Pres Miles has not announced the new Pres, but I have! ;) I have to write to the President weekly, actually. He’s very involved with us in our work.
The Work: The work is really great!!! We work almost 100% with members and we see A LOT of success with it. We have managed to reactivate a lot of less actives and it’s so rewarding to see.
My favorite members? Hmmm… it's hard anywhere getting some members to open up and work with the missionaries, comfort zones. I don’t think the ward here has been considered too friendly in the past. I don't know why, but I love it, and I love the Kieffers!! They are the MOST AMAZING member missionaries!!! Really.. the best. Sister Kieffer speaks like… 5 languages, so that’s so great. They’re saving to go on a mission soon. I also really love Schwester Meiswinkel. She’s older and she’s in a home, but we Basteln (craft) with her every Tuesday AND I LOVE IT! I love all the people there. She’s a great member missionary, as well. Too be honest, I really love our ward. We really do have amazing members here and I’m really blessed to be working with them J
We only have 3 investigators…. Germany is hard, okay? No judging J we see SO MUCH SUCCESS, though. You would drop out of your seat if you knew all the good things we do that can’t be counted in numbers. So we don’t really worry about it. We just keep hastening the work like we've been asked J we do things pretty differently than a lot of missionaries, I think….
I can talk to everyone and I smile at every one and the Germans think we are SO weird... but it always makes me laugh :) I don't have a problem talking to people. My hold up is the language. But I had my first quarterly interview with President last night and he told me to bag it and talk to people in Spanish, English, German, Sign-language... anything. And so I did (it was all in German, though, so that was really cool) and we talked the whole way home and she was really nice and she told me about herself. I love president! He really cleared up a lot of thoughts/worries I have about the way we do things. But turns out, we're doing everything right :) He even gave us 2 more hours for Internet use for our investigators and our work during the week. He's the best :) A truly inspired man and I'm going to miss him.
I'm excited to see what President Kohler brings to the mission, though. He seems like a great guy and just what Germany needs :) Thanks for the intro - picture Dad.
I LOVE MY DISTRICT!!! We just got Elder Escher, who’s from Switzerland. And Elder Jerman from AF. We went to school together, actually. We have already had so much fun and I love them!! We are all going to have so much fun together. And we’re gonna get some serious work done here in Stuttgart! Our zone is doing well… I think. I don’t really talk to the other missionaries too often. I have two elders from the MTC with me in this zone, and they’re having completely different experiences. Good, over all, though. The Zone leaders had a baptism last Monday. It was good. We have 6… areas, I think? 6 wards in our zone. We’re really big.
Future in Stuttgart: I have a feeling I’ll be here for 3-4 transfers. So.. 5- months. We think Sister Smith will be leaving after this transfer, but I’m really hoping not because we have just started to turn our ward around and I need her to help me get it more organized. We will do as much as we can together while we still have time.
The Package: I got Ali’s package. SHE IS PERFECT! I obviously lived with her last summer because she sent me so much that I loved. I loved it all! She’s the best! We’re clearly related J
My Talk in Church: The talk you gave looks great dad! I don’t think I have your talent to speak, though. Sad L
I was asked to give a talk yesterday in church. It was horrible J I want to cry just thinking about it, actually. But it’s over and I WILL make these members love me and listen to me when I speak, haha. And I WILL speak German with them. Soon. They’ll be so shocked they won’t even know what to say to me.
I was definitely very worried, but I accepted. The topic was personal and family goals, but I kinda threw that out the window and talked about miracles and how we can do anything. I got up to speak and I was really nervous. I started to speak, my German worse than usual because it was magnified through a mic. No one was listening to me. I was so MAD. Here I am, I've been here for 7 weeks, I'm TRYING to speak your language, and I'm a golden (NEW) still. Let's just say that German wards are different from American ones. Very different.
New Clothes:): I love the pictures of the clothes you're sending us, go ahead and send them, we'll share them and mix and match like you did with your companions mom on your mission:)... thank you so much!! I'm so excited to see what they look like in person and to have a little bit more fun with my closet. I don't mind a lot of my skirts, but some can be hard because they're hard to wear with thick tights. And also, I wear a black jacket everyday... so fun skirts is a nice way to bring some color to my dreary, winter wardrobe :) You're the best!
Stuttgart is lovely: The people here are so nice! They speak Schwabisch, so I don’t understand them very well… but I’m learning to work with it.
What specific things do you want to know about my work? I do a lot J
The snow shoeing trip looked gorgeous! I miss snow shoeing so much! I miss the snow, too! We have NOTHING here. It's literally like spring. It's crazy. I'm starting to wonder if we'll have winter. I hope your cold goes away soon. Sister Smith has been sick a lot lately, too. It's pretty bad. I haven't managed to get the sick bug, though. Thank goodness!! Take advantage of the gorgeous things we have to enjoy in Utah. I really miss it. Silly things like Main Street and the four way stop by the church.
I love you SO MUCH J I miss you, but not like I want to come home. A mission has shown me how precious you all are to me and how much I can’t wait to scream it to you in person when I see you again!! I’m so proud to be your daughter and to have the sisters that I do. You are all amazing J
I'm excited that you're getting back into training full time, mom! That's so exciting! I love you! Get better and hug the girls, and Nana for me! Tell the girls to pray about young women's and to participate in everything they can, ward and stake. Hug the ward for me and tell them I LOVE them!!!
How many Fast Sundays are we down to, now? I’ve forgotten…. (FINALLY)!!
Love your favorite missionary,
Sister Gilmour xx