So Carley didn't have much to say on account of a pounding headache. But for your information, she only has 43 days left. (Who's counting?) So she did mention that we only have 5 or 6 email opportunities left!
Anyhow, I'm pretty dang excited to see this girl again!
Thursday, July 5, 2018
It's been a crazy couple of weeks! My companion went home for a couple weeks for a surgery and another sister went home for medics reasons in the neighboring ward and so Sister Smith and I have been put together to take over all of the Stuttgart area- now we get to teach both the English (she was in the international/American military ward) and German speakers (I was in the German ward.) Which is great, we are having a lot of fun. Sunday's are awesome and spiritual and uplifting but also feel slightly long because we are usually at the church from 8 or 9 to 5 so that we can attend both meetings and take care of the members and friends. It's been crazy but we love it! We've also been living between two apartments on opposite sides of everything and we just never know where we'll end up, but it keeps us on our toes.
We've spent a ton of time finding (Sister Smith has been a champ and we did 14 hours of street contacting this last week and she has a sprained ankle. She's an inspiration.) We also have bee able to visit a lot of members and do soke service projects. We helped at a primary activity on Saturday...and turns out they had us over the tattoo station. Not sure if missionaries are allowed to have fake rattles but Eliana wanted to try it and there was a dinosaur, so I let my inner kid come out.
Sunday we had dinner with an American family and I don't think I've ever laughed more at dumb puns or silly jokes- Americans are just too good. We did an activity and had everyone draw the plan of salvation to the best of their knowledge. It was really interesting to see what everyone knew or what they thought, and then we talked about it. We are so so blessed to have the knowledge of God's plan. To know why we are here, where we came from, and where we are going. We don't have to question it. We have the opportunity and privilege to know who we are and who we can become. The knowledge is such a blessing and it has blessed my life so much just to know the plan, but I've also been able to share it and see the blessing that it is to other people. The knowledge has the power to literally change lives and save them. It's some powerful stuff.
In the meantime we've just been working hard, doing what we can, and loving ever second that we have the privilege to be missionaries. Definitely don't want it to ever stop.
"Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ prepares you for whatever life brings. This kind of faith prepares you to deal with life’s opportunities—to take advantage of those that are received and to persist through the disappointments of those that are lost” Elder Dallin H Oaks
I love you all, have a great week! Sorry for those I don't email back, we don't have much time!
Friday, June 22, 2018
The Book of Mormon is true.
The gospel blesses families.
Jesus is the Christ.
God will answer your prayers
The Spirit will guide you,
You just have to ask.
Monday, June 18, 2018
I got taco bell today. Did you know there is only 1 taco bell in all of Europe? Which means I almost went a full 18 months without it? Fortunately or unfortunately I was able to eat it. It was quite delicious and reminded me of home. I got a crunchwrap and nachos. So yummy. Now I don't feel as rushed to come home since that got checked off the list. That's a joke, but really though I may not be coming home when planned but that has nothing to do with taco bell. Oh also we found bagels this week too and that was also exciting. Food is just exciting honestly.
Anyway, I love you all. Sorry I don't have much else to say... I literally just wrote. But I love you and miss you and am excited to see you l8r!
(So, I'm not sure now what her return date will be. Hopefully she will settle decidedly on a date by next post!
In case any of you noticed that I didn't write... We changed our pday this week from Tuesday to today due to a soccer tournament that we had...in which we lost miserably to... But instead of talking about our losses I'm going to talk about the craziest and most amazing week of my life/mission.
Tuesday. We woke up early and got ready early (We planned to leave at about 7) so that we could go to Sister Udy's doctor appointment at 8. At aboutthe elders called us and told us to meet them at the main train station because we were going to Munich to be interviewed by a general authority. We had to quickly change (We had a service project planned for after and were in service clothes) and literally ran to bahnhof. We were interviewed by Elder Sabin and that was honestly a highlight of the week. The spirit was so strong and he had so much advice for me. It was an amazing interview and I left feeling uplifted, inspired, and motivated to work. It was amazing. Sister Udy got her doctors appointment moved to Munich so we stayed for that and then while waiting for our train we got to help out in the mission office and be the first office sisters. Literally my dreams came true. Since I was in Munich I've wanted to be an office sister, but it's always been elders. It was so fun. Then we travelled home and went to bed because it was bedtime and we were exhausted.
Wednesday morning. Transfer day without transfer plans until 5 minutes before. Okay that wasnt even exaggerating. The office called all of the companionship getting transferred and they had no time. The ZLs called us at aboutand told us to run to bahnhof so that we could help all the other missionaries with transfers and that their train was leaving . Bahnhof is like 20 minutes away and we weren't even ready to go. But we made it.
Wednesday night. We went to Munich again for MLC. We stayed in the mission home with all the other missionaries. I was so excited to see Sister Pugh from my MTC group- she was the only missionary I haven't seen my whole mission, it took us 15 or so months but we finally saw each other again. She is now comps with Sister Cook, which means I finally got to see Sister Cook again!! It's only been 5 weeks but it feels like a lifetime, I love that girl so much.
Thursday. MLC. Elder Sabin started our MLC off and words cannot even describe how I feel about MLC. I learned so much and I came out a completely different missionary and person as I did when I entered. We learned so much and were so uplifted and inspired. We then learned from President and Sister Brown. I cannot even express how blessed I feel to be guided by them. They are so inspired, so loving, and so faithful. Our mission is on the way up, and according to Elder Sabin we are now the purest and most obedient mission in the world. And we are pretty happy about that.
Other than that, everything has been the usual. Sister Udy and I are excited to do another transfer together and to work hard in Stuttgart. It's an amazing time to be alive and to share this wonderful gospel! I'm terrible with words and I become aware of that any time I try to talk about my mission or the things that I've learned. I just can't ever put it into words or make it even sound adequate. My mission has changed me, this gospel is true. I know that there is a God, He knows me and He knows you, He knows our mistakes, He knows our weaknesses our shortcomings, He knows our strengths and our achievements. He knows when we slip up, when we think an unclean thought, He knows exactly who we are, and He loves us anyway. I know that Jesus Christ died for me, that He suffered for everything, He knows what tempts me, He knows it all- and He suffered for it all because He loves me too. - and He did that for each of you, because He loves you too. I know that the gospel is true, and I know it changes lives, it changes people, I know that because it changed me and I will be eternally grateful. I love my mission, I love this gospel, I love my Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ, I love this plan.
“When Christ bids [us] to yield, to submit, to obey the Father, He knows how to help us do that. He has walked that way, asking [us] to do what He has done. He has made it safer. He has made it very much easier for [our] travel. … He knows where the sharp stones and the stumbling blocks lie and where the thorns and the thistles are the most severe. He knows where the path is perilous, and He knows which way to go when the road forks and nightfall comes. He knows this because He has suffered ‘pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind … that he may know … how to succor his people according to their infirmities’ (Alma–12). To succor means ‘to run to.’ … Christ will run to [us], and is running even now, if [we] will but receive the extended arm of His mercy. To those who stagger or stumble, He is there to steady and strengthen us. In the end He is there to save us, and for all this He gave His life. However dim our days … may seem, they have been a lot darker for the Savior of the world” -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Thank you for all of the love, support, emails, letters, packages, prayers, all the good stuff. You all are the best and I love you all! I'm grateful for you all! Have a fab week!
[Pics: Sister Pugh, Sister Cook, and I @ MLC; Sister Udy and I @ MLC, Rebekka, first office sisters in the history of the Alpenländische Mission, weekly trip to the refugee center- I love working with these kids. Also a lady there was the real life Leslie Knope and I have never been so excited to meet be in a game circle.]
This week has been pretty great! I honestly don't know where it went or how it went so fast but it was good nonetheless.
The highlight was for sure Saturday. Deyanira got baptized! I was not able to go since it's so far away, but I was able to Skype in for the baptism and talk to her after. She was just glowing and so happy!! It was truly a wonderful time, and I'm sad I couldn't be there, but the joy I feel is still indescribable. I love that woman so much. I was also able to talk to Sis Cook & Sis Cliett! That was pretty exciting, seeing how I love them to death and they are my only "living" companions besides Sis Udy.
After her baptism we had a street display and we were able to talk to Isabella. She reminds me so much of Deyanira and we talked for so long. She told us that she has always gotten criticized for asking questions and she's never gotten the answers she's searched for...until she talked to us and realized that we love questions and helping people find their answers. It's moments like these that make me realize how blessed I am to have the opportunity to give my time and share this gospel. It makes a world of difference and helps literally anyone whether they think they need help or Hey.
Thursday and Friday we had tausch and Sister Lau (one of my MTC companions) and I got to work in Stuttgart and Sister Udy went to Göppingen with Sister Newcomb. It was so fun to see how much she's changed and to talk to people in German. Something we only dreamed of doing in the MTC. We had a first lesson with a man named Hafeez and it was so cool. We gave him a book of Mormon and told him he could keep it and he was so excited!! I love to see people excited about the book of Mormon.
Today we had district pday and we went and "hiked" to a waterfall. It was beautiful and green and nice to be in nature, but I sure do miss the Alps!
"Your safety, your peace, your prosperity lie in obedience to the commandments of the Almighty. ...True freedom lies in obedience to the counsels of God. ...Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God. …Let us stand firm against evil, both at home and abroad. Let us live worthy of the blessings of heaven, reforming our lives where necessary and looking to Him, the Father of us all." - President Gordon B Hinckley I can testify that this is true. We are promised to be protected and to prosper when we are obedient and when we follow the commandments. But of course, we are not perfect and we may make mistakes, that is why Christ died for us, and that is why we were given the chance to repent. It is our safety. But the safest way to be, is obedient to begin with.
I love you all, thank you for the support, the emails, the prayers, and the love!
Have a wonderful week!
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Hey hi hello it's me again,
This week has been a good one! We did exchanges with Stuttgart International sisters. Sister Pitcher came with me, and Sister Udy went with the other two. Haahah most missionaries talk about "tausch miracles" ours was more of "tausch disasters" but we had a good time! We met with a guy named Fakebba for the first time, when we talked about the book of Mormon and gave us one he promised that he would read, we hadn't even asked him to read yet, let alone promise to read. It was awesome! We also met a man named Jorge while streeting, and he was so excited to learn more! We are excited to meet with him!
As for the disasters... I will just name one, we had an appointment with a less active member in an old persons home. I had never met her yet so I didn't know where she lived or what she looked like- and neither did Sister Pitcher. We couldn't find the place and she wouldn't answer her phone, so we went and got dinner in the area and waited to see if she would call. She did, and we told her we would be there soon. She told us she would wait for us by the elevator. When we got there there was a lady waiting by the elevator who was so excited to see us! We apologized for being late and she asked us to sit down, after talking to her for about a minute I had a feeling that it was not the member we were looking for. We talked for another couple minutes and no one else came by to wait by the elevator.... turns out after talking to a nurse it wasn't her. And we found the member and were able to get to know her. It was sooo funny. When we left the other lady was still by the elevator and still wanted to chat....
This week we also spent a lot of time trying to prepare for zone conference. Elder Warnick was the only one out of us four to have any idea about what to do, and so planning was filled with lots of kicks and giggles and pulled out hair. But we pulled it off. -the training that is.
As for zone conference... It was planned that the Stuttgart zone would combine with the Munich zone in Munich. So we all had to take a bus to Munich. We had sleepovers and then woke up betweenso that we could catch our bus to the conference. Someone thought it was only a 2 hour trip to the conference, turns out it was 4 and we were 1.5 hours late to zone conference. But the a conference was really good. It was so wonderful to see so many MTC friends and other mission friends. I truly do love my mission. However, 8 hours on a bus with 26 missionaries is not my favorite. But I do love the loud crazy hooligans.
Today we went to a tower and climbed it and I about had an anxiety attack- I may have conquered a lot of things on my mission (like the ability to eat peanut butter and mushrooms and like them, or talk to 100 people I don't know everyday) but heights are still something I just can't do.
“Mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. … Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. … Speak your love and then speak it again” -President Howard W. Hunter
I love you all and I hope you're all having an awesome week! Ps for those of you who promised me letters and packages- you better get on that pretty soon.