This was a week of some changes, mainly in my companion - which of course affects everything else. But I'll get to that in a second. Stephan got the Gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday - on April 12th. It dawned on me a little ways back that on April 12th, 2003, I was baptized and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. And now, here in Germany, 8 years later was Stephan. It was the most beautiful coincidence. He said he has just felt this warmth since he got baptized. It's the coolest, most beautiful thing.
So I'm half of a week into a new dawn and a new age with Sister BISHOP. She's from Colorado, was at/will return to BYU after her mission, and just finished 6 months in her first area, Graz. It was fun since we've tausched before and could just kind of jump in because we half-knew each other already. On her first evening here after I picked her up from the train station and we took her stuff home, I took her to Königstraße, the big center shopping-street of town so she could see it and we could start contacting, and then took her to Udo-Snack, this corner-in-the-wall, where-all-the-hipsters-go burger joint Sister Threlkeld and I were told about by some Americans a few weeks ago. (We're super obsessed with it.) And we just sat down next to this fountain with our burgers and had this heart to heart about what we want out of this transfer and where we feel we are as missionaries and where we want to go and who we want to become. It was a super great way to start the transfer. Also, she has an excellent vocabulary (something I struggle with) and I'm decent with grammar (something that's hard for her,) so we're going to help each other out a lot. :)
|Sister B & Sister B!|
It still kind of feels like a super long tausch, though. Like, where's Sister Threlkeld? Haha. It was sad to say goodbye, but I know I'll see her again so It wasn't really SO sad. That's why we have skype, oder?
|Saying goodbye to Sister Threlkeld at the Bahnhof|
But in the days leading up to Sister Threlkeld leaving...the scripture "eat, drink, and be merry, forwe die" has never felt so real. People were super kind and everyone wanted to have Sister Threlkeld and I over before she left, so we did a lot of eating this week. We also learned how to make Maultaschen!
|One of the farewell dinners with the Stuttgart District|
So Maultaschen is this German yummyness which is basically like biggish raviolis stuffed with meat and spinach and onions and garlic and stuff. Then you eat them with a bit of broth or cooked up with eggs. We had had an appointment a few weeks ago with this lovely Schwäbisch woman who made us homemade maultaschen...mannnn it was good. And she said she would teach us how! So we learned! It wasn't super hard, but it takes a little time. But we made this little assembly line and made them. I can imagine myself after the mission just setting up camp in the kitchen with "The Sound of Music" on and just churching them out (even though schwäbisch food doesn't really mix with an American musical about the Austrian alps...but it's fine.)
|Making Maultaschen . . .|
|. . . and eating Maultaschen|
I've been thinking a lot about finding people to teach recently. There are lots of methods - but I mean the old-school plain-Jane just talking to people on the street and on the Bahn and this and that or whatever. I have a theory for myself as far as finding goes. When you just start out, the first 10 people you stop make you want to barf. It's just hard. Then, if you talk to those 10 people about Christ, then the next day it's only 8 people you have to talk to before you feel totally comfortable doing it and it's easy. Then if you succeed, the next day is 6, and then 4, and then 2, and then you reach the point where you just wake up and go talk to people without feeling even a hint of hesitation or anxiety. But if you don't hit that 6 or 8 people, then the next day it goes back up to 8 or 10 people you have to talk to before it's not uncomfortable. Like, it's like getting a huge icy snowball rolling. If the finding snowball is rolling, then everything is great. If you get lazy for one day, it's that much easier to be lazy the next day...and then it's hard again. I'm so happy that the vast majority of the time the ball is rolling, and it's easier. Missionary work is more fun that day.
Ich habe euch Lieb! Sehr schöne Woche. :) (I love you all. Have a lovely week.)
Shelley's Mom here -- more pictures from the past week:
|One last hug with Sister Threlkeld|
|Sister Threlked on the train . . . on her way home to America.|
|With Sister Zaugg, one of the senior missionaries|
|Beautiful Stuttgart at night|