Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dear family,

This week was MADNESS. 

After P-day ended on Monday night we had a lesson with Ralph. Once we finished, we looked at our phones and had about 10 missed calls from the Sisters in Düsseldorf, the Zone Leaders, and President. Turns out, everyone was playing soccer at the gym and one of the Elders kicked it, hit Sister Jeppeson in the eye...and caused it to go blind. She had bleeding in her Retina or something? (I WISH I HAD PAYED MORE ATTENTION TO YOU WHEN YOU TALKED ABOUT THIS KIND OF STUFF BACK HOME, DAD). Anyway, she was in the hospital for a few days, so we spent the majority of this week back and forth between Duisburg and Düsseldorf so they didn't have to cancel all their appointments. We also had two zone trainings on top of that! Although it felt like we were hardly in our area AT ALL, we were still able to get a lot of good work done! (: 

We had a super neat experience with Richard on Thursday! 
But first? Some background info for you: 

We had an eating appointment scheduled at the same time as his appointment...but didn't have his number in order to reschedule. We couldn't cancel on the member, but we knew if we didn't show up to the church when we told Richard to meet us there, there was a pretty good chance we would lose all contact with him. Sister Johnson prayed all week that the members would cancel, but they never did. 

Or so we thought. 

We got to their apartment, but they were kind of like "mom said she talked to y'all and cancelled"...but none of us had spoken with her. I had accidentally left my phone at home, so I'm assuming she just left a message on it or something? Either way, we headed back to bahnhoff to meet up with the Herne sisters, then traveled back to Neuenkamp for our lesson with Richard (by this point we had been able to track him down through a mutual friend and move the appointment a couple hours later). AND I’M SO GLAD WE DID BECAUSE HERE’S THE MIRACLE STORY OF THE WEEK: We took him to see the baptismal font and there, perched right inside of it, was THE BIGGEST spider any of us had ever seen! Richard had a little spaz attack and was like "oh my gosh. No way. IN AFRICA, MY NICKNAME IS SPIDER." and we were like "GOD’S TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING" and he was like "YES PRAISE HIS NAME THIS IS A SIGN FROM THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY" and we're we like "HALLELUJAH". 


It was a beautiful moment. 

And the lesson went great, too! We taught him about the word of wisdom, the law of chastity and tithing! Spider is ready to give up EVERYTHING in order to be a member of Gods church! (: looking forward to the 27th!!! (: 

Rahi is doing great! Because he is Muslim, he had to interview with president and get "cleared" to be baptized. Send lots of prayers his way, would ya? The interview went well, but talking with his parents probably won't. We're gonna have to call down some HUGE miracles from heaven if he's going to get baptized next week! 

Speaking of interviews with leavers interview was heart wrenching. I was balling before we finished the opening prayer! It was one big President & Sister Terry friendship cry fest. I'll give y'all the details when I talk to you in a couple weeks...but I just want to express my love for that man. He is one of the most inspired leaders I've ever met in my entire life. When I got out into the field, this mission was quite honestly kind of a joke. People would look at missionary blogs and ask "are y'all study abroad students or missionaries?" Hard work and diligent discipleship were secondary to fun and friendship. Since President Stoddard got here, however, this mission has completely turned around. We're crushing past mission records, we're seeing more success than ever and we're witnessing miracles left and right. I am so grateful for him. I really don't believe my mission would have been quite as incredible as it has been without him. He didn't just set the stage for an amazing 18 months, though, but for the rest of my life, as well. 

I love being a missionary, y'all. 
I'm devastated that this undesirably wonderful chapter of my life is coming to a close…but I look forward to seeing y'all in a few short weeks!! 

Love you so much! 
- Sister Terry

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