Monday, September 9, 2013

The Power of Paint

Liebe Familie,
This week was awesome. On Monday, we went to a Pferdmarkt in Bietigheim-Bissingen. It was a lot of fun. There was a parade. I will just say that German parades are a little different than American parades... For example, nobody threw candy. Also, the floats were pulled by horses! They featured people dressed in traditional costumes from all over Germany. We wanted to ride one of the rides so badly. We all studied the white handbook for a few minutes and determined it was okay. It was very long, and it spun us all over the place. It was so much fun!! Then we went to the little shops. It's always fun to see all of the crazy things available. Another town around here has a ''Sheepherder run.'' Girls who are sheepherders wear dirndls and run a 5K barefoot. 
Anyway, that evening, we visited Frau Dackson. We had a freaking awesome lesson planned about pre-earth life and why we are here. We planned on using a lot of scriptures in Abraham to teach it. Try as we might, we seriously could not get back in town quick enough to go home first and grab our triples. So, we had to plan another lesson really quick. I thought that a great idea would be to read 2 Nephi 2 with them, and talk about that - to get them excited about the Book of Mormon, and introduce ideas in the Plan of Salvation for next time. We got there, and Darchi wanted to play on the computer. But his mom said, no, as it is not a toy. He was pretty upset, but then we asked if he would like to read with us. He got very excited (because he loves to read, and we are cool), and he sat right down on the couch. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and we read 2 Nephi 2. Then, Frau Dackson started reading chapter 3, so we read that chapter, too. They wanted to keep reading, but it was starting to get late. So I had us skip to the last half of Chapter 4 to read the Psalm of Nephi. They just loved it. Frau Dackson told us that her whole day is just so stressful. But when we come, she just feels such peace. She repeated that thought a second time, but more to herself, agreeing that, yeah, she just feels at peace. Darchi was also so so grateful when we told him he could keep the Book of Mormon. We committed them to read and pray every night as a family, and they excitedly agreed that that would be a good idea. 
We had zone training this week. It was good to see everyone again one last time before transfers. We took lots of pictures, and the Pforzheim sisters brought all of the clothes that would be left behind in their apartment (as elders are whitewashing, and they do not need skirts), so we came home with some ''new'' clothes. I got a lot of them, because I was the smallest, and a small missionary left them. 
Wednesday, the elders and we went to Frau Dackson's apartment to paint it. It was such a fun service project! And Frau Dackson really liked having us there, too. Darchi was also home (school hasn't quite started yet), and he and Elder Piepenstock really bonded. We got paint all over, and it was very fun! 
We, however, did not finish, so we went back on Thursday to do the kitchen. Again, an excellent service project indeed:] 
We also went to Stuttgart to run off the train, and that was a hoot of a time!
Then on Friday, we had to help a less-active family paint their apartment. We got the living room done so quickly. The mother could not believe it when we were already done (we had just had a lot of practice...). That was really cool because the mom really opened up to us about her concerns at the end. She has such real concerns, and it will be so much easier to help her now that we know what's going on and that we have that trust built up.
We met with the Nespers again after that, and they are still doing well. Mandy called me to say, ''Hi!'' and to tell me all the things she had bought at the store that day. We gave her the Book of Mormon picture book so that she can read along when we are there. She loved it so much! We read in Ether 2 and 3 with them. Then Mandy burped in my ear. She also cried at the end when her mom gaving the closing prayer, so we had two closing prayers. It was an awesome day!
On Saturday, every plan we had (even our back-up plans) fell out. We got all of our studies done, which was awesome. Then we thought of a woman in our ward who always looks so sad. So we made her a nice card with lots of quotes about how much Jesus loves you, and we brought her some banana bread, too. We wanted to leave it at her house without her knowing it was from us, so we klingeled the neighbors to let us into the building. Only one neighbor was home, and she was very nice. We said we had something for the neighbor, so could we please come in? She came all the way to the outside door, and asked what we had so she could give it to her. We said we could just drop it by the door, and the neighbor insisted that it really was no problem. So we told her the name, and she repeated it back to us. We nodded, and she just said, ''Are you sure?'' I pointed to the Klingelbox with her name, and said that I was pretty sure she lived in that building. Then the neighbor pointed to the names on the Klingelbox and the mailbox and confirmed that she did live there. So, she took the things and said it looked very nice. It's always nice to do personal touches for members. That's also part of our purpose - strengthening members.
Wellp, that should just about cover everything! I hope all is well for you and that you have groovy weeks!
Sister Stephanie Reid

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