Monday, September 16, 2013

Buses, Baptisms & Brrrr...

16 September 2013

Dear Friends & Family-

It's finally fall!!!  
My favorite season!

Brrr... it's getting cold outside
I cannot wait to see the change of colors and hope it happens while I am still living in the Black Forest! It has made me so happy to be able to put on my tights, scarves, and fall coats :)  
'Tis the season of tea, melted chocolate, and sweatpants :) 
But also 'tis the season of Rotkohl, Kartoffel Knödel, and interesting German food.  
I don't think Sister Henry will be enjoying food appointments for the next few months :P  
I have had a lot more time to get used to German food than Sister Henry has, but she will learn to love it!  
Considering the fact that Sister Henry and I are together 24/7, I am pretty sure that we tell a lot of the same stories in our emails home.  But its always fun to hear a funny story twice, especially this next one :P
Sister Henry and I were walking to the bus stop after an appointment, and we saw our bus turn the corner ahead of us.  It was later in the day, so if we missed our bus we would have had to wait a long time before the next one came, so we started BOOKING IT to make it to the bus.  
As we were running, a big van drives by and an old German man shouts something out the window at us.  
At first I thought he was just making fun of us, after all, we are two young girls in church clothes running after a bus.  
We almost made it to the bus stop in time, and we saw the bus pulling away before we could reach it...but then slowed to a stop.  Thinking that the bus driver had seen us and stopped for us, we kept running and started desperately pressing the 'door open' button to get in, but the doors weren't opening!  
But for some reason the bus stayed stopped.  I then heard a lot of honking coming from the bus, so we peeked in front, and the van that had driven by us had pulled in front of the bus and parked in the middle of the road so that we could make it on time!  
It was a nice gesture, but the bus driver was still stubborn and wouldn't let us in! 
It was the funniest (and nicest) thing to see the old German man in the van stop a bus for two young American girls.  Teehee, old men love us :P

I also know how much people at home love language stories!  One would think that after spending 6 months in a foreign country doing missionary work, the language mistakes would cease to exist.  Nope, NOPE, NOPE!  
We were at an appointment with a less active member, and we had just shared Doctrine and Covenants 6:34-36 (one of my favorite scriptures EVER!) and we talked a bit about how the Lord is our Shepherd and how we should never feel like things are too hard, because the Lord is always there to give us comfort and help.  
The sentence I WANTED to say was 'What brings me comfort is knowing that we are the Lord's sheep', but the word Schafe (sheep) is really close to the word Strafe (punishment.)  
How sadistic I must have sounded to say 'I recieve a lot of comfort in knowing that we are part of the Lord's punishment!'  
Luckily, the majority of my language mistakes take place in members homes, so all she did was laugh.  I guess when you live in a foreign country and all you have to deal with is missionaries who are learning German as a second language, you become pretty used to language mistakes :P  Oh, no...But I swear I have been improving as well!  
We met this older lady this week, and she was convinced that I was German!  
I kept trying to tell her that I was born in America, lived there all my life, have only been here 6 months, and that I didn't learn any German until I came here, but she didn't believe me. 
She kept saying 'You must have ancestors from here, you just look and sound too German, I swear you are a German, look at that beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes!'  
I have never gotten so many compliments on my blonde hair and blue eyes until I got here!  
Its kind of funny :P  But it was a nice compliment to get that I sound like a native!

Our Favorite S-Bahn ride
When Freiburg Zone was first organized, there was (and still is) a lot of emphasis placed on turning Freiburg Zone into Freiburg Stake.  
President Miles keeps talking about how this area is just going to explode with baptisms, and how there is so much potential here!  
This idea has always given me hope and excitement, but this week we actually got to see this promised blessing in action. 
We just recently started teaching a Nigerian family, the husband and wife's names are "P" and "S". Sister Jenson and I would always going by on them, but they were always busy and never really interested.  
Just a few weeks ago, Sister Henry and I went by on them, they invited us in, we had a really great introductions lesson, they came to church (despite not being able to speak German) and told us that they want to keep meeting with us.  
Well, on Tuesday, we taught them the 1st lesson, about the restoration of this Gospel and the Book of Mormon.  At the very end, we invited them to be baptized and strive to become prepared by October 12th.  
They both accepted, saying that they want to learn more about what we believe and find out for themselves, but they would LOVE to be baptized into our church!  
President Miles has asked us to call him every time to set a baptismal date, just so that he can share our excitement with us.  
After we got out of the lesson, we said a quick gratitude prayer, and then we RAN to the church so that we could call President Miles!  
It's only about a 7 minute walk, but we ran the whole way from the "O" family house to the church because we were so excited to call!  We saw the Elders walking out of the church as we ran up, and they told us that they had set 2 baptismal dates for October 12th as well!  
We were all so happy, Sister Henry and I were jumping up and down and screaming and being typical sisters, and calling pretty much everyone we knew and sharing the news.  
It was a really exciting day, and it has been so great to keep working with "P" and "S", and their family.  And what a great birthday party it would be to have 4 people baptized!!  

I will leave my email on this note: Missionary work is the most rewarding and amazing thing I have ever done, and it is such a blessing to see the change that this Gospel makes in peoples lives.  I love feeling the Lord work through me, a weak and tainted vessel, in order to bring His children back into the fold.  There is just nothing else on Earth that can compare :)

Love you all,
Sister Peterson

That's quite the snail

Missionaries aren't always all business

1 comment:

  1. We have the cutest daughters! I have no idea what the zone leaders were saying. Haha! Something about finding a lot of potentials?