European Mission Hacks from the Lovely Lady Lena
Transfer calls came and gone and I bet you are all dying to know what happened to the Helzer Hansen team. I will reenact it for you.
AP: Sisters, you are….staying together in Schwarzenberg.
Us: *long pause. silence. confused because nobody on the face of the mission planet stays together for 4 transfers, or in other words 6 months.*
AP: You there?
AP: You there?
Us: Yes. Wooohoo? *said skeptically*
AP: You are also getting Elders again in Schwarzenberg.
Us: *still silent, trying to comprehend exactly what just happened.* Yaaaaaay.
So that’s what happened with transfer calls. I am sure that there is a reason for everything in the Lord’s eyes. Directly after transfer calls, we went to Frau G’s for a ‘farewell’ tea party slash lesson. She was overjoyed to find out that we were staying together. She then told us she had been planning to call it quits with meeting with us. She said it would break her heart too much to have a new missionary and she would rather just stop meeting with us altogether. She continued that it was a sign for her that she needs to continue meeting with us. She believes God extended our time here just for her. That experience showed me how much God cares about each of his children. If having us stay together for 6 months is what one person needs, then God will see that that happens. He loves Fr. G just as much as He loves you and me.
In other news, to mark my 1 year ‘call’iversary, I have created a list of European Mission Hacks. They are probably good for other missions as well, but some are especially good for those of you called to serve in ‘western lands’.
1. Bring flash drives and memory cards galore. Most missionaries have their music on flash drives here. They plug into the portable DVD players and are all organized. Small and cheap = great missionary tool. You will also want them to get pictures from other missionaries. I suggest bringing at least one 32g flash drive, if not more.
2. Recipe book! Sister Rasmussen gave me one for my birthday, but I wish I had brought one from home as well. A plain notebook works great. Something small that you can write in recipes you get from ward members, investigators, and other missionaries. I suggest writing some recipes from home because somedays you will crave American chocolate chip cookies.
3. Amazon.de. Mailing packages from America gets super pricey super fast. My parents bought my Christmas gifts on Amazon.de (German) so that they ship from Germany straight to my apartment. If I remember correct, the shipping is free and you can buy anything on Amazon. Even American tampons. (No offense to German hygiene products.)
4. Mini dictionary. You will receive a dictionary in the MTC but it’s not really a convenient size. I carry my mini one with me everywhere. I also have a mini notebook with me where I write down new words I hear and words I don’t know to look up later. That has helped my German in leaps and bounds. ‘Through small and simple things, do great things come to past.’
5.Fleece socks. Baby it’s cold here (despite our snow drought). Lucky for me, Sister Hansen’s parents sent me fleece socks. My toes have never been happier.
6. Adapters. I bought some fancy big adaptor thing back at the states for 30 dollars. It broke on me my first transfer. However, there are these little ones here that work wonders and are super cheap! Don’t worry about getting an adaptor until you come here. Chances are, most apartments have them anyway.
7. Read 2 Timothy. It was written by Paul when he was a prisoner in Rome. It’s pretty much a letter to all missionaries. So inspiring!
8. Don’t worry about bringing all your favorite clothes. Chances are, you will leave them here and buy new ones. Most of my current wardrobe came from Germany. It helped that I served at the equivalent of the DI and picked up a lot of good finds along the way.
I hope these tips can be of help! I love serving a mission and I love hearing from all of you. I wish you all the best 2014 has to offer.
oh and a very Happy birthday to Ham!!!
posted by Splendidly Sar