Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week 2!

These are the pins Lauren got me for Christmas.. I tried to wear them as earrings but they hurt so they will probs stay on my scripture case for now

After dinner one day, I drew this on the board.. Everyone thought it was cute, but then Bruder Nielson rebuked us for not using our time wisely and doing the best instead of just good things.. not going to lie, I was hurt and my pride was hurt, but it was a good lesson, because this is not my time, it is God's. Plus the MTC is a sacred place, and I know I wouldn't have done that in the temple, so I need to treat the MTC like the sacred place it is (also, I think he thought we did it during study time..) Lesson learned.

German flag in our classroom.. I spend at least 9 hours a day in here

Sister Darton's mother made a banner and we hung it up. It fell down by the next morning, but it is supes cute, ya?

I love these sisters

me and schwester Hammer in our classroom. (like my shirt?) ;)

Me with art. Sister McCrary and Sister Balls used it as a metaphor to teach die untersucher, Roy.. Like Christ is the foundation and without him, we fall. Haha.

Elder Hughes AKA Harry Potter (sister hammer's glasses..)

Long day, so I made art. Elder Passey sits across from me. He's our DL until week 3  

Hallo!  TIMOTHY LUKE SIMPSON!! I can't believe I forgot to tell you happy birthday. You're a teenager!!! Meine gutte! Gutte himmel! You're so big. I love you, buddy. Thank you for writing me. Also, thank you benjamin, for your cute little letter. Now that I'm gone, you have to tell me all your secrets about who you like and your deepest darkest secrets, because I can't tell anyone. Got it?

This week was busy. It's hard but good. It is exciting. I decided not to read the german lessons to Roy and it might stink for him, but I understand more and I know exactly what I am saying, so the spirit is there more. We challenged him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized and he said yes. (although we knew he was just a returned missionary pretending to be an investigator.) The next day, he came into class and started teaching us, because he's our teacher, and we all freaked out. :) His name is Bruder Alston and he is super nice. he's taught here for 3 years, he served in the Alpine mission, and his wife has a baby due in May, I think. He said it all in german, so that's what I picked up. I think. It is hard to understand. Sister Voigtlaender and I have started running a mile during exercise time in the gym (10 laps = 1 mile), then we do abs/push-ups, then we play volleyball or basketball. We played lightning and bump one day. One day, we played volleyball, and one companion was on one team and one was on the other, and the one on Sister V's team was pounding it to his companion. I've never seen anyone hit a volleyball like that. It was terrifying. His comp was right next to me in the rotation, and one time, he accidentally hit it at me. I think it hit my legs (maybe?) but my hands were there? I don't know really what happened, I just remember laughing because he stopped after seeing my look of pure terror. It was slightly embarrasing. I don't remember feeling pain. Just scared. (Don't worry, I didn't pass out or cry or anything. It was just funny/bizarre). Also, I finally hit the volleyball overhand.. breaking barriers. It took me a week. This is embarrasing. I'm not a volleyball player in the slightest. 

I'm sorry, normally I just bring my journal and write about my highlights. (normally? what? its been a week and a half). haha. 

Sunday and Tuesday are probably my favorite (lieblings) days because of devotionals and choir. Sunday, we has a MTC relief society meeting, and one of the speakers had 2 sisters sing "Be Still My Soul" and for some reason, I just cried. Like big tears rolling down my face. She shared a missionary story with it before. It was great. The musical numbers are my favorite. On sister sang Nearer My God, To Thee + I Need Thee Every Hour. Ah, I love hymns. I haven't missed music that much. We do talk about how much we LOVE the sound of music on a daily basis. And Sister Darton and I re-wrote the words to "think of me" from Phantom of the Opera to be about Christ and sang it in our room. (Is that inappropriate?) And I really craved Fiddler on the Roof the other day. All ist gut. Anyways, back to Sunday. I did not have to talk in church in german, (but I did prepare a talk because we have to every week). There is one georgian sister, and she spoke (she actually went to RockyMountain: Sister Olson), and I think she's lucky because no one can understand her if she speaks it wrong or anything. it's pretty cool. We didn't get a temple walk because the branch presidency was doing interviews. I went to Choir with my district (and zone.. everyone goes to choir). We sang "Hurrah For Israel" and the choir director is awesome. It is a combination of a fireside and choir rehearsal. He has so many cool stories about the hymns. We didn't sing at devotional on Sunday. I saw Aaron (my FHE brother!) but he didn't see me. Stephen B Allen spoke at the devo, and it was awesome. His wife spoke before him, and she stopped in the middle and said, "i feel like I should bear my testimony and just let my husband talk," and he decided not to give his talk he prepared.. he talked about where your heart is and it was awesome. It was what I needed. In the middle of his talk, he asked the organist (a missionary) if he could play "Dear to the heart of the shepard" and we sang it, but he kept interrupting and would talk about the words, then we'd keep going. So props to the organist and tech people who put the words up. Later, we also watched the Character of Christ, by Elder Bednar. It is the best. I read it before I came, but it is so so SO good. Look it up. We've been trying to turn out instead of in as a district and it has been great.

I've decided that God blesses me and teaches me through the people he places in my life. My district is SO GOOD. We all want to be there and become the best we can be, so we try hard every day to stay focused and put our hearts into the work. We talk every few days about how we can improve and keep the spirit with us. I love them all. I will miss them. It will be a sad day when we have to split up in the frankfurt airport.   

We did sing our "Hurrah for Israel in the devotional on Tuesday. Before, we had practice and he showed us clips from "the other side of heaven". I love that movie. Elder Hallstrom spoke.  

Funny story: everyone always says "Wie gehts?" and for some reason, I thought you responded by saying "Wie gehts gut" but I got laughed at last night when I said it to Elder Passey. But I've been saying it since I got here, and no one has noticed. But they thought it was SO FUNNY! I guess I thought it was like "ca va?" in french, to which you can reply " ca va bien"

I love you guys. That is probably the cutest sweetheart asking. EVER. [Jacob was asked to sweethearts, and I sent her pictures] I told Sister Hammer and the Elder on my other side thought it was awesome. Props to you, Mom for cleaning his room. Sorry, dis email ist nicht gut. Better luck next time. I love you so much!

P.S. My waterbottle statue fell right after we took the picture. [she took pictures of this, they are on her blog]
P.P.S. I really love getting dear elder letters during the week and it's not distracting because I just read them right before I go to bed. But I can't reply until P-Day and I don't have emails, so THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO WROTE ME!!! I will try to hand-write you a letter back today.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


My district. (Elder Hughes, Elder Passey, me, Sister Hammer, Sister Balls, Sister McCrary, Sister Voigtlander, Sister Darton)

My mitterbeiterin (don't know if that is spelled right), Schwester Hammer. First day.. So tired. Sister Darton and Sister Voitghlander

Look, ma! I found the dutch room!

Gutentag Meine familien!
How are you? Danke danke danke for the letters Mom and Luke! Dear Elder is probably the best because I can get letters during the week instead of just on P-day. I sent you a letter yesterday and I'm sending one for Luke today. My P-days are on Saturday, and I leave March 2 for Germany!
It is so crazy here. There are 6 sisters and 2 elders in my District (Sisters: Darton-B, Voigtlander-F, Balls-F, McCrary-F, and Hammer-B, and Elders Passey-F and Hughes-B. B=Berlin, F=Frankfurt). Sister Hammer is my companion. She's from Brigham City, Utah and she and I were facebook friends from that sister missionary Facebook page because she saw that I am going to the same mission. She is awesome! She is 19 and took german from 7-9th grade, so that is helpful.  Everyone in my district has german experience except for Sister McCrary, Elder Hughes, and me. Sister Wayment, Sister Jones (friend of Rachel and Becky Hansen), Sister Ha (from South Korea and doesn't speak much english and only took a year of german.. I have no idea how she is surviving. But I really like her. Sister Kopischke told me about her, so I've tried to talk to her) are all in my zone. There is an Armenian district that has been here for 3 weeks and has 6 to go. There are 3 elders, (2 who are going to Armenia and one who is going to California, Armenian speaking) and 2 sisters, (one going to Armenia, and one going to the country of Georgia that I didn't know existed). 
BTW, Mom, will you print out a map of the European countries and send it to me. It can be black and white, I just need to understand Europe better. Or at all. I would probably find ireland, GB, France and Italy on a map. Not even Germany. And, can you find sheet music for How great thou art, arranged by Tiffany Hobson and send that to me too?
Also, we asked Elder Hughes about how the internet works, and he told us there are wires in the ocean that connect all the countries. I think that is a bunch of hippy-dippy-bologne (can't say anything else), but I have no way of verifying that. So help a sister out, bitte. :)
It is so hard! They started SYL (speaking your mission language) the first day.. We taught our first Untersucher (investigator) in German yesterday. It was bad. I tried to say what I had written down but I butchered the pronunciation (guess what? German and French are WAY different) and I didn't understand what he was asking us. So I got really frustrated with myself and didn't really say anything for the rest of the lesson. We struggled. Actually, I did understand one question: he asked about das Buch Mormon when and der Bibel, and we didn't know how to answer. I knew the word for "friend" in german (freund) so I was trying to figure out how to say the Bible and Book of Mormon are friends, but I didn't know how to form sentences. haha. I couldn't even say, "Sorry, my german is bad" or "I can't speak german" in german, but I could say it in English, French, and Spanish. Lol. I actually find that a lot of the time, I am frustrated because I can understand-ish the german questions, but can't answer them in German, only french or english. I was really frustrated after the lesson and just wanted to speak something I understand, but I realized that A) I have had 3 days of German. Actually 2.5. And I was expecting myself to be able to speak and understand everything. I think that expectation will push me, but it is also unrealistic. I need to just try my best, have faith that God will help me, and be obedient and it will come.. in 6 months. :) AND B) I have less german experience than most of my district. And it's okay. I was frustrated because they are a lot better than me, but I can be mad about it or see it as a great opportunity to learn from them, because they will push me. So yeah. Also, Sister Voigtlander shared something that I thought was interesting. She has a german who also speaks english and she said that, yes she understands in english, but she reads her scriptures and prays in german, and she feels in german. We are learning german because it takes down another barrier and takes the amazing message of the gospel to the hearts of the people. Well, the spirit does that, we just prepare and invite them to listen to and feel the Heilge Geist (holy ghost). It's pretty amazing. 
Someone is playing Michael Buble (Reganne!!), Piano Man, Jon Schmidt and Harry Connick Junior on the piano in the other room. Imagine "waterfall" and then all of a sudden, the beginning of Piano man, and then back to waterfall. Bizarre. Babylonians. (That's what we say when we quote a song or movie or reference anything from the outside world). Speaking of the outside world, I really miss seeing the mountains. And the Sky. I can normally see some of the mountains through buildings, but the sidewalks are covered and I spend NINE HOURS in a classroom (in 3 hour increments), so I never see the sky. :C (<- Rachel face) We went on a walk around the MTC perimeter earlier today, so that was good.
Mmmmm. I looove cafeteria food. (HA!) It's okay though. I didn't have a waterbottle the first day, and I thought I was going to D.I.E. No joke. I drink so so SO much vasser. I bought a dasani from a vending machine and it has saved my life. I think I will keep it and frame it when I get home. I probably would've spent $100 on it because I was so desperate. All the sisters are hungry all the time, but I wasn't ever, and I was confused until I started comparing our water intake. I drink like 6 waterbottles a day, and a glass at breakfast, lunch and dinner. #sohealthy Sister Hammer is going to be BLESSED for her patience with me because I have to go to the bathroom every break. Like all the time. 
I saw Bryce (one of my FHE brothers) at lunch on Wednesday and he took a selfie with me (is that allowed?) and made me a wrap. It was pretty exciting.  I am so close to my old life, but worlds away. I can literally see heritage halls. Weird. I try not to think about it, because it makes me homesick and miss my roommates. It's okay. I'll be back.
I saw Elder Crawford, I've talked to Sister Wayment a few times, and Sister Fillmore from my BYU ward. I also saw Elder Lamn, and it was good to see him.
We didn't watch the face-to-face fireside. They had a missionary training broadcast that was really cool that we watched the first night. The main focus was on teaching repentance and baptizing converts, because the gospel changes you, but it is only through repentance that we are truly converted. I've learned so much. it's amazing. It is so hard, and I am so aware of ALL my weaknesses and faults. It's kindof crazy. But I thought of a metaphor and hopefully it isn't irreverent. (BTW, I don't like the metaphor of my mission being my death for 18 months, because I still miss people and want to get letters and I don't want to die yet, metaphorically or otherwise. So, you told me so.) I feel like a horseshoe, and Heavenly Father is the blacksmith. I am in the fire and feel like I'm being pounded and it's hard, and sometimes even feels like it will be too hard and that I can't do it, but it is how I change. It's amazing, and I need it so badly. It is how I become the person Heavenly Father wants me to be, the person He knows I can be. He knows that with His help, I can do it, even if I don't. And, get this, he is holding on to us the whole time. I love Him. I can do hard things (with His help). 
I miss you so much! Thank you thank you thank you for your prayers! Ich liebe dich!
Sister Simpson  
P.S. We will try to get on later and send pics.. but I only took one a day, and I don't know how to get them on here, so we'll see. No promises.  
P.S. 2. My nametags just say "Sister Simpson." I guess they call missionaries "sister and elder" in Germany. I heard something about Schwester being for nuns or something. haha. Sister hammer and I both called our blogs "Schwester Hammer/Simpson" so that's cool. We're nuns. ehhh... if anyone wants to call me Hermana or Soeur or something cool, I'd be down. 
Love, your favorite mormon nun
p.s. We went to the temple this afternoon. Guess who I saw? My very own Reganne Cochran (Reganne is one of her roommates from BYU). She had just done baptisms, and it was funny, because I had decided to be obedient and not tell them when I go to the temple and on Sunday temple walks.  Talk about tender mercy, I almost started crying. Makes my heart happy just thinking about it. Such a blessing.

I ran into Reganne at the Temple

Monday, January 18, 2016


Why am I serving a mission?

I love this quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, from his April 2015 General Conference talk called, "On Being Genuine" (check out He says it better than I can:

"I am here because I desire with all my heart to follow my Master, Jesus Christ. I yearn to do all that He asks of me in this great cause. I hunger to be edified by the Holy Spirit and hear the voice of God as He speaks through His ordained servants. I am here to become a better man, to be lifted by the inspiring examples of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and to learn how to more effectively minister to those in need.

In short, I am here because I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ."

I have been so blessed. The gospel of Jesus Christ illuminates every aspect of my life. It gives me perspective, strength, and hope to endure hard times, and makes the good times richer. The gospel has the answers to life's greatest questions.

"I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun - not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else." (C.S. Lewis)

I'm so stoked for this amazing opportunity I have to serve God for 18 months of my life, doing His work and sharing my testimony to the people in Berlin, Germany. I love the gospel. I love Jesus Christ. I know it, I live it, I love it. It is so SO good. I love the Book of Mormon and I know it is the word of God, because I've experienced the peace it brings into my life as I study and apply its principles.

I'm amazed by the amount of love and support I have been blessed with. You have all been an incredible blessing to me. Thank you thank you thank you. I love you all. God be with you 'til we meet again.