Sunday, January 5, 2014

December 23, 2013

German Market...amazing!
A beautiful little dorf that we went tracting
in....the picture doesn't do it justice.

It's been a little cold in Germany!
Family!!!!!!! I GET TO TALK TO YOU ON WEDNESDAY.  Okay, I'm sure you are wanting details, so let me tell you what is up.  So, Sister Schwarm is letting us Skype at her house, which means that you get to see my beautiful face!  Our bus gets in at 7:00 pm which means I will probably be on Skype around 7:10, so be there!  I think there is an 8-hour difference, which means 11a.m. your time, but I am not for sure, so double check!  I do not want a repeat of what happened when Troy was on his mission...haha.  I am allowed 40 minutes to Skype, and I am trying to see if I can use the Lindgrend's iPad for 10 minutes or so sometime this week and Skype Troy since he won’t be there. 

I opened the box.  Don’t worry.  All of the presents are still wrapped, but the sugar cookies are all gone.  We made them and ended up giving them all out to less actives / members / to random people for our finding activity.  Yesterday was mission finding day so we bagged up cookies and gathered “Joy to the World” DVDs and gave them out to tons of people.  It was cool.  That box was a nightmare getting home—haha, but I am super excited to see what is all there.  Thank you so much!

Tuesday was Zone Conference, and it was awesome.  I saw all my friends from this song, and also Ehrfurt, which means that I got to see a bunch of Elders from the MTC, and also Elder Hathaway, since he is Zone Leader up there.  It was great to see all of them.  After Zone Xonference, the 80 missionaries all went to the Altstadt and attempted to do a Christmas
A beautiful Christmas memory...Germans
gathered together in a square singing
Christmas carols.

singing flash mob.  Unfortunately, with 80 missionaries, things don’t always work out as planned.  We ended up all standing on the bridge and just sang Christmas songs.  It was so cool.  So many people stopped to listen to us and sang with us.  Hundreds of people were there just singing Christmas songs…it was definitely something I will never forget.  That night, my companion and I, with the Zone Leaders went to the Dominguezs.  We also went caroling together to their neighbors. 

On Wednesday, we went to Bruder Strenz's for lunch.  He is super old so he invited another woman from our ward to join us.  We had lunch, and then taught them a lesson.  Sister Canana ended up asking us if we would teach her granddaughters the missionary discussions, because they wanted to hear them.  So now, we have a 10-year-old investigator!  How cool is that?  Hopefully their mom will want to hear them too.  We are super excited.  We are going there on Friday. 

We also had a lesson with Debbie that night.  Sister Kirzinger came with us to help set up a plan to quit smoking.  Sister Kirzinger is so awesome.  It is amazing the difference having a member makes.  Honestly, their testimony is better than anything we could ever say; especially when they are converts themselves that used to have the same problems. 

That night, we went on a split.  I was with Sister Miller that night.  We went out for the last hour and just talked to people.  We ended up talking to these two girls for a really long time.  They had no interest at the beginning, but we continued talking, bore testimony, and shared tons of stories, that by the end, they were really listening.  We ended up giving them both Books of Mormon.  Unfortunately, they didn’t want to give us their numbers, but they have ours, so I really hope that they read, feel something, and then want to meet again. 
The next day, our daytime appointments fell, so we ended up heart attacking some less actives.  We left them cookies, rang the doorbell, and then ran.  What a thrill—haha!  I ended up seeing Blanca, the elder’s investigator, on the straßen bahn home, and talked to her in Spanish for about 30 minutes, that was awesome.  That night was so cool.  We went to Sister Hertel’s home because she wanted to show us something.  We got there and stood on her balcony, and watched as hundreds of people crowded in to the square below her apartment.  Then a choir started singing…a German choir in candlelight.  It was SO COOL.  I took videos.  I will try to send one, but I don’t know if it will work. 

On Friday, Lisa had her baptismal interview; and then was baptized yesterday!  She was so excited as we walked with her to Hauptbahnhof after her interview and said bye to her.  Since we couldn’t be at her baptism, Sister Weber and I both wrote her a letter to open after she was baptized....  I wrote two pages in German, and afterwards my head hurt so badly—haha.  Still impressed though.
That night was so much fun.  We went with the elders to Sister Schürer’s home and went caroling to her neighbors again.  She was awesome.  She just moved in so she was getting to know them, and as we introduced ourselves.  She had no fear about what to say.  She straight up told them that she was Mormon and then explained what that meant, and bore her testimony.  It was so cool.  Two of the women were really interested, and one wanted to go and find more about the Mormons online, so we told her to go check out  Sister Schürer was awesome. 

Sunday was such a cool day.  First off, as I have already mentioned, Lisa was baptized, and we officially have a 10-year old investigator.  For me, the coolest thing happened at church.  I was by the front door saying hi to everyone, when I looked over and saw the Fosters walking in!  THE FOSTERS CAME TO CHURCH.  Oh my gosh, I was so excited.  I don’t even know who I was talking to, but I stopped mid-sentence and ran over to see them.  That was so cool.  They said that they were reading in the Book of Mormon and decided to come back to church.  They said they were changing their life, and would be there every week.  I am still so happy - one of the coolest moments so far.  They invited us over on Christmas, so that will be so fun. 
Speaking of which, I am going to be so fat by the time this week is over.  In Germany, there are THREE days of Christmas.  THREE!  So far, we have eight eating appointments this week, all within four days.  We have two on Christmas Eve, and then the celebration at the church, three on Christmas, two the day after Christmas, and then Blanca invited us over for her daughter’s birthday on the 27th.  Man, I won’t have to worry about going hungry this week…or lonely.  I am pretty excited. 
Overall, it was a cool week.  We also found out that Martha had her baby finally.  Kathrin showed us a picture of her on Sunday and she is so cute.  I hope we can meet with the family soon, because I really want to see her. 

have been reading the Christmas books that you sent me in that package, and they are really cool.  I like the one that talks about each of the figures in the nativity scene.  I have been studying that and the story in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and it has made me appreciate the meaning of Christmas so much more.  I truly love this season.  It is a time when we can celebrate Christ, his birth, and his life.  I am so grateful for my Savior, and the opportunity to share about his life, death, and resurrection.  It has changed my life, and I love seeing it change others as well.  What a cool opportunity I have here in Germany. 

Speaking of the nativity scene, I fell in love with one at the Christmas market last week, and I have been thinking about it sense then.  So today, I splurged and went and bought it.  I love it.  I am only in Germany once, so I had to get it.  I can’t wait for you to see it. 

Well, I will get to talk to you more on WEDNESDAY, but for now, I am going to send you some pictures.  I hope Alyssa is doing better, that is really scary but I am glad that she seems fine now.  I can’t wait to see you all, and am so glad that I found a way to Skype!  Don’t be late, because I only have a limited time! 

Bis dann! 


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