At Some Point or Another

At some point or another you just have to sit on the asphalt and get your hands dirty with bike chain Grease. There is no other way. So you sit as nicely as you can and you put the fickle bike chain back on the gears. For the second time this five minute ride. And this time, every part of the morning that went less than you expected comes out in a desperate sort of prayer that says, “please Father, I need things to go better now.”
Well. They did. And He helped me, He loves me. And that day we saw beautiful miracles.

my bike

And that obnoxious bike, went a whole 45 minute bike ride without giving up the chain once. And then we made it to the appointment even though the train did not
come and we had to cross the border with our bikes. And then while grabbing some water we meet a man who says. “Hey, Mormons! ” I am so glad to see you guys.”

Found a guy who got all the lessons long ago, but never got baptized and when he moved did not know where the church was. K definitely has some promise. I mean it is not every time that you talk with a stranger that they tell you how amazing Joseph Smith was and
that they will come to church sometime soon. And then they give you free samples. Nice.

mountains
Then, two of our meetings fell out, but God had us covered for that. We went dooring in the area where our lesson would be and we find this little bookshelf on the street filled with free cd’s. Sitting right on the top, “Broadway hits” of course I cannot listen to it now,
but it was a little tender mercy.happy thoughts
Then we had a talk with a man in a park, we came back after our fantastic lesson with R and S. They still had not started the Book of Mormon so we read the first two chapter with them, I loved it. Explaining and expounding, I felt like those missionaries in the Book of Mormon that just lay it down what the scriptures mean. I am gladdened every time I start reading the Book of Mormon. It is a promise of all the stories I hold in my heart. I realized when I was explaining it, as I usually do. THIS BOOK CHANGED MY LIFE, It continues
to do so. For the better.welcome
Anyhow. We found this beautific park to talk to people in, but to our dismay the bench where we had had such a long discussion was not empty. The Book of Mormon we gave to the man was still there. We were a bit sad. But you would not have been able to tell because we started talking to the new man sitting on the bench with a random copy of the
Book of Mormon just chilling there next to his backpack. … So first you don’t succeed, try, try again.


Anyhow, to finish it off we saw a wonderful family with a dad who was really taking care of his kids. He looked like a person I knew, and I could only wish that on him. Then, it was just warm and bright like a summer night should be, and there was a beautiful sunset. Thank you.

sunset

We had a nice breakfast with a lesson at a new convert’s house. Her boyfriend was baptized but never received the Holy Ghost, but that was a few years ago. So now we are preparing him to do it right. He is happy guy. They came to church on Sunday for the first time in probably 8 months!!!

M our lady who lives in the middle of far away committed to a date! We managed to find just the right joint teach, she and her husband drove us the whole hour long way in and where at the lesson, and she and M just clicked, sadly the member sister is leaving to
America for six weeks, so we have got to find someone else. But she will be coming back, just in time for the baptism. Woo! The family also took us to eat lunch in a little, very lovely, very old town. We ate next to a river and it was beautiful.

M's house

M’s House

M had little lambs

 

give said the little stream

Give Said the Little Stream ( By M’s house)

Our friend K, who had the sad travel story came to sport abend and brought a friend. His friend was amazing at volleyball ball.  Elder Erickson would set the ball and he would come flying down with a killer spike. Literally killer, everyone covered their heads and
curled up to protect themselves. Hmm. Was noch?

We taught institute on Tuesday. You have a lot of pressure to make it exciting for the young single adults especially when one of your former MTC teachers is sitting there as part of the class in the ward you are serving. But we jazzed it up with a cool activity at the
beginning and epic video segments. And writing on the board activities. It was elder Saumelsons last week. He is a good example.

We had a long church tour with lovely J and then went with her to the doctor the next day to help translate for an ear ache. We had a lot of time to talk and watch church videos and share scriptures while we waited and then we got lunch together after.
I went to a family called the D’s. They did a great big barbecue for the whole missionary force of Salzburg. They are such a nice family and part way through while doing the game part of family home evening, the mom invited us to take a look at some scarves and blouses she was wanting to give away, they did not fit her, so we each got a new shirt
and scarf and skirt.

dinner

Dinner at the D’s

cute

He reminded me of my old guinea pig Nigel

The daughter loves musical theater so we were able to talk about it a lot and we did everything outside in their garden. Plus we did a really fun spiritual thought with the family. It was silly too. They had to draw a picture of themselves using their foot to write. Ha ha, so funny. The elders planned it. We related it to how sometimes we feel awkward with our weaknesses, but that the lord makes us strong.
Then we related that to their own personal missionary work, we invited them to make a list of people. Who fit certain categories that we said and then invited them to give them an invitation to the special visitors Sunday coming up In a few weeks.

Lastly.

I was reading in Alma again today, he is talking to his sons. Alma 39-42. I was thinking about this perfect gift of the resurrection.Everyone has this gift. No matter how many little kids snowmen you kicked over, or old ladies you helped to cross the street. Everyone
will live again. But then your choices are what decide how happy you will be with this
un-ending life, this perfected body and the vast landscape of the eternities.
Did you prepare yourself for your ultimate potential, did you take the name of Christ not only upon yourself. Or upon your heart….

That is sort of like a mission. If you are called to serve, whatever kind of mission it is, if you are stocking the shelves of a bishops storehouse, wading through flooded highways in a jungle, helping people find their ancestors, hiking mountains to meet in huts, dodging
big yellow taxis looking for an address, or waking up to the tolling of church bells in a flat in Austria, you are called to serve. It is like a resurrection, a gift for all.
But, then come the second part.
How much do you use that time, have you given your heart as you could have. Have you let yourself be changed, did you choose to come closer to your Heavenly Father, did you follow his guidance and love all you came in contact with? That is the part that relates to this life, and we are living it right now, so think about it,

You will already receive an unbelievable gift in that you will live again.

But . You decided today, yesterday, tomorrow just how glorious
that will be.

All my love,
Sister Gardnerbikes again

 

The Writing on the Wall

The WRITING ON THE WALL

But more than that,

More than what solution fits the crime,

What I’ve learned is life is bits of time,

And you fight for every tiny speck ……

Is it clear?

If you hear my voice then you’re alive,

What a blessed marvel we survive,

When you think of ever trial you face

In this grand human race……..

And give up never!

The fight – you’ll need the wherewithal!

Can’t you heed the lighting

As I plead.

Inciting you to read the writing on the wall.

(Song from The Mystery of Edwin Drood)

This is debatably one of the most influential musical theater songs in my life, the other now inspires the very name of my blog you may be reading.  Though high school musical theater holds little weight in the grand scheme of things, the love and effort put into this single little moment in a school auditorium really resonates with the efforts in a little city in a right hand corner of Austria. Compared with the vast expanse of missionary progress in South America, one might be tempted to compare our 36 baptisms mission wide as some sort of small single Lego in the middle of a large model of the Incredible Hulk or a complete to scale model of New York City. But just like throwing a starfish into the ocean after a storm, it makes a difference to that one.

Sister Gardner and Sister Pratt in Wiener Neustadt

Sister Gardner and Sister Pratt in Wiener Neustadt

“Life is bits of time… And you fight for every tiny speck…” Every moment on my mission is a moment of the Lords. I am on his time so I try to always look for ways to serve or at least put on a smile so I can truly share that my work is a work of joy. I am not always perfect at this, indeed I feel pushed down or discouraged occasionally but it gives no excuse to sit down and give up. I have tried my whole life to never be that. And it has inspired a sort of stubborn and blessed obstinacy that has kept me going through good and bad. It has grown as I have experienced what life has to throw at me or give me, it has grown through experiences and choices and it is all made possible by the atonement of Jesus Christ.

This week marks the end of my first transfer in Wiener Neustadt, luckily for me, I get to stay another one with my dear Sister Pratt.  She gets to put up with my occasionally “sherlockianness” another transfer, good thing we will be singing all the way. My district stayed the same for this transfer, and almost all the sisters are staying the same. Some changes with elders but not too crazy. My original Graz family is all out of Graz as it welcomes yet another golden into it’s arms. One big difference is that the sister training leaders are now living in Wiener Neustadt. I am so grateful for this opportunity to love and serve my sisters even more than before. Also lifting some lost lambs in Graz on tausch (exchange) will be a blessing for I find I have been thinking of them.

Well this week held many wonderful things, I am glad when our weeks are busy, I like to be busy and if we are not, I work to find time to meet new friends that will, be blessed by this gospel.

No rolling green hills right at hand so how about

No rolling green hills right at hand so how about “This Field is Alive with the sound of Music”

We went to opera house last week and it was so, so wonderful to be in a theater again. I could smell those set changes. I asked out tour guide if she had ever sang on the stage she said no with a smile but said that I could. My district was teasing me a bit, and of course I would not try and really sing, but I did sing a bit under my breath imagining how wonderful it would be to be out on stage again. It makes me happy more than anything, second only to teaching someone with the spirit and seeing their souls be touched and their hearts softened.

Our German courses went well this week. I ended up teaching all of the Tuesday class. We had a tausch (exchange) with the Vienna sisters and I was with Sister Eden so it was fun to do a little bit of training for the day. I tried to really make it a really good and fun learning experience. I was also glad to help our GML (ward mission leader) with his moving. Running up and down stairs is fun. Sister Pratt and Ahlm had a late appointment so they did not have time to tausch back so I packed an overnight bag and joined all of the others in Vienna for the night. It was so fun to fill up all the beds in the two bunk beds and feel what it would be like to live with another companionship or in a dritt. (trio) Sister Pratt told us some scary stories and I kept interjecting with things like, “and the butterfly flew gracefully across the…” And other things like that when ever sister Eden started to get really freaked out. Sister Eden and I where singing astonishing as we cooked toast without a toaster for breakfast for the four of us.

An exchange with Sister Eden.

An exchange with Sister Eden.

Zone training was amazing, a super spiritual and motivating experience, more than any one I have been to this whole time. It really helped me see some ways to improve and realize that though I am improving I need to re evaluate and really focus on becoming the missionary I always thought I could be, my dream. I made a little poster banner of sorts in red paper to remind me of the attributes I am trying to exemplify.

We met with sister E, she is a less active and has so much desire to come back and get her patriarchal blessing and go get prepared for the temple. We are trying to help her feel the love and know that God will support her through any trial and cheers at each progress no matter how small. We know she has the desire and we are working to make it happen.

W fixed our bike problem by buying us lights and a new bike.  Luckily he is going to let us pay him back for the bike but he bought the missionaries a pump for the bike as a gift. He is trying so hard and has been making so much process in reading and testimony building since the first time we met. We were able to meet with C. a young single mom Hungarian woman we met through the German class. She has just been feeling alone and the church has really been giving her a place to belong and she has felt good just being there. She is going back to Hungary for a while but the missionaries and ward already know she is coming thanks to some lovely member help.

J and E are still trying to work things out. T got back in touch with us after we had been trying and so we are going to meet this week.

I really love K’s mom R. I can tell she feels the spirit at church but we just need to keep gently inviting her to pray about the truth, she is so lovely. Her curly, curly black hair and little yellow hair clips, she works so hard to help with translating and I just really love her. I hope that as the elders keep teaching K and we keep getting invited to the appointments so we can keep her progress going. I finally also this week met the cousin of J, A, she was helping with the moving and is an investigator. She is a cool lady. I really hope we get to start teaching her.

Also Bishop and his wife where feeling sick this week so we brought them a card.

Well that was a big long email of names and people that you have never met, but I suppose you can gain comfort in knowing that all over the world the Lords work is moving forward. One little slice of the giant plan of the pie of salvation. Heh heh.

Beautiful Countryside

Beautiful Countryside

In other news I gave a talk on Sunday and Sister P said we should wear dirndls because it was some holiday but I get to the church and no one is wearing them, just Sister Pratt and myself. I was so embarrassed, but when sister P and all the little P’s children got there I wasn’t so alone but it was a little nerve wracking to give the talk.  Usually it is just fine, I love giving talks, speaking in front of others. But, I had only found out about it on Friday night so it was not all translated, written in English yes and thought, and prayed over but not yet translated. I was very nervous. But then as I was standing at the door greeting people trying not to worry, who comes walking in with her son in law, but the Stake young women’s president. And that just happens to be sister K from Gemeinde, Graz. I started crying happy tears when I saw her. She was like a mother figure for me when I was in Graz, she gave me a big hug and a little chocolate heart she brought for me. Then when she was sitting on the stand (as the important visitor she was) I got to sit by her until it was time to give my talk. God sent me this tender mercy in my time of being nervous.

I love you so much and I wish you well for this week. Look for little tender mercies

Love, Sister Gardner

My limerick as promised:

Bounded in blue, yes, this is a true book

Let me explain, while you take a good look.

Maroni ten three through five

Do it while you are alive

Ask in real intent; a spirit shook.

Quick Conclusions Often Lead the Best of Us Astray.

Study Time Selfie of Sister Pratt and Sister Gardner

Study Time Selfie of Sister Pratt and Sister Gardner

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.

Look who was here last. Sister Winters is a friend from home in Lindon.

Look who was here last. Sister Winters is a friend from home in Lindon.

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.

My favorite flower can with some little flowers always brightens any window.

My favorite flower can with some little flowers always brighten any window. ( ah, i got a fruit fly too) Can you tell is has been raining?

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.

Probably happened when the Elders were here.

Probably happened when the Elders were here.

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.

My Favorite Ballet Picture of Edgar Degas

Sister GArdner’s Favorite Ballet Picture by Edgar Degas

Well I am off to Vienna today, and probably going to eat some ice cream.

mom's note- If this is the ice cream they are sharing, i want some too. Yummy!

mom’s note- If this is the ice cream they are sharing, i want some too. Yummy!

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
Bye,
Sister Gardner

I’ll Heed Your Call

I’ll heed your call, no need to small, and face the fire below for you!

Tis true!

Two companions more than sisters…

Two companions when all others flee than we remain.

Tis true, tis true … True companions are we two!

Sister Pratt

Sister Pratt

Sister Gardner

Sister Gardner

I feel like this happy little melody is a good way to start my email this week. (Song from The Mystery of Edwin Drood) If you will recall, the two who sing this song actually have a very strained sort of relationship, but the sisters I am talking about today are united in their efforts in the land of Wiener Neustadt.

Sister Pratt and Sister Gardner singing hymns after exercising.

Sister Pratt and Sister Gardner singing hymns after exercising.

So dear ones some amazing things started coming together this week; new faces becoming new friends.

Also we attempted to get bikes. …. Cough, cough.

No, it was all right we are going to go buy one this week, though the bishop’s wife was kind enough to lend us her bike. But it got a flat and a flat tire doesn’t go so far even when you try to repair it three times. Even with the Elders and Bishop and bike shop guy. Heheh. We learned that it is really hard to ride with bags and two people on one bike. Don’t worry we only tried that once and we had our freshly purchased bike helmets to protect us. We probably looked like a circus act or something.

The Bike: Thanks to Elder Call and Elder Chilcutt

The Bike: Thanks to Elder Call and Elder Chilcutt

So we met two Arabian gentlemen this week and to our excitement they came to sport night! We ran into them, on the way from the church. K and O are both about 25. One already somehow had a Book of Mormon. He was really excited to hear from us and told us he has lot of questions. We invited them to play soccer and they are both so good at soccer. The next day we tried to meet with them, but they got home really late. Well, missionary standard late and we could not wait for them anymore. They texted us that they would be at Hauptplatz until midnight if we wanted to get a coffee with them. Oh, no. But the next time we met them at three and we helped them understand better what we do as missionaries, a.k.a. teach people not go on coffee dates. Ha ha. Luckily they both seem to have real interest still so that is good.

K has so many questions about the differences of Muslim and Christianity. We continually have to explain that we are not catholic and don’t know about the pope. It was sort of a difficult lesson because he was going all over the place with his questions and like Korihor wants proof. Confused how Jesus can be the Son of God. Confused why there are so many religions. Confused about how to be “saved”. He has so many questions. We handled it pretty well though even though he was a force to try and scatter the lesson. He is going to read in his Arabic Book of Mormon and read the pamphlet we gave him. Today we made a whole plan of arrack how to answer his questions and bring the spirit. The other hard part was that his friend only speaks German. I would go to translate for his friend and then K would interrupt with another idea and it would get confusing for O. Then they would both speak in Arabic to each other. Oh goodness the adventures we have. But I can see it. Their spirits are hungry for the truth.

Soccer on the Hauptplatz.

Soccer on the Hauptplatz.

We also got to know a man on Sunday that the elders told us about. His wife is a member and he is not. He has been taught so many times the lessons but now he has decided to get baptized. We are the ones to prepare him. His wife said, in her English accent, that we have it easy because he has already decided to be baptized. And then he interjected with a good-hearted laugh, “Oh no sisters you still have to convince me”. He smiled and let us know he was joking. He is a fun sarcastic fellow. But during the gospel doctrines class he gave all the answers in the lesson about the priesthood. I know that will be a big blessing for him and his family.

One of the families from Graz has moved here and the brother of one of the members from Graz lives here too. I was able to enjoy a lovely vegan chocolate cake with my friend J and get to know more of the members this week. Part of being in Weiner Neustadt means traveling to different cities by train to teach members or investigators. That is a very common thing. I am going to have quite a collection of city maps.

Settlers Game and Vegan Chocolate Cake.

Settlers Game and Vegan Chocolate Cake.

The elders are teaching a fun little kid. He has the fullest, blackest, slightly curly mullet. He is nine years old; his whole family was investigating but now only him. But his father came to sport night and his mother has been in church the last two Sundays. She wants us to come visit with the elders when thy come to teach K, hopefully that means we can teach her!

Well I am feeling so happy out here. It is slow getting started and I still have not quite had time to unpack my suitcase all the way away, but good things are happening and we are getting some new things started. There is actually a lot of member support. There are some people here who are really big blessings in our lives.

The best time for me is when I am conversing with someone, talking with them and street contacting is starting to be more of an adventure for me.

I also love the quiet time at the end of the day when I am painting watercolor thank you notes and drinking cold sparkling water while sometimes singing along with whatever song we are listening to.

The rooftops in the evening.

The rooftops in the evening.

I have really felt peace a few times this week by being reminded about the enormity and love of the atonement. I hope you can feel it too.

Love Sister Gardner

Object lesson of the day:

Think about a dead light bulb. No matter how many times you flip the switch it does not come on. There is no light. That is like baptizing without the restored priesthood power or any other church really. A light bulb still looks like a light bulb but it does not serve its full purpose of bringing the power into light and helping the people make a full connection with God. (Object lesson for you today)

The Priesthood light.

The Priesthood light.

Happy Things

  1. Scrambled pancakes for dinner
  2. Good dreams
  3. Someone who told you they are already planning on being baptized and just need to be taught for review. And they have been preparing since 2006 and now you are the one who has an appointment with them next week.
  4. Vegan cake and soy milk
  5. The new bike the elders put together for us.
  6. Learning how to stuff a raw chicken and sew it up to cook and eat from the bishop’s wife. A little gross but tasted good.
  7. The men from Arabia you invited to sport night are amazing at soccer.
  8. A little fall of rain.
  9. Flower markets in the mornings.
  10. Hugs

There You Are

“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!

(applause)

The lights come up on the young Sister Gardner and her glowing companion Sister Pratt.

Sis G and Sister Pratt

Sis G and 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.

The New aprtment right on the town square. Their building is the one on the left.

The New aprtment right on the town square. Their building is the one on the left.

One last Graz family photo.  Elder Wise, Elder McArthur and Sister Smith.

One last Graz family photo. Elder Wise, Elder McArthur Sister Gardner and Sister Smith.

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.

The peacocks of Graz.

The peacocks of Graz.

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.

Little Beautiful flowers

Little Beautiful flowers

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

Mixnitz Hike

Mixnitz Hike

Mixnitz Hike: Sister Smith, Sis G, Elder McArthur and Elder Wise

Mixnitz Hike: Sister Smith, Sis G, Elder McArthur and Elder Wise

Mixnitz Hike

Mixnitz Hike