You're probably wondering why the title of my email is so absolutely odd - it's because we went on TAUSCH (exchange) this week! I often feel really jealous of the Elders because they get to tausch so much more...they'll often go on 3-6 tausches in a transfer, while we just go on one, since there are so few sisters in the zone (and the mission, for that matter.) BUT we went this week! I worked in Stuttgart again, (I still have never seen Tübingen,) but this time I worked with Sister Erdenetsogt! Sister Erdenetsogt is from Mongolia and kind of a super-star in my eyes because 1. I read her companion's blog (dork) before my mission and therefore knew who she was, and 2. She submitted her mission papers from Wien where she previously lived, so everyone in my first area knew her and talked about her all the time, so I was super excited to work with her.
Anyway, so the crazy story from tausch. The 4 of us met up at a station at the edge of Tübingen's area, so that we could switch comps and drive back. We have these really fancy (and expensive) year-long cards that let us ride around our area without having to buy tickets every day or week or whatever. We had only like, 2 minutes between when our train showed up and the next one left, so we were booking it on and off the correct platforms. Sister Erdenetsogt brought this Mongolian food steamer thing with her, she borrowed it from this Mongolian lady they're meeting with in Stuttgart, and was planning to bring it back that night. As soon as Sister Erdenetsogt and I got on the train and breathed in and out, Sister Erdenetsogt asks, "you have Sister Threlkeld's card, right?" Shoot! She was totally schwarzfahring! (Riding without a ticket - yikes!) We looked down the train and saw big security people who worked for Deutsche Bahn - ahh!!! They were security gaurds, not ticket-checking people, but still! We got off at the very next stop so Sister Erdenetsogt could buy a ticket, but the train left so quickly, we realized that we would have to wait half an hour for the next one to come. And then Sister Erdenetsogt realized that she FORGOT THE STEAMER ON THE TRAIN. I called Elder Ridd and Elder Kroes (also on tausch,) and asked what they were doing. They were near Hauptbahnhof, so I asked "Do you want to save the day?! There's a train showing up at Bahnhof in 20 minutes with something Sister Erdenetsogt needs." They agreed and headed off for Bahnhof, while we awaited the train and twiddled our thumbs. About 20 minutes later they called and said they had found it!!!!!!!! I love Germans. They so seldom steal stuff. But it was a total miracle, and she returned it that night. I wanted to take a picture of the Elders posing with the steamer (they were so proud,) but forgot my camera. Bummer. Still a great story!
The rest of tausch was seriously good though - we only doored like, 10 people and found 2 really promising potentials from it, and I got to hang out with Sister Erdenetsogt while she taught a handful of Mongolian people. It was really fun. It's a cool language.
Crazy thing, though, during tausch Sister Kohler called! I was freaking out because very often when President or Sister Kohler call randomly, one possibility is that something tragic has happened...yikes. But instead, she asked if I would lead the music during....MISSION TOUR! I haven't really mentioned that Mission Tour is this week, so I might as well now. Basically, what Tour used to be is that someone from the Area Presidency would visit and tour around for fancy Zone Conference with each zone...but this year, Elder Kearon is coming, and we're all going to München!!! It's divided up into 2 days since our Mission is so large, but Switzerland is combined with Freiburg zone one day, and the other day Stuttgart, München, Salzburg, and Wien will all be together! We get to learn from someone who's totally awesome AND it'll be like a family reunion. Then, that night we'll stay at a hostel (that'll be a new experience,) and the next day we'll have MLC lead by Elder Kearon. I'm so excited. Also, funny enough, somehow 5/6 Sisters in my MTC group area are all STLs. Don't know how that happened. (The only one who isn't is Sister Cook...who is training like a boss in Freiburg.) But I can't wait to hug and handshake lots of friends, feel the spirit, and have 4 zones of missionaries singing "Called to Serve" at me. :) It's hard to have meetings in München because it takes away from time you COULD be having appointments, but luckily for us the rest of the week is pretty busy. So hopefully we can still adequately prep for everything despite that, haha.
By the way this is super random but is the Flu really bad this year? We keep picking up random signs that it is. Like, we were looking for a joint teach last week and called around people in the ward, and like 80% of the people we called were like "We would love to, but I/my kid/everyone and the dog are sick." Also, when we were at our favorite Döner shop this week, (background on the Döner shop, we've befriended this man and his family who own this deliciously lovely Döner shop - so now they're always happy to see us and the daughter had us write in her Freunde Buch) the poor youngest daughter was so sick. Sneezy, sneezy, sneezy. We sat with the cute daughters and chatted for a while, but bought like 4 liters of Orangensaft on the way home.
Funny sidenote about Europeans and their beverages, I get really stressed out because we'll go to eating appointments and they'll have like 2 liters of saft and 1 small jug of water for like, 8 people to drink over 2 hours...where, at the same time, Sister T and I drank a whole liter of juice in like, 20 minutes. It's just funny.
|Sister Bushman and Sister Threlkeld with their O.J.|
I feel like this letter has been so all over the place. Sorry! Maybe the endless gray sky is starting to make me crazy? I dunno. I've always liked Winter the best...but I've liked it 3% less since going everywhere on foot. :)
By the way, ATTENTION: everyone in Germany. Or anyone with google. We need help finding fun stuff to do on P-days. Stuttgart is a pretty decent sized city, but it's hard because most museums are open- , and it's not as much fun to go to Schlösser (palaces, etc.) when it's cold and the gardens aren't overflowing with beauty like in the summer. Any ideas are appreciated, haha. :)
This week, Sister Threlkeld and I were looking up how to get to the house of a potential in a tiny little dorf (village), when we made the mistake of seeing if there was anything new on Mormon Channel. Don't do it! This series about how the grace of Christ helps people is beautifully done and simply just...good.
I love you so much.
Some additional photos:
|Sister Bushman with some young girls in their ward (congregation)|
|The baking skills continue . . . Sister Bushman with some homemade bread|