Guten Tag! 11 November, 2013
Last Monday at the end of our Preparation Day Sister Darrington and I both felt prompted that we needed to go back to Dennis's apartment in Heidberg. We knew that he didn’t live there anymore, but we went there anyway. Nobody was there, but we knew we were there for a reason, so we went and klingled the other apartments in the area.
We ended up talking to a man from Albania and we told him about the Book of Mormon . . . a couple days later we brought the book by and shared a 5 minute explanation of the book using the photos in the front.
We bore our testimonies of the book, and told him about how it had personally strengthened our own families and brought us together.
We then made an appointment to come back. Unfortunately we were unable to make it to our appointment and we had no way of calling them . . . but we made our way back there last night, and so many things occurred that helped us meet again with this family (missing our bus, having to walk weird paths, running into certain people which took time, dropping by on another contact, deciding to walk in certain directions, needing to stop and get out our umbrellas . . .)
We were just supposed to visit this family, and the Lord helped make it possible.
We were invited in and we were able to sit with the entire family.
I have not yet had the opportunity to teach a family yet so my heart was feeling pretty big ÜÜ. Father, Mother, and three daughters!!
The man had already begun reading in the Book of Mormon, and his family out of curiosity had asked him about it. So he had shared some of the stories that he had begun reading, including the introduction and testimony of Joseph Smith at the front.
We taught the lesson of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith’s vision as he saw God and Jesus Christ.
Every time we asked the father if he believed he responded, 'Ja, Klar!!' Kinda like, 'Ja, of course!' and the entire family was captivated as we spoke.
The wife didn’t speak very good German so every once in a while we would wait for the husband to explain things to her in Albanian. She would just look at us afterward with such a sincere look on her face and thank us.
It was so incredible. we were there for such a short time but the spirit was so strong.
The family just understood perfectly why we were there and what our purpose was
--to invite them to come closer to Christ.
They said that they would be baptized as they came to increase their knowledge more--they said they already know it is true.
We have also been teaching another woman named S*** who is from China. She is the sweetest woman!
She comes from a Buddhist background and sometimes her comments are just too cute . . . she refers to baptism as a 'bath' and the plan of salvation as 'a fairy tale' and so many other things that I just can’t help but smile about.
She is scared about joining the church because she worries it will limit her freedom.
She likes straddling the line between Buddhism and Christianity. but as we have met with her the last few times she has shed tears as we have taught and testified of the reality of God and Jesus Christ. She wants to change. She has a desire.
I see such a difference between her and other people I have taught; because she diligently reads the chapters we invite her to read. She makes notes in her scriptures to better understand, and she always has questions for us.
She came to church yesterday too. JAWOHL!!!! ÜÜ
Also, I have to share the story about J**!!
He volunteered at Tafel several weeks ago when Sister Nilson and I were there. He is 19 and GERMAN.
Ha ha sometimes I question if I am really in Germany because most of the people I meet are auslanders (foreigners) . . Anyways, we ran into him on the bahn and started talking to him!
We didn’t have much time to talk, but we briefly told him about institute and about all of the young people that gather together for activities during the week.
He was really excited about it. He gave us his number and then he came with us on Wednesday. hahaha oh my goodness he almost died.
We didn’t really think about how it would be for somebody when they hadn’t had any previous exposure to the church or anything. All of the other young people were so nice to him though and really made him feel welcome. We went to the Book of Mormon class, but we discussed topics such as the Law of Chastity, pride and the world, missionary obligation, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, pornography, the commandments . . . It was a little too much and he felt very overwhelmed.
But despite all of this he was still willing to meet with us again. We met with him a couple days later at the church and he surprised us by bringing his cello to play for us.
He has been feeling like he doesn’t understand what the point in life is; he feels like it is a test or something but can’t see where the end is.
He relies on his feelings a lot, and he told us in our appointment that he decided to meet with us again because he just has a 'good feeling' about us and about what we have to say.
He believes that we have something that can help him. We had a good talk about God and Jesus Christ, and he opened up to us about his own beliefs. This kid has the strongest faith.
He is very interested in the Book of Mormon and we will be giving him one the next time we meet. (he didn’t have a bag with him so he asked us to wait).
He is awesome though!
And he came to church yesterday!!!!!
Also, you would smile if you saw him . . . He’s got good style. He's got the classic RL (Ralph Lauren) look all down . . . He even wore suspenders buttoned to his pants . . . none of the tacky clip on nonsense!!
We really see how prepared he is for the gospel at this time though.
Especially now when he is asking questions about life and really looking for a stable direction. He is a good kid Ü.
E*** is trying to find a new place to live, busy trying to work crazy hours and provide for his kids, and spend time with his kids . . . Last lesson we taught him was the law of tithing and he was so ready and willing to follow it. We are just praying for him and trying to help him as we can, but it there’s only so much that we can do. E*** is so prepared and ready to be baptized but we still need to wait until things are more stable in his life.
Ab*** has been really busy the last couple weeks and I have missed seeing him. We also found out that he is technically not living in our ward boundaries anymore. Sister Darrington started planning on passing him over to the other Elders in the other ward.
When we were at church and our former bishop asked him why he was still coming to our ward he just looked over at me and said, "because this is where my family is!"
All day I had a lump in my throat.
I don’t really know what is going to happen, but hopefully we can still just keep A***as one of our own at least until I leave . . .
Missionary work is so full of ups and downs...
But this week has been absolutely INCREDIBLE: WE HAVE SEEN SO MANY MIRACLES AND SO MANY OF OUR INVESTIGATORS ARE PROGRESSING
We got invited to Thanksgiving Dinner at a member’s house this week also!! Sister Wittkopp lived in the U.S.A. for three years and it has been a family tradition ever since. I WAS IN HEAVEN. Of course it was Germanized a little bit because we had rotkohl! And we had no mashed potatoes or cranberries . .. but holy crow it was yummy!!! I was almost going to cry. It brought back many memories of cooking during the holidays with you Mommy and it made me homesick a little bit . . .
Just know that we are in good hands here ÜÜÜÜ. We even had pumpkin pie!!!!
So many miracles.
Heidi Elaine Shelley