Hallo familie und alles!!!
Bonus points to who can guess who sings the line in the heading.... it's the classic John Denver, of course. Because, we're leaving next Tuesday, the 28th!! We leave the MTC at 6 AM and everyone already has plans for the food they'll enjoy once at the airport. My plans are to enjoy a Cinnabon, I'll get one for you too, dad. :)
This last week was full of so many miracles and blessings. It was the last one with our German teachers, whom I truly love! It has been such an emotional last few days with them.
To start, last Wednesday we did a session together as a zone, it was the coolest thing! Such a unifying experience. On Thursday we had TRC with a guy named Marc in Germany- wow, I was very much humbled. He spoke SO fast, and didn't help us at all when we struggled with the language, and just kind of stared at us. Yeah, after we were done, I turned to Sister Medley and said, "So that's a big joke, I thought I knew German!" haha, but alas, keep on keeping on, right? Haha. So feeling a little down, we went back to our home of a classroom and planned for our lesson with Andy, to teach the 10 commandments. It went really well, and I felt so uplifted afterwards, man, I needed it! We both felt the spirit and knew that the Lord was watching out for us. I also got a package, full of goodie fruit snacks and the picture of the twins!!! Thanks so much! The elders are very very grateful. :)
And that day I was kind of missing having the brothers, to tell me what is cool and what isn't. Haha, I don't know why, but it was a reoccuring thought. Haha.
Friday was flight plan Friday!!! AND bookstore Friday, what a good day! Here is my flight info, I'm really excited! All the sisters keep saying that they're going to stick by me as we go through the airports. Ha, but I keep telling them, don't trust me too much, after 24 hours of traveling, I don't know how trustworthy my directions will be.
Leave SLC airport Tuesday 28th: 11:06 AM
Arrive Seattle, WA 12:15 PM
Leave Seattle, WA 2:29 PM
Arrive Amsterdam, Netherlands 8:15 AM (Looong flight!!)
Leave Amsterdam 9:55 AM
Arrive Berlin, German 11:15 AM
And I got DearElders from Sheila Baum and Jessica, thank you so much! Yes, I've gotten both of your letters Aunt Sheila, I love all of the thoughts from them. We had a lesson with Gunther that night, and it was so spiritual. We talked about tithing, and about his decision to be baptized. He was still having a hard time committing, but we felt good about the message.
Saturday we had another lesson, this time we taught Andy with hershey kisses about Tithing. I'm telling you, candy works, every time! And we got a baptismal date for her, Nov. 1! I can't wait to have a baptismal date in the field, it's going to be sweet. And we heard part of the BYU game that night too, enjoyed some music by Neon Trees from our room. Did we win?
Sunday we had a devotional by Chad Lewis, the big football player, NFL guy. He was really fun and inspirational. His theme was letting our light shine, and not being afraid of that. He shared countless examples of how he was able to share the gospel in his career as an athlete.
Then Monday- oh boy- this was a hard day because it was our last time teaching both our investigators/teachers. We had our last lesson with Gunther at night, and it was the most spiritual, uplifting, love filled lesson ever. No joke. We kind of went in without a lesson plan because we felt that we just needed a pump up lesson for him. He wasn't committing to baptism, and we wanted him to feel the spirit so strongly that he couldn't deny it and would make that leap. So we talked about faith, and shared some quotes from Elder Uchtdorf's talk about "doubting our doubts first before our faith". And we bore lots of testimony, and at the end asked him again to commit to Nov. 1. After some thought, he looked at us, and smiled, and said yes!! I was about to jump out of my chair! It was so cool to feel that deep sense of caring for someone to find the truth! We then asked him to bear his testimony at the end, and it was so powerful. We told him we loved him, and that it would also be our last lesson with him. Once we closed the lesson, and walked out of the room, I looked at Sister Medley, and I just started crying. The tears were coming like no tomorrow. I was feeling so fulfilled, but so incredibly sad at the same time! Yes, I know he was our teacher, playing an investigator. Yes, it wasn't truly a fully, real situation. But the love that I feel for that investigator, "Gunther" is real! And the spirit that we felt was totally and completely real. I now have caught a glimpse of just how much the Lord loves these people we teach. It was also hard to let our teacher go, Bro. Jones. We all wrote him and our other teacher Sis. Judd letters and gave them their favorite candy.
We don't exactly know what we're doing from now until Monday. We are studying as always, and keeping on with the schedule. We're told we'll have some English teachers to go through activities, or something with us. Ha, we're not sure. We've had lots of parties every night now in our residence, just to get all of our nervous energy out. Our plan is to do some cart races on the last night, as well as companionship- toilet paper mummies... bring on the games! Ha, it's the little things in life, right? And we got kicked out of our classroom for the new Germans today!! We're getting about 30 newbies, so there will be about 80 German missionaries here for a week together! So now that we're in a different classroom, we're by the Italians now. Whom we love... but.. they're not the Germans. :)
The coolest thing is that us being here for 7 weeks is like unheard of. At least for the German missionaries, this is not the norm. And it's because our mission president is attending a huge Mission President meeting in Portugal this whole week, so he wouldn't be there to welcome us in and everything. Our branch president urged all of us to find our personal reason for why we're here this extra week. God has his timing, and we really believe that it's for a reason. So he has asked us to pray, and then work really hard our last week here. Our reason may not come even until we're in Germany and we happen to meet up with someone because of the timing. But I have loved that challenge, and am looking for the reason that I need to be here for that extra week.
I love this mission. I think that what I've learned here in the MTC is that this mission is truly the Lord's. It's not ever about me, how much I can do, or what I want. It's all His, and He is very much in charge of it. He knows everyone personally, I have a strong testimony of that. He knows my talents, my needs, and where I'm going as well as everyone else that we come into contact with. So I will never doubt why I'm here or who's in charge because it's the Lord and He's got it all under control. Sometimes I forget that and think I need to keep everything running smoothly, but those are the times that I become quickly reminded. :) I'm so grateful to be a missionary right now. Although there are lots of hard times, there are so many more of the good, amazing, and miraculous.
Well, the next time I'll write I'll be in Germany! I'm assuming that'll be in about a week from Monday, we'll see. Most of all I'm excited to call the fam next Tuesday!
Favorite German words from this last week:
-I finally found the word for homie/peeps!! It's : Alter (pronounced ail-ter) means homie.
-Ausflippin : means" to freak out". I can say: "Ich bin total ausgeflipt!" , or, "I totally freaked out!"
-Chillig : means "chill"
-We were having a really spiritual moment in class, and Elder Weirsdorf was sharing a thought, and then our teacher just burst out laughing as he noticed that Elder Winkel, his companion, had somehow gotten both of his middle fingers stuck in his Preach My Gospel binding. Haha, just like a Chinese finger trap. He's like, "yeah, my fingers are purple now.. I can't really feel them." Haha
-One sister next door was sitting on top of her bed, on the top bunk, when she accidentally kicked a ceiling tile above her and spiders, alive and dead, came raining down on her. Haha, we all had a good laugh.
Alles guta, das Evangelium wahr ist. Ich weiss das Gott is immer bei uns. Vertrauen Ihm.