Hallo liebe Freunde und Familie!
I continue to be surprised by how much the Lord really does bless us. Truly I notice His hand in this work daily. And I guess that shouldn't be too surprising, because after all, it is His work.
I love the ward here so much, and I love being in the city. It will be strange when (and if) I get transferred somewhere else that is not a big city. I don't know if I know how to be a missionary outside of a city... I might actually get to do all of my study time, and take all of my lunch and dinner breaks! In the city we just go, go, go, which I love, but also can be exhausting.
This past week was Halloween! I wore my Halloween socks and baked a Halloween cake (thanks mom!) that we then shared with D. I even saw a couple kids dressed up.
I will just take this moment to list the nationalities of the people that with met with last week (members and investigators) - Serbia, Hungary, Thailand, Iran, Vietnam, USA, Poland and China. Not a bad sampling of the world. I guess there is a reason it is called the International Ward.
One of my favorite things that we do is teach English class. We teach at the center for young adults. It is a free class that we do for an hour two times a week. The interesting thing is that the vast majority of our students are from Iran. They are either Christian or Zoroastrian and are fleeing Iran and trying to go to America to get a better life. They come here so they can wait for their visas. It is a lot of fun to teach, because they only speak Farsi and a very little bit of English, so we have to take it slow. But they are just about the nicest people you will ever meet. In Iran they are forced to live by the rules of the Muslim government, and all they want to have is religious freedom. Seeing them makes me think about all the people who have come to the US over the last couple hundred years, just looking for a better chance at life. I wonder about the circumstances of some of my own ancestors. It is cool that we can have some little part in helping them along their way.
They are starting to set up the Christmas markets! It is strange because in America there hasn't even been Thanksgiving yet, but here the Christmas markets open up around the middle of November. There is a big one right by the town hall that we pass by a lot and they are already decorating the booths!
Yesterday I taught the lesson in Sunday School. It was about Family Responsibilities. As I was preparing for and teaching the lesson, I really gained a better appreciation for my own family, especially my parents. I have been so blessed in my life to have the parents that I do. Thanks Mom and Dad for setting such a good example for me :) Some of the things I was remembering as I was preparing the lesson were Dad reading to us every night, or Mom asking us every day after school "What did you learn today?" or telling us as we headed out the door "Make good choices!" On my mission I have gained a deeper testimony of the importance of family and how important it is that we have that good foundation in our lives.
We are currently teaching the cutest little family from Vietnam. A whole family! They have two little kids and are here while the dad is getting his PhD. The language is a little hard, but luckily the church has lots of resources. The mom committed to come to church with us this Sunday! She is a little hesitant, but we reassured her that we will be with her every step of the way. I am so exciting to see what happens with them!
Ich weiss, dass der Herr alle seine Kinder liebt. Egal welche Sprache sie sprechen, Ich kann vielleicht die Leute nicht perfekt verstehen, aber ihre Himmlische Vater kennt sie und weisst genau, was sie brauchen. Wenn wir andere Menschen besser kennen lernen, dann lernen wir Gott besser kennen. Sie sind seine Kinder, genau wie uns. Er liebt uns alle!
(I know that the Lord loves all his Children. No matter what language they speak, while I may not understand them perfectly, Heavenly Father knows them and their needs. When we get to know others better, we learn more about God. They are his children just the same as us. He loves us all!)
Mach's gut! Ich habe euch lieb!
Mach's gut! Ich habe euch lieb!