Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 2, 2013

Market Square Opening Night
My latest stays on my desk
as I study.
Caroline, with My Companion and Me
Holy smokes!  It is already December.  How does that happen?  Mom, while I am thinking about it, I have been praying a lot about if I should come home a transfer early to make it in time for the school semester in January.  I feel like that is the right decision for me.  I know it means less time on my mission, but that is probably what is going to end up happening.  So…it looks like I might be home for next Christmas.  Or…you can do what Sister Young's family is doing!  She is going home early to catch the semester, so she just finished her mission.  Her family came out to Germany and is touring the mission with her...  and they were able to be here for the Weinnacht’s opening.  That was really cool.  Keep that in mind—haha.  You have a year to prepare ;) 

Auf jedenfall…it sounds like you all had a great Thanksgiving break!  Of course Taryn got a flat tire.  Does that even surprise you?  I think it is crazy that Elliott and Haley are at BYU and drove down with Taryn.  That always seems so weird for me.  Speaking of Elliott, has he gotten his mission call yet?  If so, he never told me where he was going!  Also, yes, I knew that Katelyn and Tim are dating mom.  Do you really think I am that out of the loop!  They have been dating before I left, and they are the two that faithfully email me weekly (so grateful for that), so I am updated on that.  Also, yes, the family bunny was the same as the fruit.  I forgot to mention the best part...Mary Agnes (the little two year old) kicked the turkey!  SHE KICKED IT!  And it did nothing.  That little girl has no fear.  Also, the new elder...he is interesting.  Let’s just say that I really miss Elder Guyman and Baker.  It is the start of a new transfer, though.  Hopefully, it will get better.
A Camel for the Nativity

So my week (Yes, Troy I know I write a ton, but we have more email time now then you did… First off, I got to see a camel…a real camel.  Germans know how to do Christmas.  They have a nativity scene set up in the Altstadt, and so they have real animals.  I snuck in a picture while no one was looking.  We had another good lesson with Debbie.  She is reading in the Book of Mormon.  We watched the Restoration DVD and she loved it.  We are bringing my favorite person, Laura, along with us on Tuesday and Laura is going to try to help her quit smoking.  She really wants to, but she just needs a lot of support, so the more support from the ward, the better.  

We had Relief Society Christmas Enrichment on Tuesday.  It was so fun.  All the women that are usually standoffish were so happy and open and friendly to us.  They all want us to come over and eat with them, so needless to say, we have a ton of member dinner appointments this week.  Yay!  I had the best seat in the room.  It was next to Laura and Giovanna, and Sister Schwarm, all of which speak either English or Spanish.  We were laughing so hard, and Giovanna really opened up.  It was great.  There was amazing food and people shared their favorite Christmas stories.  I love Christmas time!

We also were able to go to Schwester Minerts and do service.  We helped her clean.  I am pretty sure she told everyone about it because we got a phone call on Saturday from Schwester Schwarm asking if we could come over and help her clean.  Haha!  It made me laugh. 

Guess what else?  I had two Thanksgiving dinners.  What makes it better is that they were both with the Frankens, my favorite, crazy, Asian family.  We hadn’t heard from them all transfer (they are less active).  Then we received a random text in broken English asking us how we were doing.  Sister Franken invited us over for dinner.  We got there and she screamed and hugged us and just said, "I missed chu, I missed chu,” and then rushed us to the table and said "I take care of you.  Eat.”  We got to eat a ton of delicious food.  She only had chicken so she wanted to make us turkey for Thanksgiving and so she invited us over again on Sunday after church.  We couldn’t refuse the Frankens, could we?  Haha!  So…I had two Asian Thanksgivings.  It was so great.  She thinks I am hilarious and laughs at everything that I say, so it’s great.  She told me to make sure I wore my stretchy skirt in preparation.  

We had an interesting adventure on our way over there on Sunday.  It turned out we caught the wrong train and so we somehow ended up a good 45 minutes away.  Whoops!  We got off at some random little dorf, and checked our navi to see where we were.  We were miles away.  It was pretty embarrassing.  We had to run across the station to catch the right train and I tripped and fell straight on my face.  My knee and hands were bloody and it was so embarrassing.  I got there and Sister Franken freaked out.  She just kept saying, "Oh, oh! I take care chu, I take care of chu.”  She bandaged me up like a little baby.  Sister Weber couldn’t stop laughing at me.  I thought it was hilarious, too.  The whole meal, she just kept saying “Eat.”  Mehr.  I think I ate enough for three people. 
We also went tracting in Fürth.  One of the potentials asked us to come back on Tuesday.  It turned out they were related to our ward mission leader!  We were pretty excited about what could happen.  We are praying that they will be interested.
We met with a less active that has a lot of potential.  The problem in Germany is that there are so many less actives.  She was baptized and then went inactive.  It breaks my heart.  She said she would start reading in the Book of Mormon again and she wants to meet every other week.  We have a lot of hope for her.  
And now for the Christmas Market opening.  It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life!  There were thousands of people there, so unfortunately we didn’t get a super good spot.  My pictures aren’t too good.  We are going back this week to go explore the markets because THERE ARE SO MANY COOL THINGS.  Seriously.  The opening was awesome.  Caroline came with us, and we went to the main square.  It took place at one of the big churches there.  All the lights were turned off, and they had a choir of little children singing.  They read aloud the Christmas story of Christ’s birth, and then the Christkinder gave a speech about the importance of Christmas and an angel (a real person) came down from the top of the church.  As the angel came down, all the Christmas lights in the main square turned on, all the markets opened and people went crazy.  It was magical.  I can’t believe I got to be there.   
We were able to go back on Saturday.  We decided to do a weekly street presentation.  The four elders in Nürnberg made a quartet and they sung Christmas songs by the markets while Sister Weber and I handed out Joy to the World DVDs and talked to people.  It was really fun…and funny because the elders really weren’t that good.  They thought that they were good, so I couldn’t burst their bubble.  But it definitely attracted people, so that was good.  We had some really cool discussions, and met a girl that had met with the missionaries before.  That was cool.  Some members from the ward want to go out and do this with us this week, so that will be wonderful. 

And now for my spiritual thought…our new district leader, Elder Bishop, gave a really cool theme on charity.  It made me think of it in a way that I hadn’t before.  He asked the question, "What is the most important thing for a missionary to have?"  
My first thought jumped to faith, but he proceeded to defend his answer of charity.  The scriptures teach that we are to have faith, hope, and charity, but that charity is the greatest of all.  He said that our faith will one day be made perfect when we see Christ and know that he is.  Our hope will be made perfect when we receive eternal life, but charity is something that we will need forever.  Charity is the basis on which the world was created, and why Christ died for us.  Charity is how we will change people’s lives for the better.  It’s like the quote, “People won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  I made this topic a big part of my study this week, and that is one thing I really want to develop this transfer.  Charity…charity for the elders, for the ward members, for my investigators, and for everyone else.  I read from Ether 12, Moroni 7-8, and also Corinthians 12.  They are all amazing.  I love my mission because I get to learn so much from other people.  I am always learning and growing.  It is awesome. 
Saying Goodbye to
Elder Guyman
I will send some pictures home.  This week I will take some more pictures of the Christmas market with less people so that you can actually see what it looks like.  Pictures still won’t nearly do it justice, though.  I'll let you know about Skype when Christmas gets a little closer.  We are trying to find a family in the ward that will let us use their computers. 
Ich hoffe dass euch eine ganz gute woche habt!  Immer erinnen sie warum Weihnacht so wichtig ist.  Jesus Christus war geboren!  Ich weiß es.  Das ist unser Botschaft und wir müssen es zur ganzen Erden erklaren.  Jesus Christus lebt!  Er war geboren und er ist auferstanden.  Wie toll?    Ich weiß es mit meinem ganzen Herzt und Seele.  Ich liebe meine Mission, ich liebe Nürnberg und ich liebe euch.  Es freue mich dass ich hier bin und dass ich dieser Menschen helfen kann über das Evangelium zu lernen. 
Bis nächte woche! 

Liebe, Savannah 


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