<![CDATA[Sophie In Germany! - Adventures]]>Mon, 14 Dec 2015 01:48:02 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[#IllBeHomeForChristmas]]>Mon, 07 Dec 2015 20:18:51 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/illbehomeforchristmasAnd there we have it! Eighteen months come and gone. It's been a wild ride full of ups, downs, and everything in between :) I hope that through my emails you have been able to have a little taste of this incredible journey, although words could never do it justice. I am so grateful for all of the people met, the lessons learned, and the memories made.

I'm excited to see what lies in the next chapter. As I've shared a few times before... No matter how long we wait, tomorrow will never come.
So let's go make the most of today! Onward and upward :)

Thank you for all of the love and support!
Signing off for the last time,
Sister Wahlquist

<![CDATA[Christmas is coming!]]>Fri, 04 Dec 2015 11:06:01 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/christmas-is-comingWell folks. What an exciting journey this has been. But it seems that we have reached the beginning of the end. This will be my last full week in Germany. Next Thursday I will be headed up to Frankfurt and then on Friday the 11th I'll be catching a plane back on home.
It's been so much fun to see everyone getting into the Christmas spirit. The city is sparkling, the trees are decked, and the air smells like kinderpunch and hot crepes. This is such a great time of year when we turn out and think about giving. I was talking with someone about service the other day and she made the comment, 'you really can't give without getting something in return.' How true is that. Whether we give a well thought out gift, food to one in need, or even just our time and a listening ear, it is always accompanied by a wonderful feeling of love and joy.
Unfortunately I'm running out of time. But if you are looking for a blast of Christmas joy! Check out the video at Christmas.mormon.org!
Love from the Kaiserslautern Missionaries!

<![CDATA[Spread the Light]]>Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:59:52 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/spread-the-light]]><![CDATA[What's in a Friend?]]>Mon, 09 Nov 2015 15:20:53 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/whats-in-a-friend"Sometimes me think, 'What is friend?' And then me say, 'Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.'"
-Cookie Monster
He sure has a point there. This week, we were talking about what builds a strong friendship and someone mentioned three pillars: shared interests, shared experiences, and shared kindness! Friendships help us to forget ourselves and to give. And how great is it to know that there are people that would come to your aid at the drop of a hat when you are in need. 
This week, we really got to see friendships in action. 
On Monday night, we were in a train headed home when it stopped a bit longer than normal at a station. First, they announced that we would just be stopped for 5 or 10 minutes, then a woman walked through and said they didn't know how long we would be stuck, then they came around to tell us that this train would not be driving any further. We were able to call up a wonderful couple from our congregation and they hopped right in the car to come drive us home.
Thursday night, a young man that we have been meeting with invited us and a lovely couple from our congregation to come learn more about his culture by attending a Rwanda cultural night at the university. It was a great presentation with many cool facts and a talented, passionate traditional drumming group. However, the best part of the evening was saying goodbye at the end and seeing the gratitude on this young man's face. He was so touched that we took the time to go support him.
On Friday, we had the opportunity to 'build' a new friendship. We were able to help a woman(that we had just met the day before) build a wardrobe for her new apartment. We had so much fun working as a team to put it all together and concluded the afternoon with delicious Chinese food that she had prepared for us. It truly felt as if we had all known each other for years. We all left with warm hearts and sore cheeks from smiling so much.
I am so grateful for all of the friends that I have all over the world! 
Love you all,
Sister Wahlquist

Our trip to 'Rapunzel's Tower' aka Humberg Turm.
<![CDATA[What a week!]]>Mon, 02 Nov 2015 20:14:16 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/what-a-weekWhat an exciting week! Not only did I get my new companion, Sister Nielson, but two days later we got a mini-missionary!! What is a mini-missionary? It is a youth from our area that comes to stay and work with us for a week. It's a great opportunity to really get to see what missionary work is like 24/7 and to prepare for their own mission in the future. Not only was I so lucky to have one of my mission dreams fulfilled by getting a mini-missionary, but she is a super amazing girl that I already know and love from my congregation back in Heidelberg!

Adventures of the week included blowing up about 100 balloons to help decorate for a Halloween dance for the youth, having a how-many-marshmallows-can-you-fit-in-your-mouth contest(Sister Nielson won that one), eating wonderful traditional German food while hearing the stories of an older German woman, taking a road trip out to a tiny village through the absolutely gorgeous fall countryside and the many many detours that came with it, meeting the sweetest old Italian man that is apparently friends with everyone!, and having a microwave-peep-jousting battle(I won that one).

"Yesterday is ashes, tomorrow wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly."

May your joy burn brightly!
Sister Wahlquist

My gorgeous new companion! Love her :)
<![CDATA[No Room at in Inn]]>Mon, 26 Oct 2015 19:44:50 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/no-room-at-in-innIt seems as if many people go about life thinking that Heaven has an occupancy limit and they want to secure their own space. We are so concerned about 'making the cut' that sometimes we belittle others so that we may stand above. The idea is that as long as we are better than someone, we aren't at the bottom.
What about the second great commandment of the Lord: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."? (Matthew 22:39, the New Testament)
It can be hard to turn out from ourselves and lift those around us, but as we follow the proverb, "Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together." We will find greater peace and happiness.
It seems as if this week has been a week of hospital visits. One young man has had to have a few operations for a collapsed lung. One young mother was sent to the hospital with a kidney stone. And one trooper of a 97 year old woman that is still plugging along. What a great reminder to be thankful for good health!
The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, I hope you all are having just as gorgeous of a fall as I am!
Sister Wahlquist
Check out this video about turning out and lifting others!

View from our apartment! Doesn't do the fall colors justice..
<![CDATA[Have you stopped to smell the roses?]]>Mon, 12 Oct 2015 17:55:18 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/have-you-stopped-to-smell-the-roses]]><![CDATA[What can I do today?]]>Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:21:51 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/what-can-i-do-todayThis was a week of conferences! First, we had a big meeting in Heidelberg with around 50 missionaries and our mission president. And then of course General Conference (this is an 8 hour, two day conference that is broadcasted throughout the world. It happens twice a year and is done by the leaders of the church.) As you might imagine, lots of great things were learned.

While these uplifting meetings leave you with the desire to be better, the long list of how can sometimes be quite daunting. It can feel like you've got to improve everything and you've got to do it now. The truth of the matter is, you can overload yourself with these new goals and lofty resolutions, but then they will only last a few days, weeks, or maybe a month.
The Lord's words teach us how we can best improve:
"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." (2 Nephi 28:30)

The way to attain lasting change and improvement is not by flipping your life around from one day to the next, but to pick one thing and create daily habits eventually mastering it and becoming ready for more. If you were to take up juggling today, how would you start? With 10 balls all at once? This would leave you will feelings of discouragement and defeat. You would start with a few and add more as you were ready.

Sometimes we may be impatient and want great change in a short time, but as we take it one step at a time creating good daily habits, we learn more and see lasting change.

May we all follow the good counsel of Gordon B Hinkley and "try a little harder, to be a little better".
Sister Wahlquist

<![CDATA[September 28th, 2015]]>Mon, 28 Sep 2015 17:10:29 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/september-28th-2015Imagine you are forced to flee your country, only able to take the bare necessities with. You are probably thinking about what is of the most value. At first it may be your house or that expensive jewelry. But they don't really mean that much, they are things, they can be re-bought. So maybe then you think of that pocket watch that has been passed down in your family for generations, or the pictures that you have of the various vacations and big events in your family.  But there just isn't the room to bring those with. What do you get to bring with? It's those true, often overlooked treasures that you have, maybe unknowingly, been gathering. It's your ability to encourage those who are lacking in hope, your talent for singing, your knowledge of plants and their growing seasons, your attitude of gratitude, your memories...

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ taught the multitude:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

(Matthew 6:19-21)

When these talents, attributes, and memories become our most valued treasures, we don't need to daily count the coins in our purse to see that none are missing, instead we give of them freely because the giving of these treasures causes them to multiply and flourish.

Some of my treasures of the past week:
Spending an evening with an amazing couple, hearing their stories of raising their kids in Turkey, Spain, Germany, and a few other countries as he traveled with work.
Tea time with a woman that was grateful for a listening ear.
Jokes on our elevator ride with a couple headed up to the 'penthouse suite'.
The old men that pointed me in the right direction when I couldn't find a house number.
A class with a couple that has so much passion for the research they do of their forefathers.
Eating homemade lentil soup as we heard stories of years gone by.
Receiving the perfect little gifts at exactly the right time.
Getting to spend a few hours with Sister Rowe on a split and recount our memories of Nürnberg.
The best 15 minute, 5 language conversation with the sweetest old Italian man.
A short bus ride with a man on his way home from visiting his wife in the hospital, they have been married 59 years and he just doesn't feel complete without her.
Walking the hilly narrow roads of a beautiful village surrounded by the beautiful colors of changing leaves in the crisp fall air.
Being shown the prize Lego possessions of a 4 year old.

So yeah, I feel like a pretty rich girl this week. Thank you all for your love and support.
I wish you a prosperous week full of the best treasures!
Sister Wahlquist

Sister Rowe and I! Together again, at least for a few hours.
<![CDATA[The story goes on...]]>Mon, 21 Sep 2015 14:29:50 GMThttp://sophiegoestogermany.weebly.com/adventures/the-story-goes-onI have decided that there is one problem with deciding to just enjoy every single moment and live it to its fullest- it goes by WAY to fast. You just want to hold on to every moment, but it doesn't work that way. Then again you find that you are happy that it doesn't work that way because there is so much more to experience!
"There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on."
-Zayn Malik

I promised stories! Here are some of the people I met this week:
On a train, we met Paul, this awesome guy with a very strong faith and great knowledge of the bible. This guy describes passion.
Two adorable old Russian ladies. We talked for probably 40 minutes as we waited for someone to come home. They told us of the struggles of their childhood and how hard they had had to work. Despite these trials, they were the sweetest, happiest, chatty of women.
A cute couple trying to adjust to the cold because they had just gotten back from vacation in Turkey.
A man that felt he just had no help. He wants to have hope, but things just don't seem to be working out for him.
A woman from Macedonia... Who we unfortunately could not understand.
A woman whose testimony shone through her eyes as she spoke of Christ. She told us of trials of sickness that she had faced and how she had found strength in her faith.
A young man who doesn't quite know what to believe. He grew up learning the faith of his parents, but he no longer feels that it is right and is searching for faith of his own.
An awesome woman with neon orange nails (because changing nail color is easy, something like a tattoo is a life decision, and who wants to see tattooed up grandma at the swimming pool? Haha we sure had a great talk)
A young man from Egypt here studying. Just looking for a better chance and more order. But his heart aches as he hears from loved ones back home and thinks of the culture that he left behind.
A sweet old woman whose bag is embroidered with cats. She just loves cats, but she is no longer able to keep one, but is always excited and willing to cat-sit for her son.
We met Holger as we were walking home and it turned into a 30 minute conversation in the street. This man claims to have no faith but has such an attitude of hope. He explains how we have sent men to space and the moon, but haven't found God and that is because that isn't where God is, God is in our hearts.
And so many more...

I really wish that I could just take you all with me so that you could meet these people and hear their stories first hand. You would absolutely fall in love with them. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I have to devote my time to getting to know these people and their stories.

Sister Wahlquist

One last split with Sister Williams before she headed on out of K-town. I love this girl!
All you can eat Sushi place to celebrate Katja's birthday!