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

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