Keep sending her mail--emails, letters, packages--she loves it all! Her address again is:
Kirche Jesu Christi
Sister Claire Woodward
Limburger Strasse 52
My MTC teacher warned us that about halfway through our missions, we'd start to get a little frumpy...same skirt, same bun, and forget about makeup. Well, family, after being out only 2 months and having a week of visiting various doctor offices and hospitals and attempting to tend to my ailing companion at home, I admit I've already hit frumpy...french braid every day, stable earring studs, and waning makeup. It's hard to get dressed up for doctor offices. Still sporting a glamorous smile though, like this digital sideways one :)
Fortunately I am healthy. Unlike Sister Diederich who continues to develop Job-like ailments and then must try to explain resulting symptoms in German to people. Hospital charades are the best. Watching your comp give blood four times in three days? No bueno (we now would like to introduce the Spanish segment of this email experience). She is a real trooper. Most missionaries face discouragement when they feel like people aren't listening to their important message of joy. Somehow Sister Diederich can have a needle in her arm thrice and relish the opportunity to tell doctors what we're doing here in Germany.
We did venture out from our various infirmaries a few times this week, which was good especially because the sun started to shine! Once was me getting to run circles in our backyard as Sister Diederich watched from our window (missionary companions need to stay with each other at all times. I don't know if I clarified that earlier). There are a bunch of gardens behind our apartment where old people tend for tender plants and so while I was running around said gardens, a cute, little 80-year-old lady stopped me to talk. I didn't understand her at first and so she asked where I was from. Upon finding out I was American, she proceeded to tell me that Germany was at war with America when she was little, but Germany lost that war. I know, I was shocked too. I wish someone in one of my history classes would have told me sooner. *end of sarcastic remarks* Really, she was sweet and adorable. Just trying to enlighten naive 20 year olds about World War II. I brought her cookies the next day to thank her. Sweet little Frau Kühler.
We also made it to our weekly Book of Mormon class. And good thing too because Francesco said the closing prayer. Which went like this:
"Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you that....*laughter* that I can brush my teeth... *more laughter*....AndthatmybaptismmademehappyInthenameofJesusChristAmen."
Sister Diederich made him pray again to show respect while talking to God and he prayed wonderfully, including the profound "Thank you that Jesus is my friend."
Good old Francesco shows us how to become more child-like every day. We love him.
We also made it to another zone conference and then a stake conference. Stake conference happens twice a year when a bunch of wards in a certain area come together for a larger meeting. Instead of our usual three hour block with sacrament meeting, sunday school, and priesthood/relief society meetings, we just have a two hour meeting with various talks from different ward members and leaders. It was really awesome. One cool thing about it was that instead of normal prelude music by an organ or piano, an orchestra made up of various ward members played hymn arrangements. Good old cultured Germany.
You know you're a missionary when...
You start measuring life in transfers (6 week periods).
Love you all. Every stinkin' person who takes the time to read funny and not-funny stories and hear once again that I know that this is God's church and that He loves all of us :)
Sister Claire Michelle Woodward