Monday, April 1, 2013

4-1-13: Making awkwardness less awkward

Claire sounds like she is doing better this week, but still has limited activities because of her companion's health. I know she appreciates your support, your emails and prayers. Shireen

Good news: we made it into April.
Bad news: so did the snow. 
BUT the snow has given me excellent opportunities to talk to strangers about normal weather in Germany. They always check out my spiffy nametag afterwards.

Risking the Awkward
We had a tri-zone conference last week in Dresden and it was splendid. I am always inspired by the strength of other missionaries and get so pumped up for the life that I'm living. We talked about risking the awkward and starting conversations with people everywhere, especially during our travel time, even if it's not always about the Gospel. And by risking the awkward, they really meant being awkward. But that's okay because by saying something, anything, people notice our black badges and maybe will remember the curly haired girl who asked about the snow on Easter who wasn't from Germany. Being a missionary is awkward. But I love that part for some reason. And I know that God takes our awkwardness and weaknesses and makes them into strengths. Someday someone will be touched by my awkwardness and want to know more about why I'm here. Doing the awkward. And then they will read the Book of Mormon and it will change their lives.

Engaged in a Good Cause
Missionaries always try to engage themselves in good causes, whether it be service projects, teaching lessons, studying the scriptures, finding people who are interested in our message, or lifting people up. This week, Sister Diederich and I had an appointment with Sandra, our investigator from Columbia, and two ward members who spoke Spanish came with to help us teach. Sandra has a darling, energetic five-year old boy named Pablo and someone usually has to help entertain him so that Sandra can focus on the lesson. This week was my turn and I would just like to say that German Spanish kids are the bomb. Not literally. But in the pure, loving adorable way.
While Sandra learned about how Christ'S atonement makes it possible for us to return to our Heavenly Father by repenting, Pablo and I had the following conversation:
Pablo: "Do you have a child?"
Me: "Nope."
Pablo: "Why not?"
Me: "Because I don't have a husband"
Pablo, pausing to reflect upon this revelation, then responds, "I can be your husband someday."
Apparently I'm on my way to being engaged in more than just a good cause :)

Das Wunder der Woche
I am part of a prolonged miracle right now. Because my companion is still ill as you all know. Unless you haven't been reading my emails very carefully. Regardless, we have the miracle of having so many members of the church here in Leipzig that want to be our parents. They all feel so sorry for the sickly missionary and her awkward, new companion. Charity is such a miracle. Sometimes we forget that. But people bringing you food and calling just to check in is a great blessing from the Lord. We love our peeps here in Leipzig and I'm so thankful for the organization of the church and for Germans with big hearts.

Quotes from the week...
We got some new elders this transfer and one is fresh from the MTC. He spent just 12 days there like me, except he only had two years of high school German. You can bet he's living the dream :) 
His companion: "I'm trying to have us talk in German in all the time. But there are some things you can't express in German."
Elder Huebsch: "There is nothing that I can express in German."
Thank goodness for companions that speak the language and for help from the Lord, right? 

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. Leipzig shut down for a few days because Germans love their holidays. I am so grateful for the life of Jesus Christ, for His atonement, death, resurrection, and love for all of us. I know He lives and I know this is His restored Gospel. Keep looking for everyday miracles.
Sister Claire Michelle Woodward

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