25 May 2009

Week #52 (5-25-09)

Guess what I am eating right now?? A Poptart!! WAHOO!! In Bremerhaven (where my district leader is) there is a store with American food in it!! They only take American money!! I have been asking for poptarts for the last few weeks and he gave them to us on Sat. We actually only got one pack (so with 2 poptarts) but I haven´t had a chance to eat it till now!! MMMmmmm...man is it tasty!!

This week was a good week...well ever week is a good week, but some are more exciting then others!!

On Tuesday we had district meeting and then went all the way to Delmenhorst (15min train ride) to an appointment, but she wasn´t there...she had forgotten to call and cancel with us...so e headed back to Bremen and ended up getting a contact!! It was meant to be I guess. Then we went to an appointment with Stella and Ucha (one of the African couples...the ones we found a few weeks ago) and we brought a joint teach with us. It was pretty good, but we spend 45 min. talking about prophets...he thinks he is a prophet!! We invited them again to come to church, but they have there church at the same time. They invited us to come to this thing tonight at there church...we normally go to FHE with the YSA´s, but we are going to show them that we are interested in what they believe so that hopefully they will come to church with us some time!! We then went and visited a less active member Sch. Barufe. We have been meeting with her for a really long time. Her husband is not a member, but he is warming up to us. He is really learning to trust us and talk openly with us. We ended up going to the play ground with Sch. Barufe and her daughter because she REALLY wanted to go. We had a lot of fun. We went on this slide and totally got some air..not a lot, but a little!! then we played on some of the other toys and stuff in this sandy area. Note to self...it is not fun to have sand in your shoes on a mission!! :o)

On Wednesday was a little hard...nothing went as planned. We had weekly planning (which we normally do on Thursday or later, but we had no time) and then went to an eating appointment with a member...she wasn´t home!! :o( We were starving so we went and grabbed some food. We then went to the church for English/German class and we had 2 students for German (both members) and then we were planning on doing some doors, but the woman who makes dinner for the YSA´s on Wednesday night needed our help getting things prepared...so we stayed and helped!! She doesn´t normally need our help so it was nice to be able to do something for her. She does a lot for the YSA´s. We then stayed and ate with the YSA´s like normal and then headed home.

On Thursday we had an appointment in the morning with Barbara. She has been kind of falling off the map a bit, but it was a great lesson. We brought Sch. Ganser who lives by us and that was perfect. We all found out a little bit more of where Barbara is...spiritually. She has stopped reading and is still searching for the truth. I thought that she had found it!! We talked about the first lesson and also talked about the importance of woman...she thinks that God is not a woman or a man because she doesn´t like that she has to pray to a man. We talked about our mother in heaven...a little deep I know, but it helped her understand it better. We pray to God because he has the priesthood, so he is the partiarch, but he is no more important then his wife...just like in a marriage the man is no better the the woman...there is no men with out woman and visa versa!! It was really good for her to hear. We then really committed her to read and pray...she promised to do it by next week (this week now)!! I think this week we will have to remind her of how we met and that it was no coincidence. We then went to Sch. Mathieu another Less active we have been working with for a while and did made thank you cards with her. She is kind of a lonely person. When I asked her a few weeks ago what her hobbies were she said that she doesn´t have any. I then asked her what she does in her free time and she said watch TV...and that is the truth. That is almost all she does after work. So we thought it would be good to have her do something nice for someone else...so we all made a card for someone we wanted to thank!! We had a good time. Then we rode our bikes from her house to our appointment with Olga....I had seen on the phone that she had called, but she didn´t leave a message and when I tried to call back she didn´t answer...I was really hoping that she would be there because we had a joint teach coming and it was starting to rain really hard and we didn´t have jackets. (It had been really sunny and warm the whole day) Well we rode there and the rain wasn´t too bad, but then we had to wait for our JT and that is when the rain really started to come down. I then pulled out my umbrella and we stood under that for about 5 min and then decided to just go in. Well we rang the bell and her little song answered and said that she wasn´t home. But then her husband came out from shed let us in. We were still pretty wet and her made us some tea and we talked to him for a while. Our Joint teach showed up looking like a wet cat and we had to tell her that Olga was not home. She took it really well. She just lives a 5 min. bike ride from Olga, but I still felt bad, but the member was all smiles!! She is so wonderful!! We ended up getting to know the husband better. That was a really big blessing because he was there for the first couple lessons and then he stopped coming in to sit with us!! He was really nice and we had a good time laughing and talking together. It was a blessing that we saw. It had even stopped raining when we left!! We were really cold though.

So I forgot...this week was Christi Himmelfahrt (Christ´s ascent into heaven) and every year Germany has something called Kirchentag (church day...which is more like half a week) and it is a little confusing, but I hope it makes sense how I explain it. They have it every year, but every 2 years it switches religions...2 years catholic and then 2 years Protestant...it also switches cities every year. This year is the first time it has ever been in Bremen. They were expecting 300,000 people and I really think that that was a right guess....it was SO full!! It started on Thursday, but people started coming on Wednesday night...The train station was SO packed!! I couldn´t believe it!!

So we decided that we would do some street contacts and try and talk to some of these people who came from all over Germany for Jesus Christ. We didn´t see much success, but we ended up finding this guy who was really nice and we talked to him for a while. He said that he already had the book of Mormon and that he has no interest in learning more, but we had a good conversation with him.

On Friday we went and delived a few book of Mormons to people that our president had found when he was in Bremen with his wife and family. She doesn´t want to meet with us, but she said we could call in a few weeks and see how she likes it. Then we had an eating appointment with the Uhlenberg family. They are one of my favs. The Husband is really flirty withe me, but it is just in fun...but he did do something that I won´t say now, but maybe I will when I get home....remind me and I will tell you!! It was really embarrassing!! Then is started to rain again...and again we didn´t have jackets...the weather here is so weird. It is so sunny and warm in the morning and then we leave and a few hours later it is really cloudy, cold and rainy. Well we had planned to work in a members garden again, but we weren´t sure what to do. So we went there without changing and by the time we got there the rain left and she still wanted us to work. So we changed, worked for our 2 hours and then it started to rain again. She must have a really good relationship with Heavenly Father because he always answers her prayers right away. It is so cool to see her faith at work!! We then went to an appointment with a contact that we had found. Antoine is his name and he is also from Africa. He became our new investigator. He is super cool and really interested in what we had to say about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

The on Saturday we planned to have a District activity for Kirchentag. We met at the train station and one of the Eldersa had prepared a game where we had to talk to certain people or do certain things to get points. So he gave a list of the things and the point totals and then we spit up in our companionships and worked for 2 hours. Sister Sayson and I had a lot of fun and guess what...we found 5 contacts!! The Elders didn´t end up finding any...it was still a great activity and sister Sayson and I are so grateful for the success that we saw. 3 of the people don´t live here in Bremen, but the other 2 do. There was SO many people that it was kind of hard to talk to people, but we did it and had a lot of fun going out of our comfort zone and the Lord really blessed us for that!! We then came back together and counted up our points and we WON!! Well not really...the prize was to get free lunch and so I added them up, but everyone was hurrying me...so I thought that I had added it right. So we all went to Subway and the Elders all paid for us!! WAHOOO...free food, but then later that night I readded it and found out that when I had added up the final totals that I had accidentally wrote 215 and not 115 when I added and I thought we had 455 points but we only had 355....ooops!! I still haven´t told the Elders. I might get around to it, but maybe not!! :o) We then went to the Rust Family and had a BBQ with them. It was pretty good. I´m not a big fan of pork...I like it, but it is pretty fatty....I really miss chicken BBQ!! We also got to play a game with the kids!! It was a good visit. When we got back to Bremen we went to go catch our bus and then I heard it...an opera voice. I was enchanted and had to listen for a few minutes. She was singing Rejoice from Handel´s Messiah and it was beautiful. I got a little on tape. Man do I miss that stuff. It was part of this Kirchentag thing.

Then on Sunday I had to give a talk in Church...well I was able too!! :o) I talked about from planting the seeds to harvesting. I had been thinking about it and studying it for days and I was really nervous. I even fasted to get more help from the Lord. When I got u there I told them that I was nervous because that was only my second talk in Germany...my first was my second Sunday in Germany and everyone laughed/gasped...I told them that I could speak German a little better but that I hoped that they could learn something through the Spirit. Well I gave my talk and I really felt like I had talked through the Spirit. I talked about how they need to be good examples and people who don´t only believe the gospel, but live it and also that they need to open their mouths. I really felt the Spirit really strong as I spoke. When I sat down the 2nd counselor told me that I did a good job and that my German was really good. A lot of people complimented me on my talk and on my German. One woman even told me that she was really touched and moved by what I said!! I really hope that they now have a bigger desire to do missionary work. There are not enough missionaries in Germany to find the people who are prepared...we need the members to help us so that we have not only 4 missionaries in Bremen, but 154!! That would be ideal!! :o) We then got to on a tour of the new ward building here in Bremen. It will open in October. It looks really good from the outside, but the inside still looks like a construction site!! The ward members are SO excited!! Then we ate with a member and I was destroyed for the rest of the day. I don´t know what was in the food, but during the Spiritual thought it sounded like I´d eaten a live animal and that it was trying to get out!! It was not very fun!! I love eating appointments, but not when they ruin the day!! We got things done at home with our area book and stuff....it was still effective!!

So now all of the people have gone home and the city will be back to normal. It ws so cool to see so many people come together for Christ, but they just had to bring the cigarettes and the alcohol too!! Drunk people and church don´t mix in my opinion, but it´s Germany!!

It was a busy week!! I love when it is busy. This week we have zone conference and then next week we have transfer calls and then transfers the week after...only 2.5 weeks in the transfer left and then I will know if I will be staying here for 5 transfers or not!! Don´t ask me what I want because I don´t get to decide...I just try not to think about it!! :o) Some people get really into transfer predictions, but that is not really my thing!! I would rather spend my time thinking of something else!

Well I love you and I hope that you have a great week!!

Sister Jones

18 May 2009

Week #51 (5-18-09)

This week was better then last week. We had a joint teach on Tuesday with a couple from Africa. Our JT was Alex...a JSA in our ward who is half American and half German. It was pretty good, but I felt like the whole time we were talking about the same things, but we would just say them different. But they wanted us to say them a certain way or they would argue a little with us. I tried to commit them to read the book of Mormon, but they said that they want to meet with us so that we can go through EVERY SINGLE PAGE together in the Book of Mormon!! Uhhh...I think that they pretty much told me that they wanted to be eternal investigators. Hey, at least they were honest. I told them that as missionaries we are here to help people find out our church is true and then baptize them. They didn´t seem to understand that. I don´t know how long we will be meeting with them...if it continues to be a bible study rival then we might have to give them the boot!! We will see....

We got to eat at another African couple this week...they are also investigators. The food was SO amazing!! I loved it. They made us a variety of food so that we could try some of the main things in Africa. I´m totally going to go to Africa some day...wow!!

Besides that we had some lessons with some inactives and also got to have institute with a bunch of JSA´s from a couple different wards!! It was really fun!!

We are planning a music night in this ward for the 19th of June!! Sadly that is the week after transfers...I´m going to ask pres if I can stay or if I get transferred if I can come back for it. The ward will be mad if I help plan it and then don´t end up singing in it!! I don´t know if I want stay here for 5 transfers, but if I did in Bielefeld I could do it here...although that would give me only 2 transfers in my last city!! Oh well...it is all up to the Lord!!

Sister Jones

11 May 2009

Week #50 (5-11-09)

This week has been strange. We were really busy, but then Sister Sayson got sick..she has really been struggling with her health. So we had to stay in for a day. I was so bored that I cleaned the WHOLE apartment...and when I say cleaned I mean cleaned. I even took all of the food out of the fridge and chipped the ice off that was on the back of the fridge!! I had fun!! My comp literally slept the whole day. She would wake up for like a half hour and then go back to sleep. She is doing better now!!

We are struggling with our investigators a bit. We are really trying to get them progressing, but it has been hard for the last few weeks. They were doing so good, but now they seem to have taken a few steps backward. We were talking about it last night. We thought that Barbara was doing so good, but the last few weeks she has been moving backwards not forwards. We are working on it!! Pray for her please. She needs to give up smoking and it will be hard, but she can totally do it. We are planning to have her come to a member's house with us this week and so the member and his wife can get to know her better and she can feel of the spirit in their home. The father also had to give up smoking, so hopefully that will help her to again move forward.

We are excited for this week because we already have a lot to do. This woman in the ward who is in charge of the missionaries eating calendar gave the RS a big lecture about how empty the calendar has been for the last few weeks...let's just say that the women felt a little guilty because we have an eating appt. almost everyday this week and next week and the week after. I love eating appointments with members, but sometimes it is hard because they want us to stay for a long time. Not everyone, but a lot of the older people who are used to the old rules about eating appts....there were none!! :o) We have to remind them that they are only supposed to be an hour. Most people are super good about it. I hope they don´t feed us to much!! :o)

That´s about all to report for this week!! I will try to have a better email for next week!!

Love you!!
Sister Jones

04 May 2009

Week #49 (5-4-09)

We saw some cool miracles this week. We met some guy on the street and made an appointment out with him to bring him the book of mormon and talk more about our church. Well we went to the appointment and he wasn´t there (when I told this story to the RS on Sunday some lady in the congregation made a loud angry grunt at this part of the story!! :o)) when we got there. So we decided to do doors in his building and we talked to this guy from Spain who had lived in America for a while. He let us in and we talked to him for an hour!! It was SO good. He actually had met with missionaries when he was younger, but now he had become muslim. He didn´t have any interest to meet with us again, but I know that we knocked on his door for a reason. God is trying to tell him something, but he is just not ready to listen...again. Maybe another time!! It was cool because that was only my 3rd or 4th time in a year of missionary work of actually being let in. I have gotten a lot of contacts that way, but they usually tell us to just come back later because they have no time. It was a good experience for Sister Sayson...that was her first time being let in!! :o)

We also rode bikes for about 2.5hrs in one day. There was a holiday on Friday and so the buses don´t come very often and the bus to one of our appt. doesn´t come at all on Sundays and holidays. So we rode all the way there. We were pretty sore, but not as bad as when we first started riding bikes!!

Oh, I also started a competition with one of my ZL to see who can lose the most weight in the next 3 transfers (so by the time he goes home) He has already lost a lot of weight on his mission so I hope that that will give me the advantage!! hehe!! Don´t worry, missionary work is still important, but when you feel like a big fat sister Missionary it´s harder to do missionary work!!

We were also sitting on the bahn the other day and 2 people started talking to us. We talked to them about the gospel and niether of them were interested, but it was cool to see that they were curious enough to talk to us. They were cool.

Barbara and Olga didn´t have time to meet with us this week, but Barbara did come to church again on Sunday. That is 4 Sundays in a row!! We even had a member pick her up this time because they live close to each other. So many people already know her in the church. It was SO cool to see them remember her name and invite her to the ward activity on Saturday and to tell her...see you next week!! It was wonderful. I also got to see some people from Bielefeld because there was a baby blessing and the mother comes originally from Bielefeld and her family came. I told them how much I missed them and the ward and they told me that they all missed me to. I also told them that I will be back to visit them in Oct. before I go home and they are excited!! WHOOO!! I love Bielefeld. I mean I love Bremen too, but Bielefeld just has a special place in my heart!!

So on Saturday we had a street preach in Osnabrück. That is where we stand on the street and sing hymns and talk to people and also someone steps forward and starts teaching the gospel with a loud voice so everyone can here....kind of like Dan Jones. I told the Elders that I was NOT going to do that part, but I would gladly sing and also talk to the people in the area. I didn´t like the idea of talking to the whole city...a few people at a time is ok, but not all of downtown. Well we started and a few of the Elders went and then I gave in and did it!! I was really nervous, but it went ok. It would be like standing in Downtown seattle and talking to all of the busy shoppers on the street....that is how many people where there. I also sang a solo. I think a street preach would be cool in America...don´t know if they do it. Here is was pretty good, but once the Germans see that we are from a church they run away. We did have a few people stop and listen and then we would come out of the choir and talk to them, but then they would walk away from the word church or christ...we also had missionaries roaming around the area talking to people....half were in the choir and the other half were the street contactors. We did at one point have a group of 3 little kids watching us and listening to us sing and preach the gospel with the sound of a trump...well my was a trump...lol!! But the kids were sadly younger then 8!! :o) It was still a good day!!

We are really busy again this week. I´m excited. I love when it is busy...appt. service, and other activities get me excited for the coming week!!

Sister Jones