Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

General Conference

I decided to go to all sessions of General Conference this year. (Well, except for Relief Society and for the Sunday afternoon session, which would be from 22:00 to 24:00 this evening—too late for me, especially after already watching three sessions of conference.)

So I got to see the new second counsellor in the First Presidency and the new apostle.

I also heard Elder Holland talk about how incomprehensible the Nicene and similar creeds make out God to be, followed closely by how much he respects everyone's convictions and doesn't want to diss them. Also Julie B. Beck talking about how wonderful and empowering it is to be a homemaker and a mother; while I suppose she had some points, my (cynical) reaction was that it was a very orthodox talk, too orthodox perhaps. And in the Saturday morning session, Elder Packer told about the qualifications to become an apostle, and how they mostly involved being willing to testify of Jesus's divine nature; it seemed to me that he was quietly dispelling rumours along the lines of apostles having had personal visits from Jesus Christ, though he never directly or indirectly alluded to such rumours in his talk.

Also met some people I don't see often, including Ulrike Jensen and her husband Niels, who recently moved here along with their two daughters (he's the cousin of one of my missionary companions); Martin and Anike Fiedler; and Claudia Pohl. In between the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning sessions, Martin, Anike, Ulrike, Niels and I talked about various things, including baby names (apparently, the male Jensens all have "Ole" as a second name, after Ole Jensen, one of their ancestors and the first to take that patronymic as a surname; Niels intended to call his first son Fritz, if he should have one, though Ulrike isn't particularly enamoured of the name, and the Jensens overwhelmingly have girls anyway; and Martin and Anike's children are called Lasse and Okke, the second name coming from a student Martin knew).

I also met a couple of new people, including a Swedish girl called Christina who had just moved into Hamburg ward; Hannah, the sister of Ulrike Heinemann (and whom I had at first taken for her sister); and Sister Denton, who spoke very good German, and with a good accent, considering how much formal instruction and practice she had had: a semester of German, three months in Germany a while back, three weeks in the MTC, and she was now in Germany for two weeks. She said that talking German for more than fifteen minutes gave her a headache, but she was still determined to do it (someone else later told me that she refuses to speak English—probably mostly because she wants to practice her German, though possibly also because of her accent in English: she's from North Carolina and she told me that she occasionally gets mocked for her (hick?) accent).

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