Wednesday, June 19, 2013

6 hours of church

Hi everybody! I hope you have had a lovely week! Do me a favor- take a minute and think of something that made you happy this week.

Got it? Feeling warm and fuzzy inside? Good.

So, I have moved 40 minutes away from little Göppingen to the bustling city of Stuttgart! We live in a brand new apartment, so new that I don't really even have a closet yet, so I'm living out of suitcases at the moment. I may not even really unpack since I'm going home in 6 weeks, GASP. The apartment is in a really cute part of town called Weilimdorf. We live a 10 minute walk from the church, so it is basically perfect.

I am serving with Sister Jencks and Sister Green. Sister Jencks came to the field about 3 months ago and Sister Green got here last week! They are both 20. Needless to say, I am feeling old, since I have been on my mission for almost 17 months and I am a whopping 22 years old. Well, I may be a dinosaur, but they can't quite get rid of me yet! So far things have been going great, serving with two other missionaries instead of just one always adds in an extra dynamic, but I think we will get along just fine.

Also, we are serving in both the German and the English speaking congregations! This means, among other things, that we go to two 3 hour blocks of church each Sunday. I am adjusting since in Göppingen we only had 2 hours of church (no Sunday school) but it should be fun. The German ward is adorable, our ward mission leader is Italian and it feels just like a cozy family. The English speaking ward is basically a military ward. Even though it technically is an international ward, 99.9% of the members are American and either in the military or work for the military. That was a little strange, it was like we were back in America for 3 hours yesterday.

We will be going on 4 exchanges this transfer, as well as going to Munich for our Leadership meeting. In case you were wondering how we are going to get everything done, don't worry, I'm asking myself that exact same question. But you know what? We just have to take it one step at a time.

This last week I have been realizing how fast time does go by and how we need to take advantage of the time that we have been given. I don't want to be super stressed about using absolutely every single second of every day (because that would be exhausting) but I am just trying to be more aware of how I spend my time. Especially because we are so busy, time really counts. I have been learning to take those little times throughout the day that I need for just me, to do something that makes me happy, for example writing in my journal or just enjoying every bit of my cereal in the morning (I really like cereal). I have also been trying to use my time efficiently so that I don't have to be stressed with last minute stuff. We will see how well that goes!

We have a couple of really cool investigators, one of whom came to church yesterday! She is American, a single mom with two kids. She became good friends with a member family in the international ward and has been coming to church on and off since December. She is awesome! She just has a couple concerns (related to the Word of Wisdom) but I think as she gains her own testimony of the gospel, those concerns won't be so bad to help her overcome.

Summer has officially arrived, took it long enough. The day we moved was very, very hot (doesn't that always seem to happen on moving days?). Today is also warm and sunny.

I Also LOVE this quote from Neal A. Maxwell-

"Though of themselves life's defining moments may seem minor, our wise responses can gradually increase our traction on the demanding path of discipleship. For instance, we can decide daily or in an instant, in seemingly little things, whether we respond with a smile instead of a scowl, or whether we give warm praise instead of exhibiting icy indifference. Each response matters in its small moment. Afterall, moments are the molecules that make up eternity, affecting not only ourselves but others, because our conduct even in seemingly small things can be contagious."

Ich bin dankbar, auf mission zu sein. Ich habe vieles gelernt und ich weiß, das ist noch mehr lernen soll, bevor ich nach hause gehe. Ich weiß, dass unser Himmlischer Vater uns liebt und uns kennt. Er lässt uns nicht allein. Niemals.

(I am grateful to be on mission. I have learned a lot and I know I am supposed to learn more before I go home. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and knows us. He never has left us alone. Never.)
Ich hab euch lieb! Bis bald! (Love you, see you soon!)

--Sister Stewart

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