Monday, August 31, 2015

Dear family,

I'm about to tell you the saddest story you've ever heard. 
Please get your tissues ready.  

We were headed over to an appointment on Saturday and were talking to people on the Ubahn. I contacted the man sitting next to me, then he left, so I waited for the next person to come up and sit down so I could talk with them! After about three stops, no one had sat down, so I turned to talk to a man sitting across the aisle from me. As I scooted over, the spirit spoke to me and said “Wait for the person who's going to get on at the next stop". So I waited. And sure enough, the Ubahn stopped and a teenage boy sat down next to me. After talking for a little bit he asked me what I was doing here in Germany. I explained my calling as a missionary and asked if he was religious. He was like "ehh, sometimes more, sometimes less." I asked, "well, why sometimes less?" And he explained that it's hard for him to believe in God when there are so many bad things that happen in the world..."I don't know" he said "maybe this life is just kind of a test, you know?" I pulled out my handy dandy Book of Mormon and read with him in Alma 34 about the purpose of this life and bore testimony that there is a God and we go through challenges so that we can learn and grow and prepare to meet him again one day! We continued talking for quite a while...but because I still don't know this area very well the stop we had to get off at SNUCK UP ON ME just as he was pulling out his phone to give me his number so he could learn more. I saw my companion getting up to get off, so I had to jump up and go without having received any means to be able to contact this golden Bahn boy AND MY HEART STILL HURTS EVERYTIME I THINK ABOUT IT. I couldn't even give him OUR number Because, hello, my name is Sister Terry and I'm a failure and had ZERO cards with our number on them....I did manage to get a Book of Mormon into his hands before bolting off the bahn though (which he was SUPER excited to have)! No worries though, the Lord will lead him to us again. If not Sister Parker and I, then missionaries in the future, for sure! He was SO ready for the gospel.  

We had an experience similar to that on the way home from MLC on Friday (minus the tragic cliff hanger ending part). We sat next to a man named Christian. We asked him where he was headed and what he was up to, then the topic turned to religion (klar). We asked him if he believed in God, to which he respond "I don't think there is one. If there were, there wouldn't be so many horrible things going on in the world. Tell me. If God exists, why do such bad things happen to people who don't do anything wrong?" A lot of times, when people ask us a question like that, it's loaded. It's asked with the intent of convincing us we're wrong...but Christian was wearing his heart on his sleeve. We could sense his sincerity! We talked for the next 45 minutes straight about God, bearing testimony of the fact that he is not only our creator, but our loving father, as well. We promised him that if he prayed, he could come to know that for himself. He asked "how? How will I know?! How will I get an answer?" We introduced him to the Book of Mormon, read a passage with him to help answer his question and he was like "this is even more beautifully written than the bible!" (Moroni, man. He has a way with words). We told him he could have it, and he promised that not only would he read it, but he'd pray about it as well.  

Listen y’all. I don't know why some people are born into poverty. I don't know why some people are born into war—torn countries. I don't know why some people have to deal with abuse, with neglect, with hunger or death. But this much I do know—there IS a God. And He sent us here to be tested. Our trials and challenges aren't proof that there isn't a god. In fact, His love and support can be felt MOST clearly when we're going through struggles if we'll all just stop letting our circumstances close our hearts to his mercy and care.  

Gotta get going pretty soon....but before I do, I've got some exciting news... NAOMI IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEKEND and... HER SON IS, TOO!!!!  

Right after emailing last week, president called Sister Parker and I and told us not to postpone the baptism just because the font was broken. So we spent a good portion of this past week getting everything together and ready for that! We'd just been teaching her son the basics because we figured he was eight and didn't need all the lessons, anyway...and then we were reading in preach my gospel last night and realized that because neither of his parents are members—his actually constitutes as a convert baptism, too! How exciting, right?! Sister Parker and I definitely have our work cut out for us this week, but we are SUPER stoked (: We love this family so unbelievably much!!! Ahhh can it just be Saturday already?!  

Love y’all LOTS <3 
Talk to you soon!!!  

- Brookie

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