Monday, March 23, 2015

Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof! or is it?

Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof... this is a well known idiom in German that translates into "Life is not a Pony Farm" or as Americans would say, "Life ain't a bed of roses" basically it isn't easy- This week I would beg to differ- well at least after a lot of hard work- it can be very rewarding.

2 weeks left in this transfer aaaand we just set another Baptismal Date!!! :) That’s right folks... remember that last family we started meeting with- the ones with the epic last name? Familie Hellhammer? yep! this week we met with them aaand SET ANOTHER BAPTISMAL DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D Oh people! AHHHHH this is seriously so awesome and amazing and I can't handle my life! like at all... like really. :) We sat down and taught the first lesson with her- and she was all over it. She had read everything that we had given her. She had questions and wants to learn more and just ate everything up. I invited her to be baptized on April 18th and she said yes! :) She has been through soo much in her life she just needs the comfort the gospel brings. We were giving her a tour of the church building and another member was there as we were showing her around. The member asked us- Sisters, when is the next baptism in our ward? and Frau Hellhammer raised her hand and announced "I am! on the 18th of April!" haha as you can tell she is kind of excited
One day this week as we were waiting for our bus, we talked to this old lady, she was all dressed up and ready to go "wandern" (hiking) and she eventually sat down next to us and just talked about her life. At one point she was about to leave and realized that she had just talked about a lot of personal things with us. She started to apologize and didn't want us to think that she was just chatting. But that everything she said was honest and precious. I grabbed her hand, looked her in the eye and told her that I treasured every word that she spoke, and that every story that I hear has an impact on me. I was surprised by how much I really meant it.  I've thought about all the people that I have come in contact with here in Herne and how so often they each seem to offer a story of gold, a pearl of their faith,- so willingly and so readily. And I now have this treasure that doesn't even belong to me! A collection of emotions, a woman’s sorrow for a wayward son, a man’s passion of Jesus Christ, a child’s laugh looking up at me, a wrinkled old ladies weary smile as she told me, "Es gibt immer etwas dass Freude bringt" (there is always something that brings joy) I've prayed with students on a train as they nervously prepare for exams, I've hugged complete strangers, I've befriended those who had no one. And they have given me so much more in return. I used to think it was something about me that made people share their stories… but the more I have thought about it the more I have realized that it is because I am a representative of Jesus Christ. There is nothing special about me, on the contrary- it is the message of hope that we bring that catches people’s attention.  If this is not the greatest treasure I don't know what is.
Liebe Grüße
Sister Shurts

From the scribbled notes of a sister missionary
some important advice from the land of Germany... translation: "life is not a pony farm" 

Sister Davis and I meet the Essen Sisters at Zone Conference

Sister Davis and I at a bus stop- and my cute new scarf (thanks mom!)

Cicero (our Brazilian investigator) and I after a lesson

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