Monday, June 3, 2013

3 June 2013-

           So at least once a transfer, the Sister Training Leaders will do an Austausch (exchange) with all of the sister companionship's in their zone.  But since our zone doesn't have any Sister Training Leaders, we had to Austausch with the Sisters in the Stuttgart zone.  Austausches normally are only supposed to last 24 hours, but this one was Monday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon because traveling took so long.             Funny thing, we had to meet at the Karlsruhe Bahnhof, which is in the Frankfurt mission boundaries, not the Alpine mission boundaries.  We felt so Schwarz!  So for a day or two I was in Güppingen, Ulm, and Heidenheim doing work there.  It is a super pretty area, but it's a small branch covering a large area, so the sisters do a lot of traveling to get from place to place.  It was a fun experience for sure, but it made me super grateful that Freiburg has such a large and fun ward.  It also made me think how lucky members of the church have it in America!  
           We also had an Ausstellung (street display) in Lahr on Saturday in Stadtmitte, and I was super excited!...But it rained SO HARD and it was SO HUMID and I had a tiny umbrella that would cover my head, but any Books of Mormon or cards that I was holding would get soaked after just a few minutes.  There were some members from the Offenburg branch that came with us and did splits with us, and the members I were with were amazed at how hard missionary work really is!  Granted, they were experiencing contacting on the streets, which mostly ends up in rejection anyways, and it was pouring rain.  If they were to sit in on an actual lesson and be able to feel that besonders Spirit working through us to help the lives of our investigators, they would realize that being rejected by a few people on the street isn't that bad of a handoff for how rewarding the work can actually be!  The Ausstellung was still super fun to have anyways, but we're going to try again in a few weeks when it's actually sunny outside.  
         So apparently the Germans HATE violence.  In movies, in books, even talking about it.  Sister Jenson and I were planning on making a scripture charades game for a less-active family, and I kept thinking of stories like Ammon, the stripling warriors, etc, and she explained to me that Germans aren't really the biggest fans of violence and war stories.  They even changed a lot of the hymns that have war words into totally different songs.  But I guess with their history and how violent Germany has been in the past, I can see how they wouldn't really talk about violence lightly.  Which I think is super cool.  I was talking to a lady on the train a few weeks ago, and when she found out I was American, she spent the rest of the ride trying to convince me that not all Germans are Nazis and trying to discredit all of the German stereotypes.  It was really sad to notice how wrong lots of the images associated with Germans are, and how aware Germans are of American's perceptions of them.
         Sometimes Sister Jenson and I will talk English to each other when we're in public, and we always get people asking us if we are from England.  At first I was super excited and thought I had a lovely little British accent.  But I guess that British people get offended if people ask if they are American, so the Germans always ask if people are British, just to be safe!  Excitement killed...
       That's my week in a nutshell.  Before I go, I'd like to quickly share a verse I discovered a few weeks ago, but I like to read it whenever things get hard as a missionary.  If you can, read D&C 6:34 and 36, I just absolutely love the wording and the Spirit that comes when I read it!  Doubt not, fear not!  And have a good week!

-Sister Peterson

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