This week was SO FUN because we were outside a whole lot. Spring has finally full-on sprung here in Germany, and it is beautiful. There are simply flowers everywhere. Beautiful yellow dandelions, other yellow flowers, purple, blue...my favorite is that there are these mini-daisies that just pop up EVERYWHERE. There are flowers covering lawns, on the U-bahn tracks, everywhere. There will even be full-on daffodils and tulips that just casually pop up in the middle of peoples' yards, but that's not a problem here. People freak out about flowery weeds in America, which I now think is really silly because it's much prettier when they spring up EVERYWHERE. :)
Man, I love Germany. I had a moment of freaking out this week because I realized really how close it is until I go home. All of my freaking-out-about-going-home moments in the past have always been about being a missionary. I just don't want to take off my tag. But this week it was like "I cannot imagine never living in Germany again." So I guess I'll just have to come back some day. :)
Man, Sister Bishop is so fun. She loves "adventuring," so we trekked up to a schloss (castle/palace) last week. She's definitely making me more adventurous. She backpacked around parts of Europe one time. I'm like the least-spontaneuos person on the planet, but I've been starting to put a lot of things in my 'Für Später' (for later) box so I can be cool one day too, haha. :)
But we also got to be outside this week because we had a service project! We've been stoked for a while because we got to wear jeans and the super cool "Mormon Helping Hands" vests and pick up trash around the city. It was a combined activity of both Stuttgart wards (English and German speaking,) so we deep-cleaned the Stake center and cleaned up outside a bit. Sister Bishop and I brought pass-along cards with us and were able to talk to a few civilians, who saw us all cleaning, about who we were and the gospel, so it was super cool. Right after that we had a BBQ with the American ward, and all my dreams came true. They had pulled pork. I repeat: they had pulled pork sandwiches. I forgot how much I miss barbeque! But then at the same time, some of the American food seemed super weird to me. I'm just not used to it anymore. So funny!
There was a day this week when we literally didn't have anytime to eat dinner - but a member of our ward had recommended an ice cream place somewhere near, but not on Königstraße, and so we figured that we could just eat ice cream for dinner real quick. But we couldn't find it...and were in a time crunch. So we started using it as a way to start contacting people...but it was really funny because some people saw that we had Books of Mormon and as we would approach they'd just say "Nein" and walk away...but we were like we literally just want to find this ice cream place!
It was pretty funny.
Speaking of funny things, Sister Bishop and I were talking this week and had a really interesting conversation. Basically, the church must be true, because the whole story of the Restoration is kind of a crazy story. Like, we walk into a stranger's home for the first lesson and throw all this talk about angels and golden plates and prophets and visions at them and ask them to get baptized, and we're just these 20-ish year old American kids with broken German. Like, what on earth? Yet people feel the Spirit, and find that the Book of Mormon is true, and many even get baptized. If this message wasn't true, there is NO WAY that this would work. Interesting to think about, ge?
Sister Bishop and I are pretty busy this week - we have like, 3 or 4 teaching appointments scheduled for each day untilwhen we're going to MÜNCHEN! We're so excited to hear from the General Authorities that are coming. And, of course, the announcement of technology would completely change and update our missionary service 180 degrees. So let's go!
Shelley's mom here -- more photos of beautiful Stuttgart: