So about two weeks ago, we were trying to pick a hymn to sing and someone suggested a Christmas song. Someone in the district scoffed and said that you absolutely could not sing Christmas songs when it wasn't Christmas.
And I had an idea.
What if we had Christmas in July?!
|Our paper Christmas stockings in the classroom|
I told Sister Fenton my idea and she was immediately on board. We told Sister Smith and Sister Angeloudis and they both were really excited. We planned it for last Saturday. Through some sneaky sleuthing, the other sisters found out all of the Elders' favorite candies, and we set to work. We made a paper Christmas tree (everyone got "ornaments" they could tack onto it,) stockings, paper chains, stars, snowflakes, the whole deal. The morning of we set up the room and turned on Christmas music. The Elders had a look of pure confusion when they walked into the room. We just looked blankly back at them and said "Santa came!" Hahaha. They eventually caught on and all ran upstairs to take pictures of the room and of the stuff "Santa" brought them. We sang Christmas hymns all day. All of the Sisters in the other districts knew of our plan and also wished us "Happy Christmas" (that's what they say here in England) all day. So that was great fun.
|Taking a selfie with Elders Hunt, Annen, Killpack and Howarth|
on Christmas Day, July 2014!
Speaking of, those wonderful new sisters have come and gone. It's so crazy, there were 6 of them and I already miss them like crazy. First term we had 20 sisters. Then we had 16. Apparently there are only 2 coming tomorrow, so there will just be 12 of us. The testimonies of those girls were incredible. I'm so glad I got to rub shoulders with them for a while!
|All the Sisters together -- both English and German-speaking:|
Back: Sisters Angeloudis, Cook, Wood, Sandelin, Kofford & Wilkes;
Front: Sisters Smith, Fenton, Wright, Bushman, McNamee, & Molholt
Okay. I have a lot of bad habits. (Don't we all?) One of my favorite vices is chewing ice. (I know it's bad, stop telling me!) :) Anyway, I think Heavenly Father decided to force me to break this habit because ice is not a thing in Europe. And I'm going bananas. I just want to chew an ice cube! Just one! I can't wait until the time I have a freezer and can freeze my own cubes. Ah. That will be the day.
|Even though I can't chew ice...I love being at the MTC!|
(jumping up between the Austrian and German flags)
I thought it might be interesting if I shared the "typical day" at the MTC (Missionary Training Center). They vary, but they generally follow this pattern:
6:30 - Get up. (Or at least try to.)
|Sister Angeloudis made me Vegamite toast (truly|
Australian) and it wasn't that bad.
7:00 - BREAKFAST. (Normally toast/cold cereal/oatmeal/fruit.)
7:30 - Personal Gospel study. (Sometimes I study by topic or read chronologically or try and read auf Deutsch, depends on the day,)
8:30 - Language taught by one of our 3 awesome teachers.
9:30 - Coaching missionary study (We study with our companion for our appointments and a teacher is there so we can ask for help if necessary.)
10:30 - Companion study! (Mainly studying the doctrines we need for lessons)
11:00 - Investigator appointment.
11:30 - Additional study/practice time we use to our discretion.
|Sister Fenton and I studying our favorite book.|
12:00 - LUNCH. (We have a big variety of food choices.)
12:40 - Additional study/practice (although one district works during this time to clean the building once a week-ish. Vacuuming and dusting and emptying bins, mainly.)
1:40 - Personal language study.
2:00 - TRC visit (We teach an ivnestigator, but it's filmed so we can watch it later.)
2:30 - TALL. (Technology-Assisted Language Learning, that we all have a love/hate relationship with. It can be really helpful, but you end up just chanting to yourself into a computer the whole time to study.)
3:30 - Prep for exercise.
3:50 - Exercise time! It's nice to go outside and run around for a while.
4:40 - Shower/dress.
5:10 - DINNER! (We eat a lot of different things; potatoes and freaking delicious chicken are common players. Dinner is also the best because we get dessert, which is always incredibly delicious.)
6:00 - Language in the classroom.
7:00 - Companionship study (while other people teach).
8:00 - Some kind of activity from the teachers, we often pair up with the other district. We'll practice teaching each other things, or discuss topics like "The Doctrine of Christ" or "Revelation through Prayer."
9:00 - Daily Planning.
9:30 - Shower, journal writing, all of the above.
10:30 - Lights out.
It looks a bit scatter-brained, and sometimes we teach no appointments or 2 appointments, or sometimes we TALL twice, but that's your generic day. It's pretty busy, but I woudln't have it any other way. I can't believe we fly to Munich in 2 weeks. I've already learned so much; I can't wait to soak up more and more!
Today in the Temple (we get to go each week,) I had a scripture pop into my head I hadn't read in a while. It's 1 John 4:18: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." I love thinking about how there is absolutely no fear in love. When we feel afraid or inadequate, it is always from the adversary and never from God. He loves us so endlessly, (1 John 4:19) and only wants us to be happy!
It makes my heart hurt that there are so many people in this world who just don't know how much God loves them. It's incomprehensible how much He loves us and wants us to be happy! I feel so blessed that I get to be here in England right now; but I just can't wait to get to the Alps! Only two weeks to go!
My German is coming. Sometimes I can't think of hymn lyrics in English, only German. I often capitalize nouns in English on accident. Vorwärts, immer vorwärts!
Thanks you for the letters and prayers and good wishes. Sending the best!
Sister Bushman's Mom speaking: You want more photos? Here they are!
|The front entrance of the MTC|
|Inside the entrance of the MTC|
|Sister Angeloudis (from Australia) did some doodles on the board|
of the Alma Distrikt -- Sister Bushman is third from left.