Stuttgart – Week 1

Stuttgart, DE - Week 1

(week 37)

HALLO von DEUTSCHLAND!!!!

Jetzt bin ich in Deutschland!! Es ist sehr schön hier, and ein bisschen anders als die Schweiz. Wir haben 13 Freunde der Kirche, mit denen wir sprechen, so wir sind immer beschäftigt! Mein deutsch kommt schneller, und das ist gut, weil ich es mehr reden muss! 
 
For those at home, I can translate:
 
Hello from Germany!
 
I am now in Germany! It’s very beautiful here, and a little different from Switzerland. We have 13 friends of the church that we are talking to, so we are always busy! My German is coming faster, and that’s good because I need to speak more of it!
 
It has been quite the week so strap in, buckle up, and hold on to the handlebars … Here we go!
 
Wednesday: The Big Move. Somehow, many thanks Sister Osguthorpe, we made it from my lovely tiny little fairy tale apartment in Richterswil to Zürich Hauptbahnhoff (Zürich main train station) in time to say goodbye to all the missionaries heading to Munich and ultimately home! It was nice to see familiar faces and get to say “see ya later” to some of my favorite people.  A little while later I got on a train and said goodbyes myself! Luckily, another Elder and I were able to travel to Stuttgart together, so I wasn’t totally alone.  Can anyone say JDubs tausch? Context, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a thing here, and they often go in pairs of a guy and girl together, so when that happens for traveling here we say we are exchanging as Jehovah’s Witnesses. (It’s a little funny because we make fun of them and they make fun of us!)
 
Anyway, I got to Stuttgart safely and all moved in. We live just outside of the biggest part of the city in a nice little neighborhood 40 min by U-bahn from the church building. (U-bahn: the underground train that also goes above ground hehe.)
 
I CAN ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND PEOPLE NOW! Holy cow!  Actual German is beautiful and it’s so amazing to understand what people are talking about and be able to respond. I’m not perfect, but it’s WAY better than before. Prayers answered.
 
Thursday: MY BIRTHDAY –  I am old,  21. Not that old, but also, old enough. It was a GREAT day:  we had a member appointment with a 90ish old grandma, saw some really cute German platz, splurged on dinner out for Weinerschnitzel, made BROWNIES (thank you Uncle Jay for carrying my presents across France –  your sacrifice was not in vain) and I got to call my family so it was just the best birthday ever. And being a missionary of course is the greatest gift!
 
Friday was also awesome! We did an Austellung as a zone in Schlossplatz in the center of Stuttgart and I got to see Sister Rollins who served with me in the Utah St George mission!!! We hugged for like, a solid minute and it was just amazing. I am so excited to be in the same zone. Finding friends went well, we gave out some cards and had a couple of really interesting Bible conversations with some Catholic nuns.
 
After the Austellung a good friend of my family from Frankfurt (Stephan Mueller) took us out for lunch! The Mueller family lived in my ward in Michigan for a couple years… I can’t believe it was 10 years ago now though (that’s crazy!) and we have all stayed in contact since then. He came to Stuttgart for a wedding and we got to see him!  He brought me some delicious treats and a very nice cookbook for my birthday from his family. It was such a nice surprise!
 
Later that night we also got to help at the above mentioned wedding!! It was beautiful.  We helped with the food (and got to eat some, natürlich) and washed TONS of dishes afterwards. We also tried to catch the bouquet!  Everyone got quite the kick out of the Sister missionaries going up to try and catch it, and it flew straight towards me sooooo yeah, I was nervous for sure! It was super fun, and we had a great time. We also didn’t get home until 11 which was less fun.
 
Saturday we headed back to the church and helped clean up some more wedding stuff and then practiced for a musical number that we sang in church on Sunday! This totally showed me that this is where I need to be, because the song they just HAPPENED to be doing, was “I’ll Find You There My Friend” and that just happens to be my favorite. We did a great job. We also had some appointments, with some very cool people.
 
Sunday! We sang in church and I also got asked to bear a short testimony. Luckily, Sister Smith warned me in advance that it might happen, so I was prepared. No hiccups were had, and no bothers given. I read what I wrote and they liked it. We had a bunch of people compliment us on our musical number afterwards which was nice. The rest of the day was mostly studies. 
 
Monday was awesome! We had distriktsrat and I got to see my FAVORITE lady Sister Horsley! The Horsely’s are the ehepaar (senior couple, literal translation is married couple) in our district. They work with the military relations in Stuttgart! We quarantined together in Croatia, and Sister Horsley really loved my singing, and grew to love me too. Naturally, I love her also – she’s a little bundle of joy!!  After distriktsrat I put my arm around her and told her she was my favorite person, and she just lit up like a candle and gave me the biggest, sweetest hug! I could literally go on for days about her. 
 
I also got a priesthood blessing from one of the elders. PSA: the priesthood is real! There is NO WAY that this Elder could have known what I’ve been thinking about and struggling with – I had literally met him 3 days before and talked to him for probably the total time of an hour. None of which was about things I struggle with. And he said everything I needed to hear and more, and very specific to my situation. And he’s not the only one that’s done that. He said things that I’ve heard in other blessings, from people he’s never even met. And the feelings I felt… mere words don’t just make your heart pound and your eyes tear up and give you all the feelings down in your soul that happen. If there is anything you are struggling with, or if you just want to know that God loves you, GET A PRIESTHOOD BLESSING. I’ve had more on my mission than I ever have had before, and they always give me the strength to keep going. 
 
Monday we also met with one of our potentials! She is from Italy, and came here to be a social worker. We walked around some of the older parts of the city and got ice cream! They do this thing here called spaghetti ice – they put the ice cream through a machine and make it look like noodles! Normally you have it with strawberry sauce so it really looks like spaghetti, but I like chocolate better. We talked a lot about religion (natürlich) and life in general. She was very surprised that I want to be an opera singer and that my companion wants to go into biomedical engineering! I love surprising people like that. This was all in English by the way… I think I’ve taught more in English here in Europe than in German! I’m sure that will change soon though
 
For P-day today we headed down to Ludwigsberg! My family actually came here when we went on a family trip to Germany, so it was really cool to be back! We went to the castle and to the gardens. Right now they are doing a pumpkin festival, with sculptures made from pumpkins and sand too. We walked around forever, and saw tons of amazing stuff. 
 
Alrighty folks, that’s the week! Thanks for subscribing and for all your support! 
 
Love, Sister Miltimore

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