Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Dear family,

I'm gonna keep this one short this week BECAUSE I’M GOING TO BE SKYPING WITH YOU IN 4 DAYS (OH MY GOSH WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS HOW EXCITED I AM, I LOVE YOU PEOPLE SO MUCH YOU’RE MY FAVORITE HUMANS OF ALL TIME)...but I do want to share a couple miracle stories with you from this past week!!! (: 

First off, Ralph is the most flawless person on earth (besides you, mom). 

We set up an appointment with him and the Kobers (a young married couple he hit it off with at church) for this past Saturday. They actually invited us to come and meet with him at their house...which was PERFECT, by the way. The best sort of environment to have a lesson in, for sure. We went over the restoration, which Ralph already believes to be true! When we invited him to pray about it, he was basically like "sure, but I already know what the answer is". (Why do I feel like he's strengthening my testimony a lot more than I'm strengthening his?!) Anyway, the lesson went a little longer than planned and we had to book it out of there to catch a bus...and while we were fast walking to Bahnhoff, Sister Roderrer pulled me aside and was like "Sister Lyman (we were on a split) and I both feel really strongly that we need to set a baptismal date with him today" and I was like "Go! Go! Go!" so my champion companion walked up to him and invited him to be baptized right then and there on the street. He stated a few concerns, which we addressed, and then agreed to work towards baptism on the 16th of next month!!! We're incredibly, incredibly, incredibly excited!! He's definitely gonna make it! He's perfect! Don't believe me? Get this: He came to church yesterday and do you know what he told us?! He said he was looking up videos about seminary on the church website and thought "if 15 year olds can wake up at 5:30 and study the scriptures, so can I"...so he woke up at 5:30 and studied the scriptures in preparation for church yesterday!! I love this man!! His faith amazes me! I'm so grateful that we get to work with him (: 

You know what else I'm grateful for? This next miracle story: 

Yesterday during Sunday school, two young girls from China walked in and were like "we want to learn about Jesus Christ" ....like umm...okay? We can maybe probably DEFINITELY help you out with that one, you angels sent from heaven above. 

Man. I just love Duisburg. This place is magical and I'm obsessed with it. 

As we've introduced ourselves to people on the buses, trains and streets these past couple weeks, we keep getting asked questions along the lines of "why can't you go home for Christmas?!" and hearing comments like "that's so hard!" And "man that must be tough!" 

And it is! It can be kind of sad being a zillion miles away from the people I love most in the whole world during the most special time of the year, so why do I do it?! 

I'll let Richard C. Edgily answer that one: 

"In the third chapter of John, verse 16, we read the familiar scripture, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16] Our missionaries go to all nations and all people because they have a firm, unshakable testimony that God still loves the world and that He has spoken again as an indication of that love. He has restored precious truths lost over the centuries of Christian persecution, dark ages, and years of confusion—truths that are essential to our peace and happiness. These are truths so essential to our eternal salvation that our loving Father restored them in their completeness. After Christ’s ministry and ascension to heaven, the Apostle Peter prophesied of a restitution of all things before Christ would return for His Second Coming. He said: 

“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:20–21; emphasis added). 

“These missionaries go into all the world full of love and faith because they know of the fulfillment of Peter’s prophecy of a restitution of all things. They testify of a restoration that is so marvelous that only the hand of God could be its author--so miraculous that it can be believed only if one understands the powers of God and His love for all mankind--a story so divine that the truth of it can be truly accepted only through the personal manifestation of the Holy Ghost, which the Savior promised as His way of testifying of the truth to those who prayerfully seek it." 

I want to extend to everyone the same invitation he extended at the conclusion of his remarks in the October 1996 general conference: 

"To all of you who are not of our faith, when two young men dressed in white shirts and ties, two lovely young women, or a noble couple knock at your door and introduce themselves as representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, may I invite you to let them in. Listen to their message and evaluate for yourself. May I suggest that you not just accept their message but that you inquire fervently of our Father in Heaven as to its truthfulness and its value to you and your family, for He is the author of all truth and has promised His witness to those who earnestly seek it." 

I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve him! I'm grateful for this church- His church- and for the changes (like inner peace and deep joy) I've seen in the lives of so many people as they've accepted and relied on Him and His gospel. I'm grateful for Heavenly Father- who loves us SO MUCH that he sent Christ to earth and I'm grateful the spirit who prepares the hearts of man to hear and accept the message of the savior- the redeemer of mankind—and this His everlasting gospel. 

Love y'all so so much (: 
Merry Christmas!!! 

- Sister Terry

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