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

November 4, 2013 don't do it justice!
Hallo Familie!  Sounds like life is going well!  Alex Leonard is home from his mission?  That is crazy!  The pictures that you sent were awesome!  It sounds like he had a great mission!  It's so weird that he is already home!  I feel like he just left!  And to think that I am halfway done with my third transfer, and second in Germany!  Time goes by too quickly! 

Mom…quick note!  Katelyn made a request that you put up a status or something on my facebook once you put up a new blog post so that she can go check it out!  So…do that!  Haha!  Thanks.
I got a package this week!  It had a skirt, scarf, and blazer in it!  So thanks!  I like them all!  For my Christmas package, don’t worry about sending clothes or a satchel or anything!  I can get all of that stuff here and you wouldn’t have to pay for shipping!  All I really want are American items like peanut butter!  Then life would be good! 

Its weird to hear that Halloween was this week!  They don’t really celebrate it here!  It was really just a normal day…if any day is “normal" on your mission.  If I stay in Nürnberg next transfer, Sister Preis (who is basically my mission grandma, the nicest person ever, and the BEST cook) does a huge Thanksgiving for all of the missionaries!  Apparently, she goes all out so I hope I can stay here! 
Dad, I am so glad you found a job!  The Lord really does have a better plan than we do!  Taryn, have fun in Las Vegas this weekend!  That is sweet!

Now time for my awesome life…man oh man, I have so many good stories for you.
The view one evening on the
way home to our apartment...
First off, I swear that I have become a little ADD since I have been on my mission!  Last Monday all the missionaries were going to the Och's place to celebrate Sister Och's birthday!  The thing was, the tramline to get there was all messed up!  Elder Allen called to tell us that they would be late, and we were so lost on where to go because everything was in German.  We all know how confusing that is!  We got off our tram to switch to whatever new thing we were supposed to use.  My responsible trainer started reading the sign to see where to go.  Of course, I saw another tram leaving in one minute.  It just made sense that this was the tram we wanted.  While I was on the phone with Elder Allen, I started running towards it.  I forgot Sister Weber.  She said she looked over and saw me sprinting across the street so she started running, too!  We made it on to the Strassen bahn and the doors shut.  I was all excited that we caught the bahn, and then it began to move.  I realized that it was going the wrong way!  Whoops!  Sister Weber told me that I was not in charge of transportation anymore, because I just jump on whatever is leaving first!  We laughed pretty hard.

On Tuesday, we had a great lesson with Debbie.  First off, she actually read all of the chapters we gave to her!  She asked a ton of questions and we answered them all for her.  She liked the chapters from Alma the most, and wanted to "start at the beginning of his story" so we gave her the chapter in Mosiah where he believes the words of Abinadi.  She was excited to start reading them for when we go back tomorrow.  We then talked about personal peace and how Jesus Christ is the center of it.  The only way that we are able to find the true peace that we really desire is through Him.  We told her that she could have this peace when we have the gift of the Holy Ghost.  We then asked if she would be baptized!  She said yes!  We are going to set a date tomorrow and hopefully make a plan for her to quit smoking.  That will be the hardest part! 
We also had our first Gemiko this week.  That was our meeting with our ward mission leader.  We finally got one this last week…Bruder Domigez.  He is going to be awesome!  He has so many ideas.  He is s helping us with our street displays this weekend and our fireside.  I am really glad that we finally have a ward mission leader.  Hopefully it will help pick things up here in Nürnberg.  While I was there at our first meeting, I kept spilling all my food.  Luckily he is from South America and really good-natured.  He just laughed at me and told his wife they have eight new kids.
I also was able to go on a split in Feucht this week!  I LOVE FEUCHT!  I seriously fell in love with it.  It is this small little town, and it is just so cute.  I get to have a golden split there with Sister Lyons, my friend from the MTC, for two days this week, and I am really excited!  While there, we went to the park and asked people questions from a survey!  It was only three questions long, and the last one was really cool.  It really opens people up.  In German, it says "Stellen Sie sich vor; Gott würde Ihnen direkt eine Frage beantworten.  Was würden Sie ihn Fragen," which means, "If you could ask God any question and get a direct answer back, what would you ask Him?"  Most of the responses were either about why there was so much evil in the world, or what happens after this life, and if there was life after death.  The first one was a question I have been studying a lot in the past couple weeks.  It all comes back to the agency that God gave us.  The second one…well that was a question I have taken for granted because I have always known the answer.  It amazes me that we really do have the answers to the questions of the soul.  In Preach My Gospel, it has a page of questions of the soul…and how and where you can find the answers in the Book of Mormon.  The answers are all there.  I studied the fifteen questions they gave us this week, and the answers were all there.  The Book of Mormon truly is amazing and is the word of God.

Anyways, Sister Weber and I tried this survey here in Nürnberg on Friday, and it was quite interesting to say the least!  I went up to a nice old man in the park and asked him the first question, "Does God plan an important part in your life?”  Well, this man went from this sweet old man to Satan’s offspring, calling us idiots and ranting for ages!  He basically said that the people that wrote the Bible were idiots and that we were just puppets walking around, being brainwashed.  Let’s just say that he made his point clear that he thought we were really dumb!  The cool thing was, the whole time he was yelling at us, I just got a strong reaffirming feeling that this was all true.  There is a God, and no matter what anyone else says or tries to persuade me otherwise, I will always believe that!  Nothing can shake my faith!  We told him we hoped he had a happy day and he stormed off!  At least we tried. 

We went to visit a less active, Bruder Roland!  He just was baptized to make his wife happy and now he is all alone in an altem heim!  He reminds me so much of Grandpa Keyser!  He just makes fun of us and is crazy, so naturally I love going there!  This last week, he made fun of how big my feet were!  Thank you, Bruder Roland! 
Probably my favorite appointment this week was with the Swarms!  She lived in America for years and can speak perfect English, but her husband cannot!  The scary part was how much they reminded me of Mom and Dad!  She made fun of him for something, and he didn’t know how to respond, so he picked up the dog at the dinner table and started petting him and talking to him!  Then she made fun of him for going to the dog, and then laughed and said that she loved him for it!  Basically…a nightly occurrence at our house!  I was laughing so hard at it.

We had stake conference this week.  It was so different from our stake conferences in the states.  It was in the städthall, which was basically just a huge room in the town hall.  No one really came.  All the military wards were there, so they had the whole thing translated.  Someone would say a sentence in English or German, and then there would be someone to translate it into the other language.  It really hurt my brain.  The whole thing was on missionary work, so that was AWESOME! 
We also had a good lesson with Kathrin.  She has still yet to set a date for baptism, but we are going to try to meet with her mom too this week.  I hope that that will help with her progression!  We showed her a Mormon message and she loved it!

Well, don’t worry about me.  I love my mission!  This week is going to be weird!  I will be gone two days, and then the other days we have our street display and everything.  I am excited about that.  Oh, in preparation, I am supposed to ask for a cool family story from our ancestors, and for a family picture.  If you could send that within the next day or two, that would be AWESOME!  Thanks!  I know we have to have some cool stories! 
I really don’t know how I always have so much to say.  The thing is, this does not even begin to cover my life.  So much happens every day, and I can’t even begin to describe it!  Life is good…and crazy.  We are heading up to Rottenburg for P-day.  It is an old medieval city.  It is going to so cool!  I will take a lot of pictures, which is something that I didn’t do this past week.  Get ready for a ton of pictures next week, because I AM GOING TO FEUCHT AGAIN THIS WEEK!  Ja wohl! 

I love you all.  Have a great week!
Love, Savannah


Sunday, November 3, 2013

October 29. 2013

Caroline...I plan to go with her
to Kenya someday!
Hallo meine wunderbar Familie!  Why is my familie so cool?  Your letters I received made my day…especially Taryn’s letter.  That Harry Potter party sounds like the most epic party ever.  I want to live there just so that I can be a part of it…and the pictures?  I got so excited that I think Sister Weber thinks I am a little crazy (not that she didn’t before).  Troy.  I am so jealous of you!  You got to go see Walk the Moon.  That is sick!  I bet that was such a good concert.  I guess it is pretty cool that you were able to see Mom and Dad, too—haha.  Troy and Alyssa…your primary class sounds awesome.  I just love little kids so much.  There is some really cool children in my ward here.  Dad and Mom, sounds like life is going well, too.  Mom, don’t work so much.  I’m sure your school won’t burn down if you decide to go home before midnight.  Dad, hopefully all goes well in your search for a job.  I have been praying and I know that the Lord will provide a way for things to work out. 

Well, that being said, can I just say that this week was amazing?  Seriously such a good week.  On Monday, I think I had the coolest personal study I have ever had.  I really don't know why I got so excited about it, but it was just so cool for me.  We had Heim Abend that night for all the old single people in our ward, which we do ever Monday night.  Last week we decided to talk about temples, so I studied in D&C 128 and 138.  They are probably some of the best chapters I have ever read.  I love 128:9, because the Heavenly Father says straight out…yes, this is bold doctrine we speak about (baptism for the dead), but we have the authority, and because of this, we have the ability to do such a work.  In verse 15, it talks about how we cannot be perfect unless we complete work for those that have passed on.  Mom, it is so cool that you have been doing family history because that is a big topic right now in Nürnberg.  The missionaries are doing a huge ausstellung (street display), actually three more displays are in preparation for our fireside that we have coming up.  It is all about family history and the new family search site.  We want to make it HUGE.  As one reads further, verse 22 is sweet.  Such a pumped up verse.  We have the ability to set these people free.  We have the keys to prepare the way for them to enter into the Kingdom of God.  So take advantage of that, and go to the temple!  Go change lives.  And then in Section 138, verse 38 and on, the scriptures share that one of the coolest army of people assembled in Heaven has been set forth to go preach the gospel to our ancestors—Adam and Eve, Seth, Abel, Noah, Isaiah, Moses, Daniel, Malachi, Joseph Smith, prophets from the Book of Mormon, etc.  We also have an awesome army here on earth with the thousands of missionaries and members.  Think about how much of a difference we can make.  Elder Ballard said in General Conference that if each member would only reach out to one other person between now and Christmas, 15 million lives would be brought closer to Christ.  15 MILLION.
After a long missionary day, all I want
to do is sleep on the long train ride home!

We had an awesome lesson with our investigator Debbie.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and she had a million questions.  We were able to answer them all using the Book of Mormon.  Seriously, every question you have in life, the answer can be found in one book.  It is all there, and it has been written for us.  One question stuck with me.  It was "Why do such bad things happen to the best people?"  We gave a mediocre answer and then I went home and studied it.  I read the talk "Personal Peace: Reward for the Righteous."  Sister Weber and I together were able to come up with the perfect lesson for Debbie.  We were supposed to have a lesson on Thursday, but she wasn’t there.  We called her yesterday and now we have one set up for tomorrow, and I am so excited to go and teach her.  It all comes down to the gift of agency.  That is it.  I have learned so much, especially when studying for my investigators and their needs.  I asked her if she had been reading in the Book of Mormon and she has!  She has been keeping her commitments this time around and I am so excited.  Go Debbie!

We also found a legit girl on the U-Bahn.  She was reading Calvin and Hobbs so we started talking to her.  It turns out she is from Ukraine and she is trying to learn German by reading it.  We had a great conversation with her, and invited her to Institute!  She came on Wednesday and got to meet a bunch of YSAs (Young Single Adults) and then we talked about the Book of Mormon and gave her one in Ukrainian.  She came to German class the next day and said she had read in it!  Sadly, she will be gone the next two weeks, but we hope to meet with her again when she gets back. 

Friday, we helped set up for Evelyn’s wedding.  She is a less active we are trying to help out, and she is awesome.  Her cousin is LEGIT.  He lives in Sweden and he was baptized about three months ago.  The first thing he said to us was "Are you Mormon, because I am too!"  He just loves talking to us about the gospel.  He said, "Mormon life has treated me well."  He has a nice girlfriend that he met as a member—haha.  I wish he lived here because he is awesome.  Sadly he doesn’t.  We were able to go to the reception on Saturday too, which was fun.  Evelyn and her family are from Uganda, so Sister Weber and I were the only white people there.  The only people from the ward that came were Africans, so it was a party.  The food was amazing, and they were all in their traditional African robes going crazy.  It was sooo cool…something I will never see again. 

We also had a great lesson with Kathrin.  We really want her to take the next step and be baptized.  She has had all the lessons.  She does Personal Progress, goes to church every week, reads her scriptures, and prays.  She is basically a dry Mormon, and we don’t know why she won’t set a date.  She says she just needs time.  We read part from JSH and compared it to her.  They were both 14, and both had questions.  Joseph Smith had never prayed aloud before, and Kathrin is too afraid to do so in front of us.  We don’t know why and she doesn’t know either.  We asked a lot of thought probing and deep questions and all she could say was "I don’t know!"  There were a lot of quiet moments where the spirit was really strong, though, and I think it caused her to think a lot about where she is at right now.  We challenged her to begin praying aloud, by herself, in hopes that it will be easier to do it with us.  Kathrin just needs to be baptized already!

And now to end with a funny story.  We were making phone calls yesterday during weekly planning.  It was Sister Weber’s turn to make the call.  We were tired and no one was answering his/her phone.  Then she called Sister Hertel (the cats and tuna lady) and this old raspy man voice answered the phone.  Sister Weber’s face was pure confusion and she was trying to explain how she had gotten the wrong number.  Then we just hear this raspy “DOCH!  DOCH!” on the other side and I just lost it.  It was Sister Hertel.  She was so sick that she sounded like an old man.  Her voice was so bad, and I just couldn’t stop laughing at sister Weber’s reaction.  I had to leave the room because I was laughing so hard, which made Sister Weber laugh.  Most painful phone call ever.  Poor Sister Hertel. 

On that note, I should go.  But, just so that you are all so impressed with my German, here is a copy of my letter that I sent to Präsident.  It is so bad and he is going to cringe at my grammar...  naja.

Hallo Präsident!

Ich hoffe ihr woche ist ganz gut, viel meine war.  Wir haben mit viele leute gesprochen und eins war Iryna.  Sie war im bahn und Sister Weber hat mit ihr gesprochen.  Und dann sie hat zu uns ihr handi number gegeben und zu institute und Deutch class gegangen (sie kommt aus Ukraine).  Und es war ganz kühl.  Wir haben ein Das Buch Mormon zu ihr gegeben und sie hat en es gelesen.  Jetzt, sie is nicht hier für zwei woche aber hoffentlich wir können mit ihr treffin in zwei woche und hoffentlich sie wird en das Buch Mormon lesen. 

Auch, wir haben viele progress gemacht mit unser Untersuchers.  Lisa war in Heidelburg für der Woche, aber wir haben mit Debbie und Kathrin treffin.  Unser termin mit Debbie war ganz gut.  Wir haben über das Buch Mormon gesprochen und sie hat viele frages gehabt.  Wir haben ihr frages antvorten und gestern ich habe sie angeruft und sie hat gesagt dass sie en Das Buch Mormon gelesen hat.  Wir werden mit ihr treffin en Dienstag wieder.  Auch, gestern wir haben ein sehr gut termin mit Kathrin.  Sie ist nicht bereit für ein taufetermin zu ausmachen, aber wir haben viele gesprochen darüber und auch über gebete.  Sie wird nicht aus loud beten und wir wissen nicht warum.  We haben zu ihr gasagt dass diese woche, wir wollen das sie aus loud beten wird, und sie wird ein antworten bekommen für ihr nächste step.  Wir haben die Joseph Smith geschiekte gelesen und compared it mit ihr viele die beide sind 14 jare und sie hat nicht bevor gebetet aus loud.  Es war ein ganz gut termin, und wir hoffen mit ihr zu treffin diese woche. 

Aber, es war eine gutte woche.  Sister Weber und ich arbeiten gut zuzammen.  Ich weiß dass wir viele wunders sehen werden en der nächste drei woches.  Wir haben schon viele gesehen.

Bis nexte woche!
Sister Teeples
Yay!  I know a little German!  Well, have a great week.  I miss you all, but just know I am having the time of my life.  It is hard work, but the moments when I realize I am changing someone else’s life, makes it all worth it.  I love it so much, and I can’t wait to see what happens.  This gospel is true!  I know it is.  Ich liebe euch so viel und ich hoffe dass alles gehts gut diese woche.  Bis nächste woche, meine familie!!
Savannah Teeples