Happy Thanksgiving 2014 from Germany!

I bought a dirndl!  I love Germany!

I bought a dirndl! I love Germany!

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Its so beautiful here!

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Fall decoration package from home

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The lovely Sister Packer

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I love Fall in Munich!

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working hard!

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Thanksgivng was awesome here and we did get to celebrate it! It was amazing! We got to go to an American’s house for Thanksgiving Dinne and she is a super good cook. It was sooo good.

This week was amazing! On Monday, we hit a snag with our Pday because there was a lady we met who wanted a Book of Mormon in Albanian. We went to deliver it to her on the only day she had off for the forseeable future. We walked there and she wasn’t home. We waited for a second and prayed, then finally decided to leave. We turned around and there she was! Coming home. Then we gave her the book, though she doesn’t speak much German or English so that was fun 🙂 She wasn’t interested in meeting again, but we were able to give her the book and she said she would read it. I think that is a miracle. 😀

Backtracking a bit to earlier in the week… We were able to meet with Sebastian and he is doing way good! He’s got a new job, a reinstated desire to find out truth for himself and a better relationship with God. He is really a cool kid.
We also got to meet with a less active who was baptised very young. As we were talking with her, she said she never really felt she had the chance to develop her own testimony. We explained that she just needed to read, pray and come to church. She promised to start by reading. We helped her get the app on her phone, in her native language Spanish, and were simply amazed. She was just like an investigator. She had no idea what it meant to be baptised and her she was, getting another chance to start fresh. We did a similar thing with another less active of ours this week also from South America who was not taught a lot of things before she was baptised, or who has soon forgotten them, and as we taught we could see her face light up. She really wanted to change so that her family could be together for eternity.

It is just such a testimony to me that before we make big decisions, such as baptism, we must be ready for them. That requires self reflection, thought, prayer and action! God doesn’t want us to roam uninformed into His kingdom, he won’t allow it. We are here to make our own decisions and build our own life. He has given us all the help he can and will give us more if we only look for the help He wants to give us.

WE also got to teach Tina this week and she really takes it seriously. I love teaching people about things that can help them eternally progress. You can feel how much love there is for these people.

Then, just today I met YET ANOTHER lady from Yorba Linda. Her grandparents had a huge ranch out there earlier and founded the street Bastanchury. Hey that is where our church building is! I told her all about that and she was like ”This is so cool, what are the chances.” She moved to Germany in the 80s on a whim and ended up settling down here. She is very old. I just can’t comprehend how huge God’s plan is. he really has specific plans for us! WOW!

All we have to do is beleive, learn, and act! YAY! Well, I love being a missionary!

SS

November 18, 2014

This week we got to work with some of our favorite people, so like you know, everyone! 😀
First off, we got to work with this amazing investigator, Tina! Her husband is a member, he served his mission in Canada. They always feed us amazing and healthy meals, even though we tell them they don’t have to feed us, that we are there to teach her! She is the best! She is really progressing well, she thinks deeply about things and is always ready to learn more. I really appreciate that every time we meet, she gives us 110 percent attention. We taught her der Plan des Glücklich seins and my German was really good. I mean really good. I mean I am not braging, when you understand that it was not me speaking. I was teaching and I knew how important it was for her to understand, for it to be clear and all of the sudden, God helped. Sister Packer said afterwards that I made no mistakes. WHAT?

I am so grateful that I can be such a tool for the Lord to use to teach people. We now get to text her scriptures everyday and she and her husband read more and talk about them every night. I love her! Later, she asked us over for Thanksgiving ( and she’s German– she doesnt even normally celebrate it) and we already have an appointment, but she was like that’s totally fine, I just wanted to make SURE that you got to celebrate a holiday that is so important in your culture! Germans are so much warmer, nicer and ready to help than people give them credit for. Seriously, if I am lost and I ask for directions tons of Germans will stop to help. It just goes to show that you really can’t judge something until you’ve really experienced it!

I am so grateful to be here, in this beautiful place. They are starting to set up all of the Christmas Markets here and everywhere is so traditionally and beautifully decorated. Germany is just the best.

This week I get to use my filming skills as I help with Releif Society in making a video about our ward and the conversion stories of all the members. I then get to edit it! YAY I am so excited to talk to everyone about how they found their faith. All of the members have great stories. They are such good examples to me.

Last week I talked a lot about how members are the best tools we have. It should, then follow, that we must also be great tools in helping God help others. He can’t be here right now, but I am. I have been thinking a lot about what kind of tool I can be and what I can do to sharpen my skills. Where to even start? Then, I realized to just go. Just go and do the work and the Lord will show you. That is really true. (refer to paragraph one where I was able to speak perfect German) LOL

We also had an amazing Stake Conference this week, Sister Packer spoke and it helped us connect with tons of members there. Right after the Conference, we went to a members house, who was not able to make it, and shared the talk! She was super grateful for the visit!

We also were able to talk to someone who had left the church. We were in this situation to lift someone else up, but ended up hearing a lot of negative things, some of them about Sister Packer’s family. In that moment, I realized how much the Lord really trusted us. We were able to be kind, patient and simply bare our testimonies. We were able to lean on the Atonement and not judge, but stay strong in our faith. Oh, the help we receive when we but ask. I read a talk this week from Jeffery R. Holland about faith. He states that when we are really humble and ask God to help us find out the truth, then He will give us help from both sides of the veil. How cool is that?

I will simply state that I know this Church is led by God. I know the Prophets and Apostles are called of God. God has answered all my questions, protected me and sheltered me. I am so grateful to be here, a servant and a tool for Him. I truly do see miracles everyday and I can promise anyone that they can see them too, if they just ask God, open their eyes and get to work!

Love,
Sister Smith

Missionaries can relate to SuperHeros! November 10, 2014

Being a missionary is like being a superhero. Honestly, that is what it feels like. Everyone thinks you are so weird because you are different, you are able to use power to help people and you’re sole focus is to bring others to safety. Once a missionary realizes that the best way to have these powers is by actually being obedient and thinking of others. You can only tap into the power that God gives you as a missionary when your mind is on the work and your heart is with the people.

I hate running. I am a swimmer, I can’t run. However, as a missionary, I run a TON. I run to catch the bahn (subway), to make it to appointments on time, in the morning for Frühsport (excersize), and every time I run, I think of the people I’ll be able to help as I get there faster. Now, when we don’t run we are able to talk to people and we do that a lot too, but when I’m running, it is always so that I will be able to do the job Heavenly Father has given me well by reaching more people than otherwise would be possible. Some more superpowers I get to use are…
The Gift of Tongues (I can speak German and understand it). I’m not perfect, but people can understand me and I am able to say whatever I want, pretty much.
An ability to reach and connect to people despite their circumstances- while using the gift of the holy ghost, I am able to give people the message God has for them and ultimately help them live the gospel better so that they can receive more blessings and enjoy the happiness that I am also blessed with as I try to be obedient.
A light. So many people are drawn to the missionaries because of the special light we are allowed to carry when we are obedient. They tell us that, they ask how we can be happy in the cold and dreary winter, they schedule return appointments with us even if they dont understand our german because they feel the light and warmth that comes from the spirit. They can also see it in members. It is a gift that keeps us warm and if we use it well, can help others as well.
there are tons more, but That is a good sneak peak into why being a missionary is so special!

I know I can only manage to talk to people, speak this language, touch hearts and witness change because I am being helped. The power comes from God! I am so thankful for that.

This week we were able to work with tons of less actives and members who are normally busy were randomly (cough cough miracle superpowers lol) able to show up. The lessons went super well and some came to church 😀
We were also able to talk to our steak president, President Auras. He lost his 11-year-old son last month randomly, during a soccer game, due to an unknown heart problem. He told us that the next day he prayed for comfort in the temple and a worker there had the same name as his son. He cried and thanked the worker for the miracle that brought him so much comfort only to then find out that this man had been really good friends with President Auras’s father as a kid. They had lost contact for a long time and were finally reunited. The witness and knowledge that President Auras has makes him the one of the most shiny, awesome and missionary-oriented examples I know!

Otherwise, I am doing GREAT. I love working here. The people are so great. The ward is doing well and we are seeing so many miracles. Living the gospel joyful is the best.

A Tidbit from my studies today that I thought was cool. In Preach My Gospel it talks about how to know you are a successful missionary. Here is the formula:

Obedience+ Righteous Living+ Doing your best to help others live the gospel = a successful missionary

-baptisms sold separately 🙂 (that was my insert lol)

Baptisms are great, they are our goal, they bring people closer to Christ and help them immensely. Still, a missionary is not unsuccessful because the souls he or she touched did or did not come to baptism. Let the light you illuminate in each soul shine and burn brightly enough for everyone, let it be everlasting and (hey maybe this is even you- the missionary- we are talking about) let it lead them to happiness.

Miss you all!
Love,
Sister Smith

November 3, 2014

This week was great. We kept working with Natalie, welcomed a new elder into our ward and had a blast just plain working!

WE had loads of miracles. Sometimes I feel like an action hero or something because there are some days where we have so many things to do that we literally run to catch our train in order to help more people and it is actually fun! I will probably remain in Munich until January (yay!) and Sister Packer and I are like an equal companionship. She will go home at the end of this transfer.

Today, we went to Dachau, a former concentration camp. It was the first concentration camp. We watched a video for the camp at the beginning (oh by the way we were with an LDS couple we met on the bus– from Sacramento) and there were so many videos of Nazis roaming the streets we now work in. It was an unreal experience, walking through an incinerator room where millions of bodies were burned, a gas chamber and tiny living quarters for the people who were sentenced to death. It is devastating to think of all the agency that was taken away there and all the pain endured. Still, knowing that the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all pain and suffering and will allow these people to receive the justice life robbed them of, helps me to carry on and fuels me to help more people come to that realization.
Time on emails this week is a little short because of that, we took a later train and the elders will need the computers soon, but it was worth it to see the history and honor the people who went through that.

Natalie is doing great- she shares the gospel whenever she can, is super strong and simply glows with joy, a less active who we could not get ahold of came to church this week, a part member family came to church this week, we had Rouladen (look that stuff up its SO GOOD) and a chef in our ward cooked for us a soup, a pumpkin (how do you spell quesh or keesh or whatever lol I forgot how to english) and Quark with saffron in it. You don’t have Quark or anything like it in America but man you are missing out it is actually healthy and delicious, especially with saffron. It was such a good week for food. lol

There is an opera singer in our ward who went to ASU and is from AZ actually lol and she is super cool. We went to her house for dinner last night and she told us how she is booked with shows and how it all came to be. Her name is Angela Brower and she is just the best!

We also had a cool miracle story this week:
(from Sis Packer, I copied this from her email since we are short on time):

We had a miracle story happen the other day. We had some lag time in between appointments and going home and I thought, hey let’s contact. We began talking with man from Nigeria. He was really open. Sister Smith started and said to the effect of, ”We’re missionaries of our church and we help people find relief from feelings of guilt and shame through Jesus Christ. Do you have a belief in God and Jesus Christ?” HOLY NOT GOLDEN OF MY LIFE. She’s a rockstar! We had a great conversation with him about communicating with God. He was leaving back to Nigeria within a week, but Sister Smith then went and asked him if he knew anyone that would be interested in learning about our message. He paused. And thought. He pulled out his phone and for a good two to three minutes just scrolled through his contacts. He ended up giving us 3 different contacts!! We called one right there and they were interested in hearing about our message and agreed to come to church! The next day we called the second and invited them to church. They said yes! The third one I called Saturday night. I said ”Hi, I’m a missionary from my church and we teach people about God. Would you be interested in hearing a message about God and Jesus Christ?” He replied, ”Um, wait what church are you from?”
”The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
He laughs on the other end. I’m thinking what? He says, ”I’m a member of the Church of Christ.”
”….wait what?”
”I’ve been baptized.”
I said, ”Wait, so you’re Mormon?”
”Yes, I was baptized in 2012.”
It was crazy! We talked for a bit and shared Helaman 5:12 with him and prayed with him over the phone. He was so great and sounded like he needed a boost and call from a friend. I bore my testimony to him that I knew God loved him and knew where he was. It was really really neat. He knew an elder in our district, he had been visited in the hospital by him!
Small world!

Anyways,
I love being a missionary!!!   Today was 75 and sunny. What more can a girl ask for?
Love you all and have a fabulous week!
Sister Smith

This hard-working group was awesome!  They had great success together because they worked so hard.  The sisters bought them all matching scarfs before Sister Harman went home and Elder Spencer was transferred

This hard-working group was awesome! They had great success together because they worked so hard. The sisters bought them all matching scarfs before Sister Harman went home and Elder Spencer was transferred

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Sister Packer and The Book of Mormon in German of course!

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Halloween treats from Grandma

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I love being a missionary and I LOVE GERMANY!

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Sister Smith and Sister Packer

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