Monday, July 20, 2015

DIRNDLS ARE HERE, Performing In Front Of A Small Mass Of Missionaries & Men Are That They May Have Joy.

July 13, 2015


That alone is a sign that the time is flying. Ok, it is only July, but already there are dirndl and lederhosen appearing. Oktoberfest is still far away, but slooooowly approaching. Haha across from the institute center here in the city there is a "T.K Max, aka the German version of T.J. Max in the states. So of course in Germany you can just buy a dirndl at TK Max like it's no big deal.  I tried some on this morning!! I love Germany!

So the best part of the week was probably Thursday, our zone conference WITH PRESIDENT FINGERLE. It was here in Leipzig. We were all just sittin there chillin and then he walked in with his wife and some kids. GEHT'S LOS.  His son is a recent RM, and the two of his four daughters they are 16 and 9. That alone was really different. But I love them already! They are gentle and strong in the spirit. It was so fun learning about them and just hearing form them! It was an awesome meeting. And it was all in German!!! I loved that part. They are really focused on the family, and getting people soon to the temple after baptism. I am down! Oh man, it was a great day. Good times were had by all.
Soooo we performed again what we did in church two weeks ago. Elder Clarke on piano, Sister Reed on violin, and then I sang with an Elder in my zone. We really only practiced all together for about 20 minutes before we had to be sitting down, but it was cool. We went at the beginning thank goodness. mensch it was already nerve wracking performing in front of a small mass of missionaries, but then standing right in front of my new Mission President made it that much better!  haha it was gooooooood. The spirit was there to calm my voice, and to touch the hearts of those there.
Something else President and Sister Fingerle talked about was making 1% changes in our work and habits. We can't expect to change overnight, but great change will come over time with small degrees of change right now. They referenced that talk by President Uchtdorf, in which he talked about the planes and changing their direction by only a few degrees, then getting way off down the journey as a result. This piece of advice was an answer to my prayers this week. Recently I have been feeling like I just need to be different in so many aspects of my missionary life. I just want to be better, but of course when one takes on the task to be a "new me" frustration will come when one fails the first few times. But you know what, that's not how we change. As we make small changes, slowly but surely the progress will come. Nobody wants to hear that, I personally want to be different NOW. But this week I realized that the success comes in the progress, not just with a finished product, so to say. Although I may not be where I want to be, I can still be successful and effective on the way. I encourage you all to think about that and apply it to YOUR personal journey to becoming the best you.
Sister Reed is doing well. We laugh and get along just great.  I love serving with her. She is pretty sassy which is always a good thing. We have good times talking about everything. She always has a lot to share in comp study, haha I could listen to her all morning. I really hope we can stay together for a few transfers more!! Also she is a PROFI on her violin. Like for real. She is talented.

Hardest thing this week.... Billy Idol was here Tuesday. I wanted to go. I did. I stood outside. He was there, inside.... SO CLOSE BUT SO FAR. naja who needs that anyway!! We can talk to people on the street outside which is way more cool. I snatched a sweet poster from off the walls of the derelict part of town where they were easy to rip off......
So I had been feeling a bit lost for a few days in all my thoughts and was just searching for some direction. My morning studies were going well but I still felt a bit off. Sister Reed one morning said something about her wanting a Priesthood blessing, and in that moment it just clicked in my head! I needed a blessing. So later that day sweet Elder Clarke (man still so hard not saying Jacob!!) gave us both a blessing. This week I had also been reading in first Nephi about the Liahona. It was a little ball for goodness sake, but because the people believed it would guide them, it had the power to bring them counsel and direction straight from Heavenly Father. I compare this with the blessing. I didn't need an angel to come out of heaven or anything, but when my little (well not so little but sometimes it still feels like that) 19 year old neighbor put his hands on my head, I KNEW and I FELT that through his voice I was receiving counsel straight from my Father in Heaven. That was such a spiritual moment for me, my worries were calmed and my direction became clear. How grateful I am that through small and simple means, the Lord can bring forth miracles in my life. I am also grateful of course for our worthy elders who willingly and happily serve us.
I love this city more and more every day. Time is going by faster than ever, but I am really trying to enjoy every single moment. " are that they may have joy." we can endure and be happy at the same time! I know it. I know God lives. I know Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer.
Sister Madison Mittleman

Monday, July 6, 2015

There She Stood LIKE AN ANGEL With Two Pieces Of WATERMELON.

July 6, 2015

Sorry I am so late today! Our appointment with Lou Song ran late, and then there is this wacko concert or something going on down the street and police are everywhere. But alas, here I am!

GUESS WHO BOUGHT HAUS SHOES. That is right, me. My little pink slippers I had to leave in Lübeck. But last week I finally got around to buying some legit looking haus schuhe real cheap. I love them. ich bin Deutsche! Well more than already I guess.

This week was hooooooooot. Maaaaaan. But we got forward despite the sticky nature of our skin. We went to try and visit a few students the other day. They were not home so we did a little survey door to door. This one girl was really nice, and we had solid conversation. She wasn't interested in learning more, but we all enjoyed talking with one another so it was good. 10 minutes later after finishing her hallway we were going down the stairs to the next one, when we heard the girl coming down behind us telling us to wait. We turned around, and there she stood LIKE AN ANGEL with two pieces of WATERMELON.  Oh man what a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. We were pretty hot and wilted, so that totally made our day. She was happy to help us too. That was awesome. WUNDER. The Lord is looking out for me, I know it.

We spent a lot of time in the city center talking with all kinds of people as usual. We talked to this one student from Chemnitz who apparently has a best friend who is a member of the church, and he even went to the temple with this guy for his sealing!?! He said he thought the idea of a temple is very like what the bible teaches, and I was YES THANK YOU.  It really makes sense. He loved talking with us, and gave us each a sweet handshake as we parted. Told him he could come to my temple sealing if you know what I mean.. haha just kidding....

We saw a member in the city one morning and she suggested going to a park in the area, so we did. And we had tooooooons of solid conversations. We were talking with this one lady about modern day prophets and I could see she was goin with it. But she is satisfied with where she is and doesn't want to change churches. OH MAN. It was hard letting her go. I am sad when that happens, but I know that so much of my mission is planting seeds so that one day people can be ready when their time comes along. It is disappointing, yes. But in “Preach My Gospel” it says that we will not be disappointed in ourselves when we do our best. That gives me comfort and hope and yes motivation to keep doing it.

I MISSED THE BEACH THIS WEEEK. I have my picture of Megan and me from last year just chilling in our suits against the sunset, and I may have looked at that many times. The Fourth of July was different as a missionary. But I loved it anyway. There was a baptism for a guy from Halle, so we got Lou Song to come! That was cool for her to see how it actually goes down. The guy's first language is French, so the missionaries and another lady sang this arrangement of a song in German, French, and English.  I was loving it! I love that the Gospel of Christ is the same in all languages no matter where you go. We all have the same Redeemer, and faith. We are different, but we are united. That brings me so much comfort and ease. Having a prophet to lead the church and preserve the doctrine is truly a miracle and a blessing.  How blessed we are!

Lou Song is still having trouble with making it to church, but we actually just met with her and had a good talk about priorities. She has heard all the doctrinal points, but really in the past few weeks she is beginning to feeeeeel the importance and meaning it can have for her. I love her so much! I can just see the spirit working with her. Tonight she asked several questions about baptism and what happens after. She asks lots of questions now, and is way more talkative. She is taking it all to heart now. She is so darn cute! She leaves on urlaub next week, but we think that within the next month she can get baptized.

Sister Reed is doing well. I really looooove her. 
Madison & Sis Reed inLeipzig

She makes me laugh and whenever we are in the elevator in our building she and I are always fighting back laughter when someone else is there. I don't know why we always get the giggles, but I love it.

We have zone conference on Thursday, so we will meet President and Sister Fingerle in person WHAT WHAT. Also I might be singing again with Elder Clarke and Sister Reed playing. Some other Elder is supposed to sing with so we shall see how it goes down. Phil 4:13 RINGS TRUE.

I know that God and Jesus Christ are the most important people in our lives. Every day we can have a new beginning to try and show them that that is true. I am grateful that I have been baptized and made the promise to serve them. I know that they are very near us. I love them. And I love to serve them. Love you lots.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

"I Believe In Christ, So Come What May." Straight Up.

June 29, 2015

10 MONTHS GONE BY. 8 to gooooooo.

This has been a cool week. Said goodbye to sister Murdock on Tuesday,
Saying goodbye to Sis Murdock in Leipzig

That was a bittersweet experience. It was weird, as I did the same thing in February. Time fliiiies. I'll miss her dearly. So that afternoon I picked up.... SISTER REED.  
Madison & Sis Reed in Leipzig

We came to Germany together. She is cool! She is from Austin, Texas. AW YEAH.  I'm stoked for a good transfer. Taking over this place after 5 weeks has
been an adventure.
But it's goin.

The Kosak’s are leaving this week. I love them and will never ever, ever, ever forget what they mean to me and my Mission. I love them so much!
They will go on to do goooood things because they are good.

We have had sooooo many good conversations in the past few days. I love when that happens. Speaking German with Germans is like a dream come true. Sounds cliché but it's the straight up truth. I love being here. So many interesting times too. We talked to this rabbi yesterday, and he was getting apprehensive. " So many Mormons keep trying to convert me!" So I asked, "why do you think that is?" Then he said " well I guess they think they have the truth and therefore have the authority to try and share it with the world." And I was like " ....." But on the inside I was like STRAIGHT UP. We didn't want to push it, though, so we left it there.

Lou is doing well! We met with her and another Chinese guy from the ward, talked about the gospel of Christ. It went well. (I secretly want them to get married, just throwin that out there) we just have to make sure she is down to coming to church for all three hours! Man I love her.  She is doing so well. It's like she has the faith of a child, but she knows it's there, and she wants that to develop.  Helping her and experiencing this with her is so cool. What a life!

Yes, momma, we did sing yesterday. (Madison sung a duet with another sister and Elder Clarke played the piano)  That was the best and maybe the most challenging thing, let me tell you. As you know, I DON’T like to sing in front people. When elder Clarke originally suggested it to me, I thought it wouldn't go down. I sang that one time in Braunschweig, and then at Schwester Devers' baptism, and that was hard enough.  But in Sacrament Meeting? No way. Naja. That's something I've been trying to work on. I can sing well, and it bothers me that I hate singing in front of people. I'll sing at appointments, but even that is pushing it. So we found another former opera singer from the ward to sing with me. Haha. And Sister Reed can play violin, so all of a sudden it turned into a full on darbietung. I was sooooo nervous!
I'd been praying that my fear wouldn't get in the way of inviting the spirit. Because, dang it, I just wanted people to feel the spirit and not have it to do with me. I was shaking in my boots, not going to lie. But we went up AND IT WAS FINE. Sigh of relief. That was my little but huge miracle this week.

Wellllll I was thinking about how long I've been out now. 10 months is a long time. But then again, it's nothing. Sometimes I don't know how
I'll survive. But then sometimes I don't see how I could ever leave.
Right now is a hard and wild time for me. I can really see how the things I'm going through are refining me. It just has to happen. Every day I can choose to enjoy it, or suffer. It will happen anyway. But if I want to change my nature, then I have to react, not just let it happen. Maaan I don't know how much I've changed already, but I think my perspective has changed for sure.  My motto right now is from a hymn. " I believe in Christ, so come what may." Straight up. When things get hard, I'm learning to just get over it. Haha. LIFE IS GOOD.

Sister Madison Mittleman
Sis Murdock & Madison in Leipzig

"Sister, You Are Good"

June 22, 2015

SISTER MURDOCK IS LEAVING. And I am taking over Leipzig! WAAAAH.

President Kosak came to Leipzig on Friday morning for my quarterly interview. That was solid. Getting to talk with him one on one, he is such a spiritual and tender man. I really love him and have learned so much from his example and testimony. He complimented my German (holla) and then told me that I was a good sister. Haha, that is such a typical President Kosak thing to say, "Sister, you are good". I love when he says that! Oh man, he is done next week, so that was it! haha, he also told me I looked like an Indian. I love him. We had a good little time together. I asked him to pray at the end. He said, in Deutsch oder Englisch, (German or English ) and I was GERMAN BITTE (German please). And then he said the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard, oh meine güte!! I love him. I'll miss him.

President Fingerle arrives next week. I've asked many ward members if they know him, from what I have heard he is pretty solid. He has young kids, so that's different. I met his son actually a few weeks ago, HE WAS SOLID. If his dad is anything like him, than we are in for a good ride.

Met with Lou twice this week, then she got sick so we actually lost contact for a bit. We were pretty worried, as that is not normal for her. And then on Sunday she showed up at church! WUNDER. She is so sweet. With her baptism we are probably going to have it in a few weeks, so she can work on staying for all three hours of church. Her testimony of the basics is growing though, she understands why the Lord has given us commandments, She is solid. I love her!

The best thing that happened this week besides my interview was a little miracle we had when waiting for a tram. We were sitting down, and then this lady walked by and saw sister Murdock's name shield. She thought we were JW’s, so when we said we were Mormon, she asked what we believe in.  We actually had a good conversation with her.  She opened up to us! She was curious if God really is there for her. We shared our testimonies with her and told her about what we do. She was way interested, and said she would think about it. Even if she doesn't call us in the near future, I could tell that she appreciated what we had said.

I am really sad that sister Murdock is leaving!!! 
Sis Murdoch & Madison

Feels like we just got back together!!! She has grown so much and I was so excited to serve with her. It was a fun ride while it lasted. I'll miss her. That was the hardest thing, finding that out.
My new companion is sister Reed, we actually got to Germany together! She sounds chill, and solid. She comes tomorrow. HERE WE GO.

I had many tender experiences with prayer this week. Too often I feel when I am weak that I have failed. TIS NOT SO. I am only weak when I do not go to the Lord. I can be weak but still have a strong faith. As long as I go to Him who makes me strong, then it's all good. I know that Heavenly Father is there for us, unconditionally. One of the most precious truths to know. He loves me, He hears me. I know it!

SCHÖNE GRÜßE AUS LEIPZIG (Lovely greetings from Leipzig)

Opera House in Innenstadt. Truly a lovely city!!!!!
Cafe in Leipzig

For It Is Not Just A Great Book, It Is The Word Of God.

June 15, 2015
Another good week here in Leipzig!!!

Shout out to Hermana Megan. I love her and she just cracks me up!! Love seeing her pics and showing them to the missionaries here. Man I miss her!

This is now the last week of the transfer. I just got here, so no worries on that end, but sister Murdock POSSIBLY could leave. mal sehen!!! We just got back together and it would be a shame to leave one another so soon. But whatever happens, the Lord is in it. For this knowledge I have always been thankful.

A solid week!

Weather has been wacko. Some days are really warm, then some days rainy. That's Germany though! I love it.

Honestly mom, everything I eat here is amazing. The ice cream though was oh so good this week.

We were able to find a less active member, her address listed in the ward list was wrong, but we went to a street that sounded similar to it and what do you know, she was there! She has not been to church in a while and we don't know how much contact she has with the ward. Total wunder!

Last week we called a number from our phone, thinking it was a number of a former investigator in the area book, but turns out it was someone entirely different. She was way cool though, and was down to set an appointment out. So we did! We met with her on Wednesday, and talked about what it means to come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. She smokes, and can't read too easily in the Book of Mormon, but she has a desire! She said that ultimately her desire is to get baptized LIKE FOR REAL WHERE DID SHE COME FROM. Turns out she comes to church a lot. Sister Murdock and Elder Clarke thought she was a member. Our commitment for her was to pray just to know if meeting with us was a good idea. The next day she called. She said that she had already thought about it a bit, but felt that it was a good thing to set out a new appointment. So we did! She couldn't make it to church, but we will meet on Wednesday. Total wunder.

We were able to meet with Lou a few times! One appointment we brought an American sister from the ward, who actually served here as a missionary. Then on Saturday we met again. We planned to talk about the rest of the plan of salvation, but first we were following up on her reading in the Book of Mormon. The thought came to mind, as we were talking about the book of Mormon being true, to ask her if she really knew what we meant by that. It being "true." So I asked her. She was taught by missionaries a while ago, so we thought she already understood that. Glad that prompting came to mind though, because she didn't know! She thought that Joseph Smith had written it. NOW she understands why it is so important to ask God if the book is true. For it is not just a great book, it is the word of God. ALSO she came to church!!! yaaaaaa!!!! Met the Bishop and even stayed for the second hour. PROGRESS. Still wants to get baptized. She said that had she not come to Germany from china, she would not have realized why faith can be so necessary. That was the best part of the week for sure, hearing her share these feelings. yesssssss tis a good life indeed.

Went on austausch with the sisters in Chemnitz. I stayed there with sister Moffet. 
Sis Moffet and Madison on exchanges in Bahnhof
SHE IS SO SWEET. Just had the best time with her!! Man I love her. She is just so responsible and uses her time wisely. A solid sister. SECOND best part of the week was that we spent Saturday afternoon weeding some cute German lady's garten with Elder Collins and Elder Carpenter! (in the rain!) This is Elder Carpenter's last transfer, so I was stoked to be able to get to see him before he goes home next week. But that was also the hardest part of the week. Saying goodbye. He is like an older brother! I have known him since the beginning of my mission, it will be weird when he is home. He is a STUD though. That was a really fun tausch, needless to stay.

Well, I love this place. I love being a missionary. I know that the Book of Mormon was written by prophets called of God, and translated for our day by the prophet Joseph Smith. God loves us, he will show us the way we should take. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sister Madison Mittleman