Hello family, friends, and acquaintances!
I hope everyone's week has gone well and that winter hasn't been too crazy. This week I finally started wearing shoes other than my boots. My legs feel so free!
First off for the most exciting piece of news-- Sister Pingree and I have been given permission to work not just with our ward, but with all the wards in Munich! There are four wards here, and we will help with teaching female investigators, visiting female less actives, and in any other way we can. We are the only Sister Missionaries in the Munich Stake, so we will be an important resource for the other missionaries and members. We are so excited to be so busy! The wards here can really benefit from the help of Sister Missionaries. There are some things Elders just can't do (sorry, Elder Stewart, its true). We have been unleashed from our area and can travel all over Munich to help the members here. Hooray!
Another interesting side note that I keep forgetting to mention- Our mission will soon extend into Italy! There is a part of Italy just across the border with Austria called Südtirol (South Tyrol) that is primarily German speaking. When the mission borders changed, the area became part of Italy and the German speaking members were forced to go to an Italian speaking ward. Many of them chose not to do that and have lost contact with the Church. Our mission is sending a senior couple there to start an LDS German Speaking Group with the 5 members that we know are there (there use to be about 50 before the borders changed). President Miles wants to send proselyting German speaking missionaries to the area soon. So our mission will cover 5 countries- Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy! How cool is that?
This past week we had appointments with some of the less active sisters in our ward. We shared the talk by President Uchtdorf : "Sie sind dem Herrn wichtig." (You are known by the Lord) It talks all about how God never forgets us and that each one of us is important to him. Sometimes it blows my mind that I, am unimportant little human, am known and loved by the creator of the universe. I know He knows and loves each one of us, because we are His children. He wants us to return and live with Him, and I know He has provided the way for each of us to do that.
One cool thing about being in a big city like Munich is how international it is. Sister Pingree and I keep running into people who don't speak German! We have met people from Spain, Turkey, Brazil and various other places. We have started carrying an English Book of Mormon in addition to the German ones.
Yesterday we had Stake Conference. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake for all of the Stakes in Germany. We got to hear from Elder Nelson and President Eyring! It was weird for me to listen to talks from Apostles dubbed into German, but I did manage to get some good notes down. One thing really impressed me from Elder Nelson's talk, he talked about how God sees us not how we are right now, but as we can become. He then talked to parents about helping their children become the people that God wants them to be. I took that counsel and applied it to my situation as a missionary and asked myself "Am I helping my investigators/less active members/my companion become the people God wants them to be?" I know that one of my purposes as a missionary is to help others come unto Christ. Sometimes I get caught up in all the little details, but yesterday I realized that the most important thing I need to be doing is helping EVERYONE around me become a better person. Well, Heavenly Father must think I'm up to the task or He wouldn't have called me here, so I'll do my best!
Ich weiß, dass ich eine sehr wichtige Aufgabe habe. Ich hoffe, dass ich Glauben an den Herrn entwickeln kann. Nur durch ihn kann es dieses Werk schaffen. Ich bin so dankbar, für alle die Missionare, die hier dienen und die überall in der Welt dienen. Zusammen werden wir es schaffen!
(I know that I have a very important work. I hope I can develop faith in the Lord. I can only do this work through Him. I am very grateful for all the missionaries serving here and throughout the world. Together we can do it!)
Meghan- Thanks for the e-mail! Visits from friends aren't really allowed, sorry. Hopefully one day we will get to do a grand European tour together!
Elder Stewart- Keep up the good work!