Guten Nachmittag, Familie und alle! (Good afternoon, family and all!)
No guarantees that that was correct. I'm back! I can't believe I'm already emailing again. This week just flew by! First of all, let me just tell you that even when you're in Europe and chatting with Scots and Brits and pseudo-Germans (investigators,) everyone will still bring up Wizard of Oz when you say you're from Kansas. Hahaha, some things never change! There's no place like home!
|The new Sister Trainer Leaders!|
So, craziest thing happened last Wednesday. Sister Fenton and I hadn't been off of the computer for an hour when President Edwards saw us in the hall and called us into his office. We nervously glanced at each other and went in. He offered a prayer and then told us that we were called as the new Sister Trainer Leaders! What? We were shocked. The last ones were English speakers so they had left. We have responsibilites to try and keep an eye on all of the sisters and make sure they're okay and help meet they're needs if they're struggling, we try and set the example and the bar for how to behave and act, and we attend a weekly leadership council with the Zone Leaders and District Leaders. It's been some work but we feel humbled at the privilege.
|With Sister Xie of China|
We got our new set of missionaries last week! They're all great and settling in fine. We got 6 new sisters to replace the 10 we lost and we gained more Elders than we lost, so our proportions of missionaries is slightly more off-kilter than it was before. We've swapped some of our old countries represented for Sweden, Denmark, Wales, England, and Holland among other places. I just love how we represent so many countries. It's the coolest thing.
That being said, there are a toooooon of Americans here. At least half are American, and you know what last week was...the FOURTH OF JULY! It was really fun trying to celebrate in the country that we like, declarled independence from. We all wore red and blue and pledged allegiance to the American flag in the front. (There's a lot of flags; even Sister Angeloudis from Australia pledged with us. Why not?) We tried to write "God Bless America" on the white board, and our British teacher who makes fun of us the most wrote "...and all other countries" below. Hahaha. That night we had corn on the cob, barbeque chicken, apple pie with ice cream, and American Root Beer! It was the best. Celebrating is fun.
|With the Alma Distrikt (German-speaking) |
missionaries celebrating the 4th of July
If anything I've learned in my time here at the MTC, it's that the gift of tongues is real. I'm legitimately much better at German than I was last week. 7 days ago. That's not possible without the Spirit of the Lord. Last Sunday was Fast/Testimony meeting, and was also the Sunday that we were supposed to start speaking German in our Sunday meetings. My heart was beating so fast, I knew I just had to get up and say what I knew was true. So I got up, and bore my testimony completely in German. It was simple and I'm sure I had grammar mistakes, but it happened! I couldn't believe it. The Spirit of the Lord is truly in this building. It's so strong.
|Sister Bushman's German study tools|
We also started teaching two appointments a day. And we started watching them! Our lessons have generally been going pretty well, which is really really encouraging. We have a long way to go, but all of us are really amazed at our progress.
|Watching ourselves (Sister Bushman and Sister Fenton)|
as we prepare to teach the gospel in German.
|With BYU Folk Dance instructors Ed and Vicki Austin at MTC|
I feel like my testimony just grows every day. I've never been so aware of my weaknesses and faults, yet I've never felt so close to the Lord. I've never sang so much and laughed so much and knelt in prayer so much in my entire life. I love singing the hymns in German. Last night we sang "Beautiful Savior," a beautiful German hymn that many Americans know but I don't think is in our songbook. I remember when I was a kid and my Dad was choir director, they sang it. It reminded me of home and brought the Spirit and reminded me why I'm here. There are so many people who aren't even aware of the incredible gift they have from their loving older brother. There are so many people who don't know how much their Heavenly Father loves them. There's just so much joy to be had!
Thank you for the letters I received this week! It's literally like Christmas when a letter comes. And I got some Dear Elders this week, so we know it works! Haha. Anyway. I think of you all often and love you so much!
Have a good week!
Shelley's Mom speaking: here is Sister Bushman showing the new current line-up of missionaries at the England Missionary Training Center (and a clearer picture than last week!)
Last week the missionaries visited local LDS historic sites. Here they are standing in front of the flat where President Gordon B. Hinckley lived during his mission in Preston.
|Sister Bushman is in the middle in the tan dress.|