Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bis aufs Wiedersehen, Ludwigsburg!

Liebe Familie,
We had Zone Thanksgiving today. We had turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, stuffing, everything that would make it a true American Thanksgiving dinner. It was so great to see everyone again and be thankful for fabulous food. 
So on Wednesday night, we got a call from the Sister Training Leaders to see how we were doing. We caught up on life and the universe, and then they asked us if we were scared/nervous/excited for transfer calls the next day. Transfer calls usually come on Friday mornings, so we were a little confused as to why we would be excited for the next morning. She told us that they had been bumped a day early. We hurried and called the elders in our district to have a conference call for our Bible Prophecies. Then we went to bed and nervously awaited the call. The zone leaders receive a call from the assistants around 7 informing them who in the zone is staying. Then the zone leaders call all of those people and are done by about 7:15. Then the assistants call everyone who is leaving. President Miles calls those who will be receiving leadership positions. So, the later the call, the more ''exciting'' the news. And who is on the caller id tells us a little something about what is happening. The latest call I have ever gotten was at 8:30. Anyway, we brought the phone with us on Frühsport just in case we didn't get back in time for the call. We did. I took the world's fastest shower, and the call had still not come by the time it was time for Personal Study. We were so anxiously nervous to learn what was happening to us! We had a lesson at 10, so we had to head at 9, and we still hadn't gotten a call! What if we got the call while we were in the lesson? On the way there, the elders and the STLs called us to see what was happening to us. Every time the phone rang, we thought it was THE call, but it was not! We started thinking we were the recipients of a prank, but everyone else had gotten their calls... We contemplated turning the phone off during the lesson, but this was a call we needed to take. So we told the investigator and the two members what would be happening, and they all got anxiously excited, too. Now. Whenever you teach the restoration, if you do not turn off every phone, a phone will ring during the first vision. Every time. We even watched the Restoration movie, and I was so excited as I knew this would invite the phone call. It did not. So we left the appointment after two hours (because the two members we brought were becoming friends with our investigator for the first hour! I guess that's a good problem:]), and we still did not know! The elders called us again (again a momentary excitement at the gaining of knowledge), and they told us to call the zone leaders as they had probably forgotten to call us. We called them. They had no clue what was going on. They said they would call someone to call us. We waited for ANOTHER hour! The elders and the STLs called again (every time that phone rang...), but still no one who could tell us what was happening to us! We just knew that we were not both staying... We called President Miles around 1:15 as we were waiting at Bahnhof for our next bus to our next appointment. Sister Miles answered, and it was lovely speaking with her. Then she asked what she could do for us, and we asked if transfer calls were actually today. She said they were, and she asked if we had not received a call. We told her that we had not received a call. She tried to put the phone on speaker phone, or get it connected to the car phone so President Miles could speak with us, but nothing worked! She told us they would call us back. About ten minutes later, President Miles called us. He said he had found a place to pull over, and he apologized for forgetting to call us. He said that there are too many Sister Smiths (there are three - two in our zone - but neither of us is Sister Smith, so I don't know how that messed our call up...), and that we had gotten lost in the mix. Anyway, we weren't mad, so we forgave him immediately and excitedly waited for him to just tell us already where/if we were going! He then proceeded to tell us about how the last mission president would do it so that if you didn't get a call by noon, you assumed you were staying. You can see why that had to be changed! After he had gotten all of that taken care of, he was ready to announce the news. I am headed to Munich, and Sister Brinck is staying in Ludwigsburg. The elders are actually both leaving Ludwigsburg, too. Elder Morrill is coming with me to Munich, and zwar to the same ward! Elder Piepenstock is headed to the Switzerland. 
This ward in Ludwigsburg is bomb. The members call us to see when we can use them on joint teaches. We have been introducing family mission plans to a lot of members this week, and it is so cool to see how a lot of members already have plans! And the ones who didn't, or didn't have it written down, were already coming up with ideas even as we were still there! I was so worried leaving Neumarkt because I knew a lot of investigators would get lost. But not one of us is worried about this whitewash. Why? Because every progressing investigator not only knows members, but they have FRIENDSHIPS with the members! In the elders' letter to the new elders, those are their instructions. For more information on this investigator, talk to this member. For information on this investigator, talk to that member. It's so cool to see how excited and wonderful Ludwigsburg is in hastening the work of salvation. We think that perhaps that is why Elder Morrill and I are being transferred together. To bring that excitement and knowledge to Munich. 
You guys have no idea how much members do in missionary work. As we talk to almost every investigator, they are related to or working with or in some way acquainted to a member of the church. The Lord really is preparing the hearts of so many people. So, as Elder Holland says, ''...unbind your tongues and watch your words work wonders in the lives of those 'who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.'"  
Sister Stephanie Reid

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