Monday, May 25, 2015

Dear Family,

Can I just say how much I LOVE being a sister missionary? 

We were on our way to teach a family Edison introduced us to (that kid is a lean, mean referral machine) and as we were walking over, a group of kids and teenagers came to greet us. We shook their hands and talked with them for a little while, then began walking away. As our backs were turned, we heard someone yell "What?! The princesses shook everyone’s hand but mine!" We spun around, apologized, shook another hand and had another short interchange, then headed to our appointment. 

Not that it’s a competition or anything, but win, win, win, WE WINNNNNN. 

Speaking of winning, the following miracle story deserves an award of some sort: 
Two weeks ago, we met the most prepared man EVER at the bus stop outside of our house (I told y’all about him on Skype!!). He accepted a Book of Mormon and gave us his number so we could meet, but hello my name is Sister Terry and I’m incompetent and forgot to save said phone number :( I prayed so hard that: 

a) Heavenly Father would forgive me for being an unorganized mess and 
b) Would allow us to run into him again.

Wellllllll, we hopped on our bus after church yesterday AND GUESS WHO CAME UP AND SAT NEXT TO US?! 

*Cue the Hallelujah Chorus* 

We had another super incredible conversation and got his number (again) and are going to meet with him this upcoming week!!! Exciting, huh?! 

This week has been way good...minus the fact that both Sister Whicker and I haven't been feeling too well :( We're doing better today, but just be sure to keep us in your prayers because we're sick of being sick!!! 

Anyway, I’m going to keep this one short this week because I'm going to go play volleyball in a little bit (that should help me feel better, right? haha). 

Hope y’all had a great week <3 
Love you lots!! 

- Brookie

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dear Family,


We finally had some time to go by that family we met on the train the other week...but we couldn’t find them. The trusted navi couldn't locate their address (PROBABLY BECAUSE I CAN’T SPELL IN GERMAN, OKAY!?) so that was a HUGE bummer...but the Lord didn’t let our trip be in vain! On the way back into Kaiserslautern, we sat near a woman with two little boys. We made eye contact about 67 times and after five minutes or so, I leaned over and started talking with her. Turns out, she comes from a family of ELEVEN. And she’s #7! Right smack dab in the middle of a huge family—just like me! Oh my gosh, she was the sweetest lady! And her boys (Simon and Jen) were ADORABLE. We didn’t have any more copies of the Book of Mormon on us to give to them, but maybe that was for the best because she ended up writing down her address so we could bring one by!!!(: 

Last Monday evening we planned on having a lesson with Sister Freitag. When we got to her apartment, however, she wasn’t home. We tried to contact an old potential in the area, but she wasn’t home either. Our backup plan was to go by the Serbian family we met on the street the other week, so off we went. We ended up missing the first bus going over there and realized, once we were on the next bus, that we'd written their street name down incorrectly. We found a map, located a street with a name somewhat similar to the one we'd written and prayed for a miracle! 

And a miracle we received! 

When we made it to the apartment we were assuming was theirs, we stood outside, unsure which klingle to press. After a few seconds of hesitation, a door opened at the top of the stairs and a little boy who was heading outside to play stood before us. Behind him, still inside, was his father—the man who we met on the street—he man we were looking for! He invited us inside and we received the warmest welcome EVER from both him and his wife. We sat down around their dinner table, ate some watermelon and had an incredible lesson with them about the Book of Mormon! We only had 25 minutes before we had to head home, but they invited us to come over again! AHH I’M SO EXCITED. THEY’RE THE SWEETEST LITTLE FAMILY EVER. 

What if Sister Freitag had been home?! 
What if that other potential was around?! 
What if we hadn’t missed our first bus?! 

I stand IN AWE of Him. His miracles never cease! 
No really. 
They don’t cease. 
Like, I’m not done yet. 

Edison invited ANOTHER one of his friends to meet with us. We had a little lesson with him on Saturday night. He's also Albanian and therefore cannot speak too much German, but he's read the whole Book of Mormon! Edison gave one to him to read...and he finished it IN THREE DAYS. When we asked him what feelings he had while reading it and whether or not he believed it to be the word of God, he expressed his thoughts by picking up a Book of Mormon, kissing it, then nodding his head really big! HA. SISTER WHICKER AND I JUST ABOUT FELL OUT OF OUR CHAIRS. Those Albanians, though! They're all so prepared! 

Let’s see...what else, what else...? OH! You know Frau Breitsch?! The lady we set the baptismal date with the other week? She quit smoking!!! We taught her about the word of wisdom earlier this week, but she’s been struggling to keep it. However, we walked into her apartment on Saturday and for the first time since we began teaching her, IT DIDN’T SMELL LIKE SMOKE. After saying the prayer and following up, she proudly announced (with the biggest smile you can imagine) that she hadn’t smoked once since the last time we met! Sister Whicker and I were on CLOUD NINE for the rest of the night! 

I know this email is already kind of long but I gotta tell you one more incredible experience before I go! On Friday, we had a lesson planned with Shirley. Both Sister Whicker and I felt impressed to have a one-on-one lesson with her (usually her family joins us). We decided we'd just take her outside and go for a walk or find a bench somewhere...but as we were planning her lesson and looking outside, thick rain clouds covered the sky and the chances of us being able to do that looked pretty slim. We sat for a little bit, thinking about what we should do...but in those three minutes of silence, only one solution came to mind. 

We had to pray the rain away! 

So we got on our knees and prayed that the weather would hold and that we would be able to have our lesson with Shirley as planned. 

Not only did the weather hold, but within a couple hours, the clouds—which seemed to have no end, which seemed like they were gonna break at any moment—dispersed, the air warmed up, the sun was shining brightly and we ended up having THE. MOST. AMAZING. lesson with Shirley. 

The Lord hears and answers faith-filled prayers, y’all—always has. Always will. 
He's a God of miracles. 
He's a God of understanding, a God of love, a God of tender mercies. 
Serving him is the absolute best decision a person can make. 
I thank my heavenly father for this opportunity every second of every day. 

I love y’all lots! 
Talk to you next week! 

Sorry for this beast of an email! I'll let you get on with your lives now--haha. 



One more story: 

The zone leaders decided it'd be funny to play a joke on me this past week. 

Elder Heil called and said he was sick and mono- knowing that my sympathetic, motherly instincts would kick in and id be all concerned and such. He'd keep me on the phone FOREVER (seriously, at least an hour every day- usually more like two), pretending to be dazed and medicated and sick. Today I was typing up his emails for him and after about 20 minutes and lots of stories about the week, he said (as I was typing) "so this week was really funny. I've been sick--but nothing too bad. I think I could be a movie star maybe someday with my acting skills. I made Sister Terry think I was sick with mono, but I just had a cold." Then he put his camera in front of my face and showed me this picture. 

Haha, he hasn’t talked to me since. 
He thinks I’m really mad at him. 
He’s going to write me an apology note, apparently. 
Haha, poor guy.

Pictures and Video from the Eldredges

Letter from Elder Heil

We received the following email from Brooke's Zone Leader, Elder Heil. He sent it 5/11/15.

Dear Terry Family, 

Hi, this is Elder Heil. I am Sister Terry´s Zone Leader here in Kaiserslautern. I just wanted to send a little message, letting you know how great of a missionary your daughter is. She is one of the hardest working missionaries I have ever seen. I am pretty old in mission age, and I have never seen a missionary, especially one so young on the mission do so much work. 

She is a great missionary and I am sure that you both would be proud of her to see her in Action. She is doing some great things here in Germany. 

Have a great week! 

- Elder Heil

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekly Lettahhh

Dear Family, 


Moving on, though. 
     Y’all remember Bertrand? The investigator who broke my heart by dropping us a couple transfers back? Well, the American stake rented out a theater to watch Meet the Mormons and we felt prompted to invite him...and he accepted our invitation! Before the show, we had an appointment with Shirley and were late getting out. We sprinted form her house to the bahnhoff—knowing we would miss the movie if we missed the train. We hadn’t even made it onto the gleis when we saw the train pull up. I prayed with every ounce of energy that the Lord would not let that train leave without us on it and miraculously, it just sat there!! We were able to make it on just in time! We sat down, checked the time...and it should have definitely had already taken off. 
     We got into Ktown, grabbed dinner and waited outside for Bertrand. Our train was gonna go in 5 minutes and he still hadn’t shown up! We called him, but he didn’t answer. I "had the thought" to go check on the gleis...but he wasn’t there, either! We called him once more, and he picked up saying he was already on the train! We jumped on, but totally would have missed it had the Lord not prompted us to go to the gleis. 
     While on the train, Elder Bruneel asked us if we had our passports...which none of us did. Fun fact: you can’t get on an American military base without a passport. Luckily, Elder Bruneel called a member who was willing to meet us in a random village, drive us home, and then drive us to Ramstein for the movie. To add to our "luck", the movie started late—so we didn’t miss any of it.
     And...BERTRAND LOVED IT! So much so, in fact, that he agreed to start meeting with us again!!
     His heart was softened and his mind re-opened...neither of which would have happened without the Lords perfect hand that was clear as day throughout the entire evening! (: 

     It was beyond wonderful skyping with y’all for mother’s day yesterday <3 I just want to take a minute and give a shout out to the world’s greatest mom—Michelle Terry (Mom, I FORBID you from deleting the following paragraph before it gets posted on my blog). 
     Thank you, Mommy. 
     Thank you for teaching me to "laugh it out" instead of "take it out" in regards to frustration or stress.
     Thank you for teaching me to serve others—to put my own wants and desires on the back burner and put the wishes of others first. 
     Thank you for teaching me how to work from sun up till sun down.
     Thank you for teaching me to not take myself too seriously—to dance in cars, to sing Bon Jovi at the top of my lungs, to eat cookie dough without regrets 
     Thank for teaching me that there is NOTHING more important than family. 
     Thank you for teaching me that life is supposed to be enjoyed...and that if you're not having fun, then you’re doing something wrong. 
     I speak for not only myself, but for the many other people you have taken in and treated as children over the years when I say that you are a truly remarkable lady and the best mom a girl could ask for. 

I love you! (: 
I miss y’all, lots! 
Talk to you next week <3

- Brookie

Monday, May 4, 2015

Dear Family,


     Sister Whicker and I had just gotten home from teaching a lesson and were heading upstairs to plan. I hopped on the elevator and pressed the button for our floor, but my companion was taking her time and the door started to shut before she made it on. Naturally, I held out my hand to keep the door open, BUT THE ELEVATOR IGNORED IT, SHUT ANYWAY, AND STARTED MOVING WITH MY HAND STUCK IN THE DOOR. In an effort to prevent said hand from getting SLICED IN HALF, I pried the door open, which caused the elevator to go on crazy shutdown mode with me still inside :( 
     I was in there for about an hour before help arrived. 
     Luckily, the Elders came over and sat outside and provided moral support/ told me funny stories to distract me from the face that my WORST NIGHTMARE came true. I’m so grateful for them! 
     That little experience aside, this week was AMAZING. 


     We had a lesson planned on Monday night which fell out four minutes before we were supposed to meet. We headed out to do some street contacting...and my bag broke after having just left the apartment! We went back inside, grabbed a grocery bag, transferred all of my belongings into it, and went outside again. Because of this set back, we crossed paths with a lady named Frau Breitsch! We introduced ourselves, told her a little bit about the church and invited her to learn more! "Are you heading home right now?" we asked. "We’d love to share a message with you!" 20 minutes later, we were in her home telling her about the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith! It was so neat! But wait! It gets better!!! We went back on Friday and taught her about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ...and she accepted the invitation to be baptized!!! Ahhhh the spirit was SO. STRONG. June 6th...can’t wait!!!! 

     On Thursday, we rode a train out to a village to contact a referral before a member appointment. We got to the bahnhoff and went to get off the train...but the door wouldn’t open! We ran to the next door down, pressed the open button...but it was too late! We got off at the next stop and found out that the next train wouldn’t be passing through for about an off we went to do doors! We had some nice conversations, gave out a Book of Mormon and headed back to the train station. Waiting for the same train as us was the cutest little family! I made friends with two of the kids, one of which came up and sat by me when we got on the train. We began talking to his mother, who actually seemed somewhat familiar with the church! Our stop approached all too rapidly (it was about a three minute ride away), and with about 10 seconds before having to get off the train, we handed her a Book of Mormon, invited her to read it, and asked for her address so we could come by and explain a little more about it. Not only did she give us her address, but she said she'd start reading The Book of Mormon with her kids!!!! I'm dying to go by on her family!!! Can’t wait to see what happens!!!

     Needless to say, I’ve come to love when things don’t go as planned. In just about every case, I can clearly see that it’s because the Lord had a way better one in mind!!!! 
     The hand of the Lord was so apparent throughout the entire week! I wish I could sit here and type up all the miracles I’ve witnessed and wonderful experiences I’ve had...but time just won’t allow :( 

I love y’all a lot, though!!!!!! 


- Brookie