Monday, October 27, 2014

The End of An Era, But the Beginning of a New One With My Second Transfer.

October 27, 2014
Hallo Family.
 Sorry, I don't have a lot of time! So here we go. Sister Norton leaves tomorrow for Berlin, then on to Amerika on Wednesday.  My new companion comes tomorrow afternoon...Sister Harris!! I have met her once before, and she is super cool, so I am really excited!!
My district leader, Elder Carpenter, is also getting transferred. Noooo! It is hard with both him AND TRAINER NORTON leaving. But I know that change is good. Elder Carpenter made us cinnamon rolls again this week which naturally makes it all harder hahaha. Those two are both so fun and hard working missionaries, I LOVE THEM!!!  The end of an era, but the beginning of a new one with my second transfer.
So I am really tired, and I don't have a lot of time as I said. Sorry mom or dad, I know one of you hates when people say that!
There are so many people in this world. As I look around each day, I realize how many children are apart of God's family. So many people's lives are destroyed by addictions, selfishness, the decisions of others, and so many other things. I see how people are sad, suffering, and dissatisfied. It makes me so sad and heart broken sometimes. Why? Because I know how important these people are to Heavenly Father! And it is hard to watch people, who have so much potential, who are already such divine beings, just go on living a life that is full of unhappiness. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is important. One thing I love about our Savior is that he heals us. That is just such a beautiful and priceless principle. Jesus Christ can help each of us from whatever we are going through. God loves all of His children, and He anxiously hopes that each of them will make it back to Him again one day. This is only possible through Jesus Christ. We need him, we need to know that he can and will help us. He will save us from everything! Maybe it seems that everything around us sucks, but when we feel the love of Christ, he makes us whole. Everything else does not matter. What matters is how we feel. Feeling the love of God is something that nobody can take away from us. I would not trade my relationship with my Heavenly Father for all the Ritter Sport chocolate in the world. Things just got serious, right?  Let us do what we need to do to put God first. When we let Him guide our lives, everything will be alright. And that's all we want right? Right.
I am loving life trying to help people feel the love of our Heavenly Father.
Have a good week my Leute.
Sister Mittlemann

God Loves Us Too Much For It All To Be Easy!!

October 20, 2014
HI! First things first- THE LADY AT ALBERTACO'S NOTICES WE HAVE NOT BEEN THERE?  SUCCESS!!!! Also THANK YOU DAD FOR FORWARDING MEGAN'S EMAILS AT LAST I AM IN THE KNOW ABOUT SANTIAGO!!!(Please notice the order of those two, mwua haha take that hermana mittleman- i know you read this email) Alright, alright. Let's get real.
Well, I love being a missionary. But that doesn't mean that every now and then we don't get little "bricks on our heart" as Trainer Norton and I have called it. When you just sigh, and feel a little weight on your heart. I am sure we have all felt this way.  This week has been ok. To put it short, things fell out, people were being wack, I was a little discouraged, I shed some tears a few times. etc etc etc. But I have a knowledge of my savior Jesus Christ, and of a loving Heavenly Father who loves me. Need we more? Didn't think so.
R- we visited her this week, and went through the baptismal interview questions with her, just to show her how ready she is. She really liked that. She asks us to continue to pray for her, and also for her children. She really needs to come to church though. Something we are working on, but we can only do so much, Ya know?
S- I just want him to see how simple life and religion should be!! I feel a bit at a stand- still with him. We are praying to know what and how we can move forward with him
B- Welllll. So B wants to be baptized!  But he is still waiting on some job interviews, so he still doesn't know if he will be staying here or leaving. This week was full o' stress, so we are trying not to hover too much, but just letting him know we are here for whatever he needs. With B I have really seen change and faith develop as his testimony in Christ has increased. WHAT A REWARDING EXPERIENCE it is to literally see people change for the better!!
Alright well now I shall answer some questions. We take the bus and walk. aww yeah!!
Yes I bought this super cute bag last week at tk max. haha German tj max...its aweeeesome. A simple black or grey backpack would be really great mom!!
Just a basic one, ya know? Each month we get 175 euro. uhhh yep its enough!!!
"deutsches essen" probs the best foood evverrrr here. Lots of potatoes. Oh my gosh a few weeks ago we ate at a members house and they gave us boiled potatoes that looked just like that one part in pride and prejudice!!! Also tea- time and formal dessert is a thing here. I’ve had some really good but also some pretty nasty herbal tea. Also schnitzel is DELISH.
Soooo B(investigator of Elder Brimhall and Carpenter) was baptized yesterday!! Oh man he was so happy and just glowing!! hahaha i sang a solo as Sister Norton played. Let me tell you, I don't do solos. I was shakin in my boots. But it was ok. Benjamin and the elders said it was good, so that's all I’m worried about! That experience was probably the best thing this week!!! Oh man it was awesome. Seeing someone prepared and excited for baptism is such a miracle!!
So this is a 7 week transfer, but this last week is it!! wahhhhh i can't even believe it!! I am so sad that Sister Norton will go home, but hey it's time and she has served well. I love her so much. This time with her has been the best. I really can't say enough about how much I have enjoyed this first transfer. Sure there are ups and downs, but that's life!! God loves us too much for it all to be easy!! We just have to have faith that we will make it through our current trials, and come out stronger. daily prayer is important. God is so great. He wants to hear from each of us. When you think about it, each of us is so small and dare I say unimportant. But He is great, because he wants to hear from each of these little people.
There is no place I would rather be than here. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real, and it is simple. If we can find small ways to apply it to our daily little choices, we will see huge results.  I love you all so much. Your emails make me so unbelievably happy and full of joy!!! I feel your prayers and good vibes.
Sister Mittleman

The Prayer Was Indeed a Conversation With Our Heavenly Father.

October 13. 2014
Greetings from Germany, land of VWs and stick shift drivers. HELLO, I'm stoked to be writing this email today. Life is good. The second session of last Sunday's conference was AWESOME! Uh...  Elder Bednar's talk? To say it was fantastic would be an understatement. I think every missionary in the world watching conference with an investigator was going crazy, I know I was. He perfectly described why we all, missionaries and members alike, share our beliefs. Cool, cool.
 My bag broke. Yep, that strap just came right off. But LUCKILY it was right outside our apartment. I was about ready to cry, as it was already a tough day for me. But alas, I digress.
Let's get to the good stuff, investigators. Wait, I will answer some of your questions first.
Yes the transfer is coming to an end at the end of this month. It’s a seven week transfer. Chances are I will stay here in Braunschweig. I sure hope so. It's a great place, and the German is generally okay to understand. I LOVE IT!!! Also we don't talk about Trainer Norton leaving...
Best thing, we'll get there.
Most "challenging" thing? hahaha nice try mom. This Sister is on top of the world 24/7. Okay now that we've all stopped laughing...I would have to say appointments falling out and just feeling tired.  I'm trying to get better at shaking off the negative feelings that come naturally when things just seem.... lame.
 Welcome to talking about the teaching pool, where the souls are important and the numbers don't matter. Hope that made somebody smile.
R! We met with her at our Bishop's house, but just his wife was there. She served a mission in the Leeds Mission, so we all just talked in English. R is form Ghana, did I say that? We talked about the importance of church attendance, and renewing baptismal covenants. Schwester Glandorff asked R some straight up and simple questions about her hesitations in regards to baptism. She is continuing to pray about it. She LOVED conference, and felt the spirit very strongly. I love R so much, she has such a testimony of God and our Savior. She is very connected to her baptism that she had in the church that helped her with her own conversion process.  We continue to love and pray for her. She would just fit in perfectly as she is. < I can see that she is so prepared!! Agency can be hard to deal with, if you know what I mean.
S is a really smart dude who knows a lot of different things about religions. He talks a lot, which can be hard, as we get off subject often. We have been trying to help him develop faith in Jesus Christ, but it's a process. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so simple, that's why it confounds people! We have our assistant gml come with us as a joint teach. S listens more now I have noticed he is really friendly and polite. I just want to help him so much!!!
B!!!! I love B so much. He is form Turkey, and speaks German with us. He is sooo precious and funny! So he needs a job, and is not enjoying Germany too much, so he thinks he will have to leave either this week or in the next two weeks. So we meet with him at the church, in the chapel. We had taught him how to pray in the name of Christ before, and he said he had been doing that, but that he doesn't really expect anything from Heavenly Father. He knows He is important and loves us, but he wasn't so sure about prayer. The next night during our nightly prayer, I had the thought we should send him a quick text to let him know we were praying for him, and that Heavenly Father loves us. So we did.  We got a funny little text back. He said he was glad, and that that night before he went to bed he would pray.  THAT'S WHAT IS UP. The spirit is real, my friends. Here comes the best thing of the week. We met with him the next day in the chapel again, and he said he wanted to pray for us, he just didn't know what to say. After minutes of silence, B just started to pray! Out loud! This was the first time that he had ever said the prayer himself with us! I was so OVERJOYED. I can't even describe how happy I was in that moment. We had taught him to fish for himself in a way! The prayer was indeed a conversation with our Heavenly Father. It was awesome, AWESOME!!!
That's not everybody, but I’m sending a letter sooonish to let you know the info. Next week ill try to be a little less thorough for each person so I can talk about more people. But I just love all the people we teach so much! There is so much to say!! Ya didn't think this email would be so full did you. Well so I've talked about half of the subject of this email. b!!  Now for buns. So Elder Carpenter, our fearless district leader, and I were talking during the daily call. At the very end of the conversation he asked if Sister Norton and I had agreed on our favorite baptism song yet.(an investigator of the Elders is getting baptized this week!! B, from Nigeria!!) I said not yet...and then he said that we would be giving a musical number at the baptism, and he had already told B that we would love to do it, and how B thought that was really nice. MENSCHENKINDER as Elder Carpenter always says. laaame. hahaha oh man not sure if that's really what happened or not, all I know is that the tricky elder carpenter somehow committed us to singing. After I had already hung up, I thought, he should totally do something for us too! natürlich, right? Someone had said something a while ago about him making really good cinnabuns.... sooo I called right back and said he had to do us a favor in return. He was hesitant but slightly agreed. When I said make us cinnamon rolls, he didn't even hesitate before saying yes. hahahaha and he brought them to us the NEXT DAY!!! THEY WERE SOOOOO GOOOEY AND GOOOOD AND DELICIOUS!!!!
I will conclude this email with a massive shout out to Sister (Trainer) Norton, my lovely companion (mitarbeiterin) she is the Bomb! I looooove her. She gives her testimony so humble but so firmly. I can tell that she loves the people here in Braunshweig. Members, and those we teach, and everybody else alike. She is sooooo funnnny!!!. We have such fun together.  I am sooo sad we only have this one transfer together, but hey at least it happened. Sister Norton can make anybody feel comfortable, and always brings a smile to the face of others with such grace and ease. She is also crazy. In the best way (gotta add that in cause I know one day soon she'll probs see this) (jk, hey Trainer N when you see this)
Thanks for all the emails, sorry I couldn't  answer them all!
I love you all, I love Father in Heaven, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. This life is a precious gift. This time on Earth is so valuable and important. Let us realize what we need to do, and do it. Let's never forget why we are here, and who sent us. Most importantly, let's not forget to where we want to return someday.
Let the good times roll this week,

mit Liebe
Sister Mittelmann

Monday, October 6, 2014

We Need To Be Like Nephi, and Make Our Own Small Plates

Helloooo Family and everybody else who reads this email. This email will probably be on the short side, but full o' good stuff.
The time is going by soooo fast I can hardly believe it!!!!  A good thing but also very weird. So on Saturday we watched the Women's Broadcast and then the Saturday morning session live. In English. (thank goodness) it was weird that the Saturday morning session was live, because we were watching it at like, 6pm. haha whaaat? Sunday we watched the Saturday afternoon session, then the Sunday morning session live. We will watch the Sunday afternoon session next week at church.  CONFERENCE WAS AWESOME. When Elder Bednar came to talk to us a few weeks ago, he stressed the importance of taking good notes. Not just writing down what people say that sounds good, but writing down what is important for us, which may not even be a quote that the speaker themselves said. We need to be like Nephi, and make our own small plates, full of only the sacred and important things. I really tried to do that this week. I went in with a few questions and let me tell you, I received some answers!! I didn't write down very much, but what I did write down was  waaaaay important for me. One of my favorite talks was from James J. Hamula. Totally rad!! Also that song the choir sang, about Jesus earnestly, tenderly calling to us made my life.  Can you send me the lyrics?
So one of our investigators, Boris, came for two sessions yesterday, and we watched maybe a half hour in German, then went to English, because the kids in the chapel were distracting. hahaha oh man thank goodness because in the German translation I was not following too much...
So in between the sessions yesterday, Sister Norton and I opened the door in the kitchen to get some goodies, and there was smoke everywhere!! This dude was making bratwurst on the stove!! He was all like, come in, come in, shut the door! Oh my gosh it was sooo funny. He was cooking up all this wurst, and gave us some.  He had like 5 plates full of meat.
Dirndls-depends on how nice it is. And if it's on sale right around Oktoberfest. uhhh probably somewhere around 100 euro. Sometimes color relevant, otherwise not.
Mommaaaa yes I have contact with Megan but our communication is like 2 or 3 sentences each week. CAN YOU PLEASE SEND ME HER WEEKLY EMAILS!!! I love the pics you sent me, haha my district seriously cannot handle that I have a twin. I MISS HER. Especially during “How Firm a Foundation”, sung by the choir Sunday morning.  (Mom note- That was the opening hymn the day Madison & Megan spoke in church.  They both love that hymn.)
Hair cut?? hmmm...yes I know. I'll see what I can do with the scissors I brought.... (Am I kidding or was that a joke??)
I invited my first person to baptism this week! Auf englisch.  Ruth has been meeting with the missionaries since February now I think, and has been invited a few times before. She really loves God and has such a testimony of Christ and the Atonement. She came to conference, and loooved it. But she is still praying and asked us to pray for her to know if baptism in the LDS church is right for her. I love her!
Remember when I said this email would be on the short side...I think you will get a letter from yours truly soon.
Something I've realized in the past few weeks is how much we get noticed as missionaries!! The bus, the streets, the store-everywhere! It can be weird to feel people staring at you, but I am so happy and proud to represent the church, and most importantly the Savior. If I didn't have my testimony and knowledge of the Gospel, I think I would feel so lost. Alma 26 is full of verses that I love. God is great. We should wake up each morning full of joy and gratitude. This life is the real deal, don't forget it! I'm really having the time of my life out here, I cannot even say how meaningful and precious this time is for me and for others. Stay gold my friends!! I love you and pray for you often!!
Sister Mittleman

Saturday, October 4, 2014

What Matters Is That We Try OUR Best.

September 29, 2014
Greeting from the land of Germany. First of all, sorry that last week's email was a little...uhh wie sagt man ...WACKO. Yep. I said that I would do better but then it just got all wrong, haha oh man! So today I am taking it easy, and just writing the answers to your questions and whatever else I feel is beneficial for us all to know.... Let us begin!!!
Soo we eat a lot of cheese, bread, nutella. Need I say more?
Yes eventually boots will be necessary the weather is still really nice, on the chilly side though. But it's all good. Sis Norton and I will be on the lookout in the next few weeks. We just don't know how much it will snow. laaaaaame.
(just kidding I am so excited for Christmas here in Germany!!!!)
Sooo Boris will probably be leaving the area due to his lack of work, but he is making progress in his faith in Christ. He knows that Christ is more than a prophet, but somebody who can help him. That really is the first step in everything. Without faith in Christ, what can we do. Let me answer that- nothing. He wants a picture of Christ in his room, so we are working on getting one for him. We fear that he might not want to commit totally to a religion knowing he is leaving the area and the ward. But life goes on, and we will do what we can.
So with Ruth, we wanted to talk about baptism, and taking that step this week, but every time we tried to start thinking about a lesson plan for her, things just didn't come together. Seriously, we were walking to her house and we still didn't know what to do. So Sister Norton had us stop on the side of the sidewalk and say a prayer. Then we continued on in silence. After a few minutes, Sister Norton asked me what I was thinking.  So in these past minutes I had been trying to be open and just see what came. The memory of sister Norton mentioning a few days ago that she felt that Ruth needed to hear the law of chastity had come to my mind. I tried to brush it aside to be honest, thinking "what? We are trying to focus on baptism this week, why would we talk about that" but even as I tried to avoid it, this stream of though just came to my mind- keuschheit, keuschheit, keuschheit. (chastity in German) I totally had a little  " what is going on" moment. So when Sister Norton asked me what I was thinking, I hesitated in my mind before saying anything. But after a few seconds, I just said that I thought chastity would be a good topic. After a few moments of more silence, Trainer Norton said " I thought of that too."  WHAT NOW. In that moment I knew that it was the holy ghost that was working with us. As you can probably guess, that was a great discussion!!! It was awesome!!!! 
Well wish I could go on about our other teaching pool members but I'm running out of time.
So the best low key thing that happened this week was when we bought a pizza, and walked to the church to eat it. Oh ya, reminded me of my BYU days or nights I mean...AND I BOUGHT A DIRNDL!!!! Just kidding, don't worry. But Sister Norton did!!!  I’ll attach a picture of me trying it on!!! 
Dirndl Dress

The challenging thing this week was things cancelling. And really realizing that everybody here smokes... but that's just apart of the missionary life.  Life goes on.
I'll close with some thoughts on life and reaching our potential. I was studying a talk this week, in which there was a quote from sister Hinckley. She was talking about how our personal best is different than everybody elses's personal best. But that doesn't matter!!!! What matters is that we try OUR best.  Waaaay easier said than done I thought. Too often we compare ourselves, and end up thinking that we are not good enough. But I know that God has blessed each of us with our own strengths. We each can make a difference in our own way. God needs each of us! In ways sometimes not known to us, but I know that He needs us to try!! Let's get over ourselves, and just try to be better. Wait, " do or do not, there is no try" hmmmm yes Yoda's words are true. Let's just get over ourselves and do work.  Just act. Don't stress it, don't worry, don't complain. I know that as we go forward with faith WE WILL NEVER FAIL. Don't forget who our God is. What He has done in the past, and what He is doing now.  He is indeed almighty. We are His children. I think that should be all the reassurance we need to get us going in the morning. I know who I am, and I know whose I am. "Forget yourself and go to work" Amen to that.  I love you, and think of you often.


Sister Mittleman
Braunschweig Cathedral with Sister Norton
Braunschweig Chapel

Almost Got Kissed Yo

September 22, 2014
Greeeeetings from BRAUNSCHWEIG!!! Yes, it's me, Sister Mittleman. Sorry that email last week was a little wack and I didn't answer too many of your questions. I LOVE email, because I get to hear from you, but at the same time it's stressful!!!! sooooooooooo  much to say and no time. But here we go. What's with the strange subject of this email you may be wondering.... well IT'S TRUE. But we'll come to that. I apologize in advance for the randomness of this email.
So glad you enjoyed your birthday mom with your posse!! And the fam of course.
Glad you saw the picture of us and elder Bednar. He spoke a little German, but it was all English really.
Time to answer your questions.
uhhh the city is really pretty, lots of different kinds of people. 


the food? 

uhhh too hard to be specific. We eat bread and deutcher (gouda cheese) and tomatoes for breakfast, sometimes with this cereal that is literally nutella in a little wheat square.I LOVE SISTER NORTON SOOOO MUCH!!!!! She is from Utah. HILARIOUS: PRETTY: SPEAKS GERMAN VERY WELL. What more can I say. We actually are having a great time together. Our humor is very similiar, and we laugh all the time!! But she goes home at the end of this transfer which is sooooooooooo sad. I wish to say no more about that...
The clothes are doing well. Think ill have to buy a rain jacket. Shoes- I could where those bad boys all day. Very sturdy and bequem.
We have three progressing investigators, Boris, Ruth, and Stefan. Boris if from turkey, and has been coming to church for a few weeks now. He likes church, and says it all makes sense, but we are trying to help him gain a testimony. He rolled up in the passenger seat of a white Porsche the other night at the döner laden where we meet him, and who is driving it? haha Abdul the döner laden owner!! hahahah probs the greatest moment of my life. We still laugh about that.
Ruth has been meeting with the missionaries for a loooong time and we’ve decided we need to be straight up and tell her that as missionaries we help people ultimately prepare to make covenants-the first being baptism.
Stefan, well I’ve only met him once, is very smart, and knows a lot about religion.  He really needs to pray though. Only when we ask God in faith to give us an answer can we really know that the gospel is true.
At church on my first Sunday they had me intro myself and give a brief testimony. Sis Norton told me that the guy behind her was so impressed with my
German and wanted to know where I learned so well. hahaha she said school, and he was like "ach so, alles klar" which is probably like my favorrrrrite German phrase.  Some other guy told me that when I first started talking he thought I was actually from Germany!!! awwww!!! sooo cooool. Lots of new faces and HARD names to remember.
The best thing this week first exchange!!! I went to Hannover, trading places with sister Knecht which was really coooool. I was with a German sister, sister Wiborny. Now we come to the subject of this email. On the u-bahn. old dude offers us a seat next to him, sis W refuses. Me thinking, oh how nice he made room for us, sits down. Rookie mistake. He motions for sis w to sit on his lap. I get nervous. He seemed innocent, but then he starts mumbling and then iI smelled the bier and I was like .... WHAT HAVE I DONE. All of a sudden, I’m just facing forward, out of my peripheral,   I see him turn toward me, arms outstretched, leaning towards me!!!! AHHHHHHHH!! I was FROZEN: PETRIFIED I TELL YOU!!  But good thing sis w was there. She literally had to put her hands on his face and push him away, then she grabbed me. She said his mouth was 2 inches from my face. We laughed, I cried-from laughter and shock.  Aw mensch what an experience but "the first of many" as somebody told me in response to this story.... I was like uhhh ok thanks for making me feel weird now. No names mentioned. No it was not trainer Norton.
Being with another missionary and working with her was cool. I learned a lot. That was the best and worst thing of the week.
Now for some random thoughts as I only have 5 minutes (blast)
I love reading the scriptures so much!!
There is soooo much chocolate, every kind of ritter sport and milka you couldn't get at trader joes. SOOO GOOOD.
At the home of an African family, I ate foo foo. Some mashed potatoes like substance in a bowl with meat fish etc and sauce you eat with your hands. That's right your hands!!! That was really fun and cool.
I’ve been thinking of how sometimes we set too high expectations for ourselves as missionaries. At least I do. I think that I have to get to a certain level of knowledge, spirituality etc before I can be effective. But I’ve realized how untrue that is. Ether 12: 27 rings true. The Lord doesn't wait for us to get to a certain level, he takes us as we are. Through weak things he brings about miracles. We just have to do our best and allow him to use us in His perfect way.
I’m out of time, but I just want to say how much I love you all. I think you should go find that cute little quote about missionaries leaving their families for 18 months in my case, so others can be with theirs forever. This is truly the work of saving souls. I love being here, and I treasure the opportunity to help God's children, "one by one".
Sister Mittleman

Ps: can I get Monty and Zach's emails. Oh and yes I write in my journal everyday.

here is my adress:
Sister Mittleman
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Sister Mittleman
Ritterbrunnen 11
38100 Braunschweig