Sunday, November 3, 2013

October 21, 2013

The Alstadt...or Old Town
I had an email from Matt and Joel today!  Actually, I got emails from so many people... that was completely awesome.  I am going to respond to as many people as I can, so we will see what happens.  Dad, thank you so much for the pictures of Sparky.  They cracked me up.  Taryn, I am so glad that your ward is getting better!  Just keep being crazy and you will do just fine! 

So my week this week….such a weird week, and I cannot believe it is over.  So last P-Day, we went lederhosen shopping with the elders and they bought some.  It was priceless.  It made me really want to get a dirndl.  The only thing is that they are super expensive…like 200 euros.  I figure I cannot serve in Byren for months and not get one, though.  Instead of sending me many things for Christmas, money would be great! 

This is the view from my new apartment...
our view from the 6th floor is amazing!
We also took a lot of time moving this week.  We had to pack up everything and then move it over.  Like always, coordinating with six other elders is super hard.  Especially when they do not think things through very well…they made it the most complicated process ever.  When we finally got to our "new" apartment, the elders had not even finished packing!  They had to go to an appointment so they left us to take the sheets out of the washer (which there are no dryers here) and they didn't even clean anything.  We were left with a dirty, smelly elder apartment.  I was peeved.  Elder Hathaway told me he left a present for us.  I opened up my drawer and all his old holey socks were there.  Worst part?  He was transferred so I couldn’t even give him a piece of my mind. 

Dad, to answer your question, our district here is HUGE and it is all one ward.  I am in the same ward and district even with the move.  Our district was switched around, so now Elder Baker is no longer in it and two other Elders from a different area are.  Super weird since Elder Baker and Ludlow are in our ward still, but na ja.  The apartment is getting cleaned, though, and I will deal with it willingly because it is SUPER CLOSE to an U-Bahn station and the church.  We get everywhere quicker, and it will help with effectiveness for sure.

We met with two new people this week, Debbie Baig and Frau Perez.  Both appointments went well.  Debbie had a baptismal date for August but it didn't work out because she didn’t keep her commitments.  She is open again and we are hoping to help her keep her commitments if she is still willing.  She is funny.  She just met an Indian guy and fell in love with him, so that’s all she really talked about.  We are going back Tuesday for her next lesson.  We found Frau Perez in the area book.  We meet with her.  She said that we were an answer to her prayers.  That was really cool.  She is from Spain, so I was able to talk to her in Spanish a bit, which was really fun.  She will be very busy the next two weeks, but we will call her and set up another appointment because she wants to meet again.

We also got Lisa to finally come to church!  Sister Preis went with us and helped.  She did a great job.  We talked about the Word of Wisdom and she committed to keep it.  Sister Preis then offered her a ride to church and she accepted!  Sadly, she couldn't stay for the baptism after church because she forgot her medicine.  She has epilepsy so she needed to go and take it.  Lisa loved church and all the ward members were super nice to her.  Kathrin was also there and stayed for the baptism so that was great!  The baptism was wonderful.  The little Bradley girl was baptized and there were a ton of nonmembers there.  We had a HUGE lunch afterwards and I ate so much food!  It was great.  I will never get sick of the food here. 
Here is my embarrassing story of the week…we were at Sister Hertels.  She is the member that was recently reactivated.  We go over weekly to help her out.  Since I’ve been here for several weeks and meet with her weekly, you would think I would be able to understand her a bit better now, right?  Wrong.  She is obsessed with cats.  She spent half an hour showing us her cat mystery books one day.  So…this totally made sense in my head...she was talking about her toner for her printer and how it had not come in the mail yet.  She was freaking out.  In German, however, toner sounds like tuna.  I totally thought she had spent ten minutes talking about how her special-ordered tuna hadn’t come for her cats yet.  Worst part of all?  The elders were there and they thought it was the funniest thing ever, so naturally everyone knows now.

Here is my spiritual thought that I’d like to share with all of you.  I was reading the conversion story of Alma the Younger this week and I noticed something that I had never noticed before.  It says in Mosiah that the angel appeared to Mosiah because of the prayers of the faithful.  That is the only reason.  The angel appeared due to the actions of other people.  Their desire was so strong to help Alma, especially his father.  They prayed, probably for years, for help.  If they had not prayed in faith so long, the angel would not have appeared.  Alma would not have been converted.  He wouldn’t have gone on to be the biggest missionary ever.  It was a real wake up call of the importance of prayer…not only praying, but praying with faith that prayers will be answered.  I have been praying for miracles and believing that they will happen, and they do.  Everyday…even if they are small.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you all the miracles I see, but they are there.  God truly is a God of miracles.  Pray.  Have faith that prayers will be answered…and then WORK for the answer.  Prayers won’t happen without action.  And then stand back and be amazed.

I know that God is there.  He loves us with all of His being.  He is here, helping me every step of the way.  Miracles happen.  Lives are being changed by this message, and I get to be a part of it.  I am so lucky. 

I love you all so much!  Keep strong, pray daily, and watch for miracles, because they are EVERYWHERE.

Sister Teeples
Here are pictures of one of my favorite people in the world...Caroline.  Below is Caroline with my companion and also with Elder Hathaway.  She has a great sense of humor.  She told me that when she gets married, that I won't be able to come.  Why?  Because I'd eat all of the wedding cake :)


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