Monday, 29 December 2014

Week 64 in the Field: Week 9 in Zurich: Happy New Year

So... it's 9.30 right now. Just had to do some schedule switching so that both us and the elders could write today. We will be going up the Mountain Uetliberg. Looking forward to it. Bundled up nice and warm, cause...

Walking to the top of Uetliberg from Albisgütli

It snowed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll TRY to send pictures. I don't know why you never get them all. Silly. 

Well. We skyped this past week, so I don't feel like there is too, too much new to say. 

It was really, really great to see you! I was a little nervous to see you all, but it was really good in the end :) I didn't feel any homesickness! Just a little like... man, they had a really good Christmas and it doesn't even feel like Christmas here. But.. yeah :) It was a good week. Thanks for the gifts, too! I didn't even say thank you when I saw you!! I really appreciated everything you sent and loved it all :) Thank yooooooooooooou!
Well... yeah. It snowed. That made contacting a little interesting. Not a whole lot of people out, and then it started to get stormy, so stopping people on the streets became a bit... weird. Plus no one is home. No one. I'm excited for when the holidays are over, then we can do normal things again. 

What's new? Uh.. we basically ran church yesterday. We gave the RS lesson. Man... that's really hard. Now I see why the sisters always have to ask for our participation. No one spoke! That's not true, we had a few participators. But it was still rough. The lesson was on a talk that didn't have much meat to it, so we really  tried to fatten it up. It turned out. We lived ;) Then we both had to give talks in Sacrament meeting. That was fun :) Sister Smith did wonderful! She owned that talk and no one ever would have known that she was nervous :) We both spoke on the miracles of missionary work. I didn't write mine out cause.. .I didn't have head space to really worry about it. I talked about Sonja and all the miracles I saw there with her. It was very nice. Then we did an obnoxious amount of vorbei's, but not one person was home. So we did some dooring; Sister Smith has been saying that she's had only positive contacting experiences so far, but yesterday finished that record ;) The Swiss really don't like being contacted on Sunday's apparently :) The ward members weren't kidding. We wouldn't have had to do that if our appointment for a lesson that night hadn't fallen out... again. Oh well. We had the chance to do studies and had a really good, really deep companionship study. It's nice to just be able to talk out loud with someone you know is going to talk back and have a conversation. I can think all these things in my head, but I don't make connections and get knew ideas doing that. I've missed normal comp studies. I really needed that yesterday. It was based on my studies of the NT... John 19, maybe? I don't remember now. But I just loved how... straight forward and bold Christ is with the people. This is right after he forgives the women found in adultry. Then the Pharisees and Sadducies start telling him that he's only testifying of himself and what right does he have and stuff. Then his reply is... well, if you knew my father like you all say you do, you would know that what I'm saying is true. You all say that you need 2 witnesses to confirm something is true, and I've given that to you: Me and my Father. It's just so brilliant the way He always replies. He said that He knows that what He's saying is true because He knows where he came from and where He's going. Then we started talking about YW and our knowledge of the PoS. It was just really good.

O yeah! We went and visited Sister Smiths Grosspapi on Friday. That was nice :) We tried to teach a lesson about the Plan of Salvation, because both him and his partner have lost a lot of loved ones, but.... they weren't quite ready to accept what we had to say. But :) We taught :) And it was nice to be invited and to be loved :) 

Next week we will be going to Munich for MLC. Looking forward to it. Not so much to the bus ride, except that we are going to take the time to make some good goals for the coming year. Would you like to hear some of mine? Or... the ideas I've had to somehow form into goals for the next year? ;)
- I want to finish the NT
- ALWAYS invite
- Pray before all my studies (like school studies)
- Make all your efforts a missionary effort in some way
- Some kind of exercise goal. I'm not sure what. But getting back into a healthy routine, for sure. No more sweets. Yoga will be in there somewhere.
- Spend more quality time with those I love (family, friends)

Yeah... those are a few. I have about 100 written down, but I'll have to narrow down the list, I think ;) It'll be a great year, and I'm really looking forward to see what the Lord has in store for me. 

So... the pictures do not want to let me upload them. I am so sorry. This camera is really so bad... you'll just have to use your imagination this week. And wait until later to see them all. I wanted to show you what we did last week!! Oh well. I'm sorry.

Have a great New Year and I hope the parties will be great! We will be celebrating with members of the ward here in the building. Then off the Munich the next morning. Yay! 

Love you!
Sister Gilmour

PS- we are starting a mission read! We will be reading the Book of Mormon in 6 months, focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. Maybe I'll finish before I come home :) .

Monday, 22 December 2014

Week 63 in the Field: Week 8 in Zurich: CHRISTMAS IS COMING!‏

HIYA! (BG: sent a bunch of pics, could not open them:(:()

This week was SO BUSY. Seriously. If there could be 7 more hours in a day that still wouldn't be enough. I don't even know where the time goes! It's not fair. We just have too, too much to do. 

Monday. Had to RUN around trying to find a glasses shop for Smithie cause she needed new glasses. Found one, took an hour, but got some, paid a lot that I almost fainted, then went off looking for new boots for me cause... well I "missionaried" mine right through. Good use of shoes, though. I like them :) That was our whole day. Just running and hoping to make our appointment for FHE. Man... that was such a good night! Just lots of laughs! I love being comfortable with members and having the elders there. We are FINALLY a team. Just what I prayed for. 

Tuesday. Area Book finding day. Lots of made up appointments. Smithie did her first calls, in English and in German. She killed it. Looking her fear right in the face was her goal this Chirstmas and she is DOING IT. I love her and am so proud of her:) Then we had a lesson with the non-member mother of a member in our ward. That was really great. I love the woman, she's so cool. She's had great experiences with the Church and hoping one day she'll be ready to take the steps toward baptism :)

Wednesday. MINI TAUSCH. Sister Oswald got pneumonia, so she had to cancel, but we thought we'd go to Luzern any way and just see how they're doing, help with a few lessons, and get Sister Flickenger out of the house. I was such a miracle day! I got to go out with Sister Flickenger cause Sister Smith was also feeling sick, so she stayed with Sister Oswald. We were going to go to a Personal Touch for someone who just had a birthday. We went and checked our train times and we had 30 minutes, so I decided to take her out contacting since she hadn't done it yet. WÜNDERN HAT GESCHEHEN. It was so cool. The first people we stopped be gave a Book of Mormon to and they live in St. Gallen and I'm hoping the missionaries there can teach them. Then we stopped some other people and talked about Christmas and stuff. Then we found this one guy. He's actually from Zürich, so... potential for us ;) But it was amazing. He spoke SWISS German. And I mean.. like heavy swiss. But, I understood, so I took the lead there. Long story short, taught a first lesson on the street, and we are REALLY hoping for a call. He wouldn't give us his info. But... we are praying for it. It was really cool to just show Sister Flickenger what it's like to be a missionary. It was so cool to work WITH her. She can already speak German, so that was really nice. I'm sad I won't get the chance to work with her. Really great day, really great Tausch. 

Thursday. RUNNING EVERYWHERE. Appointment with Less Active, really great, elders and Sisters both late. Great. Good image, guys ;) Then running to another appointment, got on 3 wrong trains, then on the right bus, but in the wrong direction. Just like...everything was against us. It was raining, we were hot, I cut my knuckles open and was bleeding everywhere, we were carrying like 15 chocolate bars around plus pants that I can repair for the elders, and then we had to cancel our appointment with the other LA cause Sister Gilmour still doesn't know her way around Zürich. I had a bit of a melt down and started to cry. It was rough. But... We got to do some dooring, so Sister Smith at least got to learn how to be a good missionary instead of one that breaks into tears. 

Friday. Planning. Ate some good Sushi and had sprach. Had an eating appointment with Americans and it was great :) I love them! Really good time. and REALLY great view of Zürich from their house. Breathtaking. 

Saturday. Lesson with man from Winterthur. He came all the way here to meet with us, to find out that he lives next door to the church in Winterthur. But it was a good lesson. Had a joint teach and.. .it was really good. Our other appointment fell out, but that's probably good cause we couldn't mind a joint teach and we don't speak Arabic. So... vorbei's took up our evening. 

Sunday. Oh man. Lessons, no time to breath, lots of appointments to fix, an AMAZING Christmas dinner/ party with the Russos and... I never want to eat again. Still ;) Then we had a lesson with our family from Eritrea. My goodness. Now Sister Smith knows why I just... didn't even know where to start. We planned to go in and talk about the Atonement, but they got stuck talking about our nametags and how it says nowhere in the Bible that we need to where nametags, but just to wear Christ in our hearts. It was so bad. I didn't have my English bible on me, so i had like nothing marked in German, and they were so unimpressed that we didn't have scriptures memorized from the Bible, and we aren't allowed to teach with the BOM yet, and.... Sister Smith took this one over. Thank goodness. Sister Gilmour was just really tired. 

Then we got home. I was dead. Just such a crazy week, and more to plan for, and we still aren't going to get everything done that we need to.... and. Ah. It's Pday. Just don't think about it. 

I just need to learn to breath. With the little time I do have.

This week is as follows:

Tuesday: finding day. Dinner with the Rysers.
Wednesday: Rückauer in the afternoon, the Schmid at night.
Thursday: Charlottle to SKYPE with you crazy cats ;) 
Friday: WE'RE GOING TO GROSSPAPI'S! That's Sister Smith granddad! We are so pumped! And we are teaching them, too! 
Saturday: Denise at night
Sunday: teaching Relief Society (FHV), then both giving talks in Sacrament, then having a lesson that night. 

holy cow. And that's just a few of the appointments. Where we will find time to do the missionary part of missionary life, I'm not sure. 

Yeah. There you have it. I am really excited to Skype and see you all one last time before April! That should be about 8-9am for you. We worked it out so it was less obnoxious-5am mdt, and you can open presents and not be waiting for that ;) 

I love you all! You're great! 

Sister Gilmour

Monday, 15 December 2014

Week 62 in the Field: Week 7 in Zurich: "Wende dein Gesicht der Sonne zu, dann fallen die Schatten hinter dich"‏ AND New Pics in Zurich

This week. 

Not as much time to find and focus on teaching as we would have wanted. But. You know.. that's why we have the Atonement, right? Say sorry and do better the next day. Sister Smith is really great, just understanding that I am totally new to this side of things but we have a good time figuring things out together :)

There are just a few things I wanted to share about this week. We need to get out and go shopping for some pretty needed things, so I'm going to try and be fast with emails. Try ;) 

We met with the Stake President to talk about the work in our Zones/Stakes and how the work is going. Our President is amazing :) We had a really good meeting. We went in pretty much clueless with what we were supposed to do cause... no one's told us how to be SisterTrainingLeaders and the Elders didn't even tell us about this meeting until the day before :) and then 3 hours before it started they informed us that we needed a Fortschrittsbericht prepared for the President :). Well.. great. So we rushed and weren't as prepared as we would have liked, but.... we learned and will be better next time :) 

We helped a new convert with making Gingerbreadmen for the primary. That was really fun :) I love talking to converts cause they've been to places in their lives that I will never go. I mean spiritually and physically. I learn so much from them. It was a really uplifting time :) 

Did a lot of planning for the next week. Got our ward mapped out on our big area map cause.. we don't know anyone, let alone where they live. Thank goodness that's done. It's already been such a help.

Saturday we went to Dielsdorf to help the branch with a finding day. We went caroling. That was really nice. It was a nice way to start conversations and the people loved listening to us sing about the birth of Christ. 

I had an interesting experience while singing. I think we were singing O Little Town on Bethlehem, and as we took a breath as a choir, I heard the words "....Jesus Christ" come from Elder Rozans mouth. Time seemed to slow down as I watched the person he had just tried to speak with, shake his head, put is hand up, and walk past with a "keine Zeit" blowing with the wind. That was so sad. They "don't have time" to talk about Jesus Christ? Who are these people? Don't you know that He has done EVERYTHING for you? And you don't have a few minutes to talk about His importance.

The world is sad. That's made me 10000X more grateful to be here and to help these people make time for Christ. It's so beautiful. 

Then on the way back, we stopped in Kloten to do a few vorbei's. We went to see a family that we teach, that speak almost nothing except Arabic. 

This is just FUNNY. I can't even remember the spiritual parts cause I die everytime I think about it.

So they were just about to eat lunch, so we said we would stay just a few minutes and ask if they had read in the BoM and so on. They didn't have the time, so we were going to read with them, of course. 

We wanted to share Moroni 10:3-5 and challenge them to read about the book and ask God if it was true. But in Arabic, the books start backwards. 

So as we struggled to find the book and then the chapter, they said they had found chapter 10. Great! So she reads the verses 3-5 outloud in Arabic, and we follow along in German. 

Sister Smith and I were just feeling the power of these verses and hoping that we could share a really good message.

As she finished reading, she prattled something off in Arabic to her husband so he could translate:

"So this is talking about a rich man that was killed by this Nephi person so that he could get records from him?"

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had read 1 Nephi 4!! That's the hardest chapter to explain in the whole book and we just read it ON ACCIDENT! Oh my gosh... we just couldn't help but laugh!

They were understanding and we made up an appointment to come back the next week with someone that can speak the language :) Oh man. Gotta love missions #LostInTranslation

Then we had our ward party. They acted out the book, "You are Special" I think it's called in English? It was so so good! We ate, we spoke with as many people as we could, and we just built relationships. I haven't had the time to greet all the members since I've been here since we are always in meetings during prime greeting time. We set up appointments and just... hoped that we spread the love. I felt the love for the first time since coming here. Of course, we have a lot of work to do still, especially to show them that we mean business and we aren't just here to be pretty faces in the ward, but we are seeing improvement. So that's good :) 


Also. That's the week. This week we should be having our first Split with Sister Oswald and Sister Flickengger. We're looking forward to it. Lots of appointments with members, and lots of time to find. Finally. 

We'll see you all soon :) Make a list of things you want to ask cause... 45 minutes goes by really fast :) 

The Church is true!! Not cause we are vain, but because when you live the teachings of Christ, you see the way your life goes and that is the best testimony that what we believe and live is true. So live it! Don't forget what you promised to do as you entered the waters of baptism; to carry His name, to do His work, to mourn with those who mourn, and to always use His Atonement. It is perfect and can always be used. So use it. He did something so great for us. Use His love :)

Merry Christmas-season!

Sister Gilmour

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Week 61 in the Field: Week 6 in Zurich: New Companion, Sister Smith from Layton, UT:):)

Hi. Wow. So much has happened. Bitte sei geduldig mit mir. I'm just going to pour everything in my head out in this email and I hope it makes sense. 

This was our Schwamendingen team before we all got moved :)

So. Golden. She is here :) Her name is Sister Smith and she is from Layton, Utah and her mom is from Switzerland. She turned 22 on her first day here with me :) And we love each other!

 We are having a great time and she is just... oh my gosh. I can't believe how good of a missionary she already is. She knows more than I do! I never thought that missionaries come from the MTC and know what to do, but she does! And she can already speak pretty good German, so that's nice:) 

She got in really late on Thursday night, so after we got her, and overwhelmed all the poor Goldens, we finally headed home. Luckily we live 5 minutes from Bahnhof. 

Before she came, we had a full day of missionary work, of course. I said goodbye to the missionaries who were leaving, then worked with Sister Page for the day. She is also from UT :) It was so so great!! We had a service project and did a few "vorbei"s and had a really great random appointment with a member of the ward. We had a great spiritual conversation and our relationship was strengthened. Then we went out to dinner as Trainers and prepared ourselves for what was about to happen :) Good last night of being single and without a child ;)

 She was just ready to go from the moment she got here. Like really. I am still so shocked. We celebrated her birthday the next day! I had no idea! Good thing I had a few things I could pull together :) We did a normal day and then had a cake and sang and... that was it. It was really short notice :) But still something she won't ever forget. 

We have had some really cool experiences together. She is fearless this girl. I mean.. wow. 

Other things we did this week... we went Caroling. That was... cold. But good :)  Saw one of my best friends, whom I'll miss very much...Sis C.

We passed out the link to the He is the Gift video and sang to the people. T'was nice :) 


We had our Christmas Conference yesterday :) It was SO GOOD. I wish I could just send you all my notes and ideas. But... that would probably put you to sleep :) We had a good spiritual part from Sister Kohler to start us off about the gift of time. And then President spoke a bit. Then we had training about what a Musical Fireside is and we had a mini one. Then :) Then we watched Meet the Mormons!! That was such a treat!!! And so so good!!! We had a great lunch, a gift exchange (I got Legos... which is good cause everyone was really upset that I had never played with them before), then had a bit more training on how to use Christmas in our contacting this year. We are really being pushed to use He is the Gift. It's really inspiring and so good, so of course I am excited about that :) We are being encouraged not to lose the spirit of our missions throughout this time, and I am really excited to have the most missionary Christmas ever :) And now with the amazing goals we've set with our contacting on Bahns and on the street, I think we really will have the greatest Christmas ever :) 

I guess that's what I've loved the most so far... new goals. And fully focused on our purpose. I've really missed that. Really truly. I feel like I am finally reaching potential out here. I mean... I have A LOT to improve on. I mean.. there's a lot of things I should already be confident doing, but I'm not. But now.. better later than never, right? We'll learn together. I told Sister Kohler yesterday that I am just SO EXCITED to go, go, go the rest of these 3 transfers. She was really excited to hear that. 

Here's what I wrote to President. Maybe it makes better sense?:
Wow. First part of a week as being a trainer. I have to say.. I am LOVING it. I have SO much to learn, and you were right: we learn more from our Goldens than we think. I am sure she is teaching me more than what I am teaching her. She is so focused on our purpose as missionaries. This was an inspired companionship. We're loving working together and we are coming along nicely with the training. Still doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything, but.. we've only just begun.

I love working with her so far because we have really worked on setting goals. Our goals lay heavily in our contacting and how we talk with people. We both saw that we could improve our skills. This week, our focus comes from the first lesson and from the Training Program. On the streets, we want to practice contacting with the topic of prayer, and taking that and relating it to all the points in the 1st lesson. On the Bahn, we are really trying to bring up the point of baptism as soon as they ask us our purpose. We are just trying some things out and seeing what works; really working on the program. 

I am so glad I have to chance to train. I would love to end my mission doing this. There's nothing better to get you focused, especially when your Golden is so in the game and ready to go. 

Yeah. So.. that's my week. 

Sorry if that was a lot just... thrown at you. I hope you can understand :)

I love you all. I know that the Lord blesses us when we do what is right, especially when it's hard. Keep it up. Don't get discouraged. We can always count on the Lord. He is always there. 

As we think about giving gifts this year, why don't we think about the gifts we've been given. The most important is the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. God gave us His only Begotten Son because He loves us so much. He has given us all things for our success. Use what it is that He's given us.

And then ask yourself, "what can I give God this year?". That is a really powerful question. As Sister Smith and I have thought about this, we have really been able to focus on our goals that we've made together. My gift to God this year is the gift of work. I want to give Him my all. I just want to give it up to God. It's up to Him. I am going to be is His instrument, and I can't wait to see the miracles He is waiting to give us. 

Man. I just feel so thankful. It took a while to get here, but I'm here now. And I know I'm not always going to be so fired up, but I do know that because I want it, I'll continue to work for it :) 

I love you all!! I think I said that already. It's still true ;) Have a really great week :)

And I got the gifts :) I can't wait to open them on Christmas!

Sister Chloe Gilmour