Hello, Hello :)
I'd just like to tell you how unbelievably happy I am :)
I've been praying for another best friend here in Stuttgart for weeks now because I had a feeling Sister Smith would be going, and I didn't feel like I had anything to lean on. I love the ward but I was really worried to take over.
But! The moment I hugged Sister Smith goodbye and hugged Sister Winters hello... I knew I had just met my new best friend :) The mission office had me drop Sister Smith off in Münchin.. weird... and then pick up Sister Winters. We (I) cried several times on the way home because I realized how uphappy I had been for the last few weeks thinking about taking over, and suddenly- I was myself again! Everything that I’d bottled up, I knew didn't need to be bottled up anymore. She is WONDERFUL!!! I haven't been stressed out once since she got here, and she's been so great!! We're figuring things out together, and from the moment she got here, it's been a team effort :) She loves me, and I LOVE her! She's going to be in my Sealing when I'm married, that's how much I love her.
You were right Mom... you really do find people you will love forever on your mission, and already Sis Winters is one of them :)
Also, she contacts like a beast!! She is so bold and I love it!! We love talking to people so much that we decided we were going to ride Bahns and buses tonight and just talk to as many people as we could. This is a big deal!!!
Mama Winters: You have a wonderful daughter :) And your family is great :) So... yeah. You'll hear more and more about Sister Winters and the love I have for her over the next 6-12 weeks (hopefully 12!) Also, she has PERFECT German!! And Spanish! Looks like it's a good time to start learning those Romance Languages I’m supposed to. God can be a sneaky guy and works in mysterious ways ;)
So just some cool things from this week:
We had Stake/Regional Conference Saturday and Sunday. It was SO GOOD! The church is really focused on missionary work here in Germany. It was so amazing! I really hope the members were as excited about it as I was!! It was all about member missionary work and working with the missionaries. Everything is about that lately!! I hope you're all being member missionaries back home... do you know how easy you have it?! Seriously.. I'm so jealous!
The coolest part of this conference was that President Bednar gave his talk in German!! Cool, huh?! And I could understand it because it wasn't proper hard German like the translator German. He is one of my favorite speakers... hands down.
We had an adult session the night before. We, the missionaries in the whole zone, and the youth all sang the EFY Medley together. It was so powerful! I tried not to cry the whole time. The work is really hastening here in Deutschland. I'm so privileged to be a part of it! All the speakers were recent converts and asked to talk about their conversion stories. It was really cool cause we had Erin (our bestest friend here in Stuttgart) and Xioaya (our investigator) there! I think it was really cool for them to hear how different everyone's conversions are. I really hope it hit something in their heart cords.
We then went out for Sushi with the Zone Leaders, Sister Wells and her daughter, Audrey (also one of my favorite people here in Stuttgart), Erin, and a recent convert, Kathrin (who I also love and adore..... I just love everyone here a lot ;)). It was so cool!!
I got to use the chopsticks Alex just sent me from Japan! That'S something else! Alex sent me a package with Japanese socks and chopsticks in it. He wrote me a nice long letter and also enclosed a chip of pictures... I just can't see any of them though:(:(. So.. I don't really know what's on it. He's wonderful.
So over all...everything has been really good. One big whirlwind... and time is passing really quickly, but we're figuring things out. I really love the work... Really love it. I really love talking to people.
Sounds like the family is doing so well!!
Dad, I got the picture of the FAT bike! My goodness.. Is our house a bike shop yet?;) I met with a less active family from the international ward (the grandma wants the sons to be baptized) and they are both Ironmans! Cool, huh? They're training for the Frankfurt full IM this summer, and she's training for the Budapest half IM. You both should look into some European ones... do they have any on Saturdays? But they have like... 10 bikes, I think I counted. I felt right at home with them :) That was the first full day with Sister Winters and I am so happy, she is so wonderful just like Sis Smith. This’ll be my next chapter of my mission. I haven't even stressed out once since taking over the area... which is such a big thing!! So there's a quick preview of our companionship ;)
I can't wait to see the finishing pics of the new and improved home I'll be coming home to! Did you know this time next year; I'll be in my last transfer?! Weird to think.... It's going by so fast. I'm already in my 3 transfer... I hit 6 months in April. What??
It's also been really nice here! REALLY warm... we've gotten so lucky. It's literally spring here. The trees are blossoming and the sun is out nice and early. The birds are chirping when we wake up in the morning... that's actually been happening since about January. The weather is really confused. I hope this doesn't mean we're in for a rough winter this year. I've got one more to brave!
The Germans are watching the Olympics too. Sometimes I get to see how they're doing because they play updates at Bahnhof... and I'm always there. I've had some cool conversations with people about what's going on. I say cool cause I was actually able to talk about them! I'm learning German... and I can notice it. The first day of our companionship, I was in charge of the phone... I think I shocked Elder Moon a little because he didn't realize my German was so good... I have never spoken it like that for some reason. So that was cool :)
Running n’ Stuff:
Man, I really miss running! I have learned so so so much about what I want to study and how beautiful our bodies are, though! I appreciate physical fitness on a whole different level now. I can't wait to get home and study these things and apply them to all the things I’ve learned. I think I might end up being a little like KeenaJJ. I’d like to put some personal touch of more emphasis on spirituality and stuff like that. I'm so obsessed with it! I've really noticed the difference between American food and German food- I feel A LOT less tired on my mission. Even though I'm going and going and I only get 8 hours of sleep, I feel more energized than I ever have before. I know that has to do with the fact that I'm a missionary, too, but I am convinced that the German food has a lot to do with it as well. We eat very clean here.. No preservatives, and I've really been able to keep sugar out of my diet, unless at eating appointments (and then I love every minute of it cause the Germans make such amazing Nachtisch!). The bread is made fresh every day. There's just such a difference. I don't think I ever want to move back and have to deal with American food that's packed with so many preservatives.. yuck.
Could you tell me who has added me on FB and who you and dad have been accepting? I'm a little curious :) :)
Also, I have a challenge for you all:
Study the Articles of Faith and use them in your daily lives. http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/a-of-f/1?lang=eng Whether to share with people, or just to think on. The prophets have told us that when we study the principles of our faith, we are able to share what we believe. Pray for the chance to share the Gospel with something this week. God has made a promise to us that when we ask, He will give. When we ask to share the Gospel, He's going to make it possible.. fast! The time is now to work with the missionaries. We have all been called to share the Gospel as member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We are all missionaries and the time is now to find that people ready to hear the message of the Restored Gospel. I have been called of God by a living-day Prophet to proclaim His word, but so have you. And you aren't wearing a nametag... people will listen to you. You are POWERFUL: So my challenge? SHARE THE GOSPEL! READ THE CONFERENCE TALKS! STUDY THE ARTICLES OF FAITH!
I love every single one of you :) I pray for all those I can remember and all those that are mentioned to me that are having a hard time. The Lord loves us, no matter what we do :)
Bis nächste Woche!
Sister Gilmour xx
This was the night we went out on our first splits, so that's why I'm only in one of the pictures. This is the Gierschke Family… we LOVE them! Especially the two little girls. They love me so much :) And I love them! Enjoy, and know I'm being well taken care of xx
Brian G: I stole this picture because I think its awesome: Thursday the AGM missionaries in Switzerland had a giant Finding Day in Zurich Can you imagine about 100 missionaries in the streets at the same time?? I hope Sister Gilmour gets to do this some time.