Sunday, January 11, 2015

January 5, 2015

This is the food after we had already eaten!
Hey Family! 

Dad, that is so exciting that you have an interview today!  Don't be nervous, you'll do great.  The rest of you…glad that school is starting again.  Sounds like you have just been bumming around!  Ha-ha…just kidding!

Anyway, as for this week, it was a solidly good week.  I had a lot of cool moments, and many, many more awkward ones.  I feel like Heavenly Father is thinking, "Oh man, better get these all packed in really quickly."  Oh well, it makes for good stories. 

So we decided to go by Henrietta again, seeing as how it'd been a month.  We figured we might as well go and see if she had any interest to actually progress this time.  I guess it’s good that we took a break, because now she seems a lot more promising.  We went over there and found out that she is engaged now!  Best part, her fiancé is a member of our church.  His name is Daniel and he is currently living in Italy, but he has family here in Germany so he comes frequently.  He used to live here and was baptized by our bishop a couple of years ago.  WHAT!  So now Daniel is constantly talking up our Church to Henrietta and telling her what is so great about it, and why she needs to join it.  So yeah, that is pretty cool.  Our lessons seemed to go so much better this week.  She was paying attention and giving her thoughts and feedback, and said that she had watched the restoration DVD like three times and just loved it…ha-ha.  We also tried to be more obedient this week, and asked her if we could call her Sister and by her last name, but we didn’t know her last name, so when we asked her, she shot us down, and said, “No, but you can call me Sister Hetty.”  So now, she’s Sister Hetty.  I feel closer already!  Ha-ha. 
Just the dessert table

David's also progressing!  We met with him again and finished teaching the Plan of Salvation, and at the end talked a lot about baptism.  He said that he would be baptized when he knew the truth, but said it would take a while.  But little does he know that all it takes is a little prick from the Spirit.  The best part of that lesson though was he prayed for us at the end!  He’s never been willing to do that before.  We asked him to pray at the end, and he said no again, and then we retaught him how to pray and Sister Sorensen gave him an example, and then we asked him to do it, and he did it!  He prayed!  And it was just so sweet.  He asked Heavenly Father to know of the full truth.  We got a text from him the other day saying that he had been reading in the Book of Mormon and was writing down all of his questions, so this Wednesday should be fun.

The tragic part of this week…the Carricondos have moved.  We don’t know where and all we had was their house number.  We are hoping to get some youth to Facebook-stalk them, because I have to see this family before I go! 

NEW YEARS.  Just as crazy as last year.  Fireworks everywhere.  It sounded like a warzone out there. Just lights exploding, loud gun shot noises, people screaming.  Germany goes crazy at the New Years!  Needless to say, we both woke up and watched fireworks go off for an hour. 

Which leads us to our New Year’s celebration.  Remember the Jacobes?  The family that fed us so much food that I just waddled out of there?  Well, they invited us, the elders and President and Sister Stoddard over to start off the New Year...that eating appointment…man.  They brought out a ton of food, and were just stuffing us full.  Also, I sat on a faulty chair that I couldn’t lean back on, and about halfway through the appointment, I broke the chair.  Yes, it broke.  Every one started laughing and saying that I had eaten too much for the chair to handle... awkward.  They brought me out a new chair and later asked if I wanted more food, and President’s response?  "Well, she has a new chair now!"  So Sister Jacobe happily scooped up some more.  Towards the end, after already being stuffed to the rim, I had just finished a dessert, and Sister Jacobe asked who wanted some more, and the elders were like, "I don’t think Sister Teeples has had any yet."  NO! I already broke a chair, people.  But you can’t say no to Sister Jacobe. 
My companion

Also, this week, I got run over by a bike.  I can check that one off of my list.  We had just doored this old, sick, rich, bed-ridden man, you know, like the ones that you see in the movies with the old maid helper and extravagant curtains?  And then I was walking out of his gate, and BAM.  Flying bike hits me.  Don’t worry.  I’m okay.  It was quite funny, actually. 

Also, you know that awesome family, the Palmers?  She said that she had so much fun handing out Books of Mormon on Christmas Eve that she and her husband made a goal to hand out two every week this year.  She’s like, "I think that 104 Books of Mormon sounds like a great number this year."  Why is she so great?

We also finally got in contact with Angie and Victor again!  They are frustrating because they always seem so great, and then drop off the face of the earth.  But we went by yesterday and they let us in.  We talked for a little while and they invited us to come over again tonight, so hopefully that works out!  We visit them and Sister Hetty tonight.  Should be good. 

So I thought of an analogy this week to describe the Restoration.  I thought it was pretty good, but maybe you’ll just laugh at me.  I’ll share it anyways. 

New Year's Eve aftermath...
So imagine that your best friend, your child, your sibling, or someone you love, is lost in a big, pitch black, room.  They have no light.  It's just completely black.  And now here you are, sitting in a big, warm, bright room, and you want to help your loved one get out of the dark, but you can’t.  You aren’t allowed to leave the room. But you can send for help.  You can send for a guide.  You can send down a flashlight, and a map, so that they can follow it and return to you.  Get out of the dark and into the light.  You would do anything to help them, but you can’t until they choose to follow what you have given them.

That’s just what happened.  During the apostasy, people were in the dark.  They were searching for a switch, but didn’t know how to find it.  Or they were tired and just decided to leave it dark and take a nice nap.  They didn’t care.  But some people did…especially one person.  He wanted the way out, so he asked for help.  And God, who’s in the lighted room, gave him the tools that he needed to get out of the dark.  And because of that, the tools are now given to us.  We don’t have to stay in the dark.  We have prophets, scriptures, prayer, family… everything we need to help us find the right path.  I’d like to think of the scriptures as my own little treasure map, that tells me exactly the steps that I need to take to find my way to the bright room, to return to my loved one, my Heavenly Father.

I'm glad that we don't have to stay in the dark, anymore.  The way is prepared, and available, we just have to take the first step and ask for help…and then be humble enough to follow it. 

Well, have a good week!  I love you all.  I wish to you the best of luck, with all that you do. 

Love you!


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