When I first got here I was feeling like there was so much to do and no matter how much I was working at it there would still be an immense amount to complete. While that still is basically true, I have seen so much during this week that shows me that God really has reasons for my darling Sister Pratt and me to be here. So no, a week of zeros at the beginning of the first week of work here did not reflect the work we were doing, all those discussions and plans and prayers and questions are starting to show themselves in the form of miracles.
This week started out running (or for today’s email theme galloping) “Cheese cakey” yes, I know, deal with it. Ha ha. Anyhow, we helped set up for a ward relief society breakfast and got to know more of the sisters so much better, also I got to try this fantastic thing on toast which was like Nutella with little frosted flakes mixed all together and made into a spread. Also lemon curd from Romania. I love these Austrian people with their sandwich meat and cheese for breakfast. We left quickly after for zone training. It was so nice to see Sister Smith again and my two Graz brothers and the lovely Miss who is the new member of the Graz family. We played an awesome object lesson game at the conference that was so fun and quite hilarious.
I met my GML ( Ward Mission Leader) this week J is awesome. He is from Spain and his wife is from here in Austria. Their children are fluent in English, German and Spanish, four sweet little girls. It was lovely to get to know them. It was wonderful, the girls sang to me; singing apparently the world’s favorite song….Let it Go. That song has some sticking power. Anyhow.
There were so many good things that happened so here is the crash course. Ready, set, go.
We met C. She is a long time investigator so this meeting was more so she could get to know us. She is actually having a break from teaching because she has been learning for five years and making little progress but we are always there for her. She and I just really clicked I looked in her eyes and I felt like I knew her. I hope we get to meet again.
Hey J_ _ _. ( insert Beatles song here) Yeah, we met with our African friend J this week. He has so many deep thoughts and feelings and though it took a few tries to meet with him we finally met up and had a good discussion, he really believes in God but unlike most people from his country he does not have as much faith and knowledge of the bible. We see him around quite often and had a lesson with him underneath the overhang of a shop when it was pouring rain. Whenever we see him I can’t help but say, hey J_ _ _ with the song playing in my head.
Schwester E. This woman is lovely and has just been going through a hard time but we visited her and are praying for her.
I am telling you folks you make sure you read scriptures, pray and attend church each week and you will not lose your faith, it is when the hard times pull us away from these three things that Satan separates us from our life line. Hold on, with faith. Don’t let him get you down. He would have you believe those things are not going to help at all but, that is not true.
W. B., this man is a testimony to the fact that everyone has his or her own journey to the gospel. We were drinking cold root beer in their artwork of a house at the foot of a mountain down the street from a castle, talking with the family and he just pipes in with this. ” So, the Bishop and I decided today that my baptism will be on October 10th.
Uh. Ok. Wonderful. Just set your own baptismal date. It sure makes our job easy. His wife has know for a very long time he would someday be a member but now her wish that she though might be for the afterlife is coming true and we are helping this inspiring man on his way. God has been preparing him. They said it was like a portrait they have been painting for more than a decade, each little stroke, “Now I am out of paint,” he jokes, “Better do it now”. Totally inspiring.
One thought I wanted to share before I go.
I was thinking about ballet. I remember being so overwhelmed one day in class. There is so much to think about at one time. Shoulders open, head position, rib cage together, hips in the correct place, the shape of your hand and on and on. I felt like I could not think about it all at once. That is how I feel as a missionary sometimes, there is so much to do but it is hard to think how to do it all at the same time, but sometimes things just become muscle memory through practice and you get stronger and them turning on pointe is not so much of a dangerous adventure but a thing of grace and beauty. I am not always graceful as I continue to learn my way but I do love it and it is getting easier. I focus on specific places to improve and it is better.
Well I am off to Vienna today, and probably going to eat some ice cream.
Well you dear ones what do I say for this day, the day before I will have been six months on this mission for my father. Probably only can say that it has gone by at a breakneck speed just as I knew it would. I have only a year left of serving as Sister Gardner, in this way anyway. I am going to make those 365 days count.
Love you all………love is all you need. (and the plan of salvation)
No big deal