Monday, January 26, 2015


It's snowing today. 

Sister Threlkeld and I have concluded that snow is about a bazillion times better than rain; snow is pretty and you can sing about how it's "on your nose and eye lashes," while the rain gets in your boots and numbs your toes all day. I had a weird moment this week. I opened up my closet to get dressed, and realized that I didn't want to wear anything. I've finally been out on my mission long enough that I'm bored of my clothes! That's got to be some kind of bench mark. I'm over 7 months! What? I'm long enough out that I know my favorite Ritter Sport (Vanille Kipferl & Schoko Mousse,) I'm bored of my wardrobe, and when missionaries talk about other missionaries, I know who they are talking about a lot. 

Holy cow, Sister Threlkeld and I had such a good week. When I showed up last transfer, there were a few people who we were working with, but it was kind-of a transitiony phase and therefore our investigator pool wasn't huge. Sister Threlkeld and I have been trying really hard to find some more people to work with, and we've seen God making SO many miracles happen. We taught so many lessons this week - like, twice than normal. It was so cool. 

By the way. Something big happened last week. I got my ears pierced. That's right! Funny story with that...Sister Threlkeld has adopted herself as my surrogate sister, and therefore decided that I needed to have my ears pierced. So we made a deal - we both made goals of how many people we wanted to talk to/have good gospel conversations with every day of last week. We made them so they would stretch us a bit. Then, if we both succeeded, I would get my ears pierced. Well, it happened! (And we found 2 new investigators in the meantime. :)) One of the awesome members in Gemeinde (ward) Stuttgart wanted to come so we went with her and her adorable 5-year-old last Monday. And then it was done! I didn't die, luckily, and I have silver kugels in my ears. :P I even wrote to President about it in my weekly letter. I received back from him "Awesome. Can't wait to see your ears. Just make sure to stop at one." Haha.

And we did see him the next day, since we had interviews! I love interviews with President because you just get to sit down and ask him questions or tell him about how things are going and it's really great to get advice and stuff. What was funniest is the first thing he said was, "I guess the first thing I should follow up on is how the ear-piercing went!" But in actuality, he gave me a lot of great advice. And then, when we had bi-distrikt training later, he was talking about how we should use goal setting more effectively, and he was like "Elders, this isn't as applicable to you, but you could even get your ears pierced, like Sister Bushman!" and all the Elders turned and looked at me and it was hilarious. Like, whatever works!

Speaking of, funny moment. So this week we were walking down Königstraße, and these two girls with a huge CAMERA and MICROPHONE came and stopped us. The camera said something to the effect of "Church channel" and they were like, "What are your expectations for the future?" At first we were kind of flustered, but then I just went off about how we were missionaries and how we try and help people who are hopeless and down-trodden partake of the joy that Christ can bring and all this stuff and then walked away giggling because we totally crashed some other religion's TV show. 

We do a LOT of things as missionaries. Find, teach, baptize, reactivate, retain...Sherlock Holmes. But seriously. Sometimes, when inactive members of the church move (etc.) there are these people on the ward list who are total mysteries, and the ward will ask the missionaries to try and figure out who they are/if they still live there when they're working in the area of some of these people. We had an evening without many fest plans, so we decided to trek southward to the area of the airport to try and track this lady down. We found her house and asked about her, and the lady there said that she didn't live there, but that she had gotten married and to look up "so-n-so" in some different town...we literally felt like super sleuths, even if it took a bit of time. And then we were like, wait. This would have taken 5 MINUTES if we had IPads. Ahh. One day soon. (We're still waiting...France has IPads, Sweden has Iphones, one day we'll join the party!) :)

Man, we're so out of the loop as missionaries. I received a letter this week in which this girl was like "You probably heard already about this one thing that happened..." and I realized that I had absolutely no idea what on earth she was talking about. And I've been long enough out on my mission that when random people want to talk about American politics, I can honestly be like "I have no clue. Sorry." And then change the subject back to the gospel again. :)

By the way, I want to share this video. We were just clicking through Mormon messages with someone this week, and we watched "The Will of God." I just had never seen it before - and I think it greatly brings things into perspecive. 

Schöne Woche! Ich habe euch Lieb!

Sister Bushman

Sister Bushman's Mom here:  One additional photo!

On Sunday the Sisters went with the Elders to deliver the sacrament to a ward
member int the hospital, and they came upon this lovely statue of Christ.

Monday, January 19, 2015

I'll walk with you, I'll talk with you


Do you remember the primary song that the title of this letter refers to? This past week, Sister Threlkeld and I were just walking down the street trying to track down this lady we had given a Book of Mormon to in my first week, and we came upon this man sitting on the seat of his walker, just in the middle of the sidewalk. We were walking pretty fast and originally passed him, but quickly noticed our oversight and went back and talked to him. His name is Volker, and he was born with a really bad leg, which makes it incredibly hard to walk. He was trying to go grocery shopping, but had barely made it a few meters before he sat down in pain. We had been speed-walking to find this lady because she said she was only home in the mornings, and it was like 11:40 at this point...but we decided to just talk with this man for a while instead. He talked about how much pain he was in, and literally nothing could cure it. He must have sworn like 15 times during that conversation, just out of pain. We read Alma 7:11 with him, where it talks about Christ taking upon our pains and sicknesses in addition to our sins. And then we just went and got his groceries for him, and we parted ways. It was one of those little moments I'll probably always remember. I hope we see him again someday. 

On a more trivial note, transfers were this past week. It wasn't quite as dramatic since we both stayed, but we got to "babysit" Sister Berry who works in Singen all day until she picked up her new companion that night, so that was fun. We also got a new Zone Leader! Elder Ridd is from Texas, and we already like him a lot. He's way cool. Out of the 4 missionaries in our ward, nobody is from Utah or other "Mormon States," since we're Kansas, Georgia, Texas, and Australia. It like, blows ward members' minds. :)

OH, also, I learned a super great phrase this week. We were at an eating appointment the day before transfers with the Elders, when Elder Smith got a text that was like, "Alles in Butter?" (Everything in butter?) And Elder Smith asked the member with whom we were eating about it. Apparently it's a bit dated, but you can totally ask if "everything is in butter" to mean "everything is okay," or whatever. How funny is that? 

During the week, Sister Threlkeld was asked if she would play piano in the PV, or Primary on Sunday. So we went, and she sat behind the piano while I sat amidst all the kleine Kindern. Okay. So I like kids, but everyone who knows me decently well knows that I'm just not quite sure what to do with them all the time. But, nevertheless, (and I don't know how this happened,) I have won the heart of just about every little girl in the junior primary. It's so funny and SO cute. Like, 5 or 6 different little German girls at different points during primary came and gave me a huge hug around the waist, or were tugging on my arm so I would sit with them, or this or that. At one point there were like 3 cute little girls swarming me and I looked over at Sister Threlkeld behind the piano and just saw her laughing at the whole situation. Mensch, they are cute kids. I have high hopes for my kinder skills!

One final cool experience I want to share. We were over at an American's house this week, and she had made us homemade pizza (oh my lecker [delicious]) with olive oil they got in Italy. She said they had bought it there last year (or so) when they visited. I told her how I really hope I get the opportunity to live in Europe again one day, so I can visit all these places I really dream of visiting. She then answered, 

"Well, the funny thing about life is that you get to do what you want."

It totally caught me off-gaurd, and I've been thinking about it ever since. Obviously I can't just decide to be Queen of Iceland or 16 years old again, and if God has better things for us in mind than what we originally want, He'll make sure we get all of those blessings...but we act so often like we are complete victims of our circumstances, we're completely controlled by whatever life throws at us... But God gave us our agency. He gave us the ability to do what we want and make our choices - for better of for worse. (Just like it says in 2 Nephi 2:26 how we can act for ourselves instead of just being acted upon.)

How cool is that? Food for thought. Make good choices this week!


Sister Bushman

From Sister Bushman's Mom - A couple of fun photos from the week:

Sister Bushman on the streets of Stuttgart

The Gregorian Sisters?  Sister Bushman and Sister Threlkeld next to
an advertisement for a Gregorian chorus concert

Monday, January 12, 2015

Deutsche Ducks

Guten Morgen!

Transfer calls came this past Saturday. I almost completely forgot that they were coming. When Elder Smith called at 7 am Saturday morning, I was like "What on earth?" but then it was transfer calls, so I suppose it was fine. (haha.) Everything is staying exactly the same - Sister Threlkeld and I will continue working together as Sister Training Leaders in Stuttgart. This is actually the first time I've ever had a transfer where everything stayed exactly the same as the last - I've always had some companionship or area change. It will be nice; there's always an adjustment period in the beginning when stuff changes. So it'll be nice to avoid that and just keep truckin'. 

Sister Bushman remains in Stuttgart!
We had Zone Training this past week, and it was the first time I had to present there. I counted - we have 32 Elders, 4 Sisters, and an Ehepaar in Stuttgart Zone. Just fun facts? Anyway. I was a little nervous about it because for the first time it was COMPLETELY AUF DEUTSCH. President wants us to work harder to improve our German, so he made a new rule that we should try and speak 9-9 as much German as possible - and then District Meetings and stuff are also auf deutsch. Sister Threlkeld and I talked about the Character of Christ and diligence (like I talked about last week,) and since we presented near the beginning I stumbled a bit, but it went pretty well! What was really fun was that by the end of the day I felt myself chatting with everyone in German without too many problems...of course, I'm sure I made tons of mistakes and my vocab isn't huge, but it wasn't painful to just talk to everyone. I guess your brain has to just get going with it. I've already made progress even in the last week or 2 with my language, which was really fun. 

Also, cool little story from last week. Remember the cute lady I talked to on the Bahn on the way home from the MLC? We went to the lesson and taught the Plan of Salvation. I think probably one of my favorite things about teaching is when you see that they really get the significance of what you're talking about. The Spirit is there and touches them - and they feel that love from Heavenly Father. She was like " we can really live with our families forever?" Her mind was totally blown. It was so cool to watch her. 

It's been fun/totally weird to get back into normal contacting, because for like a month we really focused our contacting on Christmas. We've been trying to find different and interesting ways to strike up converstions with people. People ALWAYS talk about using family history as a finding tool - but we had never really done it because it seemed like an odd way to strike up a converstion. WRONG. This past week Stuttgart was really confused as to what season it was and therefore it was strangely nice last Saturday afternoon, and we went to try our hand at family history contacting in the park. It was so great! I literally would just go up to people and be like "where are you from?" and they were sometimes like, "Uh, what?" But it opened up this great conversation about their heritage, and we got to tell them about our purpose as missionaries with the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ - and invite them to learn about their heritage. We're totally making it a regular part of our work, it was so cool.

So yesterday we had a member appoinment where Sister Threlkeld and I were supposed to give the spiritual thought - but we weren't actually able to, and I was sad, so I'll share it with you. HA. Okay. So imagine that I have a 20 Euro schein (or 20 dollar bill...or Chinese Yen...whatever floats your boat.) It's really crisp, and nice. What if I were to tell you that I'll give you the 20? Would you want it? Probably. What if I folded it and crumpled it and it looked all dingy? Would you still want it? OF course. 

And why is that?

Because the value is the same. Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 talks about how the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. Nobody is perfect, but as we try to follow the Savior, we can become better. (And straighten out some of those folds and wrinkles. :)) 

Have a good week!

Sister Bushman

P.S.  Sister Bushman's Mom here:  Here is the explanation for the "Deutsche Ducks" title of this blog.  Sister Bushman is sharing the gospel with everyone she comes in contact with...even the German ducks!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Frohes Neues Jahr!

Happy New Year, everyone! They call it Silvester here, which just makes me think of that one cartoon cat. I've been thinking about how now, this time next year, I'll be home. This year is really my mission year. That's cool.

Holidays are a really fun time of year, but to be completey honest, Sister Threlkeld and I are pretty happy to get back into the normal rhythm of things. It's kind of exhausting, and it's also harder to meet with people and have business as usual because people are busy or out of town. So we're excited for order! But, as far as Silvester goes in Germany, that means RACLETTE.

So I had heard of Raclette in the MTC. That's actually the name of a cheese, but when you have Raclette, there's this mini grill in the middle of the table where you grill meats on top and then melt cheese over veggies in this little oven under it...and I was sad that I had never tried it. So, last week, when a member invited us over for dinner on the 1st, I said Raclette. I had forgotten then that Raclette was a Silvester we had it 2 days in a row. I am in LOVE. It's like this "choose your own adventure" thing where you just make tray after tiny tray of combos of veggies and meats and cheeses and la la la. It's good. I want a grill when I get home.

Another Silvester thing is that EVERYONE sets off fireworks at midnight, when the new year begins. We got home a smidgen later than usual (President said we could be - no worries!) and so I figured that I wouldn't be able to sleep with all the racket. I shouldn't have been worried. I was literally so tired, I didn't hear anything! Sister Threlkeld did, though.

The next morning was seriously like the Apocolypse had happened. We had an appointment at 10 but wanted to share a conference talk that we didn't have printed out, so we left at around 8:30 so we could print it out at the church on the way to our appointment. The sky was grey, it was eerily quiet, NOBODY was on the streets, and there were remnants of fireworks everywhere. Finally, after an hour or two, we started seeing signs of life, but it very obviously was elderly people that were out before anyone else. I suppose that they didn't party too hard.

Crazy thing though, Sister Threlkeld printed a copy of the same talk just so she could read it (One of my favorites, "Forget Me Not," watch/read it here: and while we were walking, each of us holding a copy of this talk, this random woman passing us just asked "what are you holding?" Sister Threlkeld and I kind of looked at each other and talked with her a while, telling her how it was a talk from an Apostle of God, and she said she wanted to read it, so we just gave her a copy. So cool!

Wednesday night as we were walking home in the dark we got a call...from The Freiburg Zone Leaders? It was Elder Allen (I think?) who was like, "Did you get our text earlier today?" and we were like "...No, why?" And they were like "The Shaffhausen Sisters are spending the night with you tonight. And they're at Hauptbahnhof. Right now." Missionary Leadership Council was the next day and they were also going, but it's a long way from Freiburg Zone, so the Freiburg missionaries had come to Stuttgart the night before to make it easier. We were like "Ahh! Tell them we'll be there in half an hour!" So we ended up having this surprise sleepover with Sister Metzig and Sister Van der Put, from Germany and the Netherlands, respectively. So fun.

Friday was awesome because we all got to go to MLC! Missionary Leadership Council is this monthly thing where the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders go to München for a council and training, before they present Zone Training to the Zone that next week. We had to get up at like 5 to get ready and make our train in time, but it was still fun. Also, it was really nice to see Sister Wilkes whom I came in with, as well as Sisters Pentz and Bishop from my last Zone! To be completely honest, I was kind of worried about going to MLC. While being a "leader" in the mission doesn't mean much in that there are a lot of really good missionaries that aren't any kinds of leaders, I didn't feel qualified to be up at this fancy meeting with everyone else. It was actually totally cool though - while there were a ton of super dedicated people there, they were just normal missionaries like me. I learned a ton from the Kohlers and even contributed a few times to the discussions. 

BUT, another part of MLC is participating in Mission Mail. When people receive packages or letters at the HQ of the mission or people order supplies, they don't recieve them until Zone Training - meaning the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders have to carry everything home. A lot of people bring suitcases or big bags to help with that, but we didn't even have it on our radar. Big Mistake. Stuttgart Zone got TONS of packages of supplies and left over from Christmas - like, 8 or 9 in total that we had to carry all the way home. Luckily Elder Nielsen took us in his car to Bahnhof so it wasn't so bad, but we were laughing about how we were upping our "Spätsport" by lugging all of these packages home.

Also, funny thing. So...we found out this week that the Alpine Mission is literally the most expensive mission in the world. It was Tokyo, but since they split it into 2, it has become our mission. So we're trying extra hard to trim the fat on little things. A big part of that is the trains we take, so we took these regional trains instead of the fast ICE on the way home, to make it cheaper. It took like 4 hours, but it was fine because it was fun to be with the Zone Leaders planning Zone Training and eating huge Brezeln and ALMDUDLER. (Almdudler is this magic Austrian soda that the 4 of us missed, so Elder Smith pulled some strings with the Salzburg Zone Leaders, who brought us some Austrian goodness. So that was nice on the way home. :)) 

Sister Bushman with Almdudler

Elder Smith, Sister Bushman, Sister Threlkeld, Elder Sharp
with giant Brezeln (pretzel)

At MLC, Sister Kohler talked about something I really liked and took to heart. It was kind of in the vein of "The Character of Christ" by David Bednar, if you're familiar with that talk. Even when Christ was tired or in pain, he served others. (My favorite example she used is in Matthew 14 when He found out that John the Baptist was beheaded and went into the mountains so he could be alone and the people followed even though he was in pain, he ministered to them, healed their sick, and fed them.) She encouraged us to try and always serve that one extra person, even when we're tired or frustrated...because it's often that last person who is willing to listen.

When we got back to the good ol' Stutt-gart, Sister Threlkeld and I had to take 2 of the heaviest boxes because they were for us - (we had ordered a bajillion more copies of the Book of Mormon; we had run out of a few languages) - and I was exhausted. We had been travelling for hours, were pretty hungry, and were tired of lugging these awkward, huge, heavy boxes around public transit. But I thought about what Sister Kohler had said! This was that moment when I needed to turn outward, because, as she said, "The greatest joy will always come from turning outward". That night, we found this really cute family whom we have an appointment with on Wednesday. It was so cool - and a very obvious result of trying to apply what she said. None of us will ever come to the level of Christ in this life, obviously. But God is joyous when we try a little harder to be a little better. :)

Schöne Woche!

Sister Bushman