Monday, January 11, 2016

Dear family,

This week was filled with lots of meetings! We had both Düsseldorf and Dortmond zone trainings...which basically translates into we spent a lot of time planning, traveling and sitting. It was great, though! We focused our trainings on chapter 8 of preach my gospel: goal setting, planning, and using time effectively (3 of my favorite topics!!), so I enjoyed it a lot! 

We also had a bunch of lessons this week. Some went way well. Some went way...strange. 
I'll tell you about the good ones, first (: 

Ralph is doing wonderfully!!! He had a little hiccup with the word of wisdom, but he got himself back on track and will definitely be getting baptized this weekend. He's such a rockstar—we were talking about scripture study at one point this week and he was like, "sometimes I'll sit down to read, and then I'll look at the clock and five hours have passed and its 2am and I had absolutely no idea!" The man loves the gospel possibly more than anyone else I've met out here! It's been such a joy to grow right alongside win him!! 

Ben is indeed back. On Sunday he told Sister Roderer he had a few questions, so we came prepared ready to combat deep doctrine, unanswerable inquiries and accusations. However, he ended up asking us a few basic doctrinal questions then being like "okay thanks". We were like "umm…anything else?" And he said no. We asked him if he wanted us to clarify any bad or negative things he may have heard about the church and thought about it for a few seconds then answered something along the lines of "no. That's okay. If you look hard enough, you'll always find a black sheep. I've just decided to focus on the positives. This church is good. I can feel it." 

What FAITH, right?! 
I couldn't believe it!! 
The spirit totally did a 180 on his heart. 
I’m so excited to start working with him again (: 

We had a bunch of other really neat experiences, but I'll just go ahead and fill you in on some of the odd ones because I don't do that nearly enough: 

The other night, we got a call from a man who wanted to meet. Apparently, we'd given him a card and he was really interested! We met him up at hauptbahnhof...and it was a total disaster. Turns out, he wasn't interested in the church after all, but he WAS interested in our dear Sister Roderer. He literally proposed to her. Said "I'm Muslim, I can't convert. But if you'll marry me, then I can! I can just tell my parents I have to be unified with my wife. Let's go. Let's get married right now!" Sister Johnson and I were literally DYING...and Sister Roderer was just like "umm yeah no". He was super persistent, proposed at least 5 more times before the end of the lesson...but Sister Roderer stayed strong! Proud of her for not thinking twice about using some good ol’ flirt-to-convert tactics (; 

On Monday evening, we had a lesson with a guy who was definitely on drugs of some sort. While discussing Jesus Christ, we pulled out the Book of Mormon and showed him the picture of His appearance to the people in the Americas...and he pointed to some random kid next to Christ and was like "who's that?" We were like dude we don't know it's just a painting. 

Haha, missions put you in some pretty weird situations sometimes. 
Strange experiences make the best memories, though, so I'm pretty grateful. 

I'll tell y'all another great one before I go! (: 

After dortmond zone training, we went over to Alex and Annika's and had THE BEST member appointment of my whole mission. We read D&C 100:6 with them and were like, "we're gonna watch this scripture in action right here right now", then we handed them a restoration pamphlet, give them 3 minutes to prepare a lesson on Jospeh Smith and the Book of Mormon sections and were like "we have so many opportunities to teach people, and hardly any opportunities to experience what our investigators you're gonna be the missionaries tonight and we're gonna listen. Ready go."

And...It was INCREDIBLE. The spirit was SO STRONG—I was choking back tears! I definitely received a confirmation of the truthfulness of the restoration. Alex and Annika really enjoyed it, too! We committed them to read through the pamphlet and pray for an opportunity to bear testimony to a non-member of one of the sections in there before next Sunday, and they agreed! Super excited to follow up and see how it went! I love those two so much! 

That's, actually, something that stood out to me a lot at zone training today—love. While talking about key indicators and using time wisely, I realized that I'm a little bit too focused on work. Don't get me wrong—I'll be the first to stand up and say that if you aren't being diligent, you aren't meeting the Lord’s expectations—but what the Spirit told me is this: when all is said and done and you stand before the Lord to be judged, you can't bring your worn out shoes or your tattered clothes with you. You'll be resurrected, so the bags under your eyes will be gone, too...but your heart will remain—and that's what the Lord is going to look at! So fill it with love! That's what your Savior did! I'm so excited to be able to implement that heaven-sent advice into my missionary work over the next couple months...and into the rest of my life, as well!! (: I'm grateful for the constant companionship of a member of the godhead, who leads me to higher roads and better, more Christ-like paths! (: 

I love y'all TONS. 
Party with y'all in 7 FRIDAYS (: 

- Sister Terry

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