This week in Passau was PERFECT. Sister Bishop and I don't really know how it happened, but it seems like all of a sudden all the stars are starting to line up and Passau is beginning to bloom. We have these "standards of excellence" for the mission -- they aren't a quota by any means, but a set of numbers for how many lessons taught, etc. to help us measure how we are doing. They are set pretty high, so they are sometimes tricky to hit. But we hit like half of them this week. Woohoo! We're hoping to keep nurturing this lovely area so that it keeps growing. :)
The Elders are back in Passau! We were grateful for Elder Faux's piano playing skills in sacrament meeting yesterday. And we got to know Elder Faux's golden, who is from Switzerland! He's super cool. He also sounds Swiss which is cool because I haven't had much exposure to Schweize Deutsch. He has been speaking Hoch Deutsch with us, but he has a really different accent. Sister Bishop and I determined that it sounds like he's speaking German with an Irish accent. So just think about that.
We had a FABULOUS lesson with someone new this week! It was SO cool how we found her. We were in Vilshofen (we aren't in that city super often) and waiting for a bus. This lady sat down next to me who was wearing fabulous hot-pink rimmed glasses. So I told her that her glasses were fabulous, obviously. Then we ended up talking and having this incredible conversation, and she told us how she believed in God, but has had a lot of hard times and it is sometimes hard for her to believe that God really is there, because so many hard things happen. We testified to her about how much God loves her, and how we teach people about God and how she could strengthen her relationship with her Heavenly Father. She said she would love to meet, and a couple days later we did! It's so incredibly wonderful, because she said that her husband is super sick and she's about to move to Spain because the climate there is better for his sickness, and she's moving next week and is super stressed - and then she sat down next to us at the bus stop. She wants us to Skype-teach her when she leaves. The coolest part is that Elder Gantner's brother (the Swiss Elder) is serving in Spain, so what would really be cool is if the stars aligned and he got to teach her in Spain - because she only speaks German and Dutch! It was so obvious that God's hand brought everything together that day. So cool!
Passau is a small-ish town, so we ended up befriending one of the bus drivers, who is named Paul. He's way awesome. As we got to know him more, we found out that he has a Book of Mormon from way back in the day from old friends of his. But he couldn't find it...so we gave him a new one. :) But Paul is SO. COOL. He was in the German army for 35 years and is now retired. He drives a bus around Passau so that he can go to Sri Lanka every year and change the lives of impoverished school children. He brought us some pictures of where he has been, and it's incredible how many lives he has blessed by driving his bus. I felt so, so, so strongly that I want to do something like that some point in my life. Whether big or small - volunteering at the soup kitchen or bringing rice to impoverished folk in Sri Lanka - I felt so good looking at those pictures and I didn't even do anything. Man. All I can say is that if Sister Lineback is still going to Honduras to offer dental services each year and she could use a non-spanish speaking not-familiar-with-dental-work set of hands, I would loooove to come. ;)
A couple random tidbits. I have a new theory about dialects, especially Bayerisch. I just feel like people at home don't understand how different these dialects are than actual Hoch Deutsch. Like, other Germans can't understand them sometimes. But I've decided that listening to heavy Bayerisch is a lot like playing that one game Mad Gab. Like, if you listen to the exact words being spoken, you're going to have a hard time. But if you don't listen too closely and just try to follow the ark of the words, you can kinda figure out what they're saying. It's pretty funny.
Yesterday we were knocking on a couple of doors while waiting for the bus, and nobody had really answered. I was getting antsy about making our bus, so Sister Bishop said we should just knock on one more floor and then go. Nobody answered - until the very last door. A middle-aged man and woman answered, and the woman wasn't wearing any pants. So casually. It didn't seem to bother her at all - we had a lovely talk about God and gave them pamphlets about the Restoration and they said we could come back to teach them. So that was pretty funny.
OH one more quick story. There was a day this week with unbelievable wind. Like, cyclone scene from Wizard of Oz level of wind. Sister Bishop and I were both wearing pretty flowy skirts, so we had a couple of Marilyn-Monroe-moments when we had to just stop everything and hold all of that billowing fabric down. There is an overpass that goes over the railroad tracks that we have to cross in order to get home, and we thought that the wind would be better inside. False. Oh my false. It made a total wind tunnel, and my skirt was just blowing here and there and everywhere and Sister Bishop and I just started laughing so hard because if I held it down from the front it would fly up in the back, and then if I held down the back it would fly up the sides, and we were just in hysterics trying to get through this wind tunnel. A couple of people passed us during this whole scene and we exchanged knowing glances and chuckles a few times. I hope we made their day. It was pretty funny. Note to self: don't wear the navy with pink flower skirt on windy days...
|Hard-working, jubilant sisters . . . in skirts!|
I love you all! Have a great week.