Thanksgiving isn't celebrated the same in Germany but wonerful Sister Nowak knew the missionaries would be missing home today. She invited the sisters over and she emailed me (Mallory's mom) the pictures of the day. Sister Nowak said: "The Sisters surprised us with a Thanksgiving Dinner. They have cooked in my kitchen and it was really YUMMY !!! My husband and me "paid" with a spiritual thought.
So I have about 10 minutes to type up a super quick email! We were supposed to email on Saturday after the temple, but we ended up teaching a lesson and we only have about 45 minutes tonight!
Going to the temple was soooo wonderful. We woke up at 5:30 am and Sister Nowak drove us. It was so fun to be able to look out the car window and just see more of Germany. You can see castles and all the little towns and everything is just beautiful! Sister Wadsworth was Sabine's escort, so Sister Nowak became my new comp for the few hours! She knows the temple like the back of her hand, so she gave me the full tour and we even got to speak to the temple president. The Frankfurt temple is super cool because the baptismal font, celestial room, and sealing room are each on different floors and when you stand in the sealing room, you can look down and see the celestial room and also the baptismal font. It's kind of hard to explain! It was fun to do the session in German and see how much I actually understood. Sabine really enjoyed it and we are just super happy for her!
We had a great lesson with an investigator this week. She is so dang stubborn and she is a talker for sure. We finally got her to open up to us and she said she can tell that a new stage in her life is about to begin! She said her path in life is getting smaller and narrower (straight is the gate and narrow is the way, right?) and she said she can see herself getting baptized! We felt the spirit so strongly and I can so clearly see how God truly has prepared her! I feel like Sister Wadsworth and I are here for a reason and that God has sent us right to Jana. What was weird about the end of her lesson though was that she said she could tell I was tired and I said I had a little bit of a headache and she insisted that she put her hands on the sides of my head to "see what my energy was like.." I had to try incredibly hard not to laugh and I managed to compose myself. She said I have too much energy in my head and that I need to direct it throughout the rest of my body. Not too sure how you do that!
As missionaries I sometimes feel like we plan everyone's lives and they don't even know it. We set up a friendship with a less active and Sabine and planned for them to meet each other at the Christmas Market in Köln and it worked out and they loved it! I actually went to my first Christmas Market today and fell in love with Germany all over again. It is pretty close to Swiss Days! (now I see why you ran into President Uchtdorf there, mom) We ate a super weird wurst that I am pretty sure had some liver in it and some potatoes of course.
Transfer calls are this week, so it will be interesting to see what happens! We also have zone training again, so that will be fun too. I love the work that is going on here in Köln and all of the amazing people we get to meet! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! I love you!
I think the best news of this week would have to be that we set a baptismal date with Erik!!! We are so excited, I can't even tell you. We were teaching him the 3rd lesson all about the certain steps we take here on earth so that we can live with God again and we asked him where he thought he was. He said he thinks he is still in the repenting step (he is so sweet) and we asked him if he wanted to make the next step and be baptized and he said yes! The date is December 20th. It was super cute because when he said the closing prayer, he thanked God that we can "make the third step" and then he asked for help that he can be ready by December 20th. It is just so amazing to see how happy he is when he comes to church and to also see how happy his mom is!
November 11th was kind of the start of Karnival here in Deutschland. People were dressed up in the most creative costumes ever and everyone was drunk! We got on a bus to go home and it was super packed so we had to stand in the aisle and I was holding a Bible because it wouldn't fit in my bag and the girl standing next to me asked me what I was reading. So of course we got talking and I gave her a Book of Mormon. Her name is Lily and she is from Russia and she is so so so nice and sweet. Her English is also perfect, so that is great too! We gave her a card with our number right before we got off the bus and prayed she would call us. But then we saw her the next day!! It was a miracle. We saw her on another bus and talked to her the whole ride home and she even asked us if we could exchange phone numbers before we even got a chance to ask her! We are hoping to meet with her this week.
We also received a few text messages from past potential investigators saying that they wanted to meet with us! It just really showed me that God is leading this work and He is preparing people! We can invite people and help people all day long, but God is making everything go forward.
We did a lot of service this week for ward members and also for some of our investigators. We helped with another move and had to carry EVERYTHING up to the 6th floor because there was no elevator. We also carried a ton of glass bottles to recycling for Schwester Brune. Germany's recycling program is really amazing! My favorite service activity we did was clean windows for Schwester Schumaker. Her husband had a stroke and it is a lot of work for her to take care of him. She is a window cleaning professional so she taught us exactly how to do it right. The windows in Germany are my favorite because they completely open and I don't really know how else to explain it. Schwester Schumaker has so much faith and I love how willing she is to accept help. She is truly a humble lady and I hope that I can be like that!
Everything for Christmas is starting to be put up in all the little towns! The main train station is covered in christmas lights and trees. The Christmas markets are also slowly being set up and they look so cute! We were at the Familie Kozma yesterday after church. They are from Hungary and they are just a solid family! The mom was once of the first missionaries in the country.They invited us over for Heilige Abend, which is Christmas Eve and we are SUPER excited. She is going to cook hungarian food and it will be nice to spend it with a family!
We will be going to the temple on Saturday, so it will count as our pday for the next week, so it would be super great if you could email me before Friday night!
I love you and I miss you! I hope everything is going well at home!
We had a lot of interesting and fun moments this week in Köln!
The trains decided to strike for 4 whole days, so we had to get super creative with our travel plans! Needless to say, it was a miracle that we made it to the majority of our appointments! I think my favorite appointment we had this week would be with Erik. He is our 11 year old investigator who I think I wrote about last week! We taught him about the plan of salvation and he was answering all our questions and getting excited about it! He came to church yesterday and has made friends and he is just making great progress! We also played some more duets on the piano, so of course that was way fun. I miss being able to just sit down and play whenever!
We had zone training on Tuesday. It was just nice to be with so many other missionaries! We watched a great video about the last few hours of Christ's life and President Holland talks about how much He did for us. It really put things in perspective for us as missionaries. There is no reason to complain about anything and there is no reason to hold anything back. Christ overcame everything for us and it is SUCH a small thing to be a missionary.
I went to Duisberg (also known as the dirty D) on a split with our new Sister Training Leader! Sister Madsen and I basically had a blast even though there isn't much going on in Duisberg because the Sisters are just barely opening the area! We enjoyed a 2 hour long ward council, eating cereal, getting lost, looking at crazy statues in Duisberg, and talking a lot.
I got the surprising news on Friday that I would be giving a talk in church yesterday! I think you will all be happy and suprised to know that I really didn't stress about it and that is a new thing! I think being a missionary really helps you get over talking to people. I got to talk about charity and missionary work and successfully took up the entire 8 minutes all in German. The best part about it, was that I told our investigator I would be speaking in church and that she reallly needed to come. AND SHE CAME!
I love being a missionary because I seriously feel so much love for these people! I am pretty sure I wrote about that last week, but I am going to have to say it again. There are just little moments with so many people that I love! I played hand shake games with a 60 year old, drank blueberry tea with the cutest family, visited a lady in an assisted living center and escorted her to church on the ubahns, helped another old lady practice her english, laughed so hard with my companion because I misunderstood some german, dropped off flowers to a lonely widow and made her day, and helped a 5 year old do her hair during church. It really is just the little things that make missionary work so great!
I love you!
Sister Wadsworth and I have had a pretty eventful week! Basically, we are super excited for this transfer and to see what happens in Köln!
We visited Oma Jo on Tuesday and it was Elder Art's last day in Köln. He has a super good voice so he sang Homeward Bound for her and she ended up crying! I just love visiting her so much.
We taught Claudia, our 14 year old investigator, for the first time. A member taught with us and she ended up being super super talkative, so we kind of lost control of the lesson! It was really cool to hear Claudia talk about her experiences with the Holy Ghost though. She is progressing so well and we are really excited for her.
Sister Nicolli is basically reactivated now! She made the greatest blueberry tea for us and we talked to her about the temple since that is her next step. She has such a sweet heart and I love hearing her stories too. She is super talented in all things crafts, so she made us hats and scarves! She is from france, so of course she had to make us boures or however you spell it. I think she and aunt Michelle would be the best of friends!
We got 3 new investigators this week which is prettyyy unbelievable. One is Jana and she lives right across from the church! She is quite the character but we love her already. She actually has met with missionaries before, but we really feel like she is ready now. She is stubborn but God is really helping us out! She had a knee operation, so someone has to buy her water and groceries every few days and carry them for her and Sister Wadsworth and I get to be those people, so she is pretty much forced to meet with us! She has a strong testimony of prayer and Jesus Christ already.
Our ward had a bit of a surprise baptism on Saturday. So I was at a baptism while you were at Colby's baptism! We have a ward member who got married a few months ago to a girl who has a few disabilities. She really wanted to be baptized and she has had the lessons before, so somehow it ended up happening on Saturday! Thank goodness for our ward mission leader or it wouldn't have happened. Germans really really like plans and knowing things ahead of time, so they weren't super happy with it, but it turned out really great. I somehow ended up singing the musical number, so you should be proud, mom!
Sister Wadsworth and I woke up to a super great suprise yesterday. We had an investigator named Serap a month ago but we haven't been able to make contact at all lately and then she texted us yesterday morning!!! We literally almost cried. We love teaching her and we are so excited that we will be able to meet with her again!
Church yesterday was quite an event. We got asked to teach primary and yw at the last minute but it ended up being super great because our investigators came and most of them are in primary and yw anyways! And then the guy that I wrote about two weeks ago that we met in the park actually showed up at church! It was so exciting. We taught him the first lesson after church and he is just a genuinly good person who is seeking the truth.
My love for the people here is overwhelming sometimes! We have some truly amazing members in this ward and I am so glad that I get to work with them! These people have incredibly strong testimonies and are so eager to help and they live a christlike life. I think as a missionary, I am learning the kind of ward member I want to be when I get home! I am also almost finished with the Book of Mormon and my testimony of the book has grown so much. It makes me more excited to be able to share it with the people here!
I love you and I hope things are going well at home!
I've been called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Germany Frankfurt mission.
Dear Sister Funk:
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Germany Frankfurt Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months. You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the German language.