Monday, July 22, 2013

The First Day of Kindergarten

Liebe Familie,
Another week has come and gone, and I can't believe I am already sitting in another internet shop reporting on it. Time really does fly. 
So last Monday, we went to the zoo. We preached the gospel to every creature (including the crocodile, as made evidence by this picture). The Heilbronn elders joined us and the Ludwigsburg elders. The Stuttgart Zoo was very neat. It was a lot like a park with a zoo in it. It was very nature-y, and we all enjoyed it a lot:]
A member of our ward, Schwester Kleiner, is the one who tranlates the Liahonas into German. She said she was working on one particular article about member missionary work when she felt like she should really do something about it, instead of just translating about it. She said a prayer at her desk and asked what she could do. She thought of a woman in our ward who is less-active. Schwester Kleiner had been her visiting teacher years ago, but after they received their new assignments, they kind of lost contact. Schwester Kleiner called her up and made an appointment with her. Then she called us and asked if we could come along. We, of course, agreed. She is a really cool lady in her mid-30s. She was born in Russia. After the wall went down, if you had German heritage, you were allowed to come back to Germany. Her dad is German, so they came back, and she has lived here ever since. She is the classic story of marrying a non-member and then falling away herself. She really enjoyed our visit. She has a cute little four-year-old daughter and another one who just turned 9. She was so excited to meet with us again, and we are so excited to start working with this family. It was also neat to see the spirit of missionary work in this member. She was just so excited to introduce us to her friend. She also said this member has a less-active sister and a mother that she also wants to introduce us to. The really neat thing is that Sister Smith and I both felt like dooring and streeting were not what we should do to find people in this area. We both feel very strongly that there is so much work to be done if we can work with the members. We have so many part-member families in our ward. So on the ward list alone, there is work to be done! It's just been neat to see how these people are coming out of the woodwork - this particular woman had been forgotten about, but the spirit always remembered her and helped us find her. 
On Thursday, we tried to contact another less-active on our ward list. She is the daughter of a member in Pforzheim (a branch in our stake) who told us we should try her. We showed up at her Klingel at 6:30, and she answered! We were so excited! We introduced ourselves, and she said, ''It is far too late to meet tonight, so you will have to come back another time.'' I was not aware that 6:30 was far too late for an appointment, but we will have to visit her in the afternoon. 
That night we did Bible Prophecies. This is where Sister Smith closes her eyes as I flip the pages of my bible back and forth until she says, ''Stop!'' Then, of course, I stop. I ask her left or right, learning from which page, and then left or right again, learning from which column I should read. Then I move my finger up and down the column until Sister Smith again says, ''Stop!'' The verse before where my finger lands, the one it lands on, and the verse after are the prophecy of Sister Smith's next transfer. You can see what an accurate and inspired process this is. This time hers said something about how she is all grown up and she can take care of herself now. Mine said something about me destroying lands. We determined that meant that that meant that I was going to tear it up whereever I was. Anyway, we received the call the next morning. Sister Smith will be transferred to Passau! This is now her third area in four transfers! Hopefully she can stay in Passau for awhile and get established somewhere! I will be staying in Ludwigsburg and training again. I knew I would be training again, so that was no surprise. We just thought I would have to open another area. But now I don't have to pack again. Woot! And Ludwigsburg really is nice. It is an awesome ward, and it so pretty here! This really will be an awesome ward to be raised in because it is such a good example of how members and missionaries can and should work together. Elder Morrill (the elder who got here the same day Sister Smith and I did) will also be getting a golden, so that will be fun having to goldens running around:]
Friday night, I ran my first race. It was a 5K, and it was 35 (about 95) degrees. We were all struggling, but we finished! A lot of the ward was there, so that was fun to bond with them. Slash, when will I get to run a race in Germany again?
Saturday we had a finding day. We had four sisters who came, so all four of us sister missionaries split up and went with a member. It was a very successful day!!
We taught Grace on Saturday. She is from Nigeria and can't understand me very well when I speak (English). I guess I have been out of Wien for too long... :] Anyway, she is way cool, and I will tell you more about her next week.
Yesterday, Amely and Madelin begged Sister Smith and me to come to primary with them. We went to the end of their class. The teacher had had them all write down questions for us, and we answered them. They were great questions like:
     ~How many people do you talk to everyday?
     ~How many people have you taught? 
     ~How many sister missionaries are there in the world?
     ~How many people do you teach everyday?
They also asked us how old we were, what our favorite foods were, and such. But the number questions were pretty good. The teachers also helped us try to explain how missions work and why we don't know those numbers:]
They also wanted us to come to Miteinander, but Sister Smith had a part in Relief Society. So I went. Amely was teasing me because I didn't know the words to the songs, and it was rather obvious I was making it up as I went. I was making pretty darn good educated guesses, though. After she teased me, though, I whispered, ''I know the words in English!'' She got really excited and told me to just sing in English. She thought it sounded very cool, and she and her friend were just giddily excited. Anyway, it was fun to be in singing time again, even if I didn't know all the words. The spirit is the same in every language:]
Wellp, I hope you all have uplifting weeks! Love you!!
Sister Stephanie Reid

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