First of all, we had the awesome opportunity to go to an organ concert at the largest church organ in all of Europe, the second biggest in the whole world. (If anyone knows where the biggest is, let me know...because I'm way curious.) It was wonderful and LOUD and my inner European History major was just giddy the whole time. St. Stephan's Dom is super cool.
First of all, guess who finished the Book of Mormon auf Deutsch yesterday??? This gal! I guess it's taken me a while since I've been out 13 months... I started out trying to study ONLY in German in the beginning of my mission but got so frustrated that I put down my German triple and avoided doing my main studies out of it, because I didn't want to get so frustrated again. Then Sister Threlkeld pointed out that if I tried again that I would understand a lot more than round one, and I did, and now I'm done! (And I started over again.) :) I did this activity that Sisters Freimann and Smiley were doing (I think it was them?) where they marked every reference to God and Jesus Christ in the WHOLE Book of Mormon. So I tried that and it helped me focus in the beginning when I didn't understand as much.
We had Zone Training this week! It was really nice because we got to go all the way to München for it. I remember that Zone Training just used to be part of my day, but when you're coming from Passau it IS your day, haha. :) 2 1/2 hours there, a few hours there, 2 1/2 hours back, and the day was about finished. Crazy! It was really nice to see other people, though. Sometimes I forgot that the rest of the zone really exists. Hahaha. :)
Sidenote, walking down into the U-Bahn station smells exactly like what it smells like walking down into the subway station in NYC. Like concrete...and wind. Somehow. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? It was super weird how specifically that memory jumped out at me.
One of my favorite things we talked about at Zone Training was "DILNIP" DILNIP stands for "Denke In Lösungen, nicht in Probleme," which means "think about solutions, not about problems." It was definitely a good reminder. When we're feeling bogged down by problems and setbacks, it's easy to get just swallowed up in everything - but that's not the Lord's way. He expects us to do all we can, get on our knees to ask for help and direction to keep going, and then to get up and keep trucking - because seen and unseen help will strengthen us.
I want to share my testimony with all of you that I know that priesthood power is real. I had been feeling a little less than "peaches and cream," so I decided to get a priesthood blessing this week while the Zone Leaders were in Passau for Super-Tausch. (For those of you who aren't LDS, those who hold the priesthood can give blessings of healing or comfort/counsel, which we believe are inspired of God.) It was incredible how much strength I received from that blessing. It's just so obvious that priesthood power is real. I often like to ask people what their favorite "feeling" is. After explaining what I mean by that, I've heard people say things like "lying down on fresh-cut grass after school ends on aand the weekend has started" or "getting a hug from someone when I know that they really mean it." My favorite feeling in the world is the 10 seconds before a priesthood blessing starts. It often starts with whoever is giving the blessing confirming what your full name is, and then there's the moment of silence that follows before you feel hands go on your head. And then you hear your name, and the Spirit just fills the room like a blanket. Exactly the same every time. And I always look forward to it.
Also, I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. For realz. First of all, lemme say that I love the Bible. Because that's also incredibly true. I have really strong memories of reading the New Testament when I was like a junior in high school, and just being in awe by Jesus Christ and how incredibly merciful he was. His teachings were really SO different and radical when looking at the context of where and when he lived. But whenever I read the Bible and the Book of Mormon at the same time, it strikes me how crystal clear the doctrine is in the Book of Mormon. It's just so straightforward. And powerful. And I'm glad that we have it.
I have a challenge for EVERY person reading this right now. (Go write this down. :))
Tell someone important to you how much they mean to you. TODAY. Don't put it off; they might not know how much you love them!
Sister Bushman's Mom here: Some other fun photos from the week . . .
|How civilized to eat a slice of pizza in a bag!|
|In the countryside|