I just bought a new journal (my third on my mission!) and it says "hinfallen, aufstehen, Krone richten, weitergehen," which translates to "fall down, stand up, adjust crown, keep going."
I'm kind of laughing as I write this because Sister Threlkeld and I TOTALLY lived my journal motto this week. Like, I feel like we had a great week, but if you were an outsider looking in, you absolutely wouldn't think so. Statistically speaking, exactly 75% of our appointments fell out, and although I did some of my best contacting this week that I've done my whole entire mission, we found a tiny fraction of the normal amount of interested people we find in a week. But it has been cool, because it was like we were resiliant enough to withstand it. Like, when the appointment didn't show up (for the first and second and seventieth time), we just went outside and kept talking to people. It was actually really fun. Then,when we did our weekly planning, we made up the in-a-bag cookie dough from my mom (thanks, Mom! :)), sat down, and talked about what we could do to make this week better. It felt super empowering. And we didn't even eat the whole bowl of dough in one sitting. BOOM.
|Sister Bushman ... empowered!|
This week was also really great because we had Stake Conference. It made me think back to the last Stake Conference I was at, in Wien. It was my second transfer and I remember spacing out a bit because it's a little lengthy when you can't completely understand everything. Sitting there I realized how much more I could understand. Like, besides one guy who was a smidgen dialect-y, I could understand basically everything. That felt so good. Elder Axel Leimer of the Seventy (we aren't quite sure which one, but he was cool) came to bothand , and the president of the Frankfurt temple also came , and the Kohlers also came . Way fun. was really cool because it was almost ENTIRELY about missionary work. Elder Leimer talked about how all members of the church should be involved in missionary work - but that doesn't necessarily mean giving out Books of Mormon like hot cakes or this or that, it's just loving people. Flat out Nächstenliebe/charity. The root of the gospel is love, and so loving other people is just naturally a part of that. He also had all the full-time missionaries stand up at one point. It was really cool. I heard one lady near me say "there's so many of them!" It was cool.
Also the Tübingen Sisters spent the night between sessions, so that was fun. We fed them homemade soup for dinner and homemade pizza for breakfast (we didn't have enough of anything else for 5 people) and they were super impressed. Those cooking skills are still on the rise! But anyway.Sister Threlkeld and I got to sing with the Stake choir (the director is the bishop of our ward and he asked us to come sing with them,) and it was really cool because he's way talented and there was a good turn out, so the choir REALLY brought the spirit. It was so lovely to be a part of.
|The Stuttgart Zone Sisters: Baugh, Priest, Ahlm, Bushman & Threlkeld|
Okay, random. So as missionaries ideally we're supposed to spend 3 hours or so doing flat-out service projects each week, so Sister Threlkeld and I have been searching for something new to do as a project. I've become totally enamored with the idea of cleaning up a graveyard (I mean, how can you not adore old European graveyards?) So we stopped by one this week to see if there was anything we could do. Whenever I go to graveyards it reminds me of my childhood when Mom was researching for her book so we spent a lot of time on family vacations trying to track down the gravestones of people who were involved with the 1961 US World Figure Skating Team plane crash. I remember it really made me uncomfortable when I was like, 9... ("But Mom, we're walking on dead people!") but it just felt so peaceful walking through in the sunshine. And we have no reason to be sad about these people who have left this earth - they're back with Heavenly Father. It was really lovely.
|Sister Threlkeld leading the way at the cemetery.|
We got a new Ehepaar (a senior missionary couple) in our district, Elder and Sister Bos. They'll be working with Military families and are way cool. Sister Threlkeld and I both have birthdays this week. My half-way mark is next week. Spring is finally starting to spring, and it's gorgeous outside. Ich bin fast nicht erkältet - I'm almost over the cold that I got from Elder Wiberg who may or may not have gotten sick from Sister Threlkeld, then Elder Harvey, then Elder Ridd. (But we're all still alive!)
All in all, I'm feeling in very high spirits. As was said in Stake Conference yesterday, "Es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter - nur schlechte Kleidung." There's no bad weather, just bad clothing. Everything is in our attitude.
Sending love! Go eat ice cream this week.
Shelley's mom here: Sister Bushman and Sister Threlkeld came upon an 80-jump hopscotch board that someone had drawn on the sidewalk, and they couldn't resist (it's exercise, right?). Here are three of the hopscotch photos Shelley sent: