Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 20, 2014

Sunset in Heidelburg
Hallo Familie!  It was great to hear from you all this week.  Sounds like things are going well back home.  I am so glad that you got my package!  Mom, if you can't come pick me up, I'll just have to fill my suitcase with Rittersport.  That is so awesome that the Broncos are going to the Super Bowl!  Troy, I am so sorry that your life is so rough right now.  You have to go skiing and miss the Super Bowl.  Tough.  I am so glad that Matt got the okay to start his papers!  That seriously makes me so happy.  Tell him he needs to email me again, and tell me about it.  Also, Mother, a straßenbahn is like a bigger faster bus that runs on tracks...I really don’t know how to explain; it’s just aStraßenbahn.  At Zone training this week, I got packages from Troy and Alyssa and Aunt Shelly!  Thank you both so much.  They are amazing.  
Anyways, I am writing this email in an internet cafe right now.  I have my big new coat on that I bought last week for a steal deal, and it is so warm and comfortable.  I am more exhausted than I have ever been in my life, so sorry if this email doesn’t make a ton of sense.  I could sleep for about four days straight right now. 
But the good news…I am so tired because we did SO much this week.  There is so much to do here, and not enough missionaries in the area.  We are basically running around crazy every day.  We saw some ridiculously cool miracles this week.  I just love Heidelberg.

On Tuesday, we hiked up to the castle courtyard and sat there overlooking the entire city while we set goals for the transfer.  It was amazing.  We were right by this huge castle, and could see for miles.  We got the impression to work a lot with the members this transfer - German and Spanish.  After just a week, we have seen miracles.  Whenever we have a spare minute, instead of doing a random stop at a less active or past investigator’s home, we stop and visit the members in the area.  We give a short thought and then leave.  It takes a total of 10 minutes, and the purpose is to get to know the members and gain their trust.  It has been amazing. 
A stone we found outside of a house...
7 Jewish people were taken from here to
concentration camps
We had dinner with the Paulinos on Tuesday, the Spanish less active family.  We had a great time, and she talked so much.  They ended up coming to church on Sunday!

Wednesday, we met with another less active, Kathy.  Sister Pedersen has been working with her for a while, and we had an amazing lesson about patience through trials.  She said it was so inspired, and exactly what she needed to hear.  Her circumstances right now are really difficult, and do not permit her to come to church.  She really wants to.  She asked us to pray for her to be able to come to church.  She says once she is able to, she wants us to teach her 9 year old daughter and prepare her for baptism.
We also went and taught our investigator Melanie again, who is a daughter of a less active woman.  Her friend was there and we invited her to sit in with us.  Her friend ended up being really interested, and was asking a ton of questions.  She set up the return appointment, and is excited to meet with us.  She wants to come to church and everything.  It was such a miracle. 

Throughout the week, we really understood why we should we work with the members.  They are so ready to do missionary work that we don’t even have to motivate some of them.  The Taylors called us on Tuesday, and said that they knew a girl that wanted to come to church on Sunday.  They asked us to take her around...this is a cool story.  The Taylors are from America, and he is here as a teacher assistant to a university class about Mormonism.  There are about 20 people in the class.  For one of their final assignments, they have to attend the Fast and Testimony meeting in February, and attend all three hours.  We are going to have 20 nonmembers there!  It is going to be insane!  One of the girls, Christine, wanted to come yesterday.  She is amazing.  We ended up setting up a Termin with her on Thursday at the Taylor’s house.  I am super excited.  
The Janatas...they live in a nearby small
country town
Another member also called us this week also and referred her friend to us.  She ended up setting up Thursday night for us all to go out to dinner and get to know her friend, Anya.  Anya had a ton of questions, and we talked a lot about what we believe.  She then came to church on Sunday.  It was so cool!  These members are on fire.  It was a testimony to our feeling.  We have showed the Lord that we feel like we need to work together.  We have been working to gain their trust, and here, in Heidelberg, the ward members are just throwing referrals at us.  It is amazing.  In the last week alone, we had three new referals and contacted five of them.  We also got three new investigators this week, all through the ward members.  They really are the ones making a difference here.  That is how people are truly going to be converted. 

Friday was Zone training.  It was all about finding…something I usually hate, but now Sister Pedersen and I have so many potentials, it is almost humorous.  I feel like I have done absolutely nothing to deserve all of this, and that it is just being handed to me on a silver platter.  I think the Lord is looking at all of our efforts in the past four months and really rewarding us.  I am so grateful at how merciful he is.  We talked about using our talents to find those who are searching.  It was another conformation that we needed to work a lot with the Spanish group.  We called the Heckmanns up and arranged an appointment to meet with them and talk to them about it. 
Service at the Janatas
Saturday, we met with them and talked a lot.  They want us to go and visit all of the Spanish families in the two weeks - which is about 10.  It is going to be absolutely crazy.  We are supposed to set up family mission plans.  I also want to find out all of their talents and plan activities around them.  One woman teaches Flamanco, so I thought it would be cool to have a Flamanco night where members could invite their friends to the church and learn how to dance.  I figure, if we should use our talents to find, why not use the ward members’ talents as well.

Saturday was also Carmen and Bruder Gurnis' wedding and reception.  The ward did an amazing job.  They planned the best reception ever, with skits, songs, games, and everything.  A ton of people invited friends, and we ended up getting ANOTHER referral with a friend of the bishop’s wife.  We are now having an FHE with them and the friend next Monday night.  It seriously amazes me how blessed we have been.  
Carmen is a typical German...she is the
nicest, happiest person...but refuses to smile
for the camera.
And then Sunday...oh man, far the craziest day I have ever had.  We started off having to run to pick up Annie's friend at the bus stop, because Annie had to translate.  Then we introduced her to someone so that they could help her to Relief Society.  We ran in late to Young Women’s, where the bishop wanted us to help him teach about missionary work.  We then ran back, talked to Anya and Christine, and brought them to Gospel Essentials.  Then I had to introduce myself in the German branch, and then run and give a 5 minute talk in the Spanish branch, where I then had to schedule appointments with the Spanish families, while sister Pedersen ran and talked to the two referrals.  It was absolutely insane, and by the end we were exhausted.  We ended up both falling asleep in the car ride to a member’s house after church.  Whoops…

Having fun on
our costumes?
Man, this week….this letter really doesn’t even begin to describe everything that we did.  I hope it gives you a glimpse into everything, though.  What I am trying to say is that the ward is amazing, and is making us very busy.  We are so blessed right now, and we are super excited about everything that is happening.  President told me to pray for miracles, and I did, and now I am seeing them daily.  I guess now is my time to tell you all to help the missionaries in your ward.  Mom and Dad, if you haven’t yet, watch "Hastening the Work" because it is true.  Members and missionaries need to work together.  Pray for people to hear this message and then invite them.  We have been challenging people to invite friends over for FHE, where we can give a short thought and then play a game together.  We already have them set up for the next two weeks.  So I guess now I am committing you to the same thing.  You're welcome.  Life is crazy, but life is great.  Mom, if you spent a day with me, you would be would be waiting for the moment that you could crawl into bed at 10:30.  I am so grateful.  I know that because we have been working and serving every minute of the day, Heavenly Father has blessed us.  He continues to bless us. 

My favorite quote of the week, something that the Zone Leaders shared at Zone Conference that they heard from President Schwartz (who is the most amazing mission president ever)…“We are not saved by grace; rather we are changed by it".  I love that.  I read a talk called "The Grandeur of God" this week, and it is amazing.  Go and read it. 

Savannah Teeples

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 13, 2014

A little town near Heidelburg...beautiful!
Hallo everyone!  Thanks for all of the emails.  I love hearing about what is going on back home.  Mom, tell Grandpa Keyser that I say thank you.  That was so nice of him.  Sister Pedersen and I are going to hit up the after Christmas sales today, so I am excited.  Also, isn't that CRAZY about my freshman roommate Chelsea and her announcement of being pregnant?  She emailed me a couple of weeks ago and told me the news.  I about freaked out, but she is really excited, so I am happy for her.  I am glad you got the letter last week too.  I was nervous that the letter didn’t come.  Speaking of which, did you happen to get a small package from me yet?  There wasn’t much in there, but some amazing German chocolate, some lebkuchen, and also an ornament that I bought at the Christkindelsmarkt, so hopefully you will get it soon.  Also, let’s hope that the Broncos win this year.  It’s about time.  Taryn, sounds like you are taking school as seriously as ever.  Good luck with that, and you too, Troy.  I am just so impressed with your work effort!  

The castle three minutes from
my apartment
The castle at night..
Auf jedenfall, I am officially writing this from the prettiest place on earth - Heidelberg.  I feel like I am in a little dream bubble here.  We live in the Altstadt of Heidelberg, which is the really old part of town.  So we have all the old architecture there and whatnot.  It is all beautiful.  We live right by the river, which has a huge old bridge.  Cute little houses cover the hillside on the other side of the river.  Then literally three minutes from our apartment, is the castle.  Think of it…if you walk three minutes, you can see a castle!  It is gigantic and gorgeous, and it lights up at night.  We are going up there today so that I can check it out.  I am super excited!  

The ward is amazing here.  It’s about twice the size as the one in Nürnberg, with about 150 active members and only four missionaries—the zone leaders, my companion and me.  We get to work a lot more with the ward.  They are also very ready to do missionary work.  We have four referrals from the ward right now.  There are tons of people that invite their friends to church, and also invite us over to eat with their friends.  The members are just awesome.  There are also about 30 regular Spanish attendants.  I was able to meet some of them yesterday.  One of them, Hermana Heckmann, is the one that gives us the most referrals.  We are meeting with one of her friends tomorrow, and I am really excited.  I think this transfer is going to be amazing, because of the ward.  I am so excited.
My crazy district of Nurnberg

It seems weird to think that only last Monday, I was still in Nürnberg.  This week has been so crazy that it seems like an ewigkeit ago.  Last week until Transfers on Thursday, was pretty much time spent saying goodbye to everyone, which was sad.  I kind of still feel like I am on a super long split and that I should be going back to Nürnberg.  I am more home sick for Nürnberg than I am for Colorado right now.  Part of my heart will always be there with the people and my investigators.  They are all just so amazing, and I hope that someday I will have the opportunity to go back and visit them. 

On Tuesday, we ended up taking our P-day, because we weren’t able to on Monday.  All of the Nürnberg missionaries, and the Ansbach and Feucht elders played games together.  I ended up winning at Settlers, and Elder Allen was really annoyed because he has yet to win.  Caroline came and played with us too.  It was so fun, and I am really going to miss her.  That night we also went to Laura's for the last time.  She made us an Italian dinner, and we talked a lot about how we can get Nürnberg on fire for missionary work.  We ended up starting a Nürnberg Missionaries’ Facebook page, because president talked about it a lot.  We (or I guess its they now...weird) are going to try to meet with members at least once a week, and ask the members to add friends, or get on a post a quote or Mormon message or something.  Since people are more open online.  We think it will really help. 

Wednesday, I had my last distrikt meeting with my district.  It is weird to be in a new district, because I have been with Elders Williamson, Allen, and Sister Weber my entire mission.  (My new district leader was in the Nürnberg zone, though.  He is cool.)  We talked a lot about Book of Mormon—how amazing it is, and how important it is that people read from it.  It seems like there is such a strong force that works to get people to never open that book.  So many people we talk to say that they have one at home, but just have never read in it.  The adversary is working so hard against the people, because he knows that if they just read it, they will feel the Spirit and the truth.  It is truly the word of God.  If people have the desire to know that, they will.
My favorite people in Nurnberg!
After DDM, we met with the Ochs, who cooked us the biggest meal ever of Schnitzel and potato salad.  I about died as I waddled out of there, only to go to another less active who invited us over to say goodbye.  She ended up making us a meal too, and we had to force it down.  That night we met with Sister Canana and her granddaughters.  We watched the Restoration DVD and the little girls loved it.  They thought it was so cool that he was only 14, and the ten year old answered all of our questions.  It was so great.  We dropped by Institute that night to say my official goodbyes that night, and then I packed, which was the weirdest thing ever. 

Sister Lyons and me...on our way to
way to Heidelburg.  We saw Elder Baker at the
station during Transfers!

I am Heidelberg now and it is amazing.  My new companions name is Sister Pederson.  She is 24, and is from Utah—she is awesome.  She is extremely sarcastic, which is refreshing, because Sister Weber is always just so nice.  We are actually a lot alike, so I think it will be a good transfer.  We met with a less active that night, and then went to Institute for the first time to get to know the younger members, because we want to work with them a lot.
The next day, we went to the Vogts for lunch.  They are a senior couple that just got back from a mission (it is amazing how many members served missions here).  We gave the analogy of Abish and Ammon again, and they loved it.  They told us about all of the people that they are trying to work with.  It was awesome.

That night, was quite an adventure.  We were going to contact a referral, when our straßenbahn ran over something.  It turned out to be a man....he was still alive when he was rushed to the hospital, but it was still scary.  All of the lines were shut down, and we had no way to get home.  We tried to comfort some people and talk to them about life after death, but they were in shock.  We ended up having to walk for 45 minutes to the nearest trainstation to get home.  It was quite the adventure for my first day here. 

A view I see daily...amazing
On Friday, we contacted another referral, who unfortunately didn't have interest, and then we had a first lesson with a potential investigator, named Dominic.  I think that he has a lot of potential, but he really just needs to feel like it is needed and loved.  He has had a hard life, and he doesn't know if God is really there, so we are trying to show him that he is.  But I do think he has potential.  At the end of the lesson, he gave us both pepper spray and told us to watch out...  haha. 

We then met with a recent convert, and our investigator Helen.  Helen has a mental disability, but she is so sweet, and she understands enough to know the gospel.  She loves the Book of Mormon.  She wants to be baptized, but her mom won’t let her, which is really sad.  We will still work with her, and hopefully her mom will one day change her mind.

Houses across the river
Sonntag was crazy.  We went to church, and I was able to meet the ward, which I have already shared is amazing.  After church, we went to lunch at a member’s house with the elders.  The member invited over her friend and her friend had a ton of questions, especially about what we believe about life after death.  The elders are starting to teach her today. 

That night, we went to another Investigator, Melanie.  Afterward, we visited a less active family, the Palinos.  They are one of the Spanish families, and don’t understand English or German.  She was so excited that I could speak to her, and we ended up having a really good lesson about faith.  She invited us over again tomorrow for dinner, and so I am super excited.  I just feel bad for Sister Pedersen who doesn’t understand the language…but it was great to speak Spanish again.  Troy, I found a Spanish Preach My Gospel and have been studying from it. 
The Nativity set that I fell in love
with and bought...
This email is super long, and there is still so much more I could tell you.  Just know that this is going to be an amazing transfer.  Heidelberg already has some cool investigators, and the ward is open to helping us.  We will hopefully see a lot of miracles and success.  The Spanish people, especially, are committed to missionarywork.  And now that a missionary can speak their language (kind of haha), I think that big things will happen! 

I love you all and I pray for you all daily.  I hope that everything continues to go well at home, and just know that I am loving my mission.  These people are incredible, and I get to share the message of the Restoration daily.  I am in the best place on earth, learning two languages that I love, and am surrounded by prepared people.  I am so lucky to be here, and to have the opportunity to do the Lord's work.  My goal is to really study his life from now through Easter, and I feel like through reading the four Gospels and Jesus the Christ, I have learned so much of my Savior.  I love Him so much, and am grateful to have a personal relationship with him and my Heavenly Father.
Ich liebe euch so viel!  Viel glück mit alles...

Savannah Teeples

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 6, 2013

Winter in Numemberg
Thanks for all of the emails this week, family!  Dad, it sounds like the service went  nicely, and ich bin dankbar dafür.  The blessing that Grandma got sounds amazing, and I know the things you shared with me are true.  Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, and so he will give us every chance to be happy and choose to follow Him.  I know that Oma and Opa are together again, and that we can be an ewige Familie für the eternities.  How lucky are we to have that knowledge.  Troy, I agree with you.  The Plan of Salvation is always my favorite lesson to teach.  We had the opportunity to teach it this week, and seeing the light go off in our investigators eyes just makes it all worth it.  I love this gospel because it all just makes sense.  Everything just fits together.

Taryn, tell Merrilyn hi for me!  And everyone else.  I am so glad to hear that you think I am going to be awkward when I get home.  I will not!  Just a little weirder...  also thanks for breaking my computer.  Now I can get a Mac—haha. 

The Igbinobas...what a great family!
Well, this week was CRAZY!!  Transfer calls were on Saturday and I AM GOING TO HEIDELBERG.  That one was a shocker.  We were at the church with our district when we received our transfer information.  When we heard that Sister Weber was staying in Nürnberg again, we all just died laughing.  Poor Sister Weber.  This is transfer number 6 here...which means at least 8 months here.  That is half of her mission pretty much.  We did not see that one coming.  My new companion's name is Sister Pederson.  Transfers are on Thursday and so I will be going up to Frankfurt and then being schickt to Heidelberg.  I am so excited that it is ridiculous.  I am sad to leave Nürnberg and the missionaries und die Gemeinde hier, but Heidelberg is going to be amazing.  I called Sister Pederson to tell me about the ward there, and she said that there is a women there from Spain that gives a ton of referrals.  Tons of their investigators only speak Spanish, and so they cannot communicate with any of them.  They also have a Spanish Sunday School class and are trying to start a Spanish branch there...which would be the first Spanish branch in our mission.  I am so excited, and I really think this is one of the reasons that I was sent to Germany.  
Heavenly Father uses our talents to help build up his kingdom and I get to go do that.  I just need to learn gospel words in Spanish now...  but watch out Heidelberg...I’M COMING TO BAPTIZE YOU.  Man, I am so excited for this next transfer.  Sister Pederson sounds super nice.  Also, Heidelberg is bistimmt the prettiest place in the entire mission.  It is the one place I really wanted to go to.  I am living the dream right now.
As for this week, it has been a great last week in Nürnberg, and I really will miss this place.  The ward, my district, and the investigators here are just so amazing.  They will always have a special place in my heart. 

Germany after New Year's Eve
...a ghost town
So…this week, was just verrückt.  On New Year’s Eve, all of the missionaries had to be home by 6 pm…for good reason, too.  People were getting CRAZY already.  That night was something I will NEVER forget.  New Year’s Eve is the coolest thing ever here in Germany.  The entire place gets drunk, and then everyone lights off fireworks at midnight.  I mean EVERYONE.  There are no restrictions on who can light off fireworks, so people just go and buy hundreds of fireworks and light them off.  At midnight, it was so loud that we were woken up.  We ran to the window and saw the most spectacular view of my life.  We live on the sixth floor and can see the entire city...  well at about 11:55, the town just exploded with fireworks.  For about an hour straight, thousands of fireworks were shot into the air.  Thousands went off, for miles and miles.  Pictures could never do it justice.  I have never seen so many fireworks in my life...Fourth of July will never compare anymore.
Our Young Women...Kathrin is to the right
of me.  She is one of our investigators.
As for New Year’s day, it looked like an apocalypse happened.  It was a complete ghost town.  No one was outside, and there were fireworks trash littered everywhere.  We were able to go to the Frankens that day and that was great.  They are as crazy as ever, but they really do have a good spirit.
On Thursday, I was on a split with Sister Fuller.  She is my favorite.  She has so much energy, and she is such a good missionary.  That morning, we taught our ten-year-old investigator, Aniyah, about prophets.  It is so weird teaching little kids, but they just soak up everything you say, and it also forces you to teach simply.  That night, we had a miracle.  I had been praying for a miracle, and we really wanted to find more people to teach.  We had talked with EVERYONE but nobody was interested.  We were going to a less active for an appointment and it ended up falling through.  We were disappointed, but said a prayer to see what we should do.  We ended up taking out our Navi (GPS) and felt like we should go by a potential in the area.  We spent forever looking for the address, but it didn’t exist.  We started walking back to the UBahn.  On the way there, we saw a giant 61, which was the number we had been looking for.  It ended up being the address and we klingled.  She let us in, and ended up being so interested!  We went back on Saturday, and she said that she just found out that her aunt passed away, and was really sad.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation, and she just found it amazing.  She is so prepared, and I wish I could be here to see her grow, but I know that Sister Weber will do an amazing job.  

Sister Hertel
On Friday, we had the coolest lesson ever with our member, Sister Hertel.  We found a really cool analogy in the scriptures that morning.  It was in the story of Ammon and King Lamoni.  Everyone always focuses on Ammon and how great of a missionary he was, but they always overlook Abish.  In the story, while everyone was fallen to the ground, she remained, because she had a firm testimony.  She saw an opportunity to share that testimony with others and ran from house to house, asking everyone to "come and see" what had happened.  They all came, and because of her invitation to all of those people to come, so many people were converted and baptized.  We told Sister Hertel that this was like us with the members.  The members are the ones that invite people to come and see, and we as the missionaries, are the ones that teach once the people are there.  We can have so much more success, and so many people can learn and hear the gospel when people invite their friends and neighbors to find out.  It was such a cool lesson, and the spirit was really strong.  I have great hopes for member missionary work here in Nürnberg.

New Year's Resolutions of Nuremberg
Saturday, we did a huge chalk activity with all of the missionaries here in Nürnberg.  We went to the Altstadt and wrote down "2014!  Was haben Sie für Vorsätze?" which means pretty much what is your New Year’s resolution?  People stopped and wrote down their goals for the new year with the chalk, and we talked to them and related it back to the gospel.  By the end of the two hours, we got a bunch of potentials, and the street had so many New Year’s resolutions written on it.  It was so cool! 
I love the Fosters...they are a strength to me.
Sunday was bittersweet.  It was Fast and Testimony meeting, and that was amazing.  Brother Foster, our recently reactivated member, got up and bore his testimony and it was so strong.  The spirit was so fest there.  Sister Hertel got up and bore her testimony on member missionary work.  Meine gute, it was so cool to hear.  This ward is really amazing, and I am going to miss them all so much, but I am excited to go to Heidelberg and meet even more amazing people.  I hope you all get the chance to meet these people (maybe even this year...haha), because they really are wonderful.  Today, we really didn’t have a P-Day because we were saying by to everyone.  We did service at the Haids again with all of the missionaries, but tomorrow we are taking time to play games, and so that will be great.
I truly love this work.  January 4th marked my four-month mark here in Germany.  I cannot believe it has already been four months.  I have learned so much, yet at the same time, I have so much more to learn!  These months have flown by.  Meine gute.
I love you all, and I hope that your first week back to school / work / alles ist wunderbar.  Viel spaß mit alles, und frohe neues jahre!  Ich liebe euch so viel, und ich bin so sehr dankbar für alles daß euch für mich getan habt.  Danke euch! 
Love you all!! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

December 30, 2013

Christmas Presents!
Hello Familie!  
 First off, thank you for letting me know about Grandma.  I am so glad that she was able to pass away painlessly in her sleep.  That really is a blessing.  While it is hard and sad for me to hear, it makes me that much more grateful for the knowledge that we have about the plan of salvation.  Dad, I wish I could give you a big hug right now, but as I am hundreds of miles away, just know that I am thinking about you right now.  I love you, and your parents love you so much.  They are together again, and happy.  Grandpa was probably waiting right there and ran to Grandma went she got there.  They probably are still so excited that they are together again, that they are still hugging each other.  And now, they are both pain free and happy.  Don’t forget, they are still here with you and they are watching over you.  They are waiting for the time that they can be sealed together for all time and eternity, and only we have the ability to do that through this wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are so blessed in so many ways. 

The Biggest Reese's Ever!

On another note, it was so great to talk to you all on Christmas!  Man, it doesn’t seem like much has changed back home.  Taryn and Troy making weird faces, Troy wearing a bathrobe, Mom thinking she is always right (hahaha....Mom I don’t care what it is in English, "Ohne Furcht und Adel" sounds a lot more legit), and Dad telling a story about the air plane attendant that he found so funny.  That’s my family for you!  Watching Sister Weber Skype her family made me laugh so hard because they are all so proper and quiet compared to you all.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I am glad our family is weird. 

Well, I already told you a little about my week, but let me tell you more.  Christmas in Germany on a mission is quite strange, because absolutely no one is outside and it is a three-day celebration and nobody wants to talk to you because they just want to be with their families.  So I am extremely grateful for the Gemeinde this Christmas (That’s ward in English, right?)  They really stepped in for us and took all of the missionaries in.  It was so great.  
My Christmas Eve Pajamas...
We helped the Loritz family move, closer to the church!  Which is so good.  We had to take the U-bahn for an ewigkeit and then a bus and then walk, and now we just have to take the u-bahn for 4 stops and we are there.  Yay!  I was able to talk to Giovanna and practice my Spanish for a while, which was fun.  Mom, transfer calls are this coming Saturday, so I still have no clue what the APs were saying when they asked me how good my Spanish was and then thanked me for preparing myself to teach the Spanish people of Germany.  I guess we will find out on Saturday. 

On Tuesday, we had a white elephant gift exchange after district meeting.  It was hilarious.  We combined districts with the Feucht district, and everyone brought the most ridiculous stuff.  Someone ended up with the legendary nasty showerhead from the Feucht apartment.  I gave out a huge jar of pickles that were in our apartment for a ewigkeit, but I got the BEST gift.  I got a SNUGGIE!!  Yahoo!  Can’t believe Elder Bishop gave it away.  I have used it every day during study time—haha. 
Mary Agnes and Rebekah...they are so
cute but little devils with tons of energy!
That day, we went and visited Bruder Keller at the nursing home with the four elders, and we sang to him.  It was so cool.  He can’t remember anything, but somehow while we were singing, he remembered EVERY word and sang with us.  It was a miracle.
We also had the Weihnacht Andacht that day, on Heilige Abend (Christmas Eve) which is something we should do in the States.  The Gemeinde came, three people gave short talks, and we sang Christmas hymns.  It helped remind us of the meaning of Christmas.  The coolest miracle happened there.  A less active family, the Meyers, who wanted absolutely nothing to do with the church, came.  They came!  After four years of being absolutely gegen the kirche, they came back.  The ward was amazed, but it was amazing because everyone accepted them back with open arms.  After, we went to the Kirzingers, which is where the whole bread apple / baked apple thing happened.  Whoops.  Oh German.  Also, Sister Kirzinger thought it was hilarious that we eat peanut butter and celery together in America, so she somehow managed to find peanut butter and gave us that for Christmas.
Little Rebekah...her family is the
bunny family that lives in the country.
Reading to Mary Agnes
Christmas Day: We opened presents while on the phone with the elders.  It was a party!  Thanks again for everything.  It was so nice.  Then we went to Caroline’s place, and played Bananagrams and ate food.  We then went to the Fosters.  They are 70 something years old, and have completely changed their lives.  They stopped smoking, drinking coffee, everything, and have been to church three times now.  They had the elders and us over for dinner, and made us a ton of food.  The elders had just finished another eating appointment, where they ate a whole goose, so we had to eat so much!  We then went to the Schwarms, where we Skyped and she tried to give us more.  I couldn’t do it though.  On Sunday, Sister Foster told me she wanted the elders to be baptized for her son that passed away when he was 6.  They are working on geneology and getting the records together to make that happen.  What a cool experience. 
Thursday was probably the best day ever though.  We had breakfast with all of the young single adults and missionaries, and then afterwards went to the Haids with Elders Allen and Williamson.  Brother Meyer drove us.  Apparently, he had been really rude to Bruder Haid last year, and he wanted to make amends, which really shows how humbled he has been.  Bruder Haid accepted him in to his home with welcome arms and we ended up staying there the entire day.  I ate rabbit for my first time!    It was actually really good.  Then we just played with their little girls, and talked forever.  It was a great third day of Christmas. 
Mary Agnes was the little girl that kicked
the turkey and then laughed in my prior letter.

Friday, we taught Schwester Canana’s grandkids, which was super fun.  We are going over again this week to teach about prophets.  We also went to the Meyers that night, and got to know them a little better.  Apparently, he baptized her and then two weeks later they went inactive (he laughed and said that wasn’t his greatest moment...I'll say haha).  They left because they got offended.  We ended up showing a Mormon message and then talking about forgiveness.  You can tell how much they have been humbled over the past few years.  They are truly ready to come back.  The spirit does amazing things. 

Saturday I have my interview with President.  He got so excited when I told him about the letters.  He said I had to find out where they came from in Nürnberg, and then go find the people.  SO I NEED THE NÜRNBERG LETTERS AUNT SHELLY.  Could you possibly scan them for me?  I have a feeling he won’t transfer me till I've done something with them—haha. 
Overall, this week was just crazy.  So crazy.  And I loved every minute of it.  We also called Lisa yesterday after she was confirmed.  She was so happy, and you could just tell she was beaming!  I am so happy for her.  Now we just need to find more investigators.  We have a high goal this week and we are hoping to meet it.  We are trying to use New Year’s resolutions to our advantage.  "Do you want to lose weight?  Let me tell you about the word of wisdom!"  "Do you want to have a better relationship with your family?  We can help!"  We are going to ask people what their goals are and then relate it all back to the wonderful gospel.  I have a feeling miracles will happen this last week of the transfer.  Last week, the miracle was with the less actives.  This week, it will be with investigators!  Wish us luck! 

Elder Williamson has lost it...and Elder
Allen is playing with the doll house.
We have to be in by six on New Year’s Eve.  As Präsident says "The crazies come out, and you must go in.”  Another one of his favorites is "The book is blue and the Gospel is true.”  He just thinks he is hilarious…which, with his little gap in his front teeth and his accent, he really is.  Haha!  His accent, when he speaks in English cracks me up!   He pronounces faith, "face.”  Oh, I forgot, during my interview, he asked me "Sister Tep-lez (people prounounce my name funny here), do yoo has die gift of Tounges?  Du are zo much besser now.  Vow!”   It is actually easier for me to understand his German than his English now—haha. 
Well, much love to you all.  Just so you know, I ate so much this week and was gifted so much food, that I refuse to try on any skirts with zippers until I do some serious morgen sport—haha.  I hope you all have a great week, and that Grandma’s funeral goes well.  Give my love to the extended family as well, since I cannot be there.  And Taryn and Troy, enjoy you break off!  Oh and yes Troy, they have break here till the 7th of January (the 6th is apparently a huge holiday here).

Love, Savannah