THE SUN FINALLY SHINES DOWN ON AUSTRIA!!!!!
It has been so gloomy and sad here, but now the sun is out on a clear blue Austrian day!!!! Oh, I just love it!
It’s still cold, which is so weird for here, apparently there hasn’t been weather like this here for fifty years. Well, that’s okay! It looked a little warmer in Utah!!!!
Well, let’s see, this past week was exciting! We gave out three Books of Mormon on one day! That was cool!
We are also teaching this wonderful family. Denise and the oldest daughter, Aleeah want to be baptized and have wanted to for about a year. Aleeah is nine. The bishop said no because Moses, the husband didn’t want to be baptized. It seems that we really only teach African men here. Or at the very least, men.
But Moses is very nice and very receptive to our message…Kind of. We were trying to teach him about the Holy Ghost and he had never heard about it before. We were teaching a Denglish lesson cause that’s how their family speaks, half English, half Deutsch, so we were struggling to explain it in either language. How do you explain such such a concept to someone who’s never heard about it? He kept saying that it was about the devil or something. The feelings he receives are not from the Holy Ghost, but from God. It’s hard to explain that the Holy Ghost works for God…but cool.
They’re still really nice and awesome. Denise is so willing and ready to answer questions. It was like teaching with a member in the room! We love them so much and we’ve only taught them once!
We taught West on Tuesday and that was an amazing lesson! We addressed his concerns and started talking more about prophets, but then I bore my testimony and after I finished he asked his question again. Sister Judd astutely realized that those questions are his crutch for when he feels the spirit. Which he admitted that he felt the spirit when I was talking, which was a great experience. He said, “The spirit is strong with this one,” He said, pointing to me (I kind of felt like someone was saying, “The force is strong with this one. Mommy, do you remember telling me once that the force was like the spirit? I remember that very clearly.) And then he said, “You can see her shaking with it it was so strong.”
It was a neat experience to talk to him and to realize that we had gotten further with him than any of the other missionaries because we had just tried. I am not going to give up on him. Hopefully we’ll meet with him this week again, I just was so shocked that he responded so well. The power of a testimony.
It just goes to show that the words don’t matter, the spirit is the one that teaches, not us. Not the words. It’s the most amazing thing to realize that you’re doing nothing execpt facilitating the spirit, the power of God to speak to these people. The only thing I did, was be worthy and prepared enough that the spirit could use me. That’s all that happened.
We were stood up at an appointment with this old lady who said that she was walking her dog when we were supposed to be coming by. So much for that, but that’s okay.
On Saturday morning we did what’s called a Straße Austellung. We have a giant sign with a family on it that we put up in the middle of a shopping street area and talked to people. I asked a man, “Haben einen shönen tag gehabt?” Er hat gesagt: “GANZ NICHT!” Apparently he didn’t have a very good day. 😀 Too bad for him.
But, it was all good!
And then, that night we were so excited for conference! It was like we were getting ready to go out to a party!!!! I did my nails and actually brushed my hair and then as we were walking to die Kirche we were just saying over and over how excited we were to be going to conference. You know you’re a missionary when that’s all you think about all day. But honestly, that’s how it should be! You should be so excited to go to conference. Rahel, one of the members here who served her mission on temple square was so excited a couple of weeks ago because she was going to conference! It just is such an amazing experience.And at home we take it so lightly, ‘Oh, we got another set of conference tickets!’ Sure it’s exciting, but one of the members said to me, “You’ve been to the conference center right?” And I said “Yes.” He said, “The spirit must be so strong! What I would do to go to conference and to hear the prophet speak, and to feel the spirit of so many people gathered to hear the word of God.”
That almost broke my heart when I realized how lightly I had taken conference. Even in the fact that I was sad that I wasn’t going to see the fourth session, but when I get home I know I’ll be able to go to many more conference sessions. This man has never, nor will he likely ever get to go to the conference center and be one of the twenty thousand people in even one session. It was a really big eye opener for me. It is so important not to take that opportunity for granted.
These people here are so strong and they have amazing testimonies. Our ward boundaries encompass eighty miles from the northern most to the southern most area. Yet they are still always so happy. They are always so excited to see the missionaries and they have us over to eat at least once a week. For lunch we were at a member’s house. Where I fell on a cactus. (Who would’ve thought that I would find mulitple cactai in Austria?) But they were so nice and they were so interested in our lives and our families and they just wanted to know everything about us!
If there are missionaries in the area that you can have over to eat, invite them. Talk to them about their families, commend them for the work their doing. If you have people that you know that they could talk to about the gospel, tell them. They want referrals!
I don’t even know if I can express to you how much the members mean to me. I can’t understand half of what a lot of them say, but they are so nice and they are so amazing! They are an amazing support system and I cannot imagine doing this work without them.
Conference was amazing! I loved it! I was so shocked about the emphasis placed on fidelity in the family. It’s so important, but it’s just crazy that they had to mention that in General Conference! But also, that weird tax thing on the Saturday afternoon session, what was that about? Has there been some question about the church’s finances or something? Anyway, Conference was just so awesome. I loved it so much! I have about twenty-two pages of conference notes in my new journal. I finished the one I got for the MTC and I have this really big one that’s really cool looking! Journal number twenty two!!!! 😀 But it’s just amazing here!
A lot of people smoke…but apparently it’s worse in Germany. But everywhere you go, kids are smoking. Austria smells like cigarrette smoke.
Actually, Austria just smells weird. It’s a mixture of smoke, tea, coffee, and something else. Perhaps the bio.
Garbage is really stressful here. We separate all of the biodegradable and the paper and plastic, glass and then the rest just goes into the regular trash. So yeah, it’s interesting. We actually flush a lot of things down the toilet. It’s just what everyone does.
Thank you for getting the card mess figured out! I’m sorry about that! Elder Weidman told me that he talked to you! He’s a funny man. His wife is also hysterical! But yes, life continues on here.
My German is improving, though I’m still relatively silent in many German conversations. Not entirely, but still, interesting.
Many of the members we visit ask me to pray cause they say that I’m the new one and I should have practice.
Oh, that reminds me! We had West pray at the end of the lesson with him and he was so nervous! But it was a really awesome prayer. He actually mostly just prayed for us because we were in a foreign land and teaching strange people. 😀
It’s been a good week!