Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dear Family

On Saturday morning, we went to the baptism of a girl in one of the American military areas. The plan was to go home afterwards and have our weekly planning session...but the Lord had something else in mind. We had just about made it to our apartment when we passed by an Albanian woman Edison had introduced us to a few transfers ago. She had her two little sons with her. She spoke no German or English, but from the sound of her little boy's choking and wheezing, we understood that she needed to get to a hospital. We wrote down the bus number and the stop she needed to get off at, gave her a little pat on the shoulder and sent her on her way. 

Ridiculous, right? 
No worries, the Holy Ghost told us the same thing. 
We took about five steps forward, then felt promoted to stop, turn around, and give her some REAL help. 

Long story short, we ended up spending the whole day with her at the hospital, providing emotional support, helping the nurses, and talking with doctors. We left around 5 that evening. The little boy’s mom couldn't communicate with us at all, but before we left, she showered us with tears, kisses, hugs. She kept looking upward, sobbing things in albanian, then repeated the words "danke, danke, danke" over and over again. 

While preparing for my mission and during my first few rough months, I heard countless comments all along the lines of "I wish I could have the experiences you're going to have" or "I wish I had had the chance to serve as a missionary"...But as I've been out here, one thing has been made incredibly clear: missionary work is nothing more than a call to love and serve those around you...and a name tag does not a missionary make!!! 

I am so grateful for all the amazing experiences the lord has blessed me with over the last nine months...and I know that these same opportunities are available to everyone who sincerely desires them! 

Other exciting things that happened this week... 

I found out Aaron Thaxton is being trained in my zone!!! Ha-ha I told the zone leaders about him, and they came up to me on Saturday and said he's serving in the area!!! What are the odds!? I got permission to call him...he seems to be doing really well! Jet lag hasn't affected him too much...yet ha-ha. Zone training is next week, so I'll see him then. I'll be sure to get some pics and send them y’alls way! 

Zum Beispiel: We contacted a referral on Wednesday over in Dancenberg. The old man sitting outside wasn't interested in the church...but he was interested in us. Ha-ha the phrase "darling, I love you" literally came out of his mouth before the end of our conversation...that's when we knew it was time to go. Good times, good times. 

Well, that’s all for this week!! 
I love y’all lots!!! 
Talk to you later! 

- Brookie 


Monday, June 22, 2015

Dear Family,

Dear Family, 

I GET TO STAY IN KAISERSLAUTERN WITH SISTER WHICKER FOR ANOTHER TRANSFERRRRR. Mensch, I’m so happy. Everyone was pretty convinced I was outta here, but Shirley (our 15 year old investigator) wasn’t having it. After our lesson with her on Friday, she said the closing prayer and literally PLEADED with heavenly father to keep both Sister Whicker and I here. 

Ask and ye shall receive, right? (; 

After our lesson with Shirley, we had a lesson with Lucky. A few weeks ago, we met with Bertrand and he had a friend over when we got there who had to leave shortly after the opening prayer, but who said something along the lines of I hope to be able to stay for one of your lessons one day!" before going. WE told him we'd love to meet with him, but kept forgetting to get his number from Bertrand. Then one evening, after an appointment, Bertrand said "Hey, you remember Lucky the guy who was over at my apartment the other week? He wants me to give you his number so y’all can meet." We contacted him, set up an appointment...and it went SO. WELL. He's going to get baptized one day, for sure. His views on everything we discussed were the exact same as ours, and he seemed really accepting of all that we taught. His schedule is super busy, so we weren’t able to set up a return appointment, but I’m sure we'll meet with him again this weekend. I’ll keep you updated on his progress, for sure! 

On Wednesday, we went down to Heidelberg for ZOCO (Got our iPads—YAY). After the meeting, Schwester Frenkel (Germany Frenkel, not San Antonio Frenkel) walked up to me and said "I have a surprise for you!" I followed her out into the foyer...AND THERE WAS BRUDER FRENKEL. I JUST ABOUT PASSED OUT. Jessie and the kids came a few minutes later (and I just about passed out...again). As if their mere presence wasn’t enough, they all came decked out in spurs/ Texas get—up. I can’t even express how happy I was—just about sprained some face muscles from smiling so much!!! SHOUT OUT TO FAMALIE FRENKEL. Y'ALL MADE MY LIFE. 

On Saturday, Sister Whicker and I were on house arrest. We've got the stomach flu :( Luckily, we have the best elders EVER who love us lots and took good care of us (: Elders Turley and Blua came over with food in the afternoon, and Elders Ashton and Heil brought us soup in the evening. Gosh, I love them! 


Happy (belated) father’s day to the best dad on planet earth—Arlo Terry. Words cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for you!!!! <3 I thank my heavenly father for blessing me with such an amazing earthly father every day (: Love you lots!!!! 

Talk to y’all next week!!!! 
Love you love you love you!!! 

- Brookie

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dearest Family,

     On Friday, we walked over to the church for a lesson with Renato...and got rejected hard core by just about every single person we talked to. Then, Renato didn’t even show up! Needless to say, we were not too excited to spend 30+ minutes on the street contacting again. We said a little prayer and asked the Lord for energy, strength and a miracle...and as always, He delivered! 
     We walked down the street to look at bus times. While looking at the schedules, a man whipped his jacket over his shoulder, hitting me in the face. He apologized and I assured him it was alright, then asked him where he was from (cuz he was speaking English).
     "Los Angeles" He said. 
     "Oh, you must be a Lakers fan, then. I’m sorry." I responded. 
     He laughed then asked where we were from and what we were doing here. I told him we were missionaries...and then he had to hop on his bus because it was about to leave. I handed him a card real fast and as he was getting on the bus he shouted "Hey! I think I was supposed to run into the two of you today. I've been going through a lot lately. Pray for me!" 
     On the train a little while later, we sat by a girl from the Ukraine! After talking to her for a little bit, we found out that she’s actually really familiar with the church! Two elders were invited to come to her English class and talk about America a few years ago and she talked with them quite a bit after their presentation. She even already had a Book of Mormon! I could have cried! 
     D&C 65:2 hits it on the head: "And from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it shall fill the whole earth". The gospel really is spreading! The stone really is rolling! And I get a front row seat of the show! HOW LUCKY AM I?! 
     On Saturday, we had the coolest contact OF LIFE. We were on our way to go by a less active and sat by a lady on the train. I pulled out the phone to read a text to Sister Whicker, and the woman across from us (who just so happened to be an American) heard us speaking English and asked us where we were from. We talked for a while and, of course, the topic turned to religion. Turns out homegirl is a recovering drug addict. She’s lived on the streets, has had open-heart surgeries due to infections caused by dirty needles, and has died on operating room tables...like, four times. She told us "I want to believe in God. I want to believe in Christ. I just don’t know how to be sure they exist. I have trouble believing in things I can’t see". We whipped out Moroni 10:3-5 and bore testimony that through the impressions of the Holy Ghost—she could know with 100% surety that there is a God, Christ is His Son, and they love her very much. By the end of the train ride, she ended up giving us her address in Florida and told us we could send the missionaries by! Mensch, she was incredible! Haha, we had actually made it to our stop after 15 minutes on the train, but felt prompted to stay and keep talking to her (wouldn’t have had that amazing conversation or gotten her address if we hadn’t)! We ended up in some random village about 45 minutes away and did some doors there as we were waiting for a train going back to ktown. We found a Romanian dude who was super interested, and on the way back, sat by a Thai lady who also gave us her info so we could come by (don’t get too excited Matt, I think she’s just trying to set us up with her son...but we'll see)! 
     As if those experiences weren't exciting enough, we had a bunch of investigators at church on Sunday! The work here in Kaiserslautern is at an all-time level of AWESOME. EVERYONE IS MAKING SO MUCH PROGRESS. I'm so blessed to be serving here! I’m so blessed to be a missionary in general! I love this work, I love this work, I love this workkkkkkkkk. 

Talk to y’all next week <3 
- Brookie

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dear Family,

FRAU BREITSCH CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY. Oh my heavens, you wouldn’t believe the stress surrounding that miracle. She has this devil dog, right? And she hasn’t been coming on Sunday because he "can’t be left alone" (hence the name devil dog). We finally got to the point where we were like "JUST BRING YOUR LITTLE CHIHUAHUA THING WITH YOU"...which our branch president was not okay with. However, we didn’t find out that he wasn’t okay with it until we were walking out the door on our way to pick her up yesterday. We sent our ZLs an SOS text, which they didn’t respond to because they didn’t have their phone with them. So we called our district leader (who had a meeting during our sacrament) and were like "so ummm, what are the chances this dog can sit with you during ward council?" Luckily, Elder Turley is THE BEST and said "yeah, no problem!"...except for that fact that it was a problem because the dog started screaming bloody murder the second Frau Breitsch handed the leash over to him. After about 10 minutes, we convinced her to just leave him and come inside...but she was clearly as emotionally unstable as her dog. She went out to check on him twice before sacrament meeting was over. At one point, she was like "call the Elders and just ask them if everything is okay" so I did...and the dog was still screaming bloody murder. Of course, I told her everything was fine, though. She insisted on hearing for herself, so I hung up the phone real fast, held it up to her ear and was like "See! He's quiet! Everything’s good!!"

Haha no worries, Frau Breitsch and her dog both survived the hour apart, but went home as soon as sacrament meeting was over. We dropped by her place after church to assess the damage...and she didn’t have post-traumatic stress disorder like we thought she would! In fact, she had nothing but good things to say! I think she'll keep coming if we can just figure out a solution to this dog problem! 

We also made TONS of progress with Bertrand this past week. On Tuesday, we had a solid lesson with him about Christ and developing faith in him—an area in which Bertrand struggles quite a bit. He believes Christ existed, but isn't convinced that He was (and is!) the Son of God—our Savior and Redeemer. We committed him to pray and ask Heavenly Father, and followed up at our next lesson on Thursday. He responded "Yes. I’ve been praying. And I do. I do believe that Jesus was God's son" OH MEINE GUTE SISTER WHICKER AND I WERE FREUING OURSELVES SO HARD WE COULDN’T EVEN SPEAK. SQUEAKS AND GIGGLES. THAT’S ALL THAT WAS COMING OUTTA OUR MOUTHS. He didn’t stop there, though! He continued, "ever since you taught me how to pray—in the name of Jesus Christ—my prayers feel...complete. It’s nice." We met again on Sunday, and he continued to talk about how happy he has been since he's come to an understanding of Christ’s divinity and how wonderful it is to pray AND OH MY GOSH I’M LITERALLY DYING OF JOY. I love that kid! 

You know who else I love? Donaldo. He's been in Italy for the last month and we’ve had ZERO contact with him. I was really worried about him--he being a new convert and far from the influences of the church—but he just got home this week & when we asked him if he’d been reading in the Book of Mormon while away, he gave us this "uhhh, of course" look and nodded his head. IS HE SOLID OR WHAT?! 

Okay. One last miracle story before I go! EVERYONE in Germany plants gardens in the spring (it’s actually one of my favorite things about this place)...and we've been blessed with lots of opportunities to help! We went over to a less active family’s house and helped them trim their bushes, which was a blast! Minus the fact that we were dying of dehydration (it’s getting hot—WOHHOO!!). I usually have my water bottle with me, but I left it at the church after DM. We made it back to ktown, were walking to catch our bus and passed by the doner shop we always go to. We waived to the owner (he’s our buddy. We're literally there all the time) and he waived us over, opened the fridge, handed us a drink, shook our hands and told us to have a good evening. 

The Lord takes care of His missionaries!! 
He really does send angles to bear us up—charitable doner shop owners included (: 

I love this work! 
And I love y’all!!! 
Talk to next week! 

- Brookie 

PS you know what Wednesday is?! My half-way mark. Can you believe it!?! Time really does fly when you’re having fun (:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Letter from the Whickers!

Hello Terry family!

Just wanted to write and say how grateful we are that our daughter was blessed with Sister Terry as her trainer. Sister Whicker is so happy with her and loves being in Germany! This is where she had hoped to go since she studied Germany as her language in high school. So blessed to be there! It looks and sounds like they are having amazing experiences together!

We live in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I am Juliet, Hubby is Jeff and boys are Eli age 15 and Erik age 10.

We are loving the experience of having a missionary out. So many blessings!

We can't thank your daughter enough for all she has done for Sister Whicker. You have an amazing daughter!

Let me know if you need pictures or anything else.

Love, From the Whickers!