Hello Friends & Family,
This week was probably one of the longest and funnest weeks of my mission.
|J and I, parting shots of Freiburg|
With transfer calls on Friday and my birthday on Saturday,
|My wonderful Bee Socks|
I just couldn't wait for the weekend to come!!
But it was a great week, and I just have to say that I LOVE the members here in Freiburg!
We were at the H-U house again this week,
but we had to move our appointment up an hour earlier than we normally have it because Bruder H had work later that day. Well, little did we know that the train that we normally take to their house doesn't run that early in the day, so we had to scramble between S-Bahns and buses just to find our way there.
We made it all the way to Breisach and waited for our S-Bahn, and we waited for maybe 10 minutes and it never came. We checked the plan again and realized that the S-Bahn that we normally take also doesn't run that early, so we were supposed to be waiting for a bus.
We made the phone call of shame and told them that we would be an hour late because we missed our bus, but they said that they would come pick us up.
We were feeling so bad, especially because we always make blonde mistakes when going over to their house. (Remember when we hopped out of the bus too early in Oberbergen and decided to walk to the next stop and it took us a half hour? Yep, that was on the way to the H-U!)
I am just so grateful that they love us and have a sense of humor!
They drove up to where we were waiting in Breisach, and they were both laughing their heads off at the two little blonde American missionaries :P
We had a super good appointment, but Schwester H-U kept randomly saying how excited she was for dessert and how she had a really fun surprise for us.
As we were eating lunch, she pulled out a bunch of big beer mugs, and I was worried that she was going to give us all alcohol free beer!
(Which is actually pretty popular here in Germany. The members here love to tease the missionaries by giving us our first ''beer''.)
I was trying to think of a way to kindly say that I would just drink water, when she pulls out 8 cans of A&W root beer!
Just to let you know, it is hard to find root beer anywhere in Europe, nobody likes the flavor and everyone thinks it is too sweet.
But Schwester H-U LOVES root beer, and she found a place that sells A&W in Switzerland and bought a bunch for us. So we had one can for lunch, then she made us root beer floats.
|Oh the deliciousness of Root Beer and Ice Cream|
Us and Schwester H-U were on cloud 9 drinking our root beer floats, but Bruder H couldn't decide whether or not he liked it! haha he just kept asking 'is this supposed to be a dessert?' 'why are we drinking it in a mug, don't you put it in a bowl?' and 'why are you putting ice cream in my soda?'
haha small cultural differences :P
I actually really like having a birthday on the mission! We had a service project on Saturday morning, where we cleaned up a really pretty cemetery.
Somehow, I don't know how but I noticed it with Sister Henry,s birthday too, but EVERYONE knows when the missionaries are having birthdays! (I guess having the same birthday as the bishops daughter kind of helps too lol.)
I have to tip my hat to Sister Henry as well, somehow she managed to coordinate with the Elders and a few members a surprise birthday party for me. Do you know how hard it is to plan a party for your companion when you are with them 24/7? Kudos!
|My surprise Birthday Party|
Remember the story of us meeting the lady at the bus stop, and she randomly invited us over? Well, we went by on them a few days later, and Z (the mom) wasn't home, but her daughter, son, and their cousin was over. We talked to them for about an hour and just got to know them, but we didn't feel like it was right to try to share a message with them, especially because Z wasn't home. And lemme tell you, it is HARD to not share a message as a missionary, but we just didn't feel like it was a good time.
As we left, H (the daughter, I think she is maybe 15 or 16) invited us over for dinner sometime and to help her with her English, which we said we would, but we were kind of confused as to how we would tell this family that we are missionaries and that our purpose is to help them come unto Christ.
This family just baffled us, and nothing ever really made any sense, but we just trusted that the Lord had a purpose that we just couldn't understand! We went by on them again on Saturday evening, really praying that we would finally be able to get in contact with Z. H was home and invited us in, so we talked with her for a little bit before Z came back. Z talked with us for a while, but we could kind of tell that Z wasn't really interested in talking with about the Gospel as much as she just wanted someone to talk to.
So again, the little confusing stop sign came out, saying 'Don't share a message yet, don't try to push anything on them yet.' I have to admit, I was getting a bit frustrated, we had been trying for weeks to get in contact with Z, and here we were, our second time at their house, and they still didn't know our purpose! It came time for us to go, but before we left we asked Z if she wanted to come to church with us on Sunday (they live just around the corner) but she didn't seem too interested. But H, who had been sitting in the corner for the whole hour, quickly piped up and said that she would love to come, and we said that we would pick her up right before sacrament meeting. At church, we asked the Young Women leaders if it would be okay for the young women to walk over with us before sacrament meeting and pick up H together, and everyone was super excited about picking up a Young Women aged investigator.
We all walked over together, and H was super surprised, but I could tell she loved having a bunch of instant friends! We had a whole row to ourselves; Sister Henry and I, H, and all of the Young Women. Sister Henry and I asked a few girls to explain what the sacrament was, to stay with H, one girl helped her find the hymns, one girl wrote her testimony in a Book of Mormon and gave it to H, and a few of the girls stuck around after sacrament meeting to get to know her and invite her to the YW activity on Friday.
I couldn't have been more proud of the Young Women, they did a stellar job in being member missionaries and just a good friend to H. It was so amazing to finally see the purpose of meeting with this family, and how Sister Henry and I kept focusing on getting in contact with Z and convincing Z to hear our message, when really it was her daughter who was being prepared to meet us. I have no doubt that H's excitement and progress will definitely be a good example for her mom and her brother, and I am so excited for them! I am kind of sad that I won't be in Freiburg to see it, but I am making Sister Henry promise to fill me in on EVERYTHING that goes on with them!
Soooooo, drum roll please...
Transfer calls came on Friday and will take place on Thursday 10/17!
Sister Henry is staying here in Freiburg and will be working with Sister Woods. Sister Woods has been on her mission one transfer longer than me, and she sounds super fun (from what I have heard of her.)
|A small little pathway in Freiburg|
And I will be going to....
Well, before I say where I am going, lemme just say how much the Lord loves me!
So, first off, I had been praying and praying for years before I even knew that I was going to go on a mission that if I ever did go, I would -go to multiple countries in Europe (check!) -speak German (check!) and -go when I was 19 (check!) Prayer number one answered. When I found out that Americans aren't allowed in Switzerland to work as missionaries, I prayed super hard that I would still be able to see Switzerland on my mission!
I then got called to Freiburg, which is in a Swiss Stake, so I was able to go to Switzerland multiple times before they organized the Freiburg zone, officially closing up the possibility of an American missionary going to Switzerland. Prayer number 2 answered. Then, everyone was asking me where I would want my next area to be. I kept telling people that I really wanted to spend Christmas in Austria, but for some reason I never had a desire to go to Vienna, but that I really wanted to serve in Salzburg.
Welll, GUESS WHO IS GOING TO AUSTRIA???!?!?!?!?
Yep, my next area will be Linz, Austria, which is in the Salzburg Stake!
|A picture of the Danube Valley in Linz Austria|
I don't know too much about Linz, but I heard that it is super flat (so no more Black Forest hills and mountains) and I probably wont be able to see the Alps from my area. Linz has a ward, not a branch, so that will be nice to go from a big ward to another ward! There are also a set of Elders and a senior missionary couple also serving in the area, so I won't be completely alone :P
Oh, my companion! That's the other exciting news! So my companions name is Sister Wunderli, I'm not quite sure how to spell it. She is actually Hungarian, so I will get to serve with a European companion! Wow, I am super curious and nervous for that one! She has only been on her mission for one transfer, so I will be finishing up her training.
I get to be a trainer again!!!
Yikes, that's only a little bit of responsibility D: All in all, I am super stoked for this upcoming transfer, I have been super blessed my whole mission with amazing areas in places I have been praying to go :P I hope that means that I am actually supposed to be serving in these places, and that the Lord isn't just answering my prayers because he's afraid I will throw a fit if I don't serve in these areas...Sister Henry says that I am just super in tune with the Spirit because the desires of my heart is exactly what the Lord has in store for me lol all I know is that I am super grateful. I think it is kind of funny that I was in the hottest city in Germany for summer and will be going to Austria for winter (and Austria gets COLD!!!! BRRR!) Naja, that's the news with me! Transfers are on Thursday, so next Pday I will fill you in on my new companion and the new area :)
I hope everything is going well for you at home! Have a great week, and I love you!