Saturday, 13 December 2014

Final Post from Bern, 2 Missions in 1 Day & Hallo Deutschland!!!

It is ridiculously crazy how fast time has gone!!!! I've been out for 4 months already!! I'm about to start my 3rd transfer out in the field!! Time here in Bern has gone ridiculously fast … it's untrue!!!! I love this area.  I love Switzerland and the ward members so much. As a missionary, the ward really do become a part of your family!! I'm going to miss Bern so, so much!! Yesterday was a pretty sad day with it being my last Sunday in Gemeinde Bern! I had to do a goodbye testimony, which I really didn't want to do, but it was okay. And the members said how much my German has improved since my first Sunday here!!! I can only hope that Kaufbeuren will improve it even more!!! It's crazy how I'm going already!! We were speaking with the Zone Leaders Friday night after a dinner appointment and we were all thinking if one of us leaves it will probably be Elder Little. Zone Leaders normally have 4 transfers and neither of them have had that yet, and Elder Little just felt like he was going to be moved. It turns out Elder Dewey is moving to Wettingen (or however it's spelt) and I'm going!! So I don't actually know how I feel about it.... I'm excited but I'm also really sad to leave as well!! I'm going to Deutschland!!!! So, Kaufbeuren is a branch with huge boundaries, in the München Zone. My companion will be Elder DeLeeuw from Utah and I’m going to be in a car area!!!! I'm both scared and excited about that, since I haven't driven since passing my driving test over a year ago... :/ Kaufbeuren is a pretty huge area, which borders Austria and possibly a small border of Switzerland!!! So I'll be in Deutschland for Christmas!!!! Also Zone Conference is on the 10th instead of the 8th, now I'm in a different zone.... But in better news, München Zone share Zone Conference with the Stuttgart Zone and from what I've worked out from the train time list they sent out this morning, Jake is staying in Heillbron, so I 'll see him at Zone Conf. :D Exciting!!!

So, I think I sent you a group photo from the Zibelemärti (Onion Fest.) It was actually such good fun!! We aren't allowed Zone P-days, but it unintentionally ended up as being one as most of the zone turned up and we just bumped into them, as we were going round!! So it was fine!! But it was such a good day!!! We still keep finding little bits of confetti all over the apartment... ridiculous!! But it was such good fun. I'll try and send a few more photos today!! 

So Tuesday we had Distrikt Versammlung in Interlaken!!! It was fun and we had a great role play as part of it, that I actually played a pretty big role - instead of leaving the talking to the other Elder... It was great!! We also had a Tausch with the Zone Leaders on Tuesday, so I was with Elder Dewey this time in Bern 2. It was fun and we had our inspection again, which we obviously passed!!!! :) That’s two tausches this last week, as on Thursday we had one with Interlaken and I was with Elder Lossau in Bern 2 again. I actually enjoy tausches. It brings a different perspective to the area, which is always good!! Also, the advent calendar was from Elder Little’s mom. She sent a package this last week with one for him and one for me - it was so nice!!! I'm going to miss serving with him to be fair. He's such a great missionary and I'm so glad that he is my trainer!!! 
Advent Calendar from Elder Little's Mum :-)

 Wednesday was great, because we had 2 dinner appointments, one lunch with our GML and family. I love our GML and his family. They're just the absolute BEST!!! We had Spaghetti Bolognese, which was the tastiest Spag Bol I THINK I HAVE EVER HAD - IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!! And the spiritual thought at the end was also pretty good. It was a Mormon Message based on a talk by Elder Wirthlin, (so quite old), but there was a quote that really stuck out to me from it which says: "Each of us have our Fridays... but Sunday will come." Don't ask why, but I just really loved that quote, and it really is so true. We all have our hard times, difficulties will come to all of us, but Sunday will come!!! It will get better, we can have joy in our life, as we focus on our Saviour and turn to Him. Our second DA was with The Scotts, (they’re an American family, who are here for Bro. Scott’s work). The food was so good, that we had to get the recipe off Sister Scott yesterday, so we can try it out some time!!!  We did a practice lesson 3 in English, which was so weird, plus we'd been on a tausch all day, so we hadn't planned it or practiced, so it was completely just done impromptu, and it was actually really good!! I love practicing lessons with the members. It's great for when a real one comes along!! 

I told you about Family Kaspar last week and the Schnitzel, right??? Well, we made them this week at home and they were so good... that is definitely one I will have to remember to make when I return home in 20ish months!!! So good!!! 

So SATURDAY WAS TRANSFER CALLS!!! CRAZY STUFF!! I still can't get over it!! But we had Football again in Zolikofen. It was sooo good this time. I think it was because it was so cold, plus the fact that I may not get to play for a while (come on, we all know how bad Americans are at football) haha!! But it was actually such good fun when you throw yourself into it... 

Then here goes the tipping point of this week!!! Saturday we received our first Church HQ referral. So naturally, we make contact within 24 hours!!! The phone number we received was invalid, so we checked up on SBB for how to get to the address. It turns out that it was either 2 hours there and then no connection back til the next day, or a whole day getting multiple busses back, or going through Fribourg, which would take an hour each way with frequent connections. But that would mean topping off the prison visits by leaving the mission!! So we called President and he said just go to Fribourg. Make sure you aren't out of the mission any longer than you have to be. So, yesterday we went to go by on this referral, going out of the mission to come back in, as they live in a little village right near the mission boundary. So that explains the photo!! That was an experience alright!! And I definitely think it tops the prison visits... haha!! 

"Just Popping Out- or through" - to do a Referral

 So for the second week of this fortnight….Monday was a chill P-day and we did a bit of shopping and stuff! Stuff to remind me of Bern, etc. And then we looked around the Bärner Weihnachtsmarkt (Bern Christmas Markets), which were pretty cool, but they were quite tiny as well... I'm guessing they weren't all out yet, so who knows!!! But Monday was a pretty cool last day in Bern!
Tuesday we did Raclette for our District Lunch just before district meeting, which was so cool!! Then after our DM we had a finding day prepared in Thun (in Gemeinde Interlaken). It was a pretty cool day and we did a few Tauschs. Me and Elder Simon worked together and we had quite a few amazing conversations with people! It was an awesome finding day and I really do miss the district!! We then had my last Institute. :( Major sad times!!!! We watched a CES devotional for it, which was pretty cool!! Then just chilled and chatted with the JAE!! I really miss being a JAE Missionary!! :'( 
With the Family Schirm - I love them!
Wednesday we had a couple of appointments with members!! We had Family Schirm for the last time and they did Fondue!!!!! SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!! I love it there! And we obviously had to get pictures with them, as it was mine and Elder Dewey’s last time there!!! I'll attach a pic! Then the plumber finally came round and fixed the sinks. We only waited like 3 weeks, but.... better late than never and all!!!! Then we had the Römers in the evening!!! I love them so much! They are a newly married couple in the ward; he's from Switzerland and served in London South on his mission and she's from France and served in Temple Square. They are such an awesome couple!!! Definitely one of my favourites!!! But then who isn't one of my favourites in Gemeinde Bern!!!! Then we went back home and I decided it was probably time to start packing, as it was transfers tomorrow!! So I did!! I just put it off as long as I could, because I really didn't want to leave... and the longer I put it off the less real it was!!! 
Thursday was a long, tiring but great day!!! We got up at 6 to get ready and be at Bahnhof for 7.30 for our train to Zürich. I may have explained before, but for transfers, everyone moving meets up at the major Bahnhofs throughout the mission, so in Switzerland, our one is Zürich. So we got into Zürich for just gone 8.30, bought my ticket to München and then caught up with missionaries moving or with comps moving, which was cool to catch up with some from my MTC group!!! Then I had a nice long 4 and a half hour ride to München with missionaries who were dying (going home- in case you don't remember mission lingo, haha) It was cool though!!! Then we obviously met up with those in München Bahnhof, as that’s the central bahnhof for the mission. It was so cool seeing others in my MTC group there and catching up before we headed to Kaufbeuren!!!!
Friday was a pretty awesome day!! I love it here already!!! We had an appointment with Fam. Spring. We had lunch with them, share a message and then do service!!! They own a farm with a stunning view of the Austrian Alps. I'll have to get a pic on a good day! So we helped him around the farm for a couple of hours, which was such good fun!!! I love doing service like that!!! Then in the evening we went to Familie Löflath! He is the Branch President and they have a relatively young family, the oldest is 10 I think and the youngest probably 2ish! They are such a great family!!!! So, early in December St Nick comes and fills your boots/stocking - whatever! You can probably research and find out a bit about this as I'm no expert!! So we got a stocking full of goodies!!! Soo cool!! 
A Gift from St Nick
Then Saturday In the evening I met our GML- Wolfgang!! He was holding an activity for the kids of older Primary age groups. His cellar, which you normally use to store boxes and rubbish (like an attic back home) is just one giant, awesome Scalextric set!!! It's so awesome, but ridiculously crazy at the same time!! So he asked us to help him out with this activity, which was just a Scalextric race. So fun!!! I'll have to get a pic of his cellar, as it's one of those that you have to see to believe!!!! So crazy, but so fun!!
Then yesterday was great!! My first Sunday in Kaufbeuren!!! We have an actual church building, unlike the one in Bern, which is cool!!! I had to give my testimony, which went pretty well!!! And a load of members who I spoke to were like - ”I thought you'd been in Switzerland from your German”.... I don't know if that's good or bad!!!!!! :S I'll take it as a good thing as I freakin' love Switzerland and miss it ridiculous amounts!!! Although I love it ridiculous amounts here as well! We are always busy with appointments and stuff that we rarely do street finding, crazy!! It's super weird how attached you get to an area!!! 
We had Gemeinderat yesterday and they said how they'll get a list up for us for next Sunday for Christmas. The members are so good here.  I'm pretty sure that we'll have so many appointments over Christmas it will be crazy!!!
Shout out to everyone who’s given me something for Christmas!! THANKYOU!! I LOVE YOU!!!! 
Being in a car area is so weird from a busy city with public transport! But it's fun!! I haven't driven yet, as I have to watch a church-made safe driving video, which we only started this morning. It’s based on simple stuff we cover in our Theory test back home... (I think it may be for the Americans and other countries who aren't so strict on the theory side of getting a license), but oh well!!! It has to be done before I can drive, so Endure to the End and all!!!!

Zone Conference came and went and I managed to catch up with Jake (Elder Robertson -  my cousin)!  More details in my next blog instalment.
WIth my Cousin - Elder Jacob Robertson at Munich & Stuttgart Zone Conference