Lds

Happy Friday, guys and dolls.

I have so many things running through my head and I want to tell you all of it. Okay? Okay.

1. Girl’s Night. 

Last night was our first annual Girl’s Night. A couple weeks ago some of my wardies were at my house because of a relief society activity and I told them I wanted to do a Neighborhood Girl’s Night every month. But I didn’t know how to go about it and, honestly, I was scared.

Right then they were like “Okay, when, where, how, who?” They pushed it along and we had a date set! It would be every first Thursday of the month. I climbed into bed and curled up in a ball because I was so excited/scared.

So last night it happened. The neighbor girls brought awesome food, we hung out with some neighbors that we only see outside of church, we chatted and goofed off and laughed and it ohhh, it was everything I needed.

So, yeah, a shout out to the fab party committee– Karina, Amber, Allie, and Charlie. Y’all rock.

2. The deal with missionary work.

At girl’s night Allie brought her neighbor named Abby. She’s from India and was seriously the star of the party. She was loud and funny and interesting and smart and laughed easily.

Get this: she’s been living in the apartment under Allie for SIX YEARS and no one has known about her!

SIX YEARS.

She said she just doesn’t know a lot of girls and hasn’t had a lot of people to hang out with.

I freaking complain if I don’t hang out with girls in a two-week period, but I still have church that puts me in a room full of girls for an hour every Sunday and I have monthly church activities with all girls.

My heart sank when I heard this about Abby. I was so, so sad.

On Sunday we had a lesson on missionary work. I usually put a guard on when we talk about missionary work because too often I feel like I’m being guilted into it. Like, “When you’re in the afterlife, your neighbors are going to confront you and say ‘Why didn’t you teach me about Jesus?’ and you’re going to feel so bad.” Oh, please! Get your space doctrine shaming out of my face.

But this did not happen on Sunday. Completely opposite. The sister missionaries spoke with us and they are both converts. One of them was raised Baptist and she used to go off about them crazy Mormons. Of course I loved that story. And now she’s on an LDS missionary.

They shared one scripture at the end. I felt like I got smacked on the face when they read it:

John 21:15-17

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

When I think of Jesus, all I think about is countless love He has for me. So when I thought about feeding his sheep, I thought about how much love we need to love everyone around us. Feed our neighbors with love.

When the Word of Wisdom first came out in the LDS church, we were encouraged to not drink alcohol. We were encouraged to drink moderately. But things didn’t change and we didn’t take that encouragement seriously, so it became a commandment. I’ve been thinking about that with missionary work, except that we are commanded to love our neighbor. As Mormons and Christians, loving is a commandment. But, like the Word of Wisdom, if we can’t love our neighbors on our own, that’s when our wards are going to start picking on us and assigning us people to go and serve.

What I’m saying is that loving and serving others is so important, because no one should have to wait six years for a girlfriend to knock on their door and invite them to a girl’s night.

Anyway, this is probably super boring. Maybe I should have written this all in my journal instead, but whatevs. But can you FEEL me here? Can you FEEL the smack on my face to serve others? Ya feeling me, y’all? 🙂

3. My lesson on Sunday

I taught and what I loved so much was studying the scriptures that day before. I spent six hours studying, looking at history sites online, and overall trying to better understand the bible. You guys! Sennacherib, the King of Assyria, was a total a-hole. And the Assyrians were brutal, man.

Also, I figured out who the freaking Levites were. I felt like I understood the whole 12 Tribes thing, and then the Levites are mentioned in the very first verse I’m supposed to read, so I spent an hour trying to figure out the 12 Tribes all over again.

I love being a gospel doctrine teacher. I am learning so much about the bible. The Old Testament rocks.

4. Humans of New York

Humans of New York is traveling the world right now, making my Facebook feed the best. thing. ever. You guys need to check it out.  I’m learning about the world through simple quotes of people in Uganda, South Sudan, Jordan, etc.

5. This whole book writing thing.

I just erased everything I wrote about this. Hah. The issue with talking about this is that I feel like I’m getting really personal in a really vague way. Point is, I’m still writing and it hurts so much to write it. It hurts me the second I start thinking about it. It was such a short time with so many emotions and different situations. The beautiful, hilarious, wonderful, awful, the most embarrassing moment of my life (I still cringe that one day I’m going to put it on paper), heartbreaking, weird, scary, ridiculous, and one day I’m going to write it all and then stick MY name on it and say, yep, every bit of that was me. Love me, shame me, hate me–it’s all me.

6.

Nah, I don’t have a six. Going to post this now. I’m going to take a picture of myself right now because my posts like double in readership when I post a picture, haha. I went running with my buds this morning up the mountain and then I came home and slept… Until 11am. Haha! FYI, we found out how long that mountain trail is–four miles! Up hill, down hill, rocky, foresty. Oh, you guys I love it so much. Anyway, so I’m still in bed and I still haven’t showered, hence the photo.

OH MY GOSH I HAVE A 6TH!

(legit) 6. BYU PEOPLE, STOP RUNNING OVER MY BROTHER-IN-LAW!

Kevin has a broken foot right now. Why? Because he was riding his bike and someone ran into him in their car. This is his SECOND time that he’s gotten hit while riding his bike. I’m pissed. People, don’t run over my family. Look where you’re going. Be careful.

Ope, here’s a 7th… I’m practicing my German… by myself. Sad, really. 🙂

This is me at 6p.m. on a Monday. It looks like 11pm outside so maybe I’ll just lie here all night… Until it really is 11pm.
Day 110.
I’m sorry my posts per week have been going down. I know you missed me. 😉  It’s just, it’s gotten really dark in Kiel. Like, really dark. By 4 it’s dark. It’s setting at 3. And today we were so lucky to have blue skies and sun so I could look out of my office and sigh at the beautiful day and soak in as much vitamin D as possible. But other than that, if you’ve been to Germany it’s just… grey. 
And I know people say it’s not like that everywhere and that it’s really bad in Schleswig-Holstein, but my goodness it was grey in Berlin and my goodness it was grey in Köln and Aachen, so yes, my overall idea of Germany’s weather is grey. Any other thoughts on the matter?
I have two and a half more weeks until I go home. How freaking crazy is that, guys? Where did the past three months go?
So the time has gone by fast, but it’s going incredibly slow right now. I’m glad I got to come on the internship early and enjoy two whole months of sun, because these clouds do a doozy on my emotions. I haven’t really picked up my go-to motivational happy Anne mode since I went to Berlin, as you can see from the absent blog posts. 
But that doesn’t mean there’s been some way rad times, so let me talk about those too:

Day 105. I went to Thanksgiving at the RIZ’s and my (English accent) flat mate, Lane, came with me. Lane is from Nebraska and his wife is teaching English in Bulgaria right now. We drooled over our food as we ate Thanksgiving that the wonderful Margetts prepared for us. I got to see Spencer’s mission president again in which I came up to him with my hands flying everywhere cause I was so excited, so he held my hands.
“You are my husband’s mission president.”
He got a big grin on his face, still holding my hands. “Who is your husband?”
“Well, I’m scared to tell you his name,” I said, laughing.
I told him Spence’s name.
And then he grinned again. Grin, grin, grin. And I laughed because that grin, I’m sure, could mean so many things, knowing all of Spencer’s stories from his mission. 
“And you are his wife,” he said.
“Yes.”
He squeezed my hands. “Give him a very big, wonderful greeting from me.” (I don’t know how to translate that without it coming off as awkward, but you get what I mean.)
We had a huge crowd for Thanksgiving. The missionaries invited some super fun people, the Margetts are just always a blast, ALL of the young adults were there–it was a party. Oh yes, and everyone thought Lane was an investigator so Lane got missionaryized. Lane took it well. Lane is like the nicest person around so I wasn’t too worried. Plus there was delicious food and nothing could go wrong at a Thanksgiving fest.
On Day 106 Sunna, Petra and I visited our co-worker Anika, who just had a baby a couple weeks before. I nearly died when I saw her apartment. Oh. My. Gosh. I was walking into a living Pinterest. Every room was decorated in its own personality. First off, she had all light wood floors which I want in my house. And then french doors. And then she had two rooms that were both open so it looked like a long room and at the end of the long room was a bar in the corner. With stools! Like, how much fun would that be? You could have a whole classy dance party or a super fun Christmas party with bunches of fun drinks, alcohol free cause I’m cool that way and ohhh my. 
And then the kitchen was rad too. There was a spiral staircase and then two of the walls had this like graffiti wallpaper on it. Ohhh man you guys oh man oh man. 
…Okay so yes, maybe one of the coolest things that has happened to me in the past few weeks is that I walked into an apartment, but whatever.
I got to hold baby too. Oh baby baby baby. And baby is wearing pink and blue. Love it.

THEN on Saturday Day 108 Petra and the fam and some friends and I saw Catching Fire. Ohh man. All of Kiel was at the movies. Popcorn EVERYWHERE. You just walk around and wonder if there was a hole in the bottom of everyone’s popcorn buckets because holy crap. And the movie was so good. Gah! Jennifer Lawrence is a babe. So good. 
Sunday on Day 109 was the last Sunday for the Margetts before they go home, as well as for Elder Casper and Elder Paul, who have been transferred. Elder Casper is going to Forst and he will be opening a new program there. Elder Paul is going to Magdeburg, so look out for him, Sandra! I’m going to miss those two like crazy.
Anyway we had lots of fun taking pictures. 

Top: Elder Dospil (Austria), Elder Larsen (Idaho), Elder Casper  (Utah), Sister Rimmasch (Utah)Bottom: Elder Paul (Stuttgart on the military base), Me, and Sister Johnson (Utah (Lindon! She knows my cousin Cass!))Sister Johnson is the newest one and she is a blast. I laugh my head off every time I’m with her. She makes the funniest faces, the funniest jokes. I die. Yup. I just die of laughter. 

Me with the Margetts’. 
My apologies for the extremely awful iphone resolution. Ick. 
Tonight, back to Day 110, I got out of my bed after 6pm and went to Family Home Evening. I said goodbye to the Margetts and Elder Casper and Elder Paul. The Margetts have been a huge blessing to me. I always felt loved and wanted when I came to Family Home Evening and Institute and I loved talking about home and American things. They are wonderful people. The lucky part for me is that I get to go to their homecoming in December because I will be home and we live very close. AND my friend Saher is going to be in town until January so he’ll be there too. I don’t know why you’d want to come to Utah to celebrate Christmas when your family is in Nazareth. It’s his first time in America and I hope he enjoys it. I always worry when people are so excited to come to America that they’re going to be disappointed. It’s beautiful, but I think it’s so hard for some to grasp how gigantic America is. It’s a lot of traveling to get from A to B.
Tomorrow is the Christmas party at work and I’m taking pictures. Friends, have a good week. Salt Lakers, I’ll see you super soon.

Sunna and Petra were my lifesavers during my internship in Kiel, Germany!

Want to see more of my adventure in Kiel? Click here!


On Day 102 I gave a talk at church:

In English
My time in Kiel is full of blessings. When my professor asked if I would be an intern at the state chancellery, my husband and I had no idea how we would pay for it. The plane ticket, the rent for two apartments, our expensive tuition—it’s impossible, I thought. One night I kneeled next to my bed and prayed with remembrance of the scripture in Mark chapter 11 verse 24, which says, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” The next day I received an email from my professor who said I received a 1500 dollar scholarship. The next week I received another email with another scholarship. Later my husband and I received grants for our tuition. God answered my prayer. He answered with a storm of blessings.
The blessings didn’t stop. My husband and I prayed for my safety and protection, for nice co-workers, and peace in my heart. On the first day in Kiel my co-worker Sunna was immediately my friend. She asked me how I felt and that I must tell her if I need anything. On the first Sunday at church Brother Zickler asked who I was and invited me to dinner that night. My co-worker Petra showed me Kiel and took me grocery shopping. The Margetts gave me their number and said I should call even in the middle of the night if anything happens.
Although I was so surprised by how fast God answered my prayers, I am even more surprised by how many people showed me and charity and served me. We always read in the scriptures and hear from our prophet that service and charity are unbelievably important. In Luke chapter 6 verse 35 it says, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be children of the Highest.”
I can’t say that service is easy. We are busy. We have kids, spouses, jobs, callings, and sometime we have to find time for ourselves. I often feel that I can’t serve in Kiel because German isn’t my native language, I don’t have enough money to help others, and I always burn the cookies I bake. How can I serve in Kiel?
One day Sister Rimmasch called me. “We have an appointment in a half hour and we need a third person. Can you come with?” I met the sisters at the RIZ and was surprised by their reactions. “You are SERIOUSLY the answer to our prayers!” Sister Rimmasch said. “We had no idea how we were going to make it.”
We are all blessings for others when we serve, just like the Zicklers, the Margetts, and my co-workers are blessings for me. In Moroni chapter 7 verse 47 it says that charity is “the pure love of Christ.”
I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows my desires and answers my prayers. I am thankful for our church that teaches us as children how important serving and loving others is. I know we will be blessed if we serve others. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

For more talk ideas for sacrament meeting, check out my father’s day talk and my talk on gratitude.
Auf Deutsch—
Meine Zeit in Kiel ist voller Segnungen. Wenn meine Professorin mich gefragt hat, ob ich eine Praktikantin bei der Staatskanzlei sein wurde, hatten mein Mann und ich keine Ahnung wie wir das bezahlen könnten—das Flugticket, die Miete für zwei Wohnungen, unsere teure Studiengebühr. Es ist unmöglich, dachte ich. Eine Nacht habe ich neben meinem Bett gesessen und habe mit der Erinnerung von Markus Kapitel 11 Vers 24 gebetet: „Darum sage ich euch: Alles, worum ihr betet und bittet—glaubt nur, dass ihr es schon erhalten habt, dann wird es euch tu teil.“ Am nächsten Tag habe ich eine E-Mail von meiner Professorin bekommen, die sagt, dass ich ein 1500 Dollar Stipendium bekommen habe. Die nächste Woche habe ich eine andere E-Mail mit noch einen Stipendium bekommen. Später haben mein Mann und ich Geld von der Uni bekommen, damit unsere Studiengebühr nicht so teuer wurde. Gott hat mein Gebet gehört. Er hat mit einem Sturm von Segnungen geantwortet.
Die Segnungen haben nicht aufgehört. Mein Mann und ich haben für meinen Schutz und meine Sicherheit gebetet, und auch für gute Mitarbeiter und Frieden in meinem Herz. Am ersten Tag in Kiel war meine Mitarbeiterin Sunna sofort meine Freundin. Sie hat mich gefragt, ob ich mich wohl fühlte und dass ich ihr sagen muss, wenn ich was brauche. An den ersten Sonntag bei der Kirche hat Bruder Zickler mich gefragt, wer ich bin und hat mich zum Abendessen eingeladen. Meine andere Mitarbeiterin Petra hat mir Kiel gezeigt und nahm mich zum Einkaufen mit. Die Margetts haben mir ihre Nummer gegeben und sagte, ich soll anrufen, auch in der Mitte der Nacht, wenn etwas passiert.
Obwohl ich immer überrascht war, von wie oft und schnell Gott meine Gebete geantwortet hat, bin ich mehr überrascht wie viele Leute mir Dienen und Nächstenliebe gezeigt haben. Wie lesen immer in den Schriften und hören immer von unserem Prophet, dass Liebe, Dienen, und Nächstenliebe unglaublich wichtig sind. In Lukas Kapitel 6 Verse 35, steht es, „Ihr aber sollt eure Feinde lieben und sollt Gutes tun und leihen, auch wo ihr nichts dafür erhoffen könnt. Dann wird euer Lohn groß sein und ihr werdet Söhne des Höchsten sein.“
Ich kann aber nicht sagen, dass Dienen einfach ist. Wir sind sehr beschäftigt. Wie haben Kinder, Ehegatten, Berufe, Berufungen in der Kirche, und irgendwann müssen wir Zeit für uns selbst finden. Ich fühle mich oft, dass ich in Kiel nicht gut dienen kann, weil Deutsch nicht meine Muttersprache ist, weil ich nicht genug Geld habe, anderen zu helfen, oder weil meine Kekse immer verbrannt sind und ich kann sie überhaupt nicht zu anderen geben. Wie kann ich in Kiel dienen?
Ein Tag hat Sister Rimmasch mich angerufen. „Wir haben einen Termin in eine halbe Stunde und brauche eine dritte Person“ sagte sie. „Können Sie mit uns kommen?“ Ich habe die Sisters beim RIZ getroffen. Ich war überrascht von ihren Reaktionen als sie mich gesehen haben. „Sie sind SERIOUSLY die Antwort von unserem Gebet“ sagte Sister Rimmasch. „Wir hatten keine Ahnung, wie wir zu dem Termin kommen könnten.“
Wir sind alle Segnungen für anderen, wenn wir dienen, genau wie die Zicklers, die Margetts, und meine Mitarbeiter, Segnungen für mich sind. In Moroni Kapitel 7 Vers 47, steht es, dass Nächstenliebe „die reine Christusliebe“ ist.
Ich bin dankbar für ein liebevoller Vater im Himmel, der meine Wunsche kennt und meine Gebete antwortet. Ich bin dankbar für unsere Kirche, die uns schon als Kinder lehrt, die Wichtigkeit anderen zu lieben und dienen. Ich weiß, dass wir gesegnet werden, wenn wir für anderen dienen. Ich sage das in Name Jesus Christus. Amen.

Day 36.

At FHE Christoph did a small spiritual lesson. I can’t remember. It was something about light. Jack and I were the only youth, besides the six elder/sister missionaries who the Margetts called when they saw that no one was there. After the lesson, the Margetts said, “Our activity today is cleaning! Yay!”

Jack raked the leaves outside. The sister missionaries cleaned the doors and tables upstairs. The Elders and I did the downstairs. 

I wiped off the dust off the piano. Sister Margett has been complaining about that for weeks.

Elder Larsen is my favorite missionary. He is comfortable talking to me. He asks about my husband, my work, how my day is. The other missionaries crawl into a ball and hide in the corner when I talk to them. Well, not really, but, kind of.

Every time I see how awkward missionaries are around girls, I think of the story of Spence on his mission. His companion was really awkward around girls. And his companion felt that Spencer was always going up to cute girls on the street to preach the gospel (haha!). One day his companion was being super awkward and perhaps a bit bothered that Spencer was talking to another cute girl on the street.

 “Dude!” Spencer yelled. “One day you’re going to marry a girl from church. Do you want all of your options to be ugly? I’m doing you a favor here!”

FREAKING LOVE HIM. Hahahaha.

After cleaning, Sister Margetts had garlic meatball rolls upstairs for us. Delish.

Sister Margetts and I talked for a while. I talked about missing my husband, Movie Night, the daily things, and she talked about her mission—the hard times, the good times. At the beginning of the year the Margetts transferred from Dresden to Kiel. They really needed someone to cook/feed the youth during the Monday and Wednesday activities. It was completely different than the kind of work she was doing in Dresden. The transfer was really hard for them and it was right around Christmas. They had so much to send home and barely any room in their car to take all of their stuff. They pretty much had to start over in Kiel.

It really made me love Sister Margetts so much more. Her knee hurts, she doesn’t sleep very well, she has left her family, but she always has a smile on and is always willing to cook. Gosh, she has to cook for a huge crowd several times in the week. I just can’t believe it. She and Elder Margett are so loving and know the gospel is true and I just love it.

But somewhere in our conversation, I felt something on the back of my head. I thought I had just an inch, but then I touched something. 

Eek! Spider! 

I tried pulling it off my head, but then Bzzz! A crazy burning sensation on my thumb. Bite. Spider bite.
I jumped out of my chair and screamed “Scheiße!” in front of eight missionaries and Jack. I ran around shaking my head around, hoping the thing was out.
I grabbed my hand where the stinging was. My hand was blood red. Sister Margetts pushed me into the kitchen where a First Aid kit was. She stuck my hand in baking soda.

Then from the other room I heard, “Hey, it’s a hornet!”

A hornet sting?! Damn hornet.

At that moment all of my Christian morals were gone. I wanted to kill that hornet. I wanted to go ape sh*t on that hornet.

Jack came in the kitchen with a piece of paper over a plastic cup. “I have your friend,” he said to me.

KIIILLL IT!!!!! I was a grizzly bear inside.

“I’ll go take it outside now,” he said, walking away.

I glared at him as he hopped down the stairs like freaking Cindy Lou Who with his happy hornet friend.

Then I took a deep breath and all was well. Christian morals restored. Ouch, my thumb.

Day 33.

After work on Friday, I rode my bike up the hill and called Sister Rimmasch, who had a key to the RIZ.

“Hello?” she said, somewhat depressed.

“Hey! If I go shopping now for the movie night, could you let me in to the RIZ in like a half hour? Will you be around?’

“Wait, are you off work!” she shouted.

“Um, yes?”

“Oh my gosh!” she said into the phone. “Sister Veselka, Anne is off work!”

I rode my bike up the hill and wonder why me getting off work is so exciting.

“Anne, could you please come with us to an appointment?”

“…With an investigator?” I said, shyly.

“Yes, please, we can’t find anyone else who can go with us!”

When you’re a sister missionary, you always have someone else with you when you teach a male investigator. Safety precautions and all.

I hadn’t ever gone to a meeting with an investigator. Ooooooog.

“Okay, I’m on my way,” I said. “Give me 5 minutes.”

We met at the RIZ and rode our bikes on streets I’d never seen before. The sisters zoomed. I huffed and puffed. Sheesh, they’re fast.

They waited for me to catch up after they have locked their bikes. I’m out of breath.

“Jeez, you guys!” I said, about to fall onto the cobblestones. “Not like anyone’s in a hurry to preach the gospel or anything.”

“That’s called missionary legs,” Sister Rimmasch said, kicking her foot up in the air to show off her calves. My legs wobbled up the stairs to the apartment.

We knocked on the door. There was a small pause before the door was wide open and a man greeted us with a bright smile. He was my height, lanky, dried grassy hair sticking out on the sides, and brown glasses.

“Ah, you brought another one,” he said looking at me.

“I’m Anne,” I said. In my head I said my last name, but it didn’t come out. I keep forgetting with the Sieand Du’s that it’s important to say the last name. Funny how in America, even in the business world, it’s often just the first name.
We walked into his home and sit on the couch where all three of us wonder if we’ll fit. We squished. There are books everywhere. Piles of books. On the ground. On the bookshelf, on the table, coffee table, books books books.

We asked him how he is. He talked for ten minutes or so about his recovering knee and arm. He caught  me up.

After sometime, Sister Veselka finally asked, “What did you think about the baptism that we went to last Saturday?” (They went to a baptism last Saturday.  J )

“Well, it was interesting, but I would never do that.” He looked at us plainly. Then he started talking about why and somewhere in there he said, “I’m atheist.”

But the missionaries didn’t catch that… somewhat major detail. Which is why it was strange when Sister V said later, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?”

I leaned over her shoulder and whispered, “He’s atheist” and she went “Oh.”

Preaching the gospel is one thing, but preaching the gospel to someone you can’t fully understand is another.

Sister Rimmasch, who, although is doing pretty darn good for only being here for a couple months, was not understanding things. But she heard “atheist,” “I don’t see myself getting baptized” and “I don’t really want to go to church.”

In German she said, “So, my question is, um, why did you make this meeting with us? Um, I mean, what do you want to get out of this meeting with us?”

He talked, but I heard no answer. He looked at me and asked me if I was interested in politics. And off we were again, away from religion, to other things, to life and hobbies and the weather.

At the end we asked to make him another meeting and he said of course. I wondered where that would go. I wondered when it would be called off. I wondered if he would ever say he wanted to go to church. I mean, they are missionaries. They have things they have to do. At some point they have to let it go and find someone who will listen to them, not just talk. When would they call it off with him?

“You were our blessing today, Anne,” Sister Rimmasch said to me. “We really had no idea how we would get to this appointment.”

I nodded and said “anytime,” even though to me it was just a regular day. Although it does feel good to be a blessing for someone. Cha-ching! Haha!

As we biked down the hill, I couldn’t stop thinking about his piles of books, his almost furniture-less apartment, and the smell of coffee that he would drink by himself after we left. I couldn’t stop thinking about how quick he was to say he would never get baptized, but how quick he was to have us come again.

He’s lonely. He’s really lonely.

The sisters went shopping with me to help me carry the things back to the RIZ. We bought Döners at the Hauptbahnhof and quickly ate before it was time for their other appointments. Sister Rimmasch watched the music video. She can recite every word and starts moving her shoulders. Sister Veselka is offended by the dancing. I laugh at them both and wonder what crap they have to deal with each other when they’re by themselves all day.



I say goodbye to the sisters and ride home to grab Svenja before we head back down to the RIZ. If you’ve seen the video I made, you know it was a good time with a few technical difficulties.

Julia and her parents were there. Julia, who is blind and autistic. She hugs me and later gets mad at me for trying to move the couch up the stairs.

“It doesn’t go upstairs, it goes right here, what are you doing!?” she yells at me.

Her mom comes down the stairs and everything is fine.

I see this family take the train each Wednesday with Julia to go to institute and meet friends. I see them coming early to help with the movie night and staying late to clean up. I see them riding home in the dark. I see them taking care of Julia, because they know she needs friends because she is lonely. And I realize how many people need the gospel. Not just, oh, yeah, it makes me happy, but they need it. They really need it.

I need it too. I need every bit of it. 

Days 21-23.

Good morning to you west side Americans. And good day to you random other visitors that I don’t know.

Mormon talk–

Sunday was so wonderful. The bishop gave a lesson on missionary work. Because I have been hanging out with the missionaries, I have had a greater love for all of the members and my friends who go on missions. It’s so hard! I love to see the missionaries excited when they talk about a new person interested in the church and coming to visit. I love hearing their stories, their spiritual experiences, and their humility to do this. They are trying so hard to be good people and you can see it in their eyes how excited they are when others are happy. That’s all they want–to give us just a glimpse of the beauty and joy we can experience for eternity. What a wonderful thing.

At church I had like five million things hit me in the face. I felt really close to Heavenly Father. I was reminded of my patriarchal blessing and the things it tells me to do in this world, and I felt this mighty “SO GO AND DO IT” hit me in the face. I left church feeling so many things–I need to study the Book of Mormon. I need to know every story. I need to take time each day to not just read but study. I want to go on a mission with Spencer. I want to be like the Margetts. I want to serve and serve and serve. I need to be prepared to talk about the gospel.

So it’s Tuesday and I’m really trying to keep up on this excitement. It’s so odd how you forget these experiences–how after a while you just think, “Eh, I was just overwhelmed at the time–it was nothing.” Noooooo!

And gah! I just can’t tell you enough how beautiful eternity is. The Plan of Salvation is magnificent. God is kind.

Anyway!–

After church the Margetts brought me over to their house with the sister missionaries (the elders already had a dinner appointment) and we sat and laughed and told stories and ate the. best. food. ever. Roast. The Margetts are the best people. They just give and keep giving. They care about everyone.

I don’t know if I’ve said this on the blog before, but food is a big part of serving. Like, I really need to get my cooking game on… so I can give people food… Haha.

Sunday night we had a Bishop’s fireside at the church right in Kiel. There are two church buildings–one outside of the city, and one “at the RIZ,” or right inside the city (I’m not sure why it’s called the RIZ.) That’s where we have FHE and Institute and stuff.

My Sunday was filled and later that night I talked to Spencer. He started school this week, which means our talking schedule has changed. As of Monday morning we talk at my time 6am and his time 10pm.

On Monday I stayed late at work so I could go directly to the RIZ for Family Home Evening. There we played a little game when I tried to tell the rules to a guy named Morteza who is from Iran. He joined the church five months ago and is still trying to learn German. We switched from German and English and somehow had a conversation. He left Iran a year ago to live in a more free country, he said, and had to say goodbye to his family. So sad. The sister missionaries taught him the lessons through Google Translator and he joined the church a bit later. Crazy.

Afterward we made donuts. (The Margetts.)

Tuesday. Today!

Today during my lunch break I tried a new dessert (see above picture). No bueno. I mean, it was okay. I just wanted it to be really really sweet. I wanted it to taste like a cake ball. It didn’t taste like a cake ball. It tasted like bread with craisins and nuts, covered with chocolate sprinkles. One of these days I’m going to get it right, people. (Although I love trying new things and showing them to you. 🙂 )

Here is my work space. 🙂

Another beautiful sunny day in Kiel! Man, we’re getting so lucky.

Today I went to find the bigger Aldi (grocery store) because the one by my house is way too small and cluttered and unorganized. It feels like there is only one kind of everything, and my American self needs a few more options. I found a bike path and followed that for a while, until I was completely lost. I was somewhere in Kronshagen, which isn’t too far from my house but I did not know where I was. Finally I found the Aldi. I walked in and was relieved to see everything neatly stacked, not so close to each other, and like a million different kinds of frozen pizzas. I didn’t buy any, but I would just like to have the option of grabbing a frozen pizza if I want. 🙂

I got two more yoghurts, granola cereal with coconut, a new kind of spaghetti sauce (the last one I got was awful), margarine, and peaches. Tomorrow morning I’ll have peaches with my cereal and whipped cream. Probably not that healthy, but you know. Tonight I’ll make spaghetti and try out the new sauce. I’ll cook some carrots and broccoli too. Tomorrow I’ll eat at institute. Thursday I’ll eat rice and eggs. Friday… We’ll see.

Here are my options for films (auf Deutsch): The Princess Diaries, Legally Blonde 2, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I am over 10GB and nothing as happened, people! I still have internet. Chyuss.

Is there cream cheese in Germany?

Wednesday was a relaxing day at work. I wrote down another million words to memorize and I’m actually excited to study them over the weekend. You know how school work is kind of fun after summer?
I got home and took a small nap before I headed out to Institute (religion class) at the LDS family history building in Kiel. I was not expecting a crowd. I mean, how many Mormon youth can there be in the Kiel area?
…Holy crap, people! That room was filled! And all of them came up to me, introducing themselves. The elder missionaries were there and Jack was there too. I met a girl named Nena who I find totally rad. She laughs a lot. Have I told you how much I love laughers?
One of the teachers totally hit the spot for me. He talked about how Mary Magdalene in the bible was the first to see Christ after he was resurrected. He gave a summary of what happened and then talked about the sisters have such strong spirits. It felt like it came right from the heart. He was completely sincere and I just felt like a million bucks for being a woman who loves Christ and tries to be a good person. He did a great job. 
Afterward we all went upstairs and had dinner, thanks to the Margetts who cook twice a week for all of us. We give them 2 Euros and they give us a feast.
Chicken Enchiladas, too. The best.
Sister Margett and I talked for a bit. She is my spiritual rock. I sit with her and it’s like all of my energy is revived. I started to get up and she ran over to the leftovers and shoved as much chicken enchilada into a plastic bowl as she could. We said goodbye and I walked downstairs.
“Oh, and Anne!” sister Margett called.
“Yeah?”
She looked at me with a big smile and somewhat sad eyes. “Happy anniversary tomorrow.”
My heart sunk. I smiled. “Thank you. Thank your for remembering.”
Sniff, Spencer, Sniff. 

Thursday.
Petra introduced me to a colleage named Friedhelm who is a professor at Kiel and knows a lot about the political sytem in Germany. I told him about my research paper that I have to write to earn credits. He’s pretty much going to be my mentor in writing my paper. He is so nice and we will talk to each other often. This means I can’t procrastinate. 
After work Petra invited me to their stall. Henrike rode Parsifal and I took pictures. Then I got to ride Parsifal which was awesome. He is a sweet, sweet horse. So relaxing to be out and about.

I avoid my apartment like the plague.
(Religious Talk J) I can’t tell you enough how blessed I am to be here in this city with these humble, patient, good people. I was bummed out when I didn’t get the Berlin Parliament internship and was mad because I felt my prayers had been disregarded or that I hadn’t been listening correctly to the spirit for the past year. Being here has shown me such a greater love God has for me. Like, unbelievable.

Today is Friday. Haven’t taken any pictures, but I got the bike from Frau W! It’s red. It has a black basket in the back. It takes me 20 minutes to ride to work. I’ll take pictures and write a post tomorrow. Maybe tonight I’ll go bike around the city and take pictures. It’s finally time to see the whole city of Kiel.
Have a lovely weekend!

I was a bit worried about getting to church in the morning because the buses are just different on Sundays and there always seems to be an unpleasant surprise when I try to get to church by myself. But at the Hauptbahnhof stood two elders, two sister missionaries (their black name tags with white font give them away), and three other dressed up women grouping together.
“You guys are going to church, right?” I say in German with a smile.
I asked the sister missionaries where they were from. One is going to UVU. I named every person I knew from UVU and she didn’t know any of them. Eh. The other missionary is from Idaho and going to BYU-Idaho. It was fun to speak a little American English.
I sat next to a guy named Jack in Sunday school. Jack is at BYU and doing an internship for his mechanical engineering major.
At church a bunch of people came up to me and asked who I was and how long I would be here. After Sacrament Meeting a man came up to me.
“Hello, my name is Uwe and my wife and I would like to invite you to dinner. Jack is coming too.”
I looked at Jack and back at Uwe. “Natürlich!” Of course!
The day before I was concerned about what I would do with my Saturday evening. It was clear that I’d be busy.
At dinner the elder and sister missionaries were there, the couple missionaries were there, and Jack and I were there. We found out that Uwe has had bunches of callings with the youth in the church.
The couple missionaries, the Margetts, are from Salt Lake. In fact, they live down the street from me. We talked about our favorite places in Salt Lake and had a few warm heart to heart moments. We both missed our homes.
It was nice to have a big dinner and not have to pay for anything. I think food is the best thing you can give to an international student.
After church Petra called me and asked if I would like to go to the horse competition with her and her daughter down the street from my apartment. Horses are relaxing creatures. I took pictures with my camera, but when I got home my card had been reformatted and it lost all my pictures. Totally stupid. We watched the horses and talked about our animals at home—they have birds, a hamster, and a horse. I said my husband has fish and hermit crabs. We talked about Miss Cairo for a bit.
So many awesome people in Kiel. 

 Me and the sister missionaries.

 Missionary 1, Jack, Missionary 2.

 The Margetts, the couple missionaries.

 Jack and me.

Uwe and his wife (in the middle).

Before we left for the ward camp out, I charged my camera battery so I could take pictures (duh). But I pulled a typical Anne and brought my camera without the battery that was still sitting on the kitchen counter, fully charged.So my pictures are from anyone’s iPhone I could grab at the time. Woop dee doo.

Although the campout was a church activity, there were so many neighbors that came who are not LDS. I love our ward because we are so close with everyone in our boundaries. Besides, who could pass up a day at Pineview with free breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
We had Chuck be the grill master (are you surprised?), we sat by the fire and made s’mores with Reese’s cups, our tents were too close together and we heard odd, bodily sounds from Joey. And of course te next day–boating.


^Spencer needed to be pushed off the tube in this picture.

Heidi and I rock!!