Frohe Weihnachten!

Frohe Weihnachten!

This week, I don’t have a super long message, because I am busy emailing all of the lovely people who sent me absolutely incredible emails and messages. I truly appreciate that!

You have all probably seen this video, but if not check it out: He is the gift.

As we celebrate Christmas, I know that the true happiness of the season lies within the very first holiday. I know that Christ was always going to come to the earth and atone for our sins, so that all people could return to live with our Father in Heaven for eternity. I know we can all make it, that repentence is always available, and that your Heavenly Father is there, just waiting for you to talk to Him.

I can feel it as I talk to these people in this language I am just learning. I can feel it as people look at me weird on the trains, as I speak German to everyone possible, as I try and serve those around me and as I get to teach this true gospel of Christ. Even when people say no, laugh or choose to stop learning, I can feel His love.

There is nothing you’ve been through that Christ hasn’t. Isn’t that a nice feeling? That’s why it had to be such a huge sacrifice. Still, we can give back by sharing the light that He has given us. All it takes is a smile, a wave, a hello, a small act of service.

I have learned so much in my short 6 months as a missionary. I have never felt closer to my savior. I have talked to people from all around the world, here in Germany (even a few from Yorba Linda, if you can believe that!) and I can say, that there are so many good people in this world. Almost everyone feels that there is more to Christmas. They know how important family is. They are good. All we have to do is give them a chance!

One girl asked me the other day how successful we were here and why, then, missionaries would even come here. The answer came to me and I ended up learning so much from this conversation. It is that God would not leave even one of His children uninformed, even if they want to say no, and that there are people here who want the light we have, and just do not know what they are missing. I know that is true. Wherever we are in the world, whatever our lives are like, we are being watched over and loved by our Heavenly Father.

I am so happy I get to share that with these people and it doesn’t matter to me how many lessons or baptism I have, so long as I am doing what He wants me to.

I love you all and I am so glad I know you all. We all play different roles, but they come together beautifully.
I love missionary work (It’s like glue).

Best,
Sister Smith

December 15, 2014

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A castle we ‘stumbled upon’ as we were searching for an address one day!

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Sister Pratt is an AWESOME Golden, Brooke just loves her!

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Hello everyone!
We had loads of fun this week just plain working! We took one day and just talked to people on the street, gave out loads of cards and then, again, we found a castle! It is in the pictures I sent this week. It was really fun and a good way for Sister Pratt to learn German and how to share the gospel with others! We had a few interesting experiences talking to people!!
For example, this week we met a lady who has cancer, she told us on a ten minute subway ride, and I shared a scripture with her from the Book of Mormon. Her face light up and she told me that she was on the way to the doctor right now to see what the next step for her in the cancer treatment was. She was greek and could read some German, but we gave her the German Book of Mormon anyway and she gave us her address. We trecked out (like 2 hours away, contacting on the way) to a tiny little German farm town to give her the Greek Book of Mormon. We found her house (which was a miracle) and her mother answered the door and no one else was home. Her mother speaks almost no German or Enlgish and would not take the Book of Mormon. So we laughed and put a card in her mailbox. Still, on the way we met loads of people and shared messages with them. You can feel, here, a tiny glimpse of what it must have been like to be the Savior. Working miracles and changing lives, but still being rejected often. I would not trade it for a thing.
We also got to work with Sebastian a bit this week, and he even came to church in a tie and slacks and nice shoes!! He is praying about a baptismal date and definitely wants to get baptised within the next year. In the meantime, we are working hard, learning tons and just feeling the blessings pour down on us!
The ward is awesome. This week we had our Christmas Conference for all missionaries in 2 zones and 4 women helped cook all the food and cleaned up. Every single one was from our ward. (WOW that says something.) We got to watch Meet the Mormons as well. A MOVIE. It was great!! We loved it.
And sister Pratt is just plain cool.
Speaking of cool wards, Thanks to the Yorba Linda youth for all the gifts. You are just lovely! Sister Pratt and I take turns opening the gifts and we already have the CD in!! We love you!!
It is starting to get cold here so we are snuggling up and enjoying the patches of sun!!
Missionary work is the best!! I LOVE GERMANY!

Transfer 4

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Sister Platt, The ‘Golden’ Brooke is training,,,,she loves Sister Platt and is grateful she’s a hard worker! YEAH!

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Briefly reunited for a quick hello and hug from Sister A. Brooke loves Sister Angeloudis, her MTC companion and is so happy the few times they get to reconnect briefly!

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a little teary as she says goodbye to the lovely Sister Packer! Brooke enjoyed being companions with her and they worked so well together. Good Luck Sister Packer!

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The adorable Sister Packer!

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It looks like she’s returning home with some cool stuff!

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My new companion’s name is Sister Pratt and she is awesome!! She is from Maine and we have a ton in common. (She also loves Harry Potter and the Hobbit, is obedient and loves her mission, and etc…) That makes it really easy to do loads of great work!

This week I sent a companion home and brought one into the field. Now that was a weird feeling!! Still, we were able to work hard the whole time. We have done a lot of less active work, teaching them the gospel lessons, recent convert work, preparing them for the temple, finding more people and are working well with our investigators.

Sebastian is doing well! He met Sister Pratt just yesterday and we will meet a few times this week for lessons! He is an awesome guy and is really loving the church atmosphere and the blessings of the gospel in his life.

The ward already loves Sister Pratt. They have been such a help in welcoming her to München and making sure that she feels welcome. Elena, a recent convert, tried to speak English to her yesterday to tell her she did a great job sharing her testimony in German. Elena is from Ukraine and is learning German, let alone English, but really did her best to make sure that Sister Pratt felt great in the ward, being so new.

She is so sweet!! Tina also welcomed her with open arms and is so sweet. WE are loving teaching and getting to know her. She has such a warm glow about her!

Sister Pratt also has an amazing voice which is good because we had to sing at the ward christmas party this week (10 missionaries came together to sing an American and a german christmas song). Tina coordinated the whole thing and we were signed up beforehand to sing, and then I found out that Sister Pratt had taking voice lessons and was in choir and just thought WOW. God really does help us and His plan is so perfect!!

One miracle this week: As we were talking to people in our very new German, we met one lady and had hardly any time to talk to her. I complimented her scarf and sister Pratt asked if it was warm, normal conversation starters, and she was super nice. Then, before we could ask or say anything else we had to get off the train at our stop. She got off with us and touched my nametag and told us that she was Muslim until just a few months ago and had been trying to learn about Jesus. We explained who we were and what our job was. I took out my Book of Mormon and taught her a little about it. She was pretty amazed! She didn’t want to take the Book of Mormon or lessons, but took a card with gratitude and said in German, of course, that we would never know how much that little card meant to her. She could finally learn about Jesus! the Lord knows exactly who we are and sends us to the exact right place to teach us important lessons, help us meet exactly the right people and take exactly the right steps to bring everyone to the eternal joy He’s got available for everyone!!
Sometimes miracles seem small. Remember that there are 80,000 missionaries in a world of 6 billion people. We find and talk to loads of ready people. What they are ready for is always different, but as long as we do our part, we get this awesome opportunity to take a front row seat to the miracles of God.

Also Christmas season here is magical!!

I love Deutschland!!

Sister Smith

Transfers–I’m staying and Training a Golden~YEAH!

So, Not too much has happened since last I wrote because last week was a little crazy and we wrote emails on Friday. Some of the things I just forgot to include….
Some updates:
-Our lovely Tina came to church and is organizing the Christmas party on Saturday (she’s not even a member, how great is she??) We get to go over to her apartment and teach her again tomorrow!
-We went on a bit of a crazy adventure to find a guy who had learned about the gospel and wanted to learn more. We visited him at work and stopped everyone on the busy, (super nice shops on the Street it was a very nice part of town because the guy works at the four seasons!) street to ask them what they are thankful for. We explained that it was an american holiday and they laughed and asked us how much Turkey we had eaten, or yelled at us and ran away (so funny) or sincerely looked at us and told us that they were happy to just be here on this earth. One lady in particular had survived Cancer and was thankful to be living and breathing. It is so nice to see sincerity in people. WE found the guy and he was crazy busy, but was also SUPER NICE and HILARIOUS and we will be keeping in contact.
– We had thanksgiving.. American style. A woman in our ward who can COOK made super good rolls, turkey, yams.. I don’t even like yams okay but these were good!.. and pie. MM it was some great time to spend with all the American members and missionaries in our ward! YAY Thanksgiving in Deutschland.
– We got transfer calls. I am staying.
ALSO TRAINING! I get a golden (brand new missionary). Ah, we will make the best of it. WE are going to have a blast and work so hard. 😀
-Sister Packer gave a talk on Sunday and she will be finishing her mission this week. We will miss her (I will really miss her!), but it’s nice to have friends on the other side (Krissie, I love you! 🙂 )
– It’s starting to cool down. In a big way. Oh, I am from California! Still, it’s nice to see the change in season! Ah, wearing 5 layers can be fun!
– I love being a missionary! YAY

A great talk I was reading today was Elder Uchtdorf’s from the 2013 May RS General Broadcast (part of conference) ”Your Wonderful Journey Home.” You should all read it! It gives great advice. Basically, it always leads back to the choices we make. Gratitude, for example is a choice. It turns frowns into smiles, hardships into challenges, a little bit into a lot and work into fun. We are all on our own journey. It can be scary, challenging, frusterating or tragic at times, but if we just say a prayer, lean on God and push through, we can do anything. I have seen that as a missionary. I know that God can help our rainy days fill with sunshine. Choosing to live a good life and to follow the example of Christ can make our hardships bearable( I can’t spell), can make us strong enough to carry whatever load life throws at us.

I love sharing that message and watching it change people!
Have a great week!!
Love,
Sister Smith