“WELL, EXCITED AND SCARED” No, I am not talking about a fairy tale today, I am talking about my first few days as a missionary in Graz! Sister Poll is my trainer, she is also from Utah, She has beautiful curly brown hair and has been out on her mission for eight months. She has been here in Graz before so not only is she taking over a mission, but she is taking care of me. She has been helping me figure out the way the buses work here and helping me have courage to talk with people and mostly making sure I don´t get hopelessly lost. In a rather Large Austrian sort of nut-shell, Helping me know how to adjust to actually being out in the feild. It has already been really hard, but really joyous. Joyohful, Joyubulan. Joyneedful. Joyfulliful…. you get the idea.
It is differnet than I thought, a big city which some buildings holding the “oldness” of Austrian charm and then you go a little ways out of town and there are big tree covered hills and blue skies. I cannot send pictures yet from this computer so It might be a while before I get you a view but I really love it. (From sister Gardner’s mother: She must have found a way to make it work) It is spring here so all the magnolia trees are in bloom and outside my apartment there is a big flowering plum tree, and a little playground next to a kindergarten so during the morning we can hear children playing. It is a small happy little apartment with a big book case filled with copies of The Books of Mormon in so many languages. We have a little kitchen. It was the fourth day before I was able to get all unpacked because we have been busy. Ok, Highlights time. We recieve a referall for a man who wanted a Book of Momon. He is a manager at a hotel, he also worked on a cruise ship, he has been gathering “Bibles” from different faiths so that when his guests come they will have something to read. He also however took a book for himself to read and he was telling us about places we should go see and he said he might come to church. He did not come this week, so next week is the hope.
So we finished a member visit for lunch with Sister K and we had given a thought about the confrernece talk by Wilfred W. Andersen… ( My favorite.. heh heh, imagine that) and it turned out that, that particular talk was her favortite too. She showed us her notes from conference and above it was written, “Für Uns” or “For Us”. We had unknowingly given the spiritual thought on the very talk she felt applied most to her situation and needs of her family. It was a wonderful moment for me. Anyhow, we finished the visit and as we where saying goodbye, she said it was going to rain and gave us an umbrella. Of course it was pink. We almost refused but it was a very, very, very good thing we did not. It started to rain….pour. We were ringing doorbells in the rain.
Once we got to an apartment building, inside, a bit more dry, I would ring each door with a flourish, like a magcian pulling away a cloth. Sister Poll said, “I can tell you are a theater person, keep that, it will help you”.
I hope I can keep that, that feeling of excitement and enthusiasm. It is what is going to help me remember everyday the little amazing things. God is good and the same for all times and places. I love you! Sister Gardner