Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Week 2, Preston, My Birthday, Repetition and Great Comps

Meine Gute! How exhausting do you think it is to learn and teach the Gospel 24/7? Well let me assure you it's got me exhausted before I even wake up in the morning. It's crazy how tired I am. But I'm learning and i'm loving it! the german is coming along. not fast enough, but i have grown leaps and bounds since getting here. I can understand 75% of what is being said in my lessons and classes. I can also speak a little bit. I dont speak as much as i should because i'm really self conscious about it. i think i should be able to have a pretty good broken-german conversation by the time i leave in 4 weeks.

so much has happened! which is weird since all i really do is sit at a desk.

like i said, i'm the only sister in my whole zone. its difficult sometimes, but it's good most of the time. they are all such sweethearts and are always encouraging me and telling me to keep my head up. I've only had one melt down since getting here, and that was last Thursday, i think. i butchered my lesson so badly. i couldn't speak, the spirit wasn't there, and i was hating the language. and my companions. i broke down and couldn't keep from crying. the elders all offered to give me a blessing. it was the sweetest moment. they're like my older brothers. we kneel in prayer every night and we often take trips to the temple at the end of planning to go sing at the temple in the dark, rainy nights. we've had a few really touching testimony meetings together. last week we had a member of the 70 come speak to us. hes from Glasgow! go Scotland! but after that, we all ended up in tears and we got really close. we also had another moment like that on Sunday night. i really am coming to love and appreciate them all so so much! it#s going to be hard leaving them in 4 weeks. i'm very blessed to be in their presence.

my teachers are fantastic. one of them is from my aunts ward in frankfurt. so i've got a good friend here. its really nice :) and i've met more friends of the family at the temple, Sis Flinn from Nottingham - who met my parents on their missions 20+ years ago, and who also knows my nana and grandad from Scotland.

celebrating my bday in the MTC sure was a memory i wont forget! the first thing my sweet companion said to me when we woke up was "sister gilmour! come into my arms!" she is the best and i love her! she left me this morning.... :( :( i'll miss those sisters so much. but anyway! the day was so nice and it was full of lessons. so i was as happy as i could be learning German all day. at dinner, i was eating my dinner when i noticed it got way quiet. and then some elder jumped across a table and i looked up to see what the noise was and i hear "POTATO" and then everyone started singing! it was truly the most confusing moment, but so good! and then Sister Edwards came out with a cake... that had ME on it! it was a lovely surprise! Thanks ali and pete and sara for your services, cake and card! apparently they got told off, but i guess they felt sorry enough for me. i was glad for it :) one of the sisters also hand painted me a card and had all 22 of the missionaries sign it and write me a quick wish. it was so sweet :) thanks for the birthday wishes!

 I loved my slippers mom! i wear them all the time! and the socks were good.. i'm going to need them. i can already tell i'm going to freeze in Germany. grrrrrreat.

german is good, but i'm not super at it. one of my companions is pretty much fluent, so i use him as a vrutch a lot of the time. i try not to. i really do know quite a lot about the language and im not rubblish at it, its just intimidating. 

 theres so much repetition here. and the days are so so sooooo long. 6:15-9:30 at night. but we usually don't sleep until about 11. heres the average day:
615- wake up and shower
7 breakfast
730- personal study
830- language study on computers
930- comp study
1020 prep for exercise
1040 exercise
1130 shower
12 lunch
1240 more study
110 comp study
210 gospel study
310 possible investigator/ additional study
510 dinner
6 comp study/ investigators/ lessons
9 daily planning
930 prep for bed
1030 lights out
yeah.. its basically like that every day. the only day thats not is sundays and sunday is meetings all day. which is really nice. we usually have two really good devotionals and a good testimony meeting with the zone or district.
i've decided to keep my hair completely heat free, so i need to find a way to send home my blow dryer and straightener. itll free up a lot of space in my bag. ang i'll have beautiful, flowing hair by the time im home.
i miss you all, but i'm way too busy to think of you all day!! no joke. theres no time to be homesick. sometimes i have to remind myself to think about you :):):).
i'm sending all my love to everyone!!
Sister Gilmou xx

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Week 1 at The Preston MTC Completed


Hello everyone! Please excuse any mistakes I make now because I only have an hour and I'm trying to split up my time wisely. So that means fast typing and keyboards I'm not used to.

Okay! So a lot has happened in just the 6 days I've been here. I arrived and met my adorable companions. There are only 6 sisters, so we're all really close. My companion in Sister Henkel, she’s from Heidelberg, Germany, it's really nice to have a native speaker to help me with my Deutsch.


Here's the weird thing.

I'm the only German-learning sister here, so I am in a district with ALL elders. I don't have a companion for 70% of the day. I wouldn't really mind it, but there are so many rules to being a missionary, I was ‘called out’ at a lot when I first got here, mostly because nobody knew i didn't have a companion. When I'm not in lessons, I’m with the sisters, which means I have a companion. When she's in her classes, she’s in a threesome with Sisters Griffin and Urbani. So it's a little backwards here.  I will be the only sister the whole 6 weeks that I’m here, so I should get to know these elders really well.

I’m in the Jakob distrikt, which in the second district in the German districts. The other is Abinadi. Except it's not pronounced the way you say it in English. So I’m the only sister among 12 elders, see picture. They're all really nice and we get along really well. My Elder companions (when I’m in German classes or how-to-be-a-missionary, lessons) I’m with Elders Prows and Weston. Prows is from Texas, and Weston is from American Fork... how fun is that? I found out I went to school with his sister Rachel.

I keep finding so many ties I have to people throughout the church. It’s crazy how many people i know! Like the Elder that was serving in our ward while I was in Germany is now my German teacher. He thought I was 24... Not 18. I still don’t think he believes me.

The language is coming along well. I know a lot more than i thought i did... who knew Jr High German would get you so far? Thanks Dean;) I still have soooooo much to learn, but in the 6 days I’ve been here, I’ve progressed SO much. We’ve now taught two investigators... completely in German. The first lesson I understood like, 75% ,of was Moritz (our investigator) was saying. I was pleased, so say the least. Our second appointment with him was AWFUL. i couldn't speak, couldn't understand and there was no unity in the room. Not to mention i wanted to throttle one of my companions.. Let’s just say I’ve really learned how to love and be patient more with others here. I love him, but sometimes i can’t handle it. My other companion, elder prows, he already knows German because his mom is from here. So he's way ahead of us. He’s a real big help, though.

I’m not homesick at all. So that’s really really nice. That was the last thing i wanted to be and I haven’t cried about anything yet. I’ve been on the verge, but not actually spilled anything.

i really enjoy my teachers here.... for the most part. Bruder Wilkinson, my first teacher, really scared me at first. He served in Frankfurt and got home about a year ago. i was sure he hated me, so i barely spoke any German the first few days but he’s so much better now, beside the fact that he bags on Americans and our customs ALL THE TIME. I’m used to it. he’s fun i enjoy him a lot. My other teacher, bruder fields, served in the alpine mission. He speaks only German to us, which sounds scary, but i understand what he's saying and it helps me with my German so so much and he's so easy to talk with. He played the role of our second investigator, Danni. and that lesson was AMAZING. i used notes, but i also said a lot of things without notes. we were unified as companions and i felt so prepared to teach him. It’s such a good feeling when you do something right.

my piano playing skills have been maximized while being here. i played ALL day on Sunday. Every song in every meeting. i stumbled through the songs, but i'm better than i gave myself credit. I’ll be excellent by the time i get home. YAY!

I love it here. i never ever want to leave. It feels like the spirit is always giving me a hug; it’s always here, and it’s always so thick. i can't wait to get into the field and put all my knowledge to the test!! I'm really good at teaching in English... another thing i surprised myself with. It’s funny, i was always terrified of teaching, but the second i was faced with the challenge to teach auf Deutsch, i would do anything to teach aur englisch so when i got the chance, i knew i'd rock it. and i did. :)

We have time set apart every day to workout. So i definitely take advantage of that. we often go running on trails, or we stick to the gym. They feed everyone dessert every night. but don’t you worry... i haven't had any sweets at all :) not even the delightful candy Agnes dropped off. sorry, Agnes, not yet. I'm sure the elders and other sisters will enjoy it with me though. i don't eat bread here, and i always have fruit. There’s always a salad bar, so that's my best friend. im not gaining weight while I’m here. AND THAT’S A PROMISE.

anyway...i love you all! I miss you, but not enough to say that whole heartedly ;) i already don't want to come home in 18 fast Sundays!!

Remember, be member missionaries. the work will not progress without. our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ through the atonement of Jesus Christ, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end... i think i got that right. I’ve got a lot to memorize here. English and in German.

i pray for everyone at least 10X a day.. no joke. i love you!

Sister Gilmour

Fun Times
Break time


The Only Sister Going to Alpine Germany Mission

Work Hard, Play Hard
Last time Chloe stood in front of here was in 2004.  She's grown a foot or two:)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Auf Wiedersehen Schwester Gilmour

It was a relatively calm morning getting out of the house ( miraculous considering it's a house of females) and seeing Chloe off at the SLC airport on her way to Preston, England via Atlanta...but to be expected there were many emotions, ones of excitement, sadness, love and adventure, with tears for her.  When Chloe commits to something there's no half doing it! She will be all in 150% and will do her very best with exactness.  She is excited to share her experiences and hopes we'll all be in touch often.  Thank you to all those special friends, neighbors, teachers, leaders and family who have all been there for her.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

What is Love?

This is a question we all have different answers to. Depending on the time in our lives, the answer will differ. 

For me, love is:  

Love is thinking of everyone but yourself; serving them, praying for them, and wanting nothing but the best for them. 

Love is the knowledge of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It's knowing that we have an eternal Father in Heaven that showed the ultimate sign of love: by sending his son to this earth to be an example to us. He sent his son to die for us, and his son accepted... Because he loves us all perfectly. So perfectly he bore the sins of every person to ever walk the earth. He bled from every pore. 

Love is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

Love is sacrifice. 

Love is selfless. 

Serving a mission is love- you're doing all these things. Always. 

Serving a mission doesn't require a name tag and a companion. All it takes is personal commitment to share the love of Christ to all men. 

Love is sharing the gospel. 

And so I begin my journey to love the people of the Alpenländische Mission, to share with everyone the love of our savior, Jesus Christ. 

It's going to be hard- I know. But all good things require work. And if you love the work you're doing, it's not so much work, but rather a whole lot of fun! 

So get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work! Serve everyone. Love them even more. 

Wish me luck! Best of wishes to everyone! 

I'll be right back ;) 

Sister Gilmour xx

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Last Days

I've got my room packed away in boxes, the clothes hanging in my closet consist of skirts, button up shirts, sweaters, and therapedic shoes, and I've got three giant black bags taking up my carpet space.

Boy, do I sound like a missionary!

We've hit the one week mark. In one week I'll be set apart, heading to SLC International airport to wave our final goodbyes before I head to Atlanta, and then to Manchester.

Am I freaking out? Why, yes I am. But I am also so at peace with the changes that are about to take place in my life. I wouldn't be making these huge changes if I didn't know with 100% certainty that this is where my Heavenly Father wanted me to be at this time in my life.

I've spent my time studying, preparing, praying, and conversing with my Father in Heaven a lot lately because, 1) I should be doing that anyway, and 2) it's as if my desire to read and study and be close to my Father have trippled as I've come closer to my leaving date. It's a change I didn't really expect to have; to want nothing more than to sit and read my scriptures.

I would say this is part of the answer to my prayers regarding Moroni's Promise: that if we have a desire to know if the Book of Mormon is true, that all we need to do is get on our knees and ask with a sincere desire to know and we will recieve an honest and truthful answer. Although I've always known the Book of Mormon to be true, you can never ask for that reassurance too many times. We're meant to ask questions, so why not this one? It's amazing to see that I can still recieve the knowledge of its truthfulness after asking so many times.

Here's to the craziest, busiest, most packed, and exciting days of my life! I can't wait to be a missionary for die Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage!

Auf Wiedersehen!

(soon-to-be) Sister Gilmour