In a Good Place—Naomi Hug of Münchenstein, Switzerland


In a Good Place—

Naomi Hug, 10, is the same age as her ward. On her ward’s 10th anniversary, she gave her first talk in sacrament meeting. She was surprised that she felt like crying! “The Spirit was so strong, I couldn’t say how much I felt it,” she wrote in her journal. She told ward members, “I’m thankful to have been born in the Church. I feel like I’m in a good place.”

Naomi makes her Swiss village even better by sharing her talents, testimony, and smile with the people who live there.

Naomi’s favorite hobby is picking and arranging flowers. Her grandmother, who owns a flower shop, lets her help. When asked if she has a favorite flower, she smiles and wrinkles her forehead. “Yes, but I don’t know what it’s called!”

Her other set of grandparents live in Zollikofen, about an hour’s drive from Münchenstein. Her grandfather is the president of the Bern Switzerland Temple, located in Zollikofen. The whole family goes there for a Christmas visit, so Naomi gets to see her relatives and the temple too.

She has four sisters: Natascha, 9; Marica, 5; Sinja, 4; and Piera, 2. What’s the best thing about sisters? Naomi says, “When you want to play games, you cannot play alone.”

Naomi and Natascha like playing marbles in their backyard. But it’s disappointing, Natascha says, when your sister wins your favorite marble!

They also enjoy playing music together. Naomi plays the drums, and Natascha plays the fife. They practice playing musical instruments with bands of children, or cliquen, all year long and then perform in February. That’s when Swiss people celebrate carnival for three days, symbolically scaring away winter and welcoming spring. Natascha and Naomi wear costumes and parade through the streets of Basel playing their music.

Basel, just across the border from France and Germany, is the city closest to Naomi’s village. There you can wander the nearly 1,000-year-old streets and watch boats float down the Rhine River.

Switzerland has four national languages—German, Italian, French, and Romansh—but most schoolchildren learn to speak English too.

Naomi speaks German and English, but she keeps her many journals in German. They help her remember important events like her Primary talk and baptism. Right now she’s learning French and is excited about it—soon her parents won’t be able to speak French in front of her when they want to tell secrets!

The Hugs speak English during family home evening, as they always do at home, because it helps the children learn to speak it more fluently. Often for family home evening they walk to a bench in the woods by their house. They call it the “family home evening bench.” This walk is a favorite family tradition passed on from when Naomi’s mother was a little girl.

Whatever the language, Naomi and her family try always to speak words of love and kindness. Love is what makes good places feel like home.

Photographs by Kimberly Webb

The Bern Switzerland Temple, which Naomi likes to visit with her family. Below: The Hugs on their family home evening bench.