Sunday, January 5, 2014

December 16, 2013

Hello Family!

It was sad to not get any letters from Taryn or Troy this week, but I am guessing that means that they are stressed out with finals and don't have time for their younger sister.  So just know I am wishing you luck this week and hoping that all goes well. 

I am hoping that my Christmas package will magically appear at our Zone Conference tomorrow...I just hope that it made it through customs okay.  I know you spent a lot of time and money getting it ready and I would feel bad if it got lost somehow.  So I am praying to get it tomorrow.  We will see.  I think also if you write missionary supplies on it, it will go through quicker.  Go check out our mission blog for the future.  It is  They have some cool stuff on the blog, and a section just for parents of missionaries.  They also have a ton of pictures. 

It was sad to hear about Grandma Teeples.  Let her know how much I love her, and if Dad is still there, to give her a hug for me.  I hope she is doing okay and isn't in too much pain.  It's times and difficulties like this that make me really grateful for the knowledge I know that families can be together forever.  This life isn't the end.  Heavenly Father created a plan where his children could be happy.  If there wasn't something more out there, than how could we ever find that peace and happiness we need to keep going?  I know without a doubt that this life isn't over at death.  It may not make it easy, but it makes it more bearable. 

I still don't know the details for next week.  We are allowed to Skype, but I don't know when, or what time.  We still need to find a member in the ward that is willing to let us come and do that.  As for Christmas day, I still have no clue what we are doing.  Christmas Eve is a bigger holiday than actual Christmas.  So on Christmas Eve, we have a little devotional at the church, and sing hymns and stuff (something that I think is really cool and wish we did in the States) and then afterwards, the Igbinobas invited all of the missionaries over to their house.  That is going to be really fun.  The day after Christmas (they celebrate three days of Christmas here) the senior missionary couple is doing a breakfast for all the missionaries in the zone.  On Christmas day...I still have no clue.  I am sure it will be great though. 

As for this week, it was a lot better than last week, and I am very grateful for that.  We had Zone training on Tuesday, and it was really good.  We talked about personal revelation, working with members, and finding.  That is the biggest struggle right now…finding.  It is so cold that people don't want to stop and talk on the streets, and everyone is busy during the holidays.  Moreover, the old town is swarming with tourists.  It’s insane!  So Sister Weber and I held a finding rat (counsel) during weekly planning of ways to find people.  If you have any good ideas, feel free to share. 

We also had a good lesson this week with Debbie.  She is progressing very slowly, but she showed a desire to give up smoking.  So we called the Kirtzingers and they are coming with us on Wednesday to help set up a plan to quit smoking.  She is excited for that.  If she actually stops, it will show a lot.  If not, we will have to drop her.  It is sad, yet at true. 

We also had a great lesson with Lisa.  I don't know if I told you her story, but she is getting baptized next Sunday!  Sad part is, I won't get to be there.  Her best friend lives in Heidelberg, and was baptized in February.  Lisa went to the baptism and felt a good feeling, and so she started meeting with the missionaries here.  Her friends and family was baptized except for the mom.  This family is basically Lisa's family now, and she goes up there every time she has a vacation from school.  Well, Lisa and her best friend’s mom will be getting baptized together next Sunday!  It is somewhat sad that we were the ones to teach her and prepare her, and then that we won’t even get to see her be baptized, but that is not the important part.  The important thing is that she is making the decision to follow Christ.  She is so excited, so I am happy for her.  She is meeting with our district leader on Friday before she goes to Heidelberg for break to have the baptismal interview, so that is very exciting!  We went over the questions with her on Saturday.  It was so cool to listen to her responses.  She is so ready.  She says that she knows there is a reason that her parents have basically rejected her.  It was so that she could become a part of Laura's family and find this gospel.  That was amazing to hear. 

We also had two really cool less active lessons, one with the Fosters (I just love them) and also with Schwester Keller.  We took Sister Hertel, our recently reactivated member, with us for that lesson, and it was amazing.  The two hit it off so well, and they have so much in common.  We talked about the Plan of Salvation and Sister Hertel bore such strong testimony of everything.  You would never guess that she spent years not going to church.  My tongue was finally loosed during that lesson.  I don't even know what I was saying, but I was speaking so well, and with really good grammar, that at the end, Sister Kessler just asked "What happened to you?" (I love how direct Germans are.)  She said that two weeks ago, I said barely anything, and now my German was good.  It was a really cool experience, and the spirit was really strong there.  Sister Kessler told Sister Hertel she could come every time.  So cool!

We also were able to go down to Würtzberg this week for their street display...that was quite an experience.  We were running from our appointment earlier that day to the train station to be able to catch the train, because the elder's called us and told us that they needed a lot of help and asked us if we could come earlier.  So we get there, and of course the train was running late.  So we waited ten minutes, and then it was delayed another twenty minutes.  We started talking to this girl.  We talked to her for twenty minutes and then found out that it was delayed another thirty.  So we talked to her some more.  By then, it was an hour late and we were getting ready to call it quits, but the girl told us she didn't want us to leave.  The train ended up being TWO HOURS late and then it was another hour ride, and so we talked with her for three hours.  We basically taught the first lesson, and she asked a ton of questions.  Sad part is, she doesn’t live in our area, but she goes to school here in Nürnberg.  We couldn't get her number, but she has ours, plus and a nice “Christmas Joy to the World” DVD.  It was just such a cool, weird experience.  Even though we ended up getting to Würtzberg after the street display officially started, it was so cool to talk with her for so long.  I think it was no coincidence that they asked us to come early and the train was so late.  I just hope she calls us so that we can get her number. 

Oh, I almost forgot.  This week, we went over to Laura’s home.  She had a practicum for her beauty school the next day and so she needed someone to practice facials on.  So naturally, we did the Christ like thing and offered up our services.  It was great...except I think she had a little too much fun poking my zits with that needle thing, and plucking my eyebrows.  The rest was amazing.  She added me on Facebook, and I think she put up some pictures, so Mom, I give you permission to go creep—haha.  I know you will like that. 

I am excited for this week.  We have zone conference tomorrow, we are going caroling with my ward mission leader's family, I have a split with Sister Miller, a baptismal interview with Lisa, we are going caroling with the elders and a woman on Friday, and we have that smoking lesson with Debbie.  Oh, and Sister Hertel invited us to her apartment Christmas celebration.  It is going to be super busy, and so great.  Next week is Christmas and I get to talk to you!  But just because I will talk to you on Wednesday doesn’t mean you shouldn’t email me on Monday...(hint, hint, nudge, nudge my wonderful siblings).

I hope you all have a great week!  Good luck with finals and everything, and enjoy the start of your Christmas break.  Give everyone a big hug when they all get in to Colorado!  I can't wait to talk to you all next week. 

Much love, 

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