Thursday, March 4, 2010

Saying Goodbye...

Seven months ago, we moved to Weissenfels, Germany. When we got there we felt lonely and confused. We were so close to moving back home. We prayed and prayed about staying and what to do. Finally, we felt that staying would be our best option. I think that is a decision we will never regret.

I will never say it was something that was easy; adjusting to new food, a new culture, a new language, etc. etc. However, it is something we will never ever forget; the friends we made, the places we visited, and the experience we had.

A few weeks ago, when I was in America- I called Matt one morning and he told me he just had a meeting with his manager. He said they were trying to get some things worked out to get another player, because one had recently been injured, and they wanted us to leavE! I felt sick! I was in America, and felt completely helpless. Nothing ended up happening...

I returned to Germany as planned and we had the funnest couple of weeks. After being home and returning to Germany, I felt like we should make the most of the time that we had spending together, being in a beautiful country.

Well, about 2 weeks after I was home, Matt walked in the house after practice one day and said we were going home. In between the two weeks they had found another player.

So, basically they bought out Matt's contract with 2 months left in the season! It was determined that Matt was going to receive almost all of his money, close enough I guess. They new player would be moving into our apartment and getting our car. We had 3 days to leave! We tried to get it worked out so we could stay a little bit longer, but nothing seemed to work out.

Okay, so I was really upset about the whole situation, the way that Matt was treated. I guess part of me felt like, Matt came here and brought his family, Germany was home to us, we had a lot of great friends, and we were given 3 days to say goodbye and move everything!

But, instead of feeling bitter, or upset, I am going to remember what an Incredible, life changing experience we had! The last 3 days before we left were Perfect! Couldn't have been any better (besides the frantic packing and cleaning).

Our little family @ Katrin and Basti's new house party :)

Some great friends, Sophie and Silke

Sylke, Missy, and little Zeke man

Katrin and I

Katrin, us, and Basti

So-- Saturday we went up to Halle for a final walk through the cobblestone streets :)

Of course I had to snap these men singing in German-- I really should have recorded them because they were pretty dang good...

And of course we went with the Albrecht's. I really should have taken more pictures...

The good thing about leaving the Albrecht's is that they will be back in Utah in a year! The whole year we kept telling each other what a blessing it was that both ended up in that specific place in Germany-- of all places we could have moved! I believe they were an answer to our prayers :)
And yes...I lived there- it is beautiful!

Sylke had us over for one last dinner, along with the Gilberts and Annina and her kids!

Little Caroline- I always tried talking to her in German, and she probably wondered why in the heck I couldn't talk very well? Kind of funny, but we love her!

Sylke and Christian. From the moment we found out we were moving to Germany, Sylke was there to help. She e-mailed me before I even moved there. I don't think I have ever met anyone who served as much as she did. She was also an answer to our many prayers and we love them and will miss them!

Annina is Christian's cousin, and in the 7 months she learned quite a bit of English :)

Another farewell, the following morning at church. I absolutely loved going to church, and although we didn't speak their language, these people took us in and treated us like family. I will always hold a special place in my heart for the church members we met in Germany.

Nicole and her father (Nicole spoke very good English)

This wonderful woman in our ward didn't speak English very well, but she always tried to communicate with us. The day we were leaving she came up and told us how proud she was that even though we didn't speak the language, we attended church faithfully. I got a little bit emotional, because it wasn't always an easy thing driving 45 minutes to church and not being able to understand, but the spirit was always so strong that it was always worth it.

Our good friends Matthias and Patrick. Matthias spoke English really well, and we tried speaking German with Patrick :)

It was such a beautiful day I had to take a picture of our church building from the street. It is on the top floor of the farthest away building. I always find it funny, all of the amazing churches they have in Germany, that are definitely beautiful, but you walk in and it never felt the same as walking into our third story 4 room little church.

We had one last farewell at Katrin and Basti's also... everyone showing their # 31! We love you all and thanks for all your time, help, and friendships :)

The trip home was just another 24 hour trip across the world-- I must say I am getting pretty good at them, but probably won't be doing it again for quite some time! Colton was an absolute angel-- thank goodness, because leaving was hard enough! He slept for most of the flights and ate and played the rest. We flew on SWISS airlines. I HIGHLY recommend this was the nicest plane I have ever seen. We had 4 seats, so Matt and I were both on the end and Colton had the entire middle to play :) We met some awesome people who were moving from Somalia to the USA for a better life. I thought it was tough for us to make a move, but they were moving with no future plans, just to try and find schooling and jobs. Talk about some faith!

Saying goodbye was NOT easy or fun, however, we did get to come home to a family that loves us too :) It was definitely a bittersweet experience.

There is soo much more I want to say about some of our most memorable times in more to come :)


Just Us said...

I am soo sorry it ended so quickly! I am green with envy for your experiences, but so happy that you all had the opportunity!! Good luck with your new life back in the states!!

Be Strong and Courageous said...

Chelsey you ROCK! Thank you for sharing all your pictures and thoughts about Germany. It really touched me. You are brave and so positive! I admire you so much for all you have taken advantage of in the last year. Especially learning so much and making so many friends. You're one amazing family! Best of luck in your new American endeavors. Love you Cindy

Stacy said...

Chelsey I am so sad for you that you had to leave that abruptly! It's not fair. But I am happy that you guys stuck it out and enjoyed your time there. I'm sure your family is thrilled to have you back though. Good luck with everything. And now you can call me anytime! yay!

Michemily said...

Oh man, that is a bummer, but you have a great attitude!

Anonymous said...

Hi Stucki Family! Hope you keep your fingers crossed for Matts teammates at the moment @ Düsseldorf Giants....looks good at the right now. Gooooo MBC!

Take care.....greetings from good old Germany ;o)

The Henry's said...

I'm sorry it ended the way that it did. Tim and I ended up leaving Europe with a bad taste in our mouth as far as the business side of basketball there goes. I'm glad you are trying to focus on the positive though. Do you think you'll try and go back next year to a different team? Hang in there, I know the uncertainty of it all is probably the hardest part!

Abby said...

Chelsey..I cried when I read your post...haha especially with that music playing. I loved this, you are such an incredible person. It is sooo awesome that you had these experiences. They will be so great for you in your life! I love you and i think you are just an awesome person and I'm glad you are my friend!

Besiege said...

Wow, I can't believe all of us! I know you all went through so much moving there and trying to get settled in- to just have the rug swept out from underneath you as soon as you were getting comfortable! You guys are so strong to handle this as you have and I know you'll get settled soon!!

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