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Monday, November 25, 2013

Home for the Holidays and Retired Opera Singers

Flo probably already told you, but I get to spend this next transfer here in my new German home town, Freiburg!  Ah, Mom.  I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to stay here.  I know I say this all the time, but I love the people here so much.  The people we talk to on the Straßenbahn, in the bus, or on the street.  They are the best people in the world, they don't even realize how amazing they are!   
We bought eggs from the baker on our run (after forgetting to buy them Monday so we could make the Bignalls brownies when they came to do apt checks)
Pday last week repping our soccer teams!

And then don't even get me started on the members.  I gave my first talk yesterday in Sacrament and I got all choked up when I was telling the members how much I love them.  Gosh, I love this place.  I don't think words can describe how swollen and full my heart gets when I stop and think about how much I love this city and the people here.  (who knew our little "Ice Queen" could end up such a softy like her mom!)
Eating outdoors even in the cold!
I had my first Berliner, it was DELICIOUS!
Here I thought this would be my first Christmas away from home, but little did I know I would still be spending it with family.  Ah, I love this place.
we met with a man named H. and he asked if he could take us to dinner. He is our uncle here.
So, I just have some pretty funny, weird, but funny situations happen to me.  I don't know how, but I guess being a missionary just attracts...situations.  The other night we were taking the bus out to Tiengen to go visit Schwester Berg and then give a lesson to one of our investigators, Ellie.  Sister Woods started to contact a nice old lady on the Straßenbahn and she happened to be taken the same bus as us.  We talked with her for a bit and she told us there was a concert in the retirement home on Friday and she wanted us to come.  We said we would love to come by, and she gave us the time.

Just imagine this situation.  All we know is this lady's name, and that there is some sort of concert in a retirement home.  We show up on Friday, find the front doors and then look at each other like, "The things we do for our Potential Investigators."  I then pull the, "Sister Woods you are senior companion so you have to take the lead!" card.  We walk in boldly and ask the first worker we see where the concert is, B invited us.  We then proceed to the cafeteria room where there are a couple of rows of chairs with twenty or so old people accompanied by their walkers and wheelchairs.

We don't see B anywhere, so I scout out a chair next to a nice lady who seems like she still has it all there, and we start chatting.  There's a woman on a electronic keyboard at the front of the room and we sit and watch for a few minutes.

Finally, in walks B (the potential investigator) but she is dressed sort of nice and we soon find out she is sort of the master of ceremonies for this little concert.  She welcomes everyone and introduces the two singers who will be singing for us today.  

The two singers were two retired opera singers and so, though their voices were a little tired early on, they were really good!  It was a hoot!  The concert went for an hour and they just sang little selections and put on a little show for the old folks home.

We go up to talk to B afterwards and she barely remembers us, but we were able to get her number and she wants us to come over and share some scriptures about hope with her, so hopefully it leads some where!  But that's not the best part.  The little old man opera singer came up to us and started raving about how glad he was that two pretty young girls came to watch.  He then takes me in a huge hug and slaps two big kisses on my cheeks.  He repeats the process with Sister Woods.  It was awesome, who knew I'd ever get so much action on my mission?  Okay, that was a joke.  But it still was the cutest thing ever.  Also, it not only makes for a great story but just an all around great memory.  Whenever life gets hard, I will just look back at that day, and start laughing.  That's all I can do.  I went to a random old folks home, in another country, and listened to random retired opera singers sing selections and dance around.  

Being a missionary is just the best.  Oh the things you do.
The first time doing computer time on Thursday to email investigators!
The straßenbahn (streetcar) stop we use all the time
We have really been seeing a lot of miracles since we've recommitted ourselves to this miracle of reaching our goal of 290 baptisms this year.  We've been working hard and just talking with everyone.  It's been so cool to see the small miracles that have been brought about.  Those little miracles may not look like much, but when you take a step back and look at them with a bigger perspective, you see the great foundation that the Lord is laying in his work.  The fact is that he wants his children to come unto him. I may not see the results of these miracles in my life, but I'm okay with that.  As long as these people end up choosing the better part, I would stay here my whole life and be a missionary if it meant there would be a temple here in Freiburg.  These people need the Gospel, it's just hard sometimes for them to see it.  But God has had patience with them for so long, I can be patient too.

We also had a Talent Abend (Night) this week at the church!  It was so awesome, our ward is the best ward ever!  They went all out, decorated the gym and everything!  It went until like 10:45 so we ended up getting home late, but it was so worth it. A lot of members brought friends and it was so exciting to see how anxious and happy the members are to do missionary work!  Also, no one knows how to make good food for ward activities like Germans.  My stomach was full of Badisch (Baden-the region she is in) food happiness.

Speaking of my belly and things in it, Sister Woods and I may or may not have eaten an Advents Calendar worth of chocolate last night...each.

Well, the temperature has been dropping, there was snow on the hills near Freiburg the other day, and the decorations are being put up in innenstadt (downtown).  'Tis the season.  I love this time of year, there really is just a special spirit that encompasses everyone.  I think a big part is that, even when people don't realize it, Christ is on every one's mind and in every one's heart.  I love Christmas!

I am so grateful for all of you at home.  I am also so grateful for the people here.  It's funny, as you grow up and meet more people, you think people will leave your heart to make space for the new ones.  But nope, it just keeps growing and growing.  When you're a missionary, you unlock a part of your heart that you didn't even know was there.  It just expands and you stretch and expand as you turn your heart and your talents over to the work of the Lord.

I am just so happy to be here!  I am so happy to be alive, to be breathing, to be a daughter of God.  Life is beautiful and it is truly meant to be enjoyed.
Myspace Pic?
I love you so much!  Have a wonderful week!

Sister Henry


  1. I don't think she knows how amazing she is. I'm glad she will be with "family" for Christmas, and that her belly is full of advent chocolate. How great it would be if there were a temple in Freiburg to match the one that is in Frieberg. She has learned a great life lesson, that our hearts can keep expanding to include more people to love.


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