Monday, September 16, 2013
The little Van against the Big, Bad, Bus!
I will start off my letter this week with a story. You'd think I'd run out of cute old German men stories, but so far I haven't!
Sister Peterson and I were walking back after stopping by on P and S. We needed to catch the Bus by the church that would take us to the Straßenbahn which would take us home. It was evening and so the connections are pretty important since the Straßenbahn doesn't come as often.
We started walking when see the Bus come around the corner. Oh no! We need to catch that Bus! So of course, I tighten my backpack straps, Sister Peterson clutches her bag, and we start booking it! We were pretty far away from the stop, but we sprinted in hopes of catching it!
As we were running, a cute old german man in a work van is driving by and yells something out the window. We smile and laugh and have no Idea what the heck he said, and he keeps driving forward. We come around the corner and the bus goes to leave, but then it awkwardly stops. We have no idea what's going on, but we start hearing really loud, angry german honking.
What happened? You ask. We see this van awkwardly pulled in front of the Bus, blocking it's ability to leave. The little old German man was parked in front of the Bus at the Bus stop so that we could catch it!
Not only were we giggling and laughing about it all night, not only does this man have a one way ticket to eternal salvation, but I can officially say, I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE IN GERMANY!
This week was just full of miracles. Oh yes, appointments fell through, we walked probably two miles in the pouring rain last night (my shoes are still a little wet this morning), and the weather was cold. But it was such a great week!
First item of business...We set a baptisimal date with P and S! Hopefully October 12th. Specifically, they want to make sure they know this church is true and right for them beforehand. But they keep meeting with us, they keep wanting to know and learn, and they KEEP COMING TO CHURCH. So yes, we are just A LITTLE BIT EXCITED!!!! They are so cute, they are the Nigerian family with De who is a little 7 year old boy, D who is the little 3 year old, and a little 18 month old named H. They are so awesome, such a miracle and really such a gift that God has literally placed in our hands. All of their progression is not us at all! We are just there to enjoy the ride. I am so grateful!
Elder Root said one time in an Email that you don't really know your German until you translate for someone. Stimmt. Yesterday at church, we had 7 Nigerian men. The Elders had us join in on a lesson with F and M, and then in through the door comes H, T, and one other Nigerian man. We then get into Sacrament and J brought his friend and his friends girlfriend. I love Nigerians! They just love coming to church and they love bringing their friends! They aren't ashamed to say what they believe and they love sharing it with others! The 4 of us missionaries spread out between all of our Investigators and I was able to sit with J and his friends again. As I was listening to the talk, I realized that I understood all the speaker was saying. J always says he'd prefer translation, but I knew that the reason God has helped me with German so much, and why he helped me understand literally EVERYTHING yesterday was so I could translate. So I leaned over and asked J if he'd like me to translate, and he did! So I got to translate and it was super fun and super hard. Your brain basically has to be split in two, whew was it hard! But J and I are pals so he thought it was great.
It was super rainy this week, like dumping buckets! I felt so at home. It reminded me of when I lived at home and would always try and be a Sunshine for everyone else. I just feel like when it is cloudy and rainy, that is the opportunity we have to shine. We were standing at the Straßenbahn stop and there was a man standing there so I went up to him and started chit chatting. As we were talking to the weather, I just piped in and said, "Wenn die Sonne ist nicht im Himmel, dann Mann im Herz die Sonne haben kann" ("When the sun is not in the sky, then people can have the sun in the heart") You know when people say that on your mission the Lord just makes you sound so wise and say really cool, wise things? That was one of those times. I am so grateful to be a missionary, and have the Mantle to lift people's days and give them little bits of truth, in whatever form it may take!
Oh, something funny that Mike will like is that everyone here loves to wear American flags or Brazilian flags on their clothes, backpacks, shoes, etc. For some reason, the Brazilian flag is super Trendy.
Oh and Mom, everyone talks about how YOUNG and BEAUTIFUL you are when I show your picture. They all think you are gorgeous, and I just smile real big because I already knew that. :)
On Sunday, our stake president spoke in church and he's Swiss. You know how Irish accents sound to us in English? That's kinda how his accent sounds, it was so cool! I'm not sure how it sounds when they're not speaking hochdeutsch. I guess I'll just have to find out when...WE GO TO ZURICH SATURDAY! We're going down to Zurich for a stake relief society activity! I am so excited! We will take pictures with Sister Peterson's camera.
I think that is about all of it. Except one more assignment for you, Mom. Sister Peterson's Birthday is on October 12 and she is afraid no one will remember. So I need you to use your Mom powers and make sure she gets flooded with love, presents, and cards BEFORE her birthday so we can open them ON her birthday. She loves peanut butter, she is lactose intolerant, she loves to cook. She loves dark chocolate. She loves to make cute things out of paper, like scrapbooking paper. Oh and can you buy her an Oil brush (for cooking)? She will love that. Oh and she loves herbal tea, she drinks it all the time.
I love it here in Freiburg. I love being a missionary. It is now starting to sink in how long I will be here, how much of a part of my life this mission is and will be. I am so excited for all of the experiences and knowledge that lays ahead, and so grateful for all I have learned so far. I am so grateful for people, just for the other people that we meet, talk to, walk past every day. I am so grateful for the light in my life because I know who I am. I know that I am a daughter of God, I know that he has given me a way to happiness and I know this Gospel lays out that way so perfectly and plainly, and yet it invigorates my intellect to the core! I am so grateful for you, Mommy, and all of your love and support. You are the best Mom on the planet, don't ever forget it!!
I love you!!!!
Yes, P and S are our Investigators with baptisimal dates! Elder Steed bought me the Mp3 player as a birthday present and gave me a USB drive with a ton of music! Isn't he the best? You should find his mom and tell her she has the most charitable and awesome son for a missionary ever.
I probably gained 10 pounds from all of the oreos I ate this last week. His package was awesome and super thoughtful. Just a lot of stuff that I can use.
I do Yoga in the morning.
Elder Kingery is awesome. He is bringing miracles to Freiburg, no joke. We love him. Elder Packer is awesome too, he is like a younger version of Elder Davies and they adore each other, it's super cute.
I would love snail mail letters. Emails are great to know what's going on, but I treasure being able to read words of love, advice, and just encouragement. So I would love snail mail too from you and Dad. And TORI NEEDS TO WRITE ME that goofball.
Two Mom notes: Sis Henry's camera died this week, Daddy is going to get on Amazon.de and send her a new one for her trip to Switzerland this weekend. And just over one year ago, Sister Henry began studying German. In this letter she talks about translating an entire Sacrament meeting from German to English--6 weeks after arriving to Germany. That is definitely a miracle! There are many people who study a language for years and wouldn't feel comfortable with that--oh, the blessings of serving a mission.