Not exactly the most exciting pday, but it wasn't bad! We went to Chipotle for Elder White's birthday. Then we spent a lot of time shopping on the Zeil for Christmas sweaters and decorations for our zone trainings this week. A bunch of missionaries from our zone and Friedrichsdorf zone came, so it was fun to have everyone here. Also, the Christmas markets are getting all set up! We visited the Turovski Family later that night and worked on Sister Turovski's English. She has already made a lot of progress! We had a chance to talk with her for a while about the gospel without the rest of her family around and that was really good. We are still trying to figure out why she isn't active and I think we broke down a few barriers. Then we went to the church to help set things up for zone training with the zone leaders. This zone training was focused on the Christmas Initiative, so we went all out! We turned the stage in the cultural hall into a winter wonderland and it seriously looked so good. We were pretty proud of ourselves.
Zone training! Everything went so well. We made the first half totally normal and focused on the 5th lesson and then we made the second half completely Christmas. Elder Robinett pretended to be Santa and the rest of us were elves and we made a rather dramatic entrance to the winter wonderland. Sister Godwin and I were able to talk about Christ and the reason behind the season. As we prepared for our topic, we just kept coming to the point that so many people have been testifying of our Savior for years. And we have the wonderful opportunity to add our testimonies to those of the ancient prophets and our latter day prophet and apostles. We are also really excited about the film, A Savior is Born. We ended zone training with cookies from the senior couples and 10 liters of hot chocolate. President loved it and we got lots of thumbs ups :) Then we split with the Mainz sisters and Sister Riser stayed with me in Frankfurt. We kind of got stuck cleaning up from zone training and then finished our studies and ate dinner. We had a meeting with our ward mission leader and the rest of the missionaries. And then we got to help out with a giant service project that the relief society organized. The members in Frankfurt collected tons of hygiene things and put together over 600 hygiene packets and collected tons and tons of clothes! It was so impressive and we were happy to help out.
Sister Riser and I woke up and did our exercise and then our power went out! So we studied in the dark on our iPads because the sun wasn't even up yet.. and then it finally turned back on. We traveled to a little town in Frankfurt to visit with our bishop's wife but she forgot about our appointment! So we did some doors in the area and got super wet in the rain. We decided God needed us to travel there because we met a really cool guy in the train. He just stared at me and smiled so I asked him if he knew the missionaries and he thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses. So I got to explain to him that we aren't and he asked what our lives are like as missionaries. He took a Book of Mormon and we got his contact information! He is from Bolivia but grew up in Germany and isn't super religious. We then ate some Chinese noodles for lunch and then met with Tsetsa, our investigator from Bulgaria. Our Skype lesson in an Internet cafe finally worked!! It was a funny experience but she loved it and likes the restoration. Then we split back and Sister Godwin and I traveled to visit Sister Avidson. She's the sweetest lady ever and takes good care of us. We helped her pack all her Christmas cookies for friends and family and talked about sharing the gospel this time of year. We also ate a lot of her cookies. Then we ended the night with a way cool English lesson and church tour with a girl named Helen. She is from Ukraine and is studying English here. She is familiar with the church in Ukraine and said a bunch of her friends went there for English help. And she's religious. So we are hoping to teach her the lessons too because she
seems prepared and is so cute!
Thanksgiving was a wonderful day. It started a bit rough because our appointment with Paola fell out. We visited a less active with a really creepy, featherless bird. Her mom passed away like 10 years ago and she just can't move on, then we went to the church to eat with all the senior couples in the Europe office and mission office and the Frankfurt missionaries. It was basically a perfect thanksgiving dinner and they even had a cute program. A few people sang and talked about their own Thanksgiving traditions. They all missed their families but said they would take care of us instead. Then we went to the Leimers' home for another Thanksgiving! Sister Leimer invited us, the zone leaders, and three friends of her son who is on a mission. One of them, Joel, was baptized a few years ago, Britta has been to church a few times, and the other, Joshua, has been asking Joel lots of questions about God. What more could we possibly ask for? We helped Sister Leimer finish everything up (Elder Leimer wasn't home yet) and then ate a ton of food again. These three friends are only 19 and I just feel like German teenagers are so classy! They all came dressed up and were totally open for a gospel discussion. We taught about the plan of salvation and Joel bore awesome testimony. It just made me so happy about member missionary work. Sister Leimer is amazing and such a good example. She made an entire thanksgiving dinner for 4 missionaries and 3 people who aren't even her kids and her husband wasn't even home and only one of her kids was there! And then led all these awesome traditions around the table. We talked about what we were thankful for that year and she talked about the Sabbath day and the sacrament. Everything was perfect and I'm grateful for her example. Elder Leimer got home half way through and it was
great talking to him too. It was a bit late after the Leimers so the zone leaders got permission to drive us home!
Zone training round 2 with Friedrichsdorf! Decorating takes forever. But it all looked pretty good when we were done and it went well! The zone leaders came riding in on a sleigh pulled by one of the assistants and it was hilarious. I think Sister Godwin and I were a bit stressed and zone training-ed out haha. We had district leader rat afterwards and then split with the Wetzlar sisters! Sister Brough stayed with me in Frankfurt and we had a busy 24 hours. We visited the relief society president and she gave us a bunch of people to visit which is wonderful. Then we visited a sweet less active. We had planned to teach her son, Christopher, but he wasn't there.
Sister Brough and I had some great studies and then went to teach Christopher since Friday didn't work out. And it was so wonderful! He has already read in the Book of Mormon and was just eager to learn! We
taught the Restoration and invited him to be baptized on December 19th and he said yes! It was just such a good first lesson and I feel like he is perfectly prepared:) We tried to meet with a Hindu couple I met in a train station but they weren't home both times we went by. We visited Schwester Hickathier in the old people home and brought her a few Reese's peanut butter cups...she's obsessed. It was hilarious. She was saying we had to bring her more and then we tried to talk about the joy of missionary work and she said the only thing that brings her joy is Reese's haha. The funny thing is that she can't say Reese's properly and it sounds more like whiskey with her German accent. Our appointment with Agnieszka fell out so we did a few doors and street contacting. Then we met up with the international sisters for dinner hour where we planned to visit a Finnish Christmas market..but it looked more like a drinking party and it was at a church. So we went with plan B and ate Thai food together! The international sisters knew one of the girls who worked there and she got us all these fancy
drinks "on the house" and promised they were alcohol free! Then we did a mini split to pass off investigators with the international sisters. Sister Parker and I met a cool lady from South Africa who had no
interest and then we visited a girl from Romania who loved the restoration! She was like, "why doesn't everyone know about this?!" Then we met with a German lady named Elka who said her dog knows good
hearts and was drawn to the sisters? She said she thinks we met each other so that we can learn from her haha. She said she will read the Book of Mormon though!
Sister Godwin and I decided to fast today because we really need to find some new investigators. We are excited for miracles this week! We weekly planned and then went to church. We should have had 3 investigators there but none of them came:( it put me in a sad mood but church was still good. The stake patriarch spoke about patriarchal blessings and I learned a lot of knew things! Then a bunch of members
invited us over and that doesn't happen super often, so that was exciting! Then we walked up to the bishop to tell him about our baptismal date and he told us to come over to his house for dinner that night...which is a really big deal because the missionaries haven't been able to meet with him since before I even got here. So we took advantage of that opportunity and celebrated the first advent (Christmas holiday here) with the bishop and his wife and another family from church. Everything was super proper and it made me miss America a bit, but we were happy to be there and love the Germans! This week was really exhausting and I think I may have gotten caught up in the fact that a lot of things didn't go the way we had hoped. Sister Godwin and I talked about it and she has a better perspective haha. She's really good at seeing the positives and I tend to be good
at seeing everything that we still need to work on. So maybe that is why we are companions. I'm really grateful for all the lessons the
Lord is teaching me!
I love you!