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,

1 comment:

  1. We love reading these letters every week! Keep 'em coming!
    Seth & Christine