Monday, April 25, 2016

Germany is a little confused (Week 14)

Sister Simpson, Sister Fulton and President and Sister Fingerle

Well, if anyone is wondering, I think Germany is a little confused.
Yesterday is snowed. We woke up to snow on the cars, and it snowed
through church. None of it stuck, but they were huge snowflakes. Oh
Time flies when your having fun. It's been 3 months!
Here are my highlights from the week:
For service this week, we went to the international school and covered
library books. Elder Nay is the best at it ( I think his record was
under 5 minutes) but I'm pretty good. It's very therapeutic.
We didn't have too many lessons this week. We met with a less active
woman, and a neue bekehrt (new convert). We met with Leslie, but it
was super short. We stopped by to introduce Peggy to Sister Fulton,
and it turned into tea for an hour. Haha I love Peggy. She is so good
and so ready for the gospel. Yesterday, we had our second lesson with
Frau Byo. She is from the Cote d'Ivoir, and we teach her in german but
she reads in French (because I can barely teach in German, and much
less in French). I got to give her my French BOM with my testimony in
French. We talked about the first vision and the restoration and she
understood most of it. She believes in God and has had experiences
where her prayers have been answered, but she doesn't go to any church
right now because she doesn't feel right in any of them. We testified
of the Book of Mormon and we are meeting with her next week again. She
is so sweet.
We did a LOT of contacting. We had some interesting conversations, and
one family even invited us back next week, so that was a miracle.
Sister Fulton and I decided to check out the Greek place by our house,
and try an make friends with those people. It was a little sketchier
than we thought. It was like a Döner shack poorly disguised as a nice
Greek restaurant (we also weren't sure the guys cooking were Greek).
I'm not exactly sure what we ate, but it did sit better than the IKEA
food we ate. :) I'm don't know how regular I want to be there.
We went by on some contacts by our house on Friday, and I guess there
had been a BIG soccer game earlier (Hamburg vs Bremin) and basically
the whole area prepares for riots and fights afterwards. We apparently
just missed the commotion on our street. The buses weren't going, and
there were a million polizei and garbage/bottles everywhere. It was
quite exciting. One guy tried to explain, but we didn't understand him
very well, so we were confused until we talked to someone later who
explained it to us.
Sunday was a great day! We had church and Gemiko (ward correlation?)
and then an eating appointment with a family. They were so cute. I
love the members here. It is so fun to get to know them. One of their
daughters looks just like Kira VanDam. It is crazy. I told her that,
and told her I'd show her a picture. (Mom, will you send me one?)
Sister Fulton and I got an updated ward list and want to start meeting
members so they'll trust us and we can work together to find and teach
people. We had our lesson with Frau Byo, then went by on a few
contacts we'd never met before, and then had a fireside with our
Bishop and a few investigators/neue bekehrts. He talked about how the
Book of Mormon and the Bible work together to give us the fullness of
the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I LOVE the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. This week I was
studying/thinking about this week the promise that King Benjamin says
in Mosiah 2:41 "I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed
and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For
behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual;
and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into
heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of
never-ending happiness." We have been teaching a few people who are
trying to do what is right, but their situation isn't improving. I
believe that God does bless us when we obey and follow Him. I don't
necessarily believe that means our trials disappear or that our lives
magically become perfect. But He does bless us, it is only a matter of
us recognizing how. God has incredible things in store for us (the
greatest blessing being eternal life and we can't even imagine how
incredible that will be). One day we will look back and see all of the
things that were to come and we will thank Him for every good thing in
our life. He truly is the 'high priest of good things to come.' Choose
hope. Choose faith every day. God will bless us for being obedient and
taking that leap of faith.
I love you all!
Sister Simpson

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Crazy Week (Week 13)

Goodbye to Sister Porter

My new baby (companion) is Sister Courtney Fulton, from
LA/Phoenix/North Carolina! She did 2 years at BYU (made it to 202 in
German), swam there her freshman year, and is super awesome.
Last Pday we got burgers as a district for Elder Draper's last Pday.
Sad day. (The burgers were good and it was super fun). Also, sisters
Porter and Sommerfeld left, so it was a mini goodbye party for
At Persian pals last week, Farshid said, "are you ready to train?" I
said no, and he said, "I knew it!!" Haha Farshid.
Sister Porter and I made s'mores at 9:45 on Monday night (we made a
plan to do that this Friday, but then transfers happened and it was
our last chance!) We bought expensive marshmallows and sugarless sugar
cookies and milk a chocolate, and roasted the marshmallows on
chopsticks in our oven. (Totally safe). They were so good and it was a
good last hurrah. I love sister Porter.
Tuesday, Sister Willis and Mogenson and I went to Berlin. (We are all
only 6-weeks old and training new missionaries. And Sister
Lichtenberg, who is now our STL. All the other trainers are older.
Crazy!) some sisters met us there and helped us get to where we were
going (except they put us on the train going in the wrong direction
and so we made it 35 minutes to the end of the line, then 35 minutes
back to Berlin hbh, then 30 minutes to our actual destination.) We
overnighted with sisters there, then went the rest of the way to
Freiberg on Wednesday. After we got our trainees, we went all the way
back to Hamburg... Longest train ride of my life. Probably worse than
the plane from Chicago to Germany. 6 other missionaries (so 8 total)
slept at our apartment and I had to get them all there (and 4 sets of
luggage) = the most stressed I've probably ever been. But we made it.
If you're wondering, the hardwood floor is not super comfortable to
sleep on.
After that, it got much better. I tried really hard to get up
appointments but none of them worked out, so we did a lot of klingling
and contacting.
 Sister Fulton is super motivated and I am so thankful for that! Our
German is about the same level, but her grammar is way better and I
can communicate/understand better (for now). My German has improved
more in the last week than probably the last 12 combined. Haha. I have
felt so so blessed this week. We are together for a reason and He is
helping us. It's going to be a good 6-12 or more weeks.
We had stake conference this weekend. They reorganized the stake
presidency and 2 people from our ward were called to serve (including
our bishop). So there are changes to come.
All is going well. We are in the Lord's hands.
Love you all!
Sister Simpson
S'Mores in the oven

Add caption

Monday, April 11, 2016

Reaping Day! (Week 12)

Last Week with Sister Porter

Sooooo I have news. Sister Porter is going to Olsnebrook (or something
like that) and gets to be companions with Sister Wayment. AND I'M
TRAINING. AHHHHH. I'm only 6 weeks old!!

Well, anyway, you asked about the iPads and why we use them. It is
nice to have lds tools there, so all your resources are in one place.
And you have other languages if you need it. Also, we have a maps app
so we can put in all the contacts, investigators, and members so we
can navigate a LOT easier. (We still get lost on almost a daily
basis:). We don't have wifi in our apartment, so we have to either go
to a mall nearby or a church building (which we go to at least 3x a

This week was so great! We had a joint teach for a new convert with
the old German lady ward missionaries in our ward, who (whom?) I love.
We made them pizza, and they were super nice about eating American
teenage food and even told us it was lecker! After the lesson, which
was awesome, Schwester Faber told me that I am in a prison of the
language and I am trying so hard to get out. She said I am standing at
the bars and she thinks it's so cute. She told me it is so cute and
that my German has gotten a lot better. It was really sweet. After the
lesson, it was lateish and our bus ended after 2 stops, so we walked
to the bus/bahn station we needed to get home for 50 minutes in the
rain. A bus came towards the end and took us the last 2 stops to our
bus stop. We probably looked crazy, just sitting there in the rain,
eating leftover pizza. It was fun.

The next day, we had another meeting at the church with Peggy. She's
so cute. We had a member with us, Sister Schmidt. We normally talk to
Peggy in English because she likes it, but Schw. Schmidt doesn't speak
good English, so it was in German. We showed Presidend Monson's talk
from conference and then actually really taught the Restoration. It
was so sweet and she totally is ready and wants to believe. She is so
good! We invited her to be baptized and she said she would when she
feels ready, but I think the hard thing will be her giving up her
religion because she had strong Polish Catholic ties and she feels
like it is the only connection she has left to her family. It was so
awesome to have Schw. Schmidt there, because a few times, we had no
idea what Peggy was saying or asking, but she understood and could
answer her questions. My German was on point, and I know it was
totally the Lord helping me. Peggy told me my German was like I had
been studying for 6 months instead of 6 weeks. The funny thing is,
after the lesson, Schw Schmidt offered to take us home, and she asked
where we lived and we thought she asked where Peggy lived. So she
dropped us off in Peggy's neighborhood and then we walked to the bahn
station and eventually made it home. Whoops.

Update on the Persian Pals. The elders (our Zone Leaders) have another
Persian guy they are teaching, so he comes now and we all teach him
the new member lessons. It is pretty awesome to have the 3 of them
teach the gospel to him, and we just kind of lead the discussion and
they carry it on. I love them!

We went to the Kita this week. I love kids. We were drawing with the
kids (with our left hands) and I drew a picture of the little boy and
gave it to him, and of the two little girls. They were so cute. Kids
are so easy. They just want attention. It was so fun!
We went by on a Spanish lady who we found when we were klingling a few
weeks ago. We took her a Spanish Book of Mormon and tried to explain
it to her. In her mixed German/Spanish, she sounded REALLY interested
and we are going to bring the Spanish elders by to meet with her. She
is so cute!

We went by on a contact family who lives in a different (than Farshid)
refugee camp. They were all there and we offered to teach them German.
They are so cute! The mom wants us to teach her to ride a bike, so we
are going to do that later this week. They came from Iraq and their
entire family escaped together (which is super rare). I think their
car exploded as they were leaving too. Crazy. They are here for a

An old contact from last year called us the other night, and he wants
to meet with us! We met briefly with him (and read his teaching
record), and he is super awesome. He's from Ghana and the missionaries
called him "Brother John". We don't know how thoroughly he was taught,
but we are excited and he's (hopefully) excited.
It was a rough week for lessons, so we went by on a TON of contacts,
which means we were super tired every night. I guess we have to
counteract all the chocolate we eat somehow.

This week will be crazy, because I go to Freiberg tomorrow night, pick
up my trainer (AHHHHHH!!) on Wednesday, then we'll get home Thursday.
And then I will spend the next 6 weeks freaking out but trying not to
show it. If you are going to pray for me, pray for my trainee also.
Probably more than me. Oh man. I am not alone. This is Christ's work,
and He won't let me fail. These are His children and He loves them.

I love you! Have a great week!
Sister Simpson

P.S. I'm REALLY going to miss Sister Porter. :'(

A cute house by our house, and I really like that tree.

People getting creative with their graffiti, because EVERYTHING is covered in it. Yes, that's a bush

I really like this tree

Monday, April 4, 2016

A few more p-day pictures from Week 11

We went to Strada today and walked around with the sisters there.  Then we made a music video to a silly youth song.  I ate bratwurst.  Here are some pictures. HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

My German is officially better than my French and GIANT spider (Week 11)

First off, let me say that my French has actually gotten worse. :(
We were klingling a building the other day, and one lady told me she
spoke French. So I talked to her a little bit but I kept throwing in
German words and using German grammar (aka kicking the verb to the
end). We met a couple people who spoke different languages so we got
copies of the Book of Mormon in those languages and took them by
later. I wrote my testimony in the French one and I was so excited to
give it to her! We went to drop it off and I don't think she
understood my French and didn't let us up. Ugh. So nothing happened
and I was frustrated. My French is pretty dusty right now. But it's
okay because my German is getting better.
   We had our trainer/trainee meeting at the mission home in Berlin!
It was in German but they translated it to English.. But I understood
most of what everyone was saying. Woot woot. It was so fun to see
Sister Darton and all my friends from the MTC. We also rode a train
with 14 missionaries, and that was fun. It was a great meeting and I
really love Präsident and Sister Fingerle. We missed our train because
it was too close to the end of the meeting, which was bad because 12
of us were on that ticket. Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about
anything because I wasn't in charge. One of the elders was going to go
beg/cry to see if we could get on a train. I don't know what ended up
happening, but we did get on a train and made it back to Hamburg.
Tender mercies.
   We made fitness goals this week (basically do morgen sport and eat
less chocolate). We found ramen at an Asian store so we ate that.. And
we found the best pommes place on the face of the earth. They are
heavenly. Also, in case you were wondering, subway is way better here.
   We went by on a contact again. I don't know if I wrote about the
guy who didn't move when we rang the doorbell even though he was right
there and we could totally see him. Well, this time the lady and the
man were both sitting by the window, watched us walk up, and didn't
answer the door. I guess they are probably not interested.
   We had a few awesome lessons this week, but we didn't get to meet
with everyone we wanted to. We got a referral a few weeks ago from a
member in Freiberg, and so we finally got to meet with her sister in
law, who has been reading a little in the Book of Mormon. She is so
awesome and super prepared! We taught her about Joseph Smith and the
Restoration of the Gospel and challenged her to pray about it. We also
met with Peggy. Her cat had kittens and she's been bottle feeding them
every 4 hours when she's home. She invited us over, made us pizza and
showed us her cats. She likes to talk a lot and use her English so we
try to tie everything back to the gospel. We invited her to General
Conference this weekend and she was going to come but texted us and
told us that her can "suffers from interior chemical dysfunction" and
she was stressed so she couldn't come.
   None of our investigators came to conference, which was
disappointing. We got to watch it in English! It was so good! The way
it works here (because of the 8 hour time difference) is we watch the
Sat morning session on Saturday at 18:00, then Sunday morning, the men
watch the priesthood session at 11, we watch the Saturday PM at 14:00,
and the Sunday morning at 18:00. And we will watch the last one at a
later date.. I loved all of the talks, especially Elder Uchtdorf's
about Jesus Christ and how he wants to rescue us and help us become so
much more. We are worthy of rescue, every one of us. I am so thankful
that we have modern day prophets and apostles. I have a testimony that
they are called of God and their words are the words that the Lord
wants us to hear. I remember when we had the Temple Cultural
Celebration when the Boise temple was rededicated. I could feel the
spirit when the prophet came into the room! I know God loves us and
that He loves us enough to give us revelation for our times and for us
personally. I felt that as I listened this weekend. Good stuff.
   I also loved all the focus on family. I am so blessed to be born
into a good family with great parents! I miss you guys, but I also
know that why I am here is important. I LOVE the temple. I know
because my parents were sealed in the temple, I can be with my family
forever. I am so grateful for the blessings of the gospel of Jesus
Christ. It has blessed my family now and will continue to throughout
    Well, anyway, I love you family. Thanks for your prayers on my
behalf. Frühling ist fast hier. Ich freue mich!
Ich liebe euch!!!
Sister Simpson

   Funny story, during GC, Sister Porter's pen stopped working and she
tried to suck out the ink so it would write again. She sucked out a
TON of green ink and it dyed her lips, teeth and tongue green. We
hurried to the bathroom and she frantically washed her mouth and I
laughed so hard. She got most of it out her mouth, but her tongue
still has ink on it.
   Also, we came home last night and found this awfully HUGE spider on
our wall. After freaking out a fair amount, I manned up and killed it.
(Sister porter doesn't like the sound they make when you kill them so
she won't kill them.. Not that that makes any sense). It was huge;
crunched up it was as big as my thumbnail. Makes me shudder just
thinking about it, and I am not that afraid of spiders (most of the
time). She recorded it, but I probs won't send it because it is
embarrassing. Let's just say it was uncomfortably large and high up
and I felt invaded. Folks, this is why I did not get called to South
America. Danke himmel.

This is Blankenese (my favorite place in Germany so far) we walked
down this little pathway to a "greenbelt" type thing by the river (the

These are pictures of Mariah's apartment.  Nicer than any apartment I ever had on my mission (says Lynette)

No explanation on these last two pictures, but it looks like a missionary has finished his mission, which in mission lingo is called "Dying"