26 January 2009

Yeah...some pictures

Christi and her district

Christi and Sister Fowkes

Christi, Sister Fowkes and Sister Hofman (from the ward).

Christi and Sister Fowkes, enjoying a rootbeer float!

Christi and her new little greenie...Sister Sayson

Week #35 (1-26-09)

This week...wow!! What can I say?? To start off...Monday and Tuesday was spent visiting people for Sister Fowkes and saying goodbye. She was really sad to leave. It was her first city and she was only there for about 3 transfers...not quite though because she left 2 weeks early!! She is doing well though in Dortmund. On Wednesday morning we rode the train up to Hamburg and I said goodbye to my comp of 5 weeks and headed with the AP´s to the mission home. That was my first time being alone with elders (well, guys of any kind) in 10 months!! It was a little weird!! :o) Then we headed to the airport and waited...and waited!! They lost the 3 missionaries' luggage on the way over from England (Which isn´t that far...how they lost it I´m not sure) and so that delayed it a bit. We ended up leaving the airport without bags and headed out with the AP´s to do some street contacting with the new missionaries. I told Sister Sayson that I was going to be her first comp and that we were going to be serving in Bremen. She then asked me if I remembered her. I was a little confused because She is from Frankfurt and I have never been there and she has never been to America. She then asked if I ever went to Paderborn. I told her yes, because I served in Bielefeld and Paderborn is were my District leader served. She then asked if I was there for a street display last summer and then I remembered. She was there and I met her. I talked with her a little and found out she wanted to go on a mission. I asked her were she wanted to go and stuff and told her "wouldn´t it be cool if you came to our mission??" Well here she is as my little golden!! I can´t believe it!! So funny. Anyway....we went out and talked to people and she did really well. It helped that she could speak German, but she was just as scared as I was at first and she had a hard time knowing exactly what to say. It took me back to my first couple days on my mission (which were like yesterday) and I felt and looked just like her...deer in the headlights type of thing. She did wonderful and then we hopped on a ferry and boated a little around the harbour in Hamburg. It was so beautiful...except for all of the ice in the water...yeah...it´s cold here!! :o) We then went to this rock thing that I went to on my first day and president told us a story about it and we took pictures. When we were heading back we were walking up this HUGE hill and we saw unicyclers coming down the hill. I was a little worried for them, but they looked like professionals with tight spandex and sporty looking unicycles. They stopped to talk to some of their friends in front of us and then stopped us...probably because we look funny in what we walk around in. I was talking to one of them and he kept trying to get me to ride his cycle. I kept telling him that is was too steep of a hill and that I would die. I started talking about who we were and tried to give him a card, but he told me that if I would ride on it he would take my card. I told him again that the hill was too big and that I would die and he told me that if God was there He would save me. I turned the subject back to the church, but he didn´t want my card unless I rode it. I really really thought about it and if it wasn´t on a hill I totally would have done it...but I thought that that would be a stupid and deadly way to give away a pass along card. He started showing off and rode up and down the hill and even started to bounce up and down...crazy man!! It was really cool though and they were really nice. Then we went to the mission home and ate dinner and called for the luggage and did some training...called again for the luggage and then went to bed. The training was pretty cool. I was there with 2 of the Elders that I came out with...one of which was in my district when I was in the MTC!! They are really really good elders!! The AP`s committed us to some things and I got really excited to recommit myself to work harder then I ever have before!! I love being on a mission and even though it is hard being a representative for Christ...for HIS church. I love being able to wear HIS name everyday and be able to bear testimony of HIM everyday. He is why I am here and why I wake up every morning no matter how tired I am. He is why I talk to complete strangers on the street, door to door and in the bus and bahn. He is why I am so happy everyday.

On Thursday morning we woke up and ate breakfast and then did some comp study. We finally figured out the luggage thing and they came at 11:00am sharp (they were supposed to be there at 5pm the day before) So we headed to the train station and headed down to Bremen to start her first day on her mission...well in the field. She was in the Preston MTC for 19 days!! She is such a hard worker and I love her already. Her english is ok, but I think that my German is better then her English...so we have decided to speak only German outside of the apartment and then only English in the apartment. It is working out ok!! Sometimes we have a hard time understanding each other...I can´t fully explain myself in German and she doesn´t fully understand sometimes what I mean in English. It is fine though because we both understand that we are going to have to have patience to understand each other. Mostly it is fine and I can explain myself in German. I love working with her. On Saturday we went to the RS president's house and talked to her about the ward list. We have a 17 page ward list...about 300 members or so...less then 100 are active. She knows the whole ward so we went through and found out who was active and who was not. We are going to find out what is going on with the inactives and see if we can reactivate them. We have a lot of work to do!! I´m very excited...we get to get to know the ward together and that makes it easier!!

On Sunday she was a little nervous to meet her first mission ward, but she did so wonderful. I don´t sit by my comps because I sit by the members, so she was a little nervous of who to sit by, but that is how you get to know the members is by sitting by them and reaching out. She gave her testimony and did wonderful of course with her perfect German!! :o) President and his Wife were there and they both spoke. Pres. talked about the importance of being one...missionaries and the ward...unity is important. He also told them that by the end of the year we will have 25% less missionaries in our mission. Probably so that those missionaries will be sent to Africa and South America. He talked about how having only one set of missionaries per ward will help get more baptism because it will be more up to the members to find people. Members are the finders and missionaries are the teachers. I can´t wait for the day that that really happens because I can tell you that finding people on our own is not as effective. It works and we find people, but it is not as effective as when it come from a friend of a member. Sister Thompson gave her testimony and she did so great. She doesn´t speak German, but she bore her testimony in German and did so wonderful.
Life is good here...we are still looking for an apartment...the search is slow, but we will find one!!

Well I think that is all the news from the great City of Bremen. Have a great week. I love you!!
Sister Jones

19 January 2009

Week #34 (1-19-09)...She's a trainer!

Oh, my gosh!! You won´t believe what has happened to me this past week. I will tell you the crazy news before I tell you everything else that is normal!!

Ok...you ready?? We were just studying like normal missionaries do in the morning when our mission president called us about 5 minutes before companionship study. When he calls you know something is up. Well, he told us that there is going to be a mini transfer this week. There is an MTC in Preston, England and there are 3 German speaking missionaries that are coming this week. (2 weeks before the transfer really ends) We knew that they were coming, but what does that have to do with us?? We just got put together...he wouldn´t split us up yet would he?? Well, he told us that we were both going to be effected by this transfer. He then told me that I was going to be a GOLDEN TRAINER for the sister that is coming. Tears immediately started running down my face. He then asked me if I would accept and through the tears I said yes. He then told my companion that she was being transferred to reopen Dortmund for sisters. (there are Elders there, but there haven´t been sisters there for about 4 transfers) There is a 3 some in Hamburg right now, so she will be comps with one of those sisters there. AHHHHHHH....can you believe that I´m training?? It is unbelievable to me. I´m just glad that she can speak German!! I have really wanted a German speaking comp, but didn´t think I would be training one. Weird!! So that s the BIG news.

This last week I also went to Missionsrat (mission counsel) and it was really cool. All the zone leaders go every transfer up to the mission home to talk about different things and find out what they can do to help their zone and the mission be stronger and better. Every transfer they also invite a companionship of sisters. Everyone has already gone except the sisters in Bielefeld...so they invited us this time. It was mostly in German, but I surprise myself that I can understand.

Well I have to go now!! I love you so much and will write more next week!!

Sister Jones

12 January 2009

Letter #33 (1-12-09)

So this week was really interesting!! We had p-day on Monday and then we had interviews with president on Tuesday. Then Wednesday came and I taught English class BY MYSELF!! AHHHH!!! The only reason I just screamed is because I have to do it in German!! We had a class in Bielefeld, but my comp was always there with me, but here there is a beginner class and an advaced class. Since I´m the senior comp I get to teach the beginner class. There was just one girl there and I had no clue how good her English was. So I told her that today I was going to talk about a lot of different things to see what she understood and what she doesn´t. It actually went really good. She said that she finally understood the whole "ing" thing. (ex. I am singing. I am going) That made me happy. It actually helped my German a lot too because I did the whole thing in German and learned some new words!! I love this language!!

Then on thursday I started to feel a little sick. We tried to do some weekly planning, but my comp told me to go and sleep....I guess I didn´t look so well. So I slept for a few hours and then we went back outside to some appointments and an eating appointment. Then I woke up Friday morning at 6:30 and felt like crap. Sinus pressure, cough (my voice was almost gone), nausea, and I kind of felt like dying. So I hopped in the shower and then after I just couldn´t take it so I laid down again. I ended up sleeping till 10am and then my comp woke me up and asked me if I wanted to stay in for the day. Well we didn´t have any appointments except for 2 eating appts. with members. So I decided to take my temperature and it was 101.7 and my comp laughed and then told me we were staying home. We called Pres. Wife and then the area mission doctor. The Elders came over and gave me a blessing and then I went back to bed!! The Elders picked up my meds for me as well. The doctor said that I had to stay home atleast for fri. and sat!! WHAT?? You can´t tell a missionary that!! Well...He also said I had Bronchitis and that it could turn into pneumnia if I´m not careful....uh yeah, so we listened to him!! Well, my poor comp was so bored, but got a lot of German study in. I still had a fever on Saturday for about half the day so the pres. wife said that I needed to stay in on Sunday as well. We missed the Elder's baptism and the ward lunch, but I´m feeling loads better. Just a little weak and nauseous today, but I will be fine. I also can´t really sleep at night because I wake up coughing. That has got to be the worst part of a sickness...coughing in the middle of the night!! This week should be better...I just want to be careful because in the blessing I got from the Elders he said to be careful and not to run faster then I have strength. So we are easing ourselves out. I don´t want to thank Heavenly Father for healing me so fast by all of a sudden running a muck outside all day in the cold!!
That is about all the exciting things that happened this week!! We did play some skipbo, which is my new favorite game...I am also the Skipbo master of our apartment!! :o) Wahoo!!

Well I hope that your week was more exciting then mine!!
Sister Jones

05 January 2009

Letter #32 (1-5-09)

This week was crazy!! Germans REALLY know how to celebrate!!

On Monday we had an eating appointment with the Missionary couple here and this old German lady that lives in their building. The couple doesn´t speak German so we were there to translate. I never realized how hard translating was. I never had to do it in Bielefeld because we don´t have a couple and at church we had ward members who would do it for the investigators. It is really good to practice though!! She was super cool and I got to learn about her past. Her husband, who is now dead, was a prisoner of war in WW2. He got taken to the US for about a year or so. She also helped in the hospitals and stuff during the war. What a hard time. I asked her what she did for fun when she was young and she said that she didn´t have time for that. Wow...I could not imagine not being able to have a childhood. She was super cool.

Wednesday was Silwester (New Years Eve) and we had to be home by 6pm for safety reasons. We thought that our area would be dangerous so we spent the night at Elder and Sister Robb´s apartment. The Elders were a little mad and jealous, but we got permission from President...they got over it by the next day. :o) It was fun. We played games and then went to bed at 10:30pm like normal. I had a hard time falling asleep because of the party upstairs, but then I finally did. Although it didn´t last long because of the really loud noise outside just after midnight. See in Germany almost everything is loud. Earlier that day we went and visited some people and these little punk kids threw a firework at us...well at our feet. I grabbed my comp and pulled her back and then for the first time on my mission....I yelled at someone in German. Ok, I didn´t really yell, but I definitely didn´t use my nice person voice. They weren´t very scared of me because they just laughed, but I could have taken them....Lol. I was just surprised that someone would do that....I should work on my scary German voice...I´m not very intimidating with my American accent!! :o) Anyway...so German´s are crazy with fireworks. So I woke up at about 12:10 and the noises and lights were so loud and bright I have no clue how I slept through that. It was so cool...I got up and watched them with Sister Robb. I LOVE fireworks. Everywhere I looked in the sky...near and far...there were fireworks. People were down in the street below us lighting them off too. It was so amazing. Like Disney fireworks, but all over the sky in every direction. The next day there was so much trash on the ground from it that it was crazy!! I love it!! I had a hard time getting back to sleep because the party above us ragged on.

The next day we had breakfast at the Robb´s with the Elders and then went to another eating appointment with my favorite member here. Her name is Sister Hofmann. She is from the Philippians and we speak English together which makes me happy. We played this super cool game together that we will have to play when I get home. It´s called Hair Fight. So cool and fun!! She is awesome. Oh...we also got our new fridge this week...it is so small, but it works!! YEAH!!
On Sunday we ate at the Fritzsch´s and they helped us look for a new apartment. Did I tell you have we have to move?? We have to be out by the 1st of march. We are looking at one tomorrow. It should be interesting. I´m glad to be moving because this apartment it really old and junky!! It´s in the basement which doesn´t help!!

Well be have to run and catch a train to go to Bremerhaven today!! Have a great week!!

Deine Sister Jones