This week, we finally went to the Fairy Tale Gardens at the Ludwigsburg Schloss. We went with our district, the zone leaders, and Elke (a member from our ward who served with me in Wien while she waited for her visa. So, she was actually in Graz, but somehow they were always having sleepovers with us...). We had a lot of fun, and it was a great day!
It has officially gotten cold. I don't think it will get warm again this year. I just might pull out my tights, too. Sister Brinck asked if it was like this last year (yes, I am officially old enough to tell you what happened last year...). But I think it was honestly October before I even thought about my warm-weather clothes! This is nuts! But, hey, we aren't burning up!
We have a family with whom we have been working who just got back from their three-week vacation. They got home and discovered that their apartment had flooded! Somehow rainwater had dripped in and completely ruined the two outside walls of their aparment. We called them to welcome them back and set up a new appointment, and they told us what happened. We asked if we could help, and they said they sure needed it! So, we came, and helped them peel all the paint off all the walls in their living room down to the cement. We used putty knives, and it was actually kind of fun. Probably because it wasn't my apartment that was ruined. But it was so good to spend time with them and the kids. They really loved having us there, and we are hopefully coming back this week to help paint! I haven't gotten to paint until this transfer, and I have always wanted to. Then, we just have gotten one paint project after another! It has been a lot of fun to do so much service!
On Friday night, we had a lesson with Grace in which we just sang hymns the whole time. The elders came, and Grace just loved it. It was a really neat lesson. We sang ''I Am a Child of God,'' ''O My Father,'' ''Lead, Kindly Light,'' ''How Great Thou Art,'' and ''I Stand All Amazed.'' Then Elder Morrill sang ''Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me.'' The spirit was so strong, and Grace bore some powerful testimony of her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
We had an appointment with Maria D. on Tuesday, but she wasn't there. We called for the next few days, but she didn't answer. We were pretty bummed because she seemed so legit! Then, on Saturday night, we were doing our weekly planning, and we got to her record. I thought, ''Let's just call her right now.'' I was shocked when she answered the phone, because that had not been what happened when I called her for the past little while! She apologized that the appointment had fallen out and explained that she had been in Waiblingen for the weekend visiting a friend. She was getting ready to head back, and her friend reminded her that she is recently divorced, and therefore home alone anyway. So, she stayed for a few more days. Then she remembered our appointment, but she didn't have our number with her to call us and let us know. She had just barely gotten back in town a little before I called. She was just getting ready to call, but then we called her first! She concluded her tale with, ''Don't you know God is great?!'' I told her I do know God is great, and I asked her when we could visit. She said she had to work on Sunday, so that wouldn't work. Then we looked at Monday, but that is always rough for us. I paused to flip through my planner some more and then she said, ''I mean, you could come tonight, or Monday afternoon...'' ''We could come tonight?'' ''Sure!'' ''Can we come in about an hour?'' (allowing travel time) ''Of course! See you then!'' So we quickly got ourselves ready and headed to her home. We caught up with her and then watched the Restoration film in Portuguese. Portuguese is such a pretty language, and Maria was quoting the scriptures along with the film. At the end, she said, ''I just have one question. Why did that man tell Joseph Smith he hadn't seen God, when clearly he had?'' We committed her to baptism that night:] She will be getting baptized on the 28 of February. She also told us that this is like a train station. There are lots of cool trains going lots of cool places, but only one train goes to your destination. And you can know that that train will go there. But sometimes people take other trains trying to get to Dresden, for example. But there is only the one train that can get there. Our job is to find that train and get on it and don't get off. We freaking loved that analogy and used it to help her further understand the need for one true church and authority. Isn't that a cool analogy, though? I And we get to paint her living room, too! Bonus:]
Then, Grace received the Holy Ghost yesterday. It was so cool, and she had to bear her testimony right after! She was not warned, but she gave an awesome testimony. I also had to translate all three hours of church for her, so that was fun:] But Sister Grace is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now. Bam.
Well, I hope you all have awesome weeks!
Sister Stephanie Reid