About the ward:
The ward is pretty cool. I think most of them like me for the fact that my last name is German. There is this one guy named bro. Köster (pronounced coo-ster). He drives us to church every week. Everyone thinks he's super weird. But from the moment I arrived, he was my friend. He speaks decent English, so he translates for me, offered to give me a haircut, and says if I ever need anything to let him know.
There is another guy named brother Mass (pronounced moss). He has hair similar to Ludwig Beethoven. He is super passionate about the gospel. He taught a priesthood lesson, and it was great.
And of course, the Brauns, who I talked about in my pic emails.
That's pretty much all I've really met so far. Names are different here, and I am not good at remembering them. As for the meetinghouse, we meet here in Solingen at a church building, but the ward bounderies cover many cities. For example, the Brauns have a half hour commute to church each week....It is slightly easier to travel, because of the bus and train systems, but people have to really want to come, to come....if that makes sense.
The stake center is in Düsseldorf, which is about 25 minutes by train. However, that is a different area with different missionaries, so we only go there for district meetings and zone conferences.