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

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