|Matt, Sam and I (I Mean Elder Powell, Elder Bennett and I)|
|MVHS Reunion (Sister Wayment, Elder Powell and Elder Bennett)|
Happy Thanksgiving and first advent!
I don't ever know where to start. We had two Austausches this week. Sister Haynie came to Altona with me and we taught Ana, worked at the international School and helped a less active sister in our ward. We also had a couple member eating appointments this week, so it's been good to be able to work more with the members. Also, I just really love them because they're amazing. :) We tried to invite a lot of people to the ward Adventsandacht (Christmas Party), so we took a lot of invitations around.
On Thursday, we had Zone Conference with the west half of the mission. It was awesome. They did it in English as a Christmas gift to us and it was einfach a powerful meeting. I learned a lot and I'm very thankful for a wonderful mission president and his amazing wife. It was fun to see and visit with so many missionaries. Some ladies from our stake cooked lunch for all of us - almost 100 missionaries. Thanksgiving night, a super nice family in our ward brought us thanksgiving dinner!
We had our normal weekly planning on Friday and then went to Stade for a super Tausch. I was with Sister Jackson and we had an appointment with one of their investigators and went finding and tried to share the new Christmas video with people. I love Sister Jackson and it was super fun. After Tausch, we had our ward Christmas party. One sister brought two friends with her, so that was awesome. We listened to/sang Christmas songs and stories, then ate cake and punch afterwards. We helped clean the church.
Sunday was great! We had an sacrament meeting focused on the basics of the gospel for people who are new or investigating the church, like we were challenged to in general conference. Unfortunately, none of the people we invited came. Schade, because it was an awesome meeting. I translated (so that part was not so awesome.. sorry English speakers). FHV (relief society) was interesting, like always. It was about President Monson's talk from Conference about the Word of Wisdom. I was translating for Ana, a 20-something year old girl from Croatia, and we just laughed because it was a little ridiculous. There was a debate between bio produce and buying locally, as well as the change from "eat meat sparingly" to it's okay to only eat meat as long as it is expensive/high quality (aka, not the stuff that we buy 'cause we're broke). Haha. Basically, not a lot of doctrine and a lot of speculation. After church, we had an eating appointment with Schwester Faber, aka the sweetest person on this planet. We ate Schnitzel and potatoes, then talked about how Christ is our light and sang Christmas songs for advent. Love her. Later that day, we had thanksgiving dinner/Gemiko with the Lopez's. I love them. Also, it was super delicious. And I'm still full.
In one of the sacrament meeting talks yesterday, President Schmidt explained how covenants work like insurance. When we have faith in God, we desire to follow Christ. When we are baptized, we promise to always follow Christ, keep His commandments, and take His name upon us. (So that's like our insurance payments). God promises us in return that we will always have His spirit to be with us. The thing I like about this analogy is that just as insurance doesn't always seem worth it until we are receiving more than we could've asked for, our baptismal covenants may seem like a big sacrifice unless we recognize all the blessings that God is giving us. I am thankful to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for this time to wear his name on my name tag, but I know that after these 18 months, it won't end because His name is written on my heart. His peace fills me when I am empty. I know He is there. And I am eternally grateful for His life and atoning sacrifice for me.
Well then. Sorry for the weirdish email. I hope y'all had a great thanksgiving. I am thankful for you, my dear family. I miss you, but I'm not homesick. Haha. Don't worry about me. :)
Side note: we were doing family history yesterday, and I got back to the 1200s. Apparently, I come from a danish royalty line. I just thought it was funny because the guy's title included "king of the Danes". I just thought it was funny because my companion is Sister Daines. Obviously I'm the dominant one in this companionship.
|Hamburg at night|