Thursday, October 12, 2017

Selfie with the Am Europakanal in the back
Cool things that happened this week:

- we set 2 baptismal dates!
- next week our entire mission is headed to Frankfurt (we will leave Sunday evening) to hear from Elder Ballard
- we will be using Facebook soon! 

So our baptismal dates are with Walter and Linh! Walter is a miracle because he’s been reading in the Book of Mormon everyday BEFORE he met the missionaries. Linh belongs to a part member family and is sooooo sweet. We’ve become homies with her 13 year old brother Ton. He’s been teaching us some Fränkisch slang. 

This week we’ve had quite a bit of fallen out appointments. At district meeting we talked about being more prayerful during our finding. On Tuesday after our 2nd appointment fell out we decided to say a prayer together and individually. We both felt that we should go by on this one woman who had met the missionaries last year. So we walked over and klingled her and she was home! She’s half german and has 5 kids. We didn’t really know what to say except hey are you still interested? She was so excited that we came and said that we could come back tomorrow. Yay! 

Another cool moment happened yesterday, we talked to a rough looking guy on the street. He said he was atheist and didn’t like the idea that there’s a heaven and hell. He said that if he were to believe in God that he thinks God shouldn’t be so black and white. We got to testify about the plan of Salvation and how God is no respecter of persons. I even got to explain about the 3 kingdoms and how God gives us agency so we can learn to make our own decisions. God is not black and white, he wants us to be happy and to be with Him again. But He wants us to choose to be happy and choose to live with Him. We were on the busiest street in Erlangen, but the Spirit was so strong. He wasn’t interested in meeting with us in person, but he said he wanted to learn more so we hooked him up with!

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
We are children of God it’s so cool you guys!

Liebe Grüße 
Sister Luymes
Fall is here, cool weather returns
and so do my coat and leggings.

Cool ancient clock tower.

36 sec0nds of goofiness

Well this week seemed to be a series of awkward moments for both Sister Swain and I. It kept things interesting for sure. 

On Friday we had 3 appointment, 2 fell out and one got moved to Saturday. What was sad was we asked Sister Jackson to come teach with us. Then on Saturday we had 4 appointments and the ones we asked Sister Jackson to come to fell out and the one that she couldn’t come to actually happened. We just felt really bad because she wanted to help so bad, but people just wouldn’t show up and stopped answering their phones. 

We also got uninvited to a service project on Saturday because „the missionaries have already helped her.“ Yeah no one really explained why we were invited and then uninvited, but ok. 

Sunday was funny. We had 4 people say they would come to church and then only one came. We had told a bunch of members to sit by them and talk to them so then everyone swarmed the one person.  I also got to introduce myself and then afterwards everyone had many different versions of Luymes. People think I’m French here and call me sister lumé. 

Sister Swain has a talent for not remembering names/ getting them confused. She called our potential David Daniel 2x on the phone even when I mouthed David to her. She also left a couple voicemails saying the completely wrong name. We‘ll be working on that this week. 

Last night we had dinner with our part member family and Sister Swain basically choked on the honeydew and squirted juice all over. She also cries when she laughs really hard so she was crying when it happened. I‘ll let your imagination picture that. Also when we were leaving I hugged the mom, fist bumped the 13 year old boy, and then I bear hugged the dad! It wasn’t until I stopped hugging the tiny Vietnamese man that I realized what I had done. What made it worse I look over at sister Swain and she went to low-5 the daughter and the daughter awkwardly shook sister Swain‘s Hand which was still in low 5 position. 

Who ever said missionaries are awkward they’re right. Oh well one of the Elders in my district is notorious for praying during member appointments „bitte segne dieses essen damit wir von es nicht sterben“ (please bless the food so that we don’t die from it). I haven’t stooped that low yet. 

I hope your week was a lot less awkward than mine. We had good parts I promise too haha! Sister Swain and I get along really well so that makes life good. 

This transfer is about to get really crazy though! I‘ll let you know in my weekly. 

Also my date for registering for classes is okt 30th. I’ve been looking and going through slowly but surely. So far I’ve decided on Chem 105, Geomatics (its for my major), probably linear algebra, I need to email a couple more people to see what kind of writing classes and German classes I should sign up for. Also Reagan Risk (college friend who served in Albania lives in Palm Springs) is at Home now! Crazy! I welcome advice for classes/ getting back into the swing of things. It doesn’t seem real that I only have a month and a couple days left. At all our member appointments they ask me about after mission life. You know it’s bad when members start realizing how little time you have left....

Ich habe euch lieb!
Sister Luymes 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Well I‘ve arrived in my last area with only 6 weeks to go... let’s do this! 

It was a hard couple days saying goodbye to some amazing people in Wiesbaden. Having General Conference was a huge help. It was the best one of my mission mainly because we had so many investigators and potentials come. What was even cooler was they would come for a session, then they loved it sooo much that they would stay the 2 hours between sessions and watch another one! We still have one more session to watch, but I‘ve loved every bit of it so far. You should go watch some! 

Well after 3 hours by myself on a train I arrived in Erlangen.  My new companion is Sister Swain from San Diego! What’s funny is in mission slang I‘m her ‚grandma‘ (I trained Sister López who trained Sister Swain). It’s been so much fun being with her so far. This will be a work hard play hard transfer which are the best. 
Meet Sister Swain from Oceanside, CA
Erlangen is beautiful! This southern dialect is HILARIOUS and yes I can understand it (hallelujah!) There are 3 University campuses here so we‘ve already found some awesome people. We taught a part member family from Vietnam and they’re my favorite! We had such a bomb lesson, the Spirit was strong, the son who’s like 13 knew so much and was able to explain a lot to his younger sister. The parents were bearing their testimonies and really opened up about some hard things they’ve had to overcome and how God and their faith helped them. Afterwards Sister Swain was so excited and kept hugging me because she was sooooo happy. 
Panoramic view of Erlangen
We‘ve already had some funny moments together as well. We sat on a train next to 2 Syrian men and started talking to them. We were talking about how hard German was and one of them asks Sister Swain if she had a boyfriend (Hast du einen Freund hier?) She misunderstood and points to me and said „Ja sie ist meinen Freund“ (yeah she is my boyfriend) and I looked at her and said „Sister Swain he just asked you if you had a boyfriend, and then you said I was your boyfriend. We should probably talk about this before we become official.“ The guy understood English so we all laughed pretty hard. 

Another cool moment was we were talking to people on our way to an appointment and we saw these two men. One was Christian and the other was Muslim. Sister Swain talked to the Christian guy and I talked to the Muslim guy. Usually Muslims won’t really listen to what we say and it gets pretty frustrating. This guy did exactly that. But then when I was able to actually say something I asked him about prayer. If he believes that God hears and answers our prayers. He said yes, but then expressed some concern that he felt like he recently hadn’t received answers. I taught him how we need to be sincere when we pray. We also need to be willing to do what God needs us or wants us to do. If we ask God for a car he doesn’t just give us a car right in front of us! He guides us to the work opportunities or the people we need to talk to in order to work to get a car. I asked him if he had asked God specifically about his problem, about who and when and where he should go to receive the help he needs. It was cool to see him go from very prideful and not willing to listen to being humble and teachable. This is the difference humility and the Spirit makes. He told me that he wasn’t interested in religion (not even Islam?), but what I had said touched him and that he would try to be more specific and sincere in his prayers. What made it even better was that Sister Swain totally got the info from the other guy. 

The Spirit is strong here in Erlangen. I‘m so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here, even if it’s so short. God hears and answers prayers guys. It’s so cool.

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Luymes 
St. Lorenz Church in Nuremberg
Kaiserburg Castle Garden, Nuremberg
Der Blaue Reiter - Bayern, Nuremberg

Well here am I in Erlangen. It’s a pretty big difference from what I had. The apartment is miniature. Seriously our microwave is in our bedroom because our kitchen is a hallway and doesn’t have enough room. At least we’re only on the 2nd floor. 

All the other missionaries in Erlangen got trained here (and the elders are in training now) so there’s a ton of new missionaries vibes going on (both good and bad). They‘re is a catastrophe so I’ve made it a goal to fix it. Our shower‘s water pressure is so hard that it hurt! Our stove is really ancient and takes about 10 min to warm up. My bed and bedding is also ancient and is quite gross. I‘ll be ordering some new stuff from the Ehepaar or the tech Elders. I‘m convinced that this area has been a be-trained-and-then-train area for so long that no one actually realizes that they shouldn’t have to live with some of these things. I said that to Sister Swain and she was like „oh my gosh I‘m so grateful you are here! There is hope now“ 

On the bright side this southern dialect is hilarious! I can understand it so that was a relief! They roll their R‘s and they use different phrases like „ganz eilig“. We were in Nürnberg for district meeting and we were on the elevator in the Hauptbahnhof and this guy started talking to me about how in Bayern you don’t have to stay on the right side of the elevator in case someone needs to walk fast on the left. He said they just needed to use their words and then you should move. He had this awesome accent and how he said Nürnberg it was more like nürn-bursch. I love it. 

We have some awesome people that we’ve found and some cool appointments coming up. Last night we taught this part member Vietnamese family and they’re adorable! The ward seems cool so far and laugh when I tell them how much time I’ve got left. They‘re all good eggs. I‘m missing Br. Tiebing hard Core. Our ward mission leader is your typical Deutscher GML and on the older side. Lots of good intentions, but slow on the following through. Naja it will be a Great 6 weeks. Sister swain is awesome and I i‘ve found my excitement for being here. The Lord has a lot for me to do still.

 Sister Swain reminds me a lot about myself during my third transfer (she’s in her 3rd) when the training wheels came off. She keeps saying how grateful she is for having me here. After our lesson last night she seriously cried out of joy and yelled I DIDN‘T KNOW MISSIONARY WORK COULD BE THIS FUN!!! She’s way dedicated and motivated and has a work hard play hard attitude that I have. I‘m really grateful to have her as my last companion. Being in a dritt was fun, but training in a dritt with so many personalities was sucking a lot of energy out of me. With this companionship I feel like I can finish as strong as I had imagined myself finishing at the beginning of my mission. She’s from Oceanside, CA so we’re 2 peas in a pod. 

I‘ll be completely honest saying goodbye to Wiesbaden has been one of the hardest things. It felt like home, the ward felt like family, the people were familiar even if I didn’t know them. I felt like I could keep going for 6 more weeks. Even in the dritt. When the members found out they all kept saying „ohhhhhhhhhhh wie schade!“ (oh what a shame). Yeah it sucked, but you know what I‘m here now and I‘m ok with that. I‘ve prayed a lot about it and at first I was pretty depressed, but now that I‘m here and I‘ve met some people I‘ve realized that I still have a lot of room in my heart to love a lot more people. I feel needed here and I feel loved. I‘ve had so many members offer their house to us when we come visit in December. The problem is I have to remember their names haha. 

How was your week? I love you guys so much and I appreciate your love SO MUCH. 

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Luymes 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

We had lunch with the elders and Jawad (pronounced Jafad he‘s a member from Iran). Jawad speaks Persian and a passable amount of Denglish. He was trying to say something and ended up typing it into Google translator. It came out saying “I’m strangled“ we were all laughing and then he asked for a drink and we realized he was trying to say I‘m thirsty. It was a good moment of confusion. 

WELL this may or may not be my last couple days in Wiesbaden. Who knows! We‘ll find out on Saturday. I’ll also start my last transfer next week... YIKES when did that happen! Time keeps flying by without asking for my permission. 

This week was amazing and surprising! On Sunday we went to Darmstadt for a YSA devotional for the Frankfurt, Friedrichsdorf, and Heidelberg Stakes. We brought our new convert, investigator, and potential from Colombia. As soon as we got there we ran into some YSA in the Spanish ward in Heidelberg and they totally bonded with our Colombians. It was great. The talks were perfect and I got to see a lot of people from my last areas. 
YSA devotional with a new convert, a member, and 2 potentials

On Wednesday we had lessons with Xia and Marion. We taught both of them the Plan of Salvation. Oh man both were amazing! Last week we invited both of them to be baptized, Xia said that her husband didn’t like other religions other than his. Apparently, he had seen her Book of Mormon and looked up the church. When she came home that day he told her that he wanted her to keep learning about the church because it would probably help strengthen their family. It’s so obvious that the Lord is softening his heart. After we finished the lesson she shared a dream she had had when she was 25 that matched perfectly with what we had just taught her. She shared a lot of experiences she had as a child in China and how she came to believe in God without knowing anything about churches. The spirit was so strong throughout the whole lesson and she noticed how much the Lord had prepared her to hear and accept the gospel. Highlight of my mission right there 

Marion‘s lessons was also a highlight of my mission. She’s a HUGE inspiration for me of letting God heal you. She’s gone through so much trauma and when we explained God‘s plan at the end she just said “I know. I know it’s true.“ The Spirit was blasting and Sister Wright was bearing such beautiful testimony. She still wants to pray about baptism and accept to watch general conference with this question in her heart. 

God’s plan is perfect. It brings meaning to life, our trials, and triumphs. It takes away the sting of death and when we repent it takes away the grief and sorrow of sin. I’m so grateful for God and Jesus Christ. They are real and have brought so much peace and joy in my life. I recommend giving them a chance. 

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Luymes 

Kiss goodbye Wiesbaden.  I'm off to Erlangen.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Salman got baptized (l-r: Sis Peck, Sis Tait, Salman, Eld Barker, me)
Oh man this week was crazy. I felt like things kept happening and I wasn't able to really comprehend everything until Tuesday when I ended up having hours to sit and think. 

 First things first-- SALMAN GOT BAPTIZED! We put together his baptism and had everything ready and then he called us on Friday asking if we could change the time from 4pm to 6pm. We were freaking out because we had to call everyone and tell them that it was moved. Saturday came a long and we were a MESS. We had organized a finding activity with the Elders where you write a question on a white board and ask people what they think. The problem was we forgot the two things we needed-the whiteboard and our cell phone. So, we had to go all the way to Dernsches Gelände to tell the elders that we were going home again to get our stuff. By the time we got back we had barely any time left to find. We went to fill the baptismal font and for 30 minutes the stopper wouldn't work so the water was just draining. We finally figured out how to make it stay tight enough so the font would fill. We ended up getting a hose to help. 

The baptism itself was amazing! Sister Tiebing gave a talk about baptism and then Elder Barker and Sister Tait sang "Nearer My God to Thee." For whatever reason everyone came 15-20 minutes late to the baptism so they really only heard the music before Elder Barker baptized Salman. I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost and then the first counselor to the bishop welcomed Salman. Afterwards Salman kept smiling and saying that he had never felt so peaceful and so loved before. He bore his testimony in sacrament meeting and cried a little bit as he was expressing his gratitude that me and Sister Kryzanski had found him and taught him the gospel. It was one of those moments when all your hard work pays off and the stress of it all just melts away. 

On Sunday after sacrament meeting we got a call from the Bishop of the American ward telling us that Marion had been released from the rehabilitation clinic, but had had a massive anxiety attack Sunday morning. He asked if there was any way possible for us to go see her at her house. One of our amazing German members drove us right after second hour all the way to a Dorf by the Frankfurt airport (yeah, our area has doubled since combining with the American military). We came and sat by her as she was lying in bed. She talked a little bit, but she just seemed so sad and scared because of what had happened. We found a guitar and sang some hymns for her so she could get something simple, but spiritual. She had heated floors and ended up laying on the ground where the heat was coming from surrounding herself with blankets and pillows. We talked to her a little and helped her feel loved and then we watched Meet the Mormons. Again, something simple and spiritual. Afterwards she was feeling a little bit better and we got to testify of the power of Christ's Atonement and God's Plan. Not fully into detail, but enough to bring some light into the darkness she was feeling. 

This is a gospel of healing. These moments that I've had teaching and comforting Marion have made it so clear that God does not forget His children. He knows what it feels like to suffer from anxiety and depression and He will succor His children. He is a God of love, patience, and mercy. Christ took upon himself our sins, pains, and afflictions. When we trust Him and give Him our pain we will feel His deep love for us. I know that there are angels round about Marion and I feel so blessed and so grateful for the opportunity to take part in her healing process. 

Love you all so much!

Sister Luymes
P-day trip to Rudesheim

Overlooking the Rhine from Rudisheim

Monument of Germania -- celebrates the German Empire after
the Franco-German war of 1870.

Ferris Wheel ride over the beautiful Rudesheim,
Rhine river, and Bingen-am-Rhein town.

Found my twin - kind of freaky
(red light NOT a sunburn)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

We had a dinner appointment last night with our favorite American family the Cleggs and they have twin 2 year old girls and are pregnant with another set of twins. During the spiritual thought we showed them a picture of Christ and we asked them if we knew who it was and they replied "Jesuschristamen." They're adorable!

We had a very busy week and it continues to get busier as we approach SALMAN'S baptism this Saturday! He passed his interview on Tuesday and we are trying to pull together his baptismal program. Yaaaaaay! 

Well like I said last week we've seen some amazing stuff happen because we are over both Wiesbaden (America and Germany) wards. One woman's name is Xia from China. We met with her suuuuper early on Tuesday morning in the Bishop's house. She's a good friend of Sister Horner and has observed how good her kids behave and she felt so much love in their home. She had questions about what they do to help their family be more unified and loving. It was a perfect example of members living the gospel and others noticing the difference. We taught her the first lesson and it went really well. She really like the Book of Mormon, but sadly didn't quite understand everything we taught her due to a language barrier. She's really awesome though and wants to meet with us regularly. 

Then later on Tuesday we met with Marion! She's recovered SO QUICKLY from her stroke (it wasn't a full on stroke, but still pretty bad). She was able to walk around without any walking sticks and she seemed a lot happier. We went on another walk and sat on a park bench in a corn field and taught her the first lesson. It was really peaceful and the Spirit was really strong. She told us that one day she felt so sick and so depressed so she read in the Book of Mormon and watched the movie Prophet of the Restoration. She said she took a nap afterwards and when she woke up she just felt the Spirit and immediately felt so much better. She said ever since that day her health has improved very rapidly. She should be out of rehab this Saturday! 

I love being a missionary and I love the people I've met! Go and serve someone this week! 

Love you
Sister Luymes 

Sorry no pictures this week!