Stuttgart – Week 10

Stuttgart - Week 10

(week 46)

Dear loved ones and friends,

Are you ready for possibly the longest email ever because this was possibly the longest, craziest week of my whole mission so far. And I am actually not exaggerating this time.

Let us begin….

Wednesday: the day began early. We needed to get ready, because we weren’t only having interviews with our mission president, we were also doing exchanges with Sister Lyon and Ebisch! Interviews went great, and I had a wonderful day with Sister Ebisch. We went to an American family’s house for dinner, they fed us an copycat Olive Garden soup and we played a game with all 6 of the kids!! It was crazy, but I was impressed with myself and how well I dealt with the kids. I’ve definitely grown since the beginning of my mission in that way!!

Thursday: yet another EARLY morning, we had to be out the door by 7 to exchange back. Then Sister Halterman and I went to Bea’s house and made cookies with her! It was fun, but her house is really messy sooooo yeah. We helped a little with her laundry, and there were *maggots* in the wet laundry because she’d let it sit out for who knows how long. I’m glad I decided last minute to grab some gloves to wear……Then we went to the cutest old couples house who we were really hard to understand…. and then later again to Sister Castelli’s house!! We go every week to teach her daughter, but it was just her that day! So we had a little member lesson with her and OH MY GOSH it was just what I needed. I’ve struggled hard my whole mission with really bad anxiety, but something about her and her love…. I felt lighter coming out of that appointment than I had in a month. I literally cried I was so grateful and felt so much better. Things have been going a lot better for me mentally ever since so I’m looking forward to continuing the momentum!!

Friday: austellung day!! We did zone finding here in Stuttgart! We got some referrals, gave away a book of Mormon in LITERALLY the 1st seconds after we said an opening prayer, and talked to a lot of people. It was super fun. Later that day we went with the Elders for an appointment with Sister Schaal and our ward mission leader Bruder Staiger!! She made us quite the meal… Lox (the fish) in a creamy sauce with beans and rice and salad. And it was all really really good!! The appointment ended up being 3 HOURS long though, because the elders accidentally scheduled a zoom appointment with a new potential DURING OUR APPOINTMENT so they went into another room for an hour 😅😅😅. We made small talk and watched a video about this week’s Come Follow Me lesson, had a nice spiritual thought once they got back and ate some ice cream. We walked her dog and played on a play structure in the pitch dark… and then they drove us home. We arrived at 10pm. 😅😅

Saturday, aka the longest day ever, aka the craziest day ever, aka the funniest day of my whole life. Let’s just say we had chips and brownies for dinner cause we were just so done that there really wasn’t anything else to be do about it. The stomach acid and nightmares afterwards were worth it.

IF YOU DON’T READ ANYTHING ELSE, PLEASE READ THIS PART!!!

Geschichte Zeit (story time):
On this fateful Saturday, we went to visit our friend Iris. Some of you may remember our Messianic Jew friend? Yeah that’s her. She lives 2 hours away by train and bus… so we went out to see her! We walk up to this house we’ve never seen before in this town we’ve never been to before to meet a woman we’ve never seen in person (this sounds crazy and dangerous but it’s literally what we do EVERY DAY but we did let the elders know where we were in case something happened) and knocked. The door opens and this tall woman in a green sweater, 2 skirts, and bright yellow floral scarf says “Hello!!! 🤩🤩🤩” and we’re like “hello!!😄😄” and go inside.
Well, turns out she’d tried to call to cancel and even though we’d tried calling her back 5 TIMES… we showed up anyway and she had us stay. She prepped some food for us, and made ready for the Shabbat by laying tablecloths over all the various little messy piles around the room. Not cleaning. Just covering. And what did we end up eating? Butternut squash with a mysterious foreign garlic sauce with an even more mysterious bowl of unidentified fruit also from some foreign land (anyone heard of a Quince??) with bell peppers that did not look like bell peppers, nuts, rice cakes aaaaaand oh yeah, a bowl of blueberries. The squash and sauce actually tasted pretty great, but after seeing my comps facial expression eating the fruit I politely moved it around to make it hopefully appear as though I ate some…
So, she gets us the food, then says a little Hebrew prayer and says “Amen” so we say “amen” and start eating. Later, we’re talking and she asks some great questions so we start the lesson we brought. It was THE MOST BOMB LESSON I think I have given on my mission. Because the appointment was in English, we were able to really go in depth on each point. It was super great, she asked amazing questions and the spirit totally led me to remember scriptures that were super clear about the topics we were discussing. It was AWESOME.
Alright stay with me, the story’s almost to the funniest part.
So, after the lesson she leaves the room and we’re like “okay, we’ve been here for like, 2 hours or so, we should see when we need to get home” so we look up the train schedules, and it’s like, leave NOW or leave in an hour. So, we opt for the first one and apologize and get ready to go. So we’re saying goodbye at the door, and she’s like “oh, I think I’ll just go for a little stroll, but you go on ahead” and we’re like “…okay…. bye!!” And walk quickly away. We get down to the bus stop and realize it’s still about a 20 minute wait. So we settle in to wait, when who comes down the road? Our friend Iris, scarf wrapped around her head and walking sticks at the ready. She acts surprised to see us, looks at the bus schedule with us and then is like “well, we have time for a stroll!” So, we go for a stroll up to the little Presbyterian church, see where her father in law is buried, and then back down again. The bus comes. And doesn’t let us on. Because APPARENTLY you have to call ahead and reserve a spot for some buses…. *sigh* at this point, we’re thinking we’ve got 3 options:
1: have the Waiblingen elders come pick us up in their car
2: walk to bahnhoff
3: stay the night
Obviously, 1 of those really wasn’t an option, so we we were just like ehhhhh when Iris says “oh for crying out loud, I’LL drive you to bahnhoff!” And then turns and starts SPEED walking back to her car and I mean 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️ speed walking. We are literally jogging to keep up with this woman and her walking sticks. And then SHE starts running!!! At this point, we can barely walk we are just laughing so hard at the whole situation.
So we pile into her tiny car, she pulls out typical German style (which means FAST) and as we’re driving proceeds to tell us how she really shouldn’t drive because of a problem with her legs. So we’re like hmmm maybe we should have walked! But don’t worry, we made it okay… to another 20 minute wait for the train. Iris says, “we have time for another stroll!” So, we go for another stroll up the steepest hill EVER. We finally reach the top and she checks her watch. We only have like, 10 minutes before the train comes… so we go back down. And wait. Another family comes and waits too, so she starts up a conversation and tells them all about all the religions she’s joined. At this point, we start backing up a little, honestly not really wanting to be associated with her. Luckily, the train comes before she can tell them about how Christmas is paganism, so we say goodbye and get on. As we sit down, who’s there’s waving through the window? I’ll let you guess. THIS WOMAN LITERALLY RAN THE TRAIN OFF. Honestly, the whole experience was crazy but she was sweet in her own unique way. 8 hours worth it.

Did you think that was the only crazy thing that happened this week?? Oh ho. No No. Es gibt mehr (there’s more).

Sunday: church was great, Gabi didn’t come to church (sad) we had a GREAT appointment with one of my favorite families in our ward aaaaaand… we discovered that our broken house phone has been SPYING ON US AND LEAKING OUR SECRETS TO THE WORLD. So, our house phone which is like an intercom that lets people in and lets us talk to people outside has been broken long before I got here. Literally wires hanging out of the wall (don’t worry, no electricity I found out because I lost my balance and accidentally stuck my hand in it one day). Turns out, the button for us to talk to people outside was on the whole time… which means that literally anyone who walked past out apartment could hear us talking INSIDE our apartment AT ANY TIME. We got it fixed though. Good ‘ol duct tape to the rescue. We still check to make sure it’s okay every few days though. And we’re talking to the landlord soon.

Monday was pretty chill, distriktsrat and weekly planning. Literally the only remotely normal day. Oh yeah, except that I almost got deported. Just kidding!! I got fined by the ticket people on the U-bahn!!! Ugh. It was sooooo stressful, and I’m mad at the ticket people and the way they handled it because it actually caused me to have a low-grade panic attack before they’d even gotten off at the next stop they could. So, our mission pays for us to have monthly tickets, but the catch was that they couldn’t put it in my name. I didn’t know that, and so when the guy took my ticket and then started asking me all kinds of questions in German, I just got really nervous and stressed out. Then suddenly there were 3 of them surrounding us, asking me for my name and birthday and address and not listening when we told them our office bought tickets for us… needless to say I got fined 60 euro, and they took my ticket too!! At this point, I’m so overwhelmed that as soon as they turn their attention away, I can’t help but crying. My comp tried to calm me down, but the stress just had to run its course. There was this lady sitting across from us though, who scooted over and explained in English what we needed to do about the ticket, commented on how that was very mean of them to treat foreigners that way, and then pulled 60 EURO out of her purse and insisted that we take it. We tried to refuse, but she wasn’t having it. Saints exist, and they ride U-bahns. We gave her our number on a card and thanked her before getting off.

Today came back full swing with even more weirdness!! So, my comp is not geimpfed (vaccinated) and so in order to go into a couple museums, we needed to find her and another elder a schnelltest (quick test). But… the elder let his comp go into the museum, and he drove us around Stuttgart. Sooooo we were alone with an elder for like… 2 hours. Not my favorite situation. We ended up going to 3 different places before we found one 🙄🙄🙄 but, we finally got it and still got to hit the Porsche museum!! It was SUPER cool, we even made little soap Porsche cars!! I also did a little Virtual Reality activity for the 1st time, and let me tell you A) doing it without my glasses was not very successful and B) I’m glad I never bought into it, because I had to stop my little simulation early cause I was losing grip on where I was in the room and I didn’t like that. I couldn’t see my own body and I was not a fan of that. But the cars were cool.

Okay guys, we made it. Thank you for reading my novel today. It was a GREAT week, but definitely am looking forward to a little bit of a chiller week 😅😅 this week will definitely go down in the history books though.

Oh, also, Happy Halloween everybody! Hope you had a great time. We listened to the Disney Halloween parade music, the Monster Mash, and even got visited by some trick or treaters.

Love you all!! Please send me updates on your lives, I love having things to read!!

Sister Miltimore

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