Any Path… So many Worth Exploring‏

Any Path… So many Worth Exploring‏

Forewarning: This week snuck past me like a ninja, or a zoot-suited-big-bad-wolf. But I, Little Red have survived. Sister Little Red. Excuse me.
So I think this week is going to be some bullet point party time. Who is excited? I know I am.

• Langmut it the word for longsuffering. I am not saying I am suffering, or that I am very long. Actually, I am really short. Sister Poll, Elder Durrant, and Elder McArthur are all way taller than me. But what is interesting is the direct translation… Lang means long and Mut means courage. So basically (Long Courage) Enduring to the End is long courage, it is what I will need every single day of my mission and what we are employing when we have the faith to say tomorrow will be brighter.

• This week I met B, she is a ten year old with an amazing love for the gospel, but her mother will not let her get baptized until she herself is active again… And after I met her I can see why that could be a bit of a long shot. So we just go to give her little lessons and sometimes her little friends are all running around, I have plans to sing primary songs with them. At our visit we sat outside with her as she ate the little ice cream she had saved for and we showed her a picture of the prophet. She tells us how she reads her Book of Mormon with pictures every day. Her dad brought her to church this Sunday, so that made me glad. Her parents are divorced and she is the only girl in a very big, family. It is a complicated situation, but I can see so much faith in this little girl’s attitude and eyes.

• So I sang with the ward choir. Ha!

The Graz Ward Building.

The Graz Ward Building.

• We had a zone meeting in Vienna so it was nice to meet a bunch of new people. There where two Elders who also do theater, so as we were all talking before the meeting started, I got to have a little “theater talk” again. It was lovely. We also all went to lunch together after the meeting. We went to a place where they make giant schnitzel. It was bigger than my face and I ate all of it. Ok, ok, I lied. I had to share it with Sister Poll and even that was a struggle.

• So missionaries leave a lot of things behind in their apartment when they leave. Sister Poll says that she thinks I know the apartment better than she does. I found lots of strange stickers and a flowerpot and a stash of headbands and a picture of Christ. I found a dress that is actually workable and as I ate lunch I fixed it up and now I have a new shirt. Huzzah for that.

• I met more of the young single adults in the ward here. We go to some activities with them, for instance playing frisbee Saturday morning. But we were sad because the investigators we invited did not come, but at least I got to run and jump around for a while. It was in beautiful Stadtpark with a very strange fountain.

The fountain in Stadtpark.

The fountain in Stadtpark.

• We were trying to go meet with H, a less active member that the missionaries before have tried to go by and talk to all the time. We left a note and…..he finally called! We had an appointment and a joint teach and then suddenly we all had to get off the bus we were on. There was a huge parade of protesters blocking the street, it was really crazy, Sister Poll said she had never seen it happen before her whole time here. So that was really loud and filled with people, not violent or mean,  just inconvenient for us. We had to reschedule for next week.  (In many large European cities protests were held  against TTIP a planned free trade deal between Europe and the United States that they fear will erode food, labor and environmental standards. I looked it up to see what it was all about)

• There is another less active that we went by to visit and she has never been there. But magically she was there. We discovered the real reason she has not been coming to church, it hit really close to my heart. I feel a little un-sure how to help her, but the good part is she wants help. And even though I cannot figure exactly why she must struggle with what she does. I know God loves her, and I told her that and I felt the most profound spirit that God forgets no one. The atonement is for sins, but it is also for pain and feeling alone or misunderstood or judged or unwelcome. God loves people no matter their perspective on life or love or existence. Naturally he wants them to be near Him. My job is to help the people I teach realize that no matter what, there is love for them. Forgive me for quoting Into the Woods here but, “Someone is on your side, no one is alone”. After this lesson I felt a little like Little Red, “I wish….” In this case God was Cinderella (this is a funny connection to make but..) He says, ” I know”.

An old photo of Sister Gardner when she played the part of Little Red in the production "Into the Woods".

An old photo of Sister Gardner when she played the part of Little Red in the production “Into the Woods”.

• I believe that God is the perfect director. In my past I have been frustrated when I am doing all I can, but it is still not the way a director wants it. I guess I don’t trust or understand their perspective or vision for the show. But God is a director your can always trust to make the best production. I may know how to act, how to share testimony and have faith and want to do things my way and to an extent I can. I can use the skills I have acquired. But I also need to heed to the direction that will ultimately improve my performance. My lord knows all the perspectives, and exactly how the message of the show will be best expressed. This mission….. to have faith in his direction and give all the work and practice I can.

Much love ladies and gentlemen.
Next week P-day  is on Tues.

Sister Gardner

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