Liebe Familie,This last week was pretty awesome. A lot was learned, and a lot of people were brought closer to their Savior.
Monday night, we had an appointment with the Dacksons, but the Lord had another idea of how we should spend our evening. Although that was a great idea, the Nespers needed us. We got the call from Frau Dackson a little before 6, and she just said, ''The weirdest thing just happened, and we can't meet tonight, but let's meet in a couple of days, okay?'' We had to hurry and come up with a new plan. I thought of the Nespers, and then the elders SMSed us to see what we were doing that night. We told them, and they said they were planning on visiting the friend who introduced us to the Nespers. We thought it might be a good idea to combine our lessons, and it was awesome. With the friend there, we started out by reading in Ether about the Brother of Jared. We discussed the ways how God answers our prayers, and the friend bore some great testimony. Then the friend had some questions about authority, and Elder Morrill said they were great questions, but they could answer them next time, as we wanted to get back to our original topic. I whispered that we could talk about it now, as that was a concept we needed to review with our investigators, too. So, we talked about it again, and we used the cup pyramid analogy, and they really got it this time. I said that that was why we had encouraged them to be baptized again. Then, the elders mentioned that the friend was getting baptized on the 10th of October, and I said that they could be baptized on that same day. I asked if they would work towards that goal, and they excitedly agreed. Then the friend said, ''Yeah, you should definitely come watch my baptism! It would be a great experience.'' Then they asked, ''But, can't we be baptized that day, too?'' They just kept getting more and more excited. Then they told us that the teenage daughter had gone to a church three times this last week and prayed and felt such peace. She had asked her mother if she could be baptized again, and if she could start meeting with us. It was such an evening of miracles!
On Wednesday, we were supposed to do some gardening for a woman named Chris who has been a potential investigator for awhile. She has been friends with some members for over 20 years, but she has never really had much interest in investigating the church herself. Anyway, we were supposed to do some gardening for her with the elders, but it was raining again. We had planned on this a few other times, but it kept being crappy weather on those days. So she told us to come anyway, and she would feed us lunch. It was delicious! Afterwards, we played Rummy with her, and we all just became better friends. The members later told us that she really liked us, and she kept saying we needed to come back. It was so good that we had that time to sit in her home and give her the opportunity to host (she said she loves having company, but nobody really visits her), just get to know her better, and help her build that trust. She is probably a lot more open now than she would have been if we had just gone to our corners of the garden and dug for a few hours. We simply found another way to serve her:]
On Thursday, we had Austausch with Lahr (near Offenburg), so we had to leave the mission (oh, no!) to do the trains. We went to Karlsruhe, but we were only at the Bahnhof. Anyway, Austausch was absolutely incredible.
On our way to Stuttgart for our train to Karlsruhe, we stopped by to visit Grace. As we were looking for a map so we could find her (she is staying with her other son right now), a drunk man yelled at me for half an hour and told me I was stupid and brainwashed. I don't know why we couldn't get away, but he wouldn't let us leave. I was just quiet - fighting back in those situations does no good. But we eventually found Grace, and she was so excited to see us:] Anyway, then I went to Lahr to work with Sister Drury, and Sister Jencks came here to Ludwigsburg.
It was an Austausch of miracles - one right after the other. First of all, we found 14 potentials on Friday (to give you an idea, 3 potentials is a pretty darn good day), and a lot of them were families! Lahr is being opened right now, so we had a lot of finding to do. But, Sister Drury is an incredible finder, and I learned a lot from her. Friday night, we were talking about all sorts of things and the conversation got to a topic that has seriously been a concern of mine for 5 years. I don't talk about it with a lot of people, as it has something to do with one particular line in my patriarchal blessing. And I, therefore, will not go into a lot of details at this time. But let me just say this. I felt peace about it for the first time in 5 years. My prayers were finally answered. And the advice she gave was further confirmed the next morning when I found a quote in a General Conference talk to confirm what it was she had told me. The Lord answers our prayers, and the answers usually don't come in the way we expect. But He does answer.
We had stake conference this weekend, and it was quite lovely. It was fun to see the other missionaries, and stake conference is always such a feast of spiritual knowledge.
Elder Holland said, ''We must believe in miracles... until we wind up to the level when our heart is up in our throat and if we opened our eyes, we would expect to see angels.'' The only way the Lord works is through miracles, and this week was such a testimony builder of that!
Have groovy weeks!
Sister Stephanie Reid