Monday, September 7, 2015

Everything is Awesome!

Today is a good day. Do you want to know why? We had Kürbiskremesuppe for lunch - that's right, pumpkin cream soup. It's more of an Austrian thing than a German thing, but since we live so close to the border, we found the soup mix at the supermarket. Score! It's mainly eaten in fall and we both just LOVE it from our Golden days. :) I'm amazed that it hasn't caught on in the States yet. I feel like Americans would LOVE that stuff. Do you know why else it's a good day today? I studied about the Last Supper in John with the Institute New Testament manual and understood the little things about the chapter SO MUCH more. I love the manuals, they're such a good resource! Do you know why else today is a wonderful day? It's my absolute favorite weather outside -- slightly chilly, but not cold. Fall is coming! Hooray! Also we went to visit this big, ambiguous church thing on a hill that we found. Turns out it was a monastery. We didn't see any monks, but we saw monk graves and monk pictures. And tomorrow we have Zone Training and got permission to go up today and spend the night in München, so that's happy too! And Deutsche Christmas cookies have made it into the grocery store and we're currently snacking on Vanille Kipferl, my favorite type! EVERYTHING IS AWESOOOOOOOOOOOME.

OH and Sister Bishop and I got dirndls last week (my second, her first) and they were super cheap at a second-hand shop and we wore them to church yesterday and everyone said that we looked really Bayerisch and I was giddy about it for days.

Elder Gibbs and Elder Faux with the
dirndl-clad Sister Bushman and Sister Bishop

And, work in Passau is going well. We're at the point where we have some weekly appointments with a few people - which we are STOKED about. We're building up Passau! I fall in love with this city and with the branch here a little bit more every day. I don't think I would mind finishing my mission here, honestly. I didn't like the idea of walking into my last area, so I was almost hoping to get transferred one more time - just so that this wouldn't be the end, but the branch members are SO great, so I don't know if I would even mind staying here until the end. Yay Passau!

Last week there was one day where I was sitting at my desk and was just like SISTER BISHOP I CANNOT SIT HERE ANYMORE. I guess when you have been sitting at a desk for a couple of hours every day for a long get a little stir crazy. So we rearranged the furniture in the living room so that we face different walls to study - and it completely solved the problem! I love when easy solutions are enough. :)

We had a really interesting conversation last night. One of the Elders we work with has to go back to the States to get surgery, so we dropped by some cookies last night to say goodbye instead of eating dinner because we ate a huge lunch and weren't really hungry anyway.  On the way we saw this group of 2 couples, talking and laughing really loudly in American-sounding English. This was odd, because most of the time the Americans on the cruise boats are only out during the day, and then they go back to the boat at night. We said hi and asked them where they were from, because it's fun talking to people in the mother tongue. :) They said Sweden, and when they saw that we were missionaries, kind of scoffed with each other, and one made a polygamy joke, and another said that they were "agnostic, thank you very much" and started to turn away. We just smiled and said that we were just being friendly, and continued walking.

It kinda made me think of Lehi's vision of the tree of life in 1 Nephi 8. In the vision there is a rod of iron headed toward this tree full of incredibly delicious, bright, beautiful fruit (which represents the Love of God). There's a dark mist around the rod, and so you have to HOLD ON and keep pressing forward to make it to the tree. Meanwhile, across the way is a huge, beautiful building full of beautifully-dressed people having fun and partying and laughing at the people trying to push their way forward on the rod. I think this was the first time where I felt like I saw his vision represented in real life. I have no idea what made this time different - heaven knows there have been plenty of occasions where people have been rude or offensive or made fun of us or been downright mean, but for some reason it clicked this time. From an outside perspective, we may seem kinda weird. We wear skirts in summer and snow and will stop you on the street - something that isn't too common in Germany. As members of the church, we drink Sprite when others around us drink beer, don't watch a lot of tv shows deemed as okay by the world, and pay tithing. It seems weird. But I guess it just goes to show that the blessings are worth the price, because here I am as well as many other people who find peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ain't the Gospel great?

Commitment for you: Write a missionary you know a hand-written letter this week (and I'm not fishing for letters - I really do mean ANY missionary you know) because it will make them rejoice. I know they would love to hear from you. :)


Sister Bushman

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