This was a long week, but not because it was out-of-the-ordinary busy or out-of-the-ordinary hard. It was just long. Maybe we've been working too hard or something though, because I've had only half of my voice today and yesterday and the day before! I've been pretty hoarse, but it's fine. At least I have Holunderblüten Ricola bonbons. Mmmm.
Anyway but this week I had this really crazy experience while trying to do some contacting on a train. I sat down across from this lady but couldn't really figure out how to start talking to her - but the lady next to me had the most fabulous missionary boots, ever. My boots totally died so I asked her about them, and we struck up a conversation. Then, the lady across from me was like "excuse me, may I ask where you're from?" and I said the States and then all of us were talking and she said that her 15 year old is doing a member exchange with this lovely family in Utah (who happen to be Mormons,) and they have a daughter on a mission so she saw my tag and knew who I was and is so excited to tell them all that they she met a missionary! It was the craziest thing.
Speaking of crazy, Sister Threlkeld and I keep meeting people who are like "The Book of Mormon?! I've been trying to get my hands on one of those for years! How can I get one?!" And we just kind of look at each other and smile and are like "we can help you out!" Haha. It's seriously happened like, 4 times. What the heck? Way cool, though.
|Sister Bushman & Sister Threlkeld with copies of the Book of Mormon|
We have approximately a bazillion plans for this week because Sister Threlkeld is going home soon so there are lots of people to say goodbye to and lots of ends to tie - but we will be fed a lot this week, so that will be fun. We also have a lot of appointments with new people we've found. Finding is a huge focus right now which I think is great. So many people don't like finding, but if you get yourself to a place that you like finding, then everything in missionary work gets better. Stuttgart is on fire right now. I heard that it's the top-baptizing zone in the mission, and last week we broke the zone record for number of lessons taught in the zone in a week - the record (for the past 5 years or so) was 86 and we taught 95. It was so cool! Stuff is getting done!
|One last ice cream cone with Sister Trelkeld|
And I got to go on Austausch with Tübingen sisters this week. I actually got to go there this time - the last 2 tausches (exchanges) I stayed in Stuttgart. There's a drift (three sister missionaries) there right now so I exchanged with Sister Ahlm and Sister Baugh. Tübingen is this little charming college town, so it was fun to visit somewhere new. And, Sisters Baugh and Ahlm are both super great missionaries so I picked up little ideas from both of them of things I could start doing in my own work, so I'm excited to try those things. And I gave them tips on dritt life because been-there-done-that. :)
|Sister Baugh, Sister Bushman, & Sister Ahlm in Tubingen|
I was actually thinking a lot this week about how international my mission is. Like, it's so international. It's the "Alpine German-Speaking Mission" but it should be the "Alpine International Mission" because that makes a lot more sense. My favorite contacting strategy is talking to people about where they're from, because so often it's not Germany. And, a lot of the times I have friends serving in their home countries, so it's great to make a connection. The only downside is that you're always calling around the zone for that one language of the Book of Mormon that you need and don't have. This week was Turkish. Thanks, Ludwigsburg Elders for waiting for us at the Bahnhof to give us a book even though we were late...
Have you seen the Easter Campaign from the church? I swear they're just getting bigger and better and more beautiful each Easter and Christmas. We have all these passalong cards that link to the website with the video that we have been sharing with people, but we actually saw the video for the first time during church http://www.mormon.org/easter(find it here -
) and I almost cried. What struck me is how many clips they use of different people where they're going through some kind of trial. I think everyone can relate to at least a few of those frames. And He carries us through it all.
Happy Easter; He lives; Write down some questions going into General Conference this weekend. I can't wait to watch.
Shelley's Mom here: A few more photos. In the forest . . . and enjoying German bratwurst.