Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3-12-13: Austria is not a holiday

People of this world.
All is still well in Germany. We were blessed with two days of sunshine last week, and have since returned to clouds, fog, and...snow. Lots of it. To show the weather who's boss, we ate ice cream in the snow on Saturday. Take that. We didn't go out a ton this past week because of my companion's health issues, but we still achieved a smattering of teaching appointments and our apartment is thoroughly cleaned every day as I jam to Tchaikovsky. Regardless of where I am, I learn so much from my trainer, from the people here in Germany, and from God. There is no place I'd rather be right now than on a mission--snow, smoke, graffiti, and all. 

Spotlight of the Week
There is a 22-year-old boy who just got baptized a couple months ago named Francesco and he is great. He's a little autistic, and he is so sincere and excited about life and happy to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So excited that he goes up to everyone he doesn't recognize at activities to ask if they've been baptized yet and if so, if they did it the right way (by immersion).  Haha. The real spotlight of this story is that he said the best prayer in the world at our weekly Book of Mormon class. He told Heavenly Father that he was so thankful that he could be baptized and for the Book of Mormon and for Beethoven and that he could play soccer with the Elders, which made it so he could have more energy at church. Prayer is the best. 

Quotes of the Week
One of the quotes of the week comes from Francesco. We played Pictionary as part of a Family Home Evening (a Monday night gathering for those without families here in Leipzig) and Francesco was trying to draw a frog. But it didn't look like a frog (picture a dinosaur/couch with circles surrounding it). Someone guessed "cat" and he said...
"Nein! Es ist wie eine Katze, aber GANZ anders." (no, it is like a cat, but COMPLETELY different.) You tell them, Francesco.
The next quote comes from me. I think my German is coming along pretty well. But sometimes I think it is definitely not. For instance, Sister Diederich and I were at an eating appointment and I asked if Germans did anything special for Easter. Except I didn't say Easter. I said Austria. (Oster is Easter and Österreich is Austria)
In case you were wondering, people don't do anything special for the country of Austria here.

Surprises of the week
So...we are moving apartments! On Thursday! Which means if you wrote mail to the Blochmann address, I'll still get it (elders are moving into that apartment), but when you send future letters, mail them to the Berlin address or the one at the bottom of this email. Weird thing about German apartments: when you move, you take everything with you. Like entire counters, cupboards, showers, sometimes toilets. I know, crazy. Our district (6 Elders plus me and my comp) spent Thursday assembling desks, cabinets, beds, and walls. Just kidding about that last one, the people were kind enough to leave the walls there. Madness, though.

Every six weeks, we find out if we stay in the same city with the same companion and that is called a transfer. We thought I might be training a new missionary this transfer, but good news: I get to be trained like a normal missionary before doing that, so Sister Diederich and I are sticking together in Leipzig. We'll get some new elders (one more set) and one of our zone leaders (an elder over a bigger area of the mission) is going home this transfer too so...hurray for more missionaries! Somewhat related shout out...BECAUSE MY FRIEND SHAY LYONS IS GOING TO FRANKFURT AND WE WILL BE NEIGHBORS! Shay, I am so excited for you. Write me a stinkin' letter. Also, Marisha congrats to the Phillipines!

Speaking of...
Speaking. It is kinda hard. I'm kind of the worst person at small talk in the world. In English and German. But it's okay because I hope people appreciate awkwardness and then remember our real conversations better. Plus Sister Diederich is the best at making other people feel loved, no matter what we say and when people know that we care, they will listen to what we say. I love how Christ ministered and cared for people as individuals during His life and it is really amazing to see how Christ can change and heal people. God works with individuals, not the mass population of Germany or America or the world. As missionaries, we try to do the same. And it is so great. I know, I think I've worn out that phrase. Because it's great.

New Address:

Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Claire Woodward
Limburger Strasse 52
04229 Leipzig

Love you and thanks for your prayers and support.
Sister Claire Michelle Woodward

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