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

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