Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Little Here a Little There (Sent 1/27/14)

hello friends!

So I only want to spend a little bit of time today on this email. So apologizes but not really. I have great news to tell yall. I am alive. I gave my first german speaking talk yesturday and I am still alive to talk about it. It was on God the Father and I had two pages worth of quotes and stories that I could read, but when I got up there I winged most of my talk with my own words in horrible German. But I felt good about it. Its one of the best feelings ever when you sit down at the end of your talk and you cant think of anything else you wanted to say and you feel like you said what you were prompted to. It was way funny though. There was a ton of members and non members that came up to me and said basically the same thing, "I didn't understand what you said but I felt the spirit so strong. Good job!" It was way funny but they were so sincere Gahhh I love the germans. There was this one non-member and he said to me, "du bist sehr mutig" you are so couragous/brave. It was so so sweet. 

I have been thinking alot this week about God. of course, and His nature. I was reading in Mosiah about the people of Alma. in chapter 23 verse 21 it says: "Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people: yea, he trieth their patience and their faith" haha when I first read that I wont lie, it didn't exactly encourage me. But someone else gave me this scripture in 1 chornicles 28  ¶And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a aperfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord bsearcheth all hearts, and cunderstandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou dseek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
 10 Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
And then I read in a talk this week from Elder Maxwell:First, because God has repeatedly said He would structure mortality to be a proving and testing experience. (See Abr. 3:25Mosiah 23:21.) Brothers and sisters, he has certainly kept His promise. He has carried out His divine intent, hasn’t He? Thus, even our fiery trials, said Peter, should not be thought of as “some strange thing.” (1 Pet. 4:12.) Hence, enduring is vital, and those who so last will be first spiritually!

haha I think the irony just got to me this week. As i thought about the different things that i have been going through, I know that they are small but i still often think why? well duh it is because God is putting me through that to become even bettter.

One of my favorite members from K-town put it this way: " I don't know if you've ever been to a blacksmith's before, but if you watch the metal to know when the iron is hot to strike at the point when it is best to shape it, you can see that the metal glows, it's a light that permeates the whole piece of metal. It's at that moment when we think we're on the verge of a melt down, when the heat seems unbearable, that we are at the most opportune point to shine, to become the person Heavenly Father wants us to be. I know you've heard the analogy of the reformer's fire before but I just wanted to tell you I know that it's true. We just have to have that glass half full perspective through even the most difficult times and to count our blessings, starting with the atonement."

Moral of this email is. If I could get through a 15 minute talk in a language I bearly know, And that was a "trail" from God to help me along on my own path of salvation than We can do anything that is hard that comes our way because we are never alone. We are children of a loving heavenly Father who knows us and loves us and is testing us because He can see the bigger picture. 

There really wasn't anything else much about this week to report on. BUT I will say that i have hit my 1/3 mark, gulp. I cant believe that it has been that long. Haha and the celebration of it consisted of not actually doing anything, 1 because I totally forget, and 2. Sis Beck was out of commission for like two days because she had an unmovable neck. So yep haha that was my celebration!! jawohl!

Love you all, go find a moment this week and just have 10 mins of ridiculous fun, then send me a picture of it. 

Love, Sister Wadsworth

Just a brief Note (sent 1/20/14)

Hey yall!

Just a quick note today. This week has been full of miracles but one was with a family that we are working with. They are from Iran and are refugees here in Germany. They have been coming to church for the past month and have such a desire to learn more about Christ. 

On saturday we had to sit down with them and discuss some details about their baptism, as the conversation progressed we began to see how unlikely it was going to be for them to get baptized until they knew that they could stay in Germany and not go back to Iran. Because this family was born into a country that didn't allow them the right to worship God the way that they want, they have to fear for their lives. Literally worry about if they get baptized christian if they will be alive a year from now. When we told them they would have to wait, they understood and said that they were going to trust god that everything wound work out. In our lesson, the eleven year old girls reviewed the plan of salvation for us and her face lit up as she explained with testimony where we came from, why we are here on earth and have to endure so many difficulties and where God has prepared for us to go after this life. We asked the mom if she had been praying. She told us yes absolutely. She had been praying to know how to keep her family together and safe and then she found this church and knew that God was answering her prayers.

Oh how quickly we forget the privledge it is to be diciples of Christ. How little we acknowledge Gods hand in our lives. and how quickly we fall into despair and lose our hope. I ask myself now, how am i showing my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for all that he has done? How can I become more like Christ because i have that priveldge?

I love you and keep you in my prayers. My the Lord bless you abundently.

Mit Liebe, Sister Wadsworth

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hallo Hanau! (sent 1/12/14)

Well hello there folks!

This week was so so crazy! We had 11 appointments in our two and a half days in k-town and it feels like that was a century ago. Actually first, please please excuse my horrible grammar and spelling. I am on a german computer with a different keyboard and learning german has fully messed with my mind. anywho, we then had transfers on thursday and then i have been working in my new area since then. 

I have really felt your prayers this week. The transition has been pretty smooth, and I have really felt an out pouring of comfort and peace as I have walked into so much change. It is so nice to know that I have such a strong support from back home. So thank you, so so so much!

My email might be totally spazy. but bear with me. So my last few days in Kaiserslautern were awesome. We got so much done and I was able to see so many of my members and people that we have been working with. I have truely loved working there. One day we were riding a train home and as i starred out the window and got into my deep thinking as I always do I really felt like i had completed my work in K-town. I was leaving with no regrets and that all was going to be well. I am so greatful for my testimony and for Heavenly Father for giving me this great comfort. I know that He has helped keep me straight and working hard and that has made all the difference in my work. 

So transfer day was crazy. I cough cough had way huge bags and some how gained like 200lbs in stuff. So wonderful sister prince and great elders helped me. so it wasnt too bad but i did have wicked sore arms and shoulders for two days after. We all got on the train to go to frankfurt Hbf. and then all unloaded to the side with the hundred other missionaries transfering. I was able to see sis. Lyons which was way fun! and we reinacted our first time at the train station and got currywurst. And I was able to see Elder Jensen and chat with him quite a bit, that was awesome too. Eventually time dwindled down and all the missionaries went their way. It was really hard parting from sis. Prince. We have become such great friends and i really love her. I could not have asked for a better trainer or companion. 

So into the Hanau part. WE HAVE A CAR!! it is the only sister area that has one and it is soo sick! I love it! although it does seem as though we spend a lot of time in it. But the area of hanau is kind of funny shapped and the actual city of hanau is and the very bottom corner of the area. and the other larger city is in the middle of the area and is an hour away. and then the rest of our area is like another 1.5 hours past that, so we have a huge area and really need the car. 

Sister Beck is my  new companion and she is awesome! she is so full of energy and is way cool and supportive to my ideas. She has really been supportive to me while i learn this language and has been ver patient. I feel like this will be a great companionship!

We get here on thursday afternoon. I unpack, our appartment is pretty nice, probablly half the size of k-towns though. And then on a flook happening we get the elders appointment for the night and go over to the schmidts home for dessert and to share a message. This is my first official appointment in a german area, and it was so great. I was surprised by how much I knew and could understand. It was great and really a moral boost. I thought it was really funny how it took me so long to realize the members are the same no matter what area you are in. They played with their kids the same way, related past mission stories the same, talked about the same things. I think that helped me understand them more actually because i would just bridge to gap of my understanding by thinking of an american appointment i have had in the past and sure enough they were talking about the same thing. if any of that last paragraph made sence than bravo to you. 

So jumping ahead a little bit. on saturday we had interviews with president. I love that man. I have had quite the pridvledge to be interviewed so many times by him considereing some missionaries wait 6 months between interviews and my average is like 6weeks. It was cool to me to see the growth that I have reached between our interviews. I really feel like i am progressing and it is such an awesome feeling. 

Sunday we had two investigators at church which was way way awesome. they have a lot of investigators here and a ton of referrals and potentials. I really feel like a big change is happening in hanau and I cant' believe that i get the chance to be apart of it. The ward is pretty big it has about 120members probablly one of the bigger gemeindes in deutschland. The bishop asked me to give my testimony in the meeting. I was so scared. I prayed over and over again for the gift of tounges and remembrance. When I went up there I gave my testimony simply and as clearly as I could. I could tell that I was getting way nervous and started to hear my voice shake. but way in the back I saw Br. Schmidt giving me a thumbs up. It was such a sweet and tender moment for me to feel Gods love through this man. I was so touched by the spirit that I could feel the tears comming. I think that people though that reaction was because of my german but it was only because I could feel the spirit tell me that I was exactly where i was to suppose to be. and that I really was on track that i had nothing to fear. 

I love this gospel because it is so simple and true. There is nothing hidden or complex. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us and is watching over us. Who gives us angels and who gives us comfort. He is guiding our path, and is in the details of our every day. I Love that. I am so greatful for the peace that this gospel brings and for the gift of my testimony. What a privledge it is to be a member of such an amazing restored church of Christ!

I love you all and pray for you nightly! 

Mit Liebe, Sister Wadsworth

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Neues Jahr! (sent 01/06/14)

Hello my friends and family,

This was a week of miracles. There was so many moment where I left and thought to myself, "Wow, isn't it a great day to be a servant of God!"

Last monday we had a ball of fun and went to Trier! We saw this beautiful city with Harriet, and the trip was a smash! I took a load of pictures too. I saw my first real, authentic cathedral and it was in its own way very beautiful and ornate. The whole trip left me in awe at the history and culture of Germany.  Trier was once the capital of the Roman Empire for a while when Constantine was in power. The picture is of the Porta Nigra (latin for black gate) which is the Roman city gate that dates back to 180 AD. Enjoy!

That night we went to Sis. Hudson's to help her prep to be a joint teach with us. But most of the appointment was spent listening to her Family History stories. It was so cool to hear all about her ancestors. She has very close roots in Germany, Canada, Russia and the Americans. There were stories about POWs, war stories of being in the ocean for weeks fighting off sharks, love stories and stories of great tragedy, and there were stories of rising above the odds when your whole town disowns you because of your blood line. Amazing Amazing night! family History is so cool!

So the next day was probably one of my favorite appointments to date happened. Jessica our new member was taught by us and our joint teach, Sis. Hudson, our recent reactivated member. It was such an amazing miracle to see them teach one another and to connect with one anothers stories. Here were the two most amazing miracles I have witnessed in Kaiserslautern together. It brings me to tears when I think about it because it is such a visual of how the gospel really does change lives. That is not an empty sentence. The Gospel Changes Lives! 

That night was the New years. All missionaries in Europe are to report back to their apartment before 18.00. I didn't understand why, but I thought it was nice that we were given extra time to make resolutions and clean our apartment for the end of the transfer. Sis. Prince was fading on me and went to bed at 10ish. But I wasn't yet tired enough to sleep through all the snaps and pops of the fireworks, not to mention the rock party that was happening below on the other floor. So I decided to not lay in bed for forever but to stay up. When 12:00 hit, I was awoken to World War Three. There was utter chaos going on all over the city. Fireworks were going here and there and everywhere. IT WAS MADNESS! Germany doesn't really have any rules and restrictions on fireworks. There was a fountain firework right outside our complex door that was not only just shooting up fire six stories high, it was hitting our roof and the side of our apartment. It was so loud. The whole charade lasted a full hour and didn't let up one bit during that hour. And who was in the other room not making a peep, Sis. Prince fast asleep, not even flinching at the explosions outside our window.

The next day we had apartment checks. Passed with flying colors. and then we welcomed in the new year with a breakfast with the German sisters. It was so great. The rest of the day was basically meeting after meeting. aber das ist mein Leben. Thursday we had a day packed full of appointments with members, and Less -actives. All I have to say about these days is that people are so fun! They are so fun to be around and be with and interact with! So great!

On Friday I was on a day split with Sis. Hasara. It was such a great day. We went to Sis. Romero's house with one of our ward missionaries Sis. Merrill. Sis. Romero had told us how it is sometimes hard to understand the scriptures and make them more than someone else's stories. So we want to help explain to her how we can study the scriptures. This is the way that I have found that works the best for me. I begin with a prayer, asking for the spirit to be there to help me understand and to help me find the answers to my questions and concerns that I have in the chapters or pages that I will be reading. After I pray, I write down the questions that are currently in my mind. They are not always gospel questions like what does it mean to repent, sometimes it is how can I not get upset so easily? or What are things that I can do so that I can not be so sassy? I write down everything and then I read. I read as though every verse is the divine answer to one of my questions. And with out fail I will "hear" the spirit, either in the words of the scriptures or in the wonderings of my mind, or later on that day or week. WITHOUT FAIL. After I read the scriptures I write down any insight, then close with another prayer. It was such a great lesson. We then practiced it out with reading Alma 7. SO great. 

We then had another great new member lesson with Harriet and  Sister sweet, who also is a pretty recent convert. It was so cool because I was able to ask them questions about what it was like being taught, their experience and their tips and pet peeves. And then we went into an open discussion lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was such a great lesson for me I think more than anyone elses, learning how to be a better teacher and missionary. Right after that we went to the church and saw that there wasn't a ton of players at volleyball so we jumped right in and yes that meant I played volleyball like a profi, in a skirt and boots. that is Sister missionary status to the max. haha

Saturday morning was the fateful morning that we were all waiting for. Transfer calls. Drum roll please...............rat ta tat ta tat ta tat ta tat... Sister Wadsworth will be serving in Hanau! with the lovely Sister Beck! It will be a German ward. Since I have been serving in an American Military ward my MTC german is a little rusty, but I am so excited for the new challenge. When I found out that I was going I became acutely aware of all of my lack of German knowledge, of my weaknesses as a missionary. as a general human being. But you know what? from the moment of that announcement to now as I type this I have never had such peace. I believe that we are all faced with the greatness that we can become. The hard part is not the becoming great but the choice in believing that we can reach such great heights. 

The rest of the day I saw miracles. We went and said goodbye to the lovells. Then volunteered to the post office on base and found a new investigator to work with. Then In the words of Sister Prince: "After that, we had an eating appointment with the Hamel's and Hart's. We had chili that was more thai than actual chili and then shared a spiritual thought on how Peter was called to be a missionary and help preach the gospel immediately following him denying Christ three times. It was a good discussion about how rejection plays a role in sharing the gospel, but ultimately it is so worth it. We were driving home and they had just pulled up to our apartment and had stopped at about 9:30 pm. While my companion was finishing up talking to them, I opened my car door to see two bikes pass me. The front bike had two young adults on it. The woman was pumping the peddles in a standing position and the guy was sitting on the bike seat trying not to let his legs get in her way. And the second bike only had one guy on it. I recognized the second biker as Cale Simmons. He is one of Harriet's friends who is also an Air Force Academy grad that I knew as well that is investigating the church currently. I turned my head back and looked over my shoulder to watch them speed off after they passed me only to see a car speeding down the road and hit the first bike with the two adults on it. I watched Cale slam on his brakes in time, but the front bikers hit the hood of the car and fell off to the side. I took off running to the scene. All my EMT knowledge flooded into my head and adrenaline rushed into my veins. As I ran up the girl on the bike popped up off the ground and said, "I am totally fine. I am not hurt at all. I'm so so so sorry." (Her name is Candice and she is a Intelligence Officer). I told them that I spoke both languages and was also an EMT. Candice kept reassuring me that she was totally fine. I knew that was normal for people in situations like this to think they are all fine because they have so much adrenaline pumping. I was watching her out of the corner of my eye making sure she wasn't going into shock while the German driver lady was freaking out and going into shock. I started translating and calming all parties down until the police came. The car had a dent in the hood and you could see the body slide and hand and feet marks. Long story short- German police came and Military Police came and I had to do some reports since I witnessed it for two hours. As time went on and we were all standing there, Candice's adrenaline started wearing off and she started having pain in her foot, ankle, knee and thigh. She starting panicking and crying and I hugged her and told her it would all be okay. That her body has an incredible ability to heal itself and that she had guardian angels watching over her. She nodded her head. I was so grateful to be there and be able to help. I called Candice yesterday and she is doing fine. She just has bruising all up her leg, but no extensive damage."

The last sunday was hard. I got up to bear my testimony and it was like I was giving another farewell talk. I was leaving my family all over again. My voice was shaking as I bore my simple testimony and thanked them for sharing their light and life with us. The rest of the day was intense planning to get my last 3 days packed with visits and appointments. I am excited to have a new challenge and to go somewhere new. But it is still hard to say goodbye to those I have grown to love. Well to love like sisters and brothers. Funny the way that God works. How He helps us develop these strong relationships with all of these people on earth. and how we are developing all of these relations with our spiritual sisters and brothers. I love this gospel so so so much! gah! just so much it is so incredible!

I hope yall have a fantastic wonderful week, I am praying and thinking of you often, probably will be a whole ton more as I spend my next few weeks in the confines of my mind since I won't be able to understand what is going on around me ;)

Love, Sister Wadsworth

Fröhliche Weihnachten! (sent 12/30/13)

Liebe Familie und Freunde!

Merry Christmas! I hope that you all found your Christmases to be wonderful and bright! I am sad and glad to see the holiday go. Sad because the Christmas spirit is so great in the air, and Glad because it means a new year and a fresh start . I am really really excited for this new year and for the clean slate that it brings. I am normally not this excited, but I think the prospects of me being in Germany for a full year is exciting but even more is how my knowledge has deepened of the Savior's Atonement and how I am seen as the clean and innocent one when I turn to Him and repent. SOO GREAT!! It makes me want to shout out loud! :D

So some quick news before I get to the meat of the email. 

Transfer calls will be this Saturday.... I wouldn't be surprised in the least if I left my sweet home of Kaiserslautern and my sweet mission mama of Sis. Prince. I also wouldn't be surprised in the least if I stayed and "killed" Sis. Prince (that is mission lingo meaning I am her last companion before she goes home). I really can see it either way. And I am not sure that I have a preference. I know that where I will stay or be transferred to is where I am needed. Those words before the mission were  just words but having been out and really seeing the miracles in your area, its like Heavenly Father is blessing you with a witness to the principle that He has a grand plan, that He is aware of the details in your life and in the lives of each person you encounters. I love when that happens when word become real to you. It so hard to describe, but soo amazing. I think that is how all of our testimonies grow. We experiment upon the "words" and then they become something almost tangible like a metaphorical tree. 

There has been a moment to remember this week. Sis. Prince and I had our first double eating appointment. It was intense and spare of the moment. The timing was miraculous because we needed all of the factors of trains, people giving rides, boiling water, lessons and conversation to go exactly according to plan and not a minute over. And it all worked out! It was on Monday. All the missionaries were doing service on base at the BX which is like a mall. We were wrapping gifts for 5 hours straight it was hardcore. but we also had lunch at american restaurants that we haven't eaten at in Months. So where did we all go... Taco bell. and we gorged ourselves. After our late lunch and more gift wrapping we went to Sis. Hudson's house to have a Christmas celebration with her. She is without doubt one of the very sweetest lady I have ever met. We also made "Christmas dinner" and had spaghetti with her, even though we were still stomach-extended full on taco bell. And Then we had yet another appointment with a part-member/recent reactivated family that we felt very strongly that we needed to go and see. This dinner was very last minute(as in 6 hours before it was set up) and we were already dying. We got a ride to this family's house from a different member. As we were sitting in the back, Sis. Prince turns to me and says, "I don't think that I can eat another bite, I was already gagging on getting spaghetti down." "Don't worry Sis. Prince I will pray for you" And so I did. I prayed that we would some how be able to eat an acceptable amount so that we weren't rude. That somehow our stomachs could be enlarged. We get to the appointment and they were feeding us enchiladas and rice and beans.... Our Eyes got large and we feared for the results. But God pulled through. And we ate a full dinner plate. and when seconds were forced upon us we ate those too. We were able to move around like normal being had a great DTR with the non-member and as soon as we were dropped off at the church and started walking home. We started to feel the effects of our elephant size consumption of food. Aber alles Gute!

Our Christmas Eve was basically Christmas. We had a big breakfast with our Senior couple missionaries and all the other missionaries that could make it out. We played a way fun game of uno where every round the winner added a rule. Some of my favorite rules were, You cant say "yes" or "no" or you get a card, you have to talk in an accent, and no german words (which wasn't to hard until the accent rule came into play and then I suddenly wanted to say every german word I knew). It was way way way fun.  We then had Christmas with the German sisters and opened up all of our gifts to one another, and from our parents. I made out like a bandit! Sis. Prince got me a very warm and beautiful scarf and a stein that I had been eyeing in the store below us for weeks. It is so beautiful! I also go a Papier-mâché dino, that has a lot of fun memories associated with it but I do not have the time or will power to write about, and a "make-your-own" calender for the next year since they knew how much I like to scrapbook. But among all the gifts from members, Missionaries and family members my favorite hands down is the new set of scriptures that I got from my parents. They are just beautiful! They sit on my desk gracing me with their presence. They are genuine leather and have the sweet homey touch of my engraved name and art work on them from my nephew. I have had a constant pecking almost pulling desire to just read my scriptures. I am excited to read them, every page. (it is actually my new years resolution)

For Christmas day we spent it at one members after the others. The first being President Adams, then Brother Petersen our Ward mission Leaders house, then Bishop Moran's home with his sweet daughters. And the day after we spent it at legit families homes, the Websters (Fun fact: who were my very first appointment as a missionary) and then the Pead family who are so sweet. So if you ever have wondered what Christmas is like for a missionary. It means a lot a lot of food. and a lot of family time with other families and some rocking game playing and watching the same Mormon messages 4 times a day for days on end. It is basically the second best way to spend Christmas, second only to your own family. :)
Speaking of by lovely family, I skyped with them! It was so so great to see them all again. It is a weird experience if i can be very honest for a paragraph or two. It is weird because 1. As a missionary it is as though we function on a different time table then the rest of the world. Time slows down and speeds up at the same time. So being able to see my beautiful parents and siblings and nephews, it was almost as if it had only been a month and not 5. But at the same time and in the same way that you can see the small differences in a growing child more strongly after not seeing them for a week or two. all of my families differences, all the little changes were so obviously changed after it being so long since I have seen them last. I think the weirdest difference was the change I was able to see in myself. (not to turn my skype with my family all about me or anything ;)) Change can be so subtle it is hard to detect. The very act of changing who you are is a slow process. We need it to be someone slow if we want to the change to last. The act of changing our direction is very quick, All it takes is one prayer to Heavenly Father and a sincere desire to change and we can head in the right direction. But the up hill climb, or the path along the iron rod can seem long and daunting. It is here where we are truly becoming. "We must not give up hope. We must not stop striving. We are children of God, and it is possible for us to become what our Heavenly Father would have us become....The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become." -Elder Oaks 
I am not sure how I can convey this correctly. So please be patient with me as I try. But when I saw my family and remembered them and how they move and sound like, I was able to remember me, in my 5 month previous state. And for one of the first times I was able to see how I have Become a different person. How I have started the process of conversion. How I no longer see the gospel as a good idea, or theory. or even something the I believe in but by living the gospel every day from 6:30am to 10:30pm and seeing it on others I have caught a glimpse of what it is like to become one with its teachings and principles. In no way am I a close to perfect example, and thats okay. I, like everyone else has to hike this climb and walk this path to true conversion. I just love how I can see how every little thing is in direct relation with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. How EVERYTHING is a part of his plan. It makes the days brighter and the sun warmer. I am starting to see the words of my testimony come to life, and be filled with emotion and feeling. And it is just the coolest thing ever. 

A comment came up in one of my conversations that in my emails that they wanted to hear more about what was going on with me in my life. I was a little caught off guard and tried to stumble out an answer. But after thinking about it more I just want to say that these "spiritual thoughts" and "churchy comments" in my email are never because I feel compelled as one with the title of Missionary to give to all of you but that they are the very core of what I am doing, and thinking. They are the what to how I am doing and what is going on with me in my life. These are the lessons that I am trying to learn, they are what I am trying to become. 

I am ever amazed at how adaptable and maluable we are as humans. How we can change so quickly and so dramatically. I found a scripture randomly when I was watching mormon messages during our media hour and at the end it had a scripture at the end of it. Alma 33:23 "And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen." And even all this can I do, can you do if ye will. All we have to do is want the change and God will work with us and help us.

I love you all and hope that this email finds you well and enjoying your holiday break. :) I wish yall a great new year and a new change.

Bis nächste Woche!

Sister Wadsworth

One of sis. hudson in her new chair 

my dino :)

christmas at the petersens

The Gift of God‏ (sent 12/23/13)

Liebe Familie und Freuden,

Last Sunday night, I was on my knees saying my nightly prayer when I felt like I needed to focus my thoughts and really ponder this week what it means to use the Atonement daily. I can say now that this thought was inspired and I was being impressed by the Spirit. I didn't really know what it meant to use the Atonement daily. I thought it meant to just repent every night. But it means so much more than that.

On Monday, I woke up fussy. Sometimes that happens. I am learning that I have a weakness of turning that bad attitude around quickly and not channeling it toward people. As a district we had pre-planned spending our p-day together, but I was fussy. I could tell that I was contributing a happy spirit to the group and I didn't like that I wasn't my normal self. But I wasn't sure what my problem was exactly. The way things turned out we had a small split with the German Sisters that night. Splits help me a lot. They remove me from my same old surroundings just enough that I can see how I really am and look at everything objectively.

Dienstag morning, we met with the Relief society presidency and talked about how the missionaries could help and support the women in the ward. After, we had a split with Sis. Baguley, ( the RS President) and we went to a members home. As we were visiting her we listened to her ups and downs the past few years and how she has had to go through radiation treatments for her cancer and how that affected her and her family. We shared with her a talk that my sister had shared with me in her email on Monday. As she was reading she began crying. 

If we are offended and resentful, can we believe that He is bound to help us in our tragedies and disappointments? This scripture does not tell us how or when this commitment will be effective or realized, but His promise is real and binding. Our challenge is to endure. There will always be testings and trials along life’s paths. Heartaches and tragedies need not defeat us if we remember God’s promise.
worthwhile attitude for all of us could well be, “Help us, Lord, to remember thy love for us and help us to be fortified by thy strength whenour eyes are blurred with tears of sorrow and our vision is limited.”
It is expedient for all of us, particularly those who may be weighed down by grief because of acts of misconduct or misfortune, to recall that even the Prophet Joseph Smith had hours of despair because of his very trying experiences in the Liberty Jail. Perhaps he too was entitled to question,“What did do wrong? What have done to displease Thee, Lord? Wherehave failed? Why are the answers to my prayers and pleas withheld?” Inresponse to the feelings of his heart and mind he cried out:
“O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hidingplace?” (D&C 121:1.)
The reassuring response came:
“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shallbe but small moment;
“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” (D&C 121:7–8.)
The promise God gave to Joseph Smith is promise for all of us: “If thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes,” 
I was so touched in this moment, as I watched tears stream down her cheeks. I began to understand that she was using the Atonement daily. She was pulling strength from Him for every breath she took. She relied on Him to know that what was happening to her and what she was going through was going to be for her best in the end. I told her what my sister told me, "Trials do not mean that we are bad people. Trials do not necessarily mean that we are being punished. Sometimes a trial is just a trial. It's life. No one is immune to it, we all have to endure it in one form or another. AND enduring doesn't just mean surviving (Which I understood) But it doesn't mean we have to like it either. We are allowed to feel sad. We are allowed to grieve. It's possible to be sad about a situation and still be grateful for what we have. As long as we don't feel sorry for ourselves. Our attitude is what determines us enduring and us merely surviving. Do we see our trials as stumbling blocks or as stepping stones?"

After our split with Sister Baguley we went and did service on base in the post office. It was so much fun to throw boxes and help costumers. To be there with the Elders and the airmen was just a ball of fun. After we were dropped off at the church, we were walking home and I could tell that there was something off since p-day. So with much courage I went out of character and addressed the elephant in the room. We began opening up to one another and just being straight about what we were feeling. I thought that everything had naturally cleared up itself but it was obvious that that was not correct. I was standing there in our study room listening to Sis. Prince and I had a moment that was out of body. I could see myself tense up and become defensive, even over the things that I knew I was wrong in. It was very eye opening as I saw what the natural man does when it faces the fact that it is in the wrong. From that view of things, I tried with all my effort to listen to not only words but why they were being said. While I was still battling the inner monster the appears when taking correction I realized yet another way that we use the Atonement daily. As we are willing to listen and be humble. We see the bigger picture. We see the eternal perspective and the why of the words that people say. When we are humble as Christ was we see peoples pains and sorrows and gain a much deeper understanding and love of those around us. I want to make sure that this paragraph isn't poorly interpreted, Sis. Prince and I are like peanut butter and apples, while different we (cheesily) complete one another and jive together great! (Just to clarify.) 

Wednesday morning we had District meeting. It was our first one since we have had Elder Larson as our district leader. It was differently formatted but very good still. We had Secret Santa after. That morning Sis. Prince and I realized that we hadn't bought our people gifts yet. So I said a prayer that in the 15 mins before we had to walk to the church that we would be able to find something. And bam! we did. We found two legit steins for 3 and 4 euro. They even came in a bag. It was a miracle! haha. Our appointments for the day had all fallen out. So we went home and caught up on our area book and other paperwork that we had been lacking on for the past three transfers. That night we did our official split with the sisters and I went to the German area for the rest of the night and the next day. It was fun to be on a split with Sister Wilson. We went to two appointments that day, traveling took alot of the time of our day up (the price of having a huge area and no car). We had about and hour and a half before we had to go to the church to switch back companions. Because of our weird schedule that day we had companionship study at night. It was probably one of my favorite study hours ever. Sis. Wilson and I read from the white handbook a word at a time. And then we studied what it meant to be diligent. And made a pack to recommit ourselves to be more diligent. It was interesting as we were talking about how horrible we were at this attribute and how we were going to change it, just how constructive the whole study was. It was after we accepted that this was a weak point in our character and that there was no judgement between the two of us that it was then that we felt motivated to change. It reminded me of another part of the talk from Elder Ashton; "Sometimes we spend so much time trying to determine what we did wrong in the past to deserve the unpleasant happenings of the moment that we fail to resolve the challenges of the present. Og Mandino wrote in hisbook The Greatest Miracle in the World, “If we lock ourselves in a prison of failure and self-pity, we are the only jailers … we have the only key to our freedom.” (New York: Frederick Fell Publishers, 1975, p. 61.) We can let ourselves out of such a prison by turning to the Lord for strength. With His help we can use our trials as stepping-stones. The keys are in our hands." What a thought! The keys to change and strength and peace are in our hands!

On Friday we had a packed day. We had two splits with two members and were really able to visit a lot of people. Given that Christmas was around the corner we talked a lot about what Christmas really means. Sis. Prince and I have seen all of the Christmas mormon messages so many times we have them memorized. Two of my favorite are this one and this one. Why did Christ come? Why did Heavenly Father give us His son? "For God so loved the world , that he gave his only begotten Son , that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." In the military scripture set it comes with a book "Principles of the Gospel" in it says."The Atonement is the supreme expression of our Heavenly Father’s love for us (see John 3:16). It is also the greatest expression of the Savior’s love for the Father and for us."

The Greatest Expression of Love. 

And what do we give the Lord to show our expression of love? We only have one thing to give our Lord that He doesn't already have, our will. Does this eliminate our choice? No. But the very gift of the Atonement requires our all. It requires our natural man, our tendencies to believe that our way is the only way. It requires that we love ourselves and other for exactly where they are. Trials are not there to trip us up but to lift us up. My gift this Christmas is to Christ. It is my all and myself. I can give you all my most prized possesion. My testimony of Jesus Christ. That He was given to the world, He lived for the individual, and He died for me. I find strength beyond my own through Him. I serve here for Him. I love Him. And I close my witness of Him in His name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season! And can keep the spirit of CHRISTmas with you forever

Sister Wadsworth

ps. Here are some other thoughts that I had. :)

"If all our troubles were hung on a line, you would take yours and I would take mine."

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise