Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wow, what a wonderful week in the mission field (Aug 26)

Wow, what a wonderful week in the mission field.

I was able to witness someone I have come to love enter the waters of baptism and be confirmed as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. S___ is now a member of the church and has the gift of the Holy Ghost. I am so proud of him. I have seen him come a long way from when I first met him. His baptism was beautiful. I can't imagine it any other way. The next day, he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a great blessing, everything that was needed was said. A highlight of the weekend was definitely seeing the branch president give S___ the biggest welcoming hug I have ever seen. The spirit was so strong for the whole meeting. The members, who do not understand English, told me multiple times how strong the spirit was. It was a wonderful experience. I will never forget this day for the rest of my life. I wouldn't be surprised if I think about it every day.

A highlight for me this week was Zone Conference. It was seriously a pump up . I am just so happy and excited to be a missionary!!!

An interesting experience we had was while tracting. We came across this man who let us in. The second we sat on the couch he was firing off questions and before we could answer, telling us we were wrong. His questions were directed so he could loudly respond on what he believed. It was frustrating. After a while, we started to talk about prayer and how he could talk to God. He immediately started asking questions with a purpose. His voice changed. He really wanted to get the Book of Mormon in his native language. At the end of the meeting, the spirit was there, he invited us to come over again, and he had said a prayer. It was a miracle. It is so fun to watch the spirit change people.

This week we were able to teach the Chinese family again. This really resulted in us sitting there, while the Chinese-speaking member taught the lesson. The lady said a beautiful prayer asking Heavenly Father for his help so she could know the truth. She told us she felt really good about everything that was said and wants to keep meeting (of course, I found this out after the fact). The member that helped us is so cool! On the train ride back, we were sitting on the train and got to know a Japanese exchange student who now wants to get a Book of Mormon. This member blows me away. This member really shows me how I want to be when I return home.  I want to encourage every member to really help the missionaries!

Okay, I am so blessed this week. But I have one more thing that really blows me away. A man, who was less active when I first got here, passed the sacrament yesterday. The combination of S___ receiving the Holy Ghost and then seeing that, you better believe I felt like I never have before.

Although this week, my mission has been everything but hard, hard times come. But missionaries do see results from their hard work! I was able to experience that this week. Being a missionary is the best thing I have ever done. I love it. It is also the hardest thing I have ever done. The rewards are great and the hard times are worth it! Here is a quote from my Mission President's email this week.

“Anyone who does any kind on missionary work will have occasion to ask, why is it so hard? Why doesn't it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?

“You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ this is the truth and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.”
-Jeffery R. Holland MTC talk @ Provo MTC June 20, 2000

Sister Regnier

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I can't imagine going through life without the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation (August 19)

My mind is a little frazzled with the big news! (I just received an email informing me of my admittance into my desired college program, BYU’s Marriott School of Management) Also, it was quite an adventure to find this internet shop here in Munich. So let’s see if this email will make any sense. ;)

Well, it is always good to start with last Monday (a week ago). Monday evening we went out with the Branch President and his wife as well as Schwester L____ and her son. Brother H____ is the branch president in Passau. It was really enjoyable. We were very excited because they were taking us to a Mexican Restaurant in Austria! It was amazing food, however, not Mexican. It was really cool though. We would go to the bar, pick the meat we wanted (Zebra being an option) and they would cook it and bring it to us. It was really fun and I got to know the Branch President a lot better!

On Mittwoch (Wednesday), we were a little embarrassed because our Zone Leader was in Passau on AusTauch (exchanges) and no one showed up to our English class. However, miracles came from it. We were able to meet this family on the bus, who happened to get off at the same stop allowing us to chat. They are very excited to come to church next week and they seem so friendly! I love it when we meet families! :)

Friday, we went to go visit Frau M___, but she was unterwegs (on the go) again! We never catch her at home even when we make appointments. I can't even imagine how hard it would be if all of our untersuchers (investigators) didn't have cellphones.... Dad, I don't know how you did it! When we got home, we started being mothers... haha. So President Miles had this great idea to say thank you to the Branch President’s family for preparing the new apartment and all many things they do for us. So we invited them over for a “fancy” dinner. Fancy for us… , meaning Lasagna. But it was way more work than I ever expected! It went wonderfully though! We had a couple of courses. The Nachspiese (dessert) being Apfel Kuchen (Apple Pie) that I made. Let's just say the Branch President’s wife gave me permission to get married because it was so good. Haha. But it was really fun and it gave us an opportunity to use all the dishes we have in our apartment! Their family was so grateful. They said some really nice things. There was a lot of love that night, and that is just what we needed. The members here are great!

Saturday was tracking day in Landshut.

Then that brings me to Sunday, my favorite day of the week! Church was wonderful! We had a höhe rat ( haha I just think the German word for High councilman is funny). Don't be fooled, they have the same role here. We got out of sacrament late, and we only had a youth speaker.... haha. We taught S___, and that went GREAT. We went over the Baptismal questions with S____, and his testimony and understanding of the gospel SHINED. Then we decided to stop by on an Untersucher (investigator), Germans don't like it if you stop by unexpectedly.... but we couldn't get ahold of him. But he loved it, let us come in and we were able to teach him. He still thinks he "can’t pray." But I learned something from that lesson. He is usually confused and asks us all kinds of interesting questions. We decided to teach the restoration. It was so much better! I think the previous missionaries must have skimmed over that teaching. But it really shows there is order and the restoration is really the message we are sharing! It went well.

Today, we hopped on a train to Munchen (Munich). I want to tell you about the lady Sister Smith and I sat next to. She was visiting her son in Passau. We talked about EVERYTHING- Backpacking, hiking, canoeing, travel. Everything I love (but it gets better!) When she asked what I was doing here, I told her about the mission a bit and then I asked her if she had ever heard of the Mormons. She has not only heard of us, but she told me a great story of something that happened to her friend. She recounted that her friend's family was driving in the states, roughly translated, "This middle of no where place in the west, I believe it was called Utah." Anyway, the car of her friend’s family broke down while driving through Utah. They were very worried, but a Mormon family came, picked them up, let them stay at their house while their car was being fixed. If I understood correctly, they even went to church with them. So that is all that this lady had heard about our church, but she described the impression that the experience left not only on her friend’s family, but also on her! Anyway, we started talking about my personal history, aka, why my name is French. I asked her where her parents came from. She said she didn't know. BAM. PERFECT. I told her about my experiences with Genealogy and she excitingly asked me to write the internet address down (familysearch.org). She is so excited! I was excited! I finally contacted with family history! But it was awesome!!! What a wonderful experience. It was really nice and fun. I realized how nice and patient she had been with me, when a man sat down next to her and she started speaking, real/fast German... and I could no longer understand... Anyways, it was a really cool experience.

We had Mexican food for dinner, got to love big cities, well really, I don't like München that much, but, I love that it had Mexican food. I just had to wait to get Mexican food a couple days longer than I expected. :)

We then visited the Dachau concentration camp. It was interesting, but quite gloomy. It really ties into something my companions and I have been talking a lot about lately--- Life is so different with having the understanding of the Plan of Salvation. We actually spent companion study this morning talking about funerals and death and how sad it would be to not have the understanding and knowledge of The Plan of Salvation. Where is the drive? Where is the love? Where is the purpose? Seriously, it helps a lot! I can't imagine life without it.

I love being a missionary. I hope that I am able to help people see this light found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Tomorrow is Zone Conference! I am really excited!
Have a great week!!

Sister Regnier

Upper Austria

Me and my companions


Ahhhhh, Mexican food....Finally!

Monday, August 12, 2013

We learn so much from the spirit (Aug 12)

We met a couple people on the street this week, and that is always fun. We did a lot of tracting this week, a LOT. I am getting excited for the "better way." 

Something that was really cool this week was Zone Training. We talked about the scriptures and how we can be using them in Personal Study. It wasn't the typical focus-on-the-investigators role play. Instead we got into groups and all wrote down a personal question we had. Then read a chapter in the Book of Mormon together. It was the coolest thing. 1- the spirit was so strong. 2- every single person in my group got answers. It was seriously the best and something I really needed. It really made me think about how important it is to make our scripture study really personal. The Book of Mormon helps everyone with everything. The cool thing though is what the spirit teaches you when you read it. We were talking to S___ about scripture study yesterday. It was cool because we got him a journal and marking pencils, and he was SO excited to start using them. Then he brought up how it is hard he doesn't understand everything in church, because he speaks English. We were able to talk about learning by the spirit, and that really is a miracle. Because we learn so much more from the spirit. It reminded me of a week where in Relief Society, I didn't understand what was being said. But I knew the topic was family. The spirit taught me many things, including things I want to do with my future family. It is experiences like that that amaze me. This gospel is true, it is wonderful. 

So, I knew I would be eating new.... 'meat substances' on my mission, but I never would have guessed crocodile and kangaroo. Yeah, pretty crazy, I would recommend Kangaroo. Unfortunately, all three of us got food poising from the restaurant. So, I never want to eat Chinese food again. Ever. 

So I had the prettiest night sky of my life this week, its really hot during the day, but lightning storms at night. I have never seen it like this, every second new lightning was going off, making the sky a beautiful shade of purple the whole night. We have a large window above our beds, we slept with the window open all night. Seriously one of the coolest things I have ever seen. It just made the whole city a silhouette and it was just so beautiful.

English class was really fun this week. We had one member student so we taught cooking terms, and then talked him through making cookies. It was really fun and a cool way to test him on the vocabulary.

Here is a funny story. On Friday, the Elders had tracted into this guy, who opened the door in his underwear (it happens a lot) and let them in. They taught a wonderful lesson and were really excited about this guy. Anyway, they were really excited and called us after and told us about it. 
The next day, we are tracting and a guy opens the door in his whitey tighties. He was embarrassed and said he would be right back. Thinking he was going to put pants on, we were very confused when he returned to the door in the same condition. We were even more surprised when he showed us a Book of Mormon, and then started laughing when he opened the book and we saw Elder M___'s and Elder B___'s names written in it. He said, they were faster. It made me laugh. That's never happened before. 

This week we had a very cool experience. Saturday night, we met this man. We talked for a while, but he didn't have interest in the Book of Mormon or to meet with us. However, he was a very pleasant man and he said he might stop by for church sometime. The next day, we were reading with Frau M_____, and our Branch President said we have another visitor. Excited, I went out to go see and there he was sitting on a chair! He had a lot of questions in the beginning and was a bit confused by our meeting and branch. But during the opening song, he was singing the song with all his heart. President A____, our stake President, was there to give the lesson. I kid you not, he answered every single one of this guy's questions. It was awesome. I am so glad the President is so in tune with the spirit! When this man was leaving, he told us that he would really enjoy to come back again next week! I am hoping and praying his interest increases and will become an investigator soon.

Alles im Butter
Sister Regnier

English Class

view of where we teach S___

Frau M­­­______

Monday, August 5, 2013

I have taught many lessons in the dark (August 5)

This week we helped the family in our ward move. It was hard work, and I have the bug bites to prove it! But it was all worth it when they got up to bare their testimony yesterday and express how much the ward helped. It really was a BIG project. But it was fun. Also, I would DIE to live in their old house. This week I got to spend a couple minutes just sitting on their top floor deck. Looking out. Not another house in sight just beautiful tree covered hills. Seriously, took my breath away. This is the prettiest place in the world! The only picture I took this week was of their house. I might as well send it. It is very typical where the upper part of the house is wood and the rest normal. I really like the look. It is interesting because Germans use so much wood! They also try to conserve on electricity as much as possible. Needless to say, I have taught many lessons in the dark. I really like it though. I would do the same thing if electricity and gas were so expensive, and don't even ask about gas. Gas prices are similar to the US except you only get a liter instead of a gallon for the same price. 

This week we taught an investigator and we pulled a "District" where we sat on our knees and waited for him to pray in complete silence for 15 minutes (after the example, and talking him through it for awhile). It was actually kind of cool. Except I have no idea how he kneeled so long! He is a bit old, and my knees were KILLING me. He spent the whole time rereading the page about prayer in our pamphlet, then taking a big breath, then stopping. In the end he still couldn't bring him self to pray. I feel because he doesn't understand that Heavenly Father wants to hear from him and the special experience of prayer. I am determined to help him. 

This week we had an FHE with S_, the elders and us. It was so cool. We played Ligretto, a pretty popular game here, that I am determined to get good at! We then had a testimony meeting and it was so good! We all focused on the atonement, priesthood power and the spirit. AH it was so cool! After we all shared our testimonies. S_ did as well. It was so great! I was a bit teary, not going to lie. It was a fantastic experience. S_ was able to share his testimony and receive his first priesthood blessing. It was a spirit packed meeting! 

There is a man we met, when we first arrived here, who was inactive due to certain situations. It has been so cool to watch him come back to church. He is there every Sunday now! He is also planning on going to the temple and do temple work. I AM SO EXCITED. He has done some family history. He is planning his first trip to the temple. It is so interesting the questions he asks. I have been going since I was 12, but with family and friends. He is going alone, not knowing exactly what to expect, and knowing very little German. It takes courage and I am proud of him. I am just so excited for him! 

This week I read a talk from last conference by Elder Stanley Ellis. He talks about and gives scriptures on how God shows us how to live, love, help, pray, talk, interact with each other, lead, marry, raise children, learn, know the truth, share the gospel and even what we should eat. These references are great! It is so great that God gives us the Book of Mormon and the Bible as written guidelines how to live the best life. It would be so hard without them. That is why I am here. These books help in life so much! I wish more people would just read them! :) Heavenly Father does so much for us :) 

Have a great week!
Sister Regnier

Ps. Funny story. One day, we met and talked to this one person. In the course of conversation we gave him a Book of Mormon. He said he would like to meet again, but after some important exams. So we planned to go back in a month so. Four days later, we walked by his house again, kind of randomly. And this is what we saw in his garden. However, we knew it was just put there because we had a freak storm that night. Random. We don't really know what to think about it.... I am going with he was reading it in his garden and set it there. :) 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Alles im Butter (July 29)

Well this week has been a busy one. Learned a cool German phrase "Alles im Butter" (Everything in butter) My favorite, I say it all the time. ;)

So Monday night was really fun after such a great day. Eating at the castle was breath taking. Seriously the coolest place I have ever eaten! The Branch President family reserved a beautiful table for us. It was so nice! We had a wonderful time.

This week we have spent some time at the M­­­­____’s house. They are moving and they live in this BEAUTIFUL house. Seriously dream house and a ton of land. We had a lot of work to do. It was VERY hot, mosquitos are everywhere, and wood is very heavy.... but it was so cool! The whole branch came pretty much. It was a great way for the ward to work together to help someone. I really love the people in the church. I love that we, as members all over the world, are all so willing to help!

On Thursday, we got our new companion, Sister Smith. Working as a dritt (3 person companionship) is very different. I feel weird when we contact and talk to people when there are three of us. We are trying to find ways to make it work. Hopefully we will master it soon! We didn't do that much finding because we were so busy.

The appointment with the family I spoke of previously fell out, so I am still looking forward to that this week!

Sunday was cool because we visited a less active who is depressed because the loss of her husband. We listened to her talk for a while. Then Sister Garrett, being the inspired missionary she is, brought up Family History. Her whole attitude changed SO FAST! It was neat! She was so happy and so excited to get our help. She has been working on it for a while and has had no luck. She has said she is "200% certain that the churches sites wont be able to help her" find her info. You better believe we are going to find some and help her start being able to find some for herself. We are also teaching a new member about the temple and baptisms. He is planning to go soon. Overall, this is the best thing to be teaching! I love it! I think the Sisters were bugged how excited I was to start this kind of work. Thank you dad for teaching me how to do it! Although I don't know much, she is not far into it. So I am pumped.

So, the heat is pretty bad this week-over 40 degrees (>104 F).  I feel like I am serving in South America. Somehow, only the American missionaries are glistening. It is gross. Germans seem to be more adjusted to it or something. An hour of church was actually canceled because it was too hot.... haha that would never happen in CA. It was funny. An elder had just got off his mission and came to visit with his family, his sister just got off too and they were still set apart. So that's right, we had 7 missionaries there for about the first 30 minutes of the service. It was actually kind of funny. A missionary prayed, gave a talk, played the piano. It was funny.

Today I got to spend some time with the Staudts! It was so fun! I really enjoyed catching up with them. We got to go to Mariahilf (historical religious area in Passau that has become somewhat of a pilgrimage for some) and see more than last time. We were really rushed last time. Then we went out to lunch. They seem to be doing well, and really happy with Werner home and Alexander on vacation. I am glad they were able to stop in Passau. It is sad that I don't remember any French, I will definitely want to study it a little when I get home. Betty laughed and said first time you came to Germany, you spoke English, second time, French, third, German, what will happen next time. We are thinking Spanish. :)

Funny thing in Mariahilf, there was this staircase down the hill. It had many pictures of Jesus and Mary. But in the corner of a bunch of pictures was a LDS pass along card! It was so old. They don't even say the same thing anymore! It was SO FUNNY. I bet a missionary put it there earlier.

This week was a good week.

Alles im Butter,

Sister Regnier

The Staudts