Stop opening things
I cannot believe it is pday already. I also cannot believe that within a matter of days I will have been in Germany for a month now. This past month has been jam packed with many experiences, all of which I am grateful for. Living in Germany is quite different than living within the US. The transport system here in Hamburg is relatively the same to the one in DC. The city is covered with apartments, very petite ones too. Germans love Ikea haha. Every day is almost always cloudy, but the sun does come out occasionally.
Thursday was probably the roughest day of the week for me. My body literally feels like it's dying on me haha. The other day someone bluntly told Sister Dempsey and I that we look tired, I personally think we look dead. I also feel hungry 24/7 and that's not good when we're around German bakeries. Things have been so busy lately that time is flying by faster than I'm used to.
I went on my first tausch this week. One of the Sister Training Leaders (STLs) came to our area and one of us went to their area. We didn't find out until a couple of nights before it happened, and I found out I would be staying in Hamburg. Tausch is basically when the STLs are companions with another set of companions to check up on them and review proper missionary conduct. Oh boy, quite a lot happened within the 24 hours I was with my STL. So we went to Hauptbahnhof to exchange companions and from there Sister Freeman and I went to go drop her stuff off in our appointment. We went to go visit one of the members in the ward but I had the wrong address. I managed to not get us lost, and we ended up finding the member's home... We were just 45 minutes late. From there we went immediately to a lesson with our investigator who was planning to be baptized. The lesson was amazing. I took the lead since I was the one who was familiar with her and the senior missionaries joined us too. We taught her about the commitments we make when we're baptized and what it means to endure to the end. At one point we realized something didn't seem quite right. After a couple questions, it became evident that she was speaking about another church while we were speaking about ours. Long story short, we have dropped her baptism date and are taking a break with her. My heart shattered when she said she wanted to go to the other church. I didn't mean to, but I shed 4 tears in that lesson. I didn't know she meant that much to me. There wasn't much we could do, but I bore testament that the feeling she felt when the Elders gave her a blessing of health was a feeling she would never feel in any other church. I told her that I know this church is true and that Heavenly Father loves her and that she can feel his love always just as she did when she received a blessing. I'm getting quite used to this 'breakup with an investigator' feeling. We left the lesson to immediately rush over to church to watch President Monson's funeral broadcast. We stopped by a shop to get sandwiches and the man ended up giving us two free breads. God knew I needed comfort food (: President Monson's funeral was beautiful. One of the members of our ward was actually mentioned in one of the talks. I know there is a life after death. I know families are eternal.
We got back to our apartment really exhausted. We got ready for bed and knocked out haha. The next morning we did the talking we didn't get to do the night before. Our day was thrown off because we went to play soccer with the Elders. Their investigator brought his girlfriend, so they asked us to come and well... keep her company and help her feel welcomed. I didn't realize I missed sports soooooo much. We all had a blast and I'm hoping she comes this Saturday too so we can talk more! We tausched back later that day and I caught Sister Dempsey up on everything that happened while she was gone. Later we went with a friend of ours to Wanja's baptism. Wanja was taught by the Langenhorn Sisters and his baptism was amazing. Such a sweet grown man.
Sunday was when I realized how dead tired I feel, but it was spiritually packed! These past two Sundays I have been in the primary class with the little kids. I feel like a child for this reason and for another. When we're in our apartment, Sister Dempsey always tells me to "stop opening things." I keep opening bags of candy that people have given us to try them, but I haven't ended up liking most of them... so now we have a whole lot of opened things in our apartment haha. Anyways, back to primary. I've been sent to primary these past two Sundays not because I belong there, but because I'm translating. Don't be too impressed, I'm only able to do it because it's basic German. But anyways, there's a little Latina girl who only speaks Spanish. So I'll just go to class with her and translate the lessons so that she gets the spiritual boost she needs. We also had a dinner appointment with a married couple a little older than us. Let me just say, their apartment is so cute. They are so cute. Their wedding pictures are up to Pinterest level. Their story is also beyond cute. They met at EFY, he was her counselor, and after 6 years, once she had served her mission, they began to date and were married. Sister Dempsey and I were beyond glad we came home to a bunch of chocolate haha.
Our mission is among the only few, if not the only, mission that has language programs. We have missionaries speaking/learning: Spanish, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Mandarin, Polish, French, Russian, English, and German. It's a blessing to be able to have access to missionaries who speak these languages so that they can Skype in to lessons when we need them. Right now we have an Elder skyping in with us to translate into Italian when we meet with one of our investigators. We're working wonders here in the Berlin mission.
Though my time here has been short, I have loved everything. I am grateful for all the "no's" because they make the "yes" moments more meaningful. I'm grateful for the rain and all the times we've run after trains because it reminds me I'm alive and healthy. I'm grateful for my companion because she helps me be better. I'm grateful for my mission because I'm learning a lot about myself. I'm grateful for my faith and the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because it is what fills my life with happiness.
Franklin D. Richard's once said, "Life is God’s greatest gift to man, and what we do with our life is our gift to God." I know this is true. The best thing we can do in this life is to make the most of what we are given and to find ways to give back.