Friday, November 1, 2013

The Deciduous Tree in Our Living Room

Liebe Familie,
We had Austausch this week. This was the first time since I came to Ludwigsburg that I stayed. Sister Drury came here, and we had a blast working together again! 
But first... on Tuesday, we had a really great District Meeting. We talked about miracles and how they happen everyday. I found a lot of cool scriptures on what we need to do to have miracles happen during my personal study. I forgot the list at home, so you will have to wait until next week! Anyway, we just talked about how miracles don't just happen in perfect little American wards in the Liahona, nor do miracles in missionary work only happen in Brazil. They happen in Germany, too. The Lord is hastening His work. We are familiar with the promise: ''The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”  We are living in a fulfillment of a prophecy! We talked about how everyone deserves to know that miracles happen everyday. And why shouldn't they? Something that I started doing a couple transfers ago was recording one miracle everyday in my planner. Looking back on the day, week, transfer has been so cool, especially on those days of frustration. If the Lord helped us then, I think, He can certainly help us today
Sister Brinck and I have been struggling as of late finding people. We made a goal the night before that we would find 4 potential investigators that next day, and that we would not go home until we found them. We left the district meeting and headed to our first vorbei. It was successful, and we got a potential investigator! But then we realized that our next plan involved a map that was at home. We had promised that we would not go home until we found 3 more potential investigators! We needed a miracle. And we got one! People, we found our four potentials! And we were able to come home! I called the district leader that night around 9:45 to tell him of our miracle. As I started, I explained how we had made this goal and said we wouldn't come home until we acheived it. He cut me off and said, ''Oh, no. Where are you guys???'' But we got home early enough to eat dinner at home. So we were definitely home in time:]
The next day, we went to Karlsruhe to meet up with the sisters from Lahr for the Tausch. It was Sister Brinck's birthday, so that was nice:] 
Anyway, that night, we had GMK, and it was an especially hilarious/wonderful one. 
The next day, we had a wonderful Frühsport, study session, then we headed out to start being part of more miracles. We had an eating appointment with some members at 1:30, so we had a little time to do some finding before heading over there. We found four people just in that time between 11 and 1:30. The eating appointment was delicious and glorious, and we received a potential/referral while we were there. Then we headed out to Benningen to visit Obehi. We found some more people on the way (there are usually no people on the streets of this village, ps). Obehi wasn't home. So, we started to head back out of town to go to a new place. After a few minutes, Sister Drury asked if I knew the neighbor of Obehi's that I greeted. I said that I had simply been friendly. She said we should probably go back and contact him. So we did. No one in the building was interested, but at least we gave them the chance. Then we decided we should door the neighbor building. There had to be a reason why we felt we needed to come back... We did, and we found a potential! We were so excited, and then Obehi came around the corner, so we got to meet with her, too! We learned that she has been wanting to go to the temple because she knows it's something she should do. But when she tried to inspire her husband to work on goals, she had no idea what to tell him about why the temple was so important. We made plans to come back this week when he is there so that we can help them understand the importance of the temple and be sealed finally! Huge progress - now we know what the problem is! We eventually left Benningen, and as we were almost to Bahnhof, Sister Drury noticed a house that had a large ''Welcome'' sign and the word ''Family'' on it. I am not sure what made me stare at the house, but I did a double take at it as we walked past. Sister Drury saw and said, ''Hey, if we are both looking, we should probably see what's up!'' We we rang the doorbell... and then realized it was the dinner time. Klang! A fork being set down on the plate. Ooops!! A young man came to the door, and we told him about how we had a message about the family. We asked if they were at dinner, he said they were, and we asked if we could come back to share this message. He was very excited to hear about it, and we wished him a lovely evening. We got back to the Bahnhof in Ludwigsburg, and as we were walking, a young woman in front of us tripped on nothing. She turned around to see what she had tripped on, saw us, and laughed at herself. I asked her if she had tripped. She turned back, laughed a little, and said, ''Yeah, but I'm not sure what on!'' We talked to her all the way back to Bahnhof, and she took a Book of Mormon and was so excited to meet up with us again. We ended the night by doing some klingeling in our neighborhood. We got 12 potentials in one day! And last time Sister Drury and I worked together, we found 14 in one day. We decided we should probably work together full time. We could help so many children of God reach their potential! Anyway, a day of miracles. For sure.
We have a tree in our living room that was losing its leaves. At the start, I recognized it was because I was being negligent in my watering duties. After awhile, it started losing so many leaves that we thought we had a deciduous tree in our living room. We thought that was an incredibly stupid idea, but we nevertheless swept the leaves in our living room. Then onTuesday morning, I realized that I needed to pull the dead leaves out of the tree. First of all, they would start rotting, eventually killing the tree even more, and second of all, it just looked bad. I discovered something interesting as I started de-leafing. Only one side of the tree was actually dead. The other half had its full foliage. I realized that the dead side was the side turned away from the window. Although the entire tree had been receiving dirt and water, only half had been getting sun, and that half was dying. We took this analogy to our lesson with Chris on Saturday. We had the opportunity to do some gardening with her for a few hours, and afterwards she asked, ''Have you brought a spiritual upliftment for me?'' Chris is a way cool investigator who has been friends with members in our ward for years. As of late, she is showing more and more interest in investigating this for herself. Anyway, we thought it was appropriate, based on our previous activities, to use a gardening analogy. We talked about how we have faith, works, and grace. We need all three to be saved. It does no good to have faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement if we aren't willing to do something about it. She loved the analogy and started teaching us more aspects of it, using plants in her house for further examples. She talked about a tree she had that was dying. She cut it way down to a stub and had it start growing again from the start, but this time with good nutrients. We talked about how sometimes we start growing into something nice, but God has to cut us down so we can grow into what He knows we can become. Anyway, we don't have a deciduous tree in our living room. Just an object lesson.
Well, have a great week! And read this talk from Elder Ballard:
We really are all needed in order for the gospel to be sounded in every ear. Pray for missionary opportunities. Elder Neil L. Andersen has promised us that if we do, names and faces will come to our minds and hearts. (
Sister Stephanie Reid 

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