Warning: A lot happened this week. The length of this email could equate to a small fortune if I was charged per letter. Fortunately, I can send it via email for free and talk as much as I want about rains of sweat, water, and fish. Be ye forewarned: brevity is not my strong suit. Nor is organization this week.
Sweat drops are falling from my face...
It was really hot this week. Especially for someone who has never been exposed to a ton of heat and humidity before. I suffered a mild heat stroke on Tuesday after spending hours outside talking to people and then also got a pretty nasty sinus infection. Again. So I had several days feeling sickly and sweaty, but that hindered us not and we carried on in good faith and humor.
On Wednesday, it was around 35 degrees C (about 95 degrees F) and someone we were visiting gave us hot chocolate. Just to warm our hearts a little bit. And moisturize our faces a little more.
We had a zone conference this week too here in Leipzig and the heat continued until that night (Thursday), when it began to POUR rain. In fact, it poured so much that all of the straßenbahns (streetcars) stopped going. So rather than stay stranded at our church center, Sister D and I briefly discussed the possibility of building a boat to sail home. That idea did not go far and we had a wonderful time walking home (safely and semi-professionally). That concludes this week's weather reports.
Every day, we have an hour where we get to study German. Apparently I should have added some other languages to my study because I have exhausted my meager Spanish and French vocabulary in the past couple of weeks. Fortunately, all of the French people I've talked to can speak English as well, but I was not so lucky with the Spaniard we found. I was able to tell him that I had a Book of Mormon in Spanish and that I liked Jesus Christ and I understood he was here for work. Couldn't remember the word for "to give" in Espanol but...he has our website. The moral of this story is that you never know when you could need to use another language. So learn some words. Though I do not regret learning "mira los gusanos" (“look at the worms!”) ...I recommend learning useful words.
Quotes of the week
Elder B (an elder in our zone who is very funny and…individual): "Missionaries, smile to show people that this message doesn't suck!" Every day my brother :)
Cute little Frodo-like child on the straßenbahn as he watched a lady running to try to make the bahn: "Du schaffst es, du schaffst es!" (“You can do it, you can do it!”) ...bahn starts to pull away..."oh, sie hat es nicht geschafft." (“Oh, she didn’t do it.”) Trust me, it was adorable.
Well, we met four more Africans this week that want to learn more about our message and we got back in touch with the golden Chaku. We invited them to church on Saturday and Jean-Marie showed up to sacrament meeting the next day, looking sharp in a suit. I translated the meeting for him and he LOVED it. He said, "I will come every week to this church until I go home!" Which is in August. Maybe we can convince him to stay a little longer. I love Africans. in case you forgot.
Gott ist Gott
I have felt sufficiently humbled this week as I left important documents in unimportant places (but they were rescued!), took us in the wrong direction for an eating appointment and showed an hour late (but the family was forgiving!), and was physically weak from illness (but I got better!). I ended every day knowing for sure that God is God and that He loves His children. I love that during maybe one of my weakest weeks, God poured down many miracles. I know He takes the simple and weak to do great things and I know for sure that without Him, I would be able to do about as much as an ostrich attempting to weave. Which is not very much. I love seeing so many miracles every day. Look for the ones in your lives.
Sister Claire Michelle Woodward