Monday, February 10, 2014

2-10-14: Trunky for Heaven

Trunky: (adj), wanting to go home, a strong desire to pack one's bags and leave
sl. missionary lingo
There's your dictionary definition in case the title was confusing. I'll come back to that.

Now for your German weather report.
The sun shone this week and it was a marvelous time to be doing missionary work! Not that there's ever a bad time, but it's kind of ridiculous how much of an impact the weather makes on missionary life.
Anyways. Enough talk about the weather. Except I think I talk about the weather every week. whatevs.

Smiley people
I have met some of the most smiley people ever in the past few weeks. I thought I'd give an overview of their smiles.
1. Frenchie Salal from Algeria--who speaks no English and approximately 8 words in German. We chased him down last week and through various gesticulations and props made an appointment. This week we showed up with a French Book of Mormon and a list of points about our church that Eric from Cameroon helped us write. J Except we still couldn't understand him so we called another sister who can speak French and she talked to him and apparently he wanted instructions to the church. So we gave them to him. And awkwardly tried to carry on a conversation using the 8 words that we both understand. He is such a smiley man though and brought us glasses of Coke to drink at his doorstep during this language struggle and continued to grin.
2. Samuel from Cameroon--who we had that awesome lesson with in December but haven't met with since. Except we ran into him walking this week and he was SO happy to see us. I have never seen a happier African and I've met a lot of happy Africans here. He just grinned and grinned that he had run into us and though he hasn't read in the Book of Mormon, his face describes the joy therein.
3. Adrian, also from Cameroon--who happens to Samuel's brother. Except in Cameroon they call everyone "brother" so he is actually his cousin. But he is also a happy soul who speaks perfect German and met with us outside even though it was mildly chilly.
4. ANNIE from China. Ohmygosh she is so funny and cute. She's 21 and is only here for a year on an exchange but she has been making a lot of progress with us and is pretty much just a hoot. I thought I'd make an extra section for things she's said:
·  "Yes, I prayed to the God and I felt a feeling of peace. How often do you guys pray to the God?"
·  "Oh no, do I look old? I need to put on some makeups!"
·  "Careful you don't eat so late because otherwise you'll get fat."
·  (to the members who came with us to teach her) "Oh, that makes sense that you are siblings because you are so beautiful and he is so handsome!"
·  "I feel like my faith in God is growing. I mean, when you guys are here I just see this light in your eyes and I want to keep learning!"
She's just darling. So blessed to have found her. On a bus. Because that's where we find pretty much all of our investigators.

The United Nations...all in one building
So we are often in the area of a special, slightly ghetto building that contains representatives from every country ever. Okay, not every country, but a lot. Somehow we ended up having contact from lots of people who live here and I just thought I'd list off the countries so you can get a sample: Algeria (our smiley Frenchie!), Cuba, Chile, Cameroon, Romania, Spain, Mozambique, Libya, and (surprise) Germany! Woot woot. We go all around the world in a ten minute rotation.

The Lost
Our dear Serbians have had some troubles and have been unable to meet with us and our last phone conversation was short and curt, namely that it was super crazy at their house and with their family was kind of like a goodbye L. But hopefully just a break! We went by a lot and it was too crazy every time for them to let us in. So goes it sometimes L.

Companion Reunion!
I got to go on exchanges this week with Sister Schwantes, my companion from Altona! Ahh it was so cool to serve with and see her again. She's a bomb missionary and though still somewhat reserved, has no qualms about talking to everyone, just like it was when we were in Hamburg together.

The Missionary Purpose...
is to help people come unto Christ through faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. It is also our job to be ready to give themas (spiritual thoughts) and play the piano at a moment's notice (the lovely Sister Rasmussen played a lovely spontaneous musical number during sacrament meeting yesterday). Despite all of our focus on planning, we must simply always be ready to do an assortment of random tasks.

Real Life Fairy Tales
is where my companion comes from. Sister Ricks (the other sister in our apartment) made the astute observation of Sister Rasmussen's similarity to Giselle from Enchanted. Singing, cleaning, crafty, constant joy and all, she deserves to have a Disney movie made about her. Everything about her emanates light, frivolity, and energy. J

Trunky for Heaven
We (my fairy tale companion and I) gave a thema at a Zone Training Meeting this week about families. Weird for a missionary audience, eh? You would think that would make the thirty missionaries in our zone trunky (aka, feeling like they want to go home and be with their own families). Instead we helped them get trunky for heaven. Because that's what we do as missionaries: we help people get trunky for heaven, where they can be with their families forever!  To that I'd like to add two quotes, the first from Elder Nelson: "Priesthood authority has been restored so that families can be sealed eternally."
Then from President Monson, "A mission is a family affair."
My mission is about my family, but it is also about the families of so many others. I am so grateful for the support of my family and for their love and I want other families to have the same joy and stability and hope that I have from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We pack our bags together.

Also I just wanted to say a quick thanks to Herr Taylor, Jenny, and Caleb, for giving me opportunities in high school to share my beliefs (sogar auf Deutsch!), which really helped me with the desire to go on a mission. You are all great.

That is all. Be a smiley person this week. J

-- Sister Claire Michelle Woodward

I can't believe I've been out a year!

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