Monday, 26 January 2015

Week 68 in the Field: Week 13 in Zurich:I love being a missionary because people just trust us, and then the Spirit tells us what to say.

I am ALWAYS asking this question. It's a problem. :)

I also always ask myself, "What did we even do last week?" every time I come to emails. What things do I have to share with you? The thing is, so much happens that you don't get to see or know, that I feel sad just telling you about the big activities. It's usually the small things that make such a difference in my life. 

We're teaching an aethiest right now. Boy is that hard. The hard part is that she's really smart. Really smart. So trying to get my head to think on her level and try to help her understand is really difficult. People always say we have to think like they would, but I don't know how to imagine there being no God. I was raised knowing that God lives and that He loves us. I can't just think Him away. It's really hard. But then for someone that was raised being told there was no God, I guess it would be just as equally hard. I'm learning a lot from her and her family. I love them, though. Really a lot :) 

We have been having amazing, spirit-led lessons lately. A lot with less actives. That's a really neat experience, as well, teaching less actives. It's so beautiful helping them come back and to discover the testimonies that they once had. We had a lesson like that this week and it was beautiful. I love being a missionary because people just trust us, and then the Spirit tells us what to say. I can't almost never relate to these people because they are older than me and have had trials that I haven't had to deal with... ever. But because I'm a missionary, I just know what to ask, and what to say. 

After this particular lesson, we contacted the first person we saw. It was really great. We taught her about.. I don't remember, actually. But it was really good :) We gave her a Book of Mormon and the nice thing was, she didn't look like she was just taking it to get rid of us, but like she could actually feel the power behind it. I love those moments. I always feel so motivated and like I want to convert the world. Well.. I always want that, but some times it's stronger than other times :)

We had a District Leader training meeting this week with the Zone Leaders. That was interesting. We are really just trying to bring up Switzerland right now. We're focusing a lot of finding, motivation, and unity. 

We went to Institute this week. Not my favorite thing to do here. It's so awkward. I am a JAE (BG:?) and I just feel so... normal. But we've been asked to be there. I don't think we'll go very often. We both left and were just... no. We didn't like it. I'll go to Insti when I'm home :) 

We worked a lot with LA. I said that, right? I really like working with them cause they start to make progress and it's really cool :)

We had a good lesson with a referral. Also very spirit-led. We will be going back this Friday and she will be getting a.. sick blessing? What is that called?? Haha, German. It's taking over my brain. It's really annoying actually. I've forgotten a lot of English. Sister Smith just laughs at me all day ;) 

Oh yeah. Highlight of the week: African food. Man!!
Super spicy, lots of flour in everything, and really strange. We ate fried bananas that tasted like potatoes, then this stuff that look like Grubs, but it was FouFou flour and water wrapped in leaves. And then we had this UNBELIEVABLY spicy sauce to top it off. I could have sworn my lips were burning off. Then we had crepes, but African style. They really like flour there. Flour and water are their two main staples. The Elders were dying. It was too funny. I love this member, though :) She is the sweetest. 

I've thought a lot about divorce this week:(:(. Sister Smith and I had an interesting conversation about it. Almost everyone that she knows has had an ended marriage. But for me, that's totally opposite. I hardly know anyone personally that is divorced. I never took it as reality; that it actually happened. But here, I work with so many divorced women that I've started to think about it a lot. My heart goes out to all those single parents out there. It is not easy. I've started to see the pain that they go through, and I am so grateful that I haven't had that trial. I've thought a lot about what I would do if it were me. Or if I were to even end up in that situation, what would I do? It's a sad thing to think about, but I've had to. As I try to teach these people who have shattered marriages, I have to at least try to come to their level. Hmm... so many thoughts. Not enough time to tell you them all. 

I've got my last interviews of the mission this week. Well that's pretty crazy. I'm not sure what I want to talk to President about. We're also going to the Temple. Our investigator that is almost ready for baptism comes home this week! We've never met her, though. We are hoping she loves us :)

Busy week. Trying to fulfil our potential. Working at it, step by step.

Oh! We were in Germany today. Man... I forgot that it really is expensive here in Switzerland! It was nice being back :) Every time I'm there, I know that part of my life will have taken place there :) I love it :) 

Love life :) It's an amazing experience to be here. It's so small in the grand scheme of things. Don't forget to make it count :) Let your light shine!

Sister Gilmour

Monday, 19 January 2015

Week 67 in the Field: Week 12 in Zurich: I found ME!!! So many amazing moments of helping others!!!

I'm eating Sushi. Yay for missions and yay for Sushi!

The week was really good :) So many amazing moments of helping others. I feel like I've found ME in the mission. I was always so worried about being Sister Gilmour and what that actually meant, that I didn't just slow down and try and find who IIIIII am. Not as Chloe, and not as Sister Gilmour, either. But here I am, closer to the end, and I am finally feeling like myself. I still don't know what talents I have or what I'm good at, or if I am REALLY making any difference in anyone's life, BUT I've made a difference in mine. So that counts for something. 

I am learning a lot out here. More than I could learn at any university, or with any amount of schooling. I am growing and loving it. Even when it's hard :) 

This week.

Monday: Bought cards for missionaries who were having birthdays. Found a few good ones :) Then went "happy shopping", which just meant buying tights for Smith and I tried on a dress cause.. I haven't done that in a lot of months. It was nice. Then we went to Famile Radzik. I love it there. They talk about really intense things, and a lot of the time I just pretend I know what they are saying, but that's not always the case. I do understand a good amount. I just can't reply back. We had an investigator downstairs at FHE. Everyone there took care of her. She'll be with us again tonight at FHE :)
Tuesday: Appointment with Emi. Always fantastic. We talked about hope. She fed us.. a lot. We were all going to die. But it was good food :) Then we went to a LA house and shared a spiritual thought. That was also amazing. She ended up crying and talking about how she was always so active in the church and went on a mission and everything, but now she hardly goes and she feels bad. She made the goal to start having FHE with her daughter and husband. We want to do it with them. She asked us to come back again this week and help her learn to pray in German. She's great :) I love being on the Lords errand :) We then had a good meeting with the Bishop to discuss the work here and the ward list and who doesn't want contact and who doesn't live there any more and stuff. Our bishop is the best! We then had a meeting with the Stake President. We have meeting with him every transfer cause we're the leadership of our stake. Singen is just killing it with the work right now! We are hoping we can bring our work here to that status. We have high hopes for this part of the mission. And working together with the leaders of the Stake is the best way to do it. Great night. Oh yeah. Then we saw this old women who really needed help getting on the Tram. We spoke with her and turns out she was going to get shots in her eyes and she was really nervous. She could hardly see and was just so frail. So we changed our plans and went to her appointment with her and brought her home. Turns out she lives with a guy who's Mormon in the same home! She loved us! Did have anyone for us to teach, though.

Wednesday: Nothing special. Just district meeting and fallen out appointments. 

Thursday: TRANSFER DAY. We were there cause we are incharge of the sisters. Sister Peacock, :( Sister Winters went home:( All my comps are officially gone. Now it's just Smith and I. Sad day. But I must say, I have great hope for us missionaries in Switzerland. We are going to change the mission. Things are looking up for us. We got to welcome in another American sister, Sister Pentz. I met her at MLC, and so I'm really happy that she's here now! She's so adorable! And she's lucky, she gets to work with Sister Zink :) We've got great sisters here. We then had Hirtenbesuch. None of the people were home that we wanted to visit. So Normas and I (we were on splits) decided to visit a member and ended up giving her a foot massage ;) Missionary work! 
Friday: Planning, and then appointment with a less active. I love watching people keep commitments and making progress. It's so rewarding. I don't care if they are already baptised, are investigating, or don't really want anything to do with us, as long as I help them in some way. As long as I am doing what the Saviour wants me to do at that moment in time, I don't care what it is. I am having to learn to stick to that. We are first accountable to the Lord, then to the mission president, and then to ourselves. Don't forget it. We are here on the Lords errand. I have to keep telling myself that. 

Saturday: We went to Michi's! He is a member of the ward who has been waiting for his mission call for 2 months! It finally came 2 weeks ago, but had to wait because he was in Miltär (all Swiss men have to go to military training for 6 weeks every year for... a really long time). He's going to the Madrid, Spain mission!! Whooo hoooo!!! We were all so excited!!! His brother just got home from the Barcelona mission last year. They will all be speaking Spanish :) It was really neat to be apart of that moment :) Then we helped with a move of a less active. Yaay. Lots of stairs, lots of heavy boxes, but tons of good. We managed to share a spiritual thought, got a few scarves, Sister Smith got 2 new pairs of shoes and a new jacket, and it was great :) 

Sunday: Good day. Heard the members express their love for the us Sisters. That was really nice. We just needed to hear that. We don't want the relationships with the members to slip, which is the feeling we'd been having at the beginning of this new transfer. An Elder just returned from his mission in Frankfurt, and guess what?! He served with Adam!!! I was so happy to see him and finally meet him! He's the best!! It was so fun talking with a brand new RM and hearing about his mission! He knows so many people that I do and I loved hearing updates on them. It was really nice :) We had an appointment with the Russos. Ate too much, but that's not unusual. HAd a little talk with the Elders. Trying to get on the same page. Having a hard time right now. Hoping things will get better. I am learning a lot working with them.The Lord is just preparing me for something in the future. I know it. I just don't see things the way they do. I love working with Elders and being with them, but the second it comes to missionary work, I don't understand them. Like I said, just learning. :):):)

This week has been full of laughs. I love Sister Smith. She is really the best. We laugh and smile, but still work hard. Here are some highlights:

"Ich bin atmen"- Smith. It translates to "I am breath". I died laughing! I LOVE SPRACH STUDIUM!

"Can we just boil the cabbage and then blend it and mix it into a cake?"- Me. We have sooooo much cabbage. That's all we've eaten all week. I'm running out of ideas ;)

Did you all do the Read, write, pray challenge? I hope so! 

Love you!

Sister Gilmour

Monday, 12 January 2015

Week 66 in the Field: Week 11 in Zurich: Everything is slipping through my brain cracks. I Love You!!

This week I'm actually going to hit "send", okay? Sorry about the lack of email. Everything is slipping through my brain cracks. There's too many right now. 

BUUUUUUUT.... this week was fabulous!!! I think I'll just tell you about the experiences that stood out to me instead of a day by day play by play. Sound good? You have no say in this, so yes ;) 

Tuesday we had Zone Training! That was my first one! To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. There was nooooooo discussion for some reason? It was hard getting them to speak. Except when we did the BoM sharing time.. then it was really great! I think we'll just have that be the whole Zone Training this next time ;) Sister Smith and I had the part of "What is the Role of the Book of Mormon" from PMG. It went really well. This was the first instant from this week that I really felt the Spirit was guiding me and pulling my through the lesson. I was able to stand up and speak with authority. It was such a great feeling being up there, teaching about something as powerful as the Book of Mormon, and be able to look into every eye of the Zone and still be able to speak. I don't know what I said, but that's how I know it was through the Spirit. Maybe it wasn't the most spiritual thought, but it was the most guided I've felt in a really long time. We shared the gorgeous talk from Elder Holland about the Book of Mormon, Safety for the Soul. That was the icing on top. Sister Smith also did great!! She is such a spiritual speaker. Over this transfer, I've learned to be bold and to put my foot down. I've gotten a bit protective of my work, especially as a Sister. I've heard some really stupid comments about sister missionaries, and I will not have that. I am just as much a missionary as any Elder out there. This has put a bit of an edge to everything I do and say. It's good, but also, as I listened to Smith, I realized that she's here to soften this up; to put the love behind it. She speaks with such controlled power. She is amazing. 

Then we had exchange. Not much happened, actually. All the action happened after. But I did make us end up missing our train to Olten, so at least I still have that gift ;) It was good and I loved working with Sister Zink. She's from Germany and worked with my boy, Elder Mayne! (a great friend from American fork High school) Yay! She told me stories, and I told her stories about the good times we've had :) 

Next great experience. We went to teach a Less Active that hasn't wanted to meet with us for a few months. We got there, and she had forgotten our appointment, even though she had written it down. It ended up being so great! We brought a game of Jenga to teach the Restoration with her son, but he wasn't there. So we left the blocks and talked about the "Tripod", as we call it: Prayer, Scripture Study, and Church Attendance. It was so amazing. It was really led by the Spirit... again. We got with talking about the Temple and the steps we have to make to go through. It was beautiful to see how we tied that all in to the lesson we had planned and how she answered and.... I love teaching :) (She also gave us a referral!) We gave her the commitment that I am about to extend to you:
Read. Write. Pray. 
Do you have a question or a concern you've had for a while? I challenge you to do this to get the answer. I have, and I have gotten the answer :)
Have the question in your mind, start your study off with a prayer, and tell Heavenly Father the question. Then read. As soon as you think you've got the answer (that could take several study sessions, mind you), write it down. Then pray and ask if the written answer was really the answer. I did it, and I got the answer :) It was clear :) She was at church yesterday and she came to me and said, "I tried what you told me to, and it works!" She was so happy! She doesn't have the whole answer, but she said that it was coming. We squealed and hugged and laughed :) 

Now a member appointment. While Smith was on an exchange with Sister Horeau (I think I've spelled that wrong, French), she learned a lot of things. She's about to go home and I think she was one of the best Sisters in the whole mission. She came home with this spiritual thought that they were doing there in Olten. We were at the Familie Wichtermann's and we did it. It's about prayer and using that to pray for our investigators. The lesson worked out perfectly because they were telling us about their conversion stories, and we were able to take that and give this spiritual thought about how they can help our investigators also have that same joy that they found in the Gospel by praying with us for them. We then asked if we could pray for anyone that they know, as well. It was really good. The way they looked at us as we did this was a look of pride... just that they were proud of us for asking them to take part in our teaching in such a thoughtful way. The Spirit was really there :) 
Then we had Ward Council and that really blew all the spirit away. Ugh. Why don't people love doing missionary work?! Why do they always hate hearing from us? We have things for you to actually do! We're working here! Aren't you excited that we want to include you?! 
Blah. Just think about the good appointment, Sister Gilmour... :):):) (BG: Blowing off some steam i think)

Next good appointment :) We were in Zollikofen this weekend as RS. Sister Smith went and did a session, as I went on splits with the Zolli sisters to see Sonja! Zollikofen is being closed for the sisters, so it was really neat that all of her 3 missionaries could be there for her last lesson. It was really neat :) She is so excited to meet you all in May! You'll love her! (BG: WE CANT WAIT SONJA) I want to tell you all about this fabulous day, but just too much good happened, so I can't! But we got a ride home with members and tried not to fall asleep the whole time (we had to get up at 5.30 to catch our Bahn at 7, but forgot that it was Saturday, and missed the Tram AND the bus that bring us to HB. So we RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN about a mile so that we could catch the train. Our shins hurt. Caught it, all was well). (BG, That's our girl)  We came home and had a lesson with another LA. It was also wonderful. She loves us and she has such a great and solid testimony... whyyyyy don't you come to church? She ended up giving the spiritual thought and tied all of her thoughts and things all up and related it all back to why we have prophets, which was the lesson topic :) So cool. Such a wonderful day :)

Oh yeah. We are staying here together in Schwamendingen and are still STL. Elder Laitinen is leaving us :( and we are getting Elder Barber, from England. Random thought. 

Okay. And then yesterday. Long day at church, had a baptism, was way beautiful. Went home, ate, did a few hours of study, and then went to a lesson. We went by an investigator during the week, but she had no time cause she was in a lot of pain. We offered her a Priesthood blessing and explained what that is. She was like... you can do that? Okay, yeah, when can you come? Haha, we told her Sunday. Of course, it was really hard trying to find two people that could come with us, but we found our two Priesthood holders. We explained the Priesthood, and how it was going to go. She had a few questions, and it was so great having the men there to explain the Priesthood 1) in perfect German, 2) in Swiss German even, and 3) from two people that actually hold it. We said a beautiful opening prayer, and then went on with the blessing. 
The whole time I was thinking about how as a missionary, the Spirit is just really strong and always with us, so I hardly notice when I'm feeling the Spirit because.. well, he's always there. But as the blessing was being spoken, I felt it. My spiritual levels were raised. I thought, "If I can feel this AS A MISSIONARY, what on earth is SHE feeling?!". It was so amazing. Then Jörg invited her to FHE! Brilliant. We won't be there, but she knows Elder Rozan already, so that will be good :) 

Yeah! So I'm really pumped :) I've been getting good answers to my questions. Still totally unsure about my life when I'm home, but that just shows me that God doesn't want me to worry about it. It'll work out the way it should :) 

I gave you 2 commitments, and I will follow-up next week to see if you did it ;)

Also, how is family prayer and scripture study coming along? I have a total testimony of the strength that brings to a family. Completely. I love you :) I love you all so much :) I'm so glad I get to stay with you all for eternity :) 

Sister Gilmour

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Week 65 in the Field: Week 10 in Zurich: No letter just pics, mmmmmmmmmm? I'm a dimbo -sent one week later

(Hi. I'm a total bimbo and didn't send this last week? Wow... I'm getting old. So sorry about that! Now you get two emails this week :))

Hello 2015. That's weird. I never thought this year would come. But it did. Time goes anyway... Are you going to make it count?

This week. So much happened, but I don't feel like I was busy. I was sick, still am, so I think that took a lot of my energy. 

Here's a day by day account:

Mtn in Zurich with District
Finally some snow
Monday: Played in the snow. Got soaking wet. Kinda annoying that I can't push the Elders in the snow and like... beat them up. They drive me crazy sometimes and they need a good Sisterly pounce. Oh well. Then that night, after we were all dry and warm again, we planned to do a few vorbei's cause... no one was home. But I got us on the wrong Bahn. Shocker. It ended up being amazing! We went by on a referral from a member that we couldn't reach last week. SHE WAS HOME. She had friends over, so we made up an appointment for the next night. (Miracles happened)

Tuesday: SO MUCH SNOW. Everything was late and running slow, so we were an hour late to an appointment with a member, who I love, and it was just.. man. You know how I am with being late: it stresses me out. It was a good appointment, though. That night!! We met this referral for the first time and.... I want to tell you all about it, but I don't want to type it all out. Pretty much.. it was just meant to be. We were meant to get on that wrong Bahn and we were meant to go see her. We were answers to her questions and helped her so much. We  pretty much taught the whole 1st lesson, but it wasn't planned like that. We got to explain the Holy Ghost and his roles, which answered so many of her questions that she's had for years. She's had amazing experiences with the Spirit, which just made her that much more ready. She is really great :) And normal! And loves us and was asking us so many questions and... man!! We are wanting to set a baptismal date here pretty soon :) I LOVE MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK! It's all through you guys that we have things to do. Open your mouth, share your testimony, and then call the missionaries :) 

Wednesday: another cool day. Contacted another referral! She's from French part of Switzerland and she's just lived the last 2 years in California for her husbands work. She lived in an apartment building with only Mormons that also worked with her and her husband. She really loved them and how they raised their families. She went to all the activities and just... spent everyday with them. She came back here and wanted to be in contact with all the members here, too. We got her in the mail and tried going by and stuff, but they were gone for the holidays. Finally got to meet her, the husband, and her son, she is also expecting another boy in March. They are the SWEETEST! They like us and want to know how we raise our families. I told her it was all based on family prayer and how that strengths the family. She then told us that she is actually atheist. Didn't see that coming. We will be bringing by The Family and going through the BoM to find family values with her. We just want to show them WHY our families work the way they do and why there is so much happiness to be found. It was really cool to meet with them :) They want to be in touch with all the members and be involved in church activities, but not the church part. Not yet ;) 
Oh yeah... that was also New Years Eve. Went to the ward house and had Raclette. I ate despite my cheese allergy and that was a stupid idea. Ugh. Pains galore. But... oh well. I lived ;) It wasn't too special. It was a bit of a bummer, actually. We went home, and didn't even get woken up by the fireworks. LAME. 

Thursday: MLC!! We rode with the bus for 6.5 hours to get to Münich. We played some pretty funny games, and I couldn't figure ANY of them out! Man, I felt silly. But they were so fun! I love these missionaries! It was a great bonding time :) We'll have to play these games on our Europe trip in May :) Got to the mission home at like 7, ate, had a BoM sharing evening, then got ready for bed. Got a massage and talked with all the sisters :) I love them! It was only the Swiss missionaries that stayed over night since our journey is so long. 

Goodbye to Sis Winter
Friday: MLC!! Meetings all day. And guess what?! I SAW SISTER WINTERS!!!!!! That was so so happy!! I can't believe she's leaving!! She still knows me so well! she was a big help to me. Always is :) I love her!!! We got to meet all the other sisters from Germany and Austria as well and they are all so super great :) I love being STL and seeing and serving with these other missionaries. We had a full day of discussing business, baptism goals, and talking about the BoM. We watched the talk from Holland about the  BoM and it was so super powerful. I loved it :) So much more to say... but so little time. Just... GREAT. 
Then we had to head back on the bus to come back to Zürich. We didn't get to sit next to each other cause the bus was full. But that gave me a good time to read my scriptures, write in my journal, and SLEEP. First nap of the mission:) Later on the bus ride we were all able to sit together. I got to have a really good, long conversation with one of the Finnish missionaries. Just so good. I've got such an excitement to be a ward missionary when I'm home :) I'm excited to see what life has waiting for me. 

Saturday: service project with Charlotte, planned Zone Training with the Elders (that's part of our job as STL), then planned for the 
 week. I love the Elders. We are the Schwamendingen Team! Such good laughs together :) Hoping Elder Laitinen stays another transfers. Hope WE stay. President was telling us all the areas that have to be closed. We have to close 4 sister areas in Switzerland, due to lack of sisters. We offered our area because the ward really doesn't need us TERRIBLY badly, but I wish I hadn't said that. I want to stay and finish training and help the people here in this ward a little bit longer. I think it will have to be closed soon, though. We are losing so many missionaries! Keep sending in new ones! Especially sisters! 

Yep. That's the week! Gotta be brief!! Have been loving the study of the BoM! Hoping to finish it before I come home. Church is true, life is hard, that's part of His plan, and I'm loving it :) 

Sister Gilmour

P.S. check my Dropbox for more pics. They should be on there.