Monday, June 25, 2012

Somehow, it always seems to rain on District P-Day


Today we have planned to go to a lake nearby and see a castle, but of course it is raining. Will we let a little water falling from the sky disturb our plans? Of course not! Sometimes I get really itchy to just go somewhere else (I've been in Munich since February, cities are fun, but tiring) so I'm really glad we are headed off to have an adventure today.

This upcoming week Sister Roffler will go to Bern to have the interview to get her visa. Unfortunately, Sister Pingree and I will not get to go with her :( I'm still holding out hope that at some point on my mission I will get to serve in Switzerland. Keep your fingers crossed!

This past week we've been a little sick, but we still managed to do some good work!

H, our investigator from Morocco, is having a hard time right now with the legal proceedings regarding who gets custody of her son. I'm so impressed by her faith though. She always says "I know God loves me" no matter what is going on in her life, she holds on to that sure knowledge of God's love for her.

We were also able to teach W again this week! She has been super busy with her school work, but this week we were able to teach her a lesson with one of the members from the 4th ward there and then she came to church on Sunday! We did splits so Sister Pingree could go to the English speaking ward with her. She also promised us that she will really read her reading assignment :)

One of our other lessons that went really well this week was our lesson with the B family. They are a less active couple in our ward. We taught about how important scripture study is. We asked them if they would like us to make a reading calendar to help them read the scriptures every day and they said yes! It's been amazing to see how much they have progressed since we first started meeting with them.

One thing I have noticed this week is that as a missionary, it is best to be out working. We had to cancel a couple of our appointments because we were sick and while I know that we need to take care of our bodies, it was not very fun to sit at home. I don't think I realized before I came on a mission just how happy it would make me to be out working and helping people come closer to Christ all day, every day.

Ich hab euch lieb. Ich weiß, dass wenn wir das tun, was Gott von uns erwartet, wird er uns segnen.
(I love you. I know that if we do what God expects of us, He will bless us.)

--Sister Stewart

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ein kleines Zöpfli

(The subject line is in Swiss German, translated it means "a little braid." Zopf is a type of Swiss bread that looks like a braid. The diminutive form of words in Swiss German uses an umlaut and then adds -li at the end. This ends my geeky language moment.)

Guten tag!!

Well on Tuesday it poured rain the whole afternoon and I was NOT wearing the correct shoes. Poor things, they may never be the same again.

Wednesday was the exciting day. Sister Roffler got the petition approved for her visa! That means that now she can go to Bern and apply for a real, live visa to enter the US. Unfortunately, the visa didn't come in time for her to join her MTC group, so she will have to stay a little longer with us :) She will enter the MTC at the end of June. Wednesday afternoon we spent a good chunk of time in the mission office getting everything sorted out, hopefully we didn't miss anything! After our afternoon spent jumping through all sorts of bureaucratic hoops, we got to eat ice cream at G's ice cream shop. He's been investigating the church for about 10 years now. He's Italian :) It was the perfect ending to the day.

Thursday afternoon I got to witness a pretty cool miracle that actually started a couple weeks ago. Sister Roffler has a goal to talk to someone in every train she is in. It's something I really admire her for, because talking to people in trains is HARD. Any way, we were in a pretty packed U-Bahn train the other day. There was a man standing there that Sister Roffler thought she should talk to, but she didn't get up the courage until we were getting out of the train, so she just handed him a card. And then that evening, he called us! His name is V.  We set up an appointment to visit him on Thursday. On the phone before we came he told us "I have a surprise for you"--- oookaaay. So we were a little apprehensive. We get to his apartment and start talking to him and getting to know him. It was strange because he would use words like "gospel" and "sacrifice" and kept calling us "Schwester" (most people don't read our tags that clearly). So as he was telling us about his life, he talked about how he grew up in Berlin. He had a nephew who joined the church. Then he said "and then my nephew baptized me" WHAT?!? Turns out he has been a member of the church since he was 20. He has read the Book of Mormon twice (granted while he was in prison, but that's a different story).  He has had a really hard life, and I think even a few months earlier he wouldn't have been willing to start meeting with missionaries. I just can't believe that we actually found him on the U-Bahn in Munich. I don't know how many thousands of trains run throughout the city every day, every few minutes. And he happened to be in our train. And Sister Roffler was trying her best to accomplish the goal she had set. It's amazing how little the Lord needs to work with to produce great miracles.

Saturday we had a Straßenausstellung (Road Show---don't think they really do these in the U.S.) Basically we just go to a square in Munich. We have a little display we set up and then we spend four hours talking to people. It was really nice weather. After wards we went to play soccer with the JAEs (another miracle-we found someone to invite at the last minute because our investigator canceled on us, meaning we couldn't go). I don't know how long it's been since I've played soccer. It felt really good.

Ich bin so dankbar, auf Mission zu sein. Es ist ein einzigartig Gelegenheit. Ich weiß, dass wenn wir den Herrn folgen, wird er uns segnen.
(I am so thankful to be on a mission. It is a special opportunity. I know that when we follow the Savior he will bless us.)

Alles Gute! Tschüss!
--Sister Stewart

Monday, June 11, 2012

Guten tag!

Funny story- We ran into one of our investigators in the internet shop just now when we came in. Munich is a big city, but somehow we manage to see people that we know fairly often.

The weather in Munich has been very rainy. Lots of days it will rain in the morning but thankfully it mostly clears up by the afternoon. It's nice because so far the rain has kept the heat to a minimum.

I forgot to tell y'all last week- Sister Pingree and I are staying in Munich for another 6 weeks! So I'll be here at least until July 19th. Last Monday we went hiking with our district. Two of the missionaries left to go home last week, so it was their last P-Day. It rained the whole time and the trail we wanted to hike was closed, but it was still a lot of fun. I can't believe I get to serve in such a beautiful place!

This past week we "babysat" a sister who was getting transferred and had to spend the night in Munich. Since we had an appointment, Sister Pingree and Sister Shulze took the luggage home and Sister Roffler and I went to go teach Sylvia. It was the first time I have been in a lesson with an investigator without Sister Pingree. It was very reassuring to discover that I can do this on my own without my trainer. Sister Roffler and I taught about the restoration. Sylvia asked us during the lesson why she has never seen an angel. I've been thinking about that a lot. One answer that Sister Roffler and I came up with is that if we saw angels every time we had a question, there would be no reason to have faith. But because we have to read in the scriptures and pray and trust in God and then listen for the Spirit, we get an opportunity to exercise our faith.
It's funny; we have taught two of our investigators in the past week about faith. One of the things I have gained a stronger testimony of in preparing and teaching those lessons is that faith without works really is dead. The two are inseparable. If we do nothing, we can never gain faith. We must exercise our agency to do the things that we help us develop faith (pray, read, go to church, serve others, etc). One the other hand, when we have faith, it is shown through our actions. There are many things we do because we have faith (pray, read, go to church, serve others, etc.). As we develop more faith, we do more to show our faith, and as we choose to follow God, we develop more faith. It's a positive feedback loop! (Sorry for the nerdy reference). This concept is something we have been working really hard to help our investigators understand. They have to take action in order to develop the faith to get baptized.

I know I am only beginning to scratch the surface on understanding how faith works, but I am so grateful for the opportunity I have here on a mission to study the gospel and then help others to understand.
Embarrassing moment time- (this just goes to show that even when you have been learning a language for 15 years, you still say stupid things)

Last week we were waiting to get on a street car and there was a woman helping another woman into a wheel chair. I reached out my hand to steady the wheel chair while she was sitting down. Then as she was walking away, the woman said "Danke schön!" (Thank you!). And what did I say in return? Not the proper response of "Bitte schön!" (You're welcome!). Nope, instead I said "Entschuldigung!" (Excuse me!) Dope. Oh well, the street was pretty noisy, so I'm holding out hope that she didn't hear clearly what I said.

Ich liebe es, Missionarin zu sein! President Miles sagt immer "Ist es nicht schön, auf Mission zu sein?" und ich stimme zu! Ich habe so viel gelernt und hoffe, dass ich viel mehr lernen werde. Ich weiß, dass unser Himmlische Vater uns leibt. Er will, dass wir alles lernen was wir müssen um zurück zu ihm zu kehren.
(I love being a missionary! President Miles always says, “Isn’t it great to be on a mission?”, and I agree! I have learned so much and hope to learn much more. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us to learn all we need to know to return to Him.)

Liebe Grüße,
Eure Sister Stewart

Monday, June 4, 2012

To the mountains!

Hallo zusammen!

We are off to go hiking this week! Hopefully it will stop raining soon, but we are determined to go, rain or shine.

This week has been pretty good. We have been able to see some good progress with our investigators, but we also see them experience some really difficult things.

H, one of our investigators, quit smoking this week. To help her keep busy, we baked together on Thursday :) She is making progress but is going through a really stressful legal proceeding right now, so please keep her in your prayers.

We also met this week with one of the potential investigators we found on finding day! His name is Y and he is a student from China. We gave him a Book of Mormon in Chinese and explained about how God is our Heavenly Father and he always sends us prophets to help us find the way. The best part of that lesson was when he said, "So prophets are God's representatives" Yes, he got it! We committed him to start reading the Book of Mormon and next time we will meet at the church and give him a tour of the building.

We also have another investigator, K, who is doing pretty well. He has come to a lot of JAE 
(Jungalleinstehende Erwachsene - Young Single Adults) activities and we had another appointment with him last night. Since he lives in the 1st ward, the Elders helped to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. We committed him to pray about it.

In my gospel study I have been reading the New Testament and I just reached the end of Matthew. I am always impressed by the Savior's words in the Garden of Gethsemane: “not my will but thine be done.” My wish is to strive to develop that same humility and trust in the Lord, where I can get to the point where I put aside my own will and completely devote myself to doing the Lord's will.

Tschüss! (Bye-Bye)
--Sister Stewart