This last week we had two very successful lessons with Kobe, he’s one of our investigators from Gana and met with the elders ten years or so ago. But now, he’s been making some real progress. As we’ve been trying to teach him for a month or so, he’s been a little…uninvolved. He has difficulty reading and he works ALL THE TIME. But he always makes time to meet with us.

On Tuesday we FINALLY managed to get Julia (one of the members in our ward who speaks perfect English, probably because her husband is American) to come to the appointment with us. It just seemed like Satan was doing everything he could to keep her from being able to come. Whether it was a fallen out appointment, her daughter breaking her foot or just no time, for three or four appointments she wasn’t able to make it. 
But this week she was able to come and we met in the chapel with Kobe. We had a really spiritual lesson and talked about the Holy Ghost and, by the end, we were all crying we felt the spirit so strongly. 
It was interesting to me though, seeing as Kobe brought his ‘Happy Fit’ water bottle for the first time to our appointment. After the termine Julia asked him if he trained at the Happy Fit just around the corner, at his affirmative, she said, “Well, maybe you know my husband, Patrick.”
I think his reaction suprised all of us, seeing as he, not only knew her husband, but really liked him. 
And so, on Thursday our next appointment was held in Marchtrenk in the home of Julia and Patrick Cumberworth. 
Things like that are really just awesome! Gotta love the miracles. 
On Wednesday we had Zone Conference and so it was off to Salzburg again. It was a very interesting conference, and I learned a lot. But the hardest part of it, for me, was watching the testimonies of those missionaries going home before the next Zone Conference. 
Sister Lin, one of the APs, the Weidmans and another Ehe-paar (The ones in Brixon Italy) all got up to bear their testimonies. It’s incredibly difficult for me to imagine that one day, in the next year, I’ll be doing the very same thing. When you look at your mission in the perspective of time, it’s not that long. Here I am, I’ve been on my mission for over seven months and it’s gone by so fast.
You just don’t see the time when you’re working for the Lord. 
On Thursday we went by on a family who had removed their names from the list of the Church because of something that had happened in the ward. They had been baptized 15 years or so ago and had removed their names from the Church 10 years ago. 
They are an extremely nice family, the mother loves the missionaries and pulled out every single photo album that contained pictures of the missionaries and showed them to us. She says that she still believes everything, she just doesn’t go to the church. It makes me really sad that these people were hurt by something so badly that they left the church. I’m not sure what it was, but I know that it happened for five or so years before they finally decided they’d had enough. 
But we are planning on going back, trying to show them that maybe it’s not all that bad, even if bad things have happened. 
Thursday was also a day of sadness, considering that we had an appointment with Michael and he never came. We had confirmed the appointment only a few hours before and when he never came it was really a disappointment to us. 
So, after waiting a half an hour later, hoping that by some chance he thought the time was later, we started to head out to go by his apartment. 
We were barely two hundred yards from the church when Sister Lin stopped an Asian lady on the side of the road (go figure). We found out she was from Thailand and I remembered that there was a Thai Book of Mormon in the chapel. So we took her to the chapel and I got the Book of Mormon and we gave her a tour.
She had been living in Wels for seven years (in Austria for 20) and had been walking by the chapel every Monday through Friday for the entire time she’d been in Wels, and we just happened to find her that night. 
When we were down in the Geneologie Zentrum she started talking about her brother who had died two years ago in a motorcycle accident. She looked at us and said, “Wissen Sie wo seine Seele ist?” (Do you know where his soul is?)
Chills rolled down both of our spines and we nodded, “Yes, we know where he is.”
“You do?”
“Yes, the answers are in this book, and we’d like to talk to you about it if you have time right now.”
She had time, so we sat down and taught her the second half of the plan of Salvation.
Sunday brought a lot of surprises (Überraschung). Kobe came to church! Dennis came to church, and it was just a great day! There have just been so many miracles in this work! So many! Its incredible. 
But for me, this week, there were a few things that I was most impressed by as I read through the Liahona from August and September. 
The first was a talk from Elder Oaks in the August Ensign entitled, In His Own Time, In His Own Way.
It’s a talk about revelation and how we receive revelation. 
“WE need to know that the Lord rarely speaks loudly. His mesages almost always come in a whisper.”
Just the words of advice he gave were so incredible, talking about how revelation isn’t a constant thing, sometimes we have moments of revelation and other times it takes work. Which is why we have to study it out in our minds and think about it, until we’ve come up with a solution and then go to the Lord with it. 
A missionary once told me that the Brother of Jared is a great example of this idea of taking something to the Lord. 
The Lord commanded the Brother of Jared to build several ships in the manner that the Lord wanted them built. But the Brother of Jared soon realized that there was a problem. Because of the way the boats were built, there would be no light the entire way across the ocean. 
And so, the Brother of Jared went to the Lord and said, I don’t know what to do, we can’t use fire and the ships won’t allow for sunlight, what can we do?
THe Lord told the Brother of Jared to work it out and to provide a solution.
And so the Brother of Jared went up to the mount and made sixteen rocks and tried to make them as bright and as clear as possible. And after he had done all of this work, he took the stones again to the Lord and said, “Lord, I’ve tried everything I can. I have these sixteen stones, and I can’t make them shine alone. I know that if you were to touch these stones with your finger then I know they will shine.”
And so, through the Brother of Jared’s faith, he was able to light the way across the ocean of the Jaredites. 
I may not have to build a boat to carry people across the ocean, or carve stones out of a mountain side to show the Lord that I’m willing to work to receive inspiration and to see miracles, and that might mean that I never see the literal finger of God, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see His hand in the work every single day. 

Donner and Blitzen

As I’m writing this letter, an awesome Austrian thunderstorm is coming our way! Gotta love Austria! The crazy thing is that I live here, in Austria, a place where some people only dream of visiting, and instead, I’m actually LIVING HERE!

It’s pretty interesting, but you know, life is good and things are all good too! 
It’s interesting because I realized the other day that I don’t really remember what life is like in the ‘real world’. I don’t remember what it’s like to sleep in, or what it’s like just to do nothing and to have nothing planned, and to have the option of doing nothing. My days are constantly going, going, going, but it’s normal now. 
Strange huh?
This last week was interesting. I was on Austausch (splits? Exchange? I’m not entirely sure what it is in English…) with Sister Jaynes in Linz, and so I wasn’t really in Wels for much of the week, but it was great, we had fun, met a lot of awesome people, saw some great miracles.
Then, on Thursday, we tausched back, and Sister Lin and I went to the ward activity in the Steyr, which is…about an hour and a half away from Wels. We went with the Weidmans and we met with the rest of the ward members. The funny thing about it was, that Sister Lin and I were in our normal missionary clothes. THe rest of the ward was in jeans and hiking tennis shoes…well, we still went on the hike, in church clothes. 😀 I’ll send you the pictures of the falls next week because my camera broke this week and I don’t have my sd card with me. 
After the hike we went to the main area.
I got to do one of the most Austrian things that anyone can do. Kneipping. A very interesting little action. You walk through really really cold water and it’s supposed to be really really healthy. You can google it, but it was created by someone named Kneipp. 
It was very very interesting! Hannah Fuchs and I went through the water a few times, and when I say cold, I’m not saying a little cold, I’m talking about 10 grat. It’s COLD!!!!!
But apparently it’s healthy!
Well, I love you all! 

Google Translate

Well, it’s great when I know that you all have Google translate to help you with the little German words that I slip in sometimes. 

Okay, Missionary German 101:

Weniger Aktiv: Less Active
Untersucher: investigator
Schriften: Scriptures
Schriftstelle: Scripture (wie a passage of scripture)
Mitglied: Member
Zeugnis: Testimony
GMK (Gemeinde Missions K…): Ward Missionary …
Gemeinde Rat: Ward Counsel
GML (Gemeinde Missions Leiter): Ward Mission Leader
How to bear your testimony simply:

Ich weiß dass mein Erlöser lebt.
I know that my Savior Lives.
Ich weiß dass das Buch Mormon war ist. 
I know that the Book of Mormon is true.
Ich weiß dass Thomas S. Monson ein heutige Prophet ist. 
I know that Thomas S. Monson is a modern day Prophet. 

Ich hoffe daß es gehts euch gut und dass ihr glücklich seid. Es geht`s mir gut, und die Mission tue mi gut!
I hab gerade in dialekt getyped. 
Öber ´Österreich hat ein sehr gutes dialekt!
Zum Beispiel, i hab ist wie ich habe für Hoch Deutsch. Aber, es gehts schon. Wie ist alles zu Hause? Ich bin einfach neugerig weil es ist ein neues woche! 
I mog di!

Well, that was a fun little German lesson! I kept it pretty simple, See how much you can figure out and see what it all is! 
Oh, life is good here in the mission! We had three investigators at church, Toster’s wife Gunda wasn’t there yesterday like she was last week, she’s in Croatia on vacation. 
The Bauers texted us in GMK and they said that they want to come to church next Sunday! FINALLY!!!!! AND THEY TOLD US!!!1
Oh, it’s so cool!

Saint Jaynes cut my hair this morning so that was exciting. We had a good time. 

Well, I don’t really know what else to say…this week nothing really interesting happened and I’m not really feeling very funny today, so…yeah. 😀 I love you all, I hope you know that I love you all! I hope that everything is going okay and that you’re all happy and knowing that, even though some things are harder than others. I know that you’re doing great things at home and I hope that everything’s going well there!
Love you!

Little Did You Know, You Have a Son on a Mission!‏


A couple of weeks ago I ordered a pocket name tag like the Elders wear in their suit coats so that I could put it on my scriptures. This is what I got…

When I opened this I was laughing so hard! We were at lunch with the district and it was hysterical! Oh, good times good times. I’m now more like my father than ever before!
Early in the week we went by all of the Weniger Aktiv members in our ward that live in Wels and NONE of them were home. No one wanted to listen to us, it’s  been incredibly hot and we were tired and hungry by the time we got home after several hours of biking all around Wels. 
It may not be a big city, but it’s still decently sized for bike riding. 
On Friday we had a really awesome experience. Two of our investigators Toster (from Nigera and his name is pronounced Toaster) and his Austrian wife Gunde asked if our appointment could be at their apartment instead. So we went to their apartment with Bruder and Sister Fuchs and we had an AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL dinner with Fiestaware and everything. We had cold salads with warm bread and Hirsch (male deer) salami, and all of it was amazing. We had a great lesson, a great friendship was developed between Toster and Gunda and Bruder and Sister Fuchs and it was all around amazing. 

On Saturday we had a Strasse Ausstellung, I’m not at all sure what that is in English…Basically we have a sign on the street and we talk to people in a concentrated area. It was actually really successful. I’ve never seen so many people on Kaiser Joseph Platz, but because of the summer markets on the streets on Saturdays everyone in Wels was at the Ausstellung. It was really cool!

We found six potential investigators in two hours, which is a lot for Upper Austria!

Later that night we had an appointment with Michael, but between that time and the Ausstellung we contacted for a while more and called people with limited success. One man, Dennis, we talked to on the phone said he would come to church, but for the most part it was an average day. 

We had our appointment with Michael and, even though we didn’t get to a single thing in our lesson, it was really great for us because he was still talking about his baptism and we resolved a lot of his concerns. He promised us that he would come to church, but I was a little worried, but kept telling him I would see him on Sunday. 

Sunday rolled around and we had GMK ((not sure what that is in English either…) (Where all the ward missionaries and the missionaries get together… Ward Mission something…))
Then we went out and began to talk to the arriving members at church. As I was standing in the foyer of the Gemeinde Haus, a man in tennis shoes, too big pants rolled up a couple inches above his socks, his boxers hanging out  and a too tight knit shirt that kept riding up to expose his stomach with a pair of sunglasses on came strutting in. 
I had this instant thought pop into my head, I bet that’s Dennis. Lo and behold, it was Dennis! I started talking to him, but church was about to start and I had to go to Young Women. I desperately looked around for someone to grab to help and luckily Bruder Fuchs came walking by and I grabbed him and he took over from there.
It was in the second hour, after Young Women finished late, Sister Lin came to me very excited and said, “They’re all here. All of them are in our class, together.”

“What?” I said with no small measure of incredulity. I soon saw the scene of Fritz Schacaleitner, the church clerk, Toster looking rather uncomfortable in his white buttoned up shirt and tie, Dennis with his pants falling down further, Michael, the small little white-haired man in a long sleeved shirt to cover his naked lady tattoos and Bruder Fuchs in investigator heaven. 

We were so excited we had three investigators at church. 
We taught our lesson and then went to Sacrament meeting. Bruder Fuchs took Dennis with him to the front and I followed Toster to the back and Michael followed me. 
I spent the entire sacrament meeting having Michael nudging me with his elbow and then pointing to a scripture in the Romanish book of Mormon he has and then pointing to my scriptures. I would look up the scripture he was talking about and then I would read it in German and he would get all excited. He LOVES that there are a lot of things that are similar in the book of Mormon and the Bible. 
At the beginning of sacrament meeting he told me that Mosia was NOT Moses. I told him that it wasn’t! He was feeling much better about it afterward. He also took me to the back of the Book of Mormon and pointed to where it shows all the books that we have and he pointed to the Perl of Great Price and said, “Ich will dieses Buch haben.” Which means he WANTS the Pearl of Great Price. He likes that it has the Book of Moses in it. He likes Moses. 

Gunda came in the middle of Sacrament meeting and so that was also really cool.

But then, near the end of the meeting after one of the Bishopric was bearing his testimony Dennis got  up out of his seat and went up and BORE HIS TESTIMONY!!!!!!

He said that he knows it’s not good for him to go out and get drunk and smoke and party, but he does it anyway, and he said that even after having a hang-over he still came to church because he felt like he should. 

He said that he wants to change and he wants to be a better person. 
It was so cool! Afterward all of the members were coming up to me and telling me what an awesome testimony he had given, that it really came from the heart and one member even started to tear up. 
It was truly a cool experience. But then, after the meeting he went into the Relief Society room and started to play that piano. And it was amazing piano. A few people were like, who’s playing the piano and then they would see him and just stand there and listen, and then everyone was like, where’s my husband? Where’s my wife? Where are my kids? And then half the ward was crowded around the relief society room listening to him play. 

Everyone is so excited for missionary work. 

The Schmidls, who we went to eat with yesterday even invited him to come, and HE CAME!!!!!

SO COOL!!!!!

It was just a really great week! 

Love you all!