Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 2, 2013

Market Square Opening Night
My latest stays on my desk
as I study.
Caroline, with My Companion and Me
Holy smokes!  It is already December.  How does that happen?  Mom, while I am thinking about it, I have been praying a lot about if I should come home a transfer early to make it in time for the school semester in January.  I feel like that is the right decision for me.  I know it means less time on my mission, but that is probably what is going to end up happening.  So…it looks like I might be home for next Christmas.  Or…you can do what Sister Young's family is doing!  She is going home early to catch the semester, so she just finished her mission.  Her family came out to Germany and is touring the mission with her...  and they were able to be here for the Weinnacht’s opening.  That was really cool.  Keep that in mind—haha.  You have a year to prepare ;) 

Auf jedenfall…it sounds like you all had a great Thanksgiving break!  Of course Taryn got a flat tire.  Does that even surprise you?  I think it is crazy that Elliott and Haley are at BYU and drove down with Taryn.  That always seems so weird for me.  Speaking of Elliott, has he gotten his mission call yet?  If so, he never told me where he was going!  Also, yes, I knew that Katelyn and Tim are dating mom.  Do you really think I am that out of the loop!  They have been dating before I left, and they are the two that faithfully email me weekly (so grateful for that), so I am updated on that.  Also, yes, the family bunny was the same as the fruit.  I forgot to mention the best part...Mary Agnes (the little two year old) kicked the turkey!  SHE KICKED IT!  And it did nothing.  That little girl has no fear.  Also, the new elder...he is interesting.  Let’s just say that I really miss Elder Guyman and Baker.  It is the start of a new transfer, though.  Hopefully, it will get better.
A Camel for the Nativity

So my week (Yes, Troy I know I write a ton, but we have more email time now then you did… First off, I got to see a camel…a real camel.  Germans know how to do Christmas.  They have a nativity scene set up in the Altstadt, and so they have real animals.  I snuck in a picture while no one was looking.  We had another good lesson with Debbie.  She is reading in the Book of Mormon.  We watched the Restoration DVD and she loved it.  We are bringing my favorite person, Laura, along with us on Tuesday and Laura is going to try to help her quit smoking.  She really wants to, but she just needs a lot of support, so the more support from the ward, the better.  

We had Relief Society Christmas Enrichment on Tuesday.  It was so fun.  All the women that are usually standoffish were so happy and open and friendly to us.  They all want us to come over and eat with them, so needless to say, we have a ton of member dinner appointments this week.  Yay!  I had the best seat in the room.  It was next to Laura and Giovanna, and Sister Schwarm, all of which speak either English or Spanish.  We were laughing so hard, and Giovanna really opened up.  It was great.  There was amazing food and people shared their favorite Christmas stories.  I love Christmas time!

We also were able to go to Schwester Minerts and do service.  We helped her clean.  I am pretty sure she told everyone about it because we got a phone call on Saturday from Schwester Schwarm asking if we could come over and help her clean.  Haha!  It made me laugh. 

Guess what else?  I had two Thanksgiving dinners.  What makes it better is that they were both with the Frankens, my favorite, crazy, Asian family.  We hadn’t heard from them all transfer (they are less active).  Then we received a random text in broken English asking us how we were doing.  Sister Franken invited us over for dinner.  We got there and she screamed and hugged us and just said, "I missed chu, I missed chu,” and then rushed us to the table and said "I take care of you.  Eat.”  We got to eat a ton of delicious food.  She only had chicken so she wanted to make us turkey for Thanksgiving and so she invited us over again on Sunday after church.  We couldn’t refuse the Frankens, could we?  Haha!  So…I had two Asian Thanksgivings.  It was so great.  She thinks I am hilarious and laughs at everything that I say, so it’s great.  She told me to make sure I wore my stretchy skirt in preparation.  

We had an interesting adventure on our way over there on Sunday.  It turned out we caught the wrong train and so we somehow ended up a good 45 minutes away.  Whoops!  We got off at some random little dorf, and checked our navi to see where we were.  We were miles away.  It was pretty embarrassing.  We had to run across the station to catch the right train and I tripped and fell straight on my face.  My knee and hands were bloody and it was so embarrassing.  I got there and Sister Franken freaked out.  She just kept saying, "Oh, oh! I take care chu, I take care of chu.”  She bandaged me up like a little baby.  Sister Weber couldn’t stop laughing at me.  I thought it was hilarious, too.  The whole meal, she just kept saying “Eat.”  Mehr.  I think I ate enough for three people. 
We also went tracting in Fürth.  One of the potentials asked us to come back on Tuesday.  It turned out they were related to our ward mission leader!  We were pretty excited about what could happen.  We are praying that they will be interested.
We met with a less active that has a lot of potential.  The problem in Germany is that there are so many less actives.  She was baptized and then went inactive.  It breaks my heart.  She said she would start reading in the Book of Mormon again and she wants to meet every other week.  We have a lot of hope for her.  
And now for the Christmas Market opening.  It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life!  There were thousands of people there, so unfortunately we didn’t get a super good spot.  My pictures aren’t too good.  We are going back this week to go explore the markets because THERE ARE SO MANY COOL THINGS.  Seriously.  The opening was awesome.  Caroline came with us, and we went to the main square.  It took place at one of the big churches there.  All the lights were turned off, and they had a choir of little children singing.  They read aloud the Christmas story of Christ’s birth, and then the Christkinder gave a speech about the importance of Christmas and an angel (a real person) came down from the top of the church.  As the angel came down, all the Christmas lights in the main square turned on, all the markets opened and people went crazy.  It was magical.  I can’t believe I got to be there.   
We were able to go back on Saturday.  We decided to do a weekly street presentation.  The four elders in Nürnberg made a quartet and they sung Christmas songs by the markets while Sister Weber and I handed out Joy to the World DVDs and talked to people.  It was really fun…and funny because the elders really weren’t that good.  They thought that they were good, so I couldn’t burst their bubble.  But it definitely attracted people, so that was good.  We had some really cool discussions, and met a girl that had met with the missionaries before.  That was cool.  Some members from the ward want to go out and do this with us this week, so that will be wonderful. 

And now for my spiritual thought…our new district leader, Elder Bishop, gave a really cool theme on charity.  It made me think of it in a way that I hadn’t before.  He asked the question, "What is the most important thing for a missionary to have?"  
My first thought jumped to faith, but he proceeded to defend his answer of charity.  The scriptures teach that we are to have faith, hope, and charity, but that charity is the greatest of all.  He said that our faith will one day be made perfect when we see Christ and know that he is.  Our hope will be made perfect when we receive eternal life, but charity is something that we will need forever.  Charity is the basis on which the world was created, and why Christ died for us.  Charity is how we will change people’s lives for the better.  It’s like the quote, “People won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  I made this topic a big part of my study this week, and that is one thing I really want to develop this transfer.  Charity…charity for the elders, for the ward members, for my investigators, and for everyone else.  I read from Ether 12, Moroni 7-8, and also Corinthians 12.  They are all amazing.  I love my mission because I get to learn so much from other people.  I am always learning and growing.  It is awesome. 
Saying Goodbye to
Elder Guyman
I will send some pictures home.  This week I will take some more pictures of the Christmas market with less people so that you can actually see what it looks like.  Pictures still won’t nearly do it justice, though.  I'll let you know about Skype when Christmas gets a little closer.  We are trying to find a family in the ward that will let us use their computers. 
Ich hoffe dass euch eine ganz gute woche habt!  Immer erinnen sie warum Weihnacht so wichtig ist.  Jesus Christus war geboren!  Ich weiß es.  Das ist unser Botschaft und wir müssen es zur ganzen Erden erklaren.  Jesus Christus lebt!  Er war geboren und er ist auferstanden.  Wie toll?    Ich weiß es mit meinem ganzen Herzt und Seele.  Ich liebe meine Mission, ich liebe Nürnberg und ich liebe euch.  Es freue mich dass ich hier bin und dass ich dieser Menschen helfen kann über das Evangelium zu lernen. 
Bis nächte woche! 

Liebe, Savannah 


Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 25, 2013

District Lunch at an Italian Restaurant!
FAMILLIIEE….and Friends!!!
So glad that life is going well back in the States.  I am glad that all of you have a break this week!  I will miss all of that good turkey action, so make sure to eat some of it for me.  Thanks for sending the Christmas package!  I feel bad, because it was probably a FORTUNE to send it off, but I am also super excited to see what is in it!  Yay Christmas.  Speaking of Christmas, THE MARKETS OPEN THIS FRIDAY!  And what is more...ICH BLEIBE!  ICH BLEIBE IM NÜRNBERG FÜR WEINACHTS!  I am so excited.  We had transfer calls on Saturday, and I found out that Sister Weber and I will be staying together in Nürnberg for Christmas.  Which means I get to be in the area with the world’s largest Christmas market, and I get to go to the opening.  Last night we texted President for permission for our district to go to the opening, and he responded "Was für eine frage"—which basically was him telling us, "Well, that was a dumb question.  I would be mad if you didn’t go."  President is awesome, and hilarious.  So be prepared for some awesome pictures.  I get to be in Nürnberg’s main square when they light all the lights and raise the big angel, and open the little markets.  My new favorite things right now are lebkuchen and Gewürtz Spekulatius.  I have been eating so much of it, and it is pretty much amazing, and a Christmas special.  I am thinking about sending some home to you.  We will see.

Mom, I am so excited about the letters.  I am bringing them to Heim Abend tonight to see if Schwester Grabatz will help me translate them.  Pretty much, Sister Weber and my goal this transfer is to get those letters translated, and go and find my family.  We are going to go find and convert them all, okay?  So keep sending in those letters, because it is like a puzzle, and we are going to figure it out!

It was another good week!  Once again, like always, I learned a ton.  On Tuesday, we went and visited a less active family, the Fosters.  I think I have talked about them before, but they are still my favorite less actives.  They are so ready to come back to church.  They just need to do it.  The only thing is that Sister Foster is really sick right now.  They love the missionaries and so we are able to go over there a lot and share a message with them.  We also went by an old potential on Tuesday.  I felt like I was back to Week One again because I couldn’t understand anything.  She mumbled and had a super thick accent.  It was painful—haha. 

Wednesday was by far the best day.  We were able to go to the Haid’s home again for service!  I hadn’t been there since the first transfer!  We went with two of the elders, and we cleaned their bunny cages for two and a half hours.  I never realized how much bunnies poop.  There were at least 20 rabbits in those cages (yes, they eat them) and they hadn’t been cleaned in six weeks.  RABBITS POOP SO MUCH IN SIX WEEKS.  Somehow it was still fun.  Probably because we were just laughing at how disgusting it was.  As Elder Allen was scooping out the poop, one of the bunnies got loose and the elders had to run after it.  Then the turkeys got in the fun and started chasing the elders, and the chickens followed.  It was so funny!  Just imagine…bunny, elders, two giant turkeys, and chickens.  Too priceless!  For lunch, we had fresh lamb, noodles, and carrot salad...  yummy.  Actually, it was really good.  That lady knows how to cook. 

On Thursday, we went to meet with Debbie again, and it made me appreciative for my life.  Debbie has had a hard life.  She doesn’t have really good friends and her mom and her barely speak.  She just wants to move back to America, but she can’t afford it.  This week, we went over and she just broke down crying.  She said she was out of money for the month and she didn’t has any food.  What are you supposed to do about that?  It’s not like we can go and buy her a ton of food.  It’s easy to say that it will all work out, but I don't know that for sure.  I have never been in a situation where I have to struggle to get by on food, and where I don't know if I will survive.  All we could do was promise her that this gospel would help her more that she could ever realized.  We bore testimony so much that lesson.  But it’s true…I never realized how much the gospel has helped me.  It not only helps people spiritually, but financially, and socially.  The prophets have encouraged us to budget, and have back up food for emergency.  I just hope that Debbie will decide to change and realize how much it can help her too!

Friday, we had the coolest lesson with one of our investigators, Frau Perez.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and by the end of it, she looked at us and told us that she loved when we came, because she always felt so much peace and joy.  She told us that she never wants us to leave when we come.  WOW!  We bore testimony that the peace and joy that she felt was not us, but that it was the Holy Ghost testifying of the truthfulness of our message.  We told her that she could feel that all the time if she would be baptized and have the Holy Ghost for herself.  She had some questions about baptism, because she was already baptized in the Catholic church.  Next time we are going over the Restoration and proper priesthood.  She is so prepared though!  She came to church on Sunday, and she loved it. 

Saturday, we had an appointment with Lisa.  Good old Lisa.  We taught her a lesson that she had questions about.  I am really glad that we brought a member along.  She was able to answer questions quickly and in much better German than we could.  Yay for members!  Lisa is one more step closer to baptism.

Afterwards, we had dinner at Laura's home.  She had all eight of the missionaries over, plus her brother and his wife.  His wife is the one from Peru.  It was crazy, and there were so many people in a small area, but it was so fun.  She made Italian pasta, and bread and dessert and it was delicious.  I was able to talk to Giovanna in Spanish so that was fun too.  That was also the day that I found out I am staying in Nürnberg.  Three of my friends are leaving me.  Elder Guyman, Baker, and Lassley.  I am really going to miss them.  We have one new elder coming in, so we will only have six missionaries in our ward for the next transfer...haha!  Do you like how I said “only?”  Could you ever imagine having six missionaries in one ward in the states?  That would not work.  That is why Germany is special! 

Sunday was the primary program.  Oh my gosh…it was so cute…little German kids singing German primary songs and talking about Jesus.  Sister Schulz's little boy went up there, said his little part, and then as he was leaving, ran back up to the podium and just yelled TSCHÜß!!  (which means Bye!)  The whole ward lost it.  Sara Schultz was so embarrassed and couldn’t stop laughing.  It made it even better that her other little boy was picking his nose the whole program.  Oh man, I love little kids.  Frau Perez loved it too. 
We also went and stopped by to visit a less active that no one knew anything about.  We klingled her and she answered.  She was really friendly until she found out who it was...  and then the kingled hung up remarkably quickly.  Oh well, we tried. 

We found this entrance to a church one day.
Not a warm, inviting feeling...hmmm...
I had some really cool personal study this week.  I read a lot in Moses from the Pearl of Great Price.  I can't believe I have never studied the Pearl of Great Price before...  It is SO COOL.  My favorite section was in Chapter 7.  The Lord was talking to Enoch, and they were both looking down at all of the people, in all of their wickedness.  The Lord started crying, and Enoch looked at him and basically asked, "Why are you crying?  You have everything.  You have power to create worlds; you have all power and have created everything.  You are merciful.  Why are you weeping?"

Christ's answer really hit me.  He said, "Behold, these thy brethren.  They are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; and unto thy brethren, have I said, and also given commandment that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father, but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood"

Heavenly Father created us.  He gave us knowledge.  He gave us agency.  That was all part of the Great Plan.  But he loves us so much, that when He sees us use that agency against him, it pains him.  He wants us to choose Him.  He wants us to return to Him, but we have to make that choice for ourselves.  It causes Him to weep when we choose wrong.  It was such a testimony builder to me of the love that Christ and our Vater im Himmel have for us.  Und ich bin ganz dankbar darfür. 

I love this gospel.  I love this mission with all of my heart.  Even though it may be hard, and even though I may be missing some really good food this week, I wouldn’t trade this for anything.  I am so excited  for the coming week.  Sister Weber and I looked up all of our potentials that live in Fürth and we dedicated Saturday to "Super Fürth Finding Saturday.”  We are going to go find every one that is ready! 

I love you all, and I hope that you all have a great break this week.  Guess what?  TODAY MARKS THE ONE MONTH MARK FROM WHEN I GET TO CALL HOME.  Someone even mentioned skyping...  which would be even cooler.  But we will see! 

Bis nächte woche!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 18, 2013

How is it already P-day again?  I can't believe I am already writing home.  But can I just say, it was another great week!  It sounds like it was a good week back home too.  Mom, I am glad that you survived your tough week.  I was praying for you every day.  Dad, good luck with your new job!  Taryn, have fun at home alone!  You will get a small taste of my life for two years :)  It is definitely weird and very quiet with just you, Mom, and Dad there.  But, it will be fun, with lots of good food.  Troy, that is awesome that you get to help out with surgeries and all.  I could never do it.  Thanks so much for all of your mission stories.  They always help.

It is weird to think that Thanksgiving is next week, because there is no such thing here.  I think that the Preis family might be doing something for the missionaries, but I am not sure.  Transfer calls are this Saturday.  I am super nervous because I will be done with my training (how is this almost over?) and so I could go…or my trainer.  It is a weird thought and I really don’t want to leave Nürnberg.  We have seen so much success in the last two weeks alone, and its right before Christmas!  I hope that I will get to stay at least one more transfer, but we will see.  Transfers take place next Thursday, which means I could be spending my Thanksgiving on a train.  Haha.  We will see...the good part about this?  There is no "wait until after Thanksgiving for Christmas" rule here in Deutschland.  Which means that Christmas markets are getting set up and lights are going up.  Ahhhhh…I want to stay so badly.  But only the Lord knows what is best, so we will see!   

Oh guess what!  Cassidy finally got her Visa.  She is in Brazil now! 
So my life this week….man oh man… 

First off, I got to play Settlers last Monday.  I won!  Thank you for the applause.  It was all in German so it was super weird and the set up was a little different, but it was still as great as ever.

Our Ausstellung
Tuesday was pretty much the coolest day ever.  We started off with an amazing district meeting.  I had to share a talk on Confidence, and so I prepared a lot for it.  Taryn, I actually read a talk that talked a lot about what you mentioned in your email.  I can’t remember the exact name, but it was talking about the paradox of man.  We are so small, there are billions of us here on earth, and we seem to focus so much on that.  The interesting thought was that we need to remember, that while the earth is so large, the only reason it was created was for us.  How cool of a thought is that?  This earth, however grand it is, would not be here if it were not for us.  We needed a place where we could come and fulfill God's plan, so He created this earth…everything here, for us.  I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who does so much for us, and cares so much for ME and every other person out there.  Individually.  I have a strong testimony of that. 
We had an appointment with good old Debbie.  We went in there, ready to say goodbye.  We said a prayer right off the bat, and then straight up asked her why she thought we were meeting with her.  Her reply amazed me.  "Well, you are here to teach me of Christ and to get me ready for baptism.”  How can you drop someone that knows your purpose and looks forward to you coming weekly?  We told her if this is something she truly desires, she has to work for it.  She said she would.  She wants to quit smoking and she asked us to find someone in the ward to help her set up a plan to stop.  We asked around yesterday, and we have a couple, the Kirtzingers, willing to help.  We are going over together on Thursday to set up a plan.  I asked her if she thought she could stop by January 4th.  She said yes.  So we set a baptismal date for January 4th, 2013; she was so excited.  We also went over yesterday because she was really sick.  The elders came with us and gave her a priesthood blessing.  It was very powerful.  Elder Baker promised her that if she would read daily in the Book of Mormon, that her faith in Christ would grow and that she would not only be able to overcome this sickness, but also every trial she faced in the future.  He also said to listen to the sister missionaries, because they are called of God, and have a message for her salvation.  It gave me chills, and Debbie could feel the spirit too.  She said this was something she knows she has needed to do for a while.  I really think that last lesson was a turning point.  So pray that Debbie will be able to stop smoking by the New Year!

After Debbie, we decided to go give out some fliers for our fireside in the park behind our church.  Usually I am really afraid of going up to people on the street and talking to them, but we decided to try out the boldness factor, and it was amazing how empowering it was.  We had some amazing discussions, and we were able to bear our testimony about eternal families and the Plan of Salvation.  We gave out a ton of pamphlets for the Plan.  Afterwards, we were walking to go to our next appointment.  We met a 23-year old that started talking to us.  She asked why we were here and we told her we were representatives for Jesus Christ and how we were here on our mission to bring others closer to Him.  Her response amazed me.  She looked at us and said, "That is so cool.  Can I be part of it?"  We took her to the church, gave her a church tour, and got her number.  Hopefully, we will be meeting with her this week.  Her name is Victoria.  She is from Ukraine.  She lived in NYC for four years and just moved to Nürnberg. 
Wednesday, we had an dinner appointment at the Och's home.  I don’t care what I have said before, I truly have never been fed so much food in my life.  They gave me two HUGE schnitzels, a ton of potato salad, and then the biggest plate of dessert that I have ever seen in my life.  The elders came also, and they were given even more.  Elder Ludlow's second schnitzel was probably twice the size of mine.  It was as big as his plate.  We had to eat all of it.  The four of us were waddling out of that appointment.  Man, it was hard.  Then our tram was leaving, so we had to run to catch it.  We were all in so much pain…haha.  Sooooo much food!

Thursday, we went to visit Sister Schönfeld.  She is 92 but she is full of life and hilarious.  She hates her roommate though, because she is always complaining.  Well, it was really quiet in her room when we visitied.  Sister Weber and I thought that the roommate was gone, so Sister Weber asked her where her roommate was.  We saw something move in the corner of our eyes.  It turned out that the huge pile of blankets was actually her...whoops!  Haha!  Sister Schönfeld found it hilarious.
On Friday, we were walking.  A hedgehog on the street scared the daylights out of us…we thought it was a giant rat!

Saturday was the craziest day EVER.  We started out by meeting the elders and we all went over to prepare for our Ausstellung.  We started around noon, and Sister Weber and I stayed until about 2 p.m., because we had to leave for our appointment with Lisa.  At about three, we got a call from the elders asking us to come back and help them.  It was supposed to go until 2:30 p.m., but the man that drove them left them and said he would be back at 4 p.m.  He didn't come until 5 p.m., so we ended up having a 5 hour Ausstellung.  It was a huge success though.  We got chalk and drew out der Erlösungsplan (The Plan of Salvation), and a ton of people stopped to ask what it was.  We gave out another 300 fliers for our fireside, and we also gave out 11 Book of Mormons that day, and got a ton of numbers.  It was awesome.  We had some amazing conversations, and were able to talk to a ton of people.  We had a ton of people from the ward come and help, too.  Laura came, and then came to our lesson with Lisa.  She is awesome.  She just moved to Nürnberg to go to beauty school for a year.  She is sisters with a man in our ward, and is 22 and from Italy.  She is the cutest, coolest person ever and speaks perfect English.  Her dream is to go to BYU and she is apply for Spring 2015.  Hopefully she will be there when I am there!  Over all, it was a really cool day......and then there was the fireside. 
So we handed out about 1300 fliers, right?  We have been talking to families in our ward for the past month about it.  Here's what came from it: 10 missionaries, 15 ward members, 1 investigator who got sick and ran out and started throwing up, and then 1 person from the street.  ONE PERSON!  Out of 1300 fliers, one person came.  And it gets even better.  He was a crazy, Hungarian tourist that just came because Elder Guyman said there would be food.  Needless to say, we had a good laugh from it.  We were all so embarrassed that we just sat there and laughed for about a straight five minutes at how big of a bust it was.  At least Sister Preis' food was there to save the day.  It was still good though.  We were able to have a ton of good discussions leading up to the fireside.  Although no one really came, we found a ton of potentials from the Ausstellung, and 1300 more people know who the Mormons are now!

Now some requests…if you haven’t sent off my Christmas package, one more request.  I would LOVE the Ensign of the past General Conference.  I can’t get it here for probably a really long time.  Also, Mom, I really want to see if Sister Preis would be able to translate some of grandpa's mom's letters for us.  So you should try scanning some in and emailing them to me.  I am really curious what they say and I think some people in my ward could really help us.  It would be cool to learn more.  Especially because I am in Nürnberg, so they would understand the dialect. 
Overall, though, it was a great week.  I learned so much and I saw some awesome miracles.  I think right now that Helaman 5 is my new favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon.  It is so cool how different things stick out to you in different parts of your life.  Well, I read this one yesterday and it meant a lot to me.  You should go and read it. 

I love you all, and I hope you have a great week.  Next week, I will know if I am staying in Nürnberg, who will be my companion, and what not.  Until then, we have at least one more week to go out and work, and it is going to be awesome.  We know this week will be BIG. 
Ich liebe euch!

Savannah Teeples

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 11, 2013

Hallo Everybody!  So glad to hear from all of you this week.  Sounds like life is good back home, but I can bet that it is going even better.  Seriously, I think that this was by far my favorite week on the mission, and I can't believe it is already over.  It just makes me want to relive it over and over again, which is exactly what we plan on doing. 

This week, we started by teaching Debbie.  I don't really feel like she is grasping the importance of what we are teaching her.  She likes how she feels when she meets with us, but she isn't really ready to change.  We are meeting with her this week, and being direct about our purpose here.  This is the test.  If we notice true desire and commitment, we will keep meeting with her.  If not, sadly, we will have to say Tschüß.  This gospel is one of action, not only faith, and so she needs to be truly converted.  I pray every day for her because I see so much potential.  She just needs to see it herself.

We went to Sister Hertel's again...the cat lady.  I feel like I can never go to her house without coming out with an interesting story.  About halfway through the lesson, my left eye started killing me.  It starting watering and I could not keep my eye open.  For about 20 minutes, I was sitting there, rubbing my eyes, and crying.  The elders and Sister Weber are all enthralled in the lesson.  They looked over at the end to see if I have anything to add, only to see me crying, makeup running down my face, and a blood shot eye.  You should have seen Elder Allen's face...  priceless.  We quickly went to the church where I washed it out.  The walk there was interesting.  I couldn’t see, so Sister Weber led me the whole way.  It was pretty comical.  I looked ridiculous.  It made for a good laugh.

I spent Wednesday and Thursday in Feucht with Sister Lyons.  She wasn't my MTC companion but she was one of the girls I roomed with.  We always said we wanted to be companions together at one point.  It was such a good split.  On Wednesday, we went and visited on of their potentials, Paul.  He is from Africa (seriously, the Africans are the BEST…and they all speak English!)  It was a good appointment.  We took a less active with us, and she was amazing.  She bore her testimony throughout the lesson, and even offered a ride to church for him.  It was a cool lesson because Sister Lyons and I really had to rely on each other for help.  He asked many difficult questions, but between the two of us, we were able to answer them well enough.  He believes pretty much everything we do...  except the Book of Mormon and Priesthood authority, which are the two things that really do make our church different.  We stressed the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, which in turn would give him testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that we have prophets again on the earth.  Hopefully he takes that commitment to heart. 

Walking in Rottenberg
Thursday we spent the whole day tracting because we did not have any leads.  We packed up a bunch of cool DVDs, pamphlets, Book of Mormons, and went and conquered Feucht.  Well, kind of.  We had a ton of great conversations, which was awesome for Sister Lyons and me.  We both have only been in Germany for two months, so naturally our German is not so great.  But, we tried out best, and when we both bore testimony about what we believe, the people we were talking to were not able to look away.  The coolest part though was one woman that we talked to.  I went up to her with the faith survey, and she started talking to us.  The funny part was when I asked her the last question and she had no clue what I said.  I ended up just showing it to her and she read it the exact way I had...and then understood it.  Really??  Is my accent that bad?  People cannot even understand when I read a question...haha?  Oh well, she ended up asking why there was so much evil in the world.  We were able to bear our testimonies about agency.  We then gave her a book of Mormon and told her to read 2 Nephi 2 and it would answer her question.  She said she would give it a shot.  We ended up walking by the park 20 minutes later to see her sitting on the bench reading the Book of Mormon.  It was really cool to see her reading! 

That night was kind of a bust...Sister Lyons locked her keys in the apartment so we had to go back to Nürnberg to get the spares...whoops.  At least we had just bought cookies.  These are the best cookies, and they are only sold during Christmas.  So basically we eat as many as we can.  Also, I tried a new fruit this week.  It is called Kaki or something.  I have no clue what it was but it looked good so I bought it, and it was.  You should look it up for me and let me know because now I am just curious.
We had Zone training the next morning, and it was AMAZING.  It was an answer to so many of my prayers and questions, and the spirit was so strong there.  We talked about the importance of acting our role as missionaries.  We are called as representatives of Jesus Christ.  We have been set apart in this calling, and have been given power from God to do His work.  But how easy is it to forget that when we get rejected or afraid when trying to talk to people?  They talked about the importance of the first few minutes when we meet someone.  We must really let them know that we have been called of God to share his gospel, and that this message will change their life, because it has changed ours.  This is my calling, and I must live up to it.  It is hard and scary, but our message of Christ is what will really change people.  Someone in my district really took this to heart, went out and invited someone to baptism right there.  Well, guess what?  They have a new investigator now.

We also had our street displays this week.  They were SO COOL.  Somehow, I was dumb enough not to take any pictures of the event.  It is okay though, we have one more Saturday, and it will be the best yet.  We had 1,000 fliers for our fireside next week.  Within our two ausstellungs, which was about 6 or 7 hours all together, we handed them all out.  It was amazing.  We talked with so many people.  It was a wake up to me about how much I learned.  Friday night, I had a 20-minute conversation with a man about what we believe in.  I was able to basically teach the first lesson about the Restoration, and bear testimony.  I gave him a Book of Mormon, too.  It was awesome.  I was able to have a real conversation with him, and understand and answer his questions.  All the elders found a new investigator too, and many people said they would come to the fireside.  So exciting.  Thanks for all of the pictures.  We made a really cool poster and laminated charts.  They were a huge help with explaining.  All and all, I am super excited for the one on Saturday now, too.  You would not believe how many conversations we had with people.  A ton of members came and helped.  Bishop Lange was so excited and talked to so many people.  The elders’ investigator, Joseph, was there and he did work too.  He handed out so many Plan of Salvation pamphlets and fliers and was just so excited doing it. 

And then…Sunday…man oh man.  This was by far the coolest weekend on my mission.  Joseph Sande was baptized yesterday.  I have never seen someone look so happy as he did as when he walked out of the font.  His testimony that he shared afterwards was so pure and sincere.  He radiated joy.  It is amazing how much he has changed since I first met him.  The joy that this gospel brings is so tangible and noticeable.  After the baptism, we went and met with Lisa.  She had been in Heidelberg for 3 weeks with her best friend, Laura, who was baptized back in February.  She was casually talking and then said, "Oh yeah, guess what?  I am getting baptized on December 26th with Laura's mom in Heidelburg."  WHAAAAAATTTTTTT!  Can you imagine our shock?  She then proceeded to ask us if we would meet with her weekly so that she could be prepared for it when the time came.  Uhh, yes.  I am so excited for her.  She lives in Nürnberg, and she will be moving to Heidelburg next summer, but until then we will be able to work with her.  Her family abandoned her and Laura's family has taken her in and loved her.  They are her family now.  She is so excited to be baptized.  She gave us like six hugs yesterday because she was just so happy.
It was just such a cool week.  Between the ausstellungs and the members helping, the baptisms, Lisa, and the split in Feucht, it was just so great.  The ward is really growing on me.  The members are awesome, and I will be really sad if I get transferred the next transfer.  I HAVE TO have Christmas in Nürnberg.  Then I will go anywhere.  The Lord's will is above mine, though.  Speaking of which, this week for personal study, I made my focus on the atonement.  In Preach my Gospel, there is a huge list of chapters that testify of Christ and his atonement.  I have started to go through and study that list, and it has really helped my testimony of Christ grow even more.  I would invite you all to go and do the same.  Abinidi is the perfect example of what we learned in Zone training.

Well, I love you all.  I have a ton of pictures to send, and I don’t know how many I will be able to send today.  Have a great week, and Mom, don’t stress too much.  It sounds like it will be a hard week, but pray and you will be supported through it.  Also, it is so strange that Thanksgiving is coming up.  They don’t celebrate it here, but Sister Preis does something for the missionaries, which is another reason I hope I stay here.  We will see.  Christmas stores and lights are starting to pop up everywhere.  SO EXCITING!

Well, bis nächte woche. Ich liebe euch...

Savannah Teeples