We also got to do one of my favorite/least favorite forms of contacting this week, which I like to refer to as "Romeo and Juliet contacting." Basically, when you go dooring and it's not set up so they can answer the klingel...so they literally just open the window and yell out and ask who you are, and it literally feels like Romeo yelling up to Juliet's balcony. Fun, but hurts your neck after a while.
|A scene from "Romeo and Juliet"|
But we've been busy this week...random people keep popping out of the woodworks and all of a sudden we're super busy which is wonderful, and I hope it continues on like that for Sisters Bishop and Earnshaw, because I'm leaving Stuttgart!
Have you heard of it? Didn't think so.
Passau is a little town on the border of Austria, in München zone. When I went to Wien, I associated it with the waltz and with Mozart. When I went to Stuttgart, I knew that's where all the cars come from. I knew nothing about the city itself, but I did know that Passau has the reputation of being the hardest Sister area in the mission. Since so few sisters are here, they mainly are in the big cities - Stuttgart, Wien, Salzburg, Linz, Graz, etc. Passau is a little branch in a little town, and I had just heard that it was hard. I have to admit, the natural man inside of me wasn't incredibly thrilled when I first found out. I have 4 transfers left, and could picture myself losing steam in finding and not being the missionary I wanted to be at the end of my mission. When Sister Bishop was in the shower I was kind of groaning to myself a little about how hard it was going to be - and how I was in no way capable of strengthening the Branch adequately there like I would want to. I went to go eat my knock-off Cinnamon Toast Crunch (that tastes like Homer's Cinnamon Donuts that we ate when I was a kid,) and suddenly a scripture came to my mind - I ran over to my quad in the other room and opened up to 1 Nephi 3 and read this:
...Welp. Verse 5 was pretty humbling, since I had literally just been talking about how "hard" it would be to do that. But then I read 7, and felt a lot better. I'm going to Passau. And then once the surprise wore off, I started to get really stoked. These are all the reasons that I'm stoked to go to Passau:
- I haven't even mentioned my comp yet - Sister BERRY! I've talked to her a couple times; she's from Alaska and super cute and cool, and I kind of secretly hoped I could be comps with her. And now I will be!
- All of my areas were bombed out during WWII. Passau is small enough that I don't think it was bombed - so it will actually be super old! Sweet!
- I think Passau is to München zone, as Graz is to Wien zone. Graz is hours away by train from the rest of the zone in Wien. Sister Bishop said that that was really fun, because it's just you and the Elders against the world in your corner of the mission, and that was really cool. I've always been in the hub of the zone, full of missionaries, and Passau is 2- 2 1/2 hours away from München (so I've heard,) so it will be fun to have my own corner of the mission to care for.
-I actually dreamed of serving in a little quaint town, but I didn't think it would happen because all the Sisters are in the big cities. Ha!
- It will be an all-around different experience. I started out in a medium-sized ward in a huge city, and then went to a huge ward in a medium-sized city. Relatively equal. There are a lot of members I adore in each of the wards I've served in, but I will literally know each member of that branch well, and I am stoked about that.
- I'm going to Bayern, which everyone, ever is obsessed with.
-Do you know what the above statement means? DIRNDLS, (probably.)
-There's a cool American family in Stuttgart ward, and the Dad of the family actually served in Southern Germany on his mission. He said Passau was his favorite area, which is cool.
- When I was at churchsaying goodbye to people, 80% of the time when I told them I was off to Passau, the first thing they said is "Passau ist eine schöne Stadt!" Or, that Passau was a super pretty city. Apparently 3 rivers come together and there's mountains.
So I'm excited. But speaking of all those conversations we had, my heart is literally breaking. I actually don't think I've ever felt heartbreak so severe in my entire life. I now know that I needed this last transfer here with Sister Bishop in Stuttgart. I guess what makes this good-bye so hard is that it's an actual possibility that I won't see all of these wonderful people and families I've come to love again. And, if I did, it would never be the same - I wouldn't be wearing a tag, and that makes a difference. I honestly don't know if I can say more than that without crying at my computer or something. I just got a lot of hugs and well wishes and told lots of people how wonderful they are. There have been ups and downs or what not like every area and just life in general, but at the end I wouldn't give any of these 7 months in Stuttgart back. UGH I just love it so much. Tears may or may not be shed; I'll keep you posted.
Oh, and we have iPads? It's so funny - we had literally like a year of build up for these things, and it's already just kind of like a casual thing that we have them. Ha. Using little video clips REALLY engage kids. We tell them to look for certain things and they get super into it. Way fun. You need WiFi for like, most of it, but still. Good stuff.
|A sleeping Sister Bishop on the train to Munich to pick up iPads|
I feel a lot like Maria from Sound of Music. I've decided that "I have Confidence" is like, exactly what transfers look like. You know your new location and your new comp (Captain Von Trapp, Salzburg,) but that's like it. And you just go. But I'm excited.
Love ya, Stuttgart!
Sister Bushman's Mom here -- other pictures from the week:
"We were randomly approached on Konigstrasse,and they asked us to write or draw something in chalk about love. We wrote "Jesus loves you, mormon. org"
|Sister Bishop at the chalk scene|
"On the way home from München, we had a 30 minute stop in Ulm, and the Ulm Elders showed us the Münster, which has the highest church steeple in the world. Cool."