Well, my week was interesting... there were some rough moments, but it was still good. We have been doing a LOT of service this week. Sadly, Sister Hutson died on Friday... :/ so we won't get to go back to see her in the hospital anymore. I guess that's better for her...but it is still sad.
On Sunday, we attended all three hours for all three wards! 9 HOURS OF CHURCH!!! PLUS all three ward councils and the YSA institute! Institute was new and fun! I met A LOT of people made a lot of friends! But it was a LONG day! I was completely physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained!
Now that we are serving in all three wards, we are working with a lot of the members. I really enjoyed meeting with a younger couple in the Kaiserslautern ward. They're so awesome! They have an amazing story about how they met and since they are so close to our age so it just made it even more fun! We also had dinner with the Jacobs! They were super nice and made us enchiladas. After we played this card game called 7up and I won almost every time, haha! :3 At another dinner visit this week with another member the children were all really hyper and all over the place, they had so much energy! After dinner they invited me to see their pet cricket (yes, a cricket). Well, as I followed the little girls to the room, the little boy ran ahead of me with a block of cheese in his hand, and then when he got there he grabbed the cricket and took a bite out of it! He then tossed it on an upper bunk, climbed up, and started eating it up there! Oh my! A little extra protein can’t hurt right?
On a sweeter note, I was able to make awesome chocolate chip cookies with hot chocolate! We got the BROWN SUGAR to do it! Of course, this could only happen in this Little American part of Germany! And yes, in case you are wondering, Americans stick out like a sore thumb…their cars, blasting music from them, and the way they talk, etc., the list can go on and on and on, they just don’t fit into German culture here but rather they establish their own little world!
Our lesson this week with Kate was very challenging. I wouldn't say I liked it because she had us watch a documentary on Mormons done by non-Mormons and it was not good. She wanted us to watch it with her so she could know what they were getting right and what they were getting wrong about Mormons. Well, they had a good amount of information within the 20 minutes I watched, but the way they depicted the Joseph Smith story was creepy; they used pictures of him that I've never seen before that are disturbing (worldly/made to look devilish) and the music was very minor with intense eerie sounds. Kate thought the music just sounded serious, but the people who wrote it meant it to be disturbing. I didn’t like it and it did not have the spirit at all. Then after that, she told us how much she didn’t like attending church, that she felt ours didn’t worship God the way you should and how people were on their phones, or asleep, or their kids were screaming... she had attended last Fast Sunday in a later ward, and apparently, according to her, none of them shared their testimony about Christ or his gospel but instead shared personal stories, which she didn’t like. Then in Sunday School they didn’t read from the scripture at all. So it wasn’t a good experience for her and she feels the Catholics are more reverent and focused in their worship. I wasn't there because I had gone on a member split, so it frustrated me because I couldn't back up anything or help... but, finally I was inspired to tell her how it normally should work, share a few personal experiences, and then to show her a General Conference talk to help her see what it should be like when we go to church to worship. After sharing them she said she felt a lot better about it and would try coming again and see if it’s what I said... so hopefully this time it will be different.
This week’s experiences brought about various emotions and was definitely challenging, but I had an amazing personal experience in feeling the love of Christ and receiving answers to the questions of my heart. I used to think that God could never talk to me through scriptures because it just didn't seem like it could happen. I had heard of it, but I had never had it happen, and I didn't think I ever would. Well, I've now learned how to receive answers from them, to have an actual conversation with God through them! That may sound weird to some, but it can and does happen. Someone may ask, “How does one talk to God through the scriptures?” Well, it takes a bit more than a prayer and then opening the scriptures, to receive revelation through something you have to consistently work with it, meaning you must take the scriptures and read from them every day, applying them to you personally and seriously studying them with the intent to come closer to God. Once you're so used to them, you are more in tune, and God can use them to talk to you. Because I experienced it this week, I was able to understand my Savior more deeply and to feel His personal love for me. I can testify with all confidence that Jesus is the Son of a living God, our Heavenly Father. He is the Savior of the world. He lived here on earth, atoned for our sins, felt all of our pains, and he died for us. He was resurrected and lives today. I know that. I know His love is infinite and eternal. I know that He wants us to talk to him, and he wants to talk to us, and He will. We can have a personal relationship with him! I am so grateful to feel my Savior’s love! Love you all! Sister Jessica Freeman