Monday, July 22, 2013

Überraschung- now that is a fun word (July 22)

Überraschung (surprise)- I am still in Passau! woot woot.

I have had a pretty busy week, but let me tell you. This week is crazy. I am VERY excited to see how it turns out!!

So, I will go in order of course :) Sorry it is so long. I had a lot of time today. :)
Monday was Pday. We played basketball with the elders. It was an ordeal to find a basketball and a court, but we did it! Made my mission, and real mom proud! haha. Cool thing that happened on Monday: We saw this guy at the park that had previously set up an appointment with but he didn't show up. We saw him and he explained everything. He lost our number, he even tried calling the number under Mormons in the phonebook. He felt really bad. So we were able to get his number. We are both really excited to meet with him.

Tuesday, District meeting. The cool thing about Tuesday was on the way home, we met this woman. She is from Argentina but is living with her German husband in Austria. She is a sweetheart. We had a wonderful conversation with her, she asked if she could keep the Book of Mormon.... Sister Garrett and I looked at each other, and eventually agreed... haha, when we told her we could get her one in Spanish. She was so excited. When we told her missionaries from Austria could come drop it off, she was even more excited. :)

Wednesday, was Passau's finding day. Well, an attempted finding day at least. We had a great time in our English class because a member was in the church. He loved it, I bet he'll be back next week. On Wednesday, Sister Garrett and I got blessings from our District Leader who was on Austauch (exchanges). It was so cool. The priesthood is such a wonderful thing! Some really hard things have been going on and it just helped us feel so much better! It was great! We are so blessed to have a way for our Heavenly Father to help us in words when we are in need.

Thursday was really fun. We had an appointment with the family in our ward. We had lots of cardboard sitting around, so we made the armor of God. It was really fun! We threw fiery darts, newspaper balls, at him with and without the armor on. Not only was it fun, but S____ said, "That was a great message, it is applicable to many things in our lives." haha. PS, Sister Sagmeister made Mexican food for dinner..... Needless to say, she had four VERY happy missionaries. We also taught a man who doesn't believe in God. It breaks my heart. He has been taught for a long time, he just needs to have some faith and try. He is the cutest old man though. He volunteers at an old folks home and helps his elderly neighbors with chores they can't do. He also made us the yummiest tea. Yes it was 100 thousand degrees, yes, it was boiling hot. One day, Germans will decide to have air conditioning. One day.

Friday, we taught a super cool guy. This guy we had met dooring a month or so ago. We came by a couple weeks ago, and had a long talk about the Law of Chastity and agency. So he is atheist, and had very little experience with prayer. We pretty much taught the first two lessons. He asked very good questions and we had a really enjoyable conversation. When we said, so do you think these things are possible? He said no. So we went to the basics. He decided that he would pray everyday for a week to see if he can feel God's presence. Then we will meet with him and go from there. It was a great lesson. Sister Garrett and I came out SO excited! We then went on another adventure. Trying to get to the woman's house who came to church last week. Very difficult to get there as she is SO FAR from the train. After a two hour train ride, we finally found someone who could tell us where the street was, after an hour walk, we had to turn around. Cute place though (see picture below on bridge). However, my legs are again covered in bites.

Saturday, so that you know, that woman who has been coming to church? We had an adventure trying to get to her house. Well we FINALLY met with her and she is now a new investigator! woot woot. It was quite an adventure, we went to the house that we hadn't been to before. She wasn't there. Because it was Saturday, we found out we would have to stay in the little dorf (village) for 4 hours. While waiting we talked to people. One person said something like " are you kidding me, this is a dorf, we all know each other, and we all have the exact same beliefs." So we were really wondering what we had done. Then we found out that a bus would be going this woman’s other house. So we got on that bus. Perfect timing, and best of all, SHE WAS THERE! So let me tell you a little about her. She is 85. She is super fit, but really frail. She can't see or hear very well. But missionaries taught her 20 years ago, but things never went anywhere. She felt that she needed to come back to church, so she takes the bus, with her little dog, for an hour to come to church, where it is difficult to hear the speakers. Such faith! She is the CUTEST old woman. She owns 2 houses, a farm, and a business (which I think is the farm). She is immer unterwegs (always on the go). We are currently trying to find her a big text Book Of Mormon or a slow audio cd. She is so cool! When she speaks she speaks in German, but then every once in a while, she will throw in an easy English word, with a bunch of hard German words to help us understand.

With all these adventures, I kind of feel like I am serving a mission before phones.

Sunday was good. It was really hot in church, and the speakers spoke really fast. So overall, it was hard to understand... But we did get to finally meet with someone that we have been trying really hard to meet as she has been struggling. She really enjoyed meeting with us. It seems like she was not sufficiently prepared before she was baptized. She may not have some basic understanding of the scriptures. So we have some work to do. :) It was great to meet with her.

And now, TODAY! As if this email wasn't already really detailed. Today has been AMAZING and I am really happy! So here come the details!

This morning, we woke up and cleaned the apartment because the ehepaars were coming to check it. I made Hoot-an-nannies. Sister Garrett opened her Birthday presents. We had some studies, got our apartment checked and went out to teach the Gospel.

The Flash Flood Came Back. During the flood, we helped this lady who also had a neighbor there helping. We had a brief conversation with her. I played soccer with her child and we had a really nice time. Two weeks ago, we went back to that neighborhood but didn’t run into them. This morning we ran into she and her daughter on the bus. They immediately invited us in and offered us water. I am pretty sure we were the most disgusting looking girls she’s ever seen in skirts. It is DANG hot. We talked to her about what we do as missionaries and about her life and what not. We talked about the Book of Mormon and some of her beliefs. She is an great mother. She has really raised her kid’s right. The daughter and son sat down, talked to us about religion for an hour. They are such a AMAZING FAMILY. We had some GREAT conversations. Near the end she said- We would like to invite you over for dinner. How cool! But embarrassing as our next week is CRAZY. We didn’t have any open slots in our schedule until Friday.... Usually we are finding all day, then one week we are busy out of our minds! Oh well, I am so excited. They are also very excited, hugs all around. The son shared personal stories. This family seriously has the best morals of any family I have seen. I am so excited to meet with them again!

Well now, we are emailing and then off to Sister Garrett’s birthday dinner!!

This week, as I said, is so busy. We even had to ask the Elders if they could go pick up our dritt (3rd companion) from Müunchen! They are so nice and willing! I feel bad, but we don't have a way to contact her and change the appointment, and they told us about the dritt 2 days after transfer calls. Anyways, I am excited what this week brings.

Have a great week!

Sister Regnier

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Plan of Salvation is so wonderful (July 15)

Hello everyone!
So this week, I had my second Austauch (exchange). It was in München (Munich). So I got to serve with my grandma ( I have a whole different family out here, haha. that just means she trained my trainer). I never like leaving Passau but it was nice. We got to give a lesson, that went so, so well. I really enjoyed it. Plus her German is so great, nothing was holding us back :) haha. On the way back, Sister Garrett and I had an adventure. The train split, which I have yet to see, with out ANY warning. So we were stuck in a city for an hour, which made us miss our English class. It was very surprising and all the people were not too happy. We then had a finding day in Neuötting. Where we encountered more train problems forcing us to stay in Pfarrkirchen for a while. At first, I wasn't too happy, but this is the cutest town! (the picture with the horse in it). I would totally love to serve in such a little town, it is too bad it is so far away from any churches.

This week was Hochzeit. It was cooler than I imagined. We saw lots of performances, and even though we didn't have tickets to see the big things, we got to see so much! Like the really strong guy that was lifting up the kids on a stick, the coolest flag performance I have ever seen! (they were throwing the flags at each other to really fun music), human towers, amazing human gymnastics, and then there was the city. The city was the coolest part. It was an area where these people were just living as they would have back then. So they were making dinner, playing games, just living life. The people that do that, pay to do it and are just living like that for the week or so. We also hiked up to a castle and went inside the church. It was really fun to be with the district and see so many cool things. I would have loved to live in that era with how happy they were making everything, maybe just with less beer. They were roasting a straight up cow. I have never seen so much meat. There was a lot to see!

Church was really nice yesterday, I really liked Relief Society. I have not been able to go to Relief Society for a long time, so it was really wonderful. We talked about Relief Society, its purpose, service, and such things. It was wonderful and you could feel the spirit. It was nice because one lady who had never been to church before came, and she really could use the support of the Relief Society. Also, someone who hasn’t come to church in a while was really excited to be there and is really warming up to the members. It was just a great feeling the whole time. She anxiously asked questions and pondered what we were saying. In German it is called Frauenhilfvereinigung. I am not the best translator but it includes the words woman, help, and unite. How cool.

This morning I studied the parables in Matt. 13. The Plan of Salvation is so wonderful. It is referred to everywhere. We have had people say that they would be fine if they didn't make it to the top kingdom. That is so sad! I couldn't imagine not being the Tares in the Barn. Or not giving everything I have just to buy the field that the treasure is on. Parables are really a cool thing that I haven't given much thought to before. So that is what I am going to work on studying this week, so I can really understand and know them.

Have a great week!

Sister Regnier

The city of Pfarrkirchen






Monday, July 8, 2013

Concern for the One (July 8)

On Monday, there was an African festival in Passau. It was quite fun! Since we know a lot of Africans it was cool to see them all there, dancing and having a lot of fun. Passau is the party place. Yesterday there was a HUGE flea market, good thing it was Sunday, or I would be broke. It was the coolest stuff! Sister Garrett and I were trying to figure out ways to ship it all home :)

This week I had my first interview with the President. It was really nice. Sister Miles was able to help Sister Garrett and I a ton with our main investigator. Plus we had an outstanding district meeting where Sister Garrett and I were able to speak on something we are very passionate about- Helping our untersuchers (investigators) have faith. Before coming out on my mission, I did not understand some steps before baptism. However, seeing the number of less actives and working with them has made me see one of the biggest mistakes is for someone to be baptized before they are ready or have a FIRM testimony. This is so important! I am glad that members are asked to work with newly baptized converts. It is super helpful. I really enjoyed a talk this week called "Concern for the One" –by Joseph B. Wirthlin. I would recommend every member to read it!

This week we had our first English class/4th of July party. It was really fun and went well. The day after, the Sagmeisters had us over to celebrate the actual 4th. We sang The Star Spangled Banner and Bruder Sagmeister got in his Lederhosen! It was fun.

Our GML, a returned missionary from Frankfurt went dooring with us this week after he helped us in a lesson. It was very memorable. We got a lot of ideas, and he was a great example. I wish I could talk so easily and with such personal touch as Germans can with each other. It would make it a lot more interesting!

So I bet you thought my adventure days were over? no way. This week Sister Garrett and I had quite the adventure. We got permission to go out of our area to visit a potential investigator- It was so fun. We rode a train to the prettiest place! But we had no maps, and the internet was down, so when we got there we had no idea where to go. Iphones may actually be nice :) When we figured it out, and found her house (it was behind another house!) we found out she was at her OTHER house. So we hopped on a bus (way nicer than the buses I am used to) and went walking in the pouring rain to find her other house. Turns out, no one in the town knew where that street was (3 KM down the road) and it was getting late, so our adventure had a sad ending. But it was BEAUTIFUL and when she showed up at church, she was so so so happy we had tried to visit and had left a note.

We were able to teach someone less-active, who I feel is becoming more active. We talked about the temple and about family history. He wants to call relatives and complete a pedigree chart. He is VERY excited about it. Hopefully, he will be also able to make it to the temple one day! It was great. I could just feel his ancestors rejoicing!

With the other less active, we went and picked strawberries. It reminded me a lot of when we used to go do things like that. It was really fun, we sang hymns and really strengthened our relationship and talked about faith. I am so excited to start reteaching the lessons with her!

On another wonderful note, we had 39 people at church, yeah, I did not type that wrong. It was so cool. On Tuesday we met this guy on a train, and he just showed up! We also had two member families there. It was quite the party. Literally, the Sagmesiters brought food!

Okay time to update you on S______. He is doing so great! We started reading Isaiah, which is quite interesting. He also partook in his first fast. He is such an example. When we had treats after church, I about died because I still had a couple hours left for my fast. But I went into a room and found him sitting there and we got to talking and he said, "I know God will bless me more if I wait until the time I have planned." He is such an example! By the way, we didn't even ask him to fasting or anything. We told him that our mission was doing a mission fast for the people that we are praying for and he said something along the lines of, well I have to fast too, because that wouldn't be right for you to do that for me, while I am not. He kills me. We have started planning for the baptism-It is a lot of details, but exciting!

This week, we were able to go help more in the Mormon Helping Hands in Deggendorf. It is always fun to get a bunch of missionaries together working hard. The family I was helping was playing music. I have yet to feel so awkward. So much makes sense to me now. Bad music really does take away the spirit. Simple as that !

This week I am working on obedience as a Chirst-like attribute. Today during study, I enjoyed quite a few things. We are promised that as we obey, our faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom will increase. The freedom is quite an interesting one, agency is so wonderful! I do NOT want to be that foolish, not-so-obedient man that builds his house upon the sand. I want to work my life with the statement, If you love me keep my commandments. It is the least we can do :) I really like 1 John 2:5 and James 3:3. But let's be honest. James of course sticks out because it is talking about bridling a horse... ;) But, it did make me think a lot about agency and that phrase "whole body." Any thoughts? I also wanted to share a great quote from L Tom Perry, "The discipline contained in daily obedience (and a couple other things) builds an armor around you of protection and safety from temptation that beset you as you proceed through mortality." No wonder it is a Christ-like attribute, it is dang important.

Well we are going to Hockzeit this week, so today was only a half PDAY, but we were supposed to do our emails. So that has yet to come. If only I had lederhosen, I could get out of wearing a skirt.... haha
I hope you have a fun week!

Sister Regnier

4th of July Party

Monday, July 1, 2013

I can't believe this transfer is almost over (july 1)

Can you believe I have been here so long! wow!

So this week, well it wasn't too interesting…

We had dinner at the Sagmeister's on Tuesday. They invited our main investigator! It was so fun to have them all together! We talked about service. I about started crying when we shared a scripture and he commented with everyone sitting there. It was just awesome. It was also cool because Schwester Sagmeister has given us a referral, and she was there too! Yeah, it was awesome and very crowded :)

So teaching our investigator went so wonderful this week! He told us that he would really like to serve a mission. "I would especially like to go to Africa, because they really need it. They still worship trees and rivers and stuff." He also thinks missions should be longer. He has the best heart. We taught on Chastity. It was an awesome lesson. Before we even got to all the blessings, he was pointing them out. It was so cool. He also told us that we must really study well, because we know the commandments well. Unfortunately, his previous date does not work. But everything is set for the 20th! I am so excited. It's really cool that we met him the first week I was in Passau, and He will be baptized on possibly the last (or the last week I am in training). We went through a lot of details on Baptism this week. And I just know he is so ready to make these covenants. It is really an awesome thing, to see someone ready for this, someone that is choosing salvation. Anyways, I could talk about him for hours. But he is doing great.

We went over to a member’s house this week. We taught her on my most favorite subject. Temples and Family History. (Some seriously hard Vocabulary FYI). It was an awesome lesson. Afterwards, she told us that she continually procrastinates the temple work of her sister (its a big trip to go to the temple). However, she decided right then and there that she would go to it! It was awesome.

We met a quite interesting guy this week. He had some very interesting views. I have never had a first contact with someone where we bring up the law of chastity and Word of Wisdom. It was very.... interesting. However, I think when he understands that agency is what we have. He will really improve. Sister Garrett pulled the "Can we meet with you and your girlfriend sometime." He was all for it. This could be great. We could have a wedding! Okay, these are very high hopes. But if he is willing to pray about our message. It will happen.
We also had an old lady give us a tour of her apartment and show us EVERYTHING. It was quite funny. It was sad because you could tell she was lonely. She was all about her material possessions. However, her husband is a priest of some kind.... I really wish EVERYONE would just accept the gospel :)

On Saturday we had a finding day in Landshut. It was very rainy, and I did not dress for the occasion. But, we did find them 2 people. One of which was really cool. We were perfect missionaries. Shared Moroni 10, asked him to pray about it, got his number, and set up a return appointment. It was very exciting. I hope that the elders teach him! They also had an 8-year-old baptism that day that we got to stay for. I know for a fact, I will need to pack tissues on the 20th. Because as a missionary, baptisms are quite the experience. Even if it is some girl you have never met in your life.

I can't believe this transfer is almost over. And I have a PACKED schedule! We have president interviews, zone training, district Pday, Finding day and Sister Garrett’s birthday! Then, after all that, I may be leaving Passau. I am seriously scared. I could stay here my whole 18 months! I might leave Bayern before even learning any Bayerish! And that would really be "schade!"

I have been noticing that President Monson really puts a focus on learning from the past, living (serving) in the present, and preparing for the future. I have seen it in multiple talks, some from before he was a prophet. It is really a cool thought and something LDS people should be really good at. It is important to remember what is going with you in the next life. And what we should be doing right now. Anyways, that's all for now folks.

Sister Regnier

So Sister Garrett and I were not going to put up with our hair any longer! 
So this is what we look like now! 
Sister Garrett donated her hair, so there is a big difference. 

 Sweet picture with his glasses huh?
He LOVES the Book of Mormon. :)