Monday, August 26, 2013

26 August 2013: A Roller Coaster of a Week!

Greetings Friends-

This week was probably one of the craziest weeks in my mission so far!  We have been so busy, we have had miraculously good days, and days where we just wanted to curl up in our pajamas and eat chocolate to console ourselves.  I am so glad that God sent me to a place with amazing Swiss dark chocolate, at least I know I will never go to bed upset!

Anyways, we had another Austausch this week!  
Sister Henry stayed behind here in Freiburg with Sister Holman and she took over the area for her first time!  Woohoo! 
She did a great job, I wasn't worried about leaving her in Freiburg at all.  
I got to go to Pforzheim for a few days and work in the Stuttgart Zone.  I was there for their district meeting, so I got to meet a lot of missionaries that I haven't met before.  I can't wait until the day where I finally recognize most of the names of the missionaries in the mission!  
Anyways, I worked with Sister Ackermann, who has been out 11 months I think?  She is a super sweet girl, I think the biggest thing that I learned from her was how to be more open!  She talked a lot, and she was unafraid to share personal experiences, which I thought was super cool.  
At first I thought that sharing personal stories with people that we are unfamiliar with would be super weird and uncomfortable, but I realized that it actually created such a feeling of trust and unity between us, even if we were only companions for 3 days.  
It was good to get out of Freiburg for a little bit and see how other missionaries run their areas.  
Sister Henry and I really came together after the Austausch and really focused on what exactly Freiburg needs to make progress!  

Anyways, so whenever we tausch (exchange) with our Sister Training Leaders, we normally meet at the Karlsruhe Bahnhof, which is actually in the Frankfurt mission.  Sister Henry and I arrived at the Bahnhof (train station) on Tuesday to meet up with the Pforzheim Sisters, but they called and said they would be 2 hours behind us!  
We decided to go outside Bahnhof and contact while we were there, but it was SUPER WEIRD!  I have worked in other areas of the mission before on finding days and Austausches, but I that was the first time I went contacting outside our mission boundaries.  It felt so weird!  I didn't like it at we just returned to Bahnhof and just kind of waited for the Sisters to get there. 
On Thursday, we all met in Karlsruhe again to tausch back.  We were walking to our trains and we saw a group of young men and women in church clothes with black nametags...We finally saw the Frankfurt Missionaries!!!  
They were super confused as to what we were doing in Karlsruhe (understandable, it is kind of against the rules to go outside your mission boundaries...we got permission from President, I swear!) but we talked for a little bit while we were waiting for our trains.  I actually saw a friend of mine from BYU, so that was cool!! Sister Henry and I couldn't stay long because we had to catch a train :(  But it was still super fun to see them! 

Yesterday was actually a really discouraging day.  I remember praying so hard before I picked up Sister Henry, that whoever my Golden was, that they would never have to experience a really hard day in Freiburg while I was their trainer.  I was so worried that I wouldn't know how to take care of them and help encourage them when things got hard.  
But yesterday we got dropped by one of my favorite investigators, who has made so much progress and said that she knows that the church is true, and she was willing to be baptized!  
But she said that she talked to her kids about it, and it has caused a lot of contention between them over the past few weeks, and she would rather keep the relationship with her kids and her grandkids than meeting with us.  
Although I understand, it was just heartbreaking to make that phone call!  With that and a few other things that have been happening the past few days, it just seemed like the world was falling apart yesterday.  
But Sister Henry is such a trooper, and we were able to build each other up and keep each other from sinking into the depths of despair.  
After much praying, planning, and calling our district leader for some advice (and a lot of Frey chocolate!) we were able to go to bed with peace in our minds, love in our hearts, and faith that something AMAZING is around the corner!

And today was actually a really fun day!  There is going to be a new set of missionaries in Lahr (so the Offenburg area) this next transfer, and the senior couple asked us if we wanted to go to Ikea and go shopping for things for the new apartment! 
Elder & Sister Bignall: the cutest Ehe Paar ever!

We saw their new apartment on Saturday, and it is HUGE!  Whoever will be living there will be lucky ducks.  
I call dibbs on doing Tausches with the Lahr Sisters! (if it is Sisters...the power of prayer!)  
We actually really hope that it is Sisters.  That will mean that there will finally be 3 sets of Sisters in the Freiburg Zone, so hopefully we will have our own Sister Training Leaders instead of always having to travel to Stuttgart!  
But we will see...we will find out on Friday!  
Anyway, we got to go to Ikea today, which is always SUPER DANGEROUS to bring two young women in and say ''we have €3000 budget, now go!'' 
Enjoying the balcony at Ikea, wish it was ours :)

Comfy, comfy beds and pretty bedding
Luckily, Sister Henry is super smart with shopping, which totally balances out my impulsive shopping!  
It felt kind of weird being in IKEA, it kind of felt like I was back in America.  
But then I would listen to the people around me and realize that I couldn't understand a word they were saying, and I would quickly remember that I am in Germany.

It was fun to see something that is common at home but to see it here in Germany.
I don't remember this warning in the American Ikea's

One of my favorite parts of the day is personal study.  As much as I love being outside and talking to people and teaching lessons, there is just something spiritually uplifting about taking an hour to study the scriptures.  I have also really come to love companionship study, especially the time we are able to take to share with each other what we have learned during personal study.  
Between Sister Henry and I, I think that we talk about things that we have learned for 40 minutes!  
That is 20 minutes of straight up talking about the scriptures and the wonderful things that we have learned.  And yet I still get super nervous whenever I am asked to give a 15 minute talk in sacrament meeting or Relief Society or district meeting...silly Sister Peterson!  

Because I am enjoying my personal scripture study time, I would like to share 2 scriptures that I thought were super cool this morning.  
I cannot take the credit for finding either of these scriptures, Brother Woodruff (one of my MTC teachers) and Elder Davies gave me these scriptures for whenever I need a little bit of encouragement.  Isaiah 41:10-14, 2 Corinthians 4:15-18, and Doctrine and Covenants 6:34&36 (ok, the D&C one is one of my personal favorites!) but they are all really great feel-good, warm-fuzzy scriptures.  
I would love to take the time to dig apart each of those scriptures word for word, but I will let y'all personally read them and figure out what it means to you personally.  
All I can do is bear testimony that the scriptures are true, our Savior lives and loves us, and that we are being taken care of by a loving Heavenly Father!

I love you all so much, and thank you for your support!   Have a great week!  Good luck with school!  (I think school is starting this week...?)

-Sister Peterson

... And more pictures for your viewing delight
NummNumm, I miss American Peanut Butter

The Peanut Butter goes too fast!

The Offenburg Elders made us homemade bread: rolls, peanut-coconut bread & rolls

Sister Henry contacting outside the mission

The view of Pforzheim, from the Elders' balcony

It was sooo cold, we needed our sweatpants & sweatshirts in the apartment

Eating lunch at Ikea

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