Children's Punch and a Ninja Cat

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Pday shenanigans :)
     The crisp winter air was warmed by Christmas melody.  Though our purple fingers struggled to flip through the hymn books, we grinned like children. Though our little choir was far from perfect, our lilting carols lifted the spirits of many passing shoppers.  As a Munich* Stake youth activity focused around missionary work, it was for sure a highlight of the transfer.  Youth handed out cookies and Christmas party invitations as people exited the grocery store; many people smiled while some even joined in singing! What a way to feel the Christmas spirit.

*As a question, what do you call the natives who live in Munich? Munchkins? Idk.

     Well, folk, I have officially been out nine months. YOU HEAR ME? The whopping 9, the great halfway.  How can it possibly be?  It has gone so fast!... But here I am.

Notable Notes:
- Somehow we allowed our landlady's STINKING NINJA-OF-A-CAT to escape and get lost for 24 hours. Those were some agonizing 24 hours, we felt terrible. I don't even know how it happened because, in the space of the one minute which we walked just a couple feet into the house...he legitimately opened AND THEN SHUT BEHIND HIM a gate and two doors, without us seeing or hearing him once.
- For pday we took a stroll through the woods. I wish I could bottle up not only the view but the smell... The sounds... The FEEL. So peaceful.

- We visited a backstreet Christmas market with an AWESOME member. She is hilarious! She ordered us hot chocolate, kinderpunsch, and these delicious Panama flatbreads which you HAVE TO TRY (spread sour cream on a flatbread, slice some banana on top, sprinkle with curry power and cover in white cheese and then bake. Yumyumyum).
- We watched a symphany of angels at the Rathaus
- We continued handing out the service Advent Calendars and I think people were pleasantly surprised. Quote of the week: "You're giving these out for free? But NOTHING IS FOR FREE THESE DAYS!(??)" I just hope that people use these calendars because, really, what an excellent opportunity to celebrate the birth of the most serviceable Being-- by doing good every day!
- Kids speaking German is just the cutest. The primary program was ADORABLE
- We visited a 100-year-old woman. I went to shake her hand and then she clamped on strongly and didn't let go for a number of minutes.

     This week my dad sent me some typed-out journal entries from December of my eighth grade year.  It's funny to look back to age 14 (when my concerns were about cheerleading and singing lessons and final exams) and remember what sorts of hopes and goals I had.  I talked about how crazy it was that "in only four Christmases" I would be out of the house and in college.  I certainly could not have pictured life 6 years down the road, an old 20-year-old, only a meager 1.5 inches taller, out on a mission speaking German (especially because the age change had not yet happened).
     In one of these journal entries I recorded a realization.  Something that I thought to be a loss in my life before then had actually turned into a blessing, allowing me to expand my horizons and discover new talents.  At that young and hopeful age it dawned on me that while, yes, I did have to give something up... we often must take the steep hike upwards before we behold the beautiful mountain-pinnacle view. Sometimes our limbs will ache and our lungs short of breath.  But when we keep trusting and hoping that there is a reason for everything, when we continue following on the path God has laid out for us.... It will be worth it.

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