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.

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