A Day in the Life of a Missionary (Post from September 5th)

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

At 6:30 the alarm beeps and I roll out of bed. I lay on the floor to do some sit ups - this is always dangerous because it's easy to fall back asleep - but I manage to get a decent workout in. 

7:00 hits and I rummage through the cupboard for music to listen to while we get ready.  I discover an old CD from our member Teodora.  Oh yes!  I think.   There is only one song recorded: her playing a funky-beat "Come Thou Fount" on the synthesizer.

8:00 is Personal Study during which I finish the Old Testament. During companion study at 9 we discuss some of the really deep questions we have been asked by a young guy we are meeting with.  Then during language study, we watch some of "The Testaments" in German before individually studying grammar/vocab.

11:00 we make a big lunch since we won't get home till late.  At noon we head out to an appointment.  In the subway station we are flagged down by a family.  We can tell they are American Mormons because - well, we can just tell.

Just as we arrive at the center for our lesson, she texts us to cancel.  Alright, spontaneous finding time!  We hardly take two steps into the nearby park before a man with a bottle of *unspecified clear liquid* shouts at us from the bench.  Oh no.  "I have a question for you missionaries," he says.  Oh no oh no.  "Do you believe that Jesus was black?" Alright, not what I expected. He then launches into some sort of story involving pyramids and pharaohs and gold and an underground society of Jews in Ethiopia.   His friend rolls some *unspecified plant*.  For the next 45+ minutes the conversation goes everywhere from how this man {btw the title on his card is Herr Dr. Dr. Jur.} roomed with the Crown Prince of Norway at Harvard, to the slave trade and how according to him Columbus was not the first to arrive in the New World, to how all people of a certain *unspecified* religion are evil {I try to politely argue this one but that only sparks a number of graphically violent stories}, to how America needs to step in and stop the corruption in Africa. At least the four of us are able to agree that the key to a better world is love, respect, and treating all humans equal no matter their skin color or nationality. They like us for sharing that opinion.  By the end his friend has taken a Book of Mormon and Herr Dr. Dr. Jur. has given us his phone number and address without us even asking.  As we leave, they say, "Don't forget the underground church in the Ethiopia!"

At 14:30 we have an appointment with an elderly couple in our ward. The husband is too old to attend, but boy is he still a pistol.  He likes to greet us in different languages, and he has a thick dialect. As a spiritual thought we talk about this weekend's upcoming Cultural Celebration and Temple Dedication which will be broadcasted from Freiburg.  (We are so excited to be able to hear both President Uchdorf and Elder Bednar speak in German!  Plus I know it will bring back many precious memories from my home temple dedication exactly two years before the day of my mission report date.) We are so happy to hear these members' strong testimonies as they talked about family history work. Afterwards, they surprise us with a meal - meat salad. Literally I think this sweet lady just dumped whole PACKS of processed lunch meat on our plates, chopped it up with raw onions, tomatoes and boiled egg and gave it to us.  Seriously it's the most heaping portion I've ever seen, and we've already had a big lunch.  We chit chat while trying our darndest to eat it with a smile.  At first the  conversation is great, but suddenly she starts telling us, in gruesome acted-out details, the horrors of the meat industry with its cruel treatment and slaughter of innocent animals.  Doesn't help that I was vegetarian before I left on my mission.  And mind you, she is the THIRD member to do this to us (to give us gigantor plates of super-meaty foods and whilst telling us scarring scenes worthy of Sinclair's "The Jungle" (#theirony).  Finally I finish the food, and she asks if I would like more juice.  "No thanks, I'm full!" She tops off my glass anyway. At
the end of our appointment, though, the couple is just beaming and she gives us the biggest hugs of gratitude for our company.  That alone makes the stomach ache which will last for the next 24 hours worth it. "Buenas noches!" says the husband.  "Spanish?" I say.  "Nope, French!"  "Well, I think it's Spanish too."  "Nope," he protests. "Just French!"  Ok, you win. Man I just love them!

16:00 we get to teach a German course.  In honor of Sister Selph's trip to the doctor earlier this week, we give them a medical vocabulary list.

17:45 is frisbee with all the other missionaries.  One of the guys from German course comes with us and even brings a friend. We invite a random man from the park and he also joins; he gives the elders his number so he can play again next week.

20:00 we our on our way home.  Whilst waiting for the tram, we decide to get ice cream because tomorrow we are starting a diet from desserts (which for me will last until 10/10). This happens to be the same parlor where, when I was a golden, the guy serving me ice cream was super flirty and gave me a free cookie.  Well what would you guess but AGAIN I am given a free cookie! AND I'M 70% CERTAIN IT'S A DIFFERENT GUY.  I'm just dying inside. Of course his face falls when he starts reading my name tag and gets to the word "Kirche." I say thanks and flee.

21:00 we plan for tomorrow and then jammy time! For the rest of our free time we turn on the "Prince of Egypt" soundtrack and I start a watercolor painting of the story of Esther. 22:30 comes too fast but once I hit the pillow I crash. What a crazy day.

I love being a missionary.

Pics from our exchange last week:

Pictures form our trip to the Art History Museum:

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