Monday, September 28, 2015

"There Are No Exceptions, EVERYTHING Is Apart Of God's Plan."

September 28, 2015


Today is my 13 month mark!!!

Anyway, I just have to start off with news about Lübeck, since I've been here, HERR DEVERS and their daughter JULIKA have been baptized!!!!!! AND this past Sunday Schwester Devers received her Patriarchal blessing!!!! They are just doing so well!!! I write letters with Schw Devers and it is just such a miracle to see how she is progressing in testimony. I am so proud of the progress she has made and I love her tons. Seeing those we love happily living the Gospel is one of the greatest blessings we can enjoy, I know it.

Quick highlight of the week, Rene, Holger's neighbor, couldn't meet this week, but he texted us yesterday morning and asked if he could come to church and Sunday School!! wahhhh it was so cool, haha I think that's the first time on my mission someone has ever asked me if they could come to church with us :)) It was testimony meeting, and he really enjoyed it! He wants to make sure he can meet with us this week, what what!!!

WELLLLL on that note. Not a lot of time today but I want to tell of an important experience that happened this week. Pretty lame to be honest.
Sooo we went to talk with Doreen, and it all went downhill. She had read some anti Mormon literature about the temple, and even when we tried to explain it, she just wouldn't listen. She said none of it was for her and that she could never get baptized in our church. Last week we had felt the spirit soooo strongly there with her!!! I could see it in her eyes!!!! And here we were trying to save it all oh so unsuccessfully. And of course as I sat there I realized there was nowhere I would rather be than sitting in the Temple. So we left, still with a solid friendship thank goodness, but then we got into the hallway and my tears just started coming down. We got outside, found a little ally, and CRIED for about 20 minutes. It was raining, so we just stood against the wall under our little covering and watched the cars drive by. Thinking. Praying. All the good stuff! Have not cried like that for a while. Situations like this happen all the time, so it was nothing too new, but I think a lot of it had been bottled up inside of me. The Germany Berlin Mission is no easy mission, let me tell you! And after a year I was feeling pretty down. I think I was just asking Heavenly Father how he handles it, and how it all will work out. I know that everything is possible. I know that everyone has the ability to accept the restored gospel, but in these moments it sure didn't feel like it. I felt such a love and a longing for the people here, like Doreen, for whom it all seems so unlikely and so impossible. I was feeling pretty low. The heartache was strong. I wanted to go home, to be honest! I mean, going home is totally not even a question for me, I never actually would, but the desire was there. As I was pondering, a thought came to mind that I had that very morning written down. "There are no exceptions, EVERYTHING is apart of God's plan." That was really what I needed that afternoon. I may think that somehow Heavenly Father's plan has gone wrong, that someone has done something to get off the path and now their hardships are too much or too great, but that IS TOTALLY WRONG. All of it, alll of it, He has taken care of. He knows that everything can work out. Nothing is too extreme for Him. No circumstances are too drastic. No person is too far away. God is our Father. He is perfect. And His plan is perfect. I am grateful that I can put full trust in him, EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY. I know it! I will stay here another 5 months and endure what may come, because I know that this is true.

3 Nephi 13:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

I am stoookked for General Conference!!! Seriously so excited!!! All this week I will be thinking of questions to take in, I challenge you all to do the same!! I know that God has called a prophet and apostles for us in these latter days. How blessed are we.
Alles gut! The Gospel is true!

Sister Mittleman

I Am Grateful That Heavenly Father Watches Over His Missionaries, And That He Sends The Holy Ghost To Calm Our hearts.

September 21, 2015

This week was strange but still enjoyable!

So we met with Doreen and she wants to be baptized! We talked about the book of Mormon and read about the Atonement. She has some drawbacks but we read in Alma 7 verses 11-13 and this warm feeling just flooded the room! I felt the spirit so strong and warm in my heart, and we could see it in her face, too. The next day she texted us with all these worries about her family and the fight between her heart and head. It took a few texts\calls and for a time we thought she was GONE buuuut now we are going over tomorrow. She wants to read the Book of Mormon through to really feel good about everything. I love her so much and it's been a bit of a rollercoaster with emotions, BUT I know that it's all worth it. Mal schauen how it goes tomorrow. woohoo!

So we saw Holger and Rene, (Rene is his MAN neighbor) on Wednesday. They brought another friend. So we were sitting there chatting about the temple last week and then the friend was like I think there is an anti-Christ here among you..... And it all went downhill from there. He kept grouping our Faith generally with other religions and was totally bashing us. I was trying to tell him that we actually believe in a prophet who is called of God, and I said, "you can look at that picture over there to see the past few prophets"  (pointing at a picture on the wall) and then PRACTICALLY interrupting me he says, without looking to where I was pointing, " that's nice." and just kept looking forward. I don't know if I let it literally happen but auf jeden fall inwardly my jaw dropped. I WAS TOTALLY RAGING FOR LIKE 20 seconds.  Oh my goodness it was so hard no to lose it. Rene and Holger were both lost with the point he was trying to make, if anything they both became more interested in what we had to say. Holger was totally sticking up for us it was so precious!!! I love them and I really hope that this week goes much better!

So we have not heard anything more from Lou, buuuuut at least we know she still cares! Keep her in your prayers.

Sister Reed is doing well. She has the most lovely curly hair! I love being with her.

Oktoberfest starts soooonish they are setting up all this good stuff in Market so it should start soon. I hope to get another dirdndl when they go on sale after its all over. woooo dirndls

The best thing to happen was on Wednesday after our appnt with the three men. That morning before district meeting was when Doreen had texted us and all emotions and thoughts went everywhere, then we were feeling discouraged after said appnt with men, BUT THEN sister Todd, the American sister in our ward called. She said she had made too many chicken enchiladas for the elders and invited us to come over too. MIRACLE. Oh man such a tender mercy after a rough day!!! I was so grateful and my little heart just sang as we got to their house. The Todd family is a crack up, and really a second home for the missionaries here. It was a little sign that Heavenly Father is watching out for us.

Wellll So about this earthquake business in Chile. There are all these little info screens in Bahnhof here and while waiting for our s bahn I saw that there was this huuuge earthquake in Chile.....BUT nothing really stirred inside of me! I mean don't get me wrong of course I was worried, but I felt calm. Then mom emailed me and then dad as well within a few hours, and I knew it was all good. I am grateful that Heavenly Father watches over His missionaries, and that He sends the Holy Ghost to calm our hearts. Stoked to see what Megan says about it all.

To conclude I will end with a shout out to a ward member\missionary supporter....drum roll please...MARC!! Marc has meet like over 600 missionaries in the past few years and knows them all with face and name (including sister Knecht!) he also brings us donuts. He is cool, and I told him now for the past 6 weeks I would give him a shout out (he follows the blog) Wooooo Hi Marc!!!! (I'll send a pic)

I know that this work is important. I know that God answers our prayers. It is possible for every single one of us to come to know Christ, and feel the personal love he has for each of us. We are capable of not just keeping the commandments, but of changing our desires to want what God wants. He can change us!

Elder Clarke & Schester Mittleman eating enchiladas at the Todd's home 

Fried Bananas!

Going To The Temple Was Definitely The Highlight Of The Week. I Love The Temple!!

September 14, 2015

CH BLEIBE!!!!!! I am staying another 6 weeks here in Leipzig!!! VICTORY!!! Friday night I was getting really nervous and reminiscing on all the good times I have already had here, and the week went oh so well that I dreaded the thought of leaving. BUT it's all good. Tis noch things to do!! 

Sister Reed and I are staying together, and Elder Clarke will stay as well. This will be the longest I've stayed with a companion!! (3 transfers) and the longest I will have had the same district leader (4 transfers) haha, it's weird that out of my 13 transfers in the mission, Elder Clarke will be apart of 4. Who knew?!

OH MAN this week was solid.

This lady had called up the elders and said she wanted to have missionaries over, so we went. Her name is Dorin, she met with missionaries 5 or 6 years ago, then had an accident and is now on the search again for a new direction. We met Tuesday and Thursday. Talked about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. In our first lesson all of a sudden after talking about finding the truth out she said that she was having this feeling that she should just kick us out, AND there was like this total dark change in her countenance and I was like UHHHHHHHH. We talked her out of it and about focusing on the good feelings. Quite strange, but we were thankfully able to bring the spirit back to the conversation. She was able to get a ride to church with a member, and a few members came up to her before and after, not just to introduce themselves but to give their testimonies as well. ALL RIGHT.  She really liked church!!! It was way cool. We go back tomorrow. It’s only been a week now of knowing her, I'm stoked to see how it goes from here, despite the forces working against her.

We met with Holger on Wednesday, his friend couldn't come then...BUT THEY BOTH CAME ON OUR AUSFLUG TO THE TEMPEL!!! I WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!! Oh man Saturday morning we took the train to Freiberg. It is such a pretty city! The Temple is so being renovated, but there was still a special spirit there. It was so calm outside, and just peaceful. I am so grateful we could go, and bring people along. Holger's friend is Rene, they are actually neighbors. It was pretty new for them both, but they were impressed at how heartfelt and sincere everything was. I LOVE THEM. it was like a whole day trip, so we really got to know them better and we are now good friends. We got our transfer call while there, and Holger was so excited that I am staying. We meet with them both on Wednesday.

Going to the Temple was definitely the highlight of the week. I love the Temple!!

OH AND HOW COULD I FORGET. Saturday night I woke up in the middle of the night and then I couldn't fall back asleep. Super lame. AND THEN the phone lit up and we got a text. In my tired state I checked it and guess who it was???? LOU SONG!!!!! Turns out she went to China for a month and didn't have access to her number. Oh my goodness I wanted to cry!!  haha then I really couldn't fall asleep :) 

I really love this city. I LOVE LEIPZIG. So many adventures everyday. So many different people. Germany is just gorgeous. I feel such love for those I meet here. I feel so humble and so blessed to serve here. I love my mission!!!

This week was such a good week. One of those weeks that really reminded me why I am here, and why I will keep going on. This work is important. Not everything is easy. Not everything is happy and joyful. But we are working for the day when all will be perfect! I know that day will come. I know that we cannot just endure, but enjoy. Heavenly Father loves us. He wants and expects us to succeed! I love my Savior, and I love His Gospel that brings so much clarity and purpose to my life. 

2 Nephi 33:6 I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.

Sister Mittleman
Schwester Mittleman at the Temple
Temple visit with investigator's

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

There Is No Other Place Where I Would Rather Be Than The Streets O' Leipzig.

September 7, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMMA!!!! I know it is not until Wednesday and Germans usually don't say anything before the actual day, buuuuuut I won't talk until next week so I shall say it now!!!! LOOOOOOVE YOUUUUUUU. Hope you have fun in Idaho and Utah!!!!! That will be way fun. YOUNG FOREVER!!!!!!

Sooooooo this week was really cool, I enjoyed this week.

Sister Reed is doing well. I really love serving here with her. She is really funny and we laugh about the same things, which is always fun. She is a straightforward type of gal, (I think anyone is after serving in Germany for a while :) ) and it's good. I love her!!!! Hope we can stay together another transfer!!!!

So we have not heard ANYTHING from Lou, I repeat: we have heard nooothing. Tis sad, I know, but life goes on. It was a good run while it lasted. She made lots of progress and our conversations of faith and God's love were very sincere. Even though she did not get baptized (yet) I know that all of our efforts were helpful and strengthened her. And that's what it's all about. SOMEDAY she will be ready. 

We met with Holger, He bought cookies for us. HE IS SO COOL. His voice is so deep and his accent is sooo thick I looooove it!!!! Turns out his friend who came to church a few weeks ago wants to come to our meetings as well. woohooo!! Hopefully this week he will join us. So we talked more deeply about the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Holger.  He really just needs to feel the confirmation of the spirit telling him that EVEN HE needs to get baptized. For him, he already shows God he loves Him by praying and keeping the commandments, he doesn't need to go under the water to "prove" anything. Oh man it's hard not to just say "Well, you know what Holger, it's not what we want is it, it's what God wants!" meeeeeeenschenkinder!!!! Psalm 40:8 comes to mind (a good life motto) " I delight to do thy will, O my God, thy law is within my heart."  Even if we don't understand fully the WHY behind everything, we should do it first out of love to God. I know that we can trust our Father in Heaven, I know that everything He asks of us is for our good. We should just do whatever He asks of us, because we love Him. Anyway, Elder Clarke had told us that they were planning on taking a few people to the temple (President Fingerle allows us to take investigators/less active members, etc to the Freiberg Temple, although it is closed, to see it and to have a little lesson with the missionaries there, waaaay cooool!) and invited us to invite anyone to come with: SO we invited Holger and he said YES!!!!! WE ARE GOING TO THE TEMPLE!!!!! I am so so so beyond excited!!! On Saturday. It has been a whole year since I have been to a temple!!!!!!! What a blessing. I hope and pray that the special spirit there will touch Holger's heart. mal schauen!!

Best thing of the week was my interview with Präsident Fingerle! Such a stud. IT WAS ALL IN GERMAN. What a riot that was!! I loved it!!  haha we were some of the last on that day so my interview was not until 21 or so! We just asked a few questions to each other, everything he said was very thoughtful and helpful, things I had not yet thought about. He offered to give everyone a blessing at the end, and that was very cool as well! In my blessing there were four points THAT EXACTLY WERE WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR. I know that President Fingerle is one called by God to lead us in this mission. I love him and and I am grateful to serve with him.

Thursday to Friday we had exchanges and I WENT TO CHEMNITZ WITH SISTER KRONWITTER!!! That was fun being comps with her for a day :) Get this: One year ago exactly we were companions still in the mtc! TOTAL WAHNSINN. I love her so much and we just had a blast together. (It was hard to say goodbye, that was the challenging thing this week)

TRANSFER CALLS ARE SATURDAY. It is possible that I stay or go. I keep going back and fourth with how I feel. I would looove to stay another transfer so I can stay with Sister Reed and Elder Clarke. I will tell you in a week! 

I will end with a thought from my Book of Mormon study. We read in Mosiah chapter 23:
21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people;
yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.

Even when we are being righteous the Lord will continually prove us. We live for a pretty long time on the earth. That is because the Lord will put us through many trials. Sometimes when bad times come we think, noooo whyyyy, what have I done? But just like it says, NEVERTHELESS (no matter how we live) the Lord will test us. Over and over again. He has shown us here in the scriptures that that is His plan, so it should be no surprise. So instead of getting doubtful or frustrated when yet another trial or hard time comes, let us rejoice and take notice that the teachings and promises of the Book of Mormon are coming to pass in our lives!

I love you and hope you have a lovely week! I love my Savior and I love serving here in Germany. There is no other place where I would rather be than the streets o' Leipzig. 

Sister Mittleman

Leipzig- Schwester's Mittleman & Kronwitter

I Have Spent A Year As "Sister Mittleman" What A Life!

August 31, 2015

I HOPE YOU ATE ICE CREAM. I did. And I spent like 7€....WORTH IT. 

Spaghetti Ice Cream 
On 28 August, Friday I reached my year mark as a missionary! I have spent a year as "Sister Mittleman" What a life!

Sister Reed and I got ice cream that only looks like spaghetti momma!!! it was sooooo gooood. I’ll send pics.

We have interviews with President on Tuesday night, at around 20 40 woohooo!!! We shall see if it's in German or not.

The primary program was yesterday and it was SO CUTE. The kids were many and they sang so well. Of course there were those who got shy and cried then those who couldn't stay away from the mic. I loved it!! Such a sweet spirit in the chapel, indeed. 

Holger was at church last week, I forgot to mention that!!!! Way fun. This week he was in Dresden so we couldn’t meet, we see him this week though. :)

Now to the good stuff!!

In reflecting I have tried to think about what I have "learned" since being on my mission. It is hard to narrow everything down. Soooo many different experiences and emotions have been apart of my missionary life. 
I think most importantly I have strengthened my testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, and His work here on Earth. I often say how much I love it here, but as you know it isn't all perfect. It is hard! A mission is not just some glamorous trip, it's a serious and sacred calling. This is the work of salvation we are talking about! The real deal. There have been times when I have asked myself, "But how? How can I survive all of this?  It's too exhausting." But I keep going and working along. There is indeed opposition in all things. I have really felt my love for the Gospel grow. I have strengthened my testimony of the plan of salvation. I have become very aware of how precious this message is. It would be way cool to sit inside all day and read the scriptures and rejoice in how great God is all by myself. But God has not just sent us here to help ourselves. We have the precious opportunity to help others as well. DO WE EVEN KNOW WHAT WE HAVE?  I have realized how much God believes in us! He trusts a 20 year old young lady to approach people in the street or at their door and in broken (jk let's be real) PRETTY DECENT German try to talk to them about their family or Jesus Christ.  And that's pretty wild! But that is what He has asked of me, so I will do it. I know that He uses me, the weak and simple, to accomplish the great. Even when it seems that what I am doing is small or trivial, I know that it has worth. 

That is something else I have learned on the mission, everything, EVERYTHING good that we do is building up the kingdom of God. It does not come just with teaching or baptizing. But in ALL of our efforts. There may be missionaries in south America who are baptizing oodles of people every week, and there may be missionaries in Germany struggling to have decent if spiritual conversations with those they meet every day. Christ completed the Atonement for us, but that is not the only record we have of His time on the Earth. He performed miracles, and He served in soooo many ways possible. Just because playing with children was not suffering in the garden, does not mean it is of no worth at all. Christ taught us to go about doing good, to help and uplift others. We are to be example "in word and in deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter day work!" Not juuuuust baptize. Were that the case then I might have gone home awhile ago ;) He has asked me to be here, and to represent Him; I will do what He wants me to do! Whether it be baptize everyone in Germany or even just smile at everyone in Germany. Even if I want to baptize the whole country, I will do what HE wants done. We must be ready and willing for it all. Whatever the assignment may be, it comes from Him, and therefore it is important!

I have experienced so many moments of great joy. And I have cried and felt feelings of hopelessness and despair. Christ loved, and He wept as well. Our experiences may be hard, but the Gospel is simple. I know that God will ALWAYS be there for us. We can literally feel His comfort and love.  I know that He loves me. I know that Christ paid the price for my sins, and died and was resurrected so I one day can do the same. I know that the Gospel is not just some nice idea, but that it is the most important message that should and must be taken to the whole world. 
I can keep going and fight the good fight. When things are hard sometimes I just have to say GET OVER IT.  WOOHOO. Bold, I know, but come on!!! The Lord is on my side. I have the rest of eternity to enjoy myself. 

That's about all I have time for, but those are a few things that were on my mind this week. I have six months left that I hope will go by slower than the past year!!! 

I love my mission. These experiences and feelings I am having are so special and so important to me.  I love Germany, and I love serving those here. Life is good.

alles liebe,

Sister Mittleman
Leipzig- Schwester's Reed & Mittleman