Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hallo Freunde und Verwandte!

This weeks was everything except what we planned. It was great! 

To start off on Friday we had our weekly planning which is very interesting with 3 people. Usually it takes long enough to plan and make decisions with 2 people so adding another makes it worse. So at the end we all tell each other our strengths and what we can improve on (yes cheesy). As a compliment Sister Peck said "There was one time when I was sitting in the bus and I was feeling down and I thought of your face, then I BURST OUT LAUGHING." ............ uh thanks? Haha She meant that she liked the facial expression that I make and that it helped her feel a lot better. 

On Saturday we had just planned our day and we're ready to start our studies and we got a call from Sister Lourido. She said that Liliana (a new convert), Camille (our investigator), Valentina (a potential investigator), and Ahjad (a less active) wanted to go to the young single adult activity in Friedrichsdorf. She asked if we could take them because she's "too old." So after getting permission to go all the way to Friedrichsdorf we packed a lunch and embarked on our 2 hour journey to Friedrichsdorf. Traveling and the activity were really fun. It was funny because when we got there we saw some people in the chapel so we went and sat down. After singing a hymn, someone started giving a talk on the Holy Ghost. I saw a man sitting in the front who looked pretty wet and the thought dawned on me that this was the last half of a BAPTISM. We couldn't leave because we were quite the group. Needless to say I was very worried that there was no activity. So we stayed until the end and then I asked one of the young looking people if we had the right time and place. Turns out there was a small schedule conflict so they just had made the baptism part of the activity. The Friedrichsdorf elders were really surprised that we were there, but grateful that we almost doubled the attendance of the baptism. It ended up being perfect, because Liliana got to talk about baptism with Camille and Valentina. 

On Monday we went back to Friedrichsdorf for our interviews with President then we ran back to Wiesbaden and took a bus to get to our appointment in Taunusstein. What's crazy is we were going to be 30 min late for our appointment and we had tried to text and call them to tell them. Just as we were walking up to their door they drove up. They had forgotten that we were coming, but we were there late so we were still able to meet the Schappat family! They're awesome! They didn't have a lot of food on hand so the made us nachos haha 

Salman has a baptismal date for 9/9 and has recovered enough to meet with us and come to church again! Yay!

Lorena has been doing just ok. There's been a lot of drama going on with her life and she's started to investigate other churches. She's not really sure what she's looking for  so we keep praying for her. We're still meeting with her regularly though. 

This week we got to teach the Plan of Salvation several times (and in 3 languages). As I've gone through and studied it this week I came across a line that really touched me. The Plan of Salvation is the fullness of the gospel. Sometimes we can get really distracted with other doctrines and commandments, which are very important, however, God's plan for us is to have joy and become like him. He helps us to do that by giving us family, Prophets, and most importantly His Son. 

I love you all very much!

Sister Luymes 
Tree of Life
Street contacting with our Tree of Life chalk art.
She's an alien!
We did a Sister Peck makeover!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Raiding the American Elder's apartment.
Meet Sister Tait from the UK, she's just as wacky as I am.
We got our transfer call on Saturday and we're both very sure that we were safe. Which we were, but now we have a 3rd companion Sister Tait aus England! From the crazy 4 weeks with the Mainz sister living with us, God seemed to like the idea of having more than just me and Sister Peck in our apartment. So now we're a dritt. I must say when I found out I wasn't super excited, especially because I'm still training and that's just weird to have a third wheel. BUT it's been super fun and we've all gotten really close really fast. It's definitely a good thing throwing Sister Tait into the mix.

In other news they closed down the American Wiesbaden Elders and made us and the German elders responsible for the German and American wards. We have a lot of coordinating meetings this coming weekend to figure out just HOW we do that. This means that we're about to have a lot more eating appointments coming up. We've already raided the American elder's apartment for all their American foods, DVD player, and fand (here you get 25 cents back when you recycle bottles). In the words of my new English companion-- we had GREAT fun.

As for the work here we are slowly but surely moving forward. Salman had surgery on Sunday and then found out he'd have to be on bed rest for the next week. Sooooo we have to push his date back. He's still reading and praying and doing good though.

We got to meet with Lorena again and Skype using the Heidelberg Spanish Elders. It was good and we got to talk with her afterwards and have a really good moment together. Totally worth getting spit on by her 2 year old.

Bright is doing ok. He's working right now so he can't come to church. But he uses his break to meet with us and read in the Book of Mormon. Poor guy is in a tight spot and the ward is doing their best to work it out. Faith and patience are required. 

Liliana is now back from all her vacations and actually came to church! Her second time ever since she got to Germany in April. It was not the most ideal situation (we were totally missing the third hour of church), but she really started opening up to us about some of her fears and struggles. She said she wanted to meet with us a lot more regularly and wanted to come to church regularly.

Something that someone shared with me this week was this: direction is more important than speed. Sometimes I want things to happen NOW. I want all our people to be members and active in the church NOW. I want to be perfect at missionary work or speaking German, or whatever it is that I desire. NOW. But sometimes God's timing is different than ours. All we have to really worry about is if we/they are headed in the right direction. Repentance takes time, faith, and patience. So does over coming our fears and learning something new. So my dear friends and family I say the same thing to you -- direction is more important than speed. As long as you're going in the right direction, no matter how long you take, you'll get to the same destination.

Ich habe euch lieb!
Sister Luymes

4 Eyes

Friday, August 18, 2017

Love Locks Bridge -- isn't there one in every European city?
Love Locks

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Who can resist a Yellow Wall portrait?
Does my hair match?
Well there's not too much to share from this week. We used our language abilities to help our Peruvian family register the two kids for school.

It was pretty hilarious as we walk in 2 missionaries, 3 Peruvian women, 1 new convert who speaks Spanish. The woman at the desk was confused with who was who. I was the front runner and 'translated' hard core German, to easier German so that the new convert could translate it into Spanish. It worked so they can't complain haha.

Yesterday we had a grill party for relief-society. It was awesome and delicious. Everyone was back from Urlaub (vacation) so it was packed. Super lecker (delicious)! I got to catch up with some of my favorite members.

We gave a spiritual thought and it went really well! I shared the conversation story of one of my friends from back home (go Aolani) and Sister Peck shared Mosiah 18:8-9 

And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; 

Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life--"

Sorry for the lame email!

Sister Luymes

Cute alley

Carmille and Antounett

Wiesbaden Market

"Monster" Mailbox!!

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!