Transfer Week–I’m Stayin in Singen with Sister Berry!

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These Sisters Love serving together! They will spend a few more weeks (at least) in Singen and they are very happy about that!

Hallo Liebe Geschwistern!

What can I say, I am the luckiest person alive, maybe? lol. I get to stay in Singen with Sister Berry, Munich is re-opening for sisters and we have a double baptism in the ward this week. I do not care about the numbers of how many whatever we get every week, but it is just awesome that these people are coming closer to Christ!

One of the two is Christiana. She comes from Nigeria, when she was young she used to help her mom sell fish, she has tons of brothers and sisters, one father and that father had three wives. Her mother has passed, but she is in touch with one brother who is still in Africa. She has one daughter and is a refugee here in Germany. The moment we knocked on her door she let us in and ever since then has been going to church, obeying every commandment we teach her about and asking how she can get closer to God. She is truly humble. I just love her! She will be baptised on Saturday and she is super excited.

The other one is Bruder Luu and he is also super faithful. The Elders teach him, so we know less about him, but he is super nice!

We also got to meet with a new convert, Stanley this week. Stanley. He is taller than 6 foot, from Nigeria, and awesome. He is the biggest teddy bear you ever did meet, lol. He has great insights at church and really wants to do right by God. He respects us a ton as missionaries. He and all his friends have promised to protect us no matter what (lol). We feel really protected here in Singen with an army of Gambians and Nigerians behind us. Anyways, he brought a friend to church this week and by the end of church he asked when he could be baptised. The faith of these people never ceases to amaze me! We will get to teach him and baptise him next month, if all goes according to plan!

We also had a few more less active appointments this week. There is a secret club here in Germany, it’s called the coolest ladies ever club. It’s not real, of course but there is a pattern. These are church members who were baptised way back when, have been through literal war, and are the strongest women and most faithful followers of God that I know. We met another one this week called Sister Arnold. She cannot get out of her house, she is trapped by arthritus and high blood pressure and still reads the scriptures daily, is extremely nice and welcoming and just loves God. She does not let trials get her down. These women are all like this and they are the best examples to me. I want to be so strong that no matter what comes, I will be stalwart.

I am also super lucky to work with my Branch. They are all super willing to help, accomodate the english speaking part of the congregation and have an energy about them that is brilliant. Our Ward Mission Leader, Benji, is from Enlgand and has a special fire about him that really helps us get the work done. Every time he meets one of our friends who are learning about the church, they love him because his testimony is so powerful. He has baptised almost everyone into the ward for a long time now, and it is no doubt due to the love he feels and shares with them! He is the coolest. His family is way cool too. His daughter is about to go on a mission and helps us feel comfortable here and really is ready to help us at all times. His wife is also AMAZING. We are just lucky we all get to work together to make this thing happen!

The coolest part about missionary work is all this work is really nothing. The Lord lets us do it, have a blast, while throwing people in our way who need help. We get to be like lighthouses. We cannot illuminate the way to unintersted ships, who are partying somewhere in the middle of the ocean, unconcerned with the fact that they will need to come to shore someday, or that they really want to as well. Instead, all we can do is shine the light, illuminate the ships within the breadth of the shore and bring those ships safely aboard. Once they are there, we keep it illuminated so that they remember how great it is to be on dry land and want to stay there.

I am so grateful to see these miracles, to help these people and to know God as my Father in Heaven!

Love,

Sister Smith

Week of many Travels!

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Sister Berry and I with Miracle and Christina

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Sister Berry and I at the Rheinfalls

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This bug was in our apartment on Sister Berry’s laundry! I caught it!

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Me the bug catcher!

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Sister berry and I with the elders at Rheinfalls

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Sister Berry and I ,,,,,, we Love Sundays!

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DSC02520 DSC02568 DSC02567 DSC02565 DSC02528 DSC02518 DSC02517 DSC02516 DSC02515 DSC02514 DSC02512 DSC02511 DSC02508 DSC02505 DSC02504 DSC02502 DSC02503 DSC02501 DSC02496 DSC02495 DSC02494 DSC02489 DSC02488 DSC02476 DSC02477 DSC02462 DSC02453 DSC02452 So, this week was a crazy travel week for the Singen Sisters! On Monday and Tuesday we got to meet with Christiana, who is great, vibrant and right on track for her baptism, and then prepare for our week. We went to Zurich (Switzerland!) on Wednesday, a 2 hour travel each way, for our mission tour. We got to hear from Elder Kearon of the seventy and he was perfect, it was an amazing meeting about finding yourself spiritually, helping these people best and just being the message.

To me, that means that who we are and the things we do on missions, though seemingly set apart from the world, are real life- as real life as it gets- and that we should embrace the changes we make as a pat of ourselves. We should love those children of God around us enough to share the gospel with them and see their full potential every day. We should be dilligent and obedient, not because we have to or because of the promised blessings, but because we want to return to our home in Heaven, because we want to please our God who would do anything to keep us safe!

One of the best things Elder Kearon said is that “He needs His children home.” He likened us coming into mortality unto a child going to a school for the first time. The father walks you right up to the gate, having equipped you with all you need to learn, grow and ultimately make it home safe and happy, and expects you back at the end of the day. He anguishes and waits eagerly for your return home, he sends notes and people he trusts to help you through, but he cannot come into the school for you. That is why we do what we do as missionaries and as Latter Day Saints. We want to help our family come home!

After that, we went home and the next day went to Munich. We stayed the night there and listened to a devotional by Jeffrey R Holland about being strongly converted on and after your mission. Come home with one convert at least- AND IT BETTER BE YOU 😀

The next day we met and talked about what our mission culture is with President and Sister Kohler and Elder Kearon. AS we were giving responses of all the things missionaries do wrong, all the things we want to improve- we could all feel the mood deepening and we were all feeling pretty beat up, I think. Then some elder raises his hand and says something like I think we have a bigger problem… I think we are too negative. It is just an awful vibe in here, I mean we should be happy. Then Elder Kearon agreed and we all agreed and brainstormed about how to be the happiest mission on earth- hehe cool! It went much better then and we are all working on unity. love and happiness.

After getting back into Singen, we visited with Latifa and set a baptismal date with her! She is working on it and came to church this week. We are super excited for her!! Then, we met two Gambians on the train who want to take the lessons as well. All in all, it was a good week. I also got to see all the girls in my MTC group. They are just the best!!

I am just loving it!

Love,

Sister Smith

This was a GREAT week! 2/9/2015

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OMA! She takes such good care of us missionaries!

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WE got treats (Girl Scout cookies) from home! Look how excited we are! LOL and yes, we shared!

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My district. Brother and Sister Lee are amazing, they take such good care of all of us!

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Sister Berry and Sister Smith on Sunday—twinners! H&M had these dresses for under 20 euros so we couldn’t resist—even missionaries are still ‘girls’! LOL

Liebe Familie und Freunden,

This week was great! (Okay I say that far too much)

But, really. It was. Christiana is just a gem, she really gets the gospel and is ready to leave behind her old ways and really commit to living it. This week we taught the word of wisdom and the plan of salvation and it was all very new to her, but she accepted it and was happy about the new information and the changes she would be making. She already almost followed the Word of Wisdom and says she knows it is from God! Way cool.

She is right on track for baptism 😀

Funny moment- We were clearing up about what kinds of tee are bad and what the word of wisdom entails and she thought we said Ovalteen. She said, ”I drink Ovalteen every day with Miracle!” We were both confused and sister Berry said, ”You mean the chocolate milk mix stuff?” She said, ”Yeah!” We tried not to laugh and said OF COURSE you can drink chocolate milk, that is fine! LOL we cleared it up better and she was happy, but it was funny

We also got to meet with some fabulous members, one being a woman everyone calls ”Oma” because she is so nice to us. It was great! She found the church when she was younger and now her whole family are strong members and she really does all she can to help us feel at home here as missionaries. I have so much respect for her, to take out time for us and to genuinely enjoy that time.

We also got to meet with the family of a handicapped member this week. One man who is always around to help her out, with moving and talking and everything was there and told the story of how he found the church just 14 years ago and lives out here while his family lives in another part of Germany to take care of her, her mother is not a part of her life nor her father so it is just her grandmother and her, without pay. He just does it out of the goodness of his heart as a father figure. She absolutely loves him! These people are such good people and I am so lucky to know them!

We also got to go back to the Azuleheim this week to teach Latifa and talk to Mathew, Peter and Hilare. They are all from Nigeria and are about to get kicked out of the house. Still, everyone in the house (It’s huge) knows the missionaries and loves to hear the word of God. Some are not ready to act upon it, but they all have such great respect for us. I hear ” I need to be more like you people and leave my life to follow God.” All the time. It is so humbling. I love them all, they really do also make sacrifices to get to church. They have no money and travel about an hour in the mornings and pay to come to church. The church in their area is in Switzerland and they cannot go there, so they come to ours. They try to learn German but many of them have a hard time reading english alone, forget German.

We get to help them all out.

Today we also got to go to Switzerland! We saw waterfalls where the river rhein ends and took pictures!

I am so grateful that I have this gospel and that it can change lives and that it can help people find real joy, everlasting joy. Not happiness that wears away in a second, that can come from any thing the world can offer you, but happiness that becomes you when you stop worrying about the world and turn to god. Consider the lillies of the field, yeah? 🙂

I have learned that on a mission. As I forget myself, what I left behind, money even, and just work on being sensible, but working hard, the Lord has provided me with joy, memories, amazing experiences, food and anything I need. I am just so glad that I have this!

Love,

Sister Smith

Hohentwiel! Pday Castle Hike

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Whew! A lot has happened this week. Last P-Day we went to Hohentwiel, a hill with an ancient castle on top as a district. The pictures are beautiful– I sent them to my Mum!

It was really cool! One of the perks of living in Europe, eh?

Then, we visited a less active who is afraid to come to church because when she was converting, she was living with her boyfriend. In order to committ to baptism, a promise with God that you will live after His commandments, she would need to either live separately or get married to him. She had a bad feeling about getting married, but felt pressured by her decision and did so anyways. The man was a toxic influence on her and her son and she let herself blame the people for putting her into that situation. She still loves the people there, but she has fears of going back there. She has a solid testimony, knows the church is true and is more greatful for the gospel in her life than anything else.

She is going into surgery next week and the whole ward asks and prays about her all the time. She is amazing, but has a rough past. The lesson was great, she really felt the spirit and asked us to say hello to a lot of people. She will let the ward visit her from time to time! It is just so, that we cannot let misunderstandings or scary situations keep us from receiving the gospel. God has made these commandments to help us, not to restrict us. I promise that as you live them, they actually make you free. This less active could have also let him go, which would have benefitted her entire family. Still, she is a tough and amazing woman who lives her part, just misses out on a lot of blessings!

We also got to meet with Christiana this week a lot. She has a goal to be baptised at the end of this month! She is always ready to hear us, and I asked her what she thought of what we taught and she says ” It is true. It is right.” She has come to church both weeks now and is so FAITHFUL and DEMUTIG… shoot forgot that word auf English… oh yea humble. Sorry! Anyways, she is so special. I just love teachig her. She soaks up every second of what we say. It is the coolest! The Lord prepared people to hear His word. It is also changing her. She glows and smiles and laughs. She is never negative because although she lives in a refugee home, is a single mother in a land where she doesn’t know the language, walks an hour to catch a train in the cold-snow to get to church, she loves God and feels lucky to be hearing His word. What a great example!

Another investigator, Nancy’s fiance lost his job this week. As problem after problem was lining up, she felt as though God was no longer there. We met with her and shared scriptures and all felt God’s love and the spirit really strongly. Our Ward Mission Leader and his daughter were there and we all just really connected. Tears were shed, prayers were shared and together, we helped Nancy see that God never once left her side. He is always there for all of us, I know it. Without a doubt. All we have to do is go find Him 😀

We met a new investigator, Beauty she is fiery but super cool.

We also got to have family home evening at a new convert family’s home. Chris and Faith. They are from Nigeria and we went with the Elders and our ward mission leader. We acted out different parts of the Book of Mormon, sang some AFrican gospel songs, and ate….

Cow intestine!

It is like rubber with a furry side on it. You chew it until it is edible. It tastes like… insides, but luckily it was covered in spicy pepper soup, so it was almost untasteable. Haha We all took one on our spoons and counted to three and then downed it! It was really funny and kind of gross. Then we left, laughing that we just ate intestines.
The crazy things you do for people you really love.

The next day at church Chris bore the sweetest testimony and receive the priesthood authority (power to do works in God’s name) and his whole family was SO happy, absolutely glowing.

Stanley, another recent convert showed up after missing a few weeks and promised us he would wake us up next week! Almost all of our and the elders investigators showed up to church, and it was all in all amazing.

I love this gospel and have seen it change so many lives. People who were crazy partyers, couldnt be bothered, atheist, dirt poor, rich, abused, who are wanted in other lands, have been changed from the inside out by hearing and acting upon the word of God. What we share adds to The Bible, adds to beleif, does not take away. WE are open to more, as it comes directly from God to us, to the Prophets, through the spirit. I know if we find God in our lives and don’t let Him go, we cannot fall.

I love being a missionary!

Love,
Sister Smith