I shall return….
Hello my dear ones, I come to you now from the Vienna Bahnhof (station). Sitting quite wet in a booth at Burger King. What do you think about that? I think something that is so interesting about my mission is all the different cultures I get to see blended with each other. Millions of different lives trying to live in some sort of symbiotic relationship together often good, sometimes not perfectly, but then again it is wonderful to see how Gods children care for each other.
This week was all leading up to the musical abend (fireside). We put up flyers everywhere, where inviting people. And asking all the Vienna missionaries to help us spread the word. We had zone training, on Tuesday, which incidentally was before my last email. I think it all pulled together well, our new theme we came up with was “thrive not just survive.” We have been maintaining about the same for a few years, the idea is to start going on an upward slope. We showed the video based on President Uchtdorf ‘s talk “Your Potential,your privilages” with the parable about the man on a cruise ship. I really loved it. I felt it in my heart, we applied it to missionary work.
I don’t have much time today, but I wanted to let you know the musical
abend went well. We had 107 people there. We practiced all of Sunday and before that of course. It was really beautiful to see it all come together. It was the closest I have felt to a real opening night show since left on my mission, I loved singing. The spirit of the message also really touched me. The primary and young women sang A Child’s Prayer and one of the girls in the video was wearing a missionary badge. That was rather wonderful. “Heavenly Father are you really there, and do you hear and answer every child’s prayer?, Some say that heaven is far away, but I feel it close around me as I pray”. … And the ward really worked hard to pull the whole evening off they did a great job…and it was my joy to sing again.
I also got to go back to Graz this week. I got to visit the B’s,
A and E, sister K, and K. It was so wonderful, it was also really nice to already know how to get everywhere. Ha ha, but don’t worry Sister Grossen got to lead the way and she did great. She is taking good care of Graz in my place.
What was really nice was going to stake conference in Vienna on
Saturday, I got to see my Graz ward again and everyone seemed glad to see me. I was so glad to see them. S the young man who got baptized in Bruck an der Mur was there. We are good friends so I was able to get to talk with him and catch up. I am so glad he is going strong. Two older sisters from Wiener Neustadt offered us a ride home, and they talked to each other so fast in very thick dialect the whole way home, they where like two happy hens. I tried to participate but then they would start telling a story and I would sit there smiling as they went back into their catching up. Sister Pratt and I worked on memorizing words for the musical abend. It is a moment I will not forget. There are many small moments like that. I am very grateful for them, for they are treasures.
My treasures to keep and hold and love.
I want to close with a bit from a hymn that you all know already, but perhaps have not braved to this verse. It really went to my heart. And
It is a good metaphor for missionary work and any sort of service really.
In he song the man has just helped the other like in the story of the
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.
Peace is something I am always looking for. I remember praying in the temple for peace. Studying it, but in this little bit, it was proved to me again the way we heal ourselves. That is through love and service as I use my heart it grows stronger, more willing and able and expert to open and love and pour itself out to whoever needs me. And as I serve and work to serve with everything, my own troubles and doubts are forgotten and I can worry about healing someone else.
I find such guidance in the words of hymns and scriptures and prophets. I know they are true when they prick my heart.
My tip for the week: Check how deep the puddle is before you kick it.
If you don’t people might get rather wet.
Have. A. Good. Week.
Love Sister Gardner.