Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Babysitting on the Fourth of July

Liebe Familie,
Last Sunday, Sister Smith and I were trying to find a member´s house for an eating appointment. Our best friend lives there, so it was paramount that we not just give up. Also, it´s good to build relationships with the members, anyway:] Anyway, as we were underway, we found an incredible playground. It looked SO COOL! So, we called the Stuttgart sisters (Sister Stewart is there! It´s so fun to be in the same zone as my mama again - it´s so good to see her just before she dies) and asked what plans they had for P. Day the next day. They told us that Sister Green really needed a rain coat, and they would be emailing.... Anyway, they were open for ideas. So we told them about this playground, and they were very down. So that is what we did. We went to the park and slid down the slide and just had fun. I am telling you - they do not build playgrounds in the states like they do here. Parents would have to sign wavers for their kids to play on something like this in the states! And the Germans are living longer (let´s also remember that everyone here smokes, too. So with that added variable in consideration, a whole new light is shed on how much longer they are living than us. Also, we should have Döners), so, it might not hurt to start implementing cooler playground equipment... 
We have a family in our ward who is from Nigeria! I love the Nigerians so so much. Anyway, we got to meet with them this week, because they are trying to get to the temple. We got to know the mom and three-year-old daughter better. The mom is so funny and real! She told us about how she met her husband, and it was freaking hilarious! She told us about how she was on a plane to Nigeria, and she had an empty seat by her. She was really hoping it would be somebody cool because she can`t sleep on planes, so they better not be someone boring. Then a very good-looking Nigerian man got on the plane. She thought, ´´I could definitely be next to someone like that.  Mmmm... he is fine!´´ And, sure enough, he sat by her. She was pretty darn excited! Mostly, just hearing her tell the story was wonderful! Then she fed us a traditional Nigerian dish that you serve a very special guest when they visit for the first time:] Chuck (the three-year-old daughter) also really liked us. She was crying when she couldn´t go with us when we were leaving. She also was having a hard time finishing her lunch because she suddenly desired a desire to go to Africa. Her mom kept telling her that the flight to Africa was a long one, and she would need her strength if she was to endure. So she would eat another bite and be so excited. Then she would get distracted thinking of Africa again and ask if she could go. Her mom would tell her again that she would have to finish her food first. She would get excited, eat a bite, and then get distracted again. It was a bit of a vicious cycle:]
We went to Pforzheim on Saturday to do a finding day. Sister Holman and I went on splits, and we took a member from Peru with us. Her name was Stephanie, and I only remembered that was my name towards the end of the afternoon when Sister Holman said, ´´Stephanie, will you pray for us?´´ I gave her a funny look, and Stephanie started praying. I explained afterwards that I was wondering why she would call me by my first name. Anyway, it´s always fun to realize that we have another name besides ´´Sister Reid.´´ No wonder return missionaries are a little awkward... :]
The fourth of July was this week, and we celebrated as best we could. The Zone Leader Council was in Munich, and since the Sister Training Leaders are in a dritt, their third party wasn´t supposed to come. So Sister Smith and I had to babysit her for the afternoon, night, and most of the next day. She is not like most missionaries. But that´s okay. Anyway, we picked her up in Stuttgart and ate at Burger King. America. Sister Smith wore red and white, and I wore blue and white, so between the two of us, we had red, white, and blue. America. We also ate Reece´s milkshakes (made with the Reece´s Sister Smith got for her birthday, vanilla ice cream, milk, and the electric hand blender we have - needless to say, there were large chunks of Reece´s in there. But they were still tasty:]) when we got home that night. America.
We had an awesome lesson with Bernie that night. We talked about faith at the start, but then (200% led by the spirit), we started talking about how we can use that faith in Jesus Christ to be healed from whatever hardships and heartaches we may have had. It was so cool! Bernie always says how good he feels whenever he meets with us. He also told us that in his free time, he sits on his balcony, drinks a Coke, and reads in the Book of Mormon.  I am so glad we have found him! We may only have one investigator right now, but he is so cool! Also, here is an awesome scripture. ´´Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation for a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.´´ -D&C 64:33  Sometimes it gets a little discouraging. But the one investigator we do have is so prepared and so elect. And we have only been here a few weeks. Sometimes we have to be a little patient. ´´I know for sure that the promises of the Lord, if perhaps not always swift, are always certain.´´ -Pres. Uchtdorf    I know that also to be true. The blessings will come. They may not come when or how we think they should. But they will come. And more often than not, they will be better! 
I hope you have a great week! Remember to ``never give up on anyone. And that includes not giving up on yourself.``
Sister Stephanie Reid

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