Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Perfect Weekend - Phantasia & Testimonies!

There is SO much I need to better about recording, but alas... I just never make enough time to blog. However, this entry is a MUST!

This weekend was my friend, Luise's, 25th birthday! We spent the entire weekend celebrating and it was great. We probably would have spent the time together anyway, but it was more fun to think of everything as a celebration of some-sort! Just as a sidenote, Luise is awesome. I feel SO blessed to have a friend like her here in Germany. She really is someone who makes me laugh and think, and want to be a better person. I am BEYOND thankful for her.

Now, on Saturday we decided to take a trip up to Bruel and go to... PHANTASIALAND! Haha!!! I saw an advertisement for it last week while I was in McDonland's for Nico and Finn's reward day, and I've been DYING to go since. So, we took the first chance we got and headed up for the day. It was CLASSIC. What is Phantasialand, you ask? Well, basically a wannabe Disneyland 45 minutes from our house that is SO much fun! Haha... Really, there were rides that were scaringly similar to those at Disneyland, minus the Disney characters and Disney music --> cue other cheesy music and new characters.

There are pictures of rides and places throughout the park (their version of Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Tower of Terror), AND a video of our FAVORITE ride... I'll post the video! Luise is great to go to amusement parks with because she was intense about riding things, but chill about just walking around and taking it all in for this first timer experience of mine. We stumbled across this ride and got in line, not knowing what we were getting in line for. Little did we know, we were in for the "ride of our lives!" Literally. I called the ride the "Temple of Doom," but the real name is the Talocan. It was in the "Mexico-Land" part of the park and the ride included, giant fountains, real bursting fire balls, epic music, and a giant spinning set of seats that hung you upside-down and flipped you around and around. It was AMAZING! Epic.

Overall, the day was just really good. I felt fulfilled. Haha! Patrick was saying tonight he ha never been and really wants to take the boys, so I think when we return from Austria we're gonna try and go. It'll be fun to take the boys... There are lots of little kiddie rides too and shows that the boys will LOVE. I'm glad, however, that my first time was void of responsibility, and I could just go and have fun with Luise. It was a GREAT Saturday! She came over afterwards for a movie with Koko and the boys (Pride & Prejudice) and chill chat time.

Other highlights throughout the weekend/the past two days -->
- Vapiano's with Koko, the boys, and Luise for her birthday.
- Watching movies and improving my sewing skills.
- "Itsy Bity Spider" with Luise during our walk - HAHAHAHAHAHA!
- "If you wanna hold my hand, you have to ask." - HAHAHAHA!
- Almost lighting Luise's cake on fire on Sunday night! I made a chocolate cake that wasn't huge and put 25 candles on it... yea, I almost burned the cake up.
- Having the YSA's and missionaries over for FHE last night, which included a spiritual thought, homemade cheesecake (my cooking is getting better and better!), games (What's Your Like?, War, and Spoons... HAHA!), random pictures and video making, and just hilarious conversation. I have some great friendships that are forming here... and I love that!
I also HAVE to talk about Sonntag. Church was great! When I got there I spent most of Relief Society playing with my friend, Ben's, little nephew (Jullian - so cute!) and then joined the missionaries for a teaching lesson during Sunday School. I've actually gone a few times to teach with and help the Elders here in Bonn and it's great because it helps me learn more German and gives me a chance to share my testimony more. I just really want to help in anyway I can and I feel like I am being blessed with opportunities to do so here in Germany - I really like it.

Anyway, after Sunday School I went into Fast and Testimony meeting - first Sunday of every month in our church, we give the members the opportunity do a sort of "open-mic" meeting instead of talks from people in the Congregation. It allows anyone who would like to, to come forward and bear their testimony about gospel principles, like faith, prayer, or our Savior. It's one of my favorite times of the month, even when you get someone quirky up there who tells a bizarre story - they have good hearts.

So, I have been here in Bonn for seven months and I have yet to bear my testimony to the congregation in that setting. I was trying to wait until my German got better, but I realized this month that this excuse has help me back from LOTS of things here and I wasn't going to let my language barrier (aka: my uncomfortableness with speaking the language) hold me back any longer. Thus, when a Spanish sister got up and had another girl translate for her from Spanish to German, it dawned on me that I could do the same thing. I leaned forward to Luise and asked her to translate - to which, she suggested our friend, Glenn, do it. He happily agreed.

As I went forward to bear my testimony I was beyond nervous, and already emotional - you have to watch out when you're already getting teary before you start to speak. Haha! I wasn't nervous about saying anything wrong or about being in front of people... I was just nervous because I was going to have my words translated. It's a weird feeling, but Glenn made it SO simple for me and made me SO comfortable. It was wonderful. As soon as I began speaking the nerves were gone, but the emotional was full-force.

I was SO overwhelmed as I said, "I've waited seven months to bear my testimony, but I don't want to wait anymore. So forgive my language barrier, but I am so thankful Glenn has agreed to translate for me." Then, I just opened up and spoke... I talked about how the last seven months have taught me the power and truth of prayer. I talked about how I know the Holy Ghost is a real guiding force and comforter. I talked about how I was SO blessed to be here and learn so much about a culture, a family, and who I am. I talked about how I know I have a Savior who lives, and who loves me. It was just short, simple, and to the point... and I never felt better.

I sat down, fulfilled and so grateful. I hope I can always remember those feelings. And, I'll say one thing that I recall saying on the stand. If you do not know for yourself whether you have a Savior who lives and loves you, I encourage you find out for yourself.


Song of the Day: This is a GREAT dance number! I saw it on, oh... So You Think You Can Dance... of course! Haha... Beggin' by Madcon - Enjoy!

madcon beggin
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