This was easiest one of the craziest weeks of my mission to date. Sister Cherrington and I have discussed that like, 3 times already. "How are we still on this week?" I'll go chronologically because I have no idea how else I would be able to sort through all of the events that have happened. But first things first:
I'm going to Stuttgart!
Yeah, transfer calls were this week. We were hardly thinking about it becuase we figured that we would stay together another transfer and things were generally busy and we just forgot...and then calls came. But I`ll get back to that!
|Sister Bushman with Sister Bishop on their tausch.|
|Sister Bushman with her new culinary dish-- stir fry|
I wasn`t really sure what was going to happen etiher way. It`s pretty typical that a missionary can stay up to 4 transfers (6 months) in an area, and I was expecting that to happen. But, at the same time, maybe it was time to leave Wien? When I had my interview with Präsident Kohler, he told me pretty candidly that he hadn`t decided what he was going to do with all the Sisters yet - and it could go any way as far as staying or getting transferred or training went. Calls happenedmorning, between 7 & 8. The longer we waited and the phone didn`t ring, we knew something was up. Something was changing. When one of the assistants finally called at , we sat down on the couch together with it on speakerphone and listened. I had prayed and prayed and prayed to be at peace with whatever happened and to feel the Holy Ghost saying that it was right - but the idea of actually leaving my home in Wien made me sick to my stomach. When he told me my transfer, he said "Sister Bushman. , you`re going to get on a train. And you're going to go...and keep going...and go a little farther...until you reach STUTTGART, (what!?,) where you`ll be companions with SISTER THRELKELD (double oh my goodness!), and be a Sister Training Leader! (holy cow!)" My heart was breaking at the idea of leaving, but, at the same time, I felt that confirmation. Stuttgart is right. I know where I`m going where I need to go, and, even more, I already know and like Sister Threlkeld, so that`s less scary. It will be hard to be transferred to where I don`t know any of the missionaries around me, but I know I'll survive. :) :) As for Sister Cherrington, Sister ANGELOUDIS is coming...FROM Stuttgart! We`re literally switching. I'm so excited for my dear Aussie pal from the MTC to come here - I'm buying extra Manner Schnitten to have on her desk for when she gets here. :) Sister Cherrington and I are bummed about being split up after only a 5 week transfer, but right after we got our calls she ran into the other room and was like "I was going to give this to you for Christmas, but we`re being split up, so here you go!" and gave me this incredibly snuggly knock-off Disney Princess blanket that I had been eyeing at a local store for weeks. She bought it for me while we were on tausch. Ugh, she`s the best.
A big chunk of our morningwas spent at a "Bizarre," a couple weeks ago the Zone Leaders called and told us that the missionaries every year did service at the "Bizarre", and that we should come and help. We had no idea what that actually meant but knew we got to wear jeans, so showed up to the Vienna International Center , pretty clueless. It was JAM-packed, and really cool! There were tons and tons of stands from countries all over the world, selling goods and food and stuff, as well as a huge flea market and book sale. All of it was for charity. Sister Cherrington and I got put at the Info Desk which was pretty hilarious, since we also had no idea what was going on. We figured out the answers to the common questions pretty quickly though (the closest ATM, etc.,) so it was fine. They also gave us a voucher for lunch, which was unexpected and really nice. We walked around and sampled 3 different countries - we got this stuff from "Arab Corner" in honor of Sister Cherrington, (she said it tasted just like home,) these cabbage & apple stuffed bread things from Russia (sampling my past? I don`t know,) and these really tasty fruit meringue things from Australia in honor of Sister Angeloudis who was coming. For America they had "Real American Hot Dogs", which I found to be hilarious. It was really cool!
|With Sister Cherrington, snacking at the Bizarre|
The baptism itself was so beautiful - after they got out, Bischof Soucek, (who is really awesome,) said "Anyone else? The water is still warm!" which was actually hilarious because there were some non-members there. We all laughed. After the service, I got to take a lot of pictures and give and get a lot of hugs to/from the wonderful members in the ward. Our whole week since then has been pretty crazy - we have so many appointments to tie things up and say goodbye and such. Today () we were pretty stressed out because there are a lot of logistical things that have to be done before I leave, but we also went to another round of Christmas markets with one of our favorite members. I said good-bye to Schönbrunn, my favorite tourist-y place in Wien. Gosh, I love that place. While we were there, we asked this random couple to take our picture, and ended up striking a conversation. They are Russian and super cute...and we ended up chatting with them. They were impressed with my connection (it`s endlessly useful) and they freaked out when I said I was from Kansas...because, you guessed it, The Wizard of Oz. (Some things never change, eh?) But they wanted their picture with us and we got our picture with them, and then the girl and I realized that our names were really similar, and the man grabbed both of our hands and closed his eyes. I wasn`t quite sure what was going on...but afterward they explained that it`s a tradition in Russia that if two people have the same name, you can grab both of their hands, stand between them, and make a wish. It was really sweet.
|At Schonbrunn with new Russian friends|
In three days, I`ll be on a train to halfway across the mission. It's exciting and stressful...there`s a lot to do and it`s hard and scary trying to fit your life into 3 bags, (especially when 3 different Elders grab them off Bahnhof and start walking off...wait!!!!) But I`m excited for this new adventure and trying my hand at missionary service in Deutschland.
I`ll miss my Manner Schnitten, U-Bahns, Sachertorte, and Schönbrunn...but here I come! Auf Wienersehen!