Landshut – Week 20

Landshut - Week 20

(week 74)

Halllllooooo alle!!

Yet again, a crazy couple weeks! Let’s get into it.

First – I have 16 days left of my mission. THAT’S LIKE 2 WEEKS PEOPLE. CRAZY.

Honestly, in the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about my mission, about the things I’ve learned and the ways I’ve grown. I’m very happy with the person I’ve become and grateful for how God has answered my prayers. He has been there in ways I can’t begin to explain.

I had an exchange with Sister Bass. I didn’t really know her very well before, but now I love her so so much!! It had been a hard couple weeks, and I really needed to unload some of the weight I was carrying. She was there for me and I learned a ton from her that day. It was also really cool, because Landshut was her very first area on her mission!! So we got to see some people and places that she remembered, which was really special. We spent most of the time talking and she helped me realize something really important…My mission has not been easy. To some degree my mission has been a story of struggle with my mental health, and my testimony took a blow as a result. It’s been very hard for me at times to feel the spirit or to feel the love of my Savior around me. As a missionary, and as myself, that was really hard. Frankly, it sucked! But as I’ve gotten better, (and I’m doing much, much better now!!) My perspective has slowly but surely opened to see what the Lord was doing.

Sister Bass and I were talking about our companions and as I thought about it, I realized just how much my companions have done for me. When I couldn’t feel Christ, He sent me my companions, and inspired them to help me. As a result, my companions WERE Christ for me, on my mission, on many occasions. As they loved me, comforted me, cried with me, and even held me in their arms at times, they acted as Christ would if He were there Himself. And I know that through them, He was. And I couldn’t be more grateful for them and that God put us together.

TLDR: your influence is not small. You have no idea just how much help you are. Please keep reaching out to those in your life who struggle with mental health issues. They need you.

Okay, now for lighter topics: we had an austellung here in Landshut!! It was GREAT. As a zone we gave out about 7 Books of Mormon, and over 50 cards with our contact info. We also did something super cool – I found these cards in the apartment that make a big picture of Christ when you put them in the right order. Each one says “Jesus bringt mir…” (Jesus brings me…) and then has a space for someone to write on the card. I needed to find a way to make them reusable… and then inspiration struck!! We went and got the materials, and spent an afternoon covering the cards in packing tape, and sticking velcro on them and on a big board. Now we could write on the cards with a dry erase marker and they will be used for years and years!! It was a pretty effective finding technique, and we filled up over half of the 50 cards!! It was pretty awesome.

Last week on Tuesday we had zone conference! MY LAST ZONE CONFERENCE. Sad. It was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, I had to sing, and everyone really loved that. President Naatjes said that it’s been a huge blessing to have a good singer who isn’t afraid to perform in the mission. I, of course, have been flattered and honored to get so many amazing opportunities to sing. I’ll attach the video with my email.

Not many actual missionary work updates. We are making friends, baptizing the nation, and getting dropped so you know. Just the usual 😋 (no baptisms for us actually, but others in our zone do so that’s really exciting!)

It was an AWESOME Saturday… we drove aaaaaaalllllll the way to Frankfurt to go to THE TEMPLE!!!! We had to drive 4 hours to get there and did an endowment session. (For my non-member friends, an endowment is a very special ceremony we do in our temples, where we enter into a covenant with God. In return for our obedience, we are endowed with powers from on high. Its very sacred and special and the more I learn about it, the more I love it!) The whole zone went, so we had about 24 missionaries there, which was awesome. I felt sooooo good to be in the temple, and it was so relaxing. Especially to be in the Celestial room afterwards, all dressed in white. Being surrounded by my fellow missionaries, I felt strongly that we are all brothers and sisters, and I sincerely hope to see them all in the Celestial Kingdom after this life is over. I never wanted to leave, but it’s okay. This life is short and then hopefully I’ll qualify to be there forever.

I am just sooooooo grateful for my mission. I really can’t describe it all, writing it down just takes so long, and it’s so hard to put into words!! I can’t imagine my life without this experience, and I’m so amazed.

I love you all so much! Bis nächste Woche!!

Sister Miltimore

 

Landshut – Week 17

Landshut - Week 17

(week 71)

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t written in literally “am ewigkeit”!!! (in eternity) I’ve been having too much fun enjoying my last p-days as a missionary. I come home in 35 days!! AAAAAAHHHH!!!!  Got some big updates and stories for you so buckle up!

Sister Gramsch: Sister Gramsch is a very sweet and well meaning older woman of our ward, who has really been dealt every short stick in life. She has multiple chronic health issues, including depression and epilepsy to name a couple. Her husband died a few years ago, and had been a smoker and alcoholic before his death. She has two elderly cats, lives on the 4th floor with no elevator and every time I go over there she has a new bruise or cut somewhere, usually on her face. She can’t lift her arm so high as even to shake a persons hand, so there’s just a lot of things she needs help with. We visit her once a week to do service, listen to her babbling stories, and give a little inspirational thought.  So……. Sister McArthur and I show up at her apartment building one day, and there’s no answer when we ring the doorbell. No answer to her phone either. Normally, I would have just walked away, thinking she’d probably forgotten about the appointment. But that day we just both felt like we needed to check and make sure she was okay. So we ringed all her neighbors until someone let us in the building. We go up to her apartment and knock on the door. No answer, but we hear a banging coming from inside the apartment. We call to her from the door. Then more banging “BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!!” And I realize what’s happened – she’s fallen and she can’t get up, and she’s trying to get the attention of someone to come help her. So we start panicking a little and make an action plan.

First, we go to every neighbor who is home, asking if anyone has a key to her apartment. No one. We find out where the owner lives, go to her – she doesn’t have a key either!! After about 10 minutes of running around, we head back up to her apartment and call through the door to see if she needs an ambulance – all I could imagine was Sister Gramsch, lying in a growing pool of her own blood or something awful like that. I couldn’t understand her through the door. Sister McArthur then suggests that we say a prayer. She says it, and as soon as it’s done, I look down at the mat underneath our feet. I reach down, pull it aside, and there was the spare key. We grab it, go into the apartment, and find Sister Gramsch, unharmed but lying on the floor next
 to her bed. We sit her up and get her on the bed and the poor lady is just shaking like a leaf. We get her some water and then try to get the story of what happened. She was totally in shock, making no sense, but I gathered that she had been laying there about an hour trying to get someone’s attention. We spent the next 2 hours with her, making her drink some soup, feeding the cats, and cleaning things up around the apartment. Finally, we put her back to bed, and left.

An important note about the story.  We told her about the key we found. She said that there was no key, that she had never put one there. A week later she fell again, and when people tried to help her… there was no key under the mat. By small and simple means are great things brought to pass.  I can’t explain where that key came from or where it disappeared to… but I’m grateful for the immediate answer to our fervent prayer.

So, if you thought I’d stop at one long story, you’ve got another thing coming! Pull down your lap bar cause this Rollercoaster is taking off once again!

Mohammed: we made a new friend!  Sort of!  Sister McArthur in true greenie enthusiasm could not be stopped from doing service wherever she saw a need for it. One morning we were at the train station very early, and the man working at the Subway was setting up his tables and chairs. She decided to go help him, and he accepted her offer giving her a couple free cookies in return. The story could have ended there but no!  The next day, the same situation occurs – Sister McArthur helps set things up while I am planning our route for the day. This time though, he’s trying to talk to her, but she can’t understand him. They come over to me for translation, and I just stammer through it because I am so surprised!! He said that he told his wife about us and our service, and they want to invite us to dinner to have real Kurdish food. We, of course, accepted and exchanged information and set a time to come.

Fast forward to Sunday evening…..We come to this small apartment filled with people. That night we met Mohammed, his wife, their 4 kids, his brother and sister in law, their daughter, and the brother of the sister in law. Plus a few others who came in and out of the apartment. At this time, Ramadan was still going and in their religion Ramadan is a time when everyone fasts during the daylight hours, from about 6 in the morning until 8 pm at night…. we got there at 5:30 😅😅😅 so of course, we felt very awkward trying to come up with things to talk about for almost 3 hours. When the meal was prepared, we helped set out a blanket on the floor, and by the end of the preparations the whole thing was covered with plates of food. We all sat together on the floor and ate. Mohammed was so sweet and taught us what each food item was and how to eat it. His family came from Syria, went through Lebanon and was able to come to Germany because of their daughter’s special needs. They have lost everything they once knew, and can’t even see some of their family because they live in other countries that they aren’t allowed to go to. They have been here for 7 years. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve met such a happy, close family or community on my mission. They loved and supported one another, and were willing to share literally everything they have with us, two complete strangers from America who just decided to be nice to them. We now have a weekly appointment with the family, to enjoy eating traditional Kurdish food together and sharing the similarities in our
belief systems. It’s been amazing to get to know them.  And I now have a love of stuffed grape leaves if you can believe that!

We had another all mission conference….WITH ELDER UCHTDORF!!!!!  And I got to sing Pie Jesu with Sister Swenson!  It went very well. It was very moving to be in the presence of an apostle and I learned many things from him.  Mostly it was about how I felt – which was so good!  At the end we sang our mission song and he joined in!  He got “verklempt” (teary) and it was very emotional ❤❤❤  It was such a great day!

Transfers: drumroll please 🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁  I’m staying in Landshut till the end!!! 6 months in this area, let’s go! But, big sad, THEY STOLE MY GREENIE FROM ME!!! She got sent to Wien (Vienna)!! Crazy, crazy times, we were soooooo sad to leave one another. I will be ending my mission with Sister Middleton, who goes home just a month after me.

God had A LOT for me to learn last transfer. The biggest takeaway was that I can do hard things. My greenie, and the crazy situations we got into really taught me to be more adaptable. It was an amazing transfer, and I’m really proud of all we accomplished. I hope I don’t ruin it now that she’s gone!!

In other news, I got a haircut and have bangs for my last transfer and I really love them! I jumped on the curtain bangs bandwagon and I am a fan. We also had a beautiful drive through the mountains and lakes and almost too cute to be true little towns for Pday.  I love you all and I’ll see you soon!!

Sister Miltimore

Landshut – Week 14

Landshut - Week 14

(week 68)

Hallooooo Alle!
What a wonderful couple weeks!! I still haven’t seen all of General Conference yet (it’s hard since we can’t watch it live with the time difference)… but 17 temples!! None of them in Utah, wow!

This week was good! Last Wednesday we went on quite the adventure! We decided that even though it would be a challenge, we would somehow get to Bruder Bachmann without a car… so:
First, we rode a bus. Then, a train. THEN. We rode bikes for about 15 minutes. Then we ate lots of food. And then we repeated the process, backwards and forwards, 2 more times for other appointments. It was actually a really great day! I really enjoyed it.

The last 2 Saturdays we went and helped at a refugee center in Landshut (btw this is pronounced lants·hoot) where they have been collecting items since the war in Ukraine started. As part of it, they also set up a small “shop” where refugees can come in and take whatever they need. We got to meet some of them, as we helped organize things and hang up clothes. We worked so hard, all the people running it wanted to know who we are and when we could come again! The next time we went, they remembered our names and were so happy to see us. Who knew service could be such a great potential finding tool?!

Then we had GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! I loved it, but more important to me is a total MIRACLE we saw. So, we got a list of names from our Relief Society of women to check in on and reach out to. We went and visited one, but she couldn’t let us in then. She told us to come again and then texted us later that day! She said that she felt like us coming was a sign from God and that she would come to the broadcast of General Conference the ward put on Sunday evening. She came AND brought her grandson!! This woman has been less active for 40 YEARS. We asked her when we could come again, and she said “tomorrow?” So we went the next day! We talked about conference with her, her non-member daughter and grandson. It was AWESOME and it was a total reminder to me of why I am here and that God is in the details. So, so cool.

This past week was also amazing!! I got to do exchanges with my Home MTC companion Sister Parker!! It’s the first time we’ve ever gotten to serve together IN PERSON! We have never served in the same zone, or even the same country and we are just thriving now that we are finally together again. We had the best exchange, talking through everything we’ve gone through during the last 16 months and honestly, it was like the most ultimate venting session I have ever had, and boy did we NEED that exchange!!

Sunday was the best day!! JOSEPH GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! The ward helped us set everything up to support him and it was wonderful. He looked glowing in white, and his testimony at the end was so sweet! He loves Jesus Christ and His church, and is so excited to be a member of it. He is learning so much by reading from the Book of Mormon daily, and it has been so wonderful to watch him grow! It was also awesome my parents could participate via zoom and took some screenshots I will post below.

Okay, now a really funny moment we had yesterday. We got on a train and when the ticket people came, we realized that the tickets we had were not for that type of train. So, I paid the ticket agent with a 50 euro bill. He gave me my change back, and walked away. Came back like, 3 seconds later and was like “I’m so sorry, according to some policy I actually can’t give you the money I did, but here, let me give you a voucher to get your money back at the station” and I was like “OK fine we actually have time to do that today”. So, he takes back the change and gives me a voucher. Leaves again. COMES BACK AGAIN another 3 seconds later and is like “oops, almost forgot!” and HANDS ME BACK THE 50 EURO BILL I GAVE HIM…..so….. Let’s just walk through this again:
I give 50 euros.
He gives me change.
I give him back the change.
He gives back a voucher for said change.
He gave me back my 50 euros.
So, I walked away with my original 50 euros and a 30 euro voucher ticket. So, not only did we end up riding that train for free… we technically also got paid to do so. We were dying laughing, we had to repeat the situation to ourselves like15 times to make sense of what the heck had just occurred. We did not cash in the voucher even though DB keeps ripping me off by making me pay for tickets for my bikes to ride the trains!


Anyway, this was a great couple weeks!! The transfer is already more than halfway over and the next one is my last!! 😳😳😳

See you all next week!

Sister Miltimore

Landshut – Week 12

Landshut - Week 12

(week 66)

Hallllloooo alle!

Guess who’s still in Germany?! Me. Still here, and glad to be.

1st week of training has been accomplished! Man has it been a Rollercoaster 😅😅 as usual, I did not give myself enough credit for what I was accomplishing and for the amount of STRESS I was under and kinda beat myself up about how things went. But it’s starting to get a little easier and we are figuring things out together. She’s like, the most capable greenie I’ve ever met, so yeah. Literally the only thing she cannot do is German. And sitting still. It’s been a busy week 😅🤣

So my greenie is Sister McArthur from St. George, Utah. Coincidence? I think not. God knows so much. (For those of you who may not remember, my stateside reassignment was St George. I spent the first 4 months of my mission in Cedar City, about 45 minutes north of St George!)

As previously mentioned, we have been busy, busy bees!! Honestly, it’s been super stressful, as I’ve tried to navigate having a gung-ho greenie with the fact that our car just got taken away and the public transportation in this area is like… super sucky. We haven’t accomplished everything that should have gotten done, but we were able to do some very important things. We coordinated with all of our leadership members, made goals and planned for everything we want to focus on this transfer. We organized a bunch of transportation options, and started planning the day before so we would know which tickets we need the office to buy.  We made list after list and we executed things one by one. I’m tired but energized at the same time. It’s weird.

I will say though, Saturday was a doozy even for me. We now have bikes. Let me paint a picture here. Imagine, you are trying to get on a bike. First, you must stretch your whole body in order to get your leg high enough to go over the “boy bar” of the frame. This bar is so tall that in order to not be sitting on it (not even the seat yet, just the bar) that you must stand on your tiptoes. Then imagine, you wish to ride the bike. But, seeing as the seat is above your waist level, you must jump backwards onto it, as you begin to push the pedal and move forward very wobbly. You achieve it, your arms completely straight out in front of you in order to hold on to the handle bars. You are wearing your expensive 50 euro bike helmet, flared pants, and your backpack, as you begin the one way 14 km ride of the day. Oh and BTW… this is your first time on a bike in 5 years. End scene.

So, Saturday kinda sucked and I may or may not have broken down crying on the side of the road….And hit another biker at one point. My body now has more bruises than skin. JK, but kneeling to pray is a bit more painful than usual. My knees are fun colors.

Trainers and those who have trained : advice and affirmation are requested 😅 my greenie and I are pretty different people, and we’ve had to do a lot of compromising. That being said, she had her first Schnitzel and Gelato yesterday and that was a blessing to behold.

Awesome news: Joseph gets baptized on the 10th!! 10 days people! We are trying to get everything planned out and we are sooooo excited for him, he is so ready!! Last week I also had the chance to reach out to a convert I taught in Cedar City, which was super cool because it was his year anniversary of being baptized!!

Also, a little funny tidbit of what it is to be a European missionary: we have a friend named Cristian, who is from Romania, but grew up in Italy. We teach him in German but we speak in English. 4 languages, 1 gospel. Pretty crazy awesome.

Alright-y, I love you guys!! Thank you for all the amazing things you do! (Also, I would love to get emails from people if you ever have a moment and think of me! You really make a difference, and it helps me stay off Facebook when I have emails to read!)


Sis Miltimore

Landshut – Week 11

Landshut - Week 11

(Week 65)

Halllllllllloooooo alle!! Ich habe euch vermisst!

Die letzte dreu Wochen waren laaaaange und ein bisschen Stressig aber gut. Wir haben viele Wundern gesehen, und viel gelacht Emoji

**(Hallllllllloooooo everyone!! I have missed you! The last three weeks have been long and a bit stressful but good. We have seen many miracles and laughed a lot)**

The last couple weeks have been pretty good! Strap in, we’ve got quite the update to get through!

Okay, so I have to talk about Bruder Bachmann for a second. This man has us over every week, where his friend and fellow ward member Sister Ulakovic, makes us a 3 course meal. For scale, we don’t eat breakfast before and we never need dinner after. It’s a food coma inducing meal every time, and I have actually had to turn down dessert a couple times because I was soooooo stuffed that I physically couldn’t handle it. Another thing to know is that Bruder Bachmann is quite well into his nineties, having been born in 1930. He lives in this little old folks home and loves to sing still… and he was recently inspired to starting a little singing group with us to perform for the other old people at their little Cafe. So, there’s your background and now onto the actual story of the catastrophic choir.

So, we go and set up in this little Cafe, and I’m playing on the little keyboard we brought with us. I set up, sit down, and look over and see this woman sitting in a big upright chair. And I swear, she looks DEAD. Like, head flopped, mouth open, not moving, absolutely just old as dirt dead. And I’m like “EmojiEmojiEmoji” and just start playing for the group. We get a few songs in, and now we are singing traditional Bavarian folk songs. And I hear this voice from my right, and the woman is singing! Her head still flopped over, mouth still agape, but singing along! And I’m just thinking to myself “OH OKAY, NOT DEAD, DEFINITELY NOT DEAD” and you know what?! She actually had a really nice voice. Still older than dirt though. We sounded horrible and none of us Americans knew the songs sooooo yeah. We will be doing it again tomorrow EmojiEmojiEmoji

We also got to meet again with our friend Angela! She found us through Finde Christus, and is progressing quite well! We taught her the Plan of Salvation, using a very cool wooden puzzle I picked up while I was at the Swiss Temple (best 25 francs I’ve ever spent). Now, 2 things you need to understand: 1, she is catholic. 2, the puzzle is round. So, we teach her the whole thing, answering questions as we go along, and at the end she tells us that she believes in reincarnation. And I’m just thinking, “You’re catholic, why the heck would you believe in reincarnation?!” We try to explain it to her and we ask her to explain what she believes to us. She looks at the puzzle and says “look see? It’s a circle, you just start at the beginning again!” So basically that we go from the celestial kingdom, back to the pre-mortal life. And we were like “nooooooooo that’s uh…. that’s NOT how that works EmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji” I’m still not quite sure that she gets it. We’ll fix it later

For p-day last week we went thrift shopping and bowling! I did surprisingly well, but my awesome comp got 2 strikes! There was this professional lady there though, and we all COULD NOT figure out how the heck she was getting such good scores because her technique was the WEIRDEST bowling I have ever seen. Just imagine with me: normally, you swing your arm back as you walk all the way up to the lane and then try to carry through to get the ball to go fast right? Well, this lady did all of that, UNTIL she got to the lane, where she would stop short suddenly and pull in her arm like a t-rex and let the ball just go “PLOP!” on the lane and then slooooowly roll towards the pins….. and then she’d get a STRIKE?!?!??!!?! I do not know how heavy that ball must have been, but we were all mega confused and it was very hard not to laugh.

We are teaching yet another interesting person! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned Faris before, but he is a Syrian refugee who speaks only Arabic. I can English. I can Deutsch. I cannot Arabic. Soooo that was a problem for us! But luckily we found someone to help us translate and now we teach him twice a week! He wants the gospel sooooooooo bad, and has already read the whole Book of Mormon! It’s seriously cool. And also very complicated Emoji

Last Friday I went to Munich for the day on exchanges!! It really showed me that I am needed, and that God really gives us experiences so that we can help others. We visited this very, very stressed mom and ended up sitting in the sun with her for a little bit. She shared some of her hardships with us, of loneliness and being overwhelmed by life. I could see and feel her pain, having felt similarly depressed before. I was able to share with her a small part of my experience, which seemed to boost her. The spirit was strong, and I just felt blessed to know her. Please never underestimate yourselves, you never know what impact you make.

On Sunday I had such a miracle!! I hopped on Facebook for a couple minute and I saw a post from someone asking why it takes so long for God to answer prayers. And I was like, I have an answer for that! So I wrote a comment and hoped it would help. About 20 minutes later, the original poster commented back and said that was exactly what they were looking for! They also sent me a message and said that they had been contacted by our church before but wasn’t ready to hear it until now, and wanted to know more. We ended up having an hour long conversation and then we called the next day! They had a ton of questions, but really liked that we believe in pre-mortal life. It was just so cool to see Facebook finding in action!!

Honestly, since it’s been so long there’s some stuff that just won’t make it in here. BUT SOME BIG NEWS: I AM TRAINING!!!! I’m literally so excited, I can’t wait to meet her. We’ve spent days cleaning up the apartment getting it all ready. I’m so excited to give her the best experience here in Landshut and Passau!!

Also, we got our car taken away so please pray that I can figure out the wacky bus system here EmojiEmoji

I love you guys sooooooooo much and I hope you have the best-est week ever!!

Landshut – Week 8

Landshut - Week 8

(week 62)

Hallllloooo everyone! Ready for another great update?

BIG NEWS!! We are having ANOTHER mission conference!!! Elder Uchtdorf is coming to Zürich on April 15th!! Whoop whoop!!

Also, to all of the people who didn’t get a personal email this week, I am sorry!

This week was GREAT as usual 😋. We got like 5 referrals, met with some new people, and just had an awesome time!! Let’s get into it!

So, the week started off with some usual appointments, going to see some of our favorite people. Then on Thursday we had Exchanges! Sister Neundorf came to me here in Landshut, and we went to a little town about an hour away to knock on people’s doors. One of the first people let us in! He’s been inactive for a really long time, and even though he isn’t super interested, he let us in and we shared a scripture with him. We tried to visit a few more people, but they either didn’t live there anymore, or rejected us. Big sad. We had a lot of fun though, driving around the German countryside and talking.

That night we went to the Auras family and they taught us how to make Schnitzel!!! It was soooo awesome, and fun too!! We had a great time, talking and eating, and then we shared the message of the Restoration with them. They are such an awesome family, who always take great care of us!

Friday we exchanged back, and then Sister Slater and I went and saw a new friend of ours, Angela! She found us through Finde Christus, so we were able to go bring her a book of Mormon and teach her about the Restoration. She has a lot of interest, and a ton of potential! She’s super funny, but her Bayrish (bi-rish) accent is SO THICK she literally was sooooo hard to understand. Bayrish is a dialect of Bayern (or Bavaria) which sounds so garbled. I much prefer Swabish (from Baden-Württemberg aka Stuttgart area). Stuttgart Sister at heart ❤️

Everyone please pray for Blessed and her husband Benson. They have so much potential and I LOVE THEM so much, but they have no way of getting to church right now and it’s sad.

Monday was like, the best ever!! We had Zone Conference!! I got to sing and it went sooooo well!! I sang a song called His Hands.  It was so wonderful, and my mission president after said that it was like listening to Broadway and the Tabernacle Choir at the same time (see video below). President Naatjes is literally the best ever, and he talked about the coolest stuff at zone conference. I hope that I can gain as much knowledge as he has some day, he just loves learning! But it makes it so incredible to learn from him. He talked all about the doctrine of Deification, which is the principle that we will also become like God is. This past week I read THE COOLEST talk about it, called “The Pattern of Our Parentage” by Boyd K. Packer. It deepened my knowledge so much!!

 
Another awesome talk I read this week was “Ye Must Be Born Again” by David A. Bednar. So good. Just, so good.

I am soooooooo blessed to be a missionary! Especially here in Europe! I just can’t believe how blessed I am to be here at this time.

Today has been super fun and crazy! Our ward has teamed up with a Ukrainian church to accept donations to help the people fleeing from the war. By 16:30, they had to close the donation because they ran out of room at the church!! And we are supposed to be accepting donations all week long!! We went to help sort things for just a couple hours, and there was just a constant stream of people bringing in bags and bags and boxes of clothes, bed stuff, food, diapers, shampoo, and so much more. It was incredible to see the generosity of so many people, and some of the stuff was brand new!! It was amazing. An ambulance crew even stopped by to donate medical supplies. It was amazing.  People are awesome.

Today for p-day we got some ice cream, bought pointless items, and went for a drive out in the countryside. It was great.

I love you all!! You are so amazing, and never forget that you’re doing better than you think you are!!
 
Sister Miltimore

Landshut – Week 7

Week 7 - Landshut, DE

(week 61)

Hiiiiiiiiii everybody!!

I’m sorry it has been a really long time with no updates!! My p-days have been busy, and every other day too! But my parents have been reminding me and telling me about all the people who love me, who are asking how I’ve been. It means the world to me that you all love me so much to actually read my updates! Knowing that people enjoy what I write has been a big confidence boost during some of the hardest times of my mission, so for the rest of my mission I will do better at updating!

So here are some highlights from the last few weeks!!

I am still in Landshut and Passau!! I am LOVING this area, we are just constantly blessed and busy, busy, busy! Literally, my companion and I are thinking “can we put our pajamas on yet?” by like, 8:30 every night. We are out and going from 10am to 9pm every day and as McDonald’s always says 🎵 I’m lovin’ it! 🎵

We did have transfers, and my companion Sister Rollins went off on a new adventure in Switzerland! My new companion is Sister Slater and I LOVE HER with my whole soul and am soooooo excited to serve with her. I literally have been waiting my whole mission to serve with her again (we were in the same zone when I was in Switzerland last year) and now we are comps!! Literally my dream come true, she is the sweetest. This is her LAST TRANSFER so I am very happy to give her a great 6 weeks and then murder her 🗡 (in mission lingo, when someone goes home they “die” and whoever their comp is at the time is “the killer”)

So some random fun, cool, and amazing stuff from the last couple weeks.

We have been getting SO MANY referrals you guys!! Literally, at least 1-2 a week. About 2 weeks ago now, the day that I picked up Sister Slater, we went to drop off a Book of Mormon to a Frau. She wasn’t home, so her husband took it from us. I left thinking we’d probably never hear anything again. But the next day, SHE TEXTED US and then we MET WITH HER and then she CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!! Oh, and did I forget to mention that she’s actually READING THE BOOK of MORMON?!?!?!?! Literally a miracle, please pray for Gabriele because she’s AWESOME.

Also pray for Roland, because he sort of dropped us… he said he needs a break. I was trying to help him…. and I think I pushed him away. He said he felt too much pressure but I was just trying to love him, and help him transition from the sisters he started learning with to us. He still came to church, but we haven’t met with him in a few weeks and I just hope someday he’ll come back. All I want is for him to keep learning because he’s a great guy and knows it’s true.

Okay, funny thing now. We went over to Sister Schade’s house (for my German speaking friends, yes that is actually her name and yes it is too bad) and we ate the *healthiest* meal I have ever had. 🤢🤢🤢
Beet soup – literally mashed up beets in water
Fish, mashed potatoes and veggies – still had bones in it, the potatoes were soggy
The dessert though, was unforgivable – mashed up grapes in yogurt. With the skins still in there.
She is the sweetest lady, and don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly sweet of her to go to all that trouble for us. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. But it was also definitely the worst food I’ve had at a member’s house on my mission so far, and my companion and I both came out of the appointment laughing our heads off about the whole situation. Painful.

I think giving people Books of Mormon is one of my favorite things about the mission. This past week we met with a guy that I had met with once before. He’s a teenager from Romania. He asked us a bunch of really great questions, and he even asked US if we had a Book of Mormon! We, of course, just happened to have one in Romanian for him. He asked us if it cost anything, and we told him it was free. I gave him Alma 32 to read, and just the quiet look of curiosity on his face was something I won’t soon forget. It’sbeen so interesting the last few weeks to talk to people about their beliefs and get to fill in all the gaps in their knowledge. The world has so many parts of the truth, but they just don’t have everything!! This kid really believed that God was just a spirit, ungendered and formless. I poked a hole in that logic by asking him how Christ could be his son, and how he could be His Father if he wasn’t a man? Which meant also that there is a heavenly Mother. He was flabbergasted by that, and had never even imagined that possibility before. It was a very gratifying experience.

These past few weeks have been really really good for me. My mental health has been on a high, and I have felt my testimony growing day by day. I’ve been studying a lot about the Plan of Salvation, especially what comes after this life as described in D&C 76. My knowledge has been greatly expanded, my studies have been deeper and more fulfilling, and I even cried in gratitude the other day for My Savior, a feeling of the spirit that I had been craving to feel again for months on end. It’s easier now for me to remember my experiences of the past, and my inner demons are quieting down like never before. All I can say is, God answers prayers. It takes time, and effort on our part, but He answers. I just can’t deny that what He says comes to pass so I am trying my best to trust Him and move forward with faith, knowing that His Grace is sufficient for my weaknesses. I know I’m doing better than I think, and I’m so grateful that the Lord sees fit to use me as an instrument in His hands to help bind the wounds of His people, and bring them LIGHT. My burdens have truly been eased, and I feel stronger than I have in a long time.

I love you all sooo much!! My companion goes home at the end of the transfer, which naturally has gotten me thinking about the fact that I won’t be too far behind her!! My mission has been a wild ride, and I finally feel like I’m ready to just put my hands up in the air and enjoy every second of it.

Sister Miltimore

Landshut – Week 4

Landshut - Week 4

(week 58)

Hallo!


Sorry it’s another late week with the updates! This will just be a quickie because it’ll be p-day again before we know it! (And this time I’ll be on time guys don’t worry! I know how much you all love hearing from me 😋)

A few cool erlebnisse (experiences) from the past 2 weeks!!

The 19th: we taught 2 really cool lessons! AT THE SAME TIME!!! So, we went to meet with this kid, Ricardo, who was a referral given to us at our Landshut Austellung. We met up, and he was like “Hey btw, I brought my cousin, I hope that’s okay.” And we were, of course, nonchalantly ECSTATIC about this beautiful soul bringing a second beautiful soul, his cousin Angelo, along with him. Here was the catch: both of them are Romanian, but Ricardo speaks better English and Angelo speaks better German…. so we split taught! I took Angelo, and we talked about everything from the Restoration to the Law of Chastity! It was wild. I loved it.


The 23rd: this was a Sunday, my first one in Passau for church! Guys, it was so sad. Passau used to be a ward, then it got downsized to a branch and now it’s just a group… we had 4 people who weren’t missionaries at church on Sunday. One of them was an investigator though…. soooo 😎😎. But yeah, due to some seriously crazy “tea” (gossip/drama) Passau is riding the struggle bus for members. BUT! one of my favorite friends lives there!! Her name is Blessed, and she is a Rockstar African mom of 3 beautiful little kiddos who are literally THE CUTEST. They kind of make lessons hard because they are up in everything and making noise, but Blessed is super good at feeling the spirit through distractions. She has such a strong desire to follow Christ, and has already asked us TWICE about getting baptized!! That never happens so we are super stoked!!

The 31st: we had ZONE CONFERENCE!! Whoop whoop!! 🎉🎉

Got to see a ton of my besties, including my last comp Sister Halterman!!! Oh I love her!! My comp Sister Rollins and I wore our brand new dirndls (yes I did in fact buy a second) and had some serious fun. That night we had a HUUUUGE sleepover at one of the sisters’ apartments in Munich, with 8 of us!! Then for p-day the next day we went to the church building and played games, made music, and ate pizza. Aaaaaand I’ve been helping massage Sister Rollins’ back ever since, because she kinda went a little too ham with the Dodgeball. Her back is literally one giant knot, so pray for her and for my sore wrists from jamming my fingers into her back.

Oh also, I hit 13 months recently, woot woot! 4 months till home 🤫🤫🤫🤫🥲🥲🥲🥲

Also, quick thought: if at first it doesn’t get better, wait a few days. And keep praying. God’s got more in store and it gets better a little faster every time you have to wait.



Sorry there’s not more, but I love you all!! See you soon!
 
Sister Miltimore

Landshut – Week 3

Landshut - Week 3

(week 57)

Hey everybody how’s it going?!

What a wonderful week I had!! We saw so many wonders!! Let’s talk about it

Thursday was a day for the mission history books! We were sooooo busy. First, we had a lesson with a new friend named Glory. She is awesome!! She is a refugee from Africa, working on getting her German citizenship. We talked with her for almost an hour, and she expressed many beliefs that we already believe too!! The spirit was super strong. Something I like to do when I meet with people, is try to imagine them wearing the baptismal clothes. It helps me focus on helping them get where they need to go, and it’s a way for me to see where they are at in their progression by asking myself if I can imagine that for them or not. This lady slipped right over the white jumpsuit and straight to temple clothing! She’s amazing and I can’t wait to meet with her again!

So, we were also going to be doing exchanges with the sisters in Munich, but that meant that we needed to take public transportation to get there instead of driving. The catch was, we had a SUPER important appointment for Sister Rollins in Munich that we HAD to get to on time… we literally had to run from the U-bahn station to the appointment!! But we made it. The sisters met us there, and we switched. I took Sister Prete and we headed back to Landshut. Keep in mind: we left at 3 pm. That’ll be important later.
So we start heading home, U-bahn to train, then to bus. Missed the first bus, had to wait an hour in the station for the next one. Got on a bus. Looked at my Google maps, which is telling me we will pull up at home at 5:44 and I’m like okay, at 5:40 I’ll start really paying attention to my surrounding and make sure we don’t miss it. 🥲😪 at 5:55 we get off the bus at a stop that doesn’t even have a name, across the road from an egg farm. It is like 20 degrees out, 6 pm and pitch black outside, and we are in the middle of NOWHERE. I,of course, start apologizing, and Sister Prete is laughing just a little like the Joker. And I’m like… shoot, what now?! So, I call a member to come save us and eternal thanks be to my hero Brother Klemm because he was out driving and he swung around and saved us from certain doom. AND THEN bought us groceries! What a legend. So yeah, getting lost #371 for me on my mission how about you guys? I hope you’re all better at directions, and I also hope I never have to take that bus again.

Friday we had an Austellung here in Landshut!! I didn’t have a great finding day, but as a zone we got 3 numbers and 6 people who said they’d come to church! All 3 numbers responded to our messages, and we’ve already met with 2 of them!! More on them later.

First, I need to give y’all a PSA: I’m sure that many of you have had people approach you on the street to sell something or ask for money before. Well, I’m not selling the gospel when I go out on the street, but sometimes it sure feels that way with how people react to me. The way I ended this austelling was with this interaction:
“Hi, we are out on the street today asking people, what brings you peace?”
“When people leave me alone in peace.”
So, I had already been rejected multiple times, in diverse ways, and my steam was running low. But this man coming at me with the “lass mich in ruhe” comment, broke me and I almost cried. I just felt so done. So, my PSA is please, please be nice to people who ask you stuff on the street. You don’t have to take what they offer, or even listen to what they have to say. But please reject them nicely. Even so much as saying “you too” when you wish them a good day can literally make such a huge difference. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been rejected by someone who said “you too” and my follow up comment is “wow they are so nice” EVEN AS THEY ARE REJECTING ME AND THEIR SAVIOR. Thank you for your time, my PSA is now complete.

Anyway, Saturday was awesome!! I got to go to Stuttgart!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 almost half the mission went to get their covid booster shot, and though I am already boosted, my companion Sister Rollins was not! So I got to see tons of my missionary friends and even a couple friends from Stuttgart! Brother Hoffman and Bea Süss came to get their boosters too, and it was so fun to see them. It was a great great day. RIP my companion though, she had to drive 7 hours to get there and back ☠

Sunday was another day for the mission history books. Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start! So, we had a Book of Mormon referral we decided to stop by and drop off before church. We pull up to this man’s house and knock on the door. A man opens it wearing a tank top and bright red underwear… and nothing else. We, being “professionals” don’t skip a beat and are like “ummmmm… we’re looking for Florian?” And this man just pauses and then says “nicht Heute. Danke” which being translated is “not today. Thanks.” And slams the door in our faces! I will never unsee this interaction, but we left the book in his mailbox and messaged him a couple days later. He got it.

During Sunday school we got a call from a couple who wants to be baptized. So that’s epic.
Then later that day we met with one of the guys from the Austellung! His named is Alfred and he is 63 and possibly homeless and definitely jobless. And also kind of really weird in a scary intelligent way… just some highlights, he flirted with a 36 year old while we were talking, fed the ducks, picked up and ate from a bag of Haribo gummies, and left us to go to the bathroom before finishing our interaction. We are debating whether we will meet again because he’s interested but also wouldn’t take the book sooooo…..

And now for Tuesday, aka one of the most epic p-days of my mission. Some of you might have seen my new profile pic. We went to Garmisch, a beautiful lake and gorge. I WALKED ON A FROZEN LAKE. And through a frozen gorge!! Many pics below – we had the best time ever. 10/10 would recommend and might do it again. Like, soon.

Thanks for reading my books every week! Haha, my emails are always sooooo long but this was a great week with a ton of good times!

I love you all! I only have 4 and a half months left and I’m so 🤫🤫🤫🤫🤫😬😬😬😬😳😳😳😳


Tchüss!
Sister Miltimore

Landshut – Week 2

Landshut - Week 2

(week 56)

Hey everybody!!

This week was pretty interesting, and we did a TON!!

Friday we had a fantastic Austellung (street display) in Rosenheim!! Honestly, finding in the Munich zone is kind of the bomb. I’ve had more Bible “bashes” than ever before, but I’ve also never had more legit awesome lessons on the streets. Combined, my companion and I taught 14 lessons on the streets! It was crazy awesome and I had a super fun time speaking German.

Saturday was kind of weird because we were supposed to go to Passau, but it snowed! We didn’t feel super comfy driving in the snow, so we stayed home and did work from our couch instead. We ended up having some really great lessons, including one with a friend from Passau that they hadn’t talked to in almost a month! He had a really big question, about why God lets little children suffer. We weren’t able to answer him how he wanted… but it’s funny because through my personal experiences and the experiences of friends of mine, this is something I don’t actually struggle with! I have always had the perspective that God has a plan and that His plan helps us grow, even if (or especially when) it hurts. It’s designed to turn us towards him. And sometimes, the suffering of little children isn’t meant for the child, but for the parent to learn something. I can’t answer it perfectly, but for me, it’s enough to not worry so much about it right now. Which is good because I’ve got my own questions to worry about!! 😆😅

Anyway, Sunday morning was kind of crazy. I was having kind of a rough morning, feeling really low emotionally. But I had been asked by the bishop of my new ward here in Landshut to give my testimony and introduce myself to the ward. Well, with absolutely no clue what the heck I would say, I got up to the podium and opened my mouth. Apparently, I talked long enough and cohesive enough (in GERMAN I might add) that everyone has been complimenting me on the TALK I gave in church!! I spoke for probably about 5 minutes straight, in German, with no notes. It was fantastic.

After church we had lunch with the Klemms!! They are the family of one of my family friends who lived in Michigan for a few years  (the Mueller’s!!) and then they moved back to Frankfurt. So crazy that I’m in Sister Mueller’s parents ward now!! We had tacos and looked at family scrapbooks. After the Klemms, we went and visited a less active, and he ended up feeding us too… he is from the Republic of the Congo in Africa, and we got to try Fu-fu!! It’s a traditional African dish with a sticky base made from plantains that you dip in stew, normally eaten with your hands. We ate with utensils, but it was super delicious. And quite the adventure!!

Monday we had distriktsrat in Munich and I got a priesthood blessing from one of the elders. It was really good, and I’m glad I wrote it down later. On my mission I’ve gotten a lot of priesthood blessings, but I really appreciated something that the elder who gave me this blessing said afterwards. He talked about how special it is to get to use the priesthood power as a missionary, but also how impressed he always was with someone who was humble enough to ask for a blessing. He said it takes a lot of humility to recognize that you can’t do it alone, and that you need the Lord’s help. It really meant a lot to me that he said that, because I often worry about how I’m doing in becoming a better disciple of Christ and how I’m exercising my faith. It kind of reminded me, yet again, that I am in fact changing and probably doing better than I think I am. #i’maperfectionist

After we got home we had… a very interesting afternoon. Somebody ring the wedding bells…. my comps getting married!! Hahaha just kidding, but she did get proposed to. Here’s the story: so, our friend, we will call him “J” texted us. First off, he is African, from Passau, and we speak English with him. Therefore, we were very surprised when he texted us on our Landshut phone, in German, asking if he could talk to Sister Rollins privately about something “too embarrassing for Sister Miltimore.” Oh course we were like “😬😳” and told him that it’s a shared number, but he can share whatever he’d like to. So, we ended up calling him and the first thing he asks us about is if members of the church can marry outside of the church. Of course, the red flags are already flying 🚩🚩🚩. Sis Rollins tells him while technically yes, they can, most don’t because they want an eternal temple marriage. The conversation carries on, and I’m just going to put some quotes in here –
“When you like someone, you should tell them and they should tell you in return”
“I’m sorry, I know you are a servant of the Lord, and it is forbidden”
“I know you do not see color, but I do, and I am black and you are white and I know that is complicated.”
“It is a commandment of the Lord to replenish the earth. You cannot be alone and multiply.”
We, of course, were dying the whole time, less because of the fact that she was very awkwardly being proposed to, but more because we had just put this guy on date for baptism last week and now we have to give him to the elders. So, it’s a mega schade (too bad).

Man, I could say so much more about this week!! This area is surprisingly busy for being the countryside. I’m starting to settle in more which is nice!! Yesterday for p-day we went to Dachau concentration camp. It was sobering to say the least. They were incredible souls who suffered so much.

Anyway, I love you all and I hope you have a great week!! I get to go to Stuttgart this weekend so Sister Rollins can get her booster shot so I am super excited to be back there, even just for a day!!


Tchüssi!
Sister Miltimore