….and you learned something too “Well, here it is, jumping off point and here we are, one breath away from a sick world that’s been crying for what we can give it; Truth, Freedom, Salvation. Can you see the headlines now Brother (Sister)…. “Two humble missionaries convert thousands, city translated over night”. Green (Poll) we’re destined to be the greatest team of missionaries the world has ever known.” ( song quote from the musical Saturday’s Warrior) -The hipster musical about the Book of Mormon…. Before it was cool. I have been singing this Saturday’s Warrior song since I got here. In case you were wondering, this musical above quoted it rather cheesy. I normally would listen with a miffed sort of smile on my face as sounds of “Saturdays Warrior” filled my home in Utah… but now, considering it is the only musical I can listen to, I love it with a passion like a guy stranded at an airport would love those little carts that give you money when you return them. The “cheese-ness” has grown on me.
So dear friends It is I, Sister Gardner returning to you through the magical medium of the Internet.
Some really wonderful things have been happening here in Graz besides my successful acquirement (is that a word or is it not, who cares, you know what I mean) of a Visa. I am now a legal part of Austria, and of course they used my smirky little passport photo, but I really like it, so life is good.
I had the wonderful opportunity to Skype with my family for Mother’s Day and I can honestly say that I have never had forty-five minutes pass in such betraying swiftness. But I was successfully able to push the hang up button on Skype despite the pain of goodbyes…. “If you are brave enough to say goodbye, the world will reward you with a new hello,”…… something like that. I am pretty sure that quote was meant for love sick hearts but I have become very good at applying what would normally be a romantic quote to actually finding new investigators… It is a gift. Ask me about it sometime, I will show you my scrapbook. All right but really, lovely things going on. We are meeting with our new Investigator this week; it will hopefully be my first progressing investigator since I got here. I am really praying she will stick it out with us and that she will realize what a good thing we are bringing to her life. She speaks some German but mostly Romanian so that is where pamphlets in lots of languages really come in handy. What does the word Beten mean… Well shucks lets just go to page such and such of this Romanian Restoration pamphlet and bingo prayer is translated from German to Romanian. This will be perfect for me because it will help me with lots of simple German. Hey, who is good at simple German structures? That’s right, pick me, pick me!
We had a great member lesson this week too. It took two days for it to work out, but helping this woman find a friend in the ward is so important, plus it helps that the mother tongue for both member and investigator alike is Hungarian, and they are both mothers… and The ward member served her mission in Graz… I could tell it was perfect, but I have more faith in your deduction skills than that. And no the lesson was not perfect, but it was really good, We brought the spirit, both the mother and father prayed and though the little sons where running around during the duration of our visit making dinosaur noises and dumping out buckets of racecars all over the floor. The barking Chihuahua was a nice touch too. But it is ok. The spirit has a lovely way of being powerful if you really focus in on what you are teaching. Even if this family does not yet start coming to church each week, the way we are helping their family is what they need. Prayer works friends. It is a simple thing, but it works. So just take a breath and close your eyes, let Him know you are talking to Him, and then tell Him what you are feeling, ask Him questions, tell Him thank you for some things… He does give you everything after all, and if anything, just bask in a moment knowing that someone powerful loves you very much. Then to seal the deal, close your little pow-wow in the name of your Brother who makes it possible to return to your Father above. I prescribe two weeks of this and I can guarantee results. Don’t believe me, fine try and prove me wrong. I know you know that I know that if you are listening though, you will feel something.
Also this week, do you know what makes weekly planning really great? Goldfish crackers via airmail. Just thought you all might like to know that. You know, in case you were thinking about that during one of your own philosophical musing sessions. And for some reason when ever I am washing dishes I think of West Side Story and I am not sure exactly what is in the air right there next to the sink but I sing the word Maria there more than I ever thought possible.
I know that I have gained knowledge of the importance of looking for the little things in this life that bring me joy. Some people find it in the mountains, others in a quite library, some people the sky or with the people they love. Sometimes it is in the strange little bird that lands outside your window or the flower petals on the computer keyboard in the church when you come back in and the window was open. God gives us these little gifts to remind us to smile. This life is a test but it is also a pretty sort of colorful scantron (fill in the bubble test sheet) with lot of breaks between the hard questions to eat some Peach-o´s and Mythbuster clips during the physics section. It is ok! You can do it! The world is pretty scary sometimes, but there is always something lovely to find and when you find it. Hold on to it, for it shall lift you up above the dark blue days to the bright sky above. If you ever forget, like I once did on a chilly evening sitting on a curbside in tears, that you are loved and important. I implore you to look up to the sky and see those stars. And know. And Know, that you are loved. I share this with you with a hope that you will look up when the world pushes you down, and work with me in my pursuit to see the good in every day. I love you and your support lifts me always. Love, Sister Gardner. (A few of the Simple Small things that brought Joy to Sister Gardner this week.)