Friday, August 15, 2014

City of Miracles

Hello All- 

Every week, the missionaries in Munich organize a big soccer game; we invite members, less actives, investigators, potentials, YSAs, and people bring their friends. It turns into a big fun mess of people who come together simply to play soccer.  
We have never been able to go because of appointments, but the other missionaries always beg and beg and beg us to come. This is funny to me- don't they know that I can't play any sport involving running and balls?  That's why I swim!! And sister motto is in my same boat!!! 
But we were finally able to go this week, so we decided to go. It started out really awful- not only am I not naturally coordinated, but missionary work does not necessarily build physical prowess! I don't know how to play soccer; I'm not really competitive, and my coordination is awful. I got kinda frustrated, feeling like I was just an annoyance on the team, and started to walk away to make phone calls.  
But then a YSA said to me ''No, Sister Peterson, we need you on our team. You cant go, we need you!''  and I got all confused. I asked ''why? I can't kick the ball, I can't shoot a goal, and I don't know the rules.  why do you need me?'' He replied (in all seriousness, I must add!) ''if an Elder ever has the ball, I want you to run straight at them. They aren't allowed to touch you and will be scared. You dont have to block them, fight for the ball, or anything. Just run straight at them, and we will do the rest!''  
So I gave it a shot. And it worked!!!! It was the funniest thing to see the Elders' faces as this dorky little Sister came running right at them (have I mentioned before just how freaked out the Elder's are by the Sister's). I can't say I was the biggest (or even slightest) benefit to the team, but it was just proof that everyone in their own weird little way can help and participate on a team!
Proud to be able to share
Another funny story...I am pretty sure that Sister Motto will be including this story in her weekly email as well, so it'll be funny for y'all to read the differences in our major exaggerations:

So Sister Smith (the new sister in Munich 3) had a birthday last Monday, and Sister Motto and I had the brilliant idea to heart attack and decorate their apartment while they were out for P-day. We went to to the office and got permission to take the spare key to their apartment, and went on our merry little way. Keep in mind, we had no idea what the sisters were doing! When they would be back, how far away they were, nothing! We just knew that the Zone Leaders were going to try to keep them busy for a time. 
So we got in their apartment, already super stressed, frantically cutting out hearts and placing them on the walls, decorating our gifts and making everything look nice. We were on our way out, and cleaning up our mess, and Sister Motto notices a big window that the sisters had left WIDE open, and closes it real fast. We head out the door, Sister Motto has her hand on the doorknob, and as the door is halfway shut, we hear the doorbell ring. Sister Motto and I looked at each other in panic, and the first thing that came to my mind was ''Oh My Goodness, the sisters saw us through the window! We are BUSTED!'' So I pushed the button that opens the door to the apartment complex, and we book it up the stairs!  
We made it to the top, and we hear two feminine voices laughing...I kept thinking 'man oh man, they caught us, they are laughing so hard right now, we are busted!' We looked down the stair well..and see two ladies standing right in front of the sisters door, but not going inside, just simply waiting. I looked a little closer, and then realized it wasn't the sisters. It was the Jehovah Witnesses!!!! Sister Motto and I made little gasps, then cupped our hands over our mouths so that they wouldn't hear us.  
I wanted to laugh so hard- it was hilarious. We desperately tried to keep quiet, but they wouldn't leave!!  For about 2 minutes they just stood at the door, knocking and ringing the doorbell again, but nobody answered because nobody was inside! We heard the two ladies say to each other 'how weird, they let us in, but they wont open up! How rude! before finally turning around and heading back down the stairs and go outside. 
As soon as we heard the door close, we busted up laughing! Oh, the irony of it all! The worst part is that we had to leave the apartment as well, and they were still there, klingling other peoples doors! So they probably saw our name tags and thought we were the München 3 sisters..mensch, they probably hated us! 
So now whenever I will go dooring, and the door opens up but nobody is inside, I will just imagine two giggling girls at the top of the stairwell :P
A beautiful landscape in our area
 On a spiritual note, we also had interviews with President Kohler last week. It was super good. I have never really had too pressing questions to ask during interviews, but this time I had SO MUCH! I hope I didn't overwhelm President Kohler...but I was able to get a lot of answers that I really needed to hear.  It was nice, that even though President Kohler and I don't know each other very well, he was able to listen to my mess of a question, understand what I was really trying to say, then listen to the spirit to know what kind of an answer I needed to hear.
The American room at Old Rathaus
We are still having a bunch of fun here in Munich!  Sister Motto is hilarious, I don't think there is a day that goes by without us completely cracking up.  We have already gotten yelled at by one of our neighbors for laughing too loud at night :P  Whoops! 

Love you all,
Sister Peterson

*** Sister Motto had very little to say about the heart attack, but she shared details about their teaching this week-

Our most exciting miracle is A, the father of one of the Romanian families we are teaching. We began the Stop Smoking program with him the Friday I got into Munich, and on Monday we followed up on his progress. In the three days it had been since we introduced the program to him, A had only smoked one cigarette! We were so proud of A! We were able to teach him and his 16 year old daughter Ad about the Book of Mormon. A was determined to find the stories related to the pictures in the front of his book, and wouldn't let us leave until we had shared everything with him. At the end of the appointment A gave his very first verbal prayer. The Spirit filled the room like a hot air balloon. It. Was. Amazing. A and Ad promised to read in the Book of Mormon, and on Friday when we had our party to celebrate that A was done with smoking, they said they had read the whole first sections of the Book of Mormon before 1 Nephi! A's wife, N, is a little more hesitant to accept the Book of Mormon, but with a little push from her daughter and husband, she also commited to begin reading. The Zone Leaders were at the appointment, Elder Spencer and Elder Vitel, and Elder Vitel is from Romania so he was able to communicate with the Muntean's a little better than we could. It was a very spiritual experience, and once again the Spirit of the Lord filled the room. The Spirit knows no language barrier!

We were able to have 2 last minute miracle appointments with Tenzin this week. He's progressing well, but the one thing that keeps him from progressing fully is his church attendance. He is always trying to help others with their various needs on Sundays and sometimes forgets to come to Church. He's reading in the Book of Mormon each day and is praying each day, and is preparing himself wonderfully for his baptism in December!

Sister Peterson and I had just finished visiting a sister from the international ward (we consider ourselves responsible for the old women in the international ward because they have no sisters) when we got a phone call from our hilarious investigator S. S is often in Hamburg, but requested to meet with the missionaries there when he is up North. After our less active lesson we saw on our phone we had 5 missed calls, spacing within minutes of each other. We called S back and he said "Hi Sisters! I'm with Elder Casper!"  So slightly confused, we asked "You're with the missionaries?" S said "Yes! Here he is!" and promptly handed his phone over to this Elder Casper serving in the Berlin Mission. We had an awkward 3 minute conversation consiting of "How's your mission going? Do you like Hamburg? How's S doing?" before hearing the wonderful news that S is keeping all of his commitments and reading in his Book of Mormon each day. I look forward to meeting S finally in person when he comes back to Munich next week. :)

We had an appointment with M another African investigator, and wonderful Sister Kohler came along! M's mother just passed away, and so he has been very busy with funeral arrangements back in Nigeria. However, he wanted to definitely meet with us this week, so we invited Sister Kohler as a joint teach so we could meet in the church. We gave Ma church tour and had our lesson in the chapel. Sister Kohler is a ROCKSTAR! We love her so much and she has so much wisdom and love. We read in Alma 40 about the Resurrection and were able to teach him the beautiful doctrine of the Plan of Salvation. It is always a humbling and wonderful experience feeling the Spirit and comfort that comes when we bear testimony of the truth of the Gospel. M promised to read in the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. We're hoping and praying that he will want to partake of the great joy that the Lord offers and be baptized.

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