Monday, October 28, 2013

October 14, 2013

The lake we walk by everyday on
the way to the bus...what a view!
Hallooo…Family and Friends!

Can I just say that Heavenly Father has a pretty interesting sense of humor sometimes?  During our busy week, we kept thinking about one of our investigators.  We had been praying all day that this potential investigator would be home because every time we stopped by, she wasn’t.  Well, we felt like we needed to go during a certain time of day, so we did.  When we got there, she was home!  But of course…she did not have time for us. It was just a reminder that I need to be more specific in my prayers.  Funny joke….not.

So Mom, packages are lame here.  My companion finally got her package this week and her family sent it back in August.  So hopefully it will come soon.  We have Zone training this week so maybe it is in Frankfurt waiting for me right now.  We will see! 

Here is my food I am obsessed with right now.  Bring
on the Musli. I eat it by the gallon  for breakfast. 
We decided we need  to try one of each, so we did.
So updates on my life…we had transfer calls on Saturday and I will be staying in Nürnberg with Sister Weber!  The only major change is that Elder Hathaway is leaving to be zone leader down in Jena.  I'm a little sad about that because he is probably my best friend I've made since I have gotten here.  He seriously reminds me so much of Troy that it is basically like having my brother around.  I told him that he should be friends with you, Troy…so if you have a random boy come hunt you down next year, that’s why.  They are also making us switch apartments with the elders since we have a bigger apartment.  They are moving the four of them down to ours and we are moving in to the other one.  My new address will be Waechterstraße 4, Nürnberg, Deutschland 90489.  I am not looking forward to having to move all of my things over, but the location is a lot closer to the center of town.  We will be able to use more u-bahns and fewer buses so it will be super nice.  It is also a lot closer to the church.  Because my suitcase wheels are busted, I will have to buy a new suitcase today.  I will be taking money out for that.  I also bought a new coat last week and a scarf and stuff.  I still need to find some fleece leggings, but for now, I am fine. 

Life sounds great at home.  I really enjoy your emails every week.  I always look forward to reading them so much.  Taryn, thank you so much for the picture.  My whole district is dying right now.  I am so glad I can bring a little joy to their lives.  Everyone wrote me this week asking if I am fluent by now, and sadly, I am not.  I feel like I do not know ANYTHING.  I just sit here like a deer in the headlights while people try to talk to me.  We went from door to door the other day and I just froze up and realized I don't know anything.  People tell me I am better than I think so I really don’t know…definitely not fluent though.  Give me some time, though, and maybe it will come.  Or…maybe I'll just provide entertainment by looking like a doof all the time?  Naja. 

This is our's so cool.  It's not
your typical LDS building! 
I really don’t know what happened this last week.  Somehow it just passed.  Don't ask me how.  A ton of lessons fell through again with members.  Wednesday was awesome, though.  We went down to the Haid’s home again and worked on service with Elder Hathaway and Baker.  We ended up taking apart a giant hay bale and stuffing it into bags and then carrying it up to the top of their barn.  The giant pile of hay looked too fun to pass up, and Elder Hathaway told me to YOLO it, so I jumped in it.  It was extremely fun until I got up and realized hay was everywhere.  I was picking it out of my hair for days.  Oh well, memories right?  Then we had an amazing meal from it so I will do it gernae jeden tag. 

I was able to meet Blanca this week.  She is Elder Guyman’s and Williamson's investigator.  I am totally going to steal her from them.  She is from Ecuador and so I am able to speak Spanish with her.  We went over to help her move furniture twice this week and then she came to the ward talent show.  I saw her a ton…she loves me because she can speak to me in Spanish.  She also loves making fun of Elder Guyman so we just talked about him in front of him and she thought it was hilarious that he couldn’t understand us.  She wants to feed us on Saturday, so that will be when I snatch her up.  The Elders won’t know what is coming. 
The ward talent show was hilarious.  It basically consisted of old people singing and playing the harmonica, a million missionaries singing and stuff.  There was a baptism for the Erlangen elders afterwards, so that was AWESOME.  We also went down to Schweinfurt to help out with their Ausstellung.  We handed out a million balloons that all said "Ich bin ein kind von Gott," so the whole town was poppin' with them.  It was awesome.  This made me super excited for our Ausstellung.  We had dinner with bishop, and he said that we are finally getting a GML soon!!!  Our last one got released two weeks ago because he was inactive, and so I have never had a GML (ward mission leader).  That will be a nice change.
We went through our area book and called up a million potential investigators.  We have appointments with some of them this week so I am super excited.  One of them is from Spain so I totally may have two Spanish investigators by the end of the week.  How sick is that? 
Besides that, I really don’t know how this week went by.  We didn't teach many lessons because all of our investigators were either "too busy" or on urlaub.  We are meeting with them all this week so I am glad about that.  Franke has dropped off the face of the earth, but hopefully she will magically appear.  We have no way of getting in contact with her. 
There are four baptismal dates scheduled in Nürnberg right now so things are moving along.  Sister Weber and I are hoping to set dates with Kathrin and Lisa this week, but we have been wishing for that the whole transfer, so who knows what will happen.  We just need to pray every day for a miracle. 
I love my mission.  It's hard, but the little things make it worth it.  I am so grateful for the testimony I have and the knowledge that I have that this is the true church of Christ.  I love personal and companion study so much because I just get to dedicate that time to learning more about this gospel, and I always learn something new.  Even if I have read something a million times, something new always jumps out.  That is the beauty of life.  We are always learning, always progressing.  How fun. 
I am really excited for this week.  I hope by the end we can have a least two new solid investigators, and hopefully some baptismal dates.  Thanks for the prayers.  I hope you all know how much I love you and how lucky I am to have you all in my life.  I am so glad I am part of such a crazy family because it makes for a fun life and great stories.  There is never a dull moment, and that's how life should be.  I know my district likes it, especially my dad and grandpa stories :)
I guess I should give a spiritual thought.  I read D&C 45:3-5 today during personal study and it was AWESOME. Just think about how lucky we are to have Christ plead for us to the Father.  During Judgment, we will not be the ones pleading to stay.  Rather, He will be pleading with us and pleading to Heavenly Father.  He will be there, begging, saying, “Have I not done anything?  Did I not complete the atonement for you?  You specifically?  So that you could stay here with me?  Will you not repent, and become clean so that you can be here with me?  So that I can love you and be your friend?”  How crazy is it to think that the only perfect person to ever walk the earth will be begging for the chance for us, completely imperfect people, to live with him in the Father's presence forever.  Never forget that, and always live worthy so that when that day happens, you will feel worthy of his grace and mercy and accept the chance to stay.
Also, thanks for the update on Sparky haha...  give him a hug for me and feel free to send me a picture. 
Ich liebe euch!!! 
Savannah Teeples

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 7, 2013

A beautiful little town in Germany...
Can I just say…  How.  Cool.  Was.  Conference?  Seriously.  I think this was my new favorite week on the mission.  It seriously flew by.  Monday we went "hiking," which just turned out to be an awesome stroll through the prettiest countryside one will ever see.  I seriously felt like I was in a dream.  Then we had a nice picnic and explored the town.  It was so fun.  We came back to the church and played an awesome game—Ochne Furcht und Adel.  It is my new favorite.  It is completely in German, but it reminds me of Settlers.  I totally was winning, but we had to end it because the elders had to go teach a lesson.  We are playing it again later today after we go shopping in the Alt Stadt, so I am super excited.  I am definitely buying it and teaching you all when I get home.  Troy and Mom—you would love it.  I would totally send it home as a Christmas gift, except the instructions and words are all in German.  You would not understand any of it, so you will just have to wait until I get home so I can explain it.  Be excited, because it is awesome.
Tuesday was funny.  A member that was going to go with us to teach Franke, told us that she could not come with us anymore.  Basically, she just figured out how crazy Franke can be at times.  That is okay—hopefully we can find someone else. 

Wednesday was really cool—this week has been jammed pack with revelation.  My head is so full right now that I do not even know what to do.  I have gotten so much information that I just need time to process it all.  We had Zone Conference on Wednesday.  Our zone combined with another zone in our mission for the conference.  It was amazing.  President came and talked to us.  He is seriously amazing, and is truly called of God.  Just being in his presence, you can tell how much he loves each and every one of us and how much he loves our Lord.  He talked a lot about developing the faith to find those who are seeking and how we will be able to find them.  I realized that there are tons of people out there, but if I do not  prepare myself first…if I don't take study seriously, and live worthy in a way to have the spirit with me, then I won't have the Lord’s help I need to find these people.  I have to be prepared in order to find others that are prepared.  I have to have the spirit with me so that I can ask inspired questions and be worthy to receive answers to other people’s questions. 
We are getting super excited about family history here in Nürnberg.  I think it will be a great way to find people.  This week we are meeting with a sister in our ward to see if she can help us make fliers for our fireside that is coming up.  We are going to have a huge street display to advertise it, and really want to get the members involved.  If there is one thing I learned from Zone Conference is that NOTHING is too hard for the Lord.  I simply must be worthy of receiving his help, and ask for it.  Then I must act.  If I do not act, if I do not overcome my fear, then nothing will happen. 

That night we had splits, which was super fun.  I was with Sister Young, who is my mission grandma, which means that she trained my mom.  She is awesome, and we got along way too well.  She got me pumped us for everything and we seriously just had the best time ever.  It was an awesome split.  We went to the Young Women’s activity and helped paint Sister Minert's basement, and then we taught a short lesson.  Our investigator, Kathrin, who is the 14 year old, was there and she stayed for the sleepover, so that was awesome.  Her grandma said she had a great time and that she is really starting to open up, which is awesome.  We were supposed to meet with her on Friday, but we went over to her Grandma's house and then waited.  We called her and she completely forgot about it, so we didn't get to teach her.  We were disappointed because we were going to set a date with her for baptism.  We both know she is more than ready. 

Thursday was awesome.  We had lunch with my new favorite family, ever.  They are seriously a German version of our family.  Sister Young and I were falling out of our seats we were laughing so hard.  Brother Bradley's parents were in town and they are seriously the funniest people ever.  I think that they are the first sarcastic German family I have met.  That’s probably because they lived in Amerika for a while.  Sister Bradley were just making fun of Bruder Bradley the whole time and telling embarrassing stories about him.  It seriously was scary how much it was like us making fun of Dad.  Then they brought out the fat pictures of their son and I just lost it.  They were so great. 

I also had an interview with President on Thursday, and that was awesome.  He seriously sees through your soul.  I cannot describe it.  He knows exactly what I am thinking and feeling and knows exactly what to say to answer questions I did not even ask.  I am so grateful for him. 

Then there was General Conference.  How awesome was that?  Seriously.  How have I never appreciated General Conference as much?  So here in Germany, they have Conference set up at the church.  They had German upstairs in the sacrament room and then they had English downstairs in the Relief Society room.  Our church is unusual…with three floors, but it is so cool.  I want you to see it.  I was able to watch it all in English.  Because of the time change, we were able to watch the morning sessions live, which is at 18:00 here—oh yeah, everything is military time here.  It is still confusing.  We were able to watch both of the morning sessions at six in the evening.  On Saturday, they rebroadcasted the Relief Society session from last week.  On Sunday, they showed the Priesthood session at two in the afternoon.  I was able to watch every one but Sunday afternoon.  We are going to watch a little bit every day or so we are able to watch it all.  But the stuff that I was able to watch…oh mensch.  How cool is it that we can hear from latter-day prophets today.  We get to hear the words that our Heavenly Father wants us to know, now.  They are just for us…and for the world.  I went in with three questions I really wanted answered, and each question was answered…plus more.  I feel like there is so much I need to change and do, that it is a little overwhelming—but step by step I will get there. 

I think my favorite talks were President Monson's talk during Relief Society about prayer and Elder Uchtdorf's talk on Saturday morning.  Elder Uchtdorf’s talk was amazing.  I want to watch it over and over again).  Richard G.  Scott's talk on Sunday Morning about the Stripling Warriors and President Monson’s talk on Sunday morning was great.  Really, every single talk was amazing.  I thought it was so cool that President Monson said he was going to write in his journal that this has been the most inspiring General Conference he has attended yet.  It really has.  I learned so much about the need to have faith, and then to act on it.  I need to remember that trials are for a reason, and that when I depend on God, he will help me, guide me, and direct me.  I need to pray more.  Pray for strength, help, guidance, faith, wisdom, and confidence that I can do this work.  Pray for miracles, then go out, and work, to the best of my capability, because there may be opportunities out there.  If I do not go looking for them and act when they come along, nothing will happen.  I thought that Ballard's talk was hilarious when he said that people do not pray for missionary opportunities because they are afraid that they will actually come.  It is not only members that are afraid of that…there have been so many opportunities I should have taken to talk to people and share a message, but I didn't because I was too afraid or nervous.  That is something I really am going to work on.  My companion and I have set some specific goals and we will work on them together.  You should pray for opportunities too, and then act, because we need members’ help more than you will ever understand.  I hope the members here will take the counsel from conference and run with it, because we need their help.  If the work is going to progress faster, it won’t be just through the missionaries.  It will be because we have the help and support of the members working side by side with us. 

Nürnberg is seeing miracles.  Things are happening.  Two of the elders both set a baptismal date this week.  It looks like it will actually happen this time.  This will be the first time since February and is exactly what Nürnberg needs.  Last week, a man walked into the church and the elders started talking to him.  They met with Sperious this week and they invited him to baptism.  He accepted.  He is being baptized on November 2nd, but the elders may move it up.  He is so prepared.  He received a blessing to quit smoking and after attending conference yesterday he told them he was ready.  That was what he needed to hear and that now he would change.  Elder Guyman and Williamson were looking through their area book and felt the need to call a man from their book.  They called, set up an appointment with Joseph for the next day.  They invited him to baptism that day and it is set for October 26th.  He went to conference yesterday and came to it in English with the elders.  He is from Africa and can speak English.  I looked over during Elder Holland's talk and tears were just streaming down his face.  Turns out, he has been struggling with depression and this talk was made just for him.  He was so excited when we told him he could listen to it over and over again because it would be put online.  These men are ready.  They are prepared…and more people like them are out there.  I just need to have the faith that I can find them.  I need to trust the Lord that Sister Weber and I can have this success as well, but it won't happen unless we are doing all we can.  Things are changing.  Things are happening and I want to be part of it.  We are changing as well so that we can. 

I love this gospel with all of my heart.  I am so grateful and lucky to know that our Heavenly Father lives.  He loves us.  He has called a prophet once again so that we can hear his words.  I know that the conference talks were given by men, but inspired of God.  It is not enough to just listen and forget, but to truly apply the things that we have learned.  Act.  That is the beauty of this gospel.  We are a church of action.  We not only believe these things, but we act on them and make them part of who we are.  As Elder Uchtdorf says, we are imperfect people, but the doctrine is perfect.  When we strive to learn it and live it, we will become better every day.  How lucky are we?  Now, we just need to do our part and do as he said, and tell others to "Come, join with us.”

I know that Gott lives.  He loves us.  Christ is our Savior.  He completed the atonement so that we would be able to overcome our faults, our sins, and weaknesses and live again through him.  How amazing is our Heavenly Father that He loves us enough to prepare this perfect plan.  His plan really is perfect, and the only way to find true and everlasting joy is to live it and love it.  This life was made for happiness.  Smile through your trials, and smile through your joys, because life is great and our Heavenly Father wants you to be happy.

I love you all so much.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here.  This week was a wakeup call to me, and a blessing.  Things are changing, and I must change with it.  There are people ready, and I need to be ready to find them.  So this week, we are going to find those who are searching for truth, and we are going to teach!  I feel it with all of my heart, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for Sister Weber and I.  Transfer calls are on Friday, but I am not done training so I will be shocked if something happens to us.  I love Nürnberg…I love the people here.  I wish you were here to meet all of the people that have become so close and dear to my heart.  Hopefully someday you will be able to meet them all.

Ich liebe euch…more than words can express. 

Mit ganzem meinen hertz,


Sunday, October 13, 2013

September 30, 2013

This is Germany.  I'm in love!
Hallo Familie!  How is it already Montag again?  Seriously, this is ridiculous.  This week has seriously flown by and I cannot believe it.  Taryn, the trek sounds sweet—hard and miserable, but awesome, none the least.  We have a stake temple trip coming up in November so Sister Weber and I are going to try to be able to go.  I want to go to the temple so badly!  Troy, sounds like life is good!  I am glad you were not scammed.  Camping sounds sweet.  Good job protecting Alyssa...what a good husband.  We are going hiking today to some caves with our district so I am super excited.  It is going to be sick.  Dad, thanks for the thought of the week.  We quote D&C 4 auf Deutsch every morning at the beginning of comp study.  I love how it says all you have to have is the Wunsch.  So true, and ich bin sehr dankbar darfür.  Also, I was excited to hear about our ward’s baptism.  Tell the missionaries they are awesome and that they will be great trainers.  My trainer started training me right after she was trained and she is doing a great job.  Mom, I feel like your email was more questions than information.  I will try to answer a few of them. 
I'm always cold during personal study...
so I layer...but at least I'm still
wearing a dress :)

  • The language is coming…slowly, but surely.  I still cannot understand things very well, but we have a few people that we meet with weekly and every time we meet with them, I am surprised at how much more I can understand.  They are laughing at me less and less each week.  Can you believe that this Thursday marks one month that I have been in Germany?  How did that possibly happen?  The understanding is coming quicker than the speaking.  I started reading the Book of Mormon in German about a week after I got here and I am in 2 Nephi 9 now, so that is pretty cool.Our dinner appointment with the Peruvians fell through.  We rescheduled for next Tuesday.  Her brother ended up coming over from Peru so she wanted time with him.  I was able to speak to both of them at church yesterday so that was awesome!  
  • Everybody here lives in apartments.  I think we have only been to one actual house, and it took forever to get there.  It was the one member in our ward whose husband is from America, so I don't know if that counts.  Everyone else that we interact with lives in apartments. 
  •  We have two dinner appointments set up this week…one for Thursday and one with Bishop’s family on Friday.  We don’t have many dinner appointments because the ward is so small.  There are eight missionaries, so we all have to share families.  But don't worry, I'm eating very well here.  We get döners way too much and Institute is every Wednesday.  We conveniently stop by the church and eat dinner with them there. 
  • I haven’t gotten my packages yet...  We have zone conference on Wednesday and so they will bring packages down from Frankfurt.  Hopefully at least one of my packages will be in the delivery. 
  • There is an elementary school right by our church.  I don’t think they wear uniforms.  Schools are weird here.  Kids are placed in three different levels at 4th grade, depending on how they do on a test.  Depending on that, they either finish school in 9th grade and can go to a trading type school, senior year, or a year later and then go to a university.  It would be scary to think that your life depends on a test taken in 4th grade.
I get a little crazy after a long day...
especially after sports!
So now my life…

This has been a great week.  We have found a couple potential investigators.  Both my companion, Sister Weber, and I are getting better at talking to people and sharing the gospel to them.  Especially on U-bahns.  Sometimes I feel like our life is spent on buses going from one place to the next, but we have tried to pass out at least one pass along card every ride and it has been awesome.  It is amazing how much better the day goes when we work at finding investigators throughout the day.  We have met some cool people, and hopefully some of them turn into investigators.  The only thing is that it also leads to some awkward conversations.  We were talking to one woman and another one got up from her seat, came over, and started talking to us.  I really had no clue what she was saying, but she asked for a card and then followed us off the bus.  Little did I know that she was hitting on me…she was asking for my real name and number and it was awkward.  My companion could not stop laughing afterward and she called the elders to tell them the story as soon as we left.  Mensch.
We had some awesome appointments this week.  Only one fell through!  Of course, it was our dinner appointment.  The elders were supposed to go, too.  Oh well.  We went to the Minert's house for dinner one night.  Brother Minert is from Amerika and Sister Minert speaks perfect English.  It was great.  We told them about our family history fireside that we wanted to do and they were really excited about it.  He is in the bishopric so we set a date for November 16th.  We have a lot of work to do, but we want to help the members in our ward become excited so that they will invite their friends.  I feel like it is an easy non-threatening way to encourage missionary work, so we want to make it big and awesome. 
The trash cans in Germany
 crack me up!
Wednesday was the best day ever.  We went over to the Haid's family with Elder Hathaway and Baker.  I found my new favorite place.  They live in the country and it is seriously the most beautiful thing ever.  We spent two hours picking plums off their twenty trees and playing with their kids.  The elders worked on the roof.  We then had the best meal ever.  It was lamb, the most amazing German noodles, salad, potatoes, and dessert.  Meine gutte.  I ate so much.  We also had a really good lesson with Sister Hertel—a woman that used to be less active but comes every week now.  We read the talk about being accepted of the Lord.  The talk reminds us that the way that you know you are enough is if you live in a way for the Spirit to be with you.  She just looked at us and said "Mensch, dass is so einfach." and it is.  It is so easy.  The Lord loves us so much and will accept us if we simply live worthy of Him.  We also had Institute that night where our ehepartner couple (the senior missionaries) made dinner.  So basically…it was amazing. 
Thursday was awesome because we met with Sister Schwarm, who is like the coolest member ever.  Her life is so hard and her kids are very difficult, but she is the strongest person ever.  She loves life.  She is so happy and loves to talk about everything that is great.  I feel like she boosted me more than I could help her.  Also, Franke came to English class that night.  I think she had a good time, but I am concerned about her.  She is so crazy that I wonder what is going on with her most of the time.  We cannot teach her at her house anymore because the cops come every night.  I do not know what is going on with her.
Fridays are always great.  This week, all of the missionaries went over to Sister Preis' home for her birthday.  She is the greatest person ever.  Her daughter cooked all of these desserts and they were delicious.  I ate so much because they just kept feeding me and I kept eating, gerne.  Afterwards, we taught Caroline, one of the coolest people ever.  She is the most recent convert in our ward and she is awesome.  She is from Nigeria.  She is hilarious.  We talked about eternal marriage and the temple.  She told me that she would not invite me to her wedding when she had it, because I would eat the entire table of food before she even got to it.  Thank you, Caroline…haha!  We then played soccer, which is always great.  The elders’ investigators were there.  They are from Venezuela so I got to talk to them in Spanish.  We used Spanish during the game so that no one had any clue what we were saying.  It was awesome. 

Sad but true...our grocery store
runs are simply to buy
German chocolate.
The greatest thing that happened this week was our lesson with Lisa.  She is one of our progressing investigators and we had a great lesson with her on Saturday.  We had Sister Preis come with us and she was an amazing mitbelerer.  She said things that Lisa needed to hear.  We talked about the ten gebote and especially about kirche.  That is the thing she has the hardest time doing.  She loves it when she goes with her friend in Heidelberg, but she just will not go in Nürnberg.  We have been fasting about how to encourage her to come, so hopefully we can figure out how to best help her.

I think the thing I have learned the most is the importance of obedience and effectiveness.  The days we stay busy and work our hardest are the days when we are happiest.  I know this is the Lord's work and need to give 100% all the time.  We had a great district meeting about staying committed every possible minute, and that is what I want to try to do better.  It is what I will do. 

I am so excited for this week.  It is going to be great.  Zone Conference and General Conference…and many appointments in between.  I cannot wait for General Conference!  I have been reading all of the talks from the last conference for personal study and there are so many amazing things in it.  I think one of my favorites is the poem that President Packer wrote and read last time.  It is even cooler in German!  It is awesome how even though it means the same thing, the words they choose during the translation gives it such a different meaning.  It is somehow more powerful!  Read the last four stanzas and be amazed.  I want to be able to be like Him and declare to the world that "Mein Herr, mein Gott, ich weiß.”  I am so lucky to be able to do that!  How cool is it that our Heavenly Father talks to us today through latter-day prophets and that we can hear His word this weekend!  I cannot wait.  I wish I could tell you everything I have learned since I have gotten here, but I just cannot.  There is too much and I have only just begun.  Life is great.  It is so great.  How lucky are we to know that we have a Heavenly Father who lives, who loves us, and watches over us every second of the day.  He wants to help us, and He will help us when we turn to Him and give Him all of our love and show Him gratitude for all we have.  Ich bin sehr dankbar für das Leben!  Leben ist wunderbar! is so great.  Keep smiling.  It is amazing at how much better the day is when I have a smile on my face.  Always find a reason to smile because we are so lucky.  We have the truth.  We have it and we need to live it.  Learn it.  Live it.  Love it!  I love it and that is why I am here. 
My mission president and my companion...
I hope you all have a great week.  Stay happy.  Count your blessings and count the miracles, because there are so many and they happen every day!  And that is so toll.  So cool. 
Ich liebe euch so fiel.  I wish I could give you a big hug.  I seriously am so grateful for family.  You have all made such a big impact in my life and I look up to you all so much.  Keep being great.  I am so glad I get to spend an eternally with you all!   
Viele Liebe,