September 2, 2013
Hallo Familie :D
First off, I have GREAT NEWS!!! Transfer calls were on Saturday and I'M STAYING IN LANGENHORN!!!! :D :D :D. I pretty much made myself sick waiting for this news, because I wanted to stay so bad. But now I am, happy day! And Sister Nilson is finishing my training. YIPPEE :) I love her!
We have had great success with our new investigator "H". He really recognizes the power of the Book of Mormon and he is very sensitive to the Spirit he feels as he reads from it. We had a joint teach for the first time at our lesson and it made a huge difference. ( A joint teach is when a church member is present at an investigator's lesson and is able to share his testimony of the gospel principles being taught ) Sister Nilson and I set some goals to bring more members to lessons because they really make a big difference. It was a really neat experience actually because our Joint Teach just barely got home from his own mission two days before!!! He served in the London, England mission, and he was so excited to help us out. We were teaching about the Plan of Salvation, and we all got to bear our testimonies. It was super neat!
So two Sundays ago a man showed up at church that we had never seen before. His name is "E" and he is from Ghana. He was really led to the church by the Spirit. He told us later that he had lost his keys and so he ended up sleeping on the Bahn all night. He just went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth until morning . . . He said that he saw somebody dressed up and knew that he needed to follow them and go to the church. So he ended up in our church building! (After having barely slept at all!). And then he ended up staying for all three hours of church! We met with him a couple days later and I was so impressed with this man. One thing about this guy really inspires me. He explained that without God in his life he just doesn't feel satisfied. Despite the fact that he prays occasionally and occasionally reads from the Bible, he wasn't feeling satisfied in his life. He had such an open and honest heart. He had actually met a few times with missionaries from our church back in 2005, but it didn't really go anywhere because he was so busy with work and everything. Sister Nilson and I bore our testimonies on the Book of Mormon, and on the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and it was really powerful. We are meeting with him again this week. As we were talking with him I sensed so much love. He obviously loves his kids a LOT, and he has such a strong love for God. He wants God in his life, and he's searching for a better relationship. We really made friends with this guy and enjoyed our visit. As we were leaving he offered us some cake that he had brought home from work. It was the most beautiful and delicious cake ever! This guy was unreal! He has a car, he has kids that he loves, he has good work, and he has an apartment. And he is living here legally! All of these things are kind of hard to come by. Not to mention that he is honest, nice, hard-working, and is seeking for God in his life. I'm definitely excited to see what happens with him.
We met with Mac and Amy this week which was wonderful! Mac is the one whose screen play reading we went to several weeks ago. He really is a man of many talents! Mac is an American who was a member of the church at one time. His wife, Amy, is the sweetest, most loving person in the whole world. We had the most powerful lesson, beginning a lesson on the Plan of Salvation, we talked for a long time just about love and what it means. We used the scripture 1 John 4:7-9. They both belief in God as an energy, rather than a being, along with many other different ideas. But I find it very neat that Mac still believes on the Bible and on the Book of Mormon. His mission truly had a big impact on his life and he talks about it often. As we were talking to them I couldn't help but think about Tanangyl. This guy totally reminds me of him. He is just so friendly and down to earth, but he has a fierceness about him at the same time. (Haha I hope that makes sense). Mac is so talented in so many different ways, and he is so generous! He gave us a bunch of MonaVie stuff for free, (over a hundred euros worth) (He is very high up in the company and works as a European representative for the company), a list of over a thousand German words with English conjugates, and lots of great advice. Our lesson was very powerful. I love them both so much! We sang "Naher, mein Gott, zu dir" at the end of the lesson which really brought the Spirit. Mac ended up showing us digital pictures on his computer from his own mission that he served 21 years ago. The thought came to me very strongly as we were leaving, all of our investigators are so different! Everybody we interact with comes from such different worlds. And yet the message is the same. There is ONE gospel. There is ONE God.
We also had a very interesting time meeting with a Catholic Priest. Thank you to Bruder "W" in our ward who saw his photo in the newspaper, called him up, and then invited him over to the church. Bruder "W" had initially invited him over to do his genealogy, and I don't even know if they got to it. We were there for almost two hours and we just talked about the gospel and the differences between our two religions. This man was very intrigued with our temples, Bruder "W" showed him several pictures of the interior. It was a very good experience. And it was so sweet to see Bruder "W" bear his testimony of his beliefs, of God, of the church, and of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Bruder "W" is a convert, and he loves the church so much! Before we left Bruder "W" asked us if sister Nilson and I would sing a song for the priest. He requested "Naher, mein Gott, zu dir." (Nearer, my God, to thee). Last time we sang that for a lesson, Bruder "W" was almost in tears. We sang again and had a similar response. The Priest was so kind to us and so respectful. In closing he said that perhaps we would meet again sometime. And with a half smile, "I guess we'll see who is right in the end." There was one thing that I found very sad as we spoke with him. In his beliefs there is no hope for people who do not hear the gospel of Jesus Christ in this life. There is no hope for people who are not baptized. Our church has so much restored knowledge that other churches don't have. Our church has so much hope. We have Jesus Christ in the center of everything, and we know clearly where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. I am so grateful to be a member of this church. I am so grateful that I have been raised in a home where gospel principles have been taught. And I am so grateful that I have taken this path in life.
Overall, this week was wonderful! We had so many appointments and we were always on the go! Everyone in the ward here just received personalized missionary books, and the members are super excited to have their own missionary experiences and write them down. Sister Nilson and I went door to door the other day, and we were a little bit discouraged because of our lack of success. We realize that we really need member help. With their help and support we are likely to have a lot more success.
The Langenhorn area is doing really well though!! We are excited to see our investigators progress this coming week and in the coming 6 weeks!
Also, I have started the best new diet! I'm a vegan! Well, almost . . . I'm still eating eggs . . . and I'm eating meat sparingly on occasion. But it's really great! This man in our ward read a book called "The China Study" and I was really interested in what he had to say about it. You should read it! Also, you should look online for some healthy yummy recipes of what to do with Tofu :) We are also just sticking with Soy products like soy milk, soy yogurt etc. It is amazing how good you feel when you eat healthy! I feel great!
I love you all!!!! Adina sounds like a really sweet girl! Tell her hi from me :D. I also hope you have a wonderful time on the Shelley family trip!!! Good bye for now!!! Alles Gute!
Weekly planning on our balcony!!! I love being outside! We finally decided we needed to make it more of a fortress though because people were always looking at us when we were out there. And so we made it all comfy :D