Monday, October 19, 2015

Herbst is endlich angekommen!

(Title Translation:  "Autumn Has Finally Arrived!")

Hello folks!

Probably the most exciting/wonderful/all the things EVER is that one of our dear friends in Stuttgart got baptized this past Saturday. Sister Bishop and I started teaching her in my last transfer there, and our first lesson with her was my favorite lesson I've ever taught on my mission. The Spirit was just so strong. I got sent some pictures today from a wonderful member in Stuttgart, and I almost started to cry. I just love her, and all those wonderful members of the Stuttgart ward who now love her so much. It almost hurts. I feel so blessed that I had the privilege of being there for over 7 whole months. 

So Autumn finally arrived in Passau. It was so funny because Passau was just flirting with Fall for the longest time, but now at a drop of a hat it's cold and there are beautiful leaves everywhere, and that's that. No complaints over here. We make cinnamon-clove tea almost every day. Fall is my favorite season.

Do you know what else is fun about Fall in Passsu? THE STUDENTS SHOWED UP LAST WEEK! So Passau almost reminds me of Provo, Utah just due to how much it is a university town. But in Germany, the Uni term doesn't start until mid-Oktober. Like a week or so ago, we were walking near where the Uni is, and we noticed a lot of groups of students being lead around. We realized that it was some kind of student-orientation day. Since then, we've noticed that there are alot more students walking around. And so this past week we started dooring in the student housing - it was so fun! The first door that opened said that we could come back and share a message with her! We're definitely going to keep trying to contact students. It's way fun because we can relate to them easily - since we're the same age. :) 

Another fun thing from this week is that I got to go on tausch...with Sister BERRY! :) I loved getting to spend a bit of time with her again - she really is just so lovely and fun. I got to work with her in München. I've been to München a number of times, but we normally just go straight from Bahnhof to the church close to Bahnhof and back. I got to see a lot more of the city than I had before, plus even went to the mission office because we had to pick something up. (That was weird...I hadn't been there since I arrived in München the first time.) I always thought München was just a mini-Wien, but it was actually way different. There are tons of trees and plants all around München, even more than there are in Stuttgart. A pleasant surprise.

Sister Bushman and Sister Berry

Tausch was also SO fun, because we got to teach this CUTE girl from China. Her name is pronounced "Ee-fay" and I don't remember how to spell it, so I'll just call her Eefay. Sister Abram and Sister Forsberg had found her when they were on tausch. She's studying here and needs help with her German, so the sisters offered to help. And so we went! We told her how we are missionaries, and therefore we would love to help her with her German, and how our main purpose is to help others learn more about God and our purpose in this life. So we said that we'd love to practice German with her, and then we'd like to share a short message about God with her afterward if she would be interested. She said yes (yay!) and so we practiced German with her for awhile, mainly just getting to know each other and teaching her phrases she wanted to use but didn't know how to say as they came up. (Funny side note - I was just going through typical get-to-know-you questions and asked her how many siblings she had...........she told me that nobody had siblings in China. DERP I knew that.......also, she said that she was from a small city in China near Peking. When we asked how big her little town was, she said 10 MILLION people. ?!?!) Oh, China. You're just so big.

Anyway I'm rambling. At the end of the lesson, we talked about God as simply as we could. It was so cool, because she has absolutely no background of religion, but was really excited to hear what we had to share. We talked about how God is literally our Father, and how He loves us, and He wants to help us. We told her how we could pray to Him for help. We asked if we could say a closing prayer, and that Sister Berry would say it. She said "Okay, what do I do?" We told her that she could close her eyes and listen quietly to what Sister Berry said, and think about how we were really talking with God. It was just so cool, because I've rarely done that on my mission - teach people who legitimately have no background with God. It was so cool. And they made out a return appointment. :) 

This is super random, but Sister Bishop and I saw two really cute instances where punk-looking kids guys did really cute things. Both instances had guys with multi-colored hair and earrings and hoodies with slightly-scandalous things printed on the front, that type of thing. The first one was at Bahnhof. There's tons of construction there right now, so there's no elevator. (We often help people bring their strollers and suitcases up and down those steps between the platforms.) There was one lady who had a huge bandage over one of her eyes, and she was holding this grocery bag full of fruit. This punk-looking kid (maybe 14 years old?) came up to her and tried to take her bag of fruit. We were kind of nervous (Leave her alone, kid!) And she was like all nervous, but then he ended up taking the bag from her and taking her by the arm and escorting her all the way down those steps and up those other steps to make sure she didn't trip, since she couldn't see that well. 

And then yesterday we were at the bus stop, where there was this punk-looking guy with the cutest little 2-year-old girl. And he was just in love with this little girl and was playing with her. It was the cutest thing. I guess you really can't judge people by appearances, because you never know the story from people.

Funny little thing. There is this pizza place in Passau Monastero or something like that - it's a pizza place called "monastery", and we always found it so intriguing and funny that we finally went...right inside there is a huge statue of Christ on the cross, and all the waiters are dressed like monks. It was the most random thing in the world, but it wasn't expensive and such good pizza

My very last transfer call (that means anything, of course) is this Saturday. I feel like I wasn't old on my mission and still wasn't old and still wasn't old and then all of a sudden I was about to go home. What on earth? It kind of dawned on me yesterday that it was actually going to happen and I was actually going to have to go home soon and may or may not have teared up with Sister Bishop. I just love these people and this country and this message and wearing this tag. I don't want to give it up. Is it hard? Flip, yes. Have I had days where I wished it would be over as soon as possible? Many. But here I am, nearing the end of the road, and I just wish I could travel it again and again.

Sister Bushman and Sister Bishop
in the town of Gumperting

The joy of serving a mission!

Anyway. So we'll see what happens. You'll certainly find out next week. :)

Alle meine Liebe,

Sister B

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