Am I alive?! I have no idea.....It is so true when they say the days are so long but the weeks go by quickly. Sometimes to make it through a day I just tell myself that I have to make it through this one hour.
Time is very strange.
A lot has happened this week and I'm going to try my best
to remember the good stuff.
Here in the Frankfurt mission instead of calling us "Greenies" they call us "Goldens." It's a nicer way to say...."they don't know a dang thing." When I'm introduced at church as a Golden the people are like "Oooooh." I'm still making my way through the German language. Sometimes we go to an appt. and literally all I can do is say the prayer. It can be frustrating at times.
I'm learning to be very patient with myself.
|Sister Kearl and I waiting for a train!|
I've been able to meet a lot more of the ward members! I am so impressed by them. The ward is so small and some people have to travel up to 2 hours to get to the church each Sunday. It really is a sacrifice for them. There's only one young women and maybe a couple young men. you can tell these members come to be spiritually edified and not for a social experience.
We are so spoiled in Utah with the ward house just a minute down the street and then we still struggle to get to church every Sunday! The Dortmund ward is so humble and I'm loving to get to know the members. I'm grateful they are so patient with my German!
The ward mission leader interviewed me this week for the ward blog. Here's the link if you want to take a look. I can barely understand all of it but there's a picture! Hollah! http://gemeinde-mission-dortmund.blogspot.de/
This week on the way to an appt we were walking with the elders down this road. I was kind of having a hard time that day and as I was walking I was thinking to myself "how am I going to do this for 18 months....or how will I ever learn the language?" It was rather pathetic. But then as I was thinking that I totally biffed it and face planted on the ground.
Leaves in the face and all....
...Now this wasn't a graceful fall at all. My skirt was up and there was leaves in my hair. Oh my goodness so embarrassing. I think God has a pretty good sense of humor. I banged up my knee pretty bad so now every time I pray I am reminded of it. When I was laying on the ground in the dirt I realized that I shouldn't be complaining because it could always be worse.
Oh my life is so special.....
|Where we play soccer Saturday mornings. I hate playing soccer but at least it is beautiful!|
We've been teaching a lot of less active members. People are very stubborn here and set in their ways. But they are also very loyal to what they believe is true. Sister Kearl and I are trying really hard to get better at contacting. We ride the trains everywhere and it usually takes
about an hour to get to an appt.
One day we split with the elders and started street contacting. I was with Elder Weidmann who doesn't know any English so I had no idea what were doing. You have to be totally shameless when you contact people so we were just going for it. We ended up giving out a Book of Mormon within the 20 minutes that we were doing that.....so worth it!!
As a district we have also turned to singing on the street. Elder Kent has a gutair and Elder Schmidt and I like to sing. So we were basically street musicians for a while. Again totally shameless.
There's a lot of Turkish people here. Sister Kearl and I were in the sketchiest part of town Friday night and I'm pretty sure it was like a Turkish community. Our appt. fell through and it's starting to get really dark early. So we finally found a train stop. We were about to get off the train when this young Turkish man was staring at my name tag. He said "Hmmmm.....Sister Madsen.......House Party?" and I was like "Hmmmm.....nein danke.......Das Buch Mormon?" hahaha! So creepy!
|Pretty area in Dortmund. We attempted some street contacting here....|
I've decided I need to find new ways to cope with my stress so I was reading this booklet thing they give missionaries called "adjusting to missionary life." Yes I was desperate. The book talks a lot about how prayer and scripture study really help with stress. I always thought that was good but never really helped with my stress.
Then the next morning during personal study I was reading in D&C 50 and in verse 24-25 it says:
"That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you."
I was thinking about when we study and pray we are receiving light from God. And when we have light there cannot be darkness. In fact we "chase the darkness from among us." I think for me, my negative thinking and stress is my darkness in my life right now. I've noticed that I feel the most peace when I have study time in the morning. I can truly testify that reading the scriptures and praying can help us deal with the stress in our lives. I have seen it happen in my own life.
|It's absolutely beautiful this time of the year!|
All is well here in Dortmund. I'm stretching every day and at times it is really hard. But I am learning so much about myself and my Savior.
My relationship with God grows stronger every day as I am dependent on him in everything I do!
Love you all and miss you dearly!
Email me if you get a chance! firstname.lastname@example.org