Today is a really good day :) It's probably going to rain, but that's okay cause I'm remembering the times I was in Germany almost a year ago and thinking about all the good times and all the good feelings I had there. This day reminds me a lot of it. And we're going to have a very wet and fun picnic day with the District :) And Lucie :) So it will be good!
This last week was really good! It was... interesting to say the least. But good :) I learned a lot, was built up by the dear friends I've made here, spent lots of time with our investigators, and had some really, really, REALLY good studies :) And we saw lots of small miracles :)
Where to start.
Well. I'll tell you about the main event of the week. I'm still feeling a little slimey- like I did something wrong, but not really sure what.
It was Wednesday. We were meeting with a YW in our ward at a little cafe in Feuerbach. This man was sitting on the table next to us, really looking at us. He got up and left, and we thought nothing of it. We started to notice, as we were talking with Audrie, that this man kept coming back... and really looking at us. Finally, Sister Winters asked if we could help him. He pointed his keys at her name tag, and said he wanted to read that.
We set up an appointment to meet for Eis the next day. I thought it was just the Lord working his miracles. Sister Winters, on the other hand, was a little worried. He told us he liked our smiles, but that isn't uncommon from older men.
Next day, we go to meet him. We brought the Zone Leaders with us, just in case. But when we got there, we decided we didn't need them. So they left. This man bought of hot chocolate and we started to talk about the Gospel. The moment he got there, he started to compliment how I dressed. He pointed out that Sister Winters and I dressed differently. I didn't understand that's what he said, but it was. It started to click later on.
After talking about the Gospel had failed, he offered to buy us Eis. Luckily, Audrie was riding by when we were walking to the cafe. She joined us. He bought us the most expensive ice cream you can imagine. I was dying. The whole time he was saying things like, "oh, i get to sit by you.. how lucky!", "you're beautiful", "do you think i shine?", etc. He tried to feed me the first bite of his Eis, too. I didn't know what to do! I don't speak perfect German. I kept trying to hold my hands cause they were cold (they're always cold) and kept touching my leg (BG: THIS MAN JUST USED UP ALL HIS 9 LIVES, LUCKY DAD WASN'T THERE). Then he saw the blisters on the back of my feet and INSISTED he buy me new shoes. They don't hurt, they're just scars, I told him. There was a shoe shop just two shops down and he tried with all his might to get us just to go LOOK for shoes. He said all we had to do was look for 2 minutes, slip a pair on, then he would pay. It took nearly an arm and a leg to get this man to not buy me shoes. I think i could have asked him to buy me a house and he would have done it.
We then had to head to our next appointment, about 40 minutes away. He wasn't having it, though. He offered us a ride just to make us stay so he could buy shoes. We finally left. But.. I felt awful. What had I done to make this man be so.... engrossed in me? Seems silly, but it plays in with a few other things from the week.
Man. Gotta love missionary work! HAHA, weird men who would do anything for you. (BG, GLAD SHE COULD SEE THE FUNNY SIDE OF THINGS BUT HOPEFULLY A LOT WISER)
On a more happy note, this week was really good :)
I am currently study a lot about mercy and grace.
Do you understand the beauty and function of grace? Cause when someone fully understands it, they see why we have the rules we do, and why we don't have to be perfect right now. It almost helps us love ourselves better. I read this all from Brad Wilcox. I had heard the speech in Seminary, but it had been condensed down into an Ensign talk.
It is FANTASTIC. READ IT.
We also had a great dinner and lesson with Jason and Sherri Kelly and Erin. It was really, really good. I learn so much when we go there, and I'm the one supposed to be teaching! It is definitely a "safe place". We have a "no shame zone" there. And they always make us feel really special and that it's okay to be introverts and stuff :)
We also have to most amazing Bastlen ladies, EVER! That means "crafts", btw. They LOVE us. We always sing when we go, and they cry. The instructors, Innes and Ushi, are the best! They love us so much, too! Every time we leave, the women always make sure that it isn't for good :) "Nope", we tell them, "We'll be back next week!" How did I get so luck as to serve here?! I NEVER want to leave!
We also had a fabulous day in Church yesterday. We went to both the American ward and our ward because we brought Erin with us to the English one. Let's just say... wow. Major difference in the cultures. I can't decide what it is, either. They are just different. We can't remember if every ward is like that in America, or just this one. We felt more at home in the German ward, though, so that shows you how German we are becoming ;)
That brings me to the next point:
I LOVE GERMANY. So much. Everything about it! The people, the LANGUAGE, the scarves that everyone wears, the weather, the doorbells and that you always know who lives where, that all the Germans know every street in what seems all of Germany. I love the food and how fresh everything is. I love that you can't turn a corner without seeing 3 backeries right there. I love that there are more Eis cafe's than people and that there is always pistachio flavor :) I love that everyone rides bikes and public transportation. I love the sound of hearing the "U6 nach Gerlingen" sound. I love their obsession with napkins and nachtisch. I love how small everything is. I love how friendly the people are. I love the cobblestone paths, and nobody here does their hair or wears makeup. It's fabulous.
I just feel really, really blessed to be serving here :) I know this is exactly where I'm supposed to be an I see that daily.
On that note, the church is true everyone. We have been given the Atonement to get us back home, but it's so much more than that. So much more. Our debts have been paid in full by Our Debtor and he doesn't REQUIRE anything from. He lets us choose what kind of heavenly life we will choose for ourselves based on what things we do here on earth. We are not being tested for heaven; we are LEARNING for heaven. What we decide to do here, and how much we decide to follow Christ and our Heavenly Father will show by what kind of body we will receive when we are resurrected, how comfortable we will feel in the presence of the Lord, and how long we will want to stay with him. This is grace.
Repentance is a pattern... that means you are to repeat it 1000X! You've never done it too many times, if you are TRULY striving to become better. He is going to plead your case, but only if you really "practice" here on earth. He took a risk on us.. He invested in us. Are we going to make His sacrifice worth it?
"I Promise" to never forget that I don't have to do anything to see the sunrise tomorrow. I just have to accept it, and be better. I will never quit when I've done something bad... because REPENTANCE IS A PATTERN :)
Just... read that talk. Then you'll understand :)
Just remember, God loves you. And you, and you and you and you :)