“There You Are. We but care that there you are”. That is what I am going to be singing in my head to every single person in this itty-bitty city. Because seeing someone on the street that is not the main square of the whole city is literally like finding a four-leaf clover or the opening to a musical based on Charles Dickens last work. Actually, I am not sure how it is like that; you could say it is a mystery in fact. Heh Heh. Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to……
The Mystery Wiener Neu Stadt!
The lights come up on the young Sister Gardner and her glowing companion Sister Pratt.
Thrown swiftly into a town and place with no knowledge of the prior lives lived here the two find themselves in a mansion of a missionary apartment. Goodness gracious who would have thought that there could be separate rooms for sleeping and studying and eating and sitting. On the cusp of the Hauptplaz (main town square), the sisters look out upon the world they now hold in their hands. They are excited and frightened to begin the next chapter of this story.
Yes, I have left my darling Graz behind and now turn to this wonderful new place. We have been working hard these past few days to get on our feet and understand what the frabjous is happening (thank you Lewis Carroll) We now have acquired a map, an area book, and a ward list. We have a phone and an apartment building that smells like incense because of the hippy store in the shop next door. (all the classy hippy hipster smells) and lots of Spanish copies of the Book of Mormon. (mom’s note- I have heard the missionaries teach as much in Spanish in this area as German or English)
If you think you keep hearing someone singing show tunes, that is probably you hearing sister Pratt and I. All. The. Time. I hope you like it. You are very welcome.
But really, I am so excited to be in this new place. Is it a little terrifying and already a little hard? Yes. Do we have to sort of re learn our finding techniques? Yes. Do we have so much love to give to this little stadt of Austria? Also yes. I can already tell there are going to be miracles here, with the people I meet and the ward I come to love.. Speaking of that….
Something really lovely happened at our member eating appointment yesterday after church. The Elders had already told us that the ward was so excited to have sisters and then we where talking with this family and they where asking what we liked to do, and we both have a great love for music and also know that it is a special medium for the spirit to work though. We shared this and they looked a little surprised. They told us they had been praying that the sisters who would come would have musical talents and know about it because they want to do another musical fireside. I felt this feeling of peace come over me. I am so glad I am here.
The musical fireside is something that I have been wondering about since I came on my mission, it is still a few months away, but hopefully I can A) stay and put it on or sing in it or B) help it get all planned and ready to go. We want to try to teach voice lessons here and get two language classes going. We also want to start up a FHE for the youth once a week. There is so much to do, it is sometimes like trying to swallow a whale in one bite, but I think Shel Silverstein wrote a poem about that and it turned out all right for her. Melinda Mae did it one bite at a time.
Some other good things this week: We got to know the bishop over an intense game of Football (Soccer for you yanks). Heh, heh. We hope that more people will come this next week, but it is good to offer these activities for the ward and investigators and anyone else who would like to kick around a happily worn soccer ball on the back lawn of the church.
I have be trying to read a bit in Doctrine & Covenants this week and I found something really lovely that I wanted to share.
“And no one can assist in this work except [she] shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope and charity being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to [Her] care.” D&C 12:8
This little part has been entrusted to my care. My companion and I are responsible for helping people come to Christ. It is a big job. Everyone has something or someone or some(insert word here) entrusted to them. How are we taking care of what we have been entrusted with? May we have the courage to do it the way Christ would want us to. Well I know my adventure will continue. I am glad to be busy and my heart feels full and glad when I am able to talk with others about what I hold dear to my heart. Getting better all the time.
Luckily for me, the people here still use Baba to say goodbye.
So, Baba! All my love.
Sister Calee Gardner