Friederike Baumann of Berlin, Germany
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“Friederike Baumann of Berlin, Germany,” Friend, Oct. 1996, 20

Making Friends:

Friederike Baumann of Berlin, Germany

Eight-year-old Friederike Baumann brings a lot of happiness and sunshine into the lives of her family. She is a very outgoing girl who loves to tell jokes, laugh, and have fun with her four sisters—Juliana (13), Natalie (12), Katharina (10), Charlotte (3)—her brother, Paul (6), and her parents, Beate and Frank. Her mother knows that Friederike will also be a shining influence on her soon-to-be-born sister, Henriette.

The Church is an important part of Friederike’s life. Her family travels by car about 30 minutes to attend the Reinickendorf Ward (Berlin Stake). She always enjoys seeing her friends and attending Sister Fischer’s Primary class. “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” (about Helaman’s army) and “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” are her favorite Primary songs.

Each Sunday she looks forward to participating in the Sharing Time activities. Father teaches the seven-year-old class in Primary and is also the financial clerk.

Mother has been a Primary president and an institute teacher; she will receive a new calling after she has the baby.

At 6:45 A.M. Friederike and her sisters and brother are out of bed, eagerly waiting to read the scriptures with their parents. Whenever they read the Book of Mormon, she is especially pleased. Her family knows this custom is a very peaceful way to start the day.

Another tradition she and her siblings eagerly participate in is family home evening. If Mother or Father ever forget about it, the children remind them and insist on having it. They know they can always gather around the piano and sing songs from the Children’s Songbook. Everyone takes turns doing different assignments. Putting on the armor of God and preparing for a mission are two lessons Friederike particularly enjoyed.

Refreshments are a great part of the evening, especially when Father makes floats with his wonderful homemade root beer. Because root beer is not available in Berlin, he has created his own secret recipe.

Swimming in the backyard pool and taking bike rides into the forest for a picnic are two more family activities Friederike enjoys. She also likes to ride her bike to visit Grandma or her cousin Ariane. She has a good time playing dolls with Charlotte and jumping off the playhouse roof with Paul. Connections is a board game that she likes to play with her father because she can beat him! A game of Monopoly with the whole family is fun too. Her family does not watch regular television, but they do watch parent-approved videos.

Although Friederike loves being with her family, sometimes she wants to be by herself. Sitting on the playhouse roof, thinking and looking at the beautiful world around her can be very comforting. And finding a private place in the house where she can get really comfortable and read a book is quite delightful. She is an avid reader whose favorite books are by Astrid Lindgren, especially the ones about Pippi Longstocking. She likes a good fairy tale too.

Listening to music can be very relaxing or very stimulating for her. Whenever The Magic Flute by Mozart is playing, she loves to sing along with it.

An important event happened on Friederike’s eighth birthday. She was baptized a member of the Church! She appreciated the musical number that her family performed at her baptism, and the covenants she made then with Heavenly Father are very important to her. In fact, the first thing she said after her baptism was, “In four years I can go to the temple and be baptized for the dead.”

Music school and regular school keep the Baumann household very busy.

Scheduling who goes where at what time, homework, and practicing is a juggling act for Mother. She has found a way to encourage the children to practice, and it has paid off because they are doing well.

Friederike has taken ballet, recorder, and violin lessons. At the present time she is taking piano lessons. Juliana and Katharina play both the violin and the piano. Natalie plays the cello and the piano. Paul has just started taking cello lessons. The family enjoys singing and playing their instruments for their ward, for people in hospitals, and for any others who ask them to. To their parents’ surprise, the children want to dress like angels and perform in shopping centers at Christmastime to earn money for a vacation to the United States!

When Friederike started school, she didn’t like it and wanted to stay home! However, before first grade was over, her parents and her teacher decided that school was too easy for her. They promoted her to the second grade, in which Friederike found the challenge she needed. Now she is in the fourth grade and doing well. Her teacher said that even though this sweet child is two years younger than most of the children, she adds a great deal of sunshine and enthusiasm to the class.

She likes to ride her bike to school, jump on the school trampoline, and attend religion class. Her religion teacher is glad Friederike chose to sign up, because she is one of the few children who knows about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and prayer. Friederike knows that the gospel of Jesus Christ is an important part of her life, and she is very willing and happy to share it with others.

Photos by Corliss Clayton

1. The famous Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

2. Enjoying root beer floats with Charlotte and Paul

3. Practicing the piano

4. Jumping off the playhouse roof

5. Playing Connections with Father while Paul and Natalie watch

6. Only the shell of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church’s bell tower stands in Berlin after it was bombed in World War II

7. The Baumann family

8. Ready for school

9. A section of the Berlin Wall that used to divide Berlin into two separate cities

10. German coins

11. Soon after Berlin became a reunited city, building cranes could be seen everywhere.