Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fur die, die sich nicht wehren konnen,
Sei Mutig! (for those who cannot defend
themselves, Be Brave!). If only we had
seen this before we tried to pay our ticket.
Hallo Angehörigen und Bekannten!
Aaaaaaaaaand it's Thursday again. We had an interesting weeks with some highs and lows. First I'd like to start with a story about the most frustrating day of my life.

So if you recall we got ticketed last week for "Schwarzfahren" (our train tickets don't start working until 9am and we forgot and got on a train at 8:30am). On Friday we tried to pay the ticket. So we went to Wiesbaden Hauptbahnhof (train station) and they said that since the train we were on was a VIAS train it belonged to a private company so we couldn't pay it there. So we went to a Deutsche Bank and tried to pay, but our mission account isn't actually connected to a German account like we thought. So they said to go to Luisen Forum to the RMV Verkehr office. So we went and they said that we couldn't pay there we needed to go to Hauptbahnhof again. So we left Luisen Forum and saw two ticket checker people. I went up to them and said hey! You guy give these out, how are we supposed to pay them if we aren't German?! They were confused because I was speaking in German. After explaining that we were indeed NOT German they said it was waaaaaaay easier to go online and pay. So we go to the church. Go online. The VIAS train website is terrible! They only had phone numbers and no way to pay online! So I called one of the numbers and a guy answered. He kept saying that there was no office in Frankfurt, which didn't answer my one and only questions: how do we pay the ticket? He said that he didn't know. So I called the
other number and a nicer guy answered and gave me a number to call. He promised me that these were the people who would know the answer. So. Full of hope and excitement that I would receive an answer I called.... the same guy from the first call answered. He got mad at me. And I told him what the other guy promised me. He called for someone who spoke English and they didn't help me at all. After all of this we still didn't know how to pay.... and no one else did either.

We ended up going to Hauptbahnhof the next day and the woman said we just needed a German friend to do it from their account and then we pay them back. And you know what? IT WORKED! Before they told us it wasn't possible, that we must pay from our own account. But you know it's over, fertig, Schluss (finished, done). Hallelujah!

On to the more positive side of things! 
Splits with Sis. Harouny,
enjoying a pastry.

Yesterday we were on splits and it was so much fun. We started off with only a dinner appointment, but we ended up teaching the Restoration twice and giving out about 4 Book of Mormons! We met a lot of cool new people and set up some appointments. Everyone was so nice and so interested! Sister Harouny was surprised at how nice the people were in Wiesbaden.

We met with Ramesh on Saturday and had an amazing lesson. He's actually reading in the Book of Mormon and said he would pray about Jesus Christ being our Savior and Joseph Smith being a prophet of God.

We also got to teach Salman again! He's been out of town and now he's back. We were nervous because we didn't know if he would still want to be baptized, but he had so many questions and we got to start planning it! Woo!

Sunday was really cool as well. It was fast Sunday and I was feeling really overwhelmed because of everything that wasn't working out. There were a lot of things we were fasting for. Our investigator Camille came to church and the Elders investigator Miguel came too. So they were getting Spanish translations.  Suddenly the door opens and these three women come in. They are members from Peru! The mom goes up and bore her testimony. It was a miracle story: they got here on Wednesday of last week and they were living in a hotel with one bed. She said she had been praying so hard for something good to happen. One day they went on a walk and there was a Book laying on a bench somewhere. She couldn't see the title, but she knew it was a Book of Mormon. She told her daughter to go get it and it was a Spanish Book of Mormon just laying there. Someone had written the address of the church here and what time we meet. The ward has helped them out immensely and in the process has found a solution to our new convert Bright's apartment finding problems. This week we've seen the Lord's tender mercies in our work.

Meet our Colombian and Peruvian friends. We made
crepes for them; they made berry marmalade for us
Alma 13:22-25
22 Yea, and the voice of the Lord, by the mouth of angels, doth declare it unto all nations; yea, doth declare it, that they may have glad tidings of great joy; yea, and he doth sound these glad tidings among all his people, yea, even to them that are scattered abroad upon the face of the earth; wherefore they have come unto us.
23 And they are made known unto us in plain terms, that we may understand, that we cannot err; and this because of our being wanderers in a strange land; therefore, we are thus highly favored, for we have these glad tidings declared unto us in all parts of our vineyard.
24 For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.

Liebe Grüße!
Sister Luymes

P.S. Our Mainz Sisters moved out today so we're back to our normal 2 sister selves. We'll miss them a lot!

Found an amazing pastry shop with Sister Harouny and
made the mistake of going in.

Mom -- I made quiche; it was goodish.
Meet Camille and Antounett, recently arrived in Germany.
We took them to Family Home Evening activity.

Sister Schellenberg at her finest.
This week seems to be all about food.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Weeeeell another week  came and went. I can't figure out how to begin so I'll just get into it.

Yesterday we had Zone Conference in Friedrichsdorf. Getting there was absolutely terrible. I was supposed to be there at 10 for an interview and it takes 2 hours to get there. So we got on a bus at 7:47 in the morning sprinted to our train, sat down, then a while later the ticket checker guy comes. He checks my ticket and says "Sie haben ein 9-Uhr Fahrkarte. Das heißt es ist noch nicht gültig." (Our cards don't start working until 9am so since it was  8:20am our cards didn't work yet) sooooooooooo we got a €60 fine. Each. YAAAAAAAAAY! Then when we got to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof our train was delayed and I didn't notice so we got on the wrong train and went to Friedberg. YAY! The funny thing was, other missionaries made the same mistake so we were in a group of 12 missionaries all going back to Friedrichsdorf.

Chillin' at the Zoo

Yeah that was basically how our whole week went. We should have known since the first person we klingelt (contacted) had the last name Gottschallk (God's mischief). Just kind of things not going how we planned. That seems sad and depressing and all, but you know I feel like we needed it. There's a lot to learn from challenging weeks and we learned A LOT. We also had a wonderful miracle to make us feel better.

We were in the church because our appointment fell out and nobody showed up for German class. So we had to complete some online program for Sister Peck's training. Then we hear a voice of someone. This guy walks in and says "hey darf ich ein Buch Mormon haben?" (May I have a Book of Mormon) and we just replied with "Na klar!" (Yeah of course). His name is Thomas and he was on YouTube trying to learn about Jesus Christ. He watched video after video until he came across (of all things in the black hole of YouTube) an audio book of Moroni 7 auf Deutsch. He listened and said "DAS gefällt mir!" (I like THAT). So he read in the comments that you could go to a church house and pick one up for free and it gave the address for the Wiesbaden church building. So he ran over met us and we taught him most of the first lesson. He had so many questions that he asked us if we could keep meeting and if we could exchange numbers. He even asked how someone could join the church! Miracles, people, miracles.

Today we went to a zoo and I pet a goat. It was really fun. During Morgen Sport (morning sport) Sister Schellenberg lost a bet and had to role in some gross sewer water. It hailed and stormed again I'm able to recognize the difference between a bomb and thunder a lot better now. Sister Peck got hit on by a creepy guy and I was very grateful that I am not a shy person and was able to tell him to quit it with my favorite phrase "hör auf damit!" (stop doing that!). We had to get a little creative for morgen sport so I led us in a round of Bed Yoga. We laughed really hard so we definitely got a work out.

Zone Conference was really awesome yesterday. I received a lot of inspiration and answers to prayers. Something I really liked was what one of our AP's said about desire. He read a bunch of scriptures about how we are promised to receive what we desire. He said that there's a major difference between a wish and a desire though. If you have a true desire then you're willing to work hard and you're willing to get hurt. If you truly desire someone to progress and be baptized then it will hurt when they don't progress. If you talk to someone on the street and you desire to share a message of love and hope, it will hurt when they reject you. Miracles don't happen because we wish for them, they happen because we desire them and aren't afraid to work for them.

Schöne Woche!
Sister Luymes

Why do old people like to feed the birds?

Haircut time -- don't worry dad, it's just a trim.

Ode to my brother the Cheese Head -- Gouda XXL!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Well it happened Sister Peck and I accidentally went on a date this week. We met this guy at our finding activity and I asked if we could meet to talk more about GOD and JESUS. He took it the wrong way.....

It all started because we were fasting on Monday. So we meet up with him and since it's raining he asked if we could meet at this super fancy café. So we went in and he completely ignores Sister Peck and just starts asking me all this personal questions. I retaliated be asking if we could start with a prayer. He amused me and immediately started talking about how he was raised in a children's home and was raised by nuns which somehow turned into this giant airplane thing Donald Trump has. It was a completely one sided conversation.(strike one) I was so stressed that I accidentally drank most of the lemonade he got for us (breaking my fast). Poor Sister Peck couldn't understand a word. I finally interjected and tried to teach him, but it had no effect on him and he started talking about how he lives with his mom. (Strike two)

At the end he asked if he could take me out again without Sister Peck. I said no. He asked if we had anything going on that evening and I said we had a food appointment and he said "what!? You're going out with another guy! AND he's taking you out for dinner!?" I just let him think that because he started getting possessive. (Strike three and he's OUT)

Seriously, thanks for raising me to be outspoken enough to tell creepy men to stop trying to ask my companions out. It amazes me how "nein" isn't enough for them. There's always a "why?"  that follows and I can easily say "because I said so!" And THEN they get the picture. I fear for the less outspoken sisters out there.

So yeah we had a lot of funny things happen this week. So jealous of Yosemite! Thanks for he update on Dixie mom. Andrew you're a Little AWOL I'd love to here from you.

Love you! ❤️
Sister Luymes
A home without a dog is just a house.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Fun with sidewalk chalk and street contacting!
Oh man it was another good one! To explain my subject line we had SO. MUCH. RAIN this week. I realize this is a normal occurrence in other parts of the world, but I was thoroughly impressed that it actually rained consistently for 2 1/2 days in a row. The first night of this there was the biggest thunder and lightning storm of my life. At a lovely 2 o'clock in the morning we heard a ginormous BOOOOOM! Which of course woke us up. I stood up immediately and in my bleary half-sleep I ran to our window and yelled "GUYS SOMETHING'S GOING ON OUTSIDE! I THINK A BOMB WENT OFF!" My Utah companions were thoroughly unimpressed. Sister Edelmayer was the one to point out the obvious "It's only thunder and lightning." To which I replied "thunder and lightning are not like that where I come from!" I wasn't completely put at rest (probably because I was not fully awake still) so I spent the next 30-45 min rummaging around our apartment making sure everything was in order and all the windows were closed. Alas my mind was put at ease and I was able to fall back asleep. My companions haven't let me forget my behavior since then, but hey what's a California girl to do? Hahaha

We have somehow managed to find and teach even more people this week! Seriously Golden power is real. Since Sister Peck has been here we've had more work than I've ever had. Some of our old people are doing well. Elizabeth and Salman were both on vacation this week so we did not get to see them sadly. However, Lorena is doing super well. We finally got her connected with the Spanish Elders aus Heidelberg to do Skype lessons and it went even better than we could imagine. She's making huge progress and it's just been an answer to so many prayers.

Ramesh is also doing really well. He believes in so much of what we believe, but he's just taken the Jesus out of it. We taught him for the 3rd time last Saturday and I was having a feeling that we really needed to teach him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He ate it up. He loved what we said about repentance and he said he really wanted to repent and become clean. At the end of the lesson the Spirit prompted me to ask: Ramesh do you want to find out if Jesus Christ is your Savior? He took a second to think and he answered: yes I really do. So we re-committed him to read the Book of Mormon and praying about what we teach. He's really excited to learn more about Christ and to find out for himself.

Some new faces are Richmond and Camille. Camille was just a straight up miracle. We were at Sister Lourido's home and she invited Liliana (a new convert who has been in Spain for the last 3 weeks) to have lunch all together. We were cooking and Liliana asked if she could bring a friend a long. Long story short, they got lost and we didn't end up eating until 3pm. However, Camille was the friend and she said hi and asked if she could come to the single adult activities and if she could have a Book of Mormon in Spanish. We were a little shocked, but said yes of course! We also got to teach her a little bit and she said she felt so good being with us and just started crying. We will meet with her again on Saturday.

Richmond is also cool. Sister Kryzanski found him at a street display awhile back and we finally got to meet with him. His brother converted to the church in Ghana and is now currently a bishop in Utah. He already knew a little about the church, but was super open. We taught him in a park over looking the Rhein (it was beautiful). He still has some reserves, but agreed to read and pray.

I've been reading in Jesus the Christ a lot lately. One part talked about when Christ was talking to his Apostles and asking them who they think he is. Peter responds in all conviction "You are the Christ." However, later after Christ tells them that he will die Peter rejects this notion. Christ then rebukes him because Peter was seeing God's Plan through men's eyes. I wonder just how many things have I experienced and have looked at these experiences only through worldy-natural man eyes. God's plan sometimes doesn't make sense to us because we are being closed minded and are unwilling to trust Him. However, if we let Him, if we trust Him, little by little our perspective widens and we are able to have just more understanding.

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Luymes

Gotta get in touch with my inner Katniss.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

P-day trip to Mainz ruins.  Dorff view from on top.

Wow this week was hands down the busiest week of my mission. We had 2-3 appointments everyday and none of them fell out which was a miracle! We set a baptismal date with Lorena which puts us up to 3 people who are on date for baptism! We had 7 investigators at church which is another ginormous miracle. We got 3 new awesome investigators and a couple really cool referrals. Wiesbaden is such an amazing area and is probably my favorite place in Germany.

Some cool highlights: 
We found Simon right before Sister Kryzanski went home so we called him up and met with him last Thursday. It started off very interesting because he made us watch this really weird video and basically everyone except him was uncomfortable. At the end of the video he
looks at us and said "ok and what do you say to that." I asked if we could say a prayer together to re-invite the Spirit. Afterwards we were able to just bear testimony about Jesus Christ and his whole demeanor changed and he started to listen. It ended up being a way
good lesson. I'm so grateful for the guidance of the Spirit.

We were really stressed out because there was too much to organize and make sure everyone had a friend and was in the right place. After church I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and a member taps me on the shoulder and said "Ich habe Mittagessen für die Missionare
gekocht!" (I've made lunch for the missionaries). So we had a wonderful meal all together and it made me feel a whole lot better.

We had a lesson with Lorena and it was going ok, but then her youngest kid Matteus started freaking out because he realized Sister Peck was not Sister Kryzanski. He ended up biting my arm and stabbing me in the leg with some colored pencils. He tried climbing up onto Sister Peck (poor girl had no idea what was going on). But he calmed down eventually and we were able to get the lesson going again and set the baptismal date.

Sister Peck successfully gave her first Book of Mormon away. She's coming a long with her German and I'm super proud that she's kept up with our crazy schedule!

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Luymes

And yes that word as my subject is a real word it means a tiny Hessen Matchbox.

Quaint village of Mainz

Window shopping

Still happy to be in Germany!

Wiesbaden district outing to Mainz ruins.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

You can imagine my surprise as the AP's are telling me that I'll be sending my companion home, picking up a trainee, and receiving 2 more sister missionaries into our apartment all on the same day. We have a big apartment, but it's a little bit squished with 4 of us. We haven't quite had time to just breath for a second and actually get to know each other. I'm hoping tonight will be a lot more chill than last night's adventure to Mainz and back. I proved my woMANhood by lugging a 60 lbs bag up 5 stories.

Sister Peck was a CNA for 2 years before coming out on a mission. She didn't speak a lick of German before her mission. It's kind of hilarious because she always says "es ist gesegnet" (it is blessed) when she likes something. Which is not at all a German phrase. Oh Goldens. This time training is already very different than the last time. She's very self motivating which is very nice.

Wish me luck that everything will get settled in. We are attempting to get everyone registered on Monday morning at the Büro. Those places are hell. We had to go 7 times for Sister López before they let her Anmeld. Hopefully Wiesbaden is different.

Love you! Happy 4. Juli!
Sister Luymes

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Meet Sister Peck my new trainee (golden).
Well there has been a lot that's changed in the last couple of days. On Saturday morning I got a call from President Boyer and he called me to train again! I'm really excited about it. Then on Monday night we called the AP's for some information and we had heard a rumor going around that the sisters in Mainz would be moving in. They started apologizing and confirmed that yes indeed the Mainz sisters would be moving in! The good thing was Sister Shellenberg would be training as well so we would all just come back to Wiesbaden together after the training hubbub in Frankfurt. Fun fact Sister López is ALSO training and my trainer went home all on the same day so we have a four generation picture. 

My new trainee is ...... Sister Peck! She's from Orem, Utah and is 21. She's very VERY excited for missionary work and very energetic about just about everything. My other two new "companions" are Sister Schellenberg from American Fork, Utah who is training Sister Edelmyer from Layton, Utah. Basically the entire state of Utah moved into my apartment. I'll have to step up my California pride to make up for the lack of diversity. Hahaha
Wiesbaden Sisters Rock!!
Me, Edelmyer, Schellenberg, Peck
As for the work transfers destroyed our plans because we had to go to Frankfurt. I'll be honest I've been having some weird feelings about sending off Sister Kryzanski and then receiving 3 new super new missionaries. I'm the grandma of the group. At one point during  all the craziness of moving the Mainz sister in and Trainee stuff I just really wanted to go finding or something directly missionary work related because it was something that was NOT changing. I'm feeling a lot better now that I've been able to sleep. 

Last Sunday all the missionaries were given the opportunity to share their testimonies and personal experiences. I shared an experience I had right before I got my mission call. I was really nervous about where I would get called to serve. I wanted a confirmation that it was really the place where God needed me to go. After many prayers I felt a strong impression, it said: It doesn't matter where you are going because you are going to love the heck out of the people you'll serve. I'm so grateful for the people I've met and have been able to serve. 

Liebe Grüße,
Sister Luymes
Wiesbaden District - we're total posers!
Weisbaden District -- "fat cat falling off a log"
Sister Peck

She's game for anything.

Sister Peck -- meet German Ice Cream, it will change your life.

So long Sister Krysanski (L),
plus Sisters Lopez, Williams, and Peck

Three Generations - my trainees and my trainer who goes home soon
Sis Lopez, Sis Peck (my trainees), Sis Williams (my trainer)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Meet Pres & Sister Boyer and family (no - Adrienne is not in this pic).

This coming week will be full of hellos and goodbyes. On Tuesday we got to meet the new mission President and his family the Boyers! They're seriously so amazing and I've already received so much inspiration from them after one 1 1/2 hour Conference. Their kids are super cute too! They have a 14, 12, 9, and 6 year old. Sister Boyer even served a mission in Boston Massachusetts and has a lot of amazing insights. I'm really excited to work with them. 😊 

Well it's happening 2 transfers have gone by and that means Sister Kryzanski is going back to Connecticut next week. I've never wanted a transfer to not end so badly. Sister K is so cool and is an amazing missionary. We'll get our transfer calls on Saturday as usual. 

Another sad goodbye is Ben. He's our exchange student friend from Iowa and he's finishing his year program and goes back tomorrow. He's helped the missionaries out sooooo much. He should be getting his mission call soon so he promised to stay in touch. My bet is the Frankfurt Germany mission natürlich. 
Bro & Sis Tiebing and Ben

Dinner at Tiebings - Farewell Ben :-(

Summer is here in Germany which means everyone disappears for 4 weeks on Urlaub (vacation). There will be a lot of goodbyes, but they're only temporary. 

Let's talk about some hellos! 

I'll get a new companion and I'm sure she'll be cool. 

We set a baptismal date with Salman and he's been bringing some friends to church and German class. 

We'll probably set a date for Lorena this week. I'll talk more about her later. 

Barbara, Ramesh, David, and Hamed are some new people we've started to teach. We also met a new American family who moved to Wiesbaden and we'll get to eat with them this week as well. 

This week was honestly really cool. I felt like I was exactly in the right place, with the right people, at the right time, and saying the right thing. I just felt the Spirit confirming to me that this was exactly what God wants me to do. We've been teaching/ helping Lorena a lot lately. She's in a bad family situation and she feels very alone and lost here in Germany. Sister Lourido met together with us and prayed about what we can do to help Lorena and the Spirit was so strong and we all just felt how much Heavenly Father loved and cared about her. She came to German class and it was beautiful because we had someone from Ecuador, Spain, Nigeria, Pakistan, Colombia, and of course America. Salman called us his angels because we've been helping him temporarily (learning German so he can work), and spiritually (teaching him the Gospel). He really opened up to us this week about how he got to Germany and why he came. It's a miracle that he is here and that we are able to teach him. Jorge (Lorena's husband) found Sister Lourido and basically picked her to become friends with his wife. Of all the people Jorge could have picked, it was Sister Lourido one of the most fantastic member missionaries I've ever met. It's a miracle that we were able to meet Lorena and help her. 

Miracles happen and they are wonderful! 

2 Nephi 27:23 For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith

Liebe Grüße 
Sister Luymes 
MTC District Reunion

Dinner with the Snapps (Sr Missionaries),
this was the best 
Bayrisch (Bavarian) Schnitzel.

Beautiful Wiesbaden

The Old Town Palace - Hessischer Landtag

Wiesbaden City Hall by sunset

Panoramic of Eppstein

Eppstein Castle Ruins and Tower.

My Wiesbaden district homies.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

German American Friendship Festival on the military base.
Hello! Today we went to a Deutsch-Amerikanisches Freundshaftschaftsfest (German-American Friendship festival). It was my first time on the military base. It rained SO HARD. It rained through my umbrella! But then like typical German weather it stopped as fast as it came and it warmed up leaving everything and everyone drenched. It was fun. 

Last Saturday we had an Umzug (a move) for the Martin family. I LOVE this family. They're from Spain and they are all hilarious. The best part of the move was getting the entire kitchen down the stairs. Their stair case is super weird and super long and windy so it was interesting trying to get everything to fit. The funny thing about Germany is you take EVERYTHING out of your apartment when you move. You don't just keep the drawers and the sink in the kitchen you take it all with you and you have to build your own kitchen. We had a lot of people there so it went by really quickly. 

On Sunday Bright got the priesthood! He going to be passing the sacrament this Sunday so we're excited and he's excited. We even took him to a lesson to help us teach! It's been so much fun to see his testimony grow. He has so much faith and honestly, he's a better example than I am! It's also been really cool to see so much of his conversion process. We found him, taught him, he got baptized, has received the priesthood, and now is helping us find and teach others. Bright is a miracle. He even brought a cool friend from Kaiserslautern (woo woo) to our last appointment. 

Dorothy, we are not in Kansas any more.
We got to teach Salman finally! He has so many questions it's fantastic. He really wants to know who Jesus Christ is and he's willing to experiment on God's word. He's extremely optimistic and loves coming to church. He's making a lot of friends with the ward members too so that's great. 

We got to teach Jorge! He is Lorena's husband. Their family is SOOOO cute. Jorge works a ton and Lorena wanted to learn about the gospel so she asked us to just start teaching her. We met with her a lot this week. We're helping her learn German. She needs a lot of love and support right now, she only speaks Spanish so Sister Kryzanski and I are pretty serious about learning Spanish now too. Aber Deutsch macht es ein bisschen schwer (but German makes it a bit difficult).

This week I studied a lot about receiving answers to prayers and recognizing the Spirit. I wrote down some questions that I wanted to find answers to; some for me personally and others for investigators. After studying about how to receive and recognize answers I paid careful attention throughout the week for my answers, specifically HOW they came. At the end of the week there were easily 10 different ways I had received my answers. Some were bigger than others. I wrote down my questions and then next to each I wrote down what the answer was and how I received it. James 1:5 is the theme scripture of this week: "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God; who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not."

I encourage you to keep a journal of experiences you've had of God answering your prayers, or how you felt when you received a prompting from the Spirit or any kind of experience similar to that. It builds our testimonies because it was our personal experience written down in our own hand writing. When doubt comes you'll be able to read through your experiences and remember how merciful God is. 

Freundlichen Grüße,
Sister Luymes 
Panaramic view of the square in Wiesbaden (?)

Cool rooftops.