Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

The Street where I Live
Hallo Friends and Family! 

First off, family…thank you for all of the emails.  I cannot believe what is going on in Colorado right now.  Those pictures of Fort Collins and everywhere around it are crazy!  I would have never thought that that could happen there.  It looks like all the prayers and fasts we had to end the drought were finally answered, richtig?  Just not in the way we quite expected it...  haha.  I have really learned how true that is. 

Troy, thank you for all of the stories you have sent me.  They are just what I needed.  I am trying to be 100 percent obedient and do the Lord's work all of the time.  Also, the baby is very cute, but you better wait to have kids until I get back.  I want to be there!  Taryn, sounds like everything is going well.  I am glad you are so confident that you will be the best FHE mama ever.  I just was put in charge is Heim Abend here, so we will be doing it together!  Also good luck with all of that running.  That sounds intense.  Dad, SO GLAD you are still your old self and having text messaging conversations with yourself.  Things never change at the Teeples house.  Mom, that is so cool that this is the city that Grandma Keyser’s letters were written to when she wrote to relatives.  Things are truly inspired.  Also, I have not gotten the package yet, but I go up to Frankfurt tomorrow for the Golden Training meeting, so I should get it then.  My new address here is:

Sister Savannah Teeples

Kirche Jesu Christi, Hagedornstraße 4

Nürnberg Deutschland 90478

I walk by this field everyday...isn't it beautiful?
Can I just start by saying that no one should be surprised when I come back my chubby 8-year-old self.  Our district leader committed us to eating chocolate every day and my companion and I have been keeping it a little too well.  There are pastry shops everywhere and so we randomly we decide we need a little pick me up ...  it happens frequently.  The members always give you something to eat.  Tonight will be the first night I actually have dinner with a member, but people here love to feed the missionaries.  There is always something there on the table when we go to an appointment and we have to eat all of it.  So pretty much, we waddle out from one appointment and try to make room for the next…but it is all so good that I cannot   help it.  We have many appointments with members this week, so I will be wearing my stretchy skirts.  My favorite food I have had so far, besides the chocolate of course, are döners.  I love them.  Amerika needs them. 

It rains a lot here.  It has been cold this week, and its only September!  So I am in for quite a winter...  hopefully we can stay busy so we will not have to be outside too much.  Culture wise, we ride trams everywhere.  The people here are either super nice and open to talk to, they look at you like a freak and ignore you, or else they yell at you until you leave them alone.  And I really do not understand anything they yell, so I just try to zone them out.  Also, the weirdest thing in Germany is the water.  It is nearly impossible to get normal water.  They drink the fizzy stuff by the gallons, so whenever we ask for water, I also forget how gross it is. 

So now about my week.  It has been an interesting week, but things are looking up.  I have learned a lot from experiences and we have seen many wonders.  We had many appointments planned with investigators and less actives, but just about every one we went to fell through.  We would go to a place where we were scheduled to meet, and they would not be home, or they would not show up.  So we had lists of lists of less actives to go by and teach and fellowship, but they were never home either.  So we started to get discouraged.  But this week I have learned a lot about how blessings come after the trial of your faith.  I have gained a testimony of the power of trials and that wonders will come after we have tried all we can. 

My entire district was feeling discouraged, so on Wednesday we held a district fast and held a district meeting to talk about what we can do better.  Our Mission President always talks about how the work is hastening, but we have not seen evidence of that in Nürnberg.  The missionaries that have been here forever have started to get discouraged because we try so hard, but we do not see much success.  Well, in our meeting, we decided we needed to consecrate ourselves 100 percent to the Lord.  We made a list of all of the things that were holding us back, and then got rid of it and wrote down everything we needed to do better. 

Our biggest goal was to work more with the members.  We are trying to plan an activity for before General Conference for members to come and bring their friends. (It is in the night here because of the time change.)  We also just want to fellowship the members so that they will be more willing to help us.  We have fasted and prayed that they will be more open to meeting with us, and we saw our prayers answered at church on Sunday.  So many people came up to us and asked us if we could come by this week, so I am super excited about that!  This week is going to be awesome.  I get to go to the Berg today, which is a huge fortress here in Nürnberg, and then I get to go to Frankfurt tomorrow and see all my friends from the MTC.  We then have tons of lessons with members, and some with some new investigators! 

So investigators… 
We got ahold of an old investigator, Franke.  She is a hoot.  She is a little crazy, but she is so nice and funny.  She loves learning and so she soaks up everything.  The only thing is that because she is a little crazy and has trouble focusing, it is hard to keep her on subject.  Think of trying to teach a girl version of Grandpa Keyser..that is exactly what it is like.  That is an accurate description, because I do not really know what either of them are ever saying.  She is funny.  Franke's boyfriend also sat in with us on our last lesson.  They are an interesting couple.  She is crazy and he is a little creepy.  They had a son together but he is not living with them.  He is an atheist and she loves God.  We tried to get through the Restoration and talk about God, but they had so many questions that we got distracted a lot.  We would be baring our testimony about one thing and then she'd blurt in a question like "How much is tuition in Amerika" or he'd ask me "Do you believe in the devil" or start talking about a sci-fi book, that is his Bible.  So really, who knows how much they actually learned.  I just wanted to scream, FRANKE!  PAY ATTENTION.  But na ja.  It is never boring with her. 

We also had another lesson with Kathrin.  It went really well.  She had received all of the lessons and so we went over the baptismal questions and told her that she was ready, and that she really just should be baptized.  After months, she finally committed to praying about a date.  We have an appointment with the whole family on Saturday.  We are really hoping to teach the mom too and maybe commit her to that date.  We are so excited.  The dad is a less active, so he is finally coming back too.  It is so cool to see people accept the gospel in their lives again and to bring their families with them.

We also made contact with another less active family, the Fosters.  He is American and she is German but they lived in America for years, so they both know English.  We had a really good lesson about the power of the Atonement and how it can help us in every aspect of our lives.  They are trying to quit smoking and want to come back to church.  That is awesome.

I think the coolest thing that has happened this week was on Saturday.  We had such a hard day.  Everything we planned to do was cancelled because of the rain, so we had no clue what to do.  We prayed and just begged Heavenly Vater to help us know what to do and to just be comforted.  Literally, 5 minutes later, our phone rang.  It was one of the sister's past investigators asking to meet with us again.  How cool is that?  We did nothing, but Himmlisher Vater knew we needed help.  He gave us just enough happiness to keep going.  We are meeting with her on Saturday and I am so excited.

I have learned so much about faith this week.  Missions are hard.  They are supposed to be, because Salvation is not a cheap experience.  When we have faith in Christ, He will deliver us.  I love the talk by Elder Holland, "Lord, I believe.”  Elder Holland shares the story from Mark 9: 17-24.  Christ heals the little boy because his Father begs of it.  He tells Christ, "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief" to which Christ replies that through belief, anything is possible.  That is all we need.  We just need a little belief and a little desire.  When we ask God to help us, He always will.  Holland says to "Hold to the faith that you have already won." and that is what I have tried to do this week.  I may not understand everything, but I know that this is His work and His hand is always in it.  I just need to trust him.  It also amazes me that all the trials and struggles I have that seem so big at the moment, seem so little now.  I cannot   even remember all the frustrations I have had this week.  All I can remember are the miracles I have seen. 

This gospel is amazing and it blesses lives.  It has blessed mine so much and I do not know where I would be without it.  I love you all, and I am so grateful for all of the love and support you show me.  Thank you for all of the prayers.  I know they are being answered daily, and even by the minute.

Can I just say that 3 Nephi 28 is an awesome chapter to read from the perspective of a missionary?


Ich liebe euch so fiel. 

Sister Savannah Teeples

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