Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fasching/ Karneval before Lent
BTW - on a ferris wheel
Today is the beginning of Fasching/ Karneval. It's the one holiday where the Elders might actually be in more danger than the sisters! There's a tradition where woman can go up to a guy who has a tie and she cuts it with scissors and kisses him. The Elders have planned to wear their biggest scarves so their ties are covered. In some cities people dress up in costumes or in fancy clothes with masks, but Mannheim is not that into it. There will be a parade though and today we're going to the actual Karneval part! The party started today and will go until Tuesday and life will be normal on  Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday). Of course, there will be a lot of Betrunkene (drunk people) so the sisters must be careful too. JA WOHL!

As for the rest of the week we are still finding a lot. We had zone conference and I got to see Sister Harris again! The conference was focused on teaching the Restoration. It was really good and we even had a sister breakout. So, we got an hour to meet just as sisters. It was fun and people had some fantastic insights.

Conference break out session for my sista's.
We might get crazy any minute now.

In 2 days is my 9-month mark. Ich bin halb fertig (I’m half finished)!? I can't believe how fast it's all gone! Honestly this has been a huge challenge. Luckily, I'm a person who finds joy in a good challenge. I've experienced pure joy doing this work. I wish I could share everything that I've learned and how much I've grown. However, the most important thing I've learned are the 2 greatest commandments- "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

I hope you all have a good rest of the week!

Liebe Grüße
Sister Luymes
Martin Luther -- not to be confused with Martin Luther King.

Big Pom -- always wanted to try it.

Pommes Frittes anyone?

Fun at the Karneval

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gulcerin's baptism. Love this girl
Then on Sunday it was Gemeindekonferenz (Stake Conference) and there were double the amount of people at church than usual. We didn't have enough seats because so many people were there! Gülserin is pretty shy, but everyone congratulated her and she loved it! There were also some people from Kaiserslautern there and I got to catch up with them about how the ward is. But the coolest thing was someone that I had contacted during the week actually came to church!

Gulcerin and Family
Because of the changes in key indicators, we've really been focusing on finding/ inviting people who are willing to come to church. We were waiting for a Bahn(train) and had about 10 minutes before it came. I thought 10 minutes was plenty of time to find so I walked up to Kennedy and started talking to him. We ended up taking the same Bahn a couple stops. He was new to Germany and only spoke English. I tried my best to describe how to get to the church (which is incredibly complicated) to someone who didn't know any of the Bahns. But lo and behold 5 minutes before sacrament meeting Kennedy shows up! If you knew how complicated it His to get to the chapel you'd understand. It takes us at least 30 minutes to get there and we live in the Stadt!

We had Gemeinde essen (ward lunch) afterwards and so many people kept asking us who found Kennedy and how we got him here. They couldn't believe that he just came because we quickly explained how to get there and invited him. He really connected with our other new convert Kevin and they became buddies. Way cool!

The rest of the week has been a ton of finding. We did some service for a less active. I've taken apart like 4 IKEA shelves. We've also had some awesome member appointments. We were with the Lorz family, Oma Broo, today we will be with Vi, and Friday we'll be with Bischof.

Oma Broo
I found a new favorite quote this week. I was watching the restoration movie and in one scene Joseph Smith says "the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." If you look at the world we live in today, everything tells us otherwise. Our self-worth gets torn to shreds so easily because we compare ourselves relentlessly. But the truth is so much better! We have GREAT worth! Being kind to ourselves is just as important as being kind to others.

Ich habe euch lieb! Schöne Woche! (Love you, have a nice week)
- Sister Luymes

Some castle we went to -- I forget.

A cool sticker I found. Made me laugh.

Here live a hound and his subjects.

Cleaning the font for Gulcerin's bapsims. Spic und spanne!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Gulcerin's (in red) and family
This has been an INSANE 10 days. To begin GÜLSERIN IS GETTING BAPTIZED IN 3 DAYS! Who knew that you need to go to Germany to baptize Turkish people. She had her Tauf (baptismal) interview yesterday and was nervous, however props to our new District leader Elder Flickinger for bringing her a Book of Mormon drawing book to help her open up. She ran out of the interview room yelling "GESCHAFFT!" (Made it/passed). She was adorable! The little sister Fidan (7) made us all boat hats to celebrate the moment.

We had a split this week and I was in Mannheim with sister Krysanski. A woman let us in, sat us down, and started telling us all the reasons why she could NEVER join our church. I was genuinely confused about
some of the things she was saying and it clicked in my head when sister k said "uhhhhhh we aren't Jehovah's Witnesses." The woman was super embarrassed and started reading our name tags. We taught her the first lesson and she excitedly accepted a Book of Mormon. It was an interesting beginning of a great lesson!

We made Mexican food with the Geziciari family with Turkish brot (flatbread) as the tortillas. Yummy! It's interesting to see how service changes your perspective of people completely. When I first met this family, I was super hesitant and did not want to spend any more time than I had to with them. After almost 3 months of teaching them and serving them I can honestly say I LOVE THE GEZICIARI FAMILY. I love reading in the Book of Mormon with the kids and seeing how it has changed their attitudes. Before they would always be rambunctious when we came, but now they all sit quietly, listen, and even ask questions. Their love for the gospel has grown so much and they make an honest effort to get to church every Sunday.

I also finished reading in the Book of Mormon last week! In its introduction, it quotes the prophet Joseph Smith '“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”' It DOES NOT say man would get nearer to God by reading it than any other book, but by ABIDING BY ITS PRECEPTS. After I had finished I looked through all of my highlights and notes, each one had a very personal meaning. It has been so wonderful to see how much closer I have become to Heavenly Father. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I know when we study it and find the precepts within, that we will get nearer to God than by any other book.

Wish me luck for the next 3 crazy days!
Sister Luymes

We exercised our Thursday PDAY power and actually toward the Mannheim
Schloss. 10/10 would recommend! 👍
Mannheim Schloss is a Baroque style palace that
was the original home of the Prince-electors of the
Electorate of the Palatinate of the House of Wittelsbach.
Today it is part palace museum and part University of Mannheim.

Market and food trucks outside the Schloss.

Paper hats compliments of Gulcerin's sister.