Week 1: Has it seriously only been 7 days? It feels like a month.

We landed in Dresden just last week.  We shoved our bags in our new car: a VW diesel wagon, and then took the train home (no seats left, too many bags)!  We are only four stops from the airport, so we actually beat Jason home so we just kind of stood around looking through the windows.  After a quick tour of the house and a walk to the market to grab something to eat, we were off.  Jason wanted us to see our new city.

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As tired and whiney as we were, I am so glad we made it out that evening.  It was just beautiful.  My first impression was it’s everything lovely about old European towns without the stench and graffiti of larger cities.  I have since been beyond the historical downtown and have seen that, of course, Dresden’s got that too!  Ironically, I’ve learned Neustadt is actually known for their graffiti art!  But this evening from our front porch walk to historic Frauenkirche in Naumarkt it was picturesque coupled with a perfect summer evening and even some background music as we meandered the cobblestone streets.

Jason left the next morning for work so we were on our own in this new place within 12 hours of landing!  I didn’t try to do too much beyond a little shopping and laundry.  It was just so weird, it’s a little bit like playing house.  Have you ever cooked or done dishes at a friends house, and it’s all so unfamiliar making your every move tentative?  Well that’s what it’s like living abroad, even in your own home.  Light switches are different, windows and doors open and close differently, the kitchen sink is so small it takes precision to clean a dish, and don’t even get me started with the washing machine.  But I had to give it a go!  Let’s just say that not all dryers have venting, so they actually collect water?  Did you know that?!

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So what setting would you choose?

By now it’s been seven days, and I have been shopping six times!  Every day but Sunday.  Saturday evening Jason and I shopped together, using Google Translate intermittently to figure out if the tub in our hands was butter or cream cheese?!?  And with three full canvas bags we hiked back home.  My bag was so heavy I stopped every couple of minutes to switch arms.  We talked about how this will get old pretty fast, or perhaps I will gain strength and be like the Nephite women in the wilderness who became strong like unto the men!!!  We’ll see.  It’s definitely a challenge.

Church was really great.  A young woman asked if we’d like translation, so we bit!  I thought she was going to sit behind us and translate, but she hustled around and connected a microphone and handed us headsets and sat at the front of the chapel translating the whole meeting.  That was so nice.  The bishop announced our family into the ward and said that he hoped we’d be able to understand one another!  Agreed.  Jaxon sat by a boy who spoke English in primary, a poor soon-to-be-missionary had to teach his class!  And another woman sat by us and translated our other classes.  Emily and Dallin both were escorted off to classes after Sacrament meeting and seemed to manage alright.  Everyone was super friendly, it wasn’t until I was at church that I really felt the need to learn German.  How can I be helpful here to anyone if I can’t speak or understand?

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