Greetings from Stuttgart, Deutschland! I made it here in one piece, luckily.was absolutely crazy and I was totally sore the next day from lugging all my belongings across 2 countries, (remind me to cut back what I bring next time,) but everyone ended up in the right area and nobody lost any fingers or toes, so I guess we´re good.
The ward here is WONDERFUL. There is no doubt that I would be incredibly Wien-homesick if they weren't, but after only oneI've absolutely fallen in love with the area, so I'm grateful for that!
My last few days in Wien were absolutely bananas. The nice thing about being transferred is that you get to make lots of appointments with investigators and friends and members to say goodbye...but that`s also the bad part. We were SO busy, which is great, but was also really stressful. Let`s just say that I wasn't packed by. morning Sister Cherrington made me a lunch for the trip (what a dream,) and I said goodbye to the apartment I first arrived in and we headed to Bahnhof...where we cut it close on making the train on time. (Oops.) Best thing ever - some of my favorite members in Wien (you know who you are-and I don`t have your email, so if you`re reading this then email me!) surprised me at the Bahnhof with cookies for the journey. They were gluten free, but still good. ;) Even better...on the way I was on a train with a Sister who forgot to bring a lunch...when I offered her a cookie, her face fell...because she was GLUTEN FREE. She was so excited she could actually partake in the deliciousness.
So we had a train ride about 2 hours to Salzburg and 2 hours to Munich and 2 hours to Stuttgart...with only abut 30 minutes between each train. Agh! It was fun to meet new and legendary missionaries and hug/hand shake old friends. Sadly our umsteigs were a smidgen verrückt, aber was können wir tun? :) Luckily, I could always keep an eye on all of my luggage. Then, I made it to...
...STUTTGART! I think when you refer to citizens of Stuttgart you`re supposed to call them Stuttgarte or Stuttgarter...but I`ve taken to referring to every breathing soul outside of our window as "Stuttgaurdians", or "Gaurdians of the Stutt". Leider, "Stutt" doesn`t actually translate to anything. Dangit. Also, there are plants in Stuttgart. I REPEAT: PLANTS. I haven't seen this many trees since the Wiener Neustadt days. And the streets are made of real cobblestones, with moss growing between the bricks. It`s so sweet. And I love all the red A-line roofs on many of the buildings...it`s absolutely charming. BUT, Stuttgart is big enough to have Primark, so that`s sweet! We also live next to this precious little church, so we hear church bells going off all the time from our apartment.
In Stuttgart, there are 2 wards and 8 missionaries. There are the Zauggs, who are an Ehepaar (yay!), as well as Elders in the International Ward, and Elders/us in the German ward. The International ward consists of a lot of Americans because there is a huge army base here...they have apparently been SUPER nice to us in the past with buying us stuff from base...I came home and found Easy Mac and good peanut butter and brownie mix in the kitchen! It was so nice (Although that brownie mix is now actual brownies. We wanted a post-fasting treat. :)) It was super weird to show up for church as the International ward was finishing up because it felt like I was back in America, hearing English and seeing these huge families! It was way fun.
In our ward we have the Zone Leaders, Elders Smith and Sharp, and then there is Sister Threlkeld and me. She`s going home in April, and both Elders are going home by that time to, so I`m definitely the "youngest" of all the missionareis in our ward. Not going to lie, I was a little nervous for my first week in the ward. That's like always - as a missionary, you want nothing more than for the ward to love you and to want to help with the work. A supportive ward can seriously make all the difference for a missionary. The Stuttgart ward is SO nice - it`s huge, with tons of kids and a good amount of youth, and I cannot count how many "Herzlich Willkommens" I received with handshakes and hugs and big smiles from members. We already have appointments for Christmas and Christmas Eve. One Sister even was like "Sister Bushman, I hope you feel very wanted by the ward!" I certainly did. It was so nice.
|Sister Bushman and Sister Threlkeld|
And, best of all, it's CHRISTMAS TIME. Sister Threlkeld and I are doing almost all of our contacting as it relates to Christmas. We have this idea of using singing as part of our contacting (we`re both fairly musically oriented,) so if someone doesn't want to listen, we`ll ask if we can sing them a carol. :)
I'm so grateful that I can spend this sacred time of year in such a beautiful part of the world. I love you all so much.