Sunday, 30 November 2014

Power Hour, Erfolge, frühen Danksagung und einer Zwiebel Festival - Nur in Bern!

What a fortnight!!!! It is crazy how many ups and downs you have on a mission. This past fortnight was amazing!! 

We'll begin with week one - Monday!! So, on Monday we went to Deutschland again! It is crazy how much cheaper it is to shop over there; only 47 euros for the whole shop and we got loads. Unlike the normal 100 plus Swiss francs we spend in Aldi for the week here in Bern. RIDICULOUS!
Shopping in Germany allows me to buy some luxuries!

The evening was pretty awesome, because the previous week was pretty poor for us and we didn't really have much going on in Bern 2. Every Monday evening we have started, from this past Monday, to do a ‘power hour’ find in Bern with the Zone Leaders, in the same area of the city (where those “norses” who hang around giving out flyers work); but it’s us doing missionary work instead! The plan is that we work for half an hour with our companion and then we'll work with one of the ZLs for the other half hour. This past Monday we had a street lesson from it. We said that normally we meet for about 15-20 minutes and discuss what we believe and this guy was like: “I have 15 minutes now if you want! Let's go sit down over there!”... SO AWESOME!!! 

Moving on to Dienstag!! So this past Tuesday we had Zone Training!! Zone Training is just like District Meeting, but the whole zone and led by the ZLs and STLs, but 3 hrs long instead of 1 and a half! It was great though!! I just love being in a big group of missionaries, it brings back MTC memories!! After Zone Training we had our Tausch with the ZLs. I was in Bern 1 with Elder Simon!!! He's such a great missionary!!! We had a lesson with Dajana set up in the evening and I had to actually teach 'bis ans ende ausharren und das Abendmahl' (Endure to the End and the Sacrament, for those of you who don't speak German) ;) haha! It went pretty well, but it was well scary, as we haven't had a proper lesson with a German speaker, as the work is so slow for us in Bern 2! So that was scary, but I did it and Elder Simon and the member said my German was great, so.... 

Elder Little and I had planned that during lunch on the tausch we would begin fasting, so we could find someone solid to teach! It was a great tausch, and on Wednesday evenings planning, we had such a powerful planning session, (the tausch really motivated both of us and the fact we were fasting, clearly helped out!!) It was amazing! Thursday morning we went to the temple! It was a much needed trip, FOR SURE! And it was such a powerful experience fasting when attending the temple. It was perfect! 

Friday was great and Saturday we had another prison visit! It was strange! Saturday evening we had to sort out the sinks in our apartment, but we had no luck! The bathroom and kitchen sinks share the same pipe after the U-bend and there is some dodgy type of blockage - who knows where from! So we will have to call the Hauswart today to get a plumber out!! What a farce!! So dishes have had to
be washed in the bath the last few days, so weird!! 

Sunday was actually a good day! Although if I am still in Bern 2 after transfers, I will have to give a lesson next month in Priesthood... by myself... in German!!!! It is Chapter 24 in Joseph Fielding Smith I think, about the Role of Women... The afternoon made up for it though! There are a couple in the ward who do games evenings with the ward and we have the opportunity to take investigators to. Well, there was a games evening on Sunday after church and they fed us too, so that was pretty fun!! 

I am so excited to have heard about Hosanna’s mission call!! Big Congrats to Hosanna!  

So Week 2 of the fortnight!!!! First I have to say how much I LOVE MONDAYS!!!!!!!! And hearing from you all!!!

It's been another great and crazy week!! Last Monday we went to Zollikofen to hang out with the missionaries there!! We watched the film Ephraim’s Rescue and the Sisters cooked a snacky dinner for us!!! (Ain't they the best!!!) It was fun just chillin' and watching something!! 

Big News…..We now have 4 Potentials that we have found this week, that seem pretty incredible!!! To some that sounds like nothing, but honestly that is great for Bern!!! So we're pretty happy at the moment!!! Tuesday was pretty fun with Institute again!! I love being an Insti Elder, it's great!! Wednesday was Wednesday! We had Gemeinderat however that's spelt!! (Ward Council in other words). Bishop is the best. He keeps it nice and short!! … But this time the ZLs had a lesson at the same time, so we had to do a Tausch, so at least one of us from each companionship was at Gemeinderat. So I went on the teach and it was Das Gesetz der Keuschheit (Law of Chastity), which was my first time teaching it in Deutsch! Fun! It was a good lesson and she understood why, etc. 

Thursday we had Family Schirm again. This is the old couple who we go to every other week and have Fondue or Raclette with. They are the Best!! And the food is always great!!! Friday we had another dinner appointment and practice lesson with a member couple. We went to the Kaspars and we had Schnitzel! It was amazing! So good! Brother Kaspar served his mission in the Germany-Austria Mission, so before they merged it with the Swiss Zürich Mission … and that's where he learned to make Wiener Schnitzel. It was Turkey instead of the traditional Veal in a Wiener Schnitzel, but it was really amazing. I will have to get the recipe off him at some point.

So all in all this week was amazing.... but Saturday has to be my favourite day!!!! We went round to Bishop’s and he is from America, so we had Thanksgiving with them, even though none of us are American. It was SOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!! We ate loads, and then went on a walk with them and then came back and ate some more!! They live in a tiny, beautiful village, which is about a 40 minute drive south from Bern and it was amazing!!! Definitely my favourite day this week! I think I've put on about 2kg over the last few days alone!! :/ Sunday was good! Priesthood lesson ended with some Chocolate Mousse type stuff, (but it wasn't mousse but very similar). It was great anyway! Best Priesthood lesson ever!!!! 

Today is the Highlight day!!! So this morning we had permission to get up at 4.30am! Here’s the story... Today is some sort of Festival - only in Bern!!! It happens once a year and is a huge thing apparently! I can't remember the actual German name for it, but it is an Onion Festival!!!! Yep! You read that right... A FETCHIN' ONION FESTIVAL!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE ACTUAL!!!! And the Party starts at like 4am! So we got up at 4.30am and got dressed, so we could get to the actual city centre for 5am. Ridiculous in itself!!! There are a massive amount of stalls selling onions, garlic, etc. in different things, like necklaces, garlands, etc. … and then other stalls, just like at the Christmas Markets in Brum! Then they also sell confetti, etc… and it's like a massive confetti fight, which everyone gets involved in!! The main party/fight thing is at ridiculous o'clock, so 5/6am and then there is another at 16.00, which we'll also go to!! … It was ridiculously crazy, but so fun as well!!
At the Onion Festival Confetti Fight

 It's just the weirdest reason ever to hold a festival... but it's tradition here apparently - goodness knows what for!!! 
The Zone at Zibelemärit”
So a little about this Onion Festival:-  It is called the Zibelemärit” and it celebrates all things onion - and garlic. So don't expect smells of roses and lavender :-) They sell Artful wreaths, woven into braids, sometimes mixed with garlic to chase away Evil spirits and all kinds of figures made of onion are there for the taking. Sugar onion wreaths are wrapped around the neck like Hawaiian Leis.
Food specialties, such as "Zibelechueche" (Onion tart) und "Käsewehe" (Cheese quiche), onion soups, onion sausages and Glühlwein (mulled hot wine) are amongst the delicacies served in all the restaurants and food stalls. Züpfe (braided milk bread), a specialty from the nearby region of Emmental is available but is also served all over Switzerland, especially for breakfast on Sunday's.
The Onion Market starts early - 5am and lasts to 4pm, but visitors show up as early as 4am and stay all night; there are several party events scheduled for night owls. But as it's held in November, it can be coolish – so it’s best to dress in layers.
Oh, and the best advice is don't open your mouth too wide, because you could end up swallowing a handful of confetti thrown at you by a mischievous child, youth or missionary!! The confetti battle goes on all day but it culminates into a wild throwing contest at the end of the market day.

So that’s my fortnight! It’s been crazy, fun and productive. I’m loving missionary life!

Hot off the Press....... So Transfers is coming up on Thursday and I'm moving from Bern 2 (Switzerland) to Kaufbeuren (Germany)! More details in my update in a fortnight :-)