Monday, September 1, 2014

A Small Wrinkle in Time...

Hello One & All, 

     In Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk in the Priesthood session, he recounted the story of Rip Van Winkle; a man who fell asleep on a hill one day and woke up years and years later to see that everything had changed! The crazy thing about time is that in the moment, time doesn't seem to go by all that fast, but looking back, it is amazing to think of how quickly time passes and in an instant everything can change dramatically.
German pride and gratitude for this mission!
      I was able to go on an exchange with my MTC companion, Sister Regnier this past week; she is someone that I have always ADORED, so this was truly a wonderful blessing for me! Though we have been able to see each other occasionally since I got to Munich, this was the first time that I was able to really talk with her ever since we came to Germany. It was really cool to see what has changed in her and what hasn't changed; but it was especially fun to see the areas that we have grown. 

... and Now!
     For example, Sister Regnier has always been a very bold teacher, even in the MTC. But to see her now, still bold, but with a whole new spark to her, it was very cool to see. And it was really good for me to see how dedicated and diligent she is, even in these final few weeks that the two of us have left. Lots of the missionaries were teasing me before our exchange, saying ''You two are just going to have a gigantic trunk fest and talk about home the entire time!'' In reality, we probably only talked about home for about 15 minutes during dinner, and the rest was mission, mission, mission. She has been and still is a really good example to me; it reminded me how blessed I was in the MTC and have continued to be blessed throughout my entire mission to be surrounded by wonderful companions! 
     To share a little humor from our talk of "home" I can tell you a story that shows both my blonde personality AND the fact that I've been on a mission for awhile... 
    As Sister Regnier and I were talking, she asked me if I was excited for my first date back home. Thinking she was talking about my literal FIRST DAY back home (instead of a date with a boy) I proceeded to talk about my excitement and my nervousness. I told her that I am a bit sad that my Grandma won't be there to pick me up and spend the day with me, but at least my parents will be there; I told her I expected that the first few days I was probably just going to sleep and cry the entire time and everyone would have to deal with it!  
     Finally, Sister Regnier started cracking up and said ''Well, I'm glad you love your grandma that much, but I hope you aren't planning on bringing her along on your first date!!'' 
Ooops...hmmm, I guess I am not too sure how to answer the REAL question that she was asking :) 
Elders Spencer and Vitel
     We were also able to have a Finding Day with our district this week. After district meeting, our district leader picked two areas in Munich for us to spend an hour in each and simply talk to people on the streets and go finding! Sister Motto and I were super stoked, especially about the areas we would be going to, we set high goals, we studied, we practiced, and our faith was high...and then we had a really anticlimactic finding day. 
That's a really big pretzel!
      We gathered back up at the end to hear all of the other missionaries talk about the cool miracles that they saw that day, all of the Books of Mormon that they gave out, etc. I am not gonna lie, I was kinda discouraged to say that we only found two people, and they live in the other missionaries area, not ours!

     For the rest of the day, I was trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, if my lack of success has been an obedience or a diligence issue and to try to understand why we didn't find anyone. Well, that night, we decided to call the Munich 3 Sisters, just to see how they were doing. As soon as they answered the phone they said ''Sisters, we have some awesome miracles to tell you about!!'' They told us about 3 miracles they had seen that day. Sister Harman was explaining that they had had a discouraging couple of weeks, how they were talking to everyone, handing out cards, offering the Book of Mormon, going on the streets, and nobody had ANY interest- they had had NO success. But then that day, out of nowhere, 3 amazing people dropped from the sky and came up to THEM, with amazing questions and actually thirsting to know the truth. They said it was cool to see how they still get rewarded for their hard work, they still saw the benefits of diligence, but they had to wait a week or two to see it. They realized that because of that week gap, they were able to grow in their faith and in their endurance, and become more humble and hard working missionaries in the process.  
Relaxing on the train ride back to Munich
     This was EXACTLY what Sister motto and I needed to hear after our rough finding day! I guess the Lord is using other people to answer my prayers, because that happened a lot this week. We were at a members house on Sunday, and she was talking to us about her mission. She had served in Japan, and had had an amazing time, served great, but nearing the end of her mission, she had started to get a bit upset that she was never able to see any of her investigators get baptized. Her very last night in the mission home, she was able to see one of her previous companions (who always seemed to serve in the same areas as her shortly after she left) who told her how much of an influence she not only had in the lives of the investigators, but in the lives of the members and other missionaries as well. Her previous companion had told her that she was sent to that mission specifically to bless the lives of the Japanese people, BUT she had also been sent to that specific mission to bless the lives of the missionaries as well! 
I am going to miss V
What a blessing it was to hear that!  Little did she know that that story was exactly what I needed to hear. I am not sure what will happen on my last night in the mission home, but some miracles aren't noticed by us until years later. I am learning and trying to remember that just because we don't notice the miracles doesn't mean that they don't happen.
First in our area to get the Germany 4 STAR Weltmeister jersey's

The Elders are just a little jealous that we got 'em first!

     Well, love to you all! 

     Sister Peterson

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