So Lüneburg doesn't have any internet ladens (cafes) apparently. So we are currently sitting in a casino taking turns using the only computer here that supports our email system so I don't have as much time as usual. Sorry.
Also, I've run out of normal pens.
That's how you know the end is near. I don't think I'd ever actually written a pen dry until I came on my mission (I always seemed to lose them before finishing them). But you didn't really open this email to read about pens, did you?
You are probably more interested in the strange, beautiful, old city of Lüneburg, where we have found ourselves for the last couple weeks of our missions. Sister Kriser and I both arrived here on Tuesday, joyful to be reunited (there was so much joy that I temporarily forgot about my pen crisis, but not enough joy to pass out). Whitewashing for this last time has been better than before, due largely to the goodness of my companion and because the sisters we replaced were really awesome and left a lot of appointments for us.
So we got to meet with a cute, old Russian lady who actually doesn't understand that much German.
And with a refugee African lady who actually doesn't understand that much of our English.
And with a normal German woman who actually does understand German.
We had a few challenges adjusting to the transportation system here because our area is HUGE but the trains and busses don't run very frequently. So I thought we should get out the bikes we heard were in the basement. We found them--broken, but good enough to take to a shop to get them fixed--so we could ride our wild stallions where busses do not go. Both of us have only served in big cities where bahns (trains) come and go all the time so it is just a little different having to take a 40 minute train ride to visit someone and then figure out when (or if...) a train can take you back.
There are about 40 people in our ward here and we were able to introduce ourselves yesterday so it won't be so strange when we have to say goodbye next week....no missionaries are coming after us for at least a couple months so that is a little weird.
Our church is in Lauenburg.
Which is not Lüneburg, in case you forgot.
So to get to church on Sunday morning, we ride our stallions to the bahnhof (train station) so we can take a train so that we can walk another 30 minutes since busses don't run on Sundays. It's quite the adventure! And we'll only have that adventure one more time...yeah, it's just weird.
But it is good; I am happy here :)
Life Lesson #2. I love my family way more than I knew I did.
I mean, I knew I loved my family a lot back in the day when I lived in America and called my mom every day to talk to her. But over the past year and a half, I have come to realize how incredibly much I have learned from my parents and my brothers, how much I miss them, and what a special type of love exists in a family. I suppose I've gotten more excited for the idea of starting my own family in the next decade too.
But for reals, my family means everything to me and they have helped me so much on my mission and in my life. So I'm really glad to know that families are forever.
As Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "Priesthood authority has been restored so that families can be sealed eternally."
I thought a lot about that this week as well with Taylor getting hitched and all, and I am just so grateful that we have that power to be sealed together forever. I'm excited to have another girl in the family, I am happy for Taylor to start his own family, I am happy to see my family soon, I am glad there are no eternal goodbyes. We are knit twain :)
Love you all.
--Sister Claire Michelle Woodward