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,


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