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.

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

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