Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 15, 2014

I found a sign today with Colorado on it!
I looked over and it was the sketchiest thing
ever. So naturally, I had to make picture with it.
Hallo meine Familie! 

Well, thanks for the wonderful emails.  I just got done grocery shopping, and the Ritterssport Chocolate was on sale for 59 cents so I bought about 20 of them for all of you.  About three each...we'll see how generous I'm feeling in a few weeks to see if I buy you anymore—ha-ha. 

Also, we found somewhere to Skype.  One of the senior couples is letting us Skype at their place.  So I am thinking we will Skype at about 7 pm here, which would be 11am your time.  Is that okay for you all?  I sure hope so.

I also got a lot of that letter translated!  I still have a few words here or there that are hard to read, so I am going to ask a few old people if they know what they say, but I am able to read her handwriting a lot easier now.  I've been looking at all of the letters and writing all of the names out and trying to figure out the family relationships.  I came to the conclusion that Erna's son, Clause, is probably alive still and about 70 to 75 years old by now.  So I have made it my new mission to find him, and then fly back to Germany once I do and interview him to find out more about our family.  That would be awesome, wouldn’t it?  The letter that you sent me is right around Christmas time, and so it’s cool because she is describing Christmas in Germany, and I am just like, "Hey, I am here and see all of this stuff!"  Pretty cool stuff. 

I realized the other day how
awful everything looks when I
have on my huge coat. But
 it's warm, so I don't care..ha-ha!
This week was pretty good.  I am actually impressed at how busy we have  stayed, considering as how it is Christmas time, and the whole world drops off of the face of the earth because they are all cold or on vacation.  But yeah, we have been able to stay pretty busy, so I consider that a victory on its own.

We had Family Home Evening with the Adrianos this week, and it was so great.  She is the Relief Society president and is from Spain, and he is from Portugal, and they have three kids.  They just remind me so much of our family...just making fun of each other and laughing at the most ridiculous things.  I loved it.  They are such a great family.  Sadly they are leaving for Portugal for the next few weeks...along with everyone else in our ward.  Church should be interesting next week!  Ha-ha. 

The next day, we had a nice, white day, so we went finding with the elders.  We pulled out another roll of wrapping paper, and did the topic on Christmas, and just walked around the innenstadt asking people about it.  What did I learn?  There are quite a lot of interesting people here in the world.  One guy walked up to us, looked at our sign, then the thing, and just stood there, shaking his head, and then he held up his fist and just shook his head and finally walked away.  Another lady, walked up to Sister Sorensen, and started whispering in her ear, because it was "too inappropriate for the elders to hear".  Good thing Sister Sorensen doesn’t understand German, ha-ha.  Also, one guy had little rats in his hand, and another guy gave us all candy.  And another guy stayed around and warned people that we were handing out Mormon guy.  Quite the success, I'd say, ha-ha.  We did give out about 30 “Joy to the World” though, and a Book of Mormon, which I didn’t actually know was a Book of Mormon because the elders wrapped it up.  Well, that woman got a nice surprise! 

My split
I was also on a split this week, so I got to go work in the German area.  We had lunch with this hilarious old lady, and then went and did service, and when we split back, we went over to this partly active family who are from Columbia, and speak extremely quick Spanish.  Bah, that hurt my head.  But what I thought was funny was that when we walked out, Sister Sorensen said that she could understand Spanish more than German...whoops—ha-ha. 

Which I guess it is fortunate, because most of the people we are seeing success with are Spanish-speaking.  We went contacting, and met this woman from Peru that had met with the sisters for years before she moved here.  She showed us where she worked, and said to just stop by any time and we could talk with her about our religion.  It was funny because as we approached her and gave her a “Joy to the World” DVD, she just passed it off to her friend, but when she found out what church we were from, she took it back and told her friend it was for her.  Ha-ha. 

I got my Christmas package!
We wrapped them up and
put them under my tree
to get us excited. We
set up my nativity scene,
too. Yay! thank you
We also visited with the Carricondos, and taught the Restoration, and learned that she has no testimony about Joseph Smith anymore.  We have a lot more work to do than I thought to get them to come back to church.  But everything is possible.  We are going over again tonight. 

I think the best part is that we finally got in touch with Victor again.  Thank goodness.  We were able to clear up why the appointments were falling out and straight up ask him if he is interested and wants to learn more.  He is, however, his wife at the moment is flaky.  So we are still going to work with him.  I am hopeful.

I think the highlight of the week was our lesson with the Palmers.  They are a new family from Scotland, and are just HILARIOUS.  I have never laughed so hard in my life.  They just have so much personality.  But they invited us over for the third day of Christmas, and they asked us to bring 27 “Joy to the World” DVDs and Books of Mormon, and we are going to go caroling to all of their neighbors, and give out the goods.  It’s going to be great. 

I also helped a family move with more stuff than I have ever seen in my life...that was a cold day.

Oh yeah, it snowed here!  Sweet! 

As for a spiritual note, well we had a really cool lesson on sacrifice yesterday, and afterwards Sister Sorensen had a cool thought.  She said that she had this image of two things on a table, and God would speak with us and say, "You pick one, and I will take the other."  The two things are yourself, and the kingdom of God.  When you choose to focus on yourself, and only yourself, you block yourself off from all of the amazing blessing and relationships you can make otherwise, but when you choose to put the kingdom of God first, God promises to take care of you, and can make of you so much more than you can make of yourself.  I thought that was a cool thought, and just wanted to share it with you.  When you put others first, especially God, then everything will just work out.  He won’t leave you stranded or alone.  He just won’t. 

Well, I love you all.  I am excited to see all of your faces on Skype just next week!  Weird stuff.

Have a great week.


December 8, 2014

Somebody drew this is in the middle of
one of the ubahn stations. Pretty cool, huh?
Hello Family!  Dad, that is so exciting that you have an interview on Wednesday!  I will for sure be praying that it goes well.  I definitely hope that you get a job soon.  Taryn, I got your Germany souvenir at the Christmas market last week!  I sure hope you like it.  The rest of the family, any requests?  Besides chocolate...already planning on lots of that one.  I need ideas though. 

It's been a good week here in Frankfurt.  Our few investigators have all lost interest or dropped off of the face of the earth, so we are starting from scratch again.  Yay!  I feel like this has happened way too many times on my mission. Even though its hard right now, and it would be easier to keep meeting with them rather than having all that extra time, if we show the Lord that we want to use His time as best as possible, than He will bless us with better things.  So we are testing our faith, and definitely have a lot of extra time this upcoming week…ahhhh. 

But we have already seen one blessing.  We found a new investigator this week, named Agnes.  She is really cool.  She is from Hungary, and can only speak a little English.  The plus side of this whole international ward is that we have a way cool lady, Rita, in our ward from Hungary.  She had us over for Family Home Evening on Monday, and then joint taught with Agnes and us on Wednesday.  It was great.  We went to a restaurant called Dick & Doofs (yes, its actually called that) and had lunch, and did a "how to begin teaching" type lesson.  Agnes is one of the most humble ladies I have met.  She has had a couple hard past few years, but she said that it wasn’t until then that she really realized that there was a God.  And now she knows it and has seen him in her life so much.  We bore testimony that He loves her and that this was the way to make her relationship stronger with Him.  She is excited to learn more about our beliefs, and Rita is super excited to have someone to teach in Hungarian.  She served her mission on Temple Square about 10 years ago, and just loves being in the missionary mode again.  It is exciting!  The best part of it all, is that right after we were done with the lesson, we got in the UBahn with Agnes and this man came up to us and said, "Can I tell you something?  Your church…it’s wrong.  It’s all false.  The Book of Mormon, that is just....  I am just skeptical about the whole thing.  I would suggest you think about this whole thing again."  He then got off.  We were freaking out that Agnes would get scared off, but she looked at us, and said, "He is such a German.  Let people believe what they want."  Oh man, it was great.
Besides that, we spent most of our time meeting with the members and less actives.  As missionaries in our ward, we are trying to meet with every single family before Christmas to introduce this "He is the Gift" campaign, and get them to invite friends.  It is amazing how many of these families are ready and willing to do missionary work.  The hard thing is that most of them either have German friends, or work for the Church, so they only know members.  But their hearts are in the right place, and if they try, I know the Lord will bless them.  We've met with a lot of amazing families this week, and the more that I meet, the more that it makes me want to go home and just do a ton of missionary work.  Watch out friends!  Ha-ha!  One of the members we met with this week was Tia Bradley, and she is just awesome.  I figured out that she is the sister of a family I knew in Nürnberg and also that her sister-in-law is Elaine Bradley, the drummer from the Neon Trees Band!  How cool is that?  She also is very good friends with the Taylor family from Heidelberg.  Crazy connections, everywhere! 

I have also decided that my next language that I want to learn is Italian.  I LOVE the Italians in our ward.  They are hilarious.  We met with two of the families this week, and they just have so much personality and energy.  It is great.  The Pelucchis are probably my favorite family ever.  They have two teenage girls, and the mom is just hilarious.  Every time we are there, I just can’t stop laughing, and then we always have the best lesson ever.  They made us an Italian dinner (after we had already eaten a full out dinner at another family’s home that night.)  They taught me how to pray in Italian.  It’s pretty similar to Spanish.  Fun stuff!  We introduced the "He is the Gift" video to them, and then yesterday, Sister Pelucchi came up to me and told me that she went through her Facebook page and sent every one of her non-member friends a personalized message, including the link to the video.  How cool is that?!

We turned in all of our empty
water bottles today.  We had 40!  
We also had a good lesson with the Carricondos again this week.  Calling them hadn’t been working, so we decided to just stop on by.  She let us in, and we had a really good conversation.  She expressed a lot of her concerns about coming back to church, and we were able to bare strong testimony, of how church is where the Lord wants her to be and that the Lord will bless her more than she could imagine if she just tried her faith and came.  She admitted that she knew she needed to be there.  It was a really powerful lesson.  I just love that family, and want them to get reactivated.  It WILL happen before I leave. 

The new goldens also got in this week.  That was weird.  We took them out and went caroling with them and handed out “Joy to the World”.  They looked freezing and dead tired and we all sounded awful.  It was hilarious.  Hurt my ears, but I sure had fun doing it.  Elder Rock is training his last one, so he came down to Frankfurt too, and I got to see him.  That was pretty sweet. 

Our ward Christmas party was a success, but sadly no one came.  Four people said they would come, and none of them did!  That was lame sauce, especially because three of them we contacted an hour before it was starting, and they all said they would be there.  BAH.  But that’s okay.  We will just keep trying.

Well, don’t know how much more I have to say.  Except that I am also learning how to write in Old German Script.  So many random talents I am learning on the mission.  I love you all, and hope that you have a wonderful week!  Dad, can’t wait to hear about your interview.  Good luck.  You’ll do great. 

Love you,


December 1, 2014

Hello Family! 

Today marks day one of my last transfer in Germany.  That means I have six weeks left to give the Lord my all.  So that is what I am going to do. 

It sounds like you all had a fun Thanksgiving break.  What was my dinner that night?  It was Currywürst from a Christmas market stand.  Ha-ha.  No appointment, but that’s okay, because it was a way fun night.  I think that my favorite part of the emails this week was from dad.  I am pretty sure that he tried to say "Sweety" but he called me "Sweaty”—ha-ha.  Good work, Dad. 

Well, my week… 

This week we decided that we really wanted to focus on getting to know the members better, because right now Frankfurt has decided to go tourist crazy.  So, that’s what we did.  We met with five members this week, and we have another couple set up for the coming week.  We are really just trying to get to know them and help them do missionary work, especially with how easy it is during the Christmas Season.  Speaking of which, I sure hope that you have all seen / at least heard of the new church video for the Christmas season.  It is called, "He Is the Gift" and it is totally awesome.  If you haven’t watched it yet, go watch it on

I really do love the members here.  Monday night, we went to the Jacobes for dinner and Family Home Evening. They are from the Philippines, and made us a traditional dinner.  I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH FOOD BEFORE.  We had to eat soooo much.  After the second plate, I had to waddle to the bathroom to take a break—haha.  It was delicious, but just sooo much.  We ate enough food to feed an army, and then she gave us enough to take home to feed another army.  But I just couldn’t do it anymore so we gave it all to the elders—ha-ha. 

We also met with the Smiths and Nowaks.  The Smiths are from England, and Sister Nowak is from Chile.  Her family actually lives in the mission that Troy served in.  Her original name is Cruz Leon.  It was awesome.  She has lived here for the past ten years, but maybe you know her family, Troy?

The Southalls are also from England.  They taught me cool English sayings like "I'm gutted" which means, “I am so disappointed”.  They are way cute.  We are going back in a few weeks to go carol with them to their neighbors and hand out “Joy to the World” DVDs and cookies.  Ja wohl!

Auri is from Ireland.  It’s crazy because my bishop’s daughter from Heidelberg served in her ward.  So I got to hear more stories about Sister Henkel.  She is way cool and is here as a nanny.  She is trying to get her other nanny friend to come to church with her. 

So yes…members.  We really hope that will help us out, i.e., finding English speakers.  It’s the best way to go, right?  That’s what the prophets say.  But when we weren’t with them, we were sure trying our hardest.  We found two new investigators this week.  One is a girl that lives with Angie and Victor.  I am not quite sure if they are related or not, but I think so.  She is also from the Dominican Republic, and her name is Rosie.  She sat in on one of our lessons with Victor, and read with us from the Book of Mormon.  It was really cool.  Victor is doing well.  We had a few appointments fall out this week, but when we were there, it went well.  We were able to read from Book of Mormon with him, and got him more excited about it.  It was a bummer though, because we went to go pick them up for church yesterday, and they came out and said that Angie’s mom was sick, so they were going to go visit her.  Hopefully next week!

The Elder next to me, Elder Sievers, got
his mission call to Colorado, Denver South! 
The other new investigator is Grace.  She is a woman that we found from the area book.  She met with the missionaries about a year ago, and then went to Ghana on vacation and lost contact.  But she seems excited to meet with us again, and asked us to start at the beginning so that she could remember everything.  She mentioned that she would see our temple in Ghana all the time, and wouldn’t stop saying how big it was—ha-ha. 

Henrietta isn’t really progressing anymore.  We are meeting with her again on Tuesday, and making a decision about whether to go forward or not.  We are hoping that more member involvement will get her progressing again. 

So yeah, solid people to work with.  But we are trying for more.  Obviously.  The thing is though, Frankfurt just turned into Tourist Central.  The Christmas markets went up this week, which I just LOVE (we are going there today) but it also means that everyone is there, and most people are not living here.  But, there are definitely many people to talk to about the Christmas holiday.  On Thursday, one of the sets of elders and us didn’t have any Thanksgiving appointments, so we got some wrapping paper, rolled it out, and wrote on it, "Happy Thanksgiving!  Wofür sind Sie dankbar?" (What are you thankful for?) We just walked around the markets and stopped people and they wrote on it, and we got into a lot of good discussions about things we are grateful for, like eternal families, or Christ during the season, and it was great.  We are going to start doing it more with different questions. 

Yes, that was our week.  If the missionaries there have any cool ideas of how they are working with the members during Christmas time, let me know!  I am open and ready for ideas. 

I love you all, and I LOVE the Christmas season.  The markets are just magical, and people are more open to talking about the real meaning of Christmas, which is Christ.  So go out and share that with others. 

Have a great week!

Love, Savannah