Ich bin en PASSAU! "The city where three rivers meet" SEHR SHÖN! So typing on this keyboard will take a while to get used to, so sorry ;) I seriously, live, YES LIVE, in the prettiest place ever. So I think with all your questions I'll just start where I left off, in the airport.
Unfortunately, the seating arrangements were the same in all three planes, I was surrounded by missionaries, we made up half the flight. However, diagonal on my aisle seat, There was a lady who found out what was going on and wanted to speak German with us. I got so excited! Then I found out she served her mission in Frankfurt, taught at the MTC, and now is an active member in the church in northern Germany. Yeah.... hahaha. However, next to Elder Philips there was a lady. She left that trip with a Book of Mormon and very excited we were giving it to her. haha.
My training the first day I believe I explained in the letter I wrote at the mission home, so hopefully you get that soon. It was pretty exciting but I learned fast that, quoting dad, "The language I learned in the MTC is not the same" haha. It's funny because they just talk SO FAST!!! I've had 2 times where I go up to someone and say something and they say, sorry, Ich kann nicht English sprecken.... well that's awkward.... So after all the training and sleeping at the mission home and what not we headed to the train station. Where all us missionaries were just waiting to be told what to do. I felt very kindergarten haha. My trainer/new companion, Sister Garrett, came and got me. (I was actually FREAKING out that I would have to travel to Passau alone and end up in Poland or something, I was relieved.) We got on a train for 2 hours and got to my area. It's SO PRETTY. I feel like I have been here a year, super similar to the MTC but it's been quite a journey. Like dad said, I have found myself almost breaking down because it's not anything like I expected. But I have had so many great experiences! The Lord loves me SO MUCH!
So I think it was on my second or third day I was like wow I am working so hard and kinda sad with our results. So I was reading in the scriptures about the sons of Mosiah in Alma 16&17 I believe. It was so great! So many verses stuck out to me and just made me realize my purpose. The biggest thing, I would have probably missed if I had not highlighted it prior. In on of the verses it uses the word perhaps twice. It just made me realize all the work I am doing is worth it just for the chance that perhaps someone changes and someone has the opportunity to have the gospel in their life. After that, I was MUCH happier :) It's all worth it and I know it.
Saturday and Sunday were quite interesting. So I'll go into detail. So we began our fast after lunch and man this is such a testimony that PRAYER WORKS! I really was wanting some people to teach, and God loves me so much, he sure sent some great things my way. We had our very first appointment, we were meeting this guy off a train. So we waited and waited. During this Sister Garrett saw someone she had talked with last transfer. He only speaks English. So I was pumped. ;) I started talking to him about the Book of Mormon. He said he would like to read it. Serena, Thank you so much! I know you're reading this!I happened to have the English BOM that Serena had asked me to give out. So I gave out my first Book of Mormon! And we have an appointment to go over what he read later this week. It was awesome. The best moment so far! We walked to the park with our appointment sat down on a bench and started talking to him. We were teaching him about the Book of Mormon, he wants one in Cordish because he understands that better than German. But, looks like it isn't translated to that yet. Anyway, while trying my hardest to understand what they were talking about, I was zoning out. But I noticed a guy look over in our direction. And a miracle happened, a real life miracle. I could just picture Sister Garrett and I teaching him right on the bench he was sitting. So I was hoping he wouldn't leave during our appointment. Sure enough, our appointment had to go catch his train. And I was like Sister Garrett we gotta go over there! So we did! We started talking to him and in the best German I could, I asked him if he had heard of the Book of Mormon... HE SAID HE HAS ONE. Ah I hope you are smiling right now, cause I couldn't contain my excitement!! So we talked for a while and he was quite interesting. But he promised to read Moroni 10 and we have a meeting this Thursday at the church. Prayer works, and God sure does prepare people!
After this I was pretty much ecstatic.
The next day was church. WOW. SO DIFFERENT. So I believe there are 18 members in our ward (pretty much half being the only family with kids). 10 were there on Sunday (plus an investigator and her baby). It was so cool having such a small ward. Everyone was so excited to meet me and almost everyone said they were really impressed with my German! (That was nice, because I haven't felt like I've been improving much). So I told myself, oh boy Testimony meeting is going to be so awkward and silent because there are so few people. So I planned to get up there and introduce myself. Well, there were no pauses, one lady actually ran to the microphone to get a turn. It was amazing. I know very little what was said, but I felt the spirit alright. These people are so great, they travel SO FAR just to go for 2 hours of church. Serious dedication. It was just really a fun day at church. And the lesson was on missionary work. But the teachers accent is so hard, Sis G said she couldn't understand much either.
After church we did some more klingeling (by the way, this is the lazy person's dream. You walk to one door, and get to knock about 5 doors, but you do often have to run up a lot of steps) Funny story. We are klingeling (in some of the prettiest area ever created) and Sister Garrett says Hello we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ, this lady means to hang up, but accidently pressed the door open button.... she yelled the s word.... and we could not stop laughing it was so so funny!!! Later that day, some kid's come to the door. And they let us in the apartment area, it was kind of awkward then their mother comes out and invites us in, I was kinda confused but we went with it. She brought us to their living room where we talked to the husband. He was very into religion and into what we believed in. But he said he was watching his preaching right now on tv and he doesn’t have interest. But ya know, he was so nice, like I really wish we could have taught him more. But it's so nice to have such happy conversations about the gospel. Afterwards, I excitedly told sis g that I understood EVERY WORD. I said he must have been an English speaker because I understood him so well. She then said a couple sentences he said was in English.... haha. So pretty much I can understand English speakers trying to speak Deutsch, which typically means, I understand myself and my companion. haha. It's seriously so fun though because It's an awesome conversation topic. People love talking about German. It's great! I am going to try to go order some stuff online, if it doesn’t work I might end up asking for a scripture case and a German white hand book, but I'll let you know.
Also, no we don't have bikes or cars. I believe there is only one car area in our mission. We use A LOT of busses and trains and A TON of walking. My feet are disgusting. I didn't even know feet could feel this way. I am so so tired, more tired then I have ever been in my life. I fall asleep so fast! And it's harder than ever to wake up in the morning. haha. The food is great. I have eaten at one members house. It was super good. I have also had lots of tea, and that's just so weird to me. I had my first Dönner. Those things are heaven on earth. When my teachers would describe them I was disgusted, but it's so good! It reminds me of a Gyro but there are Dönner stands everywhere, along with bakeries and ice cream shops. But yeah, food's great. No complaints.-... yet.
Can't wait to skype you soon!