The Refiner’s Fire

Well, this week was quite the adventure! On Monday we went with the Elders to visit a less active, Schwester B, who is always really medicated so she is always here and there and getting up and doing something else, turning on Romanian music and dancing, and then falling asleep in the middle of her sentences. It was quite the adventure. We met with her a couple more times during the week and the adventures just get more interesting.

But on Tuesday we went to distrikt meeting, like usual, but on the bus a woman from China started talking to Sister Henry and asked her where she was from and what she was doing here in Germany. When we got off the bus we took the woman to the church with us. I was able to talk to her in Chinese a little bit, though I have lost a good deal of what I once had, I still sound good enough for her to respond to me. But for the most part we talked in English.
Her name is Lily, yes, I know, but it gets better. Her Chinese name is the same character as my Chinese name, which is really crazy. And, Lily is really excited because we have the same eyes. Which is random, because a lot of Chinese people have really dark eyes and mine are hazel leaning on the green side and Lily was really excited when we were giving her a tour of the church because she decided we have the same eyes.

Lily lives in Shanghai and goes to Christian churches there. She has a strong faith in Christ and believes that everytime she’s having a difficult time in life, the Lord always gets her to church. She told us she’s looking for home, looking for something that feels right. She said that people in China think that she’s only half Chinese and she said that she feels that she doesn’t fit in there. When we showed her the Restoration DVD she said that Joseph Smith’s story was a lot like hers. She said that she was searching for something, but wasn’t sure what it was.

We talked with her on Friday about coming to church on Sunday and she said she wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to make it to church because she is on Vacation, but we promised her that if she came to church she would feel that it was good and that it was for what she was looking. But she told us she wasn’t sure.

So on Sunday, Sister Henry and I decided to fast that she would come to church, but I’m gonna be honest, I wasn’t sure how much faith I actually had that she was going to come, it was more of a hope that she would show up. We tried to call her on our way to the church, but her phone was off, and I was convinced that we weren’t gonna be able to get her to church.

I should know better than to doubt the Lord, because twenty minutes into combined Relief Society/Priesthood I heard the high heels clicking that only a funky Chinese doctor would wear. I turned around and lo and behold, there was Lily.

She LOVED church! She said that it felt so good and she felt comfortable. We met with her after church and the lesson was so spiritual and when she prayed it was SO powerful! She started crying she felt the spirit so strongly and Benji felt it too. It was just so incredible how the Lord works His miracles among the children of men.

We asked Lily if she would be baptized and she said she needed a little more time, which is find for now, but she doesn’t have a lot of time. She goes back to China on the 18th of July, so we’ve gotta get her baptized BEFORE she goes back. But I have confidence that the Lord has been preparing her for this and that she will be able to join the church and participate (just like Herr Ding, if you remember him) as a full and active member in China.

I talked a little bit about Schwester B, and well, we visited her twice in Reichenau, a clinic in the near where she is being treated. And that was quite interesting. It was a bit scary walking through the streets of the open area past buildings and people that were much too pleasant to be Germans. As we continued on we found a set of several chairs in an open field, all of them progressively more sunk into the ground. Strange.

This week I have been thinking a lot about missionary work and how difficult it is. It demands a lot from you. Full obedience, a complete bending of your will to the the Lord’s for eighteen months to two years. You are asked to leave everything behind, to forsake all of your hopes, your dreams, your desires, for that time and change yourself. I thought a lot about this unexpected demand from the missionary work. You think it will be easy to go out there, day in and day out , to talk to people about the gospel, to talk to people about why you believe in Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, everything. It all seems so easy to wake up at 6:30, put in fourteen hour days and then get pleasantly into bed at the end of a satisfying day. You expect that people will stop you on the street, that you’ll have many opportunities to teach people and to talk about all the incredible things you know, but instead, you’re in for a surprise.
Everyday you drag yourself out of bed and kneel down on the cold hard floor to pray for the strengh and the energy to do the work that day. You fight to stay awake during studies and then you go out only to be rejected, shut down, yelled at, cursed at, have doors slammed in your face, and get rained on. And if you’re lucky enough to avoid the rain, you end up getting soaked by your own sweat. And then, when you finally make it through the day, you kneel down on the floor again, and try not to fall asleep on your knees. Once you’re done praying you fall into bed, hoping that you’ll be able to fall alseep quickly, but the humidity keeps you awake, cooking in your bed until you fall asleep from pure exhaustion.
So why has every missionary said that it’s the best eighteen months or two years of their life? Why does every returned missionary wish that they were back in the mission field?Because every day you wake up, roll out of bed and speak with the Creater of the universe about your plans to help His children for the day.  Then you get to study the words of the Lord, to gain inspiration, guidance, and personal revelation. Then it’s off in the work of the salvation of souls. Speaking with the children of the Almighty about their loving Father who wants them to return safely home. You feel love and sorrow for those that reject the opportunity to hear the gospel, but you keep going on in the hope that someone, somewhere will be willing to listen. And so you press on, through the heat, the rain, the snow, the wind, the rejections, because what you’re doing is more important than the natural man. You push forward because there could be someone waiting around the next corner that could be ready to hear the gospel. The person on the bus next to you could be go through the temple in a year and a half, but you have to talk to them first. And then, at the end of the day, you come home, sweaty, tired, but happy, satisfied that you did your best. And again, you have a chance to sit and talk with your Heavenly Father to talk about all the things you did that day. To thank Him for His help, and for all the times you saw His hand in the work that day.

And you keep going throughout your mission, doing the work of the Lord, thinking that you’re doing it to change other people’s lives, and although you are, the greatest reason your there isn’t for the salvation of the souls of other men, rather, for the salvation of your own soul.
Every day in the work of the Lord is another day in the Refiner’s fire. And eventually, after eighteen months to two years, you realize how much has changed since you were first dropped into the unexpected blessing of missionary work. And you understand, that the Lord had planned to make you what you could be all along, it just took that time to make you what He wanted.
I have noticed in the last sixteen and a half months of service in the Lord that I have grown in ways I never would have imagined. I have come to understand the meaning of the scripture in 2 Corinthians: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” I still have a lot of time to continue to change on my mission. Plenty of time to continue the refining process. But I’m sure that though the Lord has taken some serious efforts to refine me on my mission, I know He will continue to do so throughout my entire life. I am just so grateful I have had, and continue to have the opportunity to lose my life for the Lord’s sake and the gospels.
I love you all, and I am so grateful for all of your prayers. I feel them every day.
Thank you!
Lillie
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We Are Sent

Transfer weeks are always really interesting. It involves a lot of running from member appointment to member appointment, saying goodbye, and then getting everything packed up and ready to go. Sister Smith and I left our apartment at 6:45 on Thursday morning to catch our train that left at 7:21. And, of course, it was a holiday, so we had to plan around that. We drove up to Stuttgart where I said goodbye to Sister Smith for three weeks and she continued her journey to Munich and eventually down to Graz. I stayed with the Stuttgart Sisters and worked with them for a few hours while I waited for Sister Henry to come on her train. It was really fun to work in Stuttgart, the people are really nice and it has a small town feel. I am still grateful I only worked in small towns. 

Sister Henry and I got home at about 9:30, we made the Elders come and take her stuff to our apartment, which is on the complete other side of town from where they live, but it was a holiday, so there were no busses.

We taught Erwin again this week, he’s making slow progress, but he’s progressing. He’s a funny guy, he’s really cleaned up since Benji told him to take a wash. This is Benji below. He’s the funniest Englishman I know! He’s great. One of my best friends on my mission. 

We took this picture at the Überlingen Finding Day where we gave out 30 Books of Mormon! How cool is that? (Unfortunately I couldn’t get the computer to recognize the picture.)

Image

Sister Henry and I in Stuttgart Bahnhof. 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” -Romans 10: 13-15

 

I read this scripture this morning and I thought it had a really great application to missionary work, because it’s talking about missionary work!

There are so many people in this world who have never even heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before, and they have no idea what we believe, what makes us different, why we are indeed the true Church of the Living Christ. There are so many people who just need to learn about the gospel to accept it, and as missionaries, we have this wonderfully unique opportunity to do it full time. But there are still opportunities in every day life. All we have to do is look for them. The missionary opportunities we have may not necessarily come in the form of finding a non member family who is willing to hear about the gospel, but perhaps strengthening the neighbor that’s having a difficult time with their testimony.

 

A lot of times we misunderstand what it means to be ‘sent’ in our daily lives. Missionaries are ‘sent’ to specific areas of the world to teach people for a time, but members are ‘sent’ to specific wards, or to specific people to help those people in ways the Lord has planned. We just need to be sensitive and willing to listen to those promptings. I am so grateful that for this time I have been able to work where I have been sent, but I also know I’ll be getting a new call soon. I have to accept the fact that where the Lord sends me is where he wants me. After all, the work of the Lord goes on in all parts of the world. 

I love you all!

Lillie​

 

The Same Church; The Church of Jesus Christ

The sounds of screams, excited whistles, and the boom of speakers can be heard outside. Tonight is the first Germany game of the Welt Meisterschaft. Quite a trip I must say. The city has a jumbo screen set up in the middle of town to play the game so that everyone can watch it. The Germans are VERY patriotic when it comes to soccer. President Miles has told us that we can watch two games, so a lot of the missionaries will be waiting for the Germany v. America game and then a semi final or final game. It’ll be really intense to see what the Germans do when they win, or when they lose. There have been people wandering around decked out in German flags and soccer jerseys.Football is big everywhere, but in Europe it’s a totally different game.

We received transfer calls this week, on Friday, from President Miles. I will be ending my mission in the beautiful city of…Singen! With Sister Henry. We will continue to be Sister Training Leaders which is great, because Sister Smith is going to the beautiful city of Graz, to work with Sister Smith. Yes, that’s not a joke. I imagine this is how their contacting will go down:

“Hi, I’m Sister Smith, and this,” gestures to companion, “is also Sister Smith and we’re talking to people about Joseph Smith.”

But it will be great because they will also be Sister training leaders in their neck of the woods and we’ll see them in a couple of weeks for MLC.

Well, this last week we met with E again, and he’s doing alright. We’re still talking to him about baptism, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. We talked about tithing on Sunday. A lot of people are against paying tithing, even though it talks about it in the Bible. I remember an investigator in Wels who would always ask us who Melchizedek was. I was always really glad to say that I knew who he was. Melchizedek was a High Priest of God, the man to whom Abraham paid his tithing.

But as I was thinking about Melchizedek and the reflections of this aspect of the ancient church in the Bible and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I thought it quite interesting that our church really is the same church from the bible. Granted, we also believe the Law of Moses to have been fulfilled with the coming of Christ, which is a part of doctrine that is often over looked.

But I think it’s really interesting ALL of the similarities that our church has to the Church of the Bible, perhaps because it is the exact church,restored to the earth?

1. The Church in the Bible was organized by Christ, and the true church must be as well, to cut down all the confusion and the wonderings of the doctrines. But the true Church, the Church of Jesus Christ, would be His church, organized and led by Him. Sound familiar?

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

-Ephesians 4:11-14

2. The true Church of Christ would be His, it would bear His name, He would direct its doings and would tell His people how they should live.

“Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” -Ephesians 5:23

3. The Church of Jesus Christ would have a foundation of Prophets and apostles, having been called of God. They would strive to do the will of the Lord for the church.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

 “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” -Ephesians 2:19-20

4. The true church of God would have divine authority from God.  The prophets and apostles would have been called of God to do His will and not to glorify themselves. They would live quiet lives striving to serve the Lord.

“And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

“So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

“As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

“Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” Hebrews 5:4-10

5. Those who work in the true Church of God would serve without payment. They would serve because they wanted to serve God, because they love him.

“I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.

“Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” -Acts 20:33-35 (see also: 1 Cor 9:16-18; John 10:11-13)

6. Baptism by immerson.

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

“But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

“And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.” -Matthew 3:13-16

7. Receiving the Holy Ghost (after baptism) by the laying on of hands

“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

“(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

“Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” -Acts 8:14-17

8. Healing, having been ordained with the power and authority of God (also by the laying on of hands)

“And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

“And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.” – Mark 3:14-15

9. Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Gost are three separate beings

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” – John 17:11

“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” -John 20:17

“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him

“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” -Matthew 3:16-17

10. God and Jesus Christ must have bodies of flesh and bone.

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Hebrews 1:1-3

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” -Genesis 1:26-27

11. Those who are in the Church, bust be called of God.

“And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.” Exodus 28:1

12. Revelation from God through prophets.

“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” -Amos 3:7

13. There must be missionaries called to preach to the world!

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20

14. The true Church must be restored not reformed.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” -Amos 3:19

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:

“And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” -Amos 8:11

15. Baptisms for the dead

“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

“Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” -1 Corinthians 15:16, 29

“Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20

I would say that the fruits of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are the fruits of the true Church of Christ. I give my testimony that this is the true and RESTORED Church on the earth. Christ leads and guides this church and His prophets and apostles.

I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a representative who carries His name and I can testify to you, that this is His church, the only true and living God is in charge and He is pleased with all those who search for the truth, and find it.

I love you all!

Lillie

Come to the Well

Well, it is HOT!!!! I’m sitting here cooking in the internet cafe. I am sitting in a puddle of my own sweat in this leather chair an it is humid. I’m just so grateful I’m not an Elder. One of the Elders was asked today if he was sweating because he was wearing long pants. Skirts are no fun in the winter, but I am so grateful for them in the summer! Rough Sailing Captian!
Yesterday we had the opportunity to watch a broadcast from Zollikofen (where the Bern temple is) at which Elder Niel A. Anderson and Präsident Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke. The broadcast was to all of the Swiss Stakes and it was a great opportunity to listen to these apostles speak It was interesting because President Uchtdorf spoke in English, but his English sounded a little rougher and a little less polished as it usually does. After talking it over, Sister Smith and I came to the conclusion that he had been speaking in German and switching back into English must have been a little uncomfortable for him. But it was just incredible to see and to hear their words. And, at the end, we got to hear him speak a few words in German. His German is really one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard! True Hoch Deutsch, with absolutely no Dialekt. It was BEAUTIFUL!

This week I wanted to share one of my favorite songs with you. I consider myself lucky that my trainer, Sister Judd, at the beginning of my mission introduced Christian Rock to me. One song, and it’s description have stayed with me my whole mission.

The song is called ‘The Well’. It talks about how we run around looking for satisfaction in life, but never find it because the source they’ve chosen is of the world. They still thirst because their sources of water are physical and not spiritual. 

This song was inspired by the New Testament story of the woman at the well. The woman talked to the Savior and begged him to give her this water that He spoke of, water that would keep her from thirsting and would make her life a lot easier. But she, like a lot of us, misunderstood what well the Savior was talking about. When the Savior speaks of living water, He is talking about himself, the gospel, all good things that come from God. Those are the things that will keep us happy and keep us spiritually sound. I just think what the author of the song said is so interesting about the story of the woman at the well:

“This woman thought she was standing by a well and talking to a man, but really she was standing by a hole in the ground and talking to the Well.”

I have what you need,
But you keep on searchin,
I’ve done all the work,
But you keep on workin,
When you’re runnin on empty,
And you can’t find the remedy,
Just come to the well.

You can spend your whole life,
Chasin what’s missing,
But that empty inside,
It just ain’t gonna listen.
When nothing can satisfy,
And the world leaves you high and dry,
Just come to the well

And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well

So bring me your heart
No matter how broken,
Just come as you are,
When your last prayer is spoken,
Just rest in my arms a while,
You’ll feel the change my child,
When you come to the well

And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well

Leave it all behind

The world will try, but it can never fill… leave it all behind

And now that you’re full,
Of love beyond measure,
Your joy’s gonna flow,
Like a stream in the desert,
Soon all the world will see that living water is found in me,
Cuz you came to the well

And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well

Casting Crowns

 

Sorry it’s so short! But I love you all! 

Love, Lillie

“Ich Weiß der Herr Euch Liebt”‏

Well, this week was quite an interesting one. We were in Munich Thursday to Friday for Mission Leadership Council and that was quite an adventure. On the way there Sister Smith and I were so proud of ourselves because we had gotten out of the apartment with all of our stuff and we were at the bus stop with two minutes to spare! It was completely stress free! We were going to get to Bahnhof a little early, but that was okay because we had a few things to check on the Deutsche Bahn Machines.

While we were waiting at the bus we were getting a little antsy because the bus was a little late (as usual) but we both kept feeling like we were forgetting something. And so, we ran through a mental list of all the things we needed, checking it against each other, but couldn’t think of anything. 

It was while we were going through the list that we saw the bus come up and then pass the street it was supposed to turn onto. It was then that we realized that instead of the number three it was the number two and wasn’t our bus, the only problem was that the number two wasn’t supposed to run at that time. 

Sister Smith and I looked at each other and we both knew it. It was a holiday. 

In Germany, forty days after Easter is Christi Himmelfahrt (Christ’s return to heaven) and therefore, the buses run at different times. So, knowing we had just missed the only bus that would take us to Bahnhof in time, we started to run to catch our train. We left our apartment at 10:47 and arrived at Bahnhof at 11:05, a trip that usually, when we walk, takes us about forty minutes. We must have looked ridiculous  running with two suitcases (one of them completely empty), in skirts down the street. 

Earlier in the week the sole had come off my good walking shoes and I was wearing a pair of worn out ballet flats that are too big for my feet (imagine that). it was quite an adventure, but we made it in more than enough time for our train which left at 11:19.

The trains to Munich were relatively uneventful, we found a woman from France who is living in Augsburg on the train and we gave her a card with the number from the Sisters there. It was so nice to drive through that city again. Just thinking about it makes me happy. 

Once we were in Munich we headed down the the S-bahns and rushed onto the S7 to get to Solln. I hopped on, Elder Garrett came right after me, and so did Elder Mickelson, but those darn doors shut on Sister Smith’s face and left her there on the Bahnsteig. And I had the phone. 

The only thing was that we had to make that S-bahn to make it to our meeting in time. When we got to the next station I said, “We should get off here.” Elder Garrett wanted to leave Sister Smith back on that Bahnsteig without her companion. “Sister Smith is going to be waiting on the Gleis” I said, getting off the train. The Elders would have left me there alone to go back to get Sister Smith, but they ended up getting off the train and it left without them so they decided to come back with me and get Sister Smith. And just like I promised Elder Garrett (even though he didn’t believe me) Sister Smith was sitting there waiting for me to come back. 

We were about a half our late to our meeting, but we got a ride from the S-Bahn station to the church.

On Friday President Miles pleaded with us, weeping, that we would talk to people on the street, in trains, in buses. He was begging us to do it, not because of numbers, but because of love. Because this is the Lord’s work and because this is what He wants us to do, to bring souls unto Christ. It was one of the biggest slaps to the face for all of the missionaries there. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers as a missionary, but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here to bring people unto Christ, to baptize people and to help people get to the temple so they can live with their families forever. It certainly changed my perspective on my work. 

Then it was back on the train to Ulm, which we were all thankful was an ICE. ICE trains are really nice and fast and look like the clones from Star Wars. We got all of our stuff into one cabin, our once empty suitcases filled with packages of heavy Books of Mormon and we settled in for the nice long trip. As we were on the train a man came and sat in the cabin and started working on his computer and kept to himself. Once we hit Gessertshausen (a place in Augsburg’s area) the train stopped and policemen started going up and down the aisle outside of our cabin. We’re still not sure what was going on. But as we were stopped in Gessertshausen the man turned to us and, in perfect English asked us what we did here in Germany.

This started an interesting talk about the First Vision and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. This man, Karim was from Tunisia and had seen a documentary about the Mormons on television. He said that the documentary hadn’t been so nice, but that he was excited to hear the information from the actual sources. He asked us so many questions and many of them were deep insightful questions and we were able to provide answers that left him wanting more. 

By the time we pulled into Ulm Bahnhof we had been talking to him for a considerable amount of time. We got his information and the missionaries in Munich will be visiting him in the next few days and as soon as we all got off the train we knew that the train’s unexpected delay was just for Karim. 

Unfortunately, because of the delay we missed our connection, and the other two trains we took to get to Singen were both delayed ten to twenty minutes each. We got home around 11:30 that night. 

The next morning we got up so we could go to Schwenningen, a branch in our Zone so we could be a part of a finding day that their Relief Society put on. We split up with the members of the Relief Society and talked to people on the street for a couple of hours. It was so good for the members that came and they were all so exicted to share their missionary experiences with everyone afterward. 

But Sunday was the best. Every Fast and Testimony meeting Kim Joy, a girl in our branch with Down Syndrome, is always the first to give her testimony. She walks up from the front row, her arms full of books, scriptures and manuals, and opens them all up and then says the same thing every time. “My talk today is about the temple and I know that the Lord loves all of you. I know the Lord loves all of you. It says in the scriptures that the Lord loves all of you. And I give testimony that the Lord loves all of you.” And then she closes all of her books and then goes and sits down. 

Kim Joy has a very special calling in this life and I believe that we can all learn a lot from her. She gives affection freely and every Sunday I either get a running hug accompanied by the sound of “HAMMOCK!” or I hear from the Branch President or his wife that Kim Joy is waiting for me in the other room. And during Relief Society she cuddles with me and scratches my back and gives me hugs for no reason. 

Kim Joy is the epitome of pure unselfish love.  

I would say that we all need to learn a little bit about loving people like she does. She doesn’t care who you are, what you look like, how well or how poorly you speak German, she doesn’t care if you’re beautiful, rich, handsome, or well educated because she understands something that I think we all forget a little too easily. She knows so deeply and so internally that we are all children of our Heavenly Father and that He loves us. And because He loves us we should love others. And Kim Joy is a fantastic example of that. 

I would challenge all of you this week to see people as children of God. Try to see them as God sees them. And maybe tell a few people that. Because it never hurts to hear that someone loves you.

“Ich weiß der Herr euch liebt”

-Kim Joy

I love you all!

Lillie