Silver White Winters that Melt into Spring

Silver White Winters that Melt into Spring….

Alright, well this winter was not the whitest but spring is definitely in the air. Everything is going two by two, birds, college students, old people….I could usually add us to that list, but not this time. In Tübingen, we go by three.

I thought this week I would mix it up a bit and give you a day by day account of what I have been up to. Are you ready to rumble???????

Monday:

  • This is what we like to call our preparation day. Perhaps you have heard of it. The locals around here have got a special name for it. P-day, Vorbereitungstag. V-day? Are we some sort of secret agent agency. Code words, maybe? Well, that might be but you certainly won’t find any secret combinations with us. (Ba-doom-tisch)
  • We did studies, cleaned speedy, gets messy faster with three, but also gets tidy quicker with three. Plus sister Whiting has a much higher level of tidiness than us two. Ha ha, we are grateful. “You did the dishes again” “yeah, well it needed to be done.”  Round of applause for the lovely miss Whiting.
  • We met F and the elders to go see a tower in Tübingen not far from the end stop of one of the city buses. We enjoyed our mini hike and headed quickly down through Tübingen castle to catch our bus for a visit with P. We were able to stop and feed the birds with the American bread that was still in our fridge completely unchanged since my birthday in November when sister Wilkes made me french toast. American white slices are spooky,
  • Nice visit with P, we talked with her a bit more about the temple. She wants to go and once the temples in Germany are opened again, she can go make a trip. She must stay in Germany because of her current visa. She has so much faith and wants the very best for her children. She is someone who needs a hug and to know that she is doing a god job and that the Lord loves her…. But then again are we not all like that?
  • Finish it off with a another famous missionary FHE. The whole point was to get R S registered for family search so that she could prepare the name of her father for the temple, sadly she did not come, but we had a good time with the elders, Bruder H and E N. They all brought a little something and we were able to have dinner together at the church. Pretzels, carrot salad, sliced up apples, over cooked but yummy cookies from the elders. Life is good. We shared the Easter video and did a Strihavka tradition of going around the table and talking about the high of our day and the low. Lots of testimony sharing going on during that. Guess that is what happens when you are a missionary.

Tuesday:

  • We finally got sister Whiting anmelded, or registered that she lives in the city. It is a long walk through the alte stadt for something that does not take so long but it was good to get it done. I like being the one who can help answer the questions not the one sitting quietly as the worker speaks with my companion. I get a little bit of that still with sister S, but I have definitely graduated a bit
  • Our water counter had to be replaced. I demonstrated the over view of the plan of salvation as loudly as possible without making it too obvious that I was hoping the repair person would listen up. They left with an Easter card.
  • The repair appointment had taken a while so then we rushed to the church for district meeting. It is always fun to sing around the piano as elder Erickson plays our opening hymn.
  • The F marathon began! We met with him and the elders and talked about the temple. Baptisms for the dead and starting to read on the temple prep book more about the endowment. It was nice, the temple actually gives me a lot of peace now when I teach about it. I am excited for when I can go again.
  • He drove us to visit sister D. She is a member in our ward who was baptized long, long ago, but as we are coming to find out actually never received the lessons and does not really know what the plan of salvation despite already being a member a long time and going through the temple. Yeah, that was a shocker. But we drew it all out for her and she did not recognize it, I suppose she just has a lot of faith, anyhow, we are teaching her all the lessons again, she invited the sisters and elders and F who drove us for lunch and a lesson. We had cheese fondue! Woo! Switzerland style with cut up pieces of bread. She is a sweet lady, she also showed us a traditional costume that her daughter made. It was very intricately embroidered. With different pieces that have to be attached correctly. It made me think of the BYU folk dancers costumes.
  • The we piled back in the car for a lesson with D. We had a great lesson with him, focusing on the last part of the plan of salvation. He is so earnestly seeking to know if it is true. He is determined to come on Sunday.

    coloring eggs

    Sister Strihavka, Sister Gardner and Sister Whiting coloring eggs

Wednesday

  • T Ml refereed himself to receive a copy of the Book of Mormon. We get to his house and he has a wall covered with guitars, a drum set and two keyboards. All squished in his tiny room. Ha ha, glad to see he has his priorities straight. And I mean that. Made it really easy how searching and finding out for yourself requires action just like in order to learn to play guitar you have to build up. Calluses. I did not know that word In German. Thus I was glad for the beautiful human dictionary sitting next to me.
  • Ran to the bus to visit sister A, a part member family. Her husband is not a member, he is kind of like W maybe a few months or years before I met him. Already coming to church quite often, but for some reason cannot quite accept to be baptized. We are working on that. He is a very fiery Austrian, and I think the funniest part was when they played some Polka music and then began dancing together.
  • We went with sister C, the relief society president and did service for one of our investigators C M whose husband is already a member. She is due to have their first child in a few weeks and the baby inside is big, so she gets tired just standing up. We shared the Easter video and sister C taught the visiting teaching message for that month.
  • The lesson with S and co was nice. A calm review of the restoration. M was great. He know so much and of course J is just bursting with right answers and her shining spirit and obvious desire. She is such a good example to her family. It was nice to just sit and read in the little kid Book of Mormon with them at the end of the lesson.

 

easter eggs

Lots of eggs!

Thursday

  • Well this morning started with an early train ride to bondorf for GMK. It went really long. We had lots to discuss and it is always the debate or wracking our brain how to work to get all members of the ward involved with missionary work. I was glad to be done, there is so much talk, talk talk talk. But nothing happens until you actually do. That is what I am realizing more and more. I want to be a doer, not just a talker. There needs to be a specific plan with a specific time restraint.  Setting deadlines for things in all parts of life is so important. And of course spur of the moment following the Holy Ghost.
  • We went out to a referral that lived in the middle of nowhere. Over the river and through the woods and pastures and pastures and fields. But finally we came to the house. Brother H was so kind to drive us. We get there. No one is home ( we only received an address in the email) we wait for a while then decide to leave a note, we are about to go and then the sixteen year old younger sister of the referral shows up, we explain who we are and she is so excited and invites us in. Her sister had been in on exchange in America staying in Utah with a member family, during her time there she had been active in the church and started to be taught. The missionaries came for a while to them but for some reason stopped. We were going to go after getting the phone number and making an appointment, and then the sister comes home. We show them the Easter video. And the story is explained all over again, We ask if she still has a Book of Mormon. Yep. She then goes up and gets her temples calendar that the family in America sent her for Christmas. It was wild. Then the mom came home and stood there in the doorway confused as to who we were. Then suddenly this expression of understanding comes over her face. She almost goes to hug sister Strihavka. Ha, ha, she was so glad to see us and invited us for dinner. We will see them again on the 31st. They all happened to come home early. Accident. No. That is called miracle.
  • We had a great visit with V. She really helped me a lot with her testimony that day. It was a short lesson, but as she shared her experiences with how to have peace and let go of anger, it really was inspiring.
  • The JD( junge dame) young woman activity was just fun. We taught a dance class. We got squished into the primary room because the young men where sword fighting in the relief society room. But we made do. It was a great time. So good to dance again. dance class yw

Friday

Then to finish off the week. Back to S and M and J. We are doing the lessons over again. We were talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I had made a
little staircase for her with the steps and this time I made a little paper J and M so that they could go up the steps. But we come in to a crying M who tells
us he does not want to get baptized anymore. We try to console him but he is mostly just quiet and crying. His mom is pretty frustrated with him and J
just asks him if he will please pray. It was sad but at that moment I just wanted to snuggle the little kid in my arms and tell him it would be ok. We think
it had to do with having to put away his mindcraft videos when we come and he does not want to give up all him time for the lessons. (Curse you second
generation of babysitters) So I still have hope for him. Because at the end after leaving for most of the lesson he came back and did put his little person
on the staircase on the umkehr or repentance step. So there is hope yet, we just have to take it all a bit more slowly. Teach repentance, baptize converts.
Friday we also visited R H and T F.

Saturday

  • R Family. it had been almost a month and a little while since we had been there. The house looks great, if you can remember those photos I sent a while ago in October when we were breaking out the wall, it is all finished now, with a beautiful window where the wall once stood. It makes me so happy to see them in the house, there is still much to do, but it is more livable now. It seemed like some sort of Phoenix metaphor. Our of the flames of destruction is something beautiful begun. Sister Whiting and I cooked them lunch as the others cleaned windows and  other things. I was not planning on that, but the chicken needed to be cut so I find myself with a knife in my hand and my fingers freezing in the cold meat in the even colder house.
  • Coming home we drove through Tübingen to be in Reutlingen. We went and visited old sister H in the hospital. The elders and brother K came along. She had to have most of her leg amputated off, so it was nice to spend some time with her, just holding her hand and singing for her. Elder petty the tech master was all excited to show her the Easter videos. We were able to show it also to the three other old ladies staying in her hospital room. She is sweet and so positive despite this trial. She will have a prosthetic leg eventually.

Sunday

  • I am running out of time.
  • Highlights: J getting confirmed, R’s cooking, and brownies with the H’s. They are excited to help with the Easter activity on Friday. I am so grateful for the good friendships with members

I am sorry I’ve got to go, but be happy, the world is lovely.

Sister Gardner

 

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