Friday, March 31, 2017

Thank you East Pasadena Ward Primary for the care package and banners you sent to Sister Lopez.  She loves you and says she wants to work harder now! 馃槏

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thank you East Pasadena Primary for
the box of fun things for Sister Lopez
She cried like 5 times.
 Fr眉hling ist gekommen (spring has come)! It has been in the high teens low 20's (Celsius of course) for a solid week now! Es freut mich so sehr (I’m so happy)! My beautiful green Deutschland has returned.
Jumping for joy cause SPRING is here!
Beautiful Forsythia bushes everywhere!
We had zone conference this week and it was in Kaiserslautern. I'm back to my old hood for the second time since leaving. It felt so weird to be walking to the huge church again and eating American food prepared by American moms! We finally got to see the video for the Easter Initiative "F眉rst des Friedens" (Prince of Peace). It's way good and I recommend watching it. We really focused our training on how to share the initiative and how to teach in the Savior's way.

This week was all over the place. On Saturday, we had a ton of appointments that ended up being moved to later in the week. We also hung out with the women in our ward and had cake and tea together. We also played Taboo and I did surprisingly well in German. The woman in this Gemeinde (ward) are all awesome!

On Tuesday all of our appointments again got pushed back to the weekend (funny how that always seems to happen). We were dooring and I saw an older man carrying a huge painting. I offered to help him and he ended up just showing off his painting he had finished. He was talking and at some point, he noticed our name tags and he stopped mid-sentence and started going on a rant about how he was an atheist and that we had no chance with him. We talked for about 45 minutes on the sidewalk and he decided that he did want to meet with us for rum-coffee with chocolate sprinkles. When we parted ways, he complemented my German and couldn't believe I was American. Then he started to try setting us up with his 23-year-old grandson. He called me a ”stellar Frau" and wished us both good husbands. Haha! I love old Germans sometimes!

Today we went to the Technosium here and saw the 200 R盲der exhibition. We even got to ride the "Laufr盲der" (walk bike) and the old bikes with the huge front wheel. Sadly, no pictures were allowed. I'll say this: we've come a long way since the original.

Spiritual highlights we met some crabby people yesterday and instead of moving on or even skipping them, we were able to help them out. We felt really guided as we explained part of the plan of salvation to a man who had just lost his wife. We were able to share a scripture with a woman who felt like she had lost her faith in her Christ.

It's been a good week 馃槉
- Sister Luymes
We want: nothing to buy, nothing to donate,
our religion won't change,we are safe and our
bills are paid, so bye.

Sunset in some picturesque dorff.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Our new friends -- Laura (7) and Alanna (1).
Missionary work is the coolest guys. I'm so happy here in Germany and I absolutely love the work that I'm doing. I love my mission, I love this language, but most of all I love these people! I feel like the whole world is in Germany right now and it's so amazing to talk to them and get to know their culture and their stories.

Last week we met this woman from Syria who's learning German. We offered to meet with her to help her out and also give her a Book of Mormon. We came back on Monday as we had planned. When we got in we saw an older German woman sitting there. I immediately thought "ok she either really understands what we do and has invited her German friend to hear the gospel OR she doesn't understand what we're doing at all." The second part was correct. The German woman was her German tutor and she thought we were here to read with her daughter and help her with homework. So we taught Laura (7) how to write in cursive, Alanna(1) how to high 5, and gave the mom the Book of Mormon. The girls are adorable and we were laughing pretty hard after we left.

We've been finding and teaching people all week too! Just on Monday alone we found 4 potentials and have appointments with all of them. We had a street display last Saturday and have appointments with 2 people. One of them is named Vanessa. We met with her on Tuesday and she's so awesome! She's 16 and grew up Christian, but no specific church. She's German and Polish, but grew up in Mexico and in California (Lancaster). She speaks English, German, Spanish, Korean, and is learning Japanese. She's pretty shy, but she really warmed up to us. We taught her the restoration and she really liked it and was very open to it. We invited her to be baptized and she said YES! No specific date yet, but she's really excited to learn more. She even asked us how she can get to church on Sunday before we even asked her. Woo!

Another cool person is Sylvia. We doored into her on Monday and it was super confusing. She looked really mad and she sounded really mad, but everything she said was positive. Sister L贸pez just froze in the stairwell and didn't come closer, but the Spirit told me to just start talking to her and asking questions. IT WORKED! She ended up being very interested and invited us in! She gave us Sprudel Wasser in champagne glasses. We will meet with her again tomorrow 馃槉

We also taught the Mark Family! Sister Weiler and I found them back in December, but they never had time to meet with us. Then the elders contacted the husband and he invited them over. The wife said she'd already had our number and set up an appointment with us and we taught them last night. They're very catholic but love listening to the word of God. They had a hard time understanding that the Book of Mormon was not the Bible and that we believe in both. The Spirit was really strong and definitely helped me and Sister L贸pez answer their questions. We were able to share a lot of scriptures with them from the Bible and the Book of Mormon to show that they support each other. It was cool and they finally agreed to read and pray. Victory!

Other cool people of the week Xinia, Nadia, Jennifer, Stefen, and a less active Sabrina. We've been running around like crazy trying to get to all of our appointments and find new people at the same time.

Heavenly Father answers prayers. There was a while where we really didn't have anyone to teach and we weren't finding people. It was hard and frustrating at times. I've been fasting and praying for months for these miracles. I've learned a lot and we've been preparing ourselves to teach people and now Heavenly Father is pouring down blessings!

Love you all!
Sister Luymes
German math

Wasser Turn und Eis
(Wasser Tower and ice cream)

Spring has sprung and the swans freuen sich (are happy).

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Yay! We all get to stay in Mannheim!
 To get the news you've been waiting for: I get to stay in Mannheim with Sister L贸pez! It's also another 5-week transfer. I'm not too surprised I'm staying and I'm really excited about it. The new transfer has already brought in some funny stories and miracles.

Let's start with the funnies:

It all started with a phone call from a potential investigator asking me out to see the new King Kong movie. When I explained that missionaries don't date he asked me "Darfst du nicht flirten?" (Are you not allowed to flirt?). Needless to say, we passed him over to the elders. Later that day we were waiting for a Bahn and this guy comes up to us and at first, he started talking to me. His name is Wisdom from Nigeria and is very interested in American girls. He took the same Bahn as us and I'd successfully seemed disinterested so he moved on to Sister L贸pez. He found out she was from Mexico and said, "Eh you got the right continent at least." We got off the Bahn as quick as possible. THEN! During our finding activity in Worms we were headed back to Worms Hauptbahnhof (train station) and there was a lot of traffic. There were 5 cars in a row full of dudes and they all rolled down their windows and started asking for our number. We gave them the Worms Elder's cards/number. At least one of them has to be interested in the gospel, right?
Sister Kemperman before
she leave for Cameroon for 2 months

Miracle stories:

Last Sunday the Elders had 3 investigators come to church. It was cool because one was found by me, the other by Sister L贸pez, and the third by the Elders themselves. They all spoke English though which means all the missionaries are on translation duty. Spa脽 (fun)!

We had a member appointment on Tuesday and they had invited their non-member cousin. Robin is 13 and grew up going to church with his grandma (Schwester Wegmann), but had never actually been baptized because he moved away. He remembers a lot from primary and said he'd try coming to church again with his cousin.

We finally got Frau 100's name! We had an awesome lesson with her in January, but somehow never got her number to get a return appointment. We had to rely on going by when we were in the area. We finally got her at home and got her number!

Geistige Gedanken (spiritual thought):
Short people got no
reason to live! ♫♬

Our STL's gave us a theme for this transfer. It comes from D&C 6:34,36:

"Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

If we doubt the power of God and doubt the Savior, we will live in eternal fear. However, if we center our lives on Christ, on good works, and follow Him to the end. We will be led to eternal joy.

Zweifelt nicht, f眉rchtet euch nicht.(fear not, do not be afraid)

Liebe gr眉脽e!
Sister Luymes

Lovely little Ilvesheim chapel.

Traditional German style home in Ilvesheim.

Typical backyard garden

The official K盲fertal Afrikanisches Fr眉hlingsfest!
(coffee mug African spring festival --whatever that is)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Kempermans -- two of our favorite people.
 I definitely learned a lot this week. We had found a bunch of new people and had set up appointments for the weekend and beginning of this week. We were super excited and pumped to be teaching a lot of people finally. Then slowly one by one they all fell out..... I was not too happy about it because I'd worked really hard to make sure everyone remembered where and when we were meeting. I prayed about it a lot asking if there was anything more I could've done. My answer came pretty strongly "Vertraut mir" (trust me). So, I decided to just trust in God and be 100% ok when things fell out. And of course, as soon as I did that the miracles came pouring down. So, on Monday our appointment with someone fell out but we happened to be with Sister Siebert (the stake Relief Society Leader). She asked us what exactly we would have the woman in the stake do to help us. She's already taken our ideas to the stake president! Another appointment fell out and we did our backup plan and ran into a woman who was having sever health issues and thought she might die soon. The Spirit guided us both to share the right scriptures and say the right thing. It ended up being one of the biggest spiritual highlights of my mission.

We had our first street display in Mannheim and it was so great! It was amazing how many people were interested in at least hearing about our beliefs even if they didn't have interest in meeting with us.
There was a constant flow of new people coming in every 5 minutes because we were right next to 2 Bahn (train) stops in Paradeplatz.

We also got lost a little bit and left the zone for a couple minutes. Something about the bus schedules in the tiny dorfs (villages) just don't like me.

Sister L贸pez also EPICALLY broke her umbrella when we were running for the bus. She took it with her into the bus even though it was open still. (See pictures below)
Woops.  Sis. Lopez's umbrella didn't like the bus.
Transfers are coming up in 2 days. Who knows if I'll be emailing from a different place next PDAY! Mal schauen (we’ll have to see)!

Great last week to the transfer and to training! I really wouldn't have had it any better :)
Mannheim Schloss -- Palace, museum, and former place of the Prince Electorate

Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy.

This painting and this cottage are strikingly similar
and very typical of German style.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Weinheim -- the home of happy cows (sorry California).
 This week was amazing! We've been steadily finding new people and adding them to our teaching pool AND they're all progressing. Woohoo!

My favorite surprise of the week was when we found this man named Andreas while dooring last week and from what we saw from his door everything was normal. On Monday we taught him and brought Sister Siebert with us (she's an angel). When we walked in I noticed that it was super humid but when I rounded the corner I saw he has a huuuuuuuuge botanical garden in his bedroom/living room. He sticks his arm in one and takes out a chameleon, then another one, then another one.  I wish I had a picture, but I was so surprised.

The lesson went so well too. He kept asking "wo is die Gerechtigkeit im Laben?" (Where is the justice in life?) We got to really testify of the Savior and his atonement and how everything unfair in this world will be made fair through God's plan. We hadn't had enough time to prepare the lesson very well before hand so we were really following the Spirit. It worked! The three of us were incredibly unified. Sister Siebert is a saint and she made sure she would be able to come to our next lesson. Yes!

We also have found a Mongolian family and have a Skype lesson set up with the missionaries in Mongolia this Saturday!

We've found some German woman to teach as well! Seriously, I don't get it. Finding men here who will meet with missionaries is pretty easy. But finding a woman who speaks German is so hard sometimes! We found 2 this week! One in the beginning wasn't too interested, but after we taught the Restoration to her and explained the Book of Mormon she suddenly had so many questions and was very interested. The other one was a cool experience. We were walking towards Waldhof to go visit some people and I contacted a young woman. We asked her some questions and learned that she had a lot of faith in Christ, but had some questions. We testified of God's plan and she almost started to cry. She told us she'd been praying a long time to receive these answers and here are two random girls who answered them. We gave her a Book of Mormon and made a Termin (an appointment). She kept thanking us for the Book of Mormon and for everything. We're really excited to start teaching her.

I absolutely love the feeling I get when explaining the plan of happiness to people. It is one of the most rewarding experiences of my mission. 2 Nephi 9:13 "O how great the plan of our God!"

It is so simple, so profound, and answers the questions of our soul. Where did I come from? Why am I here on the Earth? Where do I go after death? The answers are there because God loves us. He has a plan because He loves us. He sent His Son because he loves us.

Liebe Gr眉脽e
Sister Luymes
Ilvesheim just before a storm

Pretty much the standard window sill
adornment all over Germany.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Here is my letter I wrote to President Stoddard this week. I felt like I should send it to you. 

Pr盲sident Stoddard

This week was so great! We were able to recognize the Lord's hand in our work everyday. He guided us to the people who REALLY needed our message and were prepared to hear it. Almost everyone we found/taught this week had some question or concern that could be easily addressed through the Plan of Salvation. We have such a loving and generous Heavenly Father! I could feel His love for these people as I taught and testified of His plan. One woman we met on the street almost started crying and told us how she'd been praying for a long time to hear something like this. When we gave her a Book of Mormon and set up an appointment she kept thanking us. The same day we went by on a potential. She let us in and at the beginning she didn't seem very open about our message. Sister L贸pez took the lead and started teaching the Restoration. The Spirit was confirming every word we said. She ended up having a lot of questions and is legitimately interested in the gospel. 

Saturday was my half way mark and I've been reflecting on the last 9 months. I couldn't help but stand in awe of how Heavenly Father has shaped and molded me. There have been very specific promises in my Patriarichal blessing that have been realized in ways I never dreamed of. My relationship with the Savior and knowledge of his gospel has become my rock and foundation. 
God loves His children. Christ lives. His Atonement is real and available to all.