well, it’s been a good week. haha this is weird. it’s my LAST WEEK IN GERMANY. man oh man. I don’t really know what to write. I’ll see most of you soon? probably? but I guess I should probably do some sort of wrap-up of this whole thing and try to express at least a small part of what my mission means to me….
let me just say, it has not been easy. I’ll just preface this all with that so we’re all on the same page and you don’t think I’m over here just spouting rainbows and butterflies. like I’m sure I’ve said before, this has definitely been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I hate talking to people I don’t know. I really, really do. I am not naturally friendly nor outgoing. I don’t like people I don’t know talking to me, so I generally tend to leave others alone as well. so why on earth, might you ask, have I spent the last 18 months of my life trying my best to talk to as many people as possible about religion? it’s a fair question. and honestly, when I first got here I wasn’t really sure what I was doing or why I was doing this either.
but I clung to the knowledge I had, that I had prayed to a God I believed to exist for help and direction in my life, and I had received an undeniable answer that this is what I needed to be doing right now. I exercised a very small, very reserved measure of faith and came on a mission and it has changed my entire life. dramatic, but true.
I didn’t come because I wanted to make everyone be a Mormon. I didn’t come to make new friends or have a super awesome life experience. I came because it’s what God wanted from me, and through that I have learned so much.
I learned for myself that the gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect and beautiful and true, and it is taught in its entirely in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There are no gaps that can’t be filled and no lingering questions that can’t be answered through earnest prayer and scripture study. Joseph Smith was a true prophet. The Book of Mormon is literally the word of God. I can honestly say, I came here because God wanted me to, but I stayed because I know the Book of Mormon is true. that book is a total game changer.
altona, greifswald, leest. it’s been crazy, but I have seen that through the hardest trials come the greatest miracles. in the last 18 months I have been both the happiest I’ve ever been, as well the most distraught, but I would not have had it any other way. I needed to grow a lot. that has become very obvious to me. I needed to learn who I am and what the heck I am doing on this planet. God is real. This email is a mess. I’m emotional. I can’t believe I’m leaving. I will be forever grateful for the time I spent in Germany serving His children and trying to grasp the infinite love He has for each one of us. gah this has been the best time of my life.
na dann, bis Freitag ihr Lieben 🇩🇪
this week was a good one. die Zeit vergeht schnell, as they say. on Tuesday we had a street display in Potsdam and that was a really good time. at one point, this man came up and started looking at the pamphlets/BOMs and then asked us a couple questions about how our beliefs differed from protestantism. by the end of it, he had pretty much committed himself to read the BOM and go to church. and he was totally normal too! astounding. then as the afternoon wore on, we started having our regular experiences with the not-so-normal crowd. there was a street performer on the corner playing some blues/country, which in and of itself attracted a fair amount of interesting characters. we also saw a drunk woman get hit (well, more like lightly tapped) by a car and lose her freaking mind. so that was exciting. the street display on Saturday was unfortunately much more tame. we did get to meet a russian xylophone player though, so that was cool. I was not even aware that adults played the xylophone. apparently they do and I am very ignorant to all things percussion. I also still can’t speak russian literally at all, in case anyone was wondering.
other than that, the highlight of the week was when we got to go to the temple ☺️ our whole zone got to do a session, and then we were combined with dresden zone for our zone conference. I just love the temple and freiberg is so special. also I got to see some of my friends right before I go home so that was just :’) my favorite part of the conference was when a member of the berlin stake presidency spoke of how we are working towards a future temple in berlin and I just….gah. the time is really coming and the work is accelerating. it’s sick. the Lord is so aware of the people here and it just really warms my heart.
guys, I know God that loves His children, no matter where they may be. We are all equal in His sight. Let us try a little harder each day to emulate His love in our dealings with our fellow man. I know that is what He expects of us. Love you all, hope you have an awesome week!
well, I’ll start you off with a story. we were in a little village this week called fahrland, north of potsdam. took us about an hour and a half to travel there (buses this time, too far for the bikes) and the reason we were there was to go to the lutheran church to ask about family history information for a project we’re working on. so we get off the bus, find the church, and ask about the church books and the guy’s like ah, sorry, the pastor is on vacation for the entire month of august and I have no idea where the books are that you want. how about trump though!? can you believe that’s your president!? (this was a very stereotypical German interaction). yeah so anyways, after our little politics chat ended, we realized we were stranded in this village for about 2 hours before the next bus came. we decided to klingel the couple streets there were, and then when people weren’t home we would just put cards in their mailbox. a couple girls, probably about 13 or 14, passed by us as we were walking down the lane (can’t call it a street really) and kept going. we finished the row of houses and were turning back towards the bus stop when we heard one of the girls running up behind us. I thought ha, wouldn’t it be cool if she was running after us? but then was like nah, probably not, she probably just forgot something. sucks.
yeah SHE WAS RUNNING AFTER US. like, literally ran. she gets to us and is like hey, sorry to interrupt, but I felt like I should ask you what those cards are. my gosh. so we just talked to her very briefly about the cards and said that she can find more info online at the website. and then she was like alright cool, took the card and ran back to her friend. it wasn’t a huge thing, but I could just feel that it was a special thing. who knows if anything will come of it, but at very least it was cool that she wanted to talk to us. most people definitely don’t seek us out haha.
and then we had a lesson with Isabel and it was awesome. she said that she is noticing a difference between the joy of the gospel and the happiness we find in the world, like hanging out with friends or family. she said every time she comes to church or reads in the scriptures, there’s just a kind of light that can’t be duplicated by anything in the world. there’s a lot of things in the world that make me happy, like chili’s bean dip and friday night lights, but nothing really comes close to the joy of the gospel. it’s a totally different feeling. it’s amazing.
she shared her testimony in church on sunday and quoted this scripture. just thought I would share:
67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
Jesus Christ is light and truth, this is His work, this is His church and when we put Him first, we will receive the promise contained in this scripture. teaching Isabel is straight up the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
well, I love you all. have an awesome week!
I have like absolutely zero desire to write about my week, so I’ll just say it was fun, we did some good stuff, I am tired, and I bought Monopoly GDR edition today. This coming week we actually have quite a few appts and I’m excited 😄🎉 It’s also sis smith’s year mark coming up, so that will be a party. Good stuff, Leest continues to rock and the work is moving forward. Talk to ya more next week probably ✌🏼