Monday, October 27, 2014

Say What???

Well... sometimes as soon as you start getting comfortable life sweeps the rug out from under your feet. Sister Blackhurst and I were just settling in getting ready for this next transfer when we got a phone call from President Stoddard. I just watched Sister Blackhurst as she took the call- and she looked at me and her mouth dropped and then she mouthed 'your getting transfered!' .... WHAT?! I freaked out- because as a new missionary you normally spend 12 weeks in training with your trainer and I've only been here for half of that! Heavenly Father must have something else in mind for Sister Blackhurst and me. I'm getting transfered to Herne- I have no idea what the area is like or who my companion will be or anything! (It'll be a way fun adventure:)

It is sad to say goodbye to Wetzlar- I have grown to love the ward and the people here so much even though it has been for only one transfer. I was talking to my companion about it, and she said something that made me feel a little better- she said that it is better to leave an area sad, because then you know that you have put your heart into it and given it your all, then to be happy to leave. As I reflected on that I realized how true it was, the people we have worked with these past 7 weeks have progressed so much and have come so much closer to the savior. Yesterday we had Tina and Diana and her son Jamie and church! :) I was so happy to see them there. Diana decided not to go to a family brunch to come which was a big sacrifice for her, but she said that she felt like she needed to come if she wanted to get baptized. I am so excited for her- even if I won't be here for it.

Next week will be full of new adventures, and new experiences! I'm excited to see what Herne will bring! :)

Braunfels Castle

Farewell Interview with Wolfgang

Braunfels Castle

Found a huge "Benjamin Bluemchen" doll in shop window.
One of my favorite German childhood cartoon characters.

Bishop Meiser and his wife

My first Schnitzel

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Power of a Missionary

There is a special calling and power when you are set apart as missionary... I think I am only just beginning to realize that- but watching people as we teach them and seeing the spirit that we bring with us work in their lives is a testimony to me of the way Gods hand is evident in our lives. This week we had an appointment with Diana who was doing great last week- we walked in to a cloud of smoke and yelling. Diana, with a cigarette in her hand was getting angry at her son. She was close to tears and wanted us to leave! As we talked at the door we asked if there was anything we could do for her. With tears in her eyes, she said 'come in girls'. We talked with her and I was amazed as I saw her begin to smile and laugh. After we shared a spiritual thought she even asked us if she could say the closing prayer, which though simple was pure and precious and I could feel that heavenly father was working on her heart. 

Just one more week left in this transfer and i'll be out 2 months! That is for sure a strange thought. It feels like just yesterday I was leaving home to start my mission! My companions and I are working hard on getting to know the ward members and less actives. I have had a personal goal to meet more people on busses! Sometimes we don't get in our language study so I try to talk to as many Germans as I can, so that I can learn faster. On the bus I started talking to this cute Turkish lady named Ümi. She taught us how to make pizza crust and bread dough but more importantly we started talking about families and she wants to learn more about how our families can be eternal! After praying all week to be able to talk to someone who was interested in the gospel it was a blessing that we were able to met her. 

Lots of people ask me if it is hard being in a tri-panionship (as Sister Petersen likes to call it) but I don't think so. They are both such amazing missionaries and they both work so hard. I think one of my favorite parts of the day is companionship study- hearing the insights from both of them is always so enlightening! I am going to miss Sister Petersen when she goes home. (although I won't mind the extra space we will have in the already packed apartment haha)

Those are just some of the highlights of the week, which ended with a bang. literally. We had an appointment with Tina and Ahmet (some investigators) and from their apartment we could see the fair that was happening in Wetzlar for the 'feiertag' (celebration) and it ended with an awesome firework show over the cute old city. It was beautiful to see the fireworks reflecting over the old bridge in the water and see them light up the cathedral below. I just had to smile- and think heaven was applauding the missionary work in Germany. :)

Love you all
Sister Shurts

From the Scribbled notes of a Sister Missionary 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy About Cancelled Appointments?

So, the best news that happened this week was that someone canceled an appointmet on us! ... that may sound a bit odd- the best part was that it was because it was the sister of Marlies (who has been in a coma for 2 weeks now) called and canceled and said she was rushing to the hospital because Marlies had woken up!!!! :D We were soo happy the rest of the day I just couldn't help smiling all the time! Heavenly Father is really working little miracles everywhere!

We met with Wolfgang at Moo's this week (an adorable little bakery that is delicious) and talked with him about the plan of salvation and the book of mormon- he just ate up every word that we said, and he asked so many question and wanted things clarified and kept saying that it all made sense. I am so happy for him. We are praying about setting a baptisimal date with him in the november! That wasn't even the best part of the lesson- at the end of it he says to me and broken english, "Sister Shurts, you need a gooder back pack, und i have won here vit me" right after that he pulled out this little kiddy back pack with dolphins and "fans of the wild' written on it! BAHAHAHA and he was tottally serious, and made me take it! - to be completley honest i love it- and were it more acceptable i would wear it everywhere! He was able to come to church with us yesterday and I wore it then so that he could see that I was using it! He is really progressing quite a lot, he talked with all the ward members and loved listneing to the last session of conference with everybody!
I have been learning a lot about faith, but mostly the faith to know that if I do what I need to and remain worthy I will have the spirit with me. We have an single mom investigator from Ghana and she has been on and off coming to church for a couple years now. My companions felt like dropping her just because she hasn't made any progress- but there is somehting about her that told me- just wait a little bit. I have just been praying so hard for her all week, she has such a good spirit about her and such a good heart. We met with her today and I was able to bear testimony about the importance of the sacrament.  As we talked with her there was such a good feeling in the room. Even her crazy hyper active son was calm. We talked about the importance of taking the sacrament and the power it has after you are baptised and the power and strength we recieve once we have made those covenents with God. She started tearing up as we talked and said that it was something that she had always wanted and just had a hard time working toward. She is going to pray about a baptismal date and so are we!!! GAH!!!
The seasons are starting to turn here in germany- once we get out of the ghetto where our apartment is the area really is beautiful. I don't think I am quite as homesick because the weather is almost identical to that in Oregon. It is sporadically rainy and randomly sunny. The mornings are filled with fog and (aside from all the second hand smoke) it is nice. I have loved going to small little dorfs outside the city and meeting with people in their little cottages next to rolling green hills! Guys... i think i'm turning into a german! I love it here! I am so thankful for the opportunity to be in Wetzlar! -
I hope you all have a good week!
Love Sister Shurts

From the scribbled notes of a sister missionary

Monday, October 6, 2014

What is your passion? Learning from people everywhere! :)

I had an interesting discusion with a cute old German Lady on the bus last Thursday- we were talking about what makes people interesting- and we both came to the conclusion that it is a persons' passions. I was able to share with her my testimony and the excitement and enthusiam I have about serving a mission- but the more that I have thought about it, the more I have really begun to internalize that thought. Being a latter-day saint is not just a title that I wear, or even a name on a badge. Everything that I am and everything that I want to become is made possible through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I've decided to talk to people about their passions, when I meet them, because when you find out what someone really cares about you really learn a lot about who they are.

I loved listening to a part of General Conference this weekend- we will get the rest of it next week- but it was awesome hearing the guidence and direction that the Lord wants us to hear. We wanted to get a couple investigators to show up... but... they flaked on us- oh the sad life of a missionary- haha  

A sequel to last weeks ambulance incident- Marlies is in the urgent care and is still in a coma. I am really worried about her and her family. But I am just amazed at how the Lord is guiding his work here. Her son and sister who had previously not had any interest at all in the church let us talk with them for over an hour about the Plan of Salvation, and they both asked us to come over more often and teach them the lessons. I walked out of there just shinning- 

Once we get out of industrial Wetzlar the countryside in Germany is Beautiful! We took a train out to Marburg this week and there was a gorgeous castle and cathedral that we saw on our way to visiting some less active members. Sometimes I wish I had canvas and paint to be able to capture the beautiful scenery of Germany. I know that I have been here almost a month but it doesnt feel like it, sometimes I walk out of my apartment and still laugh and think- "echt? bin ich wirklich in Deutschland??" *am i really in germany?* We have several apointments a day and I want to keep that up and actually increase the amount. I just don't want to waste any of the lords time while I am here in germany. 

My German is getting better although there are lots of little things that I still need to work on. My companions are helping me with that, they are great. We have such awesome discusions and I am learning so much from them! - Although I think I am wearing them out, they are constantly telling me that I have way too much energy!! haha but I can't help it! I just get so excited and want to keep going and do more things. Sister Petersen wants me to let her know if I ever get tired so that she can take a picture and document the rare occasion haha. Thats been most of my week so far! I can't believe that it is going by so fast! I miss you all and am so greatful for your encouragment and prayers! 

Love Sister Shurts

From the Scribbled Notes of a Sister Missionary