Wednesday morning was by far my favorite morning of the trip. What better way to wake up than on the temple grounds? And then go into the temple? I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my day. Brother Minert brought tons of family names (that we barely had time for. I think the temple workers were getting a little anxious to get us out of there) and the 3 boys in our group got to baptize/confirm us so that was a really neat experience. Heavenly Father brought me some personal miracles and revelations while I was in the temple so it was an especially unique experience.
One of the men working in the temple told us the cutest little story while we were all there. When he has a very young boy he lived not to far from Lagoon. Every week on Wednesday he would buy a two-way ticket for the public transportation, play/swim in the park all day, buy a hotdog, then go home. All of this cost him $1, which is all the money he got each week. One week, however, between the rides and the pool, he misplaced his ticket for the return ride home. He said that he was probably close enough to walk home, but he was young and he wouldn’t even begin to know which way to go.
So he sat at the streetcar stop and just cried, thinking that this was it, he would never be able to see his family again. When the last street car of the day arrived and everyone boarded the driver got off and came over to this little boy. He put his arm around him and asked what was the matter. So he explained to the driver everything that had happened. Kindly, the driver said he believed that the boy had purchased a ticket and that he would take him home.
After the story I’m sure we could all guess what he would say next, but he likened this streetcar driver to us, and himself to our ancestors that have passed away without the ordinances required to make it home. It is our responsibility to go to the temple and do the work for these people because they want to make it home, they just don’t have a ticket! So I thought that was such a good story (it didn’t hurt that I think old, spiritual men are just the cutest ever) and it really topped off the wonderful experience I had in the temple!
After the temple we hopped on the bus and departed for Berlin! When we arrived we stopped by a piece of the wall that had kind of an outdoor museum. There was some background information about the wall itself but the exhibit focused mostly on Germany during the war. It is crazy to me all the messed up beliefs the Nazis were able to plant in the minds of the Germans. I learned that Hitler made his own birthday a national holiday. And it was a big deal. How do people not see that as an obvious sign of an egotistical power-hunger maniac? I would never celebrate somebody’s self-proclaimed birthday-holiday.
|Escaping East Germany|
|My Leader (The children say):|
I know you well and I love you like a Father and Mother
I want to always be obedient to the Father and Mother
When I am big, I will help you like a Father and Mother
And thou shalt look on me as Father and Mother
After the wall we went to the Check Point Charlie Museum. This museum was especially interesting and taught me a lot about the Berlin wall and what it was like to live in the Soviet occupied territory of Germany after the war. People were trying desperately to escape the lives they led under those extremely stressful conditions. They had life-sized dolls crammed into impossibly small containers to demonstrate what great lengths people went to to escape Soviet-occupied territory. It's the kind of thing that makes you think about everything you have and appreciate how good our lives really are.