I hit my HALF WAY WITH MY WHOLE MISSION mark this week. It was really weird. I almost completely forgot; I guess it's good to be wrapped up in the work, but then all of a sudden it's March 19th and you've been out sinceand it's just like where did all the time go. So weird. Honestly in the beginning I started to panic a bit with those "I haven't done enough!" type thoughts, but then I took a step back and thought about how at the beginning of my mission when I prayed, every third word was "um". And it was hard for me to roll with the punches of missionary work. And now, I don't have the most eloquent vocabulary, but I can say a unique prayer each time I pray, I can talk with people, and if things don't go according to plan, I can usually stand back up and just go with plan B. So it's been good. :)
|Hitting the "Half-Way" mark|
But that obviously doesn't mean that it's always perfect or I always know what to say. I had a really interesting experience talking with this woman on the S-Bahn this week. I complimented her earrings to start chatting and she was really nice. She saw that I was a missionary and we started talking about the church and what we believed. It started okay, but she soon started to tense up and started firing questions at me - none of them were too difficult, simply things that need discussing. She'd fire a question, and another, and without letting me respond to the first question fire a third question and ask why I hadn't addressed her first question, and then tell me that it was because I didn't know the answer, and there simply wasn't an answer. (Even though the Gospel gives answers to such questions.) Turns out she was an Evangelical priest. She told me she used the "Comparative Historical Method" (I think she called it that) of studying the Bible - and told me how I really should do the same because she had learned so much from that way. She told me about how she had been able to pick apart the Gospels of Luke and Matthew and this and that and this and that...I left that S-Bahn completely drained. It reminded me of the Book of Mormon when it talks about the people who will "draw near to [the Lord] with their lips, but their hearts are far from [him]." Obviously scripture study is important. I'm not saying that we shouldn't study the scriptures. But holy cow - it was like she had picked apart the Bible so much that she didn't even pay attention to the doctrine anymore. It was crazy how much the Spirit wasn't there when we were talking.
|Sister B & Sister T -- wearing out their shoes on the pavement|
But like, there's also been some good and fun moments - like, last Thursday (?) I believe. We were a little frustrated because we had been trying to do some finding that afternoon and it was totally fruitless. We were at the Bahn stop waiting to go home when Sister Threlkeld and I started looking at this huge ad for Tarzan the Musical that's apparently in Stuttgart or coming to Stuttgart or something. Sister Threlkeld was like, "Wait. How can he have long hair, but no beard? Gorillas don't shave!" And I guess it had been a long day because we were like cracking up at this and I saw this man a few paces away from us so I asked him what he thought about the monstrosity and then he started laughing too, and then we got talking, and he said we could come visit him sometime. It was really cool! And pretty funny.
We also got the oppotunity to go to the Relief Society activity this past week - it was the cutest and most fun activity, like, ever. The whole purpose was that they wanted everyone to get to know each other better, so everyone brought 3 items that represented them and put them in a bag with an explanation of why those items were meaningful, and then someone would show all the items, read the papers, and then ask "Who am I?" It was so fun. Everyone was just laughing and smiling and I learned a lot about everyone. This is what I did:
- I really love musicals and theatre. I've been in over 50 musicals and plays. (Theatre mask necklace)
- I love Disney! My favorite Disney films are Tangled and Pocahontas. (Deutsche Disney CD)
- One of my ancestors was one of the 3 first people ever to be baptized into the church in Germany. (Das Buch Mormon)
Sister Threlkeld and I struggled to come up with stuff, because as missionaries we mainly own scriptures and clothes. Haha. Not much else...so it was hard to come up with knick-knacks that represented us in our past lives.
After that we all got food and split up to these tables where there were different questions ("What's your favorite dessert?" "Any hidden talents?" "What does your name mean?") And we would chat and answer questions and then rotate and it was just really fun and well done.
While on that note, I just want to shout from the top of the Swiss Alps that I am literally like, obsessed with all the members of this ward. But not in a weird way. (Maybe weird?) Whenever we're invited anywhere or run into random people on the Bahn I'm always like "Sister Threlkeld! She's like, my favorite member of the whole ward!" And Sister Threlkeld is always like "...you said that about this guy and that guy and the other person too." But it's totally true. I wish I could just take every person by the shoulders (mainly the members of the Relief Society and Young Women) and be like "do you realize how wonderful you are?!" and shake them until they get it. But that just got a little weird.
I sang in church yesterday! Sister Threlkeld is going home in like, 2 weeks so we wanted to take advantage of having 2 (at least slightly) musically inclined people together one more time and do a musical number. To make things simpler, she played and I sang. (We were also trying to use it to motivate a friend of ours to come to church...) Getting up in front of people used to never make me nervous, but I was shaking! I definitely was a little shakier than I would have like to have been, but that's okay. Someone afterward told us afterward that they felt the Spirit, and that was our goal, so that was nice. :)
Man. I can't believe Sister Threlkeld is going home in 2 weeks. We've been together for so long, I don't remember what it's like being a missionary with not Sister Threlkeld. I feel like we've come SO far together. It's been fun.
Anyway. Before this gets even longer. Sending love! Muah!