Monday, April 24, 2017

Never Doubt the Sauerkraut (Week 65)

Here we are again, another week has come and gone and another transfer has begun. Time flies when you're having fun!

This week we had two appointments with Carola and Manfred. They are awesome. Their son was at one, so we mostly answered his questions. Then we brought Bruder Rathke to the next appointment, which was awesome because Carola mostly just asked him questions and Bruder Rathke told them that we can only do so much for them and they have to find out for themselves. Unfortunately, they didn't come to church on Sunday, but we're meeting tomorrow. They are awesome. 

Wednesday we spent most of the day at Berlin Hauptbahnhof to be with and help the sisters going through. It was okay until our 3 hours of mcdonald's wifi ran out and we were sutck in the cold watching luggage, but it is fun to visit with other missionaries. After 6 cold hours, we hurried to an appointment with Martha. She's having some family problems in Cameroon, but she's awesome and has so much faith. Then, because it was cold and we were late like always, we ran to the Hansens! I love them, they are so special. We ate raclette (look it up, I don't know how to explain it.. raclette is actually just the appliance), which tasted heavenly because we had been fasting all day. We showed the children's bible video 'Who is Jesus?' and talked about how we can better come to know Him. President Nelson's talk in conference was all about how we can get to know our Savior better and something that really stuck out to me was that he said that after studying everything that Jesus Christ is, said, taught in the scriptrues, he said 'I am a new man.' Christ can change us to the degree that we allow Him to. I've been trying to apply that to my scripture study. 

We also met with Jenny, a less-active in our ward. I probably mentioned her a while ago, she's the one who likes animals more than people and is pretty argumentative. We went back this week and tried to share the easter video (even though easter is schon vorbei). We made it about halfway through the video before she had questions and never actually finished it, but I was really praying to be able to help her understand (and also to not get worked up;). We listened to her, shared our testimonies and it was so cool. Heavenly Father blessed me as I listened and tried to understand her to be filled with this love for her. We told her to write down all her questions and that we would work through them as long as she reads and studies as well. We promised her that if she read in the Book of Mormon, her questions will be answered in one way or another. We also sang her favorite hymn at the end and it really brought the spirit back. 

On Saturday, we went to Eisenhüttenstadt (basically Poland) with a ton of missionaries for a service project that the branch out there does every year. We just did yardwork on a rose garden hill. We got to wear the yellow mormon helping hands jerseys and weed! It was awesome. I was sent to talk to and help two women.. one of them left, but I got to know the other lady pretty well. We flattened a ton of mounds of dirt from the wild schwein. It was awesome to help out and they are really appreciated it. Also, parents, you will be surprised to hear that I actually miss yardwork. Haha. 

Church yesterday was pretty good. None of our investigators came, but we got asked to help out in Primary, which was super fun. I learned some pv songs and felt like I was 11 again. The elders also had a baptism after church, for their investigator Johannes. He's 17 and super prepared. We had an eating appointment with the Winklers again, then gemiko at the rathke's. I had my farsi skype and Elder Oliver was skyping from Hadi's so I got to see him!! It made my day. He is so awesome. 

Well, that's about all I've got to report on. :) Life is good. I love it here and I love being a missionary. I love the Book of Mormon. Read it, it will change your life. 


Sister Simpson

p.s. random subject line brought to you by Sister Haynie's dad :)

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

We went to a concentration camp in Sachsenhausen today. It was a
memorable experience. You can really capture anything there in
pictures or words, but here are the pics we took:
Display with pictures that were taking of the prisoners in this camp

Here's a panorama of the concentration camp

Prisoner uniforms.. think boy in the striped pajamas

The entrance

Memorial thing

Work makes you free

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hoppy Ostern (Week 64)

Zoko last week

Our favorite tree in our neighborhood

District pics
Liebe Familie und Freunde,

What even happened this week? We went on Tausch with the sisters in Leest, so I served with Sister Hammer (not my MTC comp). She's awesome. We spent a good portion of time on Tuesday trying to hang up Fürst des Friedens posters in Berlin.. not easy I tell you. Also a great deal of time at a german version of Lowe's trying to find poster glue and tape. We only ended up hanging up one poster, on a cigarette dispenser at an Asia Imbiss because that's the only place that said we could.. lol. The elders said to leave it, so we did. If anyone wants a giant german Jesus picture, we have a few. We hung one up on our apartment door again with a sign saying "Frohe Ostern", aka I dare you to draw on this picture. So far so good.

Wednesday we had district meeting, which is always good. We tried to really share the Easter video this week. We were able to share it with a cool convert in our ward.

We had a Skype MLC this week and we had planned to do a street display in Glienicke as a district right after. So we Skyped in from a McDonald's.. haha. It wasn't even open for the first half hour, so we were just sitting outside waiting and probably looked a little strange. Naja. The glienicke Elders forgot their pass along cards, but thankfully we had grabbed a bunch that morning. So we handed out Marzahn cards in Glienicke. We had some cool conversations and met some cool people.

We also had two appointments with the Stratmann family. They hadn't read in the Book of Mormon, so we talked about the God's plan and assigned them a chapter to read. We came back on Friday and they hadn't really read, so we read it with them and they really liked it.  They also came to church on Sunday! It was so awesome! We had 100 extra single adults at our church because they had a conference in Marzahn this weekend, so Sacrament Meeting was so full. Everything about Sacrament Meeting was amazing: the talks, the music, the sun streaming through the windows. It was an incredible day. Because of all the JAE (YSA), the ward only had Sacrament Meeting, but we stayed for relief society with the JAE and got to eat lunch with them too. It was fun to see some people that I know.

Other than that, I got to go do a street display with the awesome Sister Wacker and her district. She and elder Castillo played the viola/violin like champs in the freezing cold for a few hours, and the rest of us either sang or passed out cards. I had some interesting conversations and was so cold that I was literally shaking. Haha. Good times.

Also we got transfer calls this week and sister Haynie and I are both staying. We're excited. Only one transfer call left! CRAZY. Time flies.

I've been reading through the New Testament, and this week I finished the gospel of Mark. It was incredible to read the account of Christ's last week on the earth this Easter week. I read His last words to His disciples, of His suffering alone in the garden, the maltreatment and abuse He endured, His ignominious death on the cross as He was filled with love for the very people mocking Him as He atoned for their souls. The veil in the temple was rent in twain as He finished His Atonement that bridges the gap between us and God. He overcame what we cannot and fulfilled His essential and central role in God's plan for us, so that we may return to our God and Father in Heaven again. And on that Easter morning, those two Mary's were met by an angel who delivered the greatest message to ever be known to mankind: "Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here" (Mark 16:6). I don't understand how or even exactly what the Atonement fully encompasses, but I do know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He wants to save us and He suffered all the pain and sickness and aloneness and anguish in the world to do so. I love Him. I have felt His unbeschreibliche constant support and love throughout my life and especially throughout these last 15 months. My heart has been full of gratitude and love for my Savior, especially this Easter.

He is risen! He is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice.
He has burst his three days’ prison;
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
Death is conquered; man is free.
Christ has won the victory.

He is risen! He is risen!
He hath opened heaven’s gate.
We are free from sin’s dark prison,
Risen to a holier state.
And a brighter Easter beam
On our longing eyes shall stream.

I know that my Redeemer lives. I believe in Christ; He stands supreme.  So come what may, with Him I'll stand at that great day. That is a song I will always be able to sing.

Love you.

Sister Simpson

Isaiah 53:3-5

Our District Frau got dear Johned, so we made him a punny care
package made of random items in our Wohnung


Oatmeal from this cool hipster place

Our brillant DL (we were late to District meeting and one of the
elders got dear johned, so this happened)

Killing elder Allen

District pics

Reunion with our favorite Brit aus Hamburg, The lovely Phillipa

Marzahn missionare (elder skidmore is leaving us)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Burrito Week in Berlin (Week 63)

Getting burritos after Tausch

Fürst des Friedens

prenzlau and sister Daines

Spring in Berlin!

prenzlau and sister Daines

Another week has come and gone.

We had a family home evening with the Hansen's on Monday. It was awesome. We ate Italian food, watched the Prince of Peace video and talked about how we can have that peace with us always. It's always a good time with them. Mark said that he's noticed how  They asked for priesthood blessings, so we came back on Tuesday night with the elders. They fed us all dinner yet again, which we weren't expecting but it was fun. Then the elders gave them blessings and it was so cool to sit there and hear of God's love for this family. I love the Hansen's!

Tuesday was insane. We left around 8:30 that morning to go translate for Martha to help her clear some things up from her apartment. Then we had a service project with an eternal investigator, where we broke sticks in her yard so she could burn them in her oven and talked about the Book of Mormon. She had been coming to church for 8 years but hadn't read the Book of Mormon all they way through. She had a ton of questions that we answered and we invited her to read it. Then we had an appointment with a less-active member, Schw. De La Rosa. She pretty much just bashed the church the whole time and said some not very nice things about us, so we were itching to get out of there. We probably won't be going back for a while.. or ever. Then we had the coolest appointment ever with a lady and her family who requested online to have us come over. This family is looking for a church and wanted to know what makes ours "different". We taught about prophets, Joseph Smith and the restoration, the Book of Mormon and invited them to find out for themselves. They invited us back (aka we didn't have to ask for a return appointment:) so we're going over tomorrow. The Stratmann's are so cool, I love them!

Wednesday, I went to Prenzlau and went on Tausch with Sister Daines.  It was super fun. We visited a member and did some finding, trying to share the Easter video. We all met back in Berlin on Thursday and ate burritos from this super cool burrito shop in our area.

We had Zone conference on Friday, which was great. We had to give a theme on how to help people of other cultures integrate into a german Ward, which I wasn't too pumped about but it went pretty well. Also, we are becoming a Facebook mission, which will be weird but I'm excited. They ordered burritos for lunch so we ate burritos yet again. I have no complaints. We also had our Easter Choir concert Friday night, which we've been practicing for forever. We didn't quite nail the Mendelssohn song, but almost. It was a cool night and also a miracle because there were almost 200 people there in our little old Gemeindehaus in East Berlin. We got roped in to locking the building, and our key got stuck in some stupid side door that someone opened, so we got home pretty late, but these two sweet sisters waited with us and drove us home.

Saturday, we went to Frankfurt (oder) and did a street display with our district. It was a lot of fun and I saw the bridge to Poland. I talked to this super awesome woman from Cyprus who is here with her husband while he gets medical treatment. She is so sweet and told me basically her entire life story and how she feels like Jesus Christ is walking right alongside them through this difficult time. It was so cool to hear her testimony, and she told me that if she ever sees missionaries, she'll go introduce herself to them. :)

None of our people came to church on Sunday. Fast and testimony meeting was great (and sometimes interesting) as always. One brother who has also had a lot of pain and health problems bore his testimony and said that it's been a blessing and a gift to have the patience to trust God and that everything will work out, even when he doesn't know what will happen. We broke our fast at our GML's house. He's the biggest redneck and we grilled up a storm, sat outside and enjoyed the sun. We had a nice little talk with his 17 y.old son about missionary life. He told us his favorite thing from Conference was Elder Bednar's quote "Be worthy, Stay Worthy." Leon is the best.

Happy Easter this week. Don't forget what it's all about. I am so thankful for Jesus Christ and that he suffered and died for us, and was resurrected so that we can all live again. Hallelujah. I know that He lives. He is the prince of peace.

Love you all!

Sister Simpson
We visited a member and she really liked this motorcycle driver. She had a pillow with his face on it.

Borrowing sister wilsons sunglasses and sister Daines' jacket

prenzlau and sister Daines

prenzlau and sister Daines

prenzlau and sister Daines

Tausch with sister Daines

Zoko with Sister Koch

Zoko with Elder Rockwood

After the Easter choir concert with Jenny, our crazy awesome
American choir director

Monday, April 3, 2017

Don't fear, just live right (Week 62)

Right after running to the church for sister Haynie's Arabic class..
we had just eaten a TON of soup. Bleh

We made mango sticky rice

Giant Fürst des Friedens poster on the Tiergarten building in downtown Berlin

Street display ft. Elder Mika playing the cello

Hello Family! Conference was amazing, and so was this week in general. (Haha) It was also probably one of the longest weeks EVER, but that's okay because its a short transfer.

Last Monday, we had FHE with our Bishop's family, which was historic, because they haven't had the missionaries over in a LONG time. We were super nervous to teach them because they're all super solid and intimidatingly perfect, and two of their kids are returned missionaries. Thankfully, the son taught the lesson. Sister Haynie destroyed everyone at table tennis though, so it was probably a successful night. 

We had tausch with the STLTs in Dahlem, which is always fun. Sister Porter made some delicious caramel to go with our ice cream and it's always fun to serve with them. We also went on Tausch with the Spandau Sisters, Sisters Ha and Wacker. I got to serve with Sister Wacker, who is such a great missionary. She's a super hard worker and we got to go running together, which is always a plus. We met with this 'referral' from online, but she is actually a member who joined the church 3 years ago in Italy. She moved here about a year ago and didn't know how to find the church. She miraculously ran into missionaries last year and gave them her information, but they never contacted her. We got this random referral email, and called her. She asked us to bring her a Book of Mormon and she was so excited, 'I've missed this book so much!' We shared the new 'Prince of Peace' video with her and her two kids and talked about Jesus Christ. 

We met with Martha again this week. We were on our way to her house for our appointment and she was on the bus. She was headed to take care of some problems she has had with her apartment. There was a misunderstanding and they wanted to kick her out. We got to help her out and translate because she doesn't speak german and now alles klar. And we taught her about the restoration and the priesthood. She has been reading in the Book of Mormon and she said that she believes it is true just like she believes the Bible is true. She's awesome. 

We did a street display on Saturday as a district. Elder Mika lugged a cello from Frankfurt (Oder) and played in the sun for 3 hours straight. It was great! Sister Haynie and I were about to leave and a couple rode by on their bikes and said, 'Hey! Mormons?' We laughed and did thumbs up- They did thumbs down. Haha. We thought it was funny. We hung up a poster with a picture of Jesus Christ on our door in our apartment building. We came home that night to find that someone had drawn on Jesus's face. It actually made me really mad, because I believe very strongly in being religiously tolerant and respecting. So I stewed a lot about it, because that is so disrespectful to the Savior of Mankind. And then I realized that His entire life was like that. He was spit on and laughed at and made fun of, but he knew why he was there. And He loved those people. He loves us no matter what. That is beautiful. Not only can He bring peace in our lives, but He is the best example of peace and humility and perfect love. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. 

Well, that's all I have time for. Love you all!
Sister Simpson
Karl Marx lol

Sister Haynie and I on a hippo

Sister Haynie and I on a hippo

My dear comp kissing a goat, right before it hit her with its horn

The best district photo ever gemacht

God bless America (that's the sound of freedom)