Monday, June 16, 2014

6-16-14: The Last Transfer

And so it came to pass that Sister Woodward was once again shipped off to a northern corner of Germany.
That corner being Lüneburg, which is a little south of Hamburg.

The duration of my stay there?
2.5 weeks.
The other half week of my mission will be spent back in Berlin visiting people I served with--hurray!  J
And my new companion is actually my old companion...dearest Sister Kriser.

This week's transfer calls brought back memories of being asked (or rather compelled) to leave Hamburg unexpectedly. Sister Hansen was told she would be training her last six weeks, and as I was told I would once again be whitewashing (and closing that sister program, though I don’t exactly know what that means...), I frantically began to run around our apartment and nearly jumped out the window, but decided there were better ways to get out nervous energy. I had mixed feelings about going somewhere new for the end of my mission and leaving behind a ward and people I love, but I am so excited to finish my mission with one of my best friends. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I am stoked to be able to run again every day and just to put everything I have left on the table. Plus we got permission to go a little early to go to Marzahn, where we both served so long, to say hello, and goodbye. It is a good deal J

But wait! We still had bunches of bomb Bielefeld baptisms this week!
Oh wait, I mean adventures. I just wanted to use some alliteration but couldn't think of a synonym for adventures that started with b.

First there was visiting teaching with Alisha on Tuesday, who wanted help visiting people on her list. We went by one family from the Dominican Republic and had an appointment entirely in...SPANISH. Because Alisha can speak that apparently. Except we can't. So we just sat there and smiled as I tried to use the twenty Spanish words I know to follow the conversation. Twas grand.

Then we went by our favorite, bitter, less active British lady, Sister Page. As we drove and were talking about her, Sister Hansen said, "Sister Page doesn't like Sister Woodward very much."
To which Alisha's three-year-old son Noki screamed, "NOKI LIKE SISTER WOOOOOO....."
Note: he always refers to himself in the third person. Also “Woodward” is a hard word. J

We also had a lovely lesson with a part-member, less active family from Italy this week. They have an eight-year-old son who wants to get baptized and we taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In his closing prayer, he thanked Heavenly Father for the sisters who helped him repent, teehee. Then we played telephone. That obnoxious game where you have to whisper things in peoples' ears and repeat what you hear. Their kids love whispering things like God loves me, Jesus Christ lives, I am a daughter of God, etc. So that's cute. Except that I hate it when people whisper in my ear because it just gives me the heeby jeebies so I had to use all my might not to recoil whenever a child whispered in my ear.
But we shall never play this game in my home.

And then of course there's Ting, who I am very sad to leave but I am so glad that a brand new missionary will get to continue teaching her and be here for her baptism. After church yesterday, she came to our eating appointment with a German family. Ting is trying to learn German, but doesn't really understand a lot. Yesterday, however, seemed to be a really good German day as this family conversed in German and she often nodded in support or said something short in German.
On our way home, Sister Hansen turned to her and said, "Wow, you seemed to understand a lot of German today."
To which Ting said, "I don't know..."
She fooled us J.
I really am so grateful I was able to be here for this part of her journey and I know great things are in store for her.

Life Lesson #3. The church is the same everywhere. It brings me comfort to know that wherever I go in the world, there are faithful members who will treat me like their own family, probably because they understand we are all one family of our Heavenly Father. That thought gives me strength every time I get transferred, knowing I can and will keep loving people. The doctrines of Christ are the same, His organization doesn't change. Is that a life lesson? I don't know. Maybe the lesson is more that...
we find home in Christ's church.

--Sister Claire Michelle Woodward

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