Monday, 24 March 2014

Week 23: Week 17 in the field, in Stuttgart: Just living the German way of life‏

Did you know that transfer calls are ALREADY on Saturday!? Where did the time go. Things are going too, too quickly. I can't even believe it. Almost 6 months... what?

This week has been... really good.
It's been a week of learning, that's for sure.
I went on exchanges this week for the third time on my mission. I really hate exchanges- they stress me out. But I actually had a really good experience, so that's nice! I switched with Sister Rebecca Smith in Tübingen. I loved it. I had so much to learn from her. And so much I brought back with me to Stuttgart. I learned a lot about how I work, how I want to work, and that it's totally the right thing to do exactly the kind of work the Lord has told me to do where I'm at, at that time, and not just what every other missionary does.

Don't freak out. I'm 100% obedient. I do every thing that PMG says. I just do it differently. Thank goodness, too. That book is so divinely inspired and so good, and it's sad to so many of us utilizing it in the same way. We are supposed to use it to fit the way WE do missionary work.
And that'S what I've struggled with this week. We do things differently in Stuttgart. We just do. I've accepted that. But.. I really love the work that I do. I love the way I contact, and I love... I just love how much God has let me put myself into the work. It's a real blessing.

There are two things I took away from our tausch (exchange, in German):
1. DO GOOD. That's what we are here to do. We are disciples of Christ, and Christ was always doing good. I often get in this mindset that if I don't come home at the end of the day and feel like I just ran myself into the ground, that I'm unsuccessful and abad missionary. I sometimes feel like because I don't contact and work like the Elders, that I'm doing it wrong. But Sister Smith showed me that if I am doing good, than that's what I need to be doing at that time. We don't have to be physically exhausting ourselves to be good missionaries... the exhaustion comes without trying ;) We, as women and Sisters, are really hard on ourselves. We always think we aren't doing enough. But... we are :) We also have a natural desire within us to DO GOOD. We have that desire, and because it's a righteous one, the Lord is going to help us fullfill that. If we are doing something contrary to what He wants, He'll tell us :) 

2. I don't only have 18 months. Missionary work should not only be done for 18 months. We are to be missionaries for our whole lives! I often hear people say how little time they have to finish all they need to on their missions. (BG: I'm a big believer that these 18 and 24 month missions are not the real missions but more our MTC's for life as a missionary and disciple of Jesus Christ-well said Chloe) But that's not it. We have our WHOLE lives to do missionary work. We don't need to be rushing and thinking we only have so much time. This time is the time to help us continue to do missionary work for when we get home. Sister Rebecca Smith is really, really good at that. She just LIVES missioary life. It's just normal for her. She is always on her purpose, but she does it so well... and so NATURALLY. That's what I love the most. 
I'm gonna tell you a little about how Sister Eve Smith and I contacted, and how other Sister Smith contact.
We don't shove the Gospel in their face. We talk to them. We ask them about themselves. We ask them about their lives. We are simply just friendly. If the question of what are we doing here comes up and we tell them that we are missionaries sharing a message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and they don't ask more about it, it wasn't the right timing. We keep talking to them. That's what we are supposed to do. God will show us who is ready, we just gotta talk to them. And be normal with these people. It's so fun! We plant seeds so that the next time they have contact with the missionaries, they'll have something good to think about.
And I guess that's not how everyone does things. I find that strange cause that's all I've ever done.
Our companionship mission is FAR from The District. Far from it. Nothing like it, in fact. We, Sister Winters and I, have horrible numbers. But guess what? That doesn't matter. The numbers do not reflect the GOOD that we are doing and spreading here in Stuttgart. The Gospel heals, and that's how we are measuring our success: by the amount of healing we are producing.
Example: Do you know how rewarding it is to speak with a women on the Bahn who doesn't speak English, German, or Spanish, but Polish and make her weep because we honestly cared that her daughter's newly born son was having heart problems in the hospital? And when we told her we would pray for her and her family, she cries. All while doing it in German... a language she doesn't speak, but "somehow" understands what we are saying? The joy of showing someone you care about them.. that Christ knows them, is more rewarding than any amount of potentials. 
That's the conclusion I'm coming to:

Do the work that God has told you to do, and don't worry about everyone else. You are on HIS errand, not anyone else's. He will tell me if 'm doing something wrong. But I'm not. I've made a stronger relationship with Him and Christ in the last 6 weeks than I have ever in my whole life. I understand the preciousness of the Gospel on such a different and deeper level.
MAN! This is awesome!! Why doesn't everyone serve a mission!! I'm learning things here I KNOW I wouldn't learn amywhwere else, except here! It's so cool!!

Another really cool thing I came to see this week, thanks to Sherri and Jason ( I think I have them to thank for absolutely every thing I'm learning now because they are so, so wonderful and have amazing, different insights on these really beautiful doctrines) is everything about the pre-existance.
We existed before we got here. Uh... I knew that, but I don't think it clicked until Friday night.
We brought things with us from that time. We aren't just becoming something on this earth.. we are continuing to develop all that we were before here. We had baggage that we brought with us.  (BG: we'll need to talk about this when she gets home I guess:))  WHAT WERE WE DOING FOR ALL THAT TIME? Really, what were we doing? It says in D&C 130 that we were getting our first lessons.. but for how long? What were we learning? 

I know that what I did there and the decisions I made effected me, and where I am and why I'm on the earth at this time. (BG:Good point)  So.. what was it that I decided to do? Beside follow Christ's plan? 
In the Bible Dictionary, it says that all those that chose Christ's plan are here, we have a body. But it also says that of those that chose the plan had different and varying degrees of devotion to the Lord. Hmm... I find that really interesting.
I like to think that I was among the ones who were higher on the scale of love and devotion. I think I was?
Just add this to the list of things we'll talk about when I come back. Block out a lot of time to talk. Cause I've got a lot to say. (BG: She always does:):) And when I can do that with people in my own native language and not have to worry about mission rules and stuff... that'll be nice :) And with my family, sogar! 
I love you, all! So much is going on in my life. I wish I could tell you everything. I really do. But time doesn't permit. I guess that's why He gave us eternity together :) 
"No bird flies too high when he flies with his own wings"
Sister Gilmour


We had an FHV (relief society) activity and they asked me to be apart of it. Embracing every chance to help me practice.. I think they're all just as ready as I am to speak good German. I'm not the only one suffering, it looks like ;)

Next one. We're in Aidlingen. Seriously the cutest and most amazing little town. We were going by on a referral; a family that visited america and loved it! had contact with a member and she referred them to us. I want to teach them so badly! only got to meet the daughter cause her parents weren't home. HAd a great feeling about it. Fingers crossed they call us.

the last one: right before we did exchanges. I went to Tübingen with the red-head Sister Smith :) I learn so much from her...always.

And yes I wore the exact same clothes two days in a row. Gotta love Tausch! 

1 comment:

  1. I like how she makes missionary work an individual/personal thing. I heard many people give this advice to my Elder. "Be yourself." It sounds like she is mastering this. She is a great missionary!