west side, west side.

Tuesday, May 7

alabama arkansas WEST SIDE of the german wall

im in west Germany again! eek.. never thought id see the day

Leaving Leipzig made me more nervous then when i left for my mission.
I spent 7 months there and cannot function without it! I miss it so much..

the night before i left Francesco called and sang me a goodbye song..kindof
it consisted of the following sounds:

dunnnnn dunnn dahhh dunn dunn deeee daaaaa

i cried..

He said don't worry sister diederich.. ill come visit you next summer in America
next summer!!

i just have one question.... do they have showers in America?


Yes. Francesco.. you'll be able to shower

OK ill come..

Thursday was transfer day..
It took 3 elders to haul alllllll my luggage up and down those stairs
in and out of train stations...sorry not sorry

The only thing more beautiful then this amazing city BREMEN
is my companion Sister Madsen..
oh. my. gosh.. i adore her. NEVER have i laughed soooo hard in myentire
life than these 5 days together.. love at first sight.

Opening a brand new program on a mission is pretty hard work. It requires
LOTS of member work and just tearing about the city and finding until your feet
fall off..

Our new apartment.. excuse me... correction
(We are currently living in the attic of a senior citizen home..)


they've never seen so much action before we got here.

if you looked up the word Ghetto in the dictionary it may possibly say..

Ghetto: Violin Straße 39 (my address)

we don't have a shower... we have a bucket and a hose..
shout-out to all those madagascar missionaries i feel your pains..

most comical thing ever trying to bathe while kneeling down and dumping
cold buckets on your head..

im cleeaannnnnn im cleaaannnnnn - name that movie

I truly feel like im serving in a tropical jungle seeing as how half of my
personal study time is spent killing insects in our apartment.

This week Sister Madsen got to experience her first legit.. eating appointment.
This sweet old grandma made sooooooo much stinking ROTKOHL for us.. (red cabbage)
The elders were going pale from the buckets she fed each of us..

When we all felt like giving up the sweet old half blind lady said:

'' You better eat all of this.. there are starving children in Africa who would be thankful
to have what you have ''

She then proceeded to dish us all up another heaping serving.
Elder Santiago looked at us and said:

'' We do this as a DISTRICT''

ahhhh.. everyone ate another plate and was extremely confused and proud to
see that i was also able to do it..

well... as you can see in the attached photo i found a way to get rid of it

get on my level.

This week was spent wandering and exploring trying to hopefully find
some new investigators..

My favorite way to get germans to open up
is to ask for directions. it.. works

This week we talked to a man named GERDI..
I asked him where the nearest Apotheke (pharmacy) was and he

pointed... wandered...pointed... turned around and then wandered some more

It soon became very apparent he had NO CLUE.. where one was..
So he decided to walk with us..

We spent a whole hour walking around the streets of Bremen along the water
with Gerdi, listening to him about his life, the war, his loss of his wife and his story..

Our discussion turned to the gospel and really opened him up..
He has actually read the Book of Mormon..really enjoyed it

But as many people who have seen tragedy in their lives.. he cannotbelieve in a God
that allowed the war to happen..

When we finally stumbled along an apotheke he turned to me and said

'' i haven't had a conversation like that for over 20 years.. thank you for that ''

He committed to come to church and we said our goodbyes..

This experience made me realize how much  I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK....
Some people have a skewed vision of missionary work..
They envision pounding the pavement, knocking down doors and constantly
being burnt out and toooo serious..

If only everyone could take the time to slow down and realize the biggest
difference you can make is in the lives of everyone you come in contact with..
even the GERDIs on the street..

Take the time to slow down.. serve those around you..
My focus lately has not only been on finding new random people and tearing the
old dead area book apart..

I realized to serve the Lord not only means these people.. but the sheep he already has found

What is finding.. if you don't take the time to keep

In the last months we cleaned the home of a new mother, helped garden for a widow, met Gerdi and took the time to just listen..

I never want this experience to end..
having the Lords name right along side of mine gives me a courage to speak to
everyone i come in contact with...to open up and just love them selflessly..

I hope i can always have this missionary spirit with me and that the Lord will continue
blessing my life and putting such amazing people in my life

line of the week:

Me: Elder Carter... what do you think our first names are

Elder Carter: Rachel Diederich... and Monica Madsen..

Me: your cheating.. your just naming the cast of friends

journey to africa.. in remembrance of my love elder dale

my genius secret for conquering the german widows (rotkohl spooned into the water bottle)

my goodbye to my daughter sister woodward, her father elder baker and my son
elder lyon at the train station

hahahahahah thank me later for my toe picture.. you know you love it- result of many hours stalking

sister madsen and my.. first engagement photo

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