Monday, 26 May 2014

Week 32: Week 3 in Zollikofen, Switzerland: Male Model ....weak at the knees:)

The most exciting news ever. Get ready for this:

1) I'm a missionary and our powers are... astounding. 


This week was really good :) We are still not teaching anyone, but.. we're working hard.

- We did lots of service for our ward building. We redid all the Mother rooms with a young mother in the ward.
- Visited lots of members 
- We had a really good District meeting and then Interviews with President and Sister Miles. It was my last interview with him. It's so weird that the next time I have an interview, it will be with another president. Huh. He gave me a lot of really good advice. 

- I finally met Elder Robertson. So that was cool. I miss the Robertsons.. 
- I got to really help my companion this week. I really started to see why I had certain trials in past areas and transfers. It was really so that I could relate to her and help her, and she help me. I love trials! They all have so much meaning. And when we just... get through them, we see that they really weren't for us, but for someone near and dear to us. We might not see that for years, or maybe not even in this life, but we lucky for me, I got to see how my trials helped someone else :) I LOVE MY COMPANION!

- We made wonderful Cinnamon Rolls as Personal Touches for our Elders. They were successful. 
- Finally met the first counselor to our President. And the Southern Part of our zone. Great missionaries. 
- Had a lunch appointment with the coolest member ever! She grows all her own food and uses fabric diapers. I think she's the coolest. And we had Spaghetti Squash. I was really happy :) And she's from the Netherlands, so she speaks Dutch. And guess what? Because I can English and German, I can pretty much understand her. It was really cool. Not everything, of course. 
- We saw a lot of good success from a few potentials. I can't tell you how good it feels to actually have potentials with POTENTIAL. It is so nice. Hopefully we will see some new investigators from them. I'm ready to TEACH. 
- I gave the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting. And I am also giving a talk on the 15 of June. Also, President Uchtdorf and Anderson and Sister Reeves are coming in TWO weeks. YAY! We got our tickets yesterday. 


Just a really normal week. We did have a pretty funny story. Which I will tell.... Now:

So we got this referral from a man in our ward. 

We were on our way to her house when we walked passed this house with American license plates above the garage. And they were from California, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, and UTAH. So of course we had to stop and klingel them!! 

So we go to the door and find a bunch of signs on it: "Killer Kitties. BEWARE" and something like this in English "We don't want your newspaper. We don't want what you're selling. We don't wish to change our religion. And we have payed all our taxes. GO AWAY."

So of course we are a little on edge. 

To make this situation even better, Sister Wüst is TERRIFIED of cats. She hates them. She can't even walk past them without getting nervous. So has we're about to ring the door bell, this cat comes out of nowhere, and starts meowing.  

She was like "We have to go. We have to go. We have to go." all in small, frightened whispers. I was just laughing hysterically cause it was so funny. She was so scared she couldn't even forcefully pull me from the door way. 

So we leave the house and say we'll come back and I'll distract the cats while she klingels and all will be well.

So we come home that night and are looking through our ward list to see who we should visit. As I'm like... updating a record or something, she just gasps out of nowhere. 

TURNS OUT, the family, the Portmanns, are on our ward list! They were members! But the father is like really anti- Mormon. We were just stunned.

So we decided to ask Bishop yesterday if he knew anything about them. He gave all the same info we already had. But I guess the mother left the church cause her husbands hates it so much. Or something. 

So yesterday, we decided to go by because we had NOTHING to do (except talk to people, of course. But that doesn't really work here cause their either on bikes or they just don't go outside). 

We show up at this house, and that same killer cat that tried to "kill" my companion shows up and start meowing at us again. Sister Wüst was on the other side of the street while I was all the doorstep trying to get her to come. I ended up distracting the cat while she went to the door. We said a really quick prayer that this approach wouldn't end badly and that the cat would stay away long. 

So we klingel. 

We wait.

We're a little giggly cause we're hoping that cat will stay away.

And then this nearly naked, 18 year old, model- looking young man answers the door.

I can't even talk to the 16 year old boys in our WARD. There was NO way this was going to go well. 

I get out, in really stuttery and bad German something like "I saw your license plates and that they were from the US and I'm from Utah and I just wanted to asked where you come from?"

He was just standing there, nothing but boxers on. He answered all my questions, thought. Turns out he is from Switzerland and he was all over the US 7 years ago.

Then I just ended the conversation because it was already SOOO awkward. 

As we were leaving, Sister Wüst was like, "You probably should have said something about the Gospel and why on earth they are on our ward list and not baptized".

Oh yeah... the Gospel. Totally forgot. I won't be going back to ask. 


Moral of the story: Sometimes missionary work is funny. It really needs to be sometimes otherwise we would all go insane. 

Like I said, things are really slow here. We are running out of people to visit, and we still have no investigators. But... we are trying. We could always try harder, of course :) There's always more to give.

I have a huge testimony of prayer. God really answers our prayers. And as missionaries, we have the privilege of getting those answers really fast. I got to see that a lot this week. I prayed for something one day, and literally the next day I received the answers. It was really amazing. And that happens all the time. I never want to come back to normal life again :( 

Also, are trials are never only for our good. They are there to help us be able to help other people. I have been able to help my companions in ways I never thought. While going through something I didn't really like, I obviously didn't like it. But now here I am, over that trial, and able to see how going through that prepared me to take care of those I now serve with. What a blessing it is to have a loving Heavenly Father who helps us learn and grown through hardships :) I hope I can always stay happy and positive in the midst of trials. As I hope we all can. As the world gets worse, it will be increasingly harder to hold strong to our standards and to live a Temple worthy life. But I know when we do it, we will be delivered in safety. We, like through the war chapters of the book of Alma, must always fight for our rights, our religion, and our freedoms, always giving the glory to God, and always trusting in Him that He will deliver us. And I know that when we give our very best to do all we can to do these things, we will live with Him again in the highest degree of glory. WITH our families. 

That is my highest and most precious wish :)

I am sorry to hear about Granddad. I hope all turns out well and that he leaves this life painlessly and peacefully :) I am also so excited to hear of the the missionary announcements; people coming home, people leaving, papers going in, and all the stories from my friends who are now out. I can't wait to hear about graduation! I can't believe that was a year ago for me... man. 

I love this work :) It's TRUE, it's HARD, it's worth every step, every tear, every prayer, and every laugh :) Find your way of doing it. 

Sister Gilmour

Also. Sometimes we have to eat food with chopsticks cause it's just funner like that. And don't worry, my hair is fixed. I no longer look like Sister Butch Gilmour. Yay for members that cut hair for missionaries for FREEEEEEEE.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Week 31: Week 2 in Zollikofen, Switzerland: SchwietzeDootsch #IschGuet #GÄÜ‏: Fun times in the mtns

There you go, fam. There's some Swiss German. I don't understand it, either, it's okay ;)

This week was.... REALLY good. Now that I go back and think about it, we really got so much done. I've only been here a week? Is that for real? I feel like I've been here for weeks or months. That's a good sign :)

We are currently working on reworking the whole area of Zollikofen. I wonder sometimes what the past missionaries were doing here and how they functioned. It's okay, Sister Wüst und ich are doing work here..... well... all the work we can do when there's literally 3 people on the street in the middle of a beautiful weekend day ;) I swear... this place is a Ghost Town. Everyone just stays inside or something! It's fun ;)

This week we contacted a TON of potentials. And guess what? Two of them spoke German. How did these Sisters get these people's numbers?! And not one of them had any interest.

What's new? ;)

We also had a TON of less active lessions. It was really good :) But... a lot of them also speak really bad German. So... I think it's really time I learn French. It's necessary. I just don't want to buy a dictionary :/

Also.. our members are WONDERFUL. We had the chance to spend a lot of time with them at eating appointments and I am so impressed by the work that they do here. It is unbelievable. Sadly, they aren't seeing success, either. But we did have a baptism last Saturday. That's some great success :) Our Bischof has literally given every single one of his neighbors a Book of Mormon and they have all been to Church. Still... nichts. It's so hard! I don't understand these people. How much worse and depressing/ good and uplifting does the world need to become to show these people that they really, really need God? More prayers for the Second Coming on my part, I guess ;) 

Oh! And President Uchtdorf is coming to speak to us on June 8th!!!!! I am sooooo excited!! Everything is being redone here for his coming. It is going to be so good. And guess who has tickets?


It¨'ll be wonderful :)

We gave a Temple Tour/ a question and answer tour to a bunch of students. It went REALLY well. We showed them The Restoration and you KNOW they felt something special. Also, 5/6 of them took Books of Mormon :D They invited the Missionaries to come to the University and speak about what we believe every semester :)

We are working on a temple visitor center here. It's coming along really well, actually :) We have access to the internet from a giant iPad that is installed in the wall. We are able to get almost anything we need and really.. .it is such a cool missionary experience.

We are also really working on using Family History in our contacting. We had really good conversations with people about it. Still no "success", but we had great contacts :) That's all I really care about, to be honest. Numbers? Bleh. They don't show anything. We're doing so much here, and the numbers just don't show that.

But... Weiter, immer weiter ;) 

k. Then today:
Blue lakes
There are a few words to describe what we did today.

We went to Thun and rode scooters down the mountain. It took us about 1.5 hours and my gosh... it was GORGEOUS. 

We're in the city of Thun. We had to take two trains, a bus ride for 30 minutes, and two gondolas to get up there to ride these scooters down. Try and tell me that God doesn't exist while doing this trail. It just doesn't go together... OF COURSE THERE'S A GOD. this place is gorgeous!

Dad, it was mountain bikers DREAM!! You would have died! i wrote down how to get there and all the times and connections so when we come bback to visit, we can do it again ;) (BG: How do i get my family and all our great friends, bikes and jeeps there?:))

I said to Elder Müller "It's like Moab, but without the Jeeps and without the red rocks!" Elders McColgan and Conteh just laughed at me. Can you tell I'm missing our Jeeps? ;) 

I'll attach some pics, of course :)

And Skype.. I know that was last week, but I really loved seeing you all :) You all look so good, so happy, so healthy, and as busy as ever. I can't wait to be back in the sweet embrace of my family :) 
But there's no need to worry cause I don't want to be back QUITE yet. I'm enjoying my time here too much :) I can't believe I only have 11 months left :( I know It's going to go so fast :( But.. make the most of the time we have and then continue doing the coolest and best member-missionary work when you get home, right, Clo?! Right :) 

Enjoy the pics :)

Bis nächste Woche!

Isch guet so! 
(I need to learn French. Let me just repeat that a million times)

Sister Gilmour

Monday, 12 May 2014

Week 30: Week 1 in Zollikofen, Switzerland: New Companion, New Ward, New Everything - but love it!!

Special thanks to the people, my companions, who made Stuttgart special, great missionaries, friends FOREVER!!
Till we meet again:):)
I'm probably going to keep this pretty short cause I Skyped you yesterday, and cause the keyboards here are YET AGAIN different. Why can't everything just be the same?

Chloe is so happy on her mission.  We had 45mins, we had her tell us about the weather in German just so we could hear her accent and see how her German was coming along.  It sounded great to US:)  She bore us her testimony and it was awesome, tear flowing for everyone.  She bears a very unique testimony.

First item of business:  NEW ADDRESS

Sandstrasse 46
3302 Moosseedorf
die Schweitz

NO words explain Chloe's love for Erin, she will miss her.

Chloe with Kathryn, another very special friend.

Chloe with some of her good friends who were in the MTC with her, in England

Next. Switzerland. It. is. gorgeous.

I actually don't know how beautiful cause I literally stay in the same town all day, every day. My area is 15 miles big.. on a good day :) I actually really like it. 

Everyone always says that the German here is really weird. They weren't lying ;) But I really love it. I think it sounds like German with a Scottish accent. So I feel right at home here :) 

My companion is probably the sweetest thing ever :) Really quiet, but a dilligent worker. We are so excited to start over here and really find those people the Lord has prepared for us to find. I mean... there's a temple here. There must be a reason for that!

And yeah, that also means that we have no investigators who are making any progress... so that's what I mean when I say start over :) I think two weeks ago I would have been more terrified to face an area with nothing than to like... dive off a cliff or something. But not that I'm here, I love it. We really have so much to work with, it's just finding the gold mine that is gonna take that faith. There is so much potential here it's crazy. And I couldn't be more excited to take it on :)

We had a baptism on Saturday. Way to be welcomed into an area! It was really amazing. I love seeing people who really get it. He, Andi, really gets it. 

I think one of my favorite things here in Switzerland and in this ward and that EVERY Sister served a mission. Every single one of them in our ward. THAT is cool. And that is why the are so missionary minded. I love them. 

My companion is a convert of about 2 years... and my gosh does this lady get it. I have never met anyone that understands it like she does. And especially for being a convert of only 2 years! It just goes to show that the Lord really does have a plan and really does prepare people to accept the Gospel in their own time and place. And she's German, so I really hope mine skyrockets with her. She also has perfect English... so sometimes it's hard cause I want to resort to English with her. But I will be strong!

Also something that I have really loved about coming here is that I don't feel the overwhelming feeling that I'm not doing enough; that I'm not a good enough missionary and that I need to be doing more. I don't feel that here. I love how the Lord works in mysterious ways. He gave me those feelings in Stuttgart so that I could come here and really appreciate myself and the things that I have learned from my last 6 months. And to take those things and apply them here. 

Pics from my last week in Stuttgart:

I love it! Mind you, Zollikofen has it's out set of trials waiting for me, but I'm ready to take them on :) 

And remember how I need to know all the Romance languages? Well.... I really need to know them. French would come in handy here. I don't know how I'm supposed to learn it, though. 

It was really great to be able to Skype yesterday. I really love you guys a lot :) But I think you knew that already.... the tears gave it away, didn't they? ;) You'll see me again in no time. 7 months is NO time at all. and 11? even shorter :) 

There's not much more I have to say, unfortunately. I'm in Switzerland... that's the most exciting thing :) 

I love this Gospel. More than anything. You all know that already :) 

Also. I challenge you to go read D&C 89 about the Word of Wisdom. Really study it. I love it. I think we over look it as members of the church, when we should really be setting the example. I'm on my body and spirit kick again :)

Love you all!!

Until next week,
Sister Gilmour
Transfer day, exciting and nerve racking.

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