A Story Of….

A story of two missionaries in the land of Graz…..

 That’s right friends, Graz has got a new team of Sister Missionaries.It was strange for me to look across the desk and see not a bouncy bunch of curly brown hair, but rather shorter cut with braided bangs.

 All this was quite the adventure and it has just begun. I am realizing quickly how much I do actually know about Graz, I know how to get around, how to find peoples houses. I know those in the ward, and those who are less active. I know the investigators. But I think most importantly. I love them.

 I really do, I was so glad that I would get to stay in Graz, I know someday I will have to give it up for new people and places that I will also grow to love, but for the time being, I will just soak it up and enjoy.

A Little Straight and Narrow by our Apartment

A Little Straight and Narrow by our Apartment

 Something wonderful happened this week! S was baptized he is a young adult age man that the Brück Elders have been working with. The Brück elders are in our district. Sister Smith and I went early to the church to start filling up the font, we were trying so hard to get the water to warm up. It was not freezing but just sort of luke warm. I pushed the button to warm it up more times than I can count. In retrospect, maybe that was a bad idea, but I did not know. The German word that was on it filled up the entire outlet on the wall. Long words in German are beastly. So, I did my best.

German, German and more German language study.

German, German and more German language study.

 We set up chairs; I helped the elders format the program on the computer and print it, and showed them where the clothes were for the baptism. Stephan got there shortly after the couple from Brück that brought flowers and a tablecloth. He walked in and I went over to shake his hand, you could just tell he was excited. It was cool to be able to look at him and see it in his eyes. He is a really cool guy. He works in Graz but lives in Brück, so sometimes he will come to the JAE (Young Single Adult) activities. I have gotten to know him, and talked to him about travel and photography once. And I have played games with him and the others at FHE. So it was like seeing a friend be baptized. I was also so, so happy because so many people came to support him. I also really loved singing ” When I am Baptized” auf deutsch at the baptism as a special musical number. It really helped us Graz missionaries get pumped that we can find the people who are prepared here too.

Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

 I am doing an activity for the young woman this week. On Tuesday, I am teaching a voice lesson, and doing a mini dance class. I really hope they all invite their friends so that it can be the excellent experience it has the capability to become. It will also be fun to dance again. I try and do some ballet bar sort of things during frühsport (exercise) sometimes, but it is not the same. I am grateful I can use my talents out her on my mission. I hope that the Junge Damen (young women) really like it.

 Here is a little about our new Sister and Elder. Sister Smith has been out on her mission for a year or so and has served in Germany. She has also been one of the lucky few that gets to go to Switzerland as an American. So now she will have served in the three main countries of our mission. She is a super contactor, and has been amazing me by speaking with so many people on the street. She is great at German. She comes from California, and loves the beach. She also has great style and is a wonderful cook. I am so excited to get to know her better and work with her. Elder Wise is from Utah. He likes to play American football and he is actually younger than Elder McArthur even though he is the senior companion. He is lots of fun and really enthusiastic. He also has really cool two-tone glasses.

Climbing anyone?  Oh how I like the options for getting from one floor to the next in this store. I miss climbing.

Climbing anyone? Oh how I like the options for getting from one floor to the next in this store. I miss climbing.

 

We four are so excited for a fresh start in Graz, I really believe things are going to start happening more and more over here. It will not be easy, but good things often must be worked for. Ha.  A missionary in Europe always needs to work hard to find people ready to be taught, but they are out there.

 I was reading this week about Alma and Amulek and the lawyers that try to get them down. Zeezrom is doing his best to trick them, but in the end he feels the spirit, repents of his sins and then is converted to the gospel. It really is an amazing story about someone finding the church and it making their life better. He has faith and is healed. His life is changed for the better.

 This is a bit short today, but I am a bit short too (height wise), so I suppose it is ok.

 Love you all.

Sister Gardner

         

Happiness

Happiness

1. I get to stay in Graz
2. My friends E and A came to church. (the two non member daughters of a member)
3. Saying goodbye to Elder Durrant. It is sad that he is going, Sister Poll too, but nice to look at all of our good memories.
4. An older member’s grandson was playing piano in the other room while we visited with her. Wow!
5. Picking Cherries for Sister B.
6. having a first meeting with our new GML. I will miss our old one, but he is going to Germany to get married to his true love. The new one wears polka dot ties, switches into Lithuanian sometimes, and quotes scriptures for fun. I am a fan.
7. Baptismal Date for L!
8.Seeing Salzburg… and almost making the train.
9. I-pads. I’m still not quite sure about that one. Cleaning the fingerprints off is slightly therapeutic, I think. Maybe. Ha.
10. Singing. In the shower, before bed, while ironing, walking to the bus stop (quietly), trying to sing in German in church and basically…..immer (always). But, not so much to drive Sister Poll up the wall.

We’re Tyin’ a Knot, They Never Can Sever.

We’re tyin’ a knot, they never can sever. I don’t need sunshine now to turn my skys to blue. Graz, I don’t need anything but you.

So the verdict is in. I am staying in Graz for another transfer.
Yeah! Cheers and Applause. Sorry Graz if you where sick of me, you get to listen to my singing for a little while longer.

This week is a week of changes.
Tall Tales time.
I gained 200 lbs from all the chocolate I ate so I had to buy a completely new wardrobe. We got  iPad Boxes but we opened the box and they had all turned into The book of Mormon. Surprise, the most up to date tool to teach is this book which starts in B.C. Elder Durrant has been transferred to St. George, Utah. And Sister Poll has a new area but no new companions….

Our District Family- Sister Poll, Elder McArthur and Elder Durrant.

Our District Family- Sister Poll, Elder McArthur and Elder Durrant.

By now you are realizing that all this sounds a little obnoxious.
Elder Durrant is finished with his mission, and Sister Poll is going to Vienna to be with Sister Kramer, which if you recall is my Beatles Yoga buddy that I tausched (exchanged)with twice. But, here’s the kicker. Sister Poll could still theoretically do a companion exchange to Graz. We will still be comps sometimes. Plus we are in the same stake. Ha. I was sane enough to not experience death by chocolate in our last P-day visit to a chocolate factory, but I was chocolated out for a few days.

But may I turn your attention to an important item of business. True we did get I-Pads. Only one box had a Book of Mormon within. That was to prove a point. It really is the most useful tool for our day. Whether you read it from a little red book, or blue book, or your smart phone, or the gold rimmed quad from when you where eight. The Book of Mormon has the ability to inspire and enlighten. It is True and most importantly provides us a priceless experience to ask God of it’s truth and then feel that it is true. From the time of the teaching of the Nephites to people in England reading the word and then sailing across the sea to help build a temple, to yesterday on the fourth floor in the apartment of a recovering smoking addict, The Book of Mormon helps people. It brings faith because reading it is an act of faith. When you exercise faith you strengthen and grow your faith and you desire more good. It is a happy cycle of strength and resilience if you let it.

Austrian Cafe

Austrian Cafe

So, L has a baptismal date! Hurrah, he just needs to get a few more answers and we will help him work towards that. Plan it out so that he can reach his goal. I am so happy to have someone who is working hard and progressing and really trying to figure out what God wants him to do, how he can help himself have a better life.

I hear about productions going on at home, about the lovely things being performed and sometimes I miss it, but then I get to look around at this beautiful cast all around me. So many people so true to their part for they are playing themselves. I have a unique opportunity as a missionary to forget the common cares of work and school and love and just focus on other people. Focus on serving them. I was trying to think of some way to describe it. I think it must be that setting apart. I am part of what is happening around me, but in such a different way. I bring my own strengths to the table and work to talk to people. I am always helping people make decisions.

Maybe I am the Swing in a production. I can play so many parts that I am not just one person. I know how to be the teacher, I know how to navigate, I serve and I am also the learner. Sometimes I get to take the lead sometimes I am providing support with my solid knowledge of the steps. I know the music; I am living it all the time. I have never been a swing in a production, goodness I really have not been in that many productions. So I cannot say for sure. But I just feel this sort of lovely Eternal perspective. When I am really focused. It is not hard to switch back and think to much of my worries, my cares. But then I remember that I am here to help others. For a while I don´t get to put my ” at homeself” aside and while I am still myself I am also a full time instrument in the hands of the Master. And the Master’s goal is to love, strengthen and teach his children.

So I´d like to thank you President Kohler, for really showing me the way.
I´d like to thank you president Kohler, cause I’m in Graz to stay.
I don’t know what’s in the future. Or who I will meet today.
But I know that God is looking after, and I will find a Way.

Do you want to build a snowman?.....Um, maybe not.

Do you want to build a snowman?…..Um, maybe not.

My weekly advice to you:

Probably something to do with making sure you don’t leave a banana in the silverware drawer because you where hiding it from the fruit flies. This because then you will find it, it will all be one color that is not yellow and then you won’t be able to eat it anyway when you do finally find it again.

Ah, all I need is simple little things…..

Ha.

Life is good.
Love,
Sister Gardner.

Einfachstrasse

Einfachstrasse

Hoffentlich, we get there Bald.

A bit of Deunglish for you this morning. I will be proud of you if you get this one…. (Look up the German words.)

No, It is not Easy Street, it is hot, people want to get where they want to go, they don’t really want to listen to a blondie with a pixie cut and a badge, but that is ok, because…. you get there by playing from the rule book, you stack the pass along cards, you load your side bag. Father dear, oh we know you’re up there “list´n`how” can we follow your sweet advice to…. Dun, dun Einfachstrasse

And I will leave you to finish the rest in your head.

A Peaceful path on a p-day hike.

A Peaceful path on a p-day hike.

So, this week held some really lovely lessons with some less active members.

We met with one of the less actives that has not been wanting to meet with us lately, we got her to meet us at the church while she did family history. We had a good talk with her. We told her that she should make a plan how to let us help her start attending again. She always just tells us to pray for her, and we do that, but we promised that we could do more. He agreed with us to make a plan together the next week. But what was really special was that after we closed with a prayer, Sister Poll asked her if we could go sing a hymn in the chapel. I had been feeling the same thing. We let her choose a hymn and she chose “God be with you till we meet again” she thought it was sort of a sad one, but she really loved it. Sister Poll played the piano and I sang the hymn for her, like a little concert. Sister poll joined in on the last verse, me switching from soparano to alto to compliment Sister Poll’s melody. We finished and it was quite for a moment. My eyes and the eyes of this woman sitting before me where filled with emotion. The silence was broken when she said; suddenly bursting into tears that she felt like her father was sitting right by her. She cried with little tears rolling down her face. Finally being able to feel the spirit after a long time. We put our arms around her and sat there in the chapel just looking up to the pulpit on the first row. It was a really spiritual lovely experience. I know that the hearts of the children are turning to the fathers, she is excited about family history, now we are working to help her be excited about finding herself. Finding those who are loved and lost. This was a wonderful experience.

I have been thinking a lot about agency, you learn a lot about it out here. It is up to us to decided and then live up to any covenants we make, really it is that simple. If we don’t then we have to decide if we are going to do something about it, or continue on our way. Knowing sometime we have to come back if our end goal is the same. Anyhow, food for thought.

Also, ten days left on the forty day fast, which went quick didn’t it. Work hard these last few days. Work to be better.

I guess this graffiti at least has the right message.......

I guess this graffiti at least has the right message…….

This week was a week of service. We helped a ward member V move. It took several hours and was really, really lovely. We were taking out boxes, filling cars up, taking apart bookcases and bed frames. We cleaned and carried washing machines. We played Tetris with the large dressers down in the small keller (cellar). The kellers in apartment buildings look like old fashion dungeons, with wooden bars around small storage units. I put a band-aid on a crying child and told him to be brave like Spiderman on his shirt. I carried sleds and bags of clothes upstairs. I tried to figure out how to fit lamps in through driver seats and coat racks too. I smiled as the little kids tried to help but ultimately just rode up and down the elevator one floor when we gave them a little box or toy to take up stairs. We ate pizza all together sitting on a mattress in the now empty bedroom. We sweated and smiled and lifted and pulled. It was a really, really great day.

We stopped by once everything was moved to the inter religion soccer tournament hosted by the Catholics at their church down the street and over a bit form ours. It was so interesting to see the differences, but really cool that we where all together in harmony. The “Mormons” did well, taking first place with the Men’s and second with the Young Men. I was only able to come to the end with Sister Poll, so I missed all of the actual games, but it was great to talk to the members and meet some people of other faiths as well. I was really impressed by the prayer that the Methodist said at the end of the awards ceremony. He told God that he was grateful that this event proved that peace between religions is possible. That is something really lovely to think about.

I started teaching this woman who has been a casual Muslim her whole life, but wants to learn more about what I do here. She has such a different understanding but she also said how she thinks religions are not all so different. I agree, we have one God and I worship the same god that Catholic people do, or Baptists or anyone. It all started as God’s plan for us, and no matter the background or belief now. No matter who believes that there is no god, or is not sure what they believe. We are all here living on this earth, as people trying to figure life out, trying to figure how to be better. It is beautiful. The Plan of Salvation is Beautiful.

Beautifully blocking the Sun

Beautifully blocking the Sun

Well, I feel I could go on, but you know we are all learning, it is important to realize every moment is a part of our life, Even the little waiting parts in between so enjoy all of it. Find the loveliest bit of each day. Remember that you are loved. And if you are not feeling loved, send me a email and I will tell you just how important you are.

On another note, please realize that if you order a vegetarian with pepperoni, be prepared to eat a lot of artichoke and no pepperoni because they will put peppers on it instead. Salami people. Say salami.

Also, I cannot eat a whole pizza and I never want to try to do that again. #thankgoodnessforeldermccarthur #Grazforthewin.

All My LOOOOOVE,
Sister Gardner

Austrian Ole'

Austrian Ole’

Question of the day:   Where am I on my personal Pride Cycle?

S-M-I-L-E

Smile You, yes you.

So this is the week that I realized that Graz really has become my home. I went away for a few days to do an exchange in Vienna and I realized how much I love Graz. People are also so nice in Graz, so that is a million bonus points. Ding Ding Ding. I think Billy Joel sang something about Vienna though, so I still put it up high on my “Cool Parts of Austria” list. If he did not write that then please disregard that last part, I guess my knowledge of piano men is a bit down this week.

But I am pretty sure. Vienna waits for you.

Sister B's Flowers. Fun to watch them bloom.

Sister B’s Flowers. Fun to watch them bloom.

Graz:
We had the most amazing lesson with a sister.  Hopefully this break through will help her feel that love of Heavenly Father and start doing all the little things again. The power of friendship is real. It is sincere. I sound like I am quoting some little kids show or something, but love is the way people will listen. It must be sincere, from the heart just as God loves us.

A Little Baby Green.  There is determination in so many things to thrive. (Can you spot the determined little flower?)

A Little Baby Green. There is determination in so many things to thrive. (Can you spot the determined little flower?)

We met with a woman who will really only meet with us once a month, B. She is the second oldest in a four generation chain (of sets of missionary sisters) that we have been working with her. She cooked us a lovely meal but I really had been silly and ate my granola bar for the finding day at district meeting so I had a hard time finishing the huge bowl of pudding we had for dessert. Even though it was delicious and there was apricot jam mixed with it. Mmmm. She invited her friend and we were able to give her a Book of Mormon. We also went out on to her balcony to see her pet rats and the mini potted garden and the AMAZING view. Wow!

Then we joined the Elders for the finding day. The other Elders in our district, the AP´s the zone leaders and a few others came to help us do a few power hours of finding. Wow! we found 22 potentials all together!!!! Wow! that shows you what a bunch of missionaries in one town can do in a few hours. It was so interesting to meet these other elders and see how they do street contacting. We have been working this week to start teaching all these new people.

Finding Day with the AP's, Zone Leaders and other Elders.

Finding Day with the AP’s, Zone Leaders and other Elders.

To finish the day we had a English lesson with K at her house, her husband brought home cheesecake from “Micky D’s” that is right the golden arches. heh heh. Look at “fast food” America trying to appeal to “healthfood” Austria. Good luck. But I guess if the Hungarian, English and French and Spanish speaking husband brings it back to his wife and the two missionaries trying to teach her about “If, Then” statements” I guess it is ok. Actually it was all really fine and dandy.

So close to being a Gardner store.

So close to being a Gardner store.

I got to catch a train the next morning. The train actually left after the  lesson mentioned earlier. Sister L was kind
enough to let me run in and get my suitcase from the apartment and then drive us to the train station so we could make the 12:00 train to Vienna.

In Vienna I taught two lessons to their amazing investigator A. I kept thinking she would have some problem with what I said, some objection, some little pokey I-don´t-like-it concern but she was fine. She loves this gospel and believes it, she will be baptized with her husband in a few weeks. I am so glad that I got to be part of this process. The first day we read scriptures with her I shared my favorite and then the second day we came back and taught about the tripod. aka. Chruch attendence, scripture study and prayer. She is amazing!

Elder Durrant and Elder McArthur keeping it real in Graz.

Elder Durrant and Elder McArthur keeping it real in Graz.

Sister Kramer is an amazing cook, she was also cool enough to go running with me in the morning! Wahoo, it was so good to get out and move. We ran up a big hill and at the top between buildings and some trees, I could see all of Vienna. So many souls so much good and bad and lovely. So many lives and jobs and families and heartbreaks and dreams and smells and smiles and tears. Ah, that is why I sometimes really love big cities. Big cities with enough green. We visited a member who needed some cheering up. When you don´t have chocolate chips for the cookies , your companion for the day cuts up Twix bars. Woohoo, and in return you get ribs. Ribs in Austria. Bravo you wonderful woman.

I practiced some musical scales for a little while at the church so I can get this voice lesson plan rolling. Pray for that. and Pray for all those that missionaries are trying to teach, pray that their hearts will be softened, that they will keep their commitments, or at least the appointments Pray that all will be able to not only obtain but retain their testimony. Press forward with faith.

Double steps_2Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. – Dieter F. Uchtdord.
I love you,
Sister Gardner

Good Days

Good Days

1. I was let in my first door this week!
2. Painting a get well card for one of the members during lunch.
3. Sister Kramer- Her down to earth, laid back but hard working and kind to everyone way of being was exactly what I needed to spend three days with. She is my yoga, Beatles, tofu woman. I forgot how much I love those people.
4. We both got While my Guitar Gently Weeps stuck in our heads. Humming is a nice thing to do in apartments when you still want to talk but are also focusing on writing in journals after daily planning.
5. We had a…. PIZZA and Ice Cream.
6. Apricot Jam
7. Coming home to Graz!!!

Fluss (River) by our house.

Fluss (River) by our house.

8. The keyboard in the Vienna apartment.
9. The opera singer ward member who asked me if I wanted to sing a duet with her in church and asked if I would sing alto with her. Yesss!
10. Watering my plants in the window when I got home.Good Days

Home in Graz

Home in Graz

Simple Gifts

  1. Making a case for my mini Bible out of a hot chocolate box, and then making it beautiful with colored paper and flower   borders.
  2. Cherry cream ice cream.
  3. Talking to Guitar man in the park.
  4. The free basil plant they gave out to Sister Poll and I that is now starting to sprout in our window. This is part of some campaigning that happens every 4 or 5 years. There have been posters and advertisements everywhere.
  1. The girl from Indiana that started talking to us on the Bahn when she saw our badges. Pretty cool girl, well read, smart, knows the Beatles, thinking of being a catholic nun, on an exchange for a few Months and has a Mormon friend on a mission. It might have just been her hair cut or the fact that she talked with us all the way back to her house and let us stay to talk with her, but I thought she was pretty cool.

6.  Popcorn and baked potatoes as we watched the Jesus Christ video on our old DVD player during dinner.

  1. My new lens for my camera!!! Halleluiah! (Her camera lens broke and she couldn’t take any pictures. If you know Sister Gardner this was a hard thing for her)
  2. A long walk in the light rain to get to a members house.
  3. H’s birthday party.
  4. Having a picnic on the floor of our apartment for dinner when it was pouring basins of water from the sky outside.

    Indoor picnic on a rainy day.

    Indoor picnic on a rainy day.

Potentials, potentials… everywhere I look I can see them…

Potentials, potentials… everywhere I look I can see them…

That is the funny part about being in a sizable city. Everywhere you go there are people to talk to, and your mere presence is a sizeable testimony as you press on through the day wearing that badge. So, so many people will not listen to you, certainly not partake of this glorious gospel, but you never know who will. So thus we realize everyone around me is a potential. Members are a potential, even I am a potential. Everyone has the potential to be a little stronger, have a little more faith, love a little more, and to see the world a little brighter. That is what I am sharing. I am sharing the Light of the World.

Well, This week was… Interesting. That is a good way to put it. It was really great, and with a new attitude and looking at my work here as a lot of little things and not as an experience based entirely on the numbers of anything, it was a really wonderful week.

I had two fantastic conversations that will probably stick with me my entire life.

Sister Poll in  the Library where we email.

Sister Poll in the Library where we email.

The first was with a man in the park about my age who was strumming his guitar and soaking up the sunshine. I had talked with a red head in polka-dots and the two moms. But sitting next to a fenced tree I felt I needed to speak with the man who occupied that bench. To our surprise he kept talking to us, instead of staring at us expectantly after we asked our original question. He did not dismiss us with a coarse goodbye and after talking for 20 minutes I was able to sit down
with him and through our conversation share a Book of Mormon with this young man. Sister Poll and I both related our love of music to this fellow who favored us with a little concert there, singing softly along with the music he played. He talked to us about family, and studying and those big questions, about the “who you know” nature of the music business and the joy of sitting in a park in the sun. He said at the moment he did not really think about those big sort of questions, that he just concerned himself with the now. He said his grandmother had just died, but he was not sure he believed what his cousin said about her being in heaven. But he also was very interested in his ancestors. After talking about the importance of our own families, I asked him, why knowing where his family was from and who they were was so important to him if it we really are what he said, nothing after we die. He kind of stopped and smiled there. He kept smiling, just thinking about it. He shrugged it off saying maybe. But I got to witness this beautiful moment of someone considering for real for the first time, that maybe there is a little bit more to this life. A little more joy to add to the already heavenly experience of sitting in the sun on a bench in a park strumming a guitar. The hearts of the children are turning to their fathers. I will always remember Guitar man.

The other was a girl from Indiana, she talked with us for much longer than she thought she might want to. Sometimes, It is helpful to provide a listening ear to someone who is on their personal quest to find the truth. Sometimes I wish I could be more like her. But then I remember my faith. I remember all the time the spirit has whispered the truth to me, and how I know through my own study and prayer that this gospel is true. I am grateful for my foundation of faith, this
rock that I am continually trying to add too.

A Picture of where we hiked last p-day.

A Picture of where we hiked last p-day.

This week was one of blessings. We got a call from L and she said she did not want to meet with us anymore, Sister poll took the phone and was able to convince her in better German than I to meet one last time before she gave up. We met telling her it would just be us reading. I worried about it the whole day and then the whole morning before our appointment. We prayed to know how to help her, pondered which scripture to read with her and hoped that we would be able to follow the spirit. There was a hint of awkward tension in the air as we unlocked the door to the church to let her in, but we proceeded as normal, asking how work was going, and how her family was. We prayed. She surprised us by asking if all of us could pray. Immediately following, her questions started flowing. And we listened, and paused and thought and spoke and shared and tried to help this beautiful daughter of God to understand.

We did a lot of pausing. Feeling that spirit. I shared a special experience, and just like I usually do when I feel the spirit, I
started to tear up. L was confused, she asked Sister Poll why. I am sure she wondered why my voice cracked with emotion and little tears appeared in my eyes. Sister Poll explained that I was feeling the holy ghost. I finished my story and it was quite there for alittle while.

Sometimes the Lord blesses us with the most beautiful silences. Pauses can often show so much love. I think you can close your eyes and think. I think you can understand.

We continued on, questioning and answering and listening. At the end we promised her she could have a break, a little time to think it over and then in two weeks we would give it a try again. We asked her if we could kneel down to pray, and she said yes.

I really hope that in two weeks we get to meet with L. I want to teach her, I want her to be able to have the Holy Ghost and feel that confirmation. I can only hope and pray.

"I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello". Hehe Heh, Little Dorfs. (Dorf meaning little towns)

“I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello”.
Hehe Heh, Little Dorfs. (Dorf meaning little towns)

In other news, I went to a birthday party this week.

One of the older woman in our ward, H, asked if we would please come to her party, as part of our sometimes weekly visit to her.
I probably should not have suggested she blow out a candle, because it really was a big fat candle. At least she did not try to put it on the cake. It just took her a few tries to blow it out. It was the four missionaries, her friend M, and her friend M. What a fun, odd little group we where. Sitting there eating chocolate cake that the actual birthday girl could not eat. Sister Poll and I brought her a little plant. The lady in the flower shop tied a special bow when I told her it was a gift. The Elders gave her a picture of Christ. We all sang and M tried to turn it into a debate about those he knows who are not so charitable living in his apartment building. I was almost completely successful in guiding him back to our happy circle of saying nice things about H. Oh, goodness he is quite the character. I don’t think any actor could play him. No matter how hard they tried.

Lots of good member lessons this week. Little kids who make you feel good by not wanting you to leave. A shared candy bar on the way to Hart bei, Graz (a town outside of Graz), and all the lovely little things in between.

I am working hard to have a better day than the last every day. That is really what is asked of us. That is what you have to stick to. To stay positive and remember that you are doing better than you think, but you can do better than you are.

Work hard my dears.

“I´m an ordinary sister with feelings, I´d like a man to accept a baptismal date, But I´ll admit, no one has bit, so then how come I´m the Missionary of the year”. (A play on the words to the song “Little Girls” in the musical Annie)

Ha ha. Hopefully that made someone smile.

all my love,
Sister Gardner.

Sister Gardner on a hike in Graz.

Sister Gardner on a hike in Graz last P-day.