For Us

This past week I was left in a tizzy, never sure what was going to happen next and I ended up seeing the world from many different, and not always so many comfortable perspectives this week. 

I guess you could say this week was hectic-in it’s simplest terms. 

Monday our p-day ended a little early because we had to go wish our Relief Society President ‘Happy Birthday!’ and then it was off to Oma Voigt’s for Family Home Evening and Mandarin Orange-Quark (kfark) dessert (YUM!) Then it was home again home again and we fell into bed only to wake up the next day to a crazy crazy day!

We went to and appointment with the Elders, and to get there we had to hike, literally, a few kilometers from the closest train station to get there. (I seriously doubt these people were found dooring.) After we had some very interesting wild plant pasta cooked by a hippy we headed out and managed to make our train to get to Lahr. We even had enough time to print out our train tickets without having to struggle. When we got on the train we found the Schwenningen Elders and were chatting and catching up when the ticket controller came around and asked for our tickets.

Now, a little education on how the German train system works. You can buy a ticket by kilometers, but most of the time, it’s a lot easier AND cheaper, when you simply by a ticket by the state. In Bayern (Bavaria) you can buy a Bayern ticket. In Badden-Württenburg, you can buy a Baddy. Sister Smith and I both spent four transfers in Bayern and, even now, in a different state with different tickets, we refer to them as Bayerns. 

The Elders had joked with us a little bit when we called our tickets Bayerns, but it turns out that we weren’t lying. We did, indeed, have Bayerns in Badden-Württenburg. 

Do you see where this is going?

So the train controller came over, looked at the ticket and in a very sing-songy Schwäbisch dialekt declared, “You’re not going anywhere with this ticket.” We hadn’t realized till this point (once we had already been on the train for half an hour) that we had the wrong ticket! If you’re caught with a wrong ticket then you get heavily fined, at LEAST double the amount you should have paid. So Sister Smith and I stared at each other for a moment and I stared at the ticket in disbelief. I wanted to die from embarrassment. 

THANK GOODNESS we are obviously foreign! The man was very nice and just let us buy the Baddy on the train (which is not something every controller will do). So Sister Smith and I started scrambling to find any euro bills we could find. We managed to pull together the amount necessary and the man went along his merry way. I suppose we were even more lucky that it was apparent that it was a mistake, and they had been ordered by the office, sonst there would have been no way for us the purchase a Bayern. 
But once we completed the two hour and twenty minute trip to Lahr we realized that the ticket we had ordered for Thursday to tausch back was also a Bayern, which left us out ANOTHER 27 euro. 

Once everything was all figured out Sister Brinck and I hopped on the train for our two hour and twenty minute trip back to Singen. During which Sister Brinck got a shocked look on her face and said, “Oh no, that’s not good.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out her phone. 
Sister Packer and Sister Smith were in Lahr without a phone.

Luckily we had decided to tausch back the next evening, and after a fallen out appointment we were back on the train on Wednesday for the long train ride out to Lahr and back. Yes, I spent over eight hours on a train last week, just going back and forth on Austausch. I was going stark-raving mad being cooped up in a train for so long. 

But, no worries, Sister Smith and I ate McDonald’s and it temporarily solved the stress of the wrong tickets and other things.

Then Thursday we arrived at the church for interviews with President and Sister Miles and a few more fallen out appointments because of Easter, and then I realized, late Saturday night that, in the stress of the week, I had forgotten to write my talk for Sunday. 

I quickly wrote a talk, told myself it would have to do and hoped and prayed that the Lord would make it be okay. 

(I was secretly hoping that they would somehow forget about my talk, or that they would somehow they would realize that the language I had been speaking to them in was actually Klingon…or something. But alas, Horst Schäffer checked with me three times to make sure I remembered that I had a talk to give. 

So, I gave my talk.

I have to say, Easter is my favorite holiday, simply because of how much meaning it carries. 

The sacrament song they sang was, ‘I Know That My Redeemer Lives’ and I looked out into the congregation and the Gurney’s son, who speaks no German, began to cry while the song was being sung. I was struck by this and began to cry while sitting up on the stand. Thank goodness I had the entire sacrament to pull myself together, but unfortunately, it was all too soon that I had to get up to give my talk. 

What I said in Sacrament meeting yesterday is not important, because I simply want to impress upon you what I learned in my hurried preparation for this talk and in my desperate prayers and contemplation during the sacrament yesterday morning. 

In Ether we learn that when we have faith in God then we can hope for a better world, even a place at the right hand of God. But how is that possible when one day, we will all die. 

If you believe in Jesus Christ then the answer is easy. Of course we’ll be resurrected. But you would be surprised at how many people don’t actually have that assurance. The knowledge that we have a loving Heavenly Father, one who sent His Son to the earth, to be persecuted, betrayed, tortured, and nailed to a cross on Calvary after having carried all of the pains, all of the sorrows, the lonliness, the sadness, the guilt, the depression, and every other possible  horror that humankind could experience just a short time previous, is not common knowledge. 

Jesus Christ came to this earth so He could suffer for our sins and pains and everything else possible, just so we could live again. Jesus Christ died for us. He died so that we could be freed from the chains of sin and hell. And how grateful are we all for that wonderful, all powerful sacrifice.

But, perhaps more important than His suffering in Gethsemani and the completion of the Atonement on the Cross of Calvary, is the fact that Christ lives.

Without His triumph over death, the Atonement of Jesus Christ would have been for naught. 

So, yes, Christ died for us, but more importantly, He lives for us. Now. 

I give my testimony to you of a Living Christ. Who made it possible for me to live again and to be freed from the chains of sin, of hell, and of death. 

Doctrine & Covenants 42:46 it says, “And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them.” We all will be resurrected and death will not sting when we believe in Christ, who lives, today. For me, for you, for us. 

I just wanted to end with the lyrics to what is now my favorite song. 

The Way He Was Raised
Josh Turner

He always wore those worn out flip-flops
Spent hours in his daddy’s workshop
He loved being on the water
Fishin’ with His friends

He always listened to the old folks
When they’d tell stories and crack jokes
Didn’t talk back to his mama
When she got onto Him

Oh, thats just the way He was raised
Had to finish all His chores fore He could go outside and play
They always went to church, thats where He learned how to pray
And that’s just the way He was raised

He grew His hair out when He got older
Grew it clear down to His shoulders
Started hangin with the outcasts
When He went off to town

Some called Him a troublemaker
Even some said a lawbreaker
No matter how they talked about Him
He never put nobody down

Cause thats just the way He was raised
When people start to gossip He’d just walk away
He always loved His neighbor no matter what they’d say
Oh, that’s just the way He was raised

On a cross, on a hill
That long haired boy was killed
All our sins washed away
When He walked out of that grave

Oh, thats just the way He was raised
There’s no way we can measure the sacrifice He made
He knew He had to die for our debt to be paid
Oh, that’s just the way He was raised

It took the hand of God to roll the stone away
And that’s just the way He was raised
Yeah, that’s just the way He was raised

I love you all so much!


One thought on “For Us

  1. So many missionaries gave talks for Easter Sunday, I just wish we could hear each and every one! She has a beautiful testimony. Glad the train thing worked out…kind of!

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