Hello from Germany!

Liebe Angehörigen,

There are definitely moments you realise you are in Europe out here. One, for example, is when your African friend, Nancy, hands you a paper she received and expects you to be able to read the German. Turns out, the letter was sent to them from the government and they couldn’t read it there, so they asked the police to come and translate it for them.

So the police came and read the same letter us missionaries read, saying that there is a World War 2 unexploded bomb underneath the groud within a short distance of where they live. They will all have to move out from the months of July to October as they send in a team to excavate the World War 2 bomb that has been sitting there for years, unexploded. In their excavation efforts, there is a chance that said bomb will explode.

As you can imagine, this caused a lot of rucus with the lively African woman in the refugee home. Oh, dear. Still, Nancy is fine and has her marriage papers in so she should be getting married really soon! We are so happy for her and her fiance.

We came back to the refugee home later in the week to teach Loveth, a friend of Nancy’s, but Loveth was traveling. Instead, we were able to help her friend Princess and her baby Amanda, make a bus. We helped her walk about a mile uphill with her stuff so that she could catch a bus and then a train. It is cool how even when things turn out differently than expected, there is always an opportunity to be the answer to someone’s prayer for help. Luckily, that was us! 🙂 Both Loveth and Princess are learning about the gospel and are really seeing a difference in their happiness and in their lives.

Christiana returned this week and brought a friend back with her from Italy. Her Friend’s name is Blessing. Blessing is a firecracker, let me just tell you. She loves the gospel and wants to hear more, but together they are so rowdy. It is quite a scene. Christiana was trying to explain to Blessing that the sacrament is different because of the way it is blessed and because of the authority from Christ that we hold in our church and not because of the different names it might be called.

Then Christiana got hung up on the different ways different religions partake of the bread and Blessing started arguing that the real bread is pizza bread, like pizzy crust. Oh man. I was definitely laughing. We all faught for control and finally we were able to share some Bible verses t answer quetions and get a message across. Also, they are told that Australia is the endstream of the world and that instead of buying a passport to there you need a warm coat, to keep warm and a 5,000 euro lifejacket. Where they come up with this crazy stuff, I don’t know. I still love them, LOL At one point Christiana’s daughter starts yelling ”Order, ORDER” to calm it down.

Then we were able to also teach Eric, a Nigerian across the hall. Christiana helped and it went really well. It was the total opposite- the whole lesson was so quiet and peaceful and you can tell how much finding the truth means to him. At one point he even said so, he asked us to please come back often because this means a lot to him that he can someday be baptised and to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I guess no matter who you are teaching, the important thing is to teach to their needs and to help them come closer to Christ the way Christ would. It is really cool to see how different people, regardless of age or nationality, learn and how interested they are in learning about their savior. Each person we teach has felt the Holy Spirit testify to them that Jesus Christ is their redeemer, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that as they live the gospel of Jesus Christ, their lives are bettered. I know this also to be true! I am so blessed to have and to share the gospel in my life and to get to spend time with these wonderful, international people here in Deutschland!

Have a great week and keep smiling!

Liebe Grüße,

Sister Smith

Im staying in Singen!

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Hallo Zusammen!

This week was a schön one. We helped the Constanze Blascher, 64, get baptised. The whole ward really pitched in and it was perfect to be in a dritt (three) this week because she cannot get into or out of the font on her own nor can she be baptised normally. Our branch president just so happens to be the owner of the Old Folk’s home in which she lives, so he was able to get a medical stool so she could sit and two brothers could help her fully submerse in the water. Another woman in our ward works there and was actually the one who introduced us. She is a nurse and was able to help us as we helped her change.

On top of that, almost each family had a part in the program, many nonmembers from the workplace showed up, and they gave a testimony meeting while she was being changed.

Her story is even more incredible. As a girl growing up in East Germany at the time of the wall, she was unable to learn about religion. Still, her parents had abandoned her and her siblings to escape the wall and she felt lost. She looked to kids in her school for guidance. AS it so happened, they belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They shared with her how they prayed and she said she would never, ever forget that feeling. From that moment on she searched for the truth and felt something wonderful inside of her begin to change. She knew it was true, but because of restrictions was unable to get baptised.

As she grew older, she faced many health issues including a stroke. This eventually left her under protective care and she could make fewer decisions for herself. On top of all of this, she had no family and the love of her life left her after they were engaged for another woman.

A little ways down this windy, dark road of her life, she met Sister Stemmer. She immediately knew that she was a member of this same church she had found so much peace in as a child. After much consideration, knowing the workplace was seemingly hostile toward religion, she worked up the courage to ask her if she was a mormon. Sister Stemmer said yes and began to share the gospel with her. The more she learned and prayed about it, to ask God if it was true, the more her desire gew to act on her faith and be baptised. Still, she had a guardian who must approve.

After months of waiting, she got the approval and Sister Berry and I showed up. We, along with Marion and much of the ward, helped her. She had been waiting, in her words, about 54 years to be baptised. All she could say as she was coming out the water was finally! ”Endlich” and she truly glowed as she received the gift of the holy ghost the very next day. She says she’s never felt such peace and love surround her in her whole, long life. 🙂

I am so blessed to come into these stories as I do, unexpectedly and unknowing of all that has happened so that these people are prepared to hear the truth. I love this gospel and I know it is true!

I get to stay in Singen for the next 5 weeks at least and am super happy about that!

Everyone else is doing well and progressing! Missionary work really is the coolest thing anyone could ever do. I cannot put how I feel into words. It’s just wonderful.

Alles Liebe!

Sister Brooke Smith

Another Great Week!

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Beauty Sunday was baptized!

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The elders climbed this tower and left their cell phone and all their stuff on the bottom then got stuck! We enjoyed taking pictures of them!

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Elder Lee and Sister Lee with Beauty Sunday and her children on her baptism day

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Hallo Zusammen!

So this week we had a lot happen! Beauty Sunday was baptised and we started planning the baptism of Constanze, for this weekend! So cool. Singen is a magical place for Europa! We are super lucky to serve here, and it’s not just because of the people who we get to teach. The branch is amazing, the missionaries are great and the senior couple makes it feel like home.

On monday, going back, we actually had a game night as FHE with the YSAs in our branch and some from the other wards in the area. It was SO much fun. We played a ton of games. The rest of the week we planned the baptism and called everyone and got it all ready and got Beauty to the baptism! She was supposed to be picked up but something got in the way and the member couldnt do it, so we rushed and helped her get over here on time and everything.

The baptism went super well! She brought her son and daughter, Victory,5 , and Faith, like 1, and As Elder Lee got out in all white to baptise Beauty, Victory says, ”Mom! Is that God?” Beauty responds as if it is totally normal, with a ”yes.” LOL it was so funny. Then Victory asked Elder Lee if he was God and he explained that he was not, indeed, God, but that he was God’s son. 🙂

As she stepped out of the water, she couldn’t contian her happiness. She kept saying that Christiana was right and how clean and pure and plain happy she felt and how amazing it all was and it took her about 15 minutes to change because she kept having to stop to thank God in prayer. It was so sweet! 🙂

She was confirmed on Sunday in church, after which a sister with Down Syndrome got up and sang a solo for her mom. She forgot the words and got really emotional (both because she forgot and the love) and turned around to hug her dad on the stand. As she did so, an old lady from Kazakhstan in our branch couldn’t help herself and started clapping. Everyone joined in. Then, another handicapped sister whose mom is not a part of her life got up and recited a poem about grandmothers for mother’s day. Clapping erupted again…. at this point it’s not so normal lol we need to let the spirit go. Well, it kept going as each young man and the young woman in our ward got up and bore testimonies of their mothers and the gospel. Applause each time. LOL This is a Europemormonproblem with a hashtag or whatever it is you kids write these days 🙂

Then, Sister Earnshaw came into our companionship as her companion went home. Her companion,’s mother is terminally ill and she was immediately sent home on request of her father. Sister Earnshaw is amazing and has so far been a great addition to our little Singen team.

It will be interesting to see what transfers hold. I love this ward and it might be super hard to leave, but the work must go on and I will go wherever I am needed! Positivity seems to solve loads of problems! 🙂

I am so grateful for my ”goodly parents” for raising me right and helping me get here. I cannot say how great of an influence parents have. It is too great to state. All I can say is that I am so lucky. Both on the mission (looking at you in this moment, Lees) and off, my family is amazing! Never take that for granted.

Love,

Sister Smith

Another Fabulous Week!

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A picture from the Mission Conference they had with Elder Bednar. Awesome Sisters!

Liebe Geschwistern Gottes,

Another fabulous week in this mission here. We have 4 consecutive weekends of baptisms in our ward. This past week we had an 8-year-old get baptised and a lot of support from the branch! Next week, Beauty Sunday will be baptised and after that Constanze Blache and after that Eduard! Whew! We are so blessed to help these people. They are so fun.

On Friday night we had an awesome dance night and the missionaries got to come. Our ward mission leader (kind of like our little coordinator between missionaries and the congregation) has aband called @mission LOL he sings in it and they played some great songs and everyone danced and had a great time. We missionaries even got to join in for a second! haha It was one of the funnest nights out here for me- bonding with the ward and our friends who showed up. Many people got a chance to sing- even my companion. What a blast.

Throughout the week we got to meet a lot with miss Sunday and she is doing so well. She had a problem with coffee but gave it up straightaway because her sole purpose now is to follow God. She does this because of how happy it has made her and because she has seen miracles in her life because of this change. When we first met her she said she did not beleive much, what a transition! She is truly happy, she glows and is going steady on this straight and narrow path to true joy! So sweet.

Everytime we meet with Beauty, Christiana is also there and she helps us teach. Crazy to think that once this girl was not a member and that I got to meet her and help her throught her process of coming to God. Clearly, our job is not done once we are baptised, rather conversion and true discipleship is a daily process of deciding to follow God and walk down His path, one step at a time! She is doing so well at this and since her baptism has shared the gospel so much. People will come to her with concerns about her religion and she just has all the answers and it doens’t slow her down one bit. She is one strong woman. How lucky am I to have friends like her?

The Constanze Blache is also amazing. She is just on fire and asks us so many deep questions. She always says she has been waiting far too long to be a member and will just be so happy to be baptised. The ward connects with her super well, too. On Sunday, her baptism was ammounced and 5 sisters in the ward turned to pat her back or congradulate her. She’s adorable.

We are also meeting with a woman named Nancy, from Nigeria. She brought two of her friends to church on Sunday! She is doing so well! The only reason she is not baptised yet is because her marriage papers are hard to get legalised from Nigeria to Deutschland. So she is technically living with her fiance. Turns out, her Fiance is a total gem. He went to Nigeria for her to pick up all the papers she would need to get married soon! We are so excited for her. She’s just too good.

We also had the opportunity to help a sister in the ward move on Wednesday. It was so nice to do some physical labor and really serve a sister in our ward who needed the help. The project took all day and it was totally worth it. I ended up going a little overboard on cleaning and cleaned her Dryer out- taking dust out together with Sister Lee without saying anything about it and I ran into her later in the week and she asked us who had cleaned the dryer… I totally lied because I hate taking credit for things and also got all awkward, but told her Sister Lee did it all by herself hahahaha 😀 She was so excited- it was her miracle of the week that she did not have to clean out her dryer. So sweet.

It is just a fact that when we help others we get so much more out of it than they do. I know this church is true for many reasons, but one reason that continuously reminds me of the truth is how much genuine love and joy I see feel and inspire in others as I have this lovely opportunity to share the gospel with others. The people may be far from perfect, but the gospel is perfect and it comes from God. There is a promise that comes from reading, accepting and living the standards taught in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. This promise can be found in the introduction to the Book of Mormon and it says that we can learn how to have lasting peace in this life and the life to come. I promise you it is true! I have never felt so much love as a vessel for God to reach out to his children! That’s the reason missionary work is so great.

I’m having a blast here in Deutschland!

Schöne Woche zusammen!

LG,
Sister Smith