Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 12

Guten Tag friends and family!!!!! Oh I just miss you all!
I've officially made it through my first transfer in Germany! 
The time is going so quickly! CRAZY!

Our last district meeting all together :(
Elder Kent and Schmidt are transferred to a new area (this pic was with a self timer and on a music special)
We had transfer calls on Saturday morning. All the missionaries in the mission get on a huge conference call and the mission president and APs go through every area. They tell you whether you'll be staying in your area or moving to another. The Vermillions (a senior couple in Dortmund) invited some of missionaries over for breakfast and then we hooked up our phone to a speaker to listen to the call together. We all went around and made our predictions before the call. I knew I would be staying in Dortmund because I'm still being trained. I'll be here for at least another transfer. After then it's fair game! We knew that Elder Kent would be leaving because he's been in Dortmund for like 8 months! Elder Schmidt was transferred too! He was completely shocked because he's been in Dortmund the same time as me. Transfer calls are kind of just sit around waiting to hear where you'll be for the next 6 weeks!

Transfer calls breakfast! - the elders
We had an appt. this week with the other elders to visit with a woman in our ward. She is a recent member but her husband is not. We go with the elders so we can teach her and they can teach him. Every time we go there they feed us so much food. This time they had us sitting in this lights, one candle lit, and it was like 500 degrees. They just gave us a bunch of polish food and then left. haha! There we were sitting in candlelight alone. So special.....she fed us mushrooms but they were huge and looked like wild mushrooms. Elder Weidmann asked if she grew them in her garden and she was like "No, I found them in the woods." Oh boy....Elder Schmidt's face was priceless. Well.....if we got sick in the morning that would be why! I'm acutally suprised that I haven't gotten sick yet on my mission.....knock on wood! My poor body is put through a lot....still going strong!

The sisters at transfer calls
This week Sister Kearl and I had to teach Sunday School. Special times.......the topic was the Last Judgment. The GML wanted to meet with us to plan our lesson. We met with him and he pretty much came with our lesson prepared haha! I don't know why he didn't just teach it. I was a little nervous but it actually went really well! We have some chatty people in our ward so they just talk a lot of the time :) We also had a new couple at church on Sunday. They came in contact with the church at our street display a couple of weeks ago. They are from Iran and have set a baptismal date for the 14th of December! So cool! They are the nicest couple! I am just reminded that the Lord has people prepared to receive the gospel. This couple just walked right up to us and a few days later decided to be baptized!

It's just kind of dark and gloomy like this every day all day. Still so pretty!
When I got my mission call a lot of people told me Germany was going to be a really hard mission and maybe not many people would be baptized. At times it can be really hard. German people are kind of stubborn and very set in their ways. But there are still so many people who have a deisre to learn. Most people haven't even heard of the church here. It amazes me! If anything we just try to familiarize people with the church. 

Waiting for a train. So cold!!!
Last Tuesday, Sister Kearl and I had a goal for the day to get a new investigator and to give out 2 Book of Mormons. We prayed specially for our goals. Like very specifically! Every prayer we had, we told the Lord about our goals and how we needed help to achieve them. Later that day we did some street contacting. We were walking down the street and talking to people for about an hour with no luck. All we were able to give people was a pass along card. Then as we were walking back to the train we talked to a girl and she took a Book of Mormon.

And then Sister Kearl saw a girl walking toward us and she was like "Ok your turn!" I love just stopping people! It's so fun and I try to make a little game out of it. Sister Kearl and I have a competition to see who can have the most awkward contact of the day. It's not like we try to be awkward but sometimes it happens. This girl walking towards us had her headphones in and we were able to stop her. We ended up giving her a Book of Mormon, getting her number, and setting up an appt for the weekend! Yay!

The trio and their comp ties......they are all germans......
 My least favorite thing to talk about is goal setting! I hate it! I didn't used to but now I do! So....the girl ended up not meeting with us but I think I needed to learn an important lesson. There is a lot of power in setting goals and turning to the Lord for His help. I'm trying to be better at my goal setting because we are such better missionaries when we do.

I love the story of the Brother of Jared in the Book of Mormon. He needed a solution for the barges they built. They had no way to see and they needed light. Instead of the Lord giving him a solution, the Brother of Jared came up with his own idea and took it to the Lord. There's no way his idea could have worked without the Lord's help. All he had to do was ask for help and he was able to find a solution. I think our goals can be the same. If we take our goals to the Lord and ask for His help in acheiving them, we will be so much more successful! 

Just walking to the church.
I hope you are all doing well!!! I will miss Thanksgiving! What a wonderful holiday! I hope you take time to think about what you are grateful for! We won't be celebrating it here but I have been thinking a lot about what I'm thankful for. I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve a mission. So many sacrifices have been made in my behalf in order for me to serve. I am so grateful!! My life has been changed! I am thankful to be serving in Germany. I am thankful for a wonderful companion who leads by example. I am thankful for a loving God who sent His son so that we can return to live with Him. I am thankful for the gospel and the purpose it gives my life. What a blessing! 

Trying to catch up on some journal writing.
I love you all! 
Sister Madsen

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