WOW! This last week has been crazy!!! Last week, Sister Jaynes and I went with the Weidmans to the Haribo store in Linz and got the craziest awesome candy jitters ever! We were SO EXCITED!!! it was this crazy child-like high and then it crashed and burned because of Mauthausen.
Mauthausen is a Concentration camp outside of Linz and I have never felt so depressed in my entire life.
We watched this awful video before we we went around and the video was all about the camp and the things that had happened to start it up. It had this awful sarcastic narration that spoke from the Soldiers perspective and it was just awful the things that they did to those poor people. It’s just that you hear about these things that happened and everything that those poor people went through in school and you think it’s horrible and you’re terribly disgusted by it, but it still is just a film, just a few pages in a history book.
But that all changes when you step into a stone-walled hell comprised of terrifying images and a knowledge of every terrible thing that was done in this fortress of hatred. Never in my life have I felt so horrible or distraught.
Mauthausen was the last Concentration Camp to be liberated by the Americans. The people who had been in the camp were stoic, but the American soldiers who liberated the people were crying.
I am scarred for life.
On a happier note:
On Thursday I got on a train and said goodbye to Wels. You don’t realize how much stuff you accumulate when you stay in one place for six months, but you end up with a lot. I traveled to Salzburg and from Salzburg to Munich where I met Sister Christianson (not Christeanson, but Christenson). From there we went from Munich to Augsburg. Augsburg is A LOT bigger than Wels. It’s bigger than Salzburg. We have Straßenbahns and buses and they run regularly and on Sundays.
There’s one ward here, and there are Elders. Ones a Golden (he’s new). The ward is great, they were all really welcoming and they were all really awesome. There were several members that asked if I was new on my mission considering that Sister Powell, the missionary who was with Sister Christianson before me, was trained here, by Sister Chris. They talk a lot faster and a lot more to you when they realize that you’ve been on your mission for over seven months. It was really great.
I talked to a lot of people and got a lot of great relationships started and I’m really excited to work here with this ward.
Sister Christianson is great, we get a long really well and we just have a blast. We’re constantly being weird and talking to people on the street and it’s great. People are a lot easier to understand here than they are in Austria. But here they have a Bayerisch dialect. I do believe in English this is Bavaria. In German it’s called Bayern. But there are still lots of Dirndls and other such things, so it’s great! 😀
We’re teaching this man from Sierra Leone, his name is Kammanda and he’s great. He’s in an Asylheim (I have no idea what that is in English) but he’s trying to get his Visa. He’s so short! He’s about a head shorter than I am and he’s just this cool little African man who was kidnapped and forced to be a child soldier when he was little. But he’s great and he’s a good person.
He said something really cool the other day, he said, “Being a man is not a day job.”
He was talking about how often people aren’t good people. There are things like pornography, immorality, murder, etc. in this world, and men need to step up into their roll and be men. All the time.
I was just so struck by that. More than just that he was calling men to be men, but that it was almost a call to all of us. We really need to be the best people that we can be and to step up and ALWAYS be servants of the Lord. We should always be people that the Lord would be confident to call to righteousness.
I just love that the Lord has called good people to this work and that there will always be good people called to this work. There will NEVER come a time again on the earth when this gospel isn’t here, doesn’t have the joy and the beauty of the gospel.
There are hard times ahead, but that doesn’t mean that the Lord isn’t watching out for his righteous servants. If the Lord be for us, then who can prevail against us? Romans 8:33 (JST). Trust the Lord, love Him, obey His commandments and all will be well in Zion.