Thursday, April 27, 2017

With Sis Krasynski at the Biebrich Palace
I really don't know how to describe this week. To start off our ward missionary Sister Lourido sat us down and went through her contacts and wrote down numbers of her friends and family for us to contact. She basically gave us 25 referrals in 30 minutes. We've been working closely with her so that she can introduce us to them/ set up appointments. It's been cool! She even went street contacting with us! Love this woman.

We met our new Gemeinde (ward) on Sunday and they were SO EXCITED to see us. The whole relief society (woman's organization) hugged us at least 2-3 times each. Which is so different because usually when you get to a new area their excitement is pretty mild. We met our GML (ward mission leader) for 5 minutes and then 10 minutes later during sacrament meeting he was released and we got a new GML Brüder Tiebing! It's ok because I didn't really know either of them.

Brüder Tiebing invited all of the most over to his home for a mini Gemiko for Monday evening. That was so much fun! We got to meet his whole family and they are so amazing and so nice! They have 4 children; a daughter whose name I have not yet learned but she's married and has a baby, Jens (19 and waiting for his mission call), Lisa (16 and dances ballet), and Kris (9 and super energetic). We ate and had a great time and Brüder Tiebing shared with us his ideas of what we could do differently and they were all super inspired!

We've been able to meet with quite a few less actives and we've been finding a lot. We were in Bad Schwalbach, Taunusstein, and Hattersheim (Frankfurt areas) for appointments and finding this whole week. It was a lot of time on busses and trains.
Dooring in Bad Schwalbach
aka Langenschwalbach area

We had 3 or so appointments with potentials, but they either fell out or the person didn't understand what we were saying. Oh well das passiert manchmal (this happens).

Something that I really came to appreciate this week and understand more deeply is the knowledge that we are all God's children and that we are created in His image. In John 14:9 it says "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Christ had a body of flesh and blood and so do we because our Heavenly Father has a body just like ours. We also have the ability to have children, families, and relationships. These are abilities we've inherited from our Heavenly Parents. This is seriously just the beginning of a wonderful wealth of knowledge that we have and thankfully for the restored gospel we have even more knowledge now!

I love Wiesbaden! I love being a missionary! I love you all!
Sister Luymes
Wiesbaden town center (Fussganger - shoppers)
Kurhaus - this area is known for its spas and resorts.
Best looking casino you've ever seen!
Sunday School - found while dooring

Wiesbaden distriact in front of Biebrich Palace (the Schloss)
l-r: Sis K, E. Holyoak, E. Smith, E. Wiley, E.Jukes, ME

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Meet Sister Krysanski from Connecticut.
We plan to have a lot of fun together.

So transfer calls came on Saturday and the first thing they tell me is that my new companion will be Sister Krysanski. I was super excited because she's been my STL for 5 transfers and I know her super well. The next thing they tell me is that we're going to open the German sisters area in WIESBADEN!!!! I pretty much started freaking out because I was super excited. The sister's area has been closed since the end of last year so we're pretty much starting from square one.

The next couple days we're just full of excitement, nervousness, packing, and goodbyes. It was probably the longest 3 days of my life. I was so sad to say goodbye to the members in Mannheim and to Sister López, but at the same time I felt super pumped to dig in and get started. The only instructions we got were train tickets to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof and that we would meet "someone" who had our keys and tickets to Wiesbaden. That was all we knew about getting here. We had no idea how we would get to our apartment or if there was food.

Day of transfers came and it was a huge struggle to get my 3 suitcases on a bus to the train station, down 6 escalators to get to the right Gleis (train platform) all by myself. When I arrived in Frankfurt I got to see my trainer Sister Williams and my MTC comp Sister Catherall! The "someone" ended up being my new district leader Elder Smith and his comp Elder Wiley. They gave us the keys and our Fahrkarten and the Tech Elders gave us a new phone. The only bad thing is the the SIM card isn't active until another couple days so it doesn't work yet. Also the number will change so we can't really use it yet. YAY! The elders were super helpful and helped us with our luggage and guided us to our apartment. A train,  2-3 buses,  10 minutes walk, and 6 flights of stairs later we arrived to our new home. It's ginormous and SUPER nice inside. We met our new Ehepaar (senior couple) the Snapps who live on our street and the American Elders helped us because they too live on our street.

Yesterday morning someone knocked on our door and it ended up being a member inviting us to have lunch with her right then. We'd bought some basic necessities the first night, but it was so nice to have a big home cooked meal. Sister Loretta is also a ward missionary and she's from Columbia. She lives around the corner from us.

We had district meeting afterwards and the Elders kept staring at us as if they couldn't believe that we were actually there and they were SO excite
d to have us there. It was funny and slightly uncomfortable.

Afterwards we decided to get lost and go finding. The first person we talked to gave us their number so we could set up an appointment! MIRACLES! We found 4-5 people last night and set up our first appointment for this evening. YES! It feels as if we're trying to run a race with both of our feet chopped off though. We don't have a phone technically and we don't know how to describe how to get to the church very well. But it's been so much fun so far! There are 0 expectations and we both feel pretty calm and peaceful about it.

I've been studying in 1 Nephi when Lehi and his family leave Jerusalem and travel in the wilderness. They had no idea where they were going or what to do really, so they were forced to do either 1 of 2 things: 1) doubt and succumb to their fears and probably die or 2) trust in the Lord and what he instructed them to do. Later Nephi is commanded to build a ship. These are both examples of things that none of them have ever had to do before and had no experience or previous knowledge. I feel a bit like Nephi right now. When he Lord instructs him "Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee." Nephi doesn't say " uhhhh what? Ok send me down a ship please" he asks "whither shall go that I may find ore...that I may make tools." He asks the Lord what the first step is of a long series of steps. Faith moves mountains and builds ships. I know our faith can make this area prosperous.

Love you all!
Sister Luymes

Bumped into Sis Williams on my way to Wiesbaden
St. Bonifatius church - Catholic, Gothic revival style.
Dorcas was one of the members I had to say farewell to.

Happy Easter Socks (thanks mom). Sister Lopez and I
can go out with a bang and looking amazing (our feet at least).
So you don't freak out about me not talking about my companion. She's from Trumbull, Connecticut. She's 20 years old. She studied at BYU for 1 semester she hasn't decided on a major yet. She has 3 siblings Kaitlyn (14), Alyssa(16), Henry(18). She played field hockey in high school. She can kind of play the flute. She was also my STL (sister training leader) for the past 5 transfers in Heidelberg and we've gone on splits together and hung out during PDAY a lot. She's super cool and I'm really excited to serve with her. She goes home in 2 transfers (including this one) so I'll send her home. She's a really hard worker and has a lot of fun so it makes this whole opening thing a lot better. I'm really excited to be in Wiesbaden. I loved Mannheim and I love Sister López but I really needed a change and a new challenge. Sister López was terrified that i was leaving and that she'd take over the area. She cried 4-5 times a day between the transfer call and me getting on the train. It was time though. Her new companion is super sweet so she'll do great.

Love you!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Laughing with President Uchtdorf, and
chatting in the "Celestial German language"
 Last Thursday was one of the most joyful experiences of my mission. When we traveled from Frankfurt to Friedrichsdorf there were probably about 60 missionaries all on the same train. We all got off and walked through Friedrichsdorf together towards the temple. I got to see so many friends and almost all of my companions. Then we got to the chapel and I got to see some members from Kaiserslautern! They couldn't believe that 6 months later I was still in the same stake. Then President Uchtdorf came in and we all sang Sehet, ihr Völker (Behold, A Royal Army). We heard testimonies from President Stoddard (my mission President), the daughter of Uchtdorf, and then Harriet Uchtdorf (his wife). Then he spoke to us for the rest of the time. He told us that we needed to develop a Gemeinschaft (community) based upon love, charity, and service. He compared it to a Heavenly community and prophesied that when we develop this the missionary work in Germany will take off. He had a lot of questions about when the Frankfurt temple will re-open and he couldn't tell us. However, he made the point that we should be preparing ourselves constantly to be able to enter the temple. We should be preparing ourselves individually, as a family, and as a community to partake of the temple blessings. He's amazing.
Beautiful building in Frankfurt
We had zone training the next day and we had interviews with President Stoddard. He asked me how I had come closer to my Savior while on my mission. My answer was through scripture study. This week is Holy Week and I've focused all of my studies on what He did during His last week. I also recently studied the booklet Teaching in the Savior's Way. He was the Master Teacher, in word and in example. He stood up for what was right, even in times of extreme adversity. He suffered, was crucified, and arose for mankind so that we can have peace in suffering, hope in adversity, and forgiveness from our sins. He is the Light and the Way to our Father in Heaven. I encourage you all to read the New Testament with Jesus the Christ side by side.
Lovely Frankfurt home
The rest of our week was pretty adventurous. Yesterday we took a train to Lampertheim and then to Neckarau and went by all of the less-actives in both of those areas. It was a TON of walking though. Also on Monday night we felt like we should go contacting in the evening time and we met 2 students (a guy and a girl) and in the middle of our conversation a drunk guy came up to us saying some weird stuff about his boyfriend being in my iPad. The guy student just said "Oh, I see." And the drunk guy walked away saying "I'm glad someone understands me!" The 4 of us just died laughing and it totally broke the ice to have a really awesome conversation. They're both Muslim, but felt like they wanted to explore Christianity and asked when they could come to church! So, we're picking them up on Sunday and we'll take the bus together! Unfortunately, I don't remember their names because one is like Abahlada and the other is Adalhaba. However, we're all BFF's because of the drunk guy! Thanks, drunk guy!

Transfer calls are this Saturday again. Time is flying by way too quickly! I guess that's what happens when you're having fun.

Frohe Ostern (Happy Easter)! 🐣
- Sister Luymes

Reunion w/ Sis Catherall (my MTC companion)

Reunion with Sister Elowitt from my K-town district.

Sister Harris (last K-town companion)

Sis Lopez being an Uchtdorf creaper!

Crappy picture but I got to see the Frankfurt Temple at last!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Frankfurt Station

So, I'm currently on a train to Frankfurt and later today I'll get on another going to Friedrichsdorf because tonight President Uchtdorf has invited all the full-time missionaries and Gemeinderat (members) of the Heidelberg, Frankfurt, and Friedrichsdorf stakes to meet with him and talk about missionary work! We're all meeting in the Friedrichsdorf Gemeindehaus (chapel) which happens to be across the street from the Frankfurt temple! Basically, every missionary’s dream.

This week seemed to bounce back and forth between highs and lows with not much time in between. By Wednesday (a.k.a P-Day eve) we were just emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. It felt really good to just clean our apartment really well this morning and take a break.

Last weekend was General Conference and (from what I've seen so far) it was AMAZING! I made a list of some questions for investigators and not only did it answer all of those questions, but it answered my personal questions that I didn't even know I had. Unfortunately, we've only seen the schwesternversammlung (sisters’ session) and a part of Saturday morning session. We were supposed to watch the other sessions with our neubekehrt (new convert) and her family, but when we got there they weren't home.... that was kind of part one of the lows. We've had to travel between Heidelberg and Mannheim 10 times in the past week because of Conference and splits.
Jennifer, one of my investigators.

Speaking of splits I just had my 7th split and my 5th in Heidelberg! I was with the lovely Sister Jones and we had the best split ever. We
got to teach a young Chinese guy named Blues Lee. It was awesome! He didn't know anything about Christianity but believed in God. We taught him the very basics -- God, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost. We talked about how the Spirit is there to make us act (baptism) and he asked, "what are the requirements of baptism?"  He was super excited to read in the Bible for the first time too. We gave him a Book of Mormon in Chinese and German. The best part of the lesson was teaching him how to pray. He prayed for the first time EVER! And in Chinese! Blues Lee is basically my favorite person right now. Leider (unfortunately) he's not my investigator. He wrote our names in Chinese with a super fancy Chinese pen picture below.

Apparently, I get really distracted when I'm on a train so writing isn't so easy right now. Love you all and hope you have a good week! I'll try to talk with President Uchtdorf in the celestial language!

Sister Luymes


Frankfurt Train Station

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Leave it to Adrienne to find a "zipline" somewhere and take a ride or two in spite of the skirt she is wearing.  Thank goodness her beautiful blonde locks are long again. The rest are pics of the Morgensport in Heidelberg (a really cool building that she liked).