Monday, 24 November 2014

Week 59 in the Field: Week 4 in Zurich: "You Reach Your Goals"‏

Hi :)

This week. Lot's of things. Teaching, finding, members, interesting experiences. Wish I could share them all. I'll give you a little overview :)

Monday we went out as a district and visited a Toy museum. The Elders were not so impressed ;) But hey, we can now say we visited a toy museum in Zürich :) 
 Then we decided we wanted to visit the big church, and so we did.
It was a really nice day cause we could just be social. I miss being social! It was nice to talk to other missionaries and make better relationships with them. 
We got to listen to a beautiful Latin choir practice for that nights concert, which was so enjoyable! Then we had an awesome appointment with the family Radzik. This week was full of good appointments. For the first time on my mission, I can actually talk with these people and actually have a Gospel discussion with them. The husband is like.. mega smart and has studied the Bible and everything about it. I just wanted to pick his brain. But.. time ;) He put some really interesting thoughts in my head, which were only built upon more the next day. 

Tuesday we went to the Bishop of another wards house to eat. Again. Another really uplifting conversation. I asked the question: what happens to all those who don't believe in Christ, but are still really, really good people and really live their faith? Often times much stronger than those who are Christian? I was so worried about this because we are surrounded my Muslims here. Every 2nd person we talk to is Muslim, and they are such wonderful people. But... they don't believe what we do, and we know we have to believe in Christ to be "saved". I was just so worried about it. What happens to them? We had a really good discussion about that + so much more. 
Then later that night we visited a Mosque. 
A Muslim Mosque. Wow. So, so interesting. We watched the men pray, and then we went upstairs to where the women pray. The three women giving us this tour are Swiss, and they grew up Christian, but converted to Islam. They are in charge of this Mosque. I found that so, so interesting!!! They were so good. We sat for a good 1.5 hours and just asked questions. They believe a lot of the same things as we do and they are so dedicated to their beliefs it is unbelievable. I really respect these people, even though we believe differently. 
We ended up not having to cover our heads with a scarf, but we did have to wear pants and take our shoes off. It was a pretty liberal Mosque, that's for sure. 

This lead Sister Robben and I to do some research on about Muhammad and the Muslim faith. We found this link: READ IT. It is so so good! I loved what he had to say! We are really ALL children of God, and we will be judged according to that which we have, NOT according to what we don't have. There is a place for us all at the Table of God. I love that thought, and now having a better understanding of that has helped me love the people here so much more. Because really... they are everywhere. It's crazy. But so cool. 

Wednesday. Wow. We had a crazy lesson with a family from Eritrea. Wow. That's all I can say. We showed up and the wife was there with her friend, and she told us she had a little bit of time. Well... that little bit of time turned into 3 hours, 2 lessons, and 1 new investigator.  We just went over what we had talked about the last time we were there, and that was the BOM-Book of Mormon. We teach in English, even though that's still really hard. She had some questions and really didn't like that we said that the "power of God" wasn't on the earth after the Apostles died because she has seen people be healed. So she asked, "you believe that there is power on the earth today, right?" We just answered yes and left it ;) Cause... there is power on the earth. And it's available to all those who ask for it in faith. God doesn't just heal those who are members of our Church. We taught her friend and she wanted a copy of the BOM, too! Just as we had prayed and were heading out, the husband came. He said he only wanted us to stay 5 minutes. Yeah right! He is really, really nice, and we know that they all love us, but they think that we are going to hell for having the BOM. They told us that we really should only focus on the Bible and on Jesus Christ. I don't think they fully understood that WE BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST AND THAT HE IS THE SON OF GOD AND THAT HE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO US. That's why we have the BOM, ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST and support to the bible. He appeared to the people in America because He needed to continue His Church, His people had just rejected Him and crucified Him. I find it a symbol of love that He gave us more records and that we have them today. We just tried explaining it all really lovingly. I think we did a good job. We asked them to read the introduction and then pray about it. The BOM isn't in their mother tongue, but the wife can read it and then translate it. I hope that they did it. We will be meeting with them on Wednesday, with Sister Couper (splits!). And then they fed us dinner and that was really nice of them :) I really like this family, even if they think we are of the devil ;) Just pray that we can all understand each other. 

Thursday. Lots of contacting. Then had a good evening with the Ward Counsel contacting Less Actives. Ours wasn't home, but we got to talk with a Sister in the ward and I'm really starting to build a good relationship with her. 


 Friday. Cancelled appointment, second day in a row. We had a REALLY inspiring and uplifting conversation with a man on the street. Wow. We had just decided to scrap our plans and head home to plan. Then we talked to this man. We stood on the street for an hour and listened to him and it was so good. He's been through so much and has only seen death in his life. And even with that and having almost died a few times himself, he has such a strong faith in Christ. Wow. And he's even studied science and math and everything and I've just seen that people stop believing in God when they do that, but with him, it was the opposite. He was really great, and I learned so much from him. I know we're supposed to be the teachers, but I'm usually the one being taught. 

Saturday. TEMPLE DAY!! It was really strange being back in Zollikofen. Only after 4 weeks. It felt like I was just on vacation for a little while. I did the whole session in German cause I thought it would just be better, then I wouldn't need to get headsets and then not use them, like I do every time. But... I was so tired I should have grabbed them ;) It was really good. Just what I needed. It felt really, really fast, and I saw only a few people that I knew. I saw Sister Peacock from a distance, but got no hug :( The American missionaries were also there cause it was the Stake temple day and they were all invited. So that was really neat :) Then we road home with members, which was so sweet of them to take us home. There's a family in Singen that I really like, and I've met them a few times since being here, and it's like we've been friends forever. The husband told me something that was really an answer to my prayers : "You reach your dreams". I really needed that. It was really perfect timing. 

Sunday was a busy day. Church, meetings, meetings, meetings, 3 less actives at church, lunch with the Russos and the elders, then a meeting with the Elders about the ward, then FHA with JAE. Interesting day. Ate a lot, met a lot, talked a lot, celebrated a birthday (E. Laitinen), contacted a few potentials, then headed home. On the way home, there was only one person on the street that we could contact before going inside. We stopped her, and she told us that she didn't speak German, but spoke English. She is from Mexico. We told her about the BOM and asked if she wanted one. She was so happy! We were just around the corner from our apartment, so we told her we would go grab it. Then she came with us, we waited outside the door, and grabbed a book. She was so happy :) She's only visiting for 3 weeks, but she gave us all her contact info and said we could email her :) It was so cool! The miracle of the day :) 

Well. There you have it. More detail than I feel like I've given in a while. Hope you like it. Remember, we are ALL children of God and all things will work out. 

The Church is true. We are sent trials for a reason. Life wasn't meant to be easy, but we still wanted to come :) Hard times are there to help us stretch and become better. I am grateful for all the words of encouragement I got today. I will go out and make you proud, and be the best missionary I can be. 

I love you all and am so so grateful for your love and support.


Sister Gilmour

For Bree:
 Funny sign we saw:

Monday, 17 November 2014

Week 58 in the Field: Week 3 in Zurich: Calm Seas don't carry barges to the Promised Land- stormy seas do.‏ This week. Oh this week:)

Calm Seas don't carry barges to the Promised Land- stormy seas do.

Just remember that. 

This week. Oh this week:). I guess I'll just give you a brief run-through of every day.

Monday: We went and saw all the churches in Zürich. We found the most beautiful viewpoint ever. I just wanted to swing and write. But.. the day was almost over. Then we went to a women's house for FHE. She's from Paraguay and really wonderful :) She was so so tired, but had us over anyway. 

Tuesday: Zone Training. Got the news that our Christmas rules are just like normal every day rules; in by 9.30, no extravagant activities, and no fun Christmas music. But we are encouraged to do things creatively and really do a lot of teaching. We get 45 minutes to Skype. This day was really difficult for me. I feel really alone here right now. That was only magnified when all the missionaries came together. As we were listening to the testimonies of 4 sisters that are leaving, I just couldn't help but cry. And then, to help that, we had a really beautiful musical number on the piano and.... yeah. Just cried. And no one even asked me if everything was okay. No one. Then Sister Couper came and we talked. 
I have realized how much I rely on Elders since coming out here. Not having them around is really difficult for me. But it was a really good Zone Training. I learned a lot. And we went to a member to help with Christmas things for the ward. I really like her :) She's only been a member for 6 years, but... man. She's awesome :) I look forward to our relationship. 

Wednesday: Went by on a lot of people. Had a really good conversation with a LA for about 45 minutes. I love being able to bare my testimony to people. I don't find it easy to do with everyone, but when I know they need it, it's a really powerful moment. I also had a way cool experience with a woman on the Tram. She almost missed the Tram, and so she came on out of breath with her son. She kept looking at me, so I asked her something. Then she started speaking to me in English and asked if I was a missionary. I said yes, and she told me that the missionaries were by her often as she was a child. Her mother and grandmother always thought that Mormons came from a different planet and wanted to know more about us, so they would have the missionaries over. Haha, she thinks we can read minds cause she could always understand what they were saying, although it was English (she couldn't speak it then so well). And they always answered her questions. I tried to explain the Spirit, but it didn't work ;) But... we rode together for nearly an hour, I think. I got to explain the Book of Mormon to her, and tried to meet with her to better explain it, but... she wouldn't budge. We invited her to the Musikalischer Abend, but they didn't come :( I hope that I get to see her again. Her son really liked me :) Then we taught a LA. Went well. She's great :)

Thursday: Nothing too special. Lot's of going by on people, a fallen out appointment (with someone who NEVER falls out, so we were really disappointed), then we had ward council. We planned for the coming year. I freaked out. I saw the day I come home and that's... not far away. I can't believe that. I just gotta make this time count, then, huh? Like dad said, I need to set some goals. I just.. don't really know what. Teaching, finding, really listening to the Spirit. Part of hopes to be STL or trainer... I think that is exactly what I need right now, since I'm finding it a bit hard the third time in a new area. 

Friday: Service project, eating appointment with a family, a little planning, then I met Jussara, a LA in our ward. She is SO COOL. I am really excited to get to work with her :) 

Saturday: Had the feeling that we needed to go way out to the end of our area to visit someone Sister Robben found over 6 months ago (did I ever say that this is her second time in the area?). i went there, but he wasn't home. But... his son answered to door. He's a handicapped, so he came out screaming at us, but we didn't understand a word of anything he said. Sister Robben was sure that wasn't the man she met, so we went to write a quick note to him and invite him to the fireside. His son came out again, so chase us away. We were really scared. But... we were persistent and just finished the note a little ways away. We ran back and dropped it in his post box. Then we ran quickly to the store to grab something to eat. As we went in, a man came out... the man we were just trying to visit! He was right friendly with us, so we were pretty sure it was him. Then we saw him go into to the house we were just at. He never called us :( If I ever find a reason to go back there, I will visit him. Then we did a lot of organizing for the area. We have so many names and people to contact it's ridiculous. Then we did a service project. It was interesting... the things we live while on a mission. crazy.

Sunday: MUSICAL FIRESIDE. This one did not have the turnout like we had in Zollikofen (300+ people). We had maybe 100.... so that was a little sad. It was the one that's about the third PMG lesson. It is so, so good and I wish you could all see it. There is music involved, so I was a puddle of tears (BG: glad it wasn't a different puddle:)) the whole time. Again.. feeling alone. Not important :) I guess the firesides are doing really well and the members are really loving them. In the St. Gallen stake, they are having stake conferences talking about them. They are bringing all their friends and it's spreading like wildfire. We are trying to reach the Swiss on a different level. It's tricky working with people. I believe there are people searching out there... but I'm rubbish at finding them! I need a super- contacter as a companion. Someone who does things really naturally. Cause... I need normality in something that is so not normal. I had the best conversation with Sister Couper. I really, really love her. I can't believe she's leaving. I really can't. I would love to be a missionary like her at the end of my mission. I love it cause.. her mission was not easy for her, and even during the hardest time, she never let it show. Well... I saw it cause we had really good exchanges, but... that was such an example to me. She really knows the language of love, and she speaks it fluently. I would have loved to have worked with her. 

I know that God has a plan for us. We often don't know it, but we know that He has it in His hands and we only need faith and actions to make things happen. I read a really great article in the Liahona about this.

Stay afloat, and keep doing good.

Love you!

Sister Gilmour

Monday, 10 November 2014

Week 57 in the Field: Week 2 in Zurich: So blessed are the young women, and women of the church!!

This week we ate cactus fruit a lot, got A LOT of slivers, and caught our house of fire.

How's your week been? ;)

Haha, nah, I'll explain. 

It was just the toaster and we were eating soup and I just really wanted toast, and so I put the bread in, and went to the bathroom, not thinking it would be a problem cause toast pops up when it's done.

Or... it should.

It didn't ;)

Sister Robben came running outside the bathroom door, screaming, "Es brennt, es brennt!" (it's burning, it's burning!). I thought.. okay, then take it out. 

It actually means like... there's a fire. 

So I ran out to see a good flame coming from the top of our microwave (our toaster is one the microwave). 

Thanks to Girls Camp skills, I took a damp rag and threw it over the flames.

There was no harm done :) Just a few fast beating hearts, and horrible smell, a melted/burned rag, and no toast for lunch. Man... 

This week. Hmm.... good stuff.

The success we see with the Potential Lists is actually crazy good. Everyone calls us back to set up appointments. Is this a dream? Maybe.. .we haven't had a lesson yet. But still cool to see :) 

We are doing a lot of work with the less actives. We have SO MANY. So we are currently trying to go by on all of them to see 1) if they live there, 2) if they want to meet, 3) if we should just have no more contact. It's been successful. We've had some really cool experiences of just being guided by Spirit and being in the right place at the right time. 

There was snow this week. Crazy. But then it was really warm the next day. I don't really know what to expect with this place. It can stay warm as long as it wants, though :) Zürich is a BEAUTIFUL place in the Fall. I wish you could all experience it with me. 
We visited a wedding. That was thoroughly bizarre. But also good. Anita, from Zollikofen, was there and she was such a blessing. She's someone I know I could count on for anything. I love her :) I got to have some pretty cool chats with an Indian guy who is good friends with the Groom and a guy in our ward. It was really neat. He's met a lot with the missionaries and comes to activities weekly. He'll be at the Music Evening on Sunday (oh yeah.. did I tell you we're doing one here, as well? Well.. we are :)). It's so interesting for me to talk about God with those of other faiths.... and not Christian faiths.

We get the chance to visit a Mosque on the 18. Don't freak out, (BG: Why would we?:)) we are going with the YSA's and a big group. It will be a really good experience since we work so much with Muslims here. I don't think it's like that at all in Utah, is it? Huh.... different places, for sure. I really look forward to it. President is also excited for us, but told us to really be respectful and really pay attention to how we feel. I'm excited to go :) 

It was really wonderful to see Adolfo yesterday :) Also such a tender mercy. I loved seeing a familiar face. And to hear that he thinks my German is good... since he can't understand a word of it ;) Sounds like you all enjoyed hearing me jabber away. Hope it was good :) 
Today I had a total epitome. Do you know how blessed you are, Young Women of the Church, to have the YW theme and to recite that so often? I would like this to be shared with the YW of the ward, if that's possible. Thank you  :)

Here it is:

As I was reading the talk "Keeping Covenants Protects Us, Prepares Us, and Empowers Us" by Rosemary M. Wixon, i was filled with such emotion.

I can remember the reactions I had to this Sisters meeting the the Spring Conference of this year. From the moment the opening prayer was said, I had started to cry because of the overwhelming love I felt as a RS sister and a recent YW.

They sang the song "Teach Me to Walk in the Light". even just reading the experience brought me to tears (my comp probably thinks I'm insane).

And then a story of YW in Mexico reciting our YW theme was told.

Girls? Do you know how blessed you are to say that theme so often? The YW values we are taught from 12.18 are priceless life gifts. Priceless.

In my last area, by the Bern, Switzerland Temple, we were teaching a LA lady. She's been a member of the Church for a while, but didn't still yet understand the simple teachings such as  "God is our loving Heavenly Father". 

She didn't have a very good view of herself:(. She only saw her mistakes and can't for the life of her, point out her strengths. She is the most talented lady.

Every time, after a lesson of trying to help her see her self worth and never succeeding, I always thought, "she needs the YW program". 

She needed to recite the YW theme:
"We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
We will stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places, as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
and Virtue

You learn and strive to continuously learn what these mean and how these values apply to you personally.

You may not believe that you are Princesses of our loving King, and you may not always feel your precious Divine Nature and Individual Worth, but I can promise you that one day you will understand the significance of these values; that you will one day believe in you Good Works and your Virtue. It makes a difference reciting this theme. You know and understand things adults try to do and accomplish their whole lives before you reach the age of adulthood. Maybe you don't know that you know, but you will one day. It took me coming on a mission at age 20 to realize that what I was taught in YW is true and that I believe in these values and that I i have them within me. 

Keep it up girls. remember who you REALLY are. 

All my love, 

Sister Chloe Gilmour

There are a lot of mistakes in there... but, you know what I'm trying to say. I hope.

I love you all :) I love this time to serve the Lord, to be tested, and to have opportunities to grow and be stretched. I look forward to another missionary-work filled week :)

Until next week!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Week 56 in the Field: Week 1 in Zurich - Zuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurich!! :)

Hoi! I'm in Zürich.

In a big city.
Back to Bahnen.
Lot's of people.
Big ward, lot's of Less Actives.
Another musical Fireside.
A Dutch companion.
And a lot of learning to do. In a very short amount of time.

I've loved my last week here in Zürich! I feel right at home. I work my best in a big city with lots to do. I love working with the members, which is exactly what I think we need to do. I love having lists, and lists of potentials that need to be contacted. I love that people are willing to talk to us instead of stone us with their eyes. 

I love our little apartment. It's really homey. And it's really good that we get along cause.. It's small. There's hardly the space for one of us in the kitchen. But it's fun. Giant closet, nice bathroom. Bunkbeds.. I'm on top. Not my fave, but works :) The same desk as before, so I didn't need to organize anything. 

We don't actually live in our area, so we have to travel 17 minutes to get to where we can work. 

It's gorgeous, in it's own "big city" kind of way. I really missed it. Really a lot.

It's very different from Zollikofen. Even the mentality of missionary work here is a lot more... uptight.

We've had a lot lessons this last week. Just slowly trying to get to know my way around. I only have 4 weeks to learn everything and then Sister Robben goes. No stress. And I think there's a good chance I'll be getting a Golden cause... we're losing A LOT of Sisters. If you could just pray that more European sisters will serve missions, that would be a huge help. We don't have enough to keep any areas open. We have to close 6 this next transfers cause there isn't enough of us. Rough.

We had Stake Conference Saturday and Sunday. Bummer cause then I didn't get to know the ward, but I did get to meet a few. I already feel really welcome and loved here. I think this might be the ward that I grow the closest with. They all had such wonderful things to say!

Oh yeah. We speak only German together :D How GREAT is that?! It's amazing the difference a week of only German makes. But... she actually wants to work on her English, so now we speak a bit of English at home. Which is really good for my sanity. Not all things are perfect, and not being able to speak a bit in my mother tongue was not helping. 

Yeah. I'm in Zürich. I don't know what to say really.

We had a potential call us back the other day and ask us to come over on Sunday cause "Jesus didn't have the Book of Mormon" and he wanted to understand. We went over, but we wasn't there, only his wife. They are from Aritrea.. .I don't have any idea how to spell that. Somewhere by Ethiopia. Lots of people from there here. She was amazing. She in Christian and really knows the Bible and loves Jesus. We were able to speak about where the Book of Mormon comes from... in Zusammenhang... with the Bible. I've learned so much on this topic and it's become one of my favorites! We then talked about authority. She doesn't get it cause she knows that man is allowed to have authority and to teach the Gospel. She doesn't understand Priesthood Authority. It's a bit hard to explain. She's seen people be healed through the prayers of priests and stuff... so it's a little hard to explain that people can still be healed through faith and just cause they aren't members of the Church doesn't mean that God just let's them be. But then to tell her that actually.... like... there's more? Haha, I don't even know how to explain it. I've been studying for the next time.

She loved us and invited us over for this week again. I'm excited. 

That's my week. Not a lot to talk about, it feels like. Just living the life out here. 

Sister Gilmour