Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 16

Merry Christmas! 

The time has finally arrived! I am so excited to be able to skype my family! Probably the best christmas present right now! We have member appts scheduled for the 24, 25, and the 26. It's just going to be a lot of eating.....German food.......

We had a Chinese family home evening last week.....
Just playing ping pong with a member at our Chinese FHE...
Chinese Abend FHE
This week flew by! I had a split with the Sister Training Leader, baked Christmas cookies with a member, got my Visa, went caroling with the Elders in the freezing cold, and...just a lot more things I can't really think of right now.....

Baking cookies at a member's house!
She made me wrap like 50 presents......
This last Saturday and Sunday were a real changing point, though, in pretty much how I've been feeling as a missionary. We had interviews with the Mission President on Saturday. He is such an inspired man. Literally everything he told me was exactly what I needed to hear. 

I told him how sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with everything I need to improve that I don't feel like the best missionary I can be. He told me to stop talking to myself that way. He told me that I was a great example to all the missionaries I am around. Pretty much he just made me feel good about myself haha! I decided that I need to stop worrying if I am good enough and just realize that what I am doing is enough.
It sounds pretty simple when I type it out.

Split pic with Sister Miller....comps for the day :)
Later that day Sister Kearl and I decided that we needed to have a little "district inventory" at our coordination meeting with the other Dortmund Elders. We just have noticed that we lack a little unity and such......the details aren't important...........but we decided to bring it up. It ended up being like a therapy sesh....super special........but it really helped to get everything straightened out. Things are SO much better now! The elders just told us they don't really know how to interact with sisters. 
And I was like "we're just making it so you'll be better husbands some're welcome!" 

We had a little Christmas party with all the Dortmund missionaries. Elder Weidmann organized a secret santa gift exchange and then he made us lunch. Seriously so sweet!
Sunday we had Marion's baptism! She was rebaptized into the church but it has been a 14 month process for her to prepare to be baptized. Sometimes Sister Kearl and I felt like we really didn't do anything to help her get to this point. So many missionaries are responsible for this baptism. We were kind of having a bad day and feeling like what we were doing wasn't good enough for our area. We prayed together one morning that we would be able to know how God felt about our missionary work.

Our secret santa gifts under the tree
Later that day we had an appt with Marion. We were getting everything squared away for her baptism and she was very emotional. She told us that there was a reason that we were her missionaries right now. She said that she knows that when we speak that we are sincere. She told us that we were the best missionaries. Now I don't wirte this to say that "Oh we're the best missionaries lalalalalala look at us!" but I know that what Marion told us that day was answer to our prayer and that it was what God wanted to tell us. Of course I was just balwing while she was telling us that......that's fine! Her baptism went really well! Sister Kearl gave an amazing talk!!! 
I was so proud of her.

Marion's baptism!
Later Sunday evening Sister Kearl and I were talking and we just realized that all we can do is our best and that is enough for God. I'm realizing that every missionary has different talents and it's not fair to compare these talents. One of Sister Kearl's talents/strengths is that she is really good with people one on one and is really able to develop and strong connection with people who most don't take the time to get to know. While another elder in our district is really good at contacting people on the trains. They are so different but that doesn't mean one is a better missionary! 

Sister Kearl and I had nothing to eat Sunday night but I had your package in our apt. And I thought maybe you sent some mac n cheese. So I made Sister Kearl open the box, take out the mac n cheese, and then tape it back up. Kind of desparate times....... was a good week! I hope all is well back home!
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas! Thank you for the emails! 

Sister Madsen

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