong. I leaned over and asked if I could help with anything. Sister Matern said the RS sisters who were to provide the lunch must have forgotten, because they weren't there and the zone leader couldn't raise them on the phone.

Well, we decided to run to the store and grab some stuff and do it ourselves. Sister Matern drove, Sister Robinson navigated, and we went to Migros for groceries. We came back and fixed a lunch of yummy chili, with bread and some apples. It wasn't a glamourous lunch, but it filled everybody up, and it was just one hour late on the schedule! The conference just kept going until we were ready, and the conference ended exactly on time at the end. We were pretty proud of ourselves for getting it done so quickly. Things just sort of fell into place.

Of course we know how that happens.

As usual, the situation consumed my brain for that hour, and I forgot to take pictures. But here are some pictures of missionaries before and after the conference.

Mail call . . .

Checking out the mission newsletter

Being silly. . .
Love that smile!
The "Golden"

Getting ready

President Matern calmly waiting for the conference to begin

All in place.

Relaxing a few minutes after lunch

I thought we'd clean up the kitchen after the meeting was over,
but when I looked in--this is what I saw!
Those darling missionaries had cleaned up while we cooks were finishing our lunch!

Elder Middleton and others packing up to leave

Gotta be done!

And what does a zone leader do? Well among other things . . .

Bye, Sisters!

Everybody loves Sister Matern!

Waiting for the bus

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Well, we lost the sisters!
That is, they have been transferred out of Bern, and we now have our zone leaders here.
Although we will miss the sisters, we are excited to see what the elders can do!

Meet our zone leaders,
Elder Middleton (our resident Brit) and Elder Andrews.
We love them already!

We also have a new district leader--and he's new to the district. Elder Roy conducted a wonderful district meeting this week, and he definitely is a keeper! He changed our meeting venue this week. Kind of nice for us, because we are at the center, where we usually have them, a lot!

Elder Grassli deep in conversation !

Our I.T. expert , Elder Reinhardt, is back! Whoopee! Here he is already conferring about phones. We will wear him out. We thought he was probably relieved when he left and "Oh No!" when he found out he was returning to the district . . . Scripture thought in district meeting. Don't they look fascinated?