Monday, 5 May 2014

Week 29: Week 23 in Stuttgart: Off to Switzerland this week, the next chapter for Sis Gilmour: Loads of missionaries in pics

Might as well get the most excited news out of the way:

I'M GOING TO ZOLLIKOFEN, SWITZERLAND. Yes. That means the temple and Swiss German and a German companion and.... a whole new life. 

I think it helped that I reminded President in my last email that I had a Britisch Pass ;) Gotta do what you gotta do ;) 

Sister Winters is becoming a Mom!!! We were SO excited! That new missionary is going to be so loved she won't even know what hit her!! She is so lucky, whoever she is :) My companion is the best :) One of the two Sisters in the mission training... that's pretty big. 

This last week. What? It doesn't even feel like it was a whole week. Or that it just happened. We celebrated Erin's birthday on Tuesday, had Mission Tour in Münchin on Thursday... the rest of the days have been a total blur. Time goes WAY too fast on a mission. How weird is it to think that I have less than year? I don't like it....


Erins birthday!!! Her birthday was on Tuesday, but we celebrated on Wednesday at an Italian restaurant. It was good :) We had just had an eating appointment literally two hours before, so I was stuffed. We ate Caprese. Something light, but still tasted really nice. It was so fun to have all our friends together. She really is our best friend and I LOVE how much she loves us. I feel like we have had awful contact with her, though. Ugh. The life of a busy missionary. It's okay.. she'll be in good hands when I leave :) For her gift, we bought her sticky notes, new pens, and a charm that says 'you are my sunshine'. We're all about practicality. We love her :) (BG: Big thanks Erin for being a good friend to two fellow Americans in a far away country) 

Oh, and we accidentally took the wrong bus. And we walked through a bar cause we really needed a toilet. We got carded. (BG: dont know what this emans?) It was funny. It rained. Not too much of an exciting day, really. 

Then other stuff happened on other days but I actually don't remember. Again... days are weird here. 

Thursday! We went to Münchin for Mission Tour! That was really good. I was actually really worried that I was going to go and then feel like the worst missionary ever cause my numbers weren't high or whatever. But Elder Dykes, a member of the 70, actually served here, so he totally knows our pains as German missionaries. He taught us amazing things. 

Good looking district


Lunch time - Chloe's new companion is somewhere in here

President Miles talked about repentance a lot. And man... I have never been hit the way I was that day. Repentance. To have all our sins forgiven us. And to do that infinitely. I can't explain what it was about this topic on that day... only that it spoke to me in a way I can't explain. And that it is PERFECT. 

I got to see Sister Smith!! Boy, that was fun :) I was actually really, really nervous, but then she saw me, and we both started running  towards each other and squealing. It was so fun to see my mommy :) I grew up so much! And so did she! I felt so loved... ahhhhh. 

I actually met Sister Wüst really briefly that day. (BG: Chloe's new companion in Switzerland) I asked her where she was serving, and she told me Zollikofen. I had a tiny feeling about it. Not big enough to know anything, though. The missionaries in Münchin Zone are awesome! All the missionaries here in our mission are simply the best, actually :) All of them. I'm excited to be Golden busted and to get to know more people. I really know no one... 

After 6 hours of meetings and then a lunch break, we had a finding day. I know... scary, right? Every district was assigned an area around Münchin where we were to advertise free church tours. We had signs and train tickets and we were off. Sister Winters and I just went off and... hoped Heavenly Father would help us. We passed a few people, only saying hi. I know.. probably not the best thing. But then we turned the corner and there was a youngish man walking toward me.

PAUSE. You know those moments where you just start doing something and you don't remembering ever deciding to do it, you just start doing it? That's what happened.

RESTART. So I look at this man, and I say, "Hi! Wie geht's Ihnen, heute?". He stops, looks at me, and tells us all about how his day isn't so good cause there are a lot of people out for Frühlingsfest and his mother is really sick. So then I asked him.. .something, but he replied that he didn't understand and that he spoke Hungarian as his mother language. Well lucky him!! We have a Hungarian Sister! And she was just around the corner. We asked him if he would like to come with us and see our church cause we were giving free tours and he could meet Sister Wunderi, our Hungarian Wonder. He said sure.

So we went to the church. Sister Wunderli was NOWHERE to be found. We couldn't even reach her or her comp by phone. So we watched Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration in Hungarian. At the end, he was teary, and told us he found it beautiful but that he had to go. So he left. But then we remembered we needed to give him our contact info! So we started running after this poor man like crazy people to give him this number. And then Sister Wunderli called. They made out an appointment for the next morning :)

It was really neat. Heavenly Father knows that I hate street contacting and that it really scares me, so He helped me, and we saw a cool miracle :) 

The finding day was really successful and they found a lot of people. They gave a lot of tours and gave out lots of books :) 

We then closed with a hymn and we headed home with our Elders.

The train ride home was really nice :) We got to talk with our two Elders that aren't our Zone Leaders and the Waiblingen Elders. Two hours of just talking. It was really nice. We were really, really tired. Who wouldn't be after waking up at 4:45 that morning to catch your train at 6:05 and then hours and hours of learning and then finding. It was a restful ride home. 

Then Friday: went beading with 2 investigators, Sherri, and Kathrin, a new member. It was really good. Not as effective as we would have liked, but we helped people :) 

Saturday: dun, dun, dun (BG: sounds like a drumbroll of some kind:): Versetzungen Anrufen!! President called us in the middle of our personal study time. Sister Winters face when she got asked to train: PRICELESS. I literally thought she was going to start hyperventilating. And then he asked me if I'd accept a calling to Switzerland and I thought I was going to start crying and jumping on the table and doing all sorts of really not appropriate things to do as a missionary... like scream at the top of my lungs cause I get TO GO TO THE TEMPLE. 

Then yesterday. Sunday. The dreaded "Last Sunday". I only cried twice. That's a miracle. I knew my ward loved me, but I didn't realize how much until yesterday. They are all German, but you know... I finally figured out how to feel that love and how to recognize it, and then they take me away. 

The amount of times I had people whisper in my ear that I was something special and very unique surprises me. I don't know what it is, but I had a glimpse of it yesterday. I'm really gonna miss those people. But don't worry... we're all going to see each other next year when we all come back! Then they can meet my awesome family!! That'll be really fun :) I really, really love them..... (BG: were going back next year after Chloe comes home, for a vacation) 

Sister Winters and I also had a heart to heart late last night. I really love her. Stuttgart has been so good to me. The people here, the companions, the relationships... they will be things carried into the eternities. 

I said goodbye to the most incredible people I have met in my life. You know who you are, and you know that I love you. And if you're wondering if I'm talking about you, YES, i am :) 

I have heard some of the nicest and most beautiful things this week. People see things in others that we ourselves could never dream of seeing in ourselves. That's sad, but also kind of beautiful. 

"You might come back to visit, but it'll never be your home again." -the wise grandfather of one of the most influential men I have met. 

Tschüss Stuttgart. Hallo Zollikofen.

Until Sunday :) I can't wait to see your smiling faces!! 

Sister Gilmour

Here's to new beginnings; always looking forward and bringing with me the things that I've learned. 

Philippians 3: 13-14

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