Sunday, April 6, 2014

March 24, 2014


Hallo Geliebter Familie!  

Once again, I can't believe that I am emailing you again.  I feel like this week was a joke because it just flew past me.  And now transfer calls are on Saturday, and I am freaking out.  Sister Petersen has been here five transfers, and so I have the feeling she will be going, and I will be taking over.  That would be quite the experience.  But whatever happens, happens.  I just can’t believe how quickly time goes.  Somehow, I have been out eight months, and I still feel like I just finished training.  HOW does this happen? 

Anyways, where to start?  I guess Tuesday.

We met with Sister Heckmann, a member from Spain (who also speaks perfect German), who is on fire with member missionary work.  We went over to her house, because she said that she had this massive stack of names and numbers of Spanish people she had met over the past year or so...  she wasn’t kidding.  We were going through them with her, trying to make a game plan of what to do with all of them.  We decided that this Thursday, we will be going over there again for a brunch.  She is going to call up all of the people she has met and invite them over on Thursday as well.  We are super excited.  We are praying that a lot of people will come and that we can talk with them all, and hopefully find some new investigators.  Wir freuen uns darüber!!! 

That night, we met with Dietmar, Justin, and his wife, Maria, again.  It was great.  They are so prepared that it was unbelievable.  We really had no reason to worry about the wife being sketched out.  She was just as prepared as Dietmar was.  While we were talking, I was just thinking to myself, "Have these people already learned the plan of Salvation?!"  Seriously, everything they were sharing and saying fit exactly in with what we had to share.  They were so great.  Often, I feel like God has really blessed us.  Their questions go hand in hand with what we have to say.  The member that we brought with us had the PERFECT experiences to share.  If there is one thing I have learned, it is how powerful personal experiences are.  Seriously though.  If someone were to come up to me and tell me a story about a boy praying and seeing God, and then giving me a book, I would probably be first off, confused, second, skeptical, and third, asking myself, "So what?".  But when it is taught with the spirit, and when we share personal experiences, these people understand WHY it is so important, and also how it can help them.  That is the key in teaching.  If it is not relevant to their interests, or to helping them, they are gone.  But if they understand HOW it can help them, and not just saying that it will, then they will listen. 

On Wednesday, I was on a split down in Darmstadt and was just jealous of Sister Petersen the entire time.  Like always, we had a full day planned, and so Sister Hull got to meet with the sweet people we are working with.  They went to see the Onigkeits, a part member family in our ward (That we will now be meeting with every other week), and Daniele, and then Jessika, a less active.  They also did a street display.  My split in Darmstadt…well it made me realize once again how grateful I am that I serve in Heidelberg, which really is the little golden bubble.  There was a strike in Darmstadt, so none of the trams or buses were running, so we walked everywhere.  We had to cancel some appointments because we couldn’t get out there.  The day was a lot of walking—haha.  But we had a good lesson with a less active.  It was great because I got to spend the day with Sister Lyons, though. 

Thursday was Zone Conference, and that was like Christmas.  I got to see five of the six girls that I came in with, along with Elder Guyman from my first two transfers in Nürnberg, and some other friends.  It was so great to see Sister McMurray.  We were talking about how great it would be if she came down to Heidelberg and we were comps again...oh the drama of the mission, Transfer Calls!   But that was also where I saw Lexie.  It was the weirdest thing.  I was talking with all of my friends, and then I look up and saw Lexie there.  I didn't believe it at first...apparently she is preparing to go on a mission, so she has done a lot of splits with the sisters in her area, so she came to Zone Conference with them.  It was good to see her. 

Zone Conference was great.  I love hearing from Präsident.  Whenever he speaks to me, I just feel like heaven is opening up and smiling on me.  He is the description of love and revelation, and I just learn so much from him.  If I could just sit and listen to him talk all day, I would.  The stake president of Heidelberg also spoke, and taught us how to best work with the members.  It was actually really helpful learning how from a German.  And then Elder Dyches from the Seventy was there, and we got to hear him speak.  After Zone Conference, Sister Petersen and I came back to Heidelberg, both super happy to be back.

 We also finally met with Erika again.  Katja, her daughter and recent convert, was sick and asked for a blessing.  We brought the Roses with us, and Bruder Rose explained how it worked and gave her a blessing.  The spirit was definitely strong, and the parents were both touched.  We called the next day, and Erika was extremely grateful and said that Katja was doing a lot better.  That was a neat experience. 

Besides that, we have just be hitting up the work will all the others that we work with.  Sadly, our solid investigators are all on vacation, but it has given us the chance to find new people.  Sister Petersen and I think this is our last week together, so we are working hard.  Last night, we spent the last hour of the night prepping Books of Mormon to give out.  We want to pull a "Best Two Years" and give out a case this week, so we have 20 Books of Mormon sitting in a box at home and by the end of the week, they will all be gone, and we will have some new people to teach.  We are pumped. 

I am so grateful to be here doing this work.  I have such a strong testimony that this Gospel is true.  I’m so blessed to have it in my life.  I know that Christ lives and I know that he loves me and knows me perfectly.  He knows each one of us perfectly.

I love the quote by Elder Neal A.  Maxwell: “I testify to you that God has known you individually … for a long, long time.  He has loved you for a long, long time.  He not only knows the names of all the stars.  He knows you."

Also Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shared, “No one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another.  He loves each of us -insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all.  He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other.” 

And finally, President Thomas S.  Monson said, "Heavenly Father loves you—each of you.  That love never changes.  It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account.  It is not changed by your talents and abilities.  It is simply there.  It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful.  God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love.  It is simply always there."

 I know that God is there.  I have felt His love.  He loves me and I know that He loves you too.  It is a love that never ends.  It extends past all imagination.  He loves you when you make mistakes.  He loves you when you are doing what's right.  He loves you through everything.  He loves you even when you don't love yourself.  In fact, I would think that He loves you especially hard then.

I know that the Atonement is real.  It has the power to help us and strengthen us and give us power.  It allows us to feel Christ's love. 

I pray that you can all feel His love, and also mine.  I love you all more that you can imagine.  I pray for you everyday, and I hope that you all have a great week.

Love, Savannah

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