I thought I was just barely here emailing all of you but I guess that was a whole 7 days ago. We have this thing on missions: days go slow, weeks go fast, months go slow, transfers go fast….missions go so very fast. Can you believe that this week I will be hitting my ONE YEAR MARK? I sure can’t believe it. I just remember being so happy and excited to come on my mission. Then as we were driving around the outside of the MTC I felt like I was on one of those boat rides where your stomach just drops only it was like that for 20 minutes while we drove around. Happy to say I am no longer on a boat ride, but I do feel like my stomach will be on a boat ride the whole way home which is a longggg flight. But I don’t have to worry about that for six more months.
12 months is a long time so I figured I would write 12 things that I have experienced or learned on my mission:
1: Holy cow, missionaries are so cool. Who would have ever known they can become your best friends?
2: I have never left our mission boundaries but I have been able to experience so many cultures on my mission and see how people do things differently from all over the world. Just this week we met people from Nigeria, Cameroon, West Africa, Afghanistan, Turkey, Vietnam, Romania, Korea, India, and Bangladesh. That’s only ONE WEEK.
3: Isatou, Louisa, Herr Nahrgang, Declan. All of these people who are so amazing and have changed their lives so much in order to come closer to our Heavenly Father and remember they are His children.
4: My sister. Seeing how much she is changing and learning how important she is and that she for herself has realized how important it is to come closer to our Heavenly Father and remember all that Jesus Christ did for us.
5: How thankful I am to have a car in America. I will never get groceries again with a car and not be thankful that I don’t have to walk home with huge bags or ride bikes with huge groceries sacks.
6: Noticing all the little miracles that happen during the day that we really are a blessed people and we need to always remember that. So many miracles it just blows your mind.
7: That I am able to go out on the street and talk to complete strangers no matter who they are and what the look like. That is truly shocking for me because I’m not normally the kind of person who talks to people that I don’t know. Not anymore.
8: That I know there is a God. I know this with my whole heart. He has done so many beautiful things. This week we saw blue sky and I never realized how beautiful a blue sky is.
9: Airplanes FREAK ME OUT. Yeah it sounds weird, but whenever I see an airplane I remember there is another world out there. That it isn’t just Germany. I remember that my time here is short and I need to use every second I have.
10: Hearing people that I have taught, share their testimony. It is the most beautiful thing ever.
11: Seeing this huge light bulb click on in people’s minds when they realize all that Jesus Christ has done for them and that through Him they can be clean from all sin.
12: THAT WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD NO MATTER WHAT WE BELIEVE.
Yes that is just 12 of the 123,947,023,897 things I have learned while on my mission. To list them all would take a little bit of time.
So now I will tell you what happened this week because it is kind of important. Well we had Zone Conference and it was AMAZING. One of my most favorite ones, ever. It was so… just fantastic. We just learned about how we need to change personally to become better missionaries and better people in general.
Church is just fantastic. The ward here is amazing and the people are so good at making our investigators feel welcome.
Here are 2 of my favorite stories for the week:
1: We were on the U-baun (like a subway) and there were two empty seats next to us. A man from Africa came and sat down. I didn’t talk to him because I thought we were getting out at the next stop but then Sister Ricks said we were on for two more stops. So I leaned over to this man and asked if he was from Berlin. I knew he wasn’t and then he replied in English, which was great. I told him we were from America and why we are here and we had to get off so I gave him our card and he said he would see us tomorrow at church. He didn’t come, but it doesn’t matter. Maybe he will another day. He was so cool. His name is Samuel and he is from Cameroon.
2: We were on another U-baun and as we were sitting down I see another man…from Africa. He got on and he was on the phone and so I said a prayer that if this man needs us then please give us a way to talk to him. He hung up his phone and then I said, “Okay Sister Ricks, if there is an open spot by him we are going up there.” and she said, “No, we need to get off at the next stop.” That is awkward, so then we were getting off at our stop and saw that HE WAS GETTING OFF TOO. He happened to get on the same baun [street car] as us. Totally not an accident. Then we went and sat by him and asked him where a stop was and he replied in English that it was two stops away and when we started talking and told him where we are from and why we are here and he said, “Oh I would love to meet with you sometime.” So as we were about to our stop we just gave him our card and told him to call us right then so we could have his phone number. We made up a time to meet. About 5 minutes later we got a call and we are going to meet with him tomorrow. His name is also Samuel and he is form Nigeria.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Have I ever said that before? Oh and I also love the people from Africa!!!!!!
Time to close but I want to share with you what I learned this week: “Happiness is the key to pretty much everything.” – Sister Ahrenholtz
But really; ‘happy’ in the dictionary says: enjoying, giving, indicating pleasure, joyous, blessed.
Goodness, we better all be happy all the time!
Have a good week. LOVE YOU ALL
Sending you love from Germany