21 July 2008

Letter #8 (July 21, 2008)

So this week was AMAZING!! We worked so hard and it was so fun!!
We had a surprise party for my companion. I couldn´t really help plan it too much because I´m always with her, but I helped a little before she came. It was so fun. I made up an excuse for us to go to the church and then I told her I was thirsty and needed a drink. I pretended to test her knowledge of the church building by having her take me to the kitchen. She then opened the door and the Elders jumped up and surprised her. It was so wonderful. The Elders BBQ´ed brats and then we went outside and flew a kite that the Paderborn Elders bought for her. Our District is really fun...it is made up of 2 elders in Paderborn and 2 elders here in Bielefeld. It was a great time.
After p-day ended we had an appointment with a contact named Tina. She is Catholic and seems pretty religious. She is so great, but is really busy with 2 jobs and trying to find a new apartment. We had a great lesson though. The Spirit was really strong and she agreed to meet with us again. We then went to the JAE FHA (YSA FHE) and we brought an investigator named Sonja...I don´t know if you remember her, but we "tschüss"ed her when I was with Sister Welch and then she randomly came to church last week. The FHA was a little boring, so a Mitglied (member) and I decided that we needed to play a game. It livened it up a bit. :o)
We met with a super cool woman named Katharina...she is the coolest person ever. I think I might have told you what happened last week when we found her. We were totally led by the spirit to her house and then we came and taught her part of the first lesson. About Jesus Christ, Apostacy, The Restoration, and The Book of Mormon. She is really hard for me to understand, but she said that she believes that it could be true. So we set up another appointment and commited her to read and pray.
Then we had interviews with the President at the church building. Our whole zone was there and we had a really good meeting about Jesus Christ. After Interviews my comp and I were starving because we hadn´t eaten all day, so Pres. and his wife took us out to eat. It was really fun. I love my mission president and his wife is the sweetest person ever.
We met with Mira and her friend Kristin again today. They are our 18 year old investigators. They are so cute and so interested in religion for being so young. We had a great lesson. We taught them about the importance of baptism and I committed them to baptism...well I tried. It was my first time and I did my best, but then I got an answer that I didn´t really expect. One said that she had already been baptised and the other said that she hadn´t. I didn´t really know what to say because there answers were opposite, so my wonderful comp stepped in and bore testimony about the importance of baptism and then taught about authority. She is a great teacher. She then committed them to pray about it. Mira can´t come to church on Sundays because of work, but we committed Kristin to come and she said that she would bring a friend. So we picked a place and time to meet in innenstadt before church so we could go together.
We then met with a woman named Clara...she was a referral from a woman named Schwester Wolf in the Gemeinde (ward). I had spoken with her on Sunday to come as a joint teach and she agreed. So we met with them and it was really weird. Clara is so old that she can barely hear what we are saying and doesn´t remember anything. She told us at least 4 or 5 times that she has 3 children. She also put the Book of Mormon on the floor by the side of her chair so she "would remember to read it later," then when we referred back to the BofM that she had put on the floor she asked, "what book?" We taught her what we could and did not set up a return appointment. She is 94 years old and would not know what she was getting herself into. You should have seen the look on Schwester Wolf´s face though. The entire time she had a HUGE smile on her face. She was so proud of herself that she was involved in Missionary work. It was so great to watch her and hear her bear her testimony.
Today was so cool because we got a surprise investigator. We had an appointment with Sonja today, but our joint teach fell through and they really really encourage you to only teach a lesson with a JT (joint Teach) there. That is after the first appointment. So we were going to change the appointment to another day, but we just went anyways and guess what?? Sonja had a friend there. So we taught her friend as well and even gave her a Book of Mormon. They both agreed to meet with us again, so we set up an appointment for sat.
We also visited a less active member. Her name is Gerda and she just got baptized at the end of last year. Although, she is not allowed to come to church now. She is a little handicapped and so her brother takes care of all of her financial stuff. When he saw that she started paying money (tithing) to a church he forbade her to come or he would cut her off. He has all control, so poor Gerda chose to listen to him. I mean what choice does she have? She can´t take care of it herself...she needs her brother. Her family thinks that we are a sect (a cult...auf Englisch). So we talked to her and just bore testimony of how important it was that she reads in the Book of Mormon and prays. She may not be able to go to church now, but there are things that she can still do to follow Christ. We are going to visit her again this week with the Bishop!!
This day was the weirdest day. We had service at a members house in the morning set up and also 4 appointments...3 of which had JT´s that were coming. Well the service got moved to later so that we couldn´t go, so we studied instead and then went to Katharina´s again. She is just so great!! She is so prepared. She asked us why we had knocked on her door, she said that she wanted to ask last time, but she was too scared. So Sister Jones told her that we were looking for a certain person, but didn´t know where they lived and when we came to her building we felt like we needed to knock on the doors. So we did and we found her. The Lord has really prepared her!! We had given her 2 chapters in the BofM to read and she said that she read them over and over again. She said that she had such a great feeling every time she read and that every time she thought about the book she thought about the scripture...those who seek shall find. I really hope that she continues to meet with us. We have one more appointment with her and then she is going on Vacation till the 5th of August. So after her appointment one of our appointments fell out, but then we got a joint teach for our other appointment. Then the woman called again and said she couldn´t come because her son was sick, but that was fine because then our appointment called and cancelled. So we only had one more appointment for the day. So we went to the service and found out when we got there that the moving truck wasn´t going to be there till later and that someone was supposed to tell us...no one did. The poor woman was so stressed out that she started to cry. We told her we would do our best to be there later. So we tried to figure out a way to cancel our appointment. It was at the church with a woman and we didn´t have her number. She we tried to call the JT who was friends with her, but her phone was off. So we called the Elders to try and get another number, but that didn´t help. Finally the Elders called and they just happened to be on the bahn with the member we tried to call. So we talked to her and cancelled the appointment. We then went and helped the woman move and paint a little bit. While we were packing the truck it started to down pour!! I felt really bad for her, but we got it all done. Her husband couldn´t be there to help because he is already in Austria working. I will never move unless my husband is there to help...there were a lot of Mitglieder (members) there to help, so that was really good. It was a crazy day because nothing went as planned except for our first appointment. Welcome to the life of a mission I guess!! Nothing ever goes as we had it planned the night before!! It stresses me out a bit because I get so excited for the day and then it never works out, but I guess it does work out. I mean, heavenly father made it possible to cancel our last appointment so that we could help this woman. He is in charge and I need to learn to roll with the punches a bit more!! It was still a great and fun day.
We met with Sonja and Alexandra again today and the bishop's wife came with us!! She is such a great JT and Mitglied!! I love that woman!! It was an interesting appt. It was really weird because neither of them really seem very interested...although we finally found out that Alexandra is a little mad at God because he took her dad away. I can understand that, if I wasn´t a member of this church and didn´t understand His Plan I would be mad too. So it was nice to find out her concern right up front so that we can help her understand His plan for us. We have another appt. with them next week!
I love Sundays. We were stood up today...Kristin never came. We have an appt. today so will see what happened. Sacrament meeting was so good though...at least what I could understand!! It was about repentance. I couldn´t understand everything, but I could feel the Spirit and the power of their testimonies. My comp and I taught the 3rd lesson in the investigator class and it went well. The elders have a baptism next week and so that is who we taught. Although we had to run around and find a woman member who would come in with us...we can´t be in there without another female. It all worked out though and went well. After church we had an eating appt. and told her right when we got there that we had to leave in an hour and 15 min. to catch our bus because we had to go to Oerlinghausen. She said ok, but I was still doubtful. The Mitglieder like to keep us forever, especially on Sunday...at least 2 hours or more. This woman especially. But we did it. We ate and it was wonderful and then I gave the Spiritual thought and then we left. Sister Jones said that that was the quickest Sunday eating appt. of her whole mission!! We were very excited. Then we went home, packed a dinner, and headed out in the pouring rain on our bikes to the train station. We got SO wet!! When we got there (about 20-25 minutes in the rain) I rang the bottom of my dress out because it was so soaked!! It was so funny!! We laughed and took pictures!! My long coat helped me out a lot!! We then got on the train and went to Helpup, visited a family there and then went to Oerlinghausen...it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. When I imagined Germany that is what I pictured!! I love it out there. We did doors for an hour and a half and then headed back home!! We had a good time!! I love Sister Jones, she makes even the worst weather fun and exciting. Thankfully the rain didn´t follow us to Helpup or Oerlinghausen!!

So that was my week...it was great. We got 5 new investigators and had 5 joint teaches. We hope to make more of our new investigators this week progressing investigators next week!! We worked so hard this last week and I loved it. We have so much fun together doing missionary work!! It will be a great transfer!!

Sister Jones

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