I am adding just a few more videos of this great group of Nauvoo Singers. So much personality.
I am adding just a few more videos of this great group of Nauvoo Singers. So much personality.
https://youtu.be/BGrAjTAOQSgIf I have already titled an email this please excuse me… It is a pioneer feeling every morning.
This week everything has started to pick up. We have had sold out shows of The Promise every day, for both shows and crowds at Youth of Zion. It has been an adventurous week. On Monday it was stormy and we had to cancel Sunset by the Mississippi… The air had a tangible feeling to it. It was sticky… we went home because there was no show and suddenly a loud cry rang out across the sky. The TORNADO warning alarm. We all freaked out a bit but did our best to stay calm and we went down in the basement, in the closet. One of the sisters had visiting family and they had to come down there with us. Ha ha, the first time everyone came down to the basement to visit us. Sister Meikle was away at her other show.
We sang songs and it was actually a jolly time, the all clear alarm sounded and that night we still were able to rehearse outside.
The next day it was so hot they had to cancel the show again. Finally on Wednesday they could do it, but I could feel myself being drained. I was glad I made it through the show. I think I might sweat a lot compared to some people. Ha ha. But it is good. I just kind of have condensation “So this is what a glass of water feels like” Ha Ha.
We also almost got rained out for pageant. The YPM’s went and sang for the people taking cover in the tents. WE were soaking soaking wet. It was so wonderful. Then we sang the Nauvoo song and as we came to the part that talks about the temple, we ran up the hill so that it was in our view a shining beacon. It was a really special moment.
I tried really hard to battle satan by being positive and I was glad when some of my humor started to come out. I felt more confident and we actually had some great moments of laughter. I have really come to love the song. “Along Came Jones” in the sunset show. It is a melodrama of sorts. I am the Boo sign and I make that part everything it can be. Haha
Also we had youth groups in to see the promise and they were an extremely interactive audience which made my part as the love interest in the triangle really funny, because they were all into it.
I love talking with them all after the shows.
Nauvoo is treating me well.
Pray for my voice and elder Dewitt who hurt his knee. I’m praying for you.
Shout out to my brother who is leaving on his mission soooooon! I love you all
“Feel free to shout out “over and under as you run.” I wind the long tail of the massive maypole ribbon around my wrist and prepare to take off to start the weaving. the stage is at a slant and the enormous lines of fabric stretch out across the whole stage. I am helping to create the beautiful dance inspired by Preston, the place of my MTC.
It was a good week, besides running and polkaing down dangerously slopped stages, we had a wonderful week of performances.
It has been a focus for me this week to really recognize what does and does not bring and invite the spirit, and then change my behavior and attitude based on that. We are not perfect human beings, we make mistakes, but the important thing is how we handle the mistakes; if we really truly try to improve from them and keep a growth mindset of learning.
This week we sang at the commemoration of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, both at the Community of Christ Church and at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They were both wonderful programs. It is interesting to think how the work of this prophet has influenced so many people. you look at Nauvoo and think that it is a lovely town and everything, but the saints had no idea how this faith would spread forth across the whole world. There is still much work to be done. My grandparents and aunt and uncle came to visit with their children. She shared with me that she really feels that Nauvoo is a place of healing for me.
I think that she is right. Each day of course has its own trials and difficulties, but over all, I am feeling like I am healing from being back from Germany. I am adjusting to the realization that my whole life, through the arts, I will be able to testify of my Savior. I will be able to invite people to come to Christ.
I am so grateful for the temple here. I love going inside, but also just the beacon of light it is up on the hill.
Last night we had a pre- fourth of July celebration. The band played with the Nauvoo community band. They had a concert in front the of the temple. We went to watch and started talking with some families. Then we went down to the river where trail of hope ends and watched the fireworks being launched across the river in Montrose.
I love how the stories I tell in the promise become alive as I learn more about the history of this place, and the geography. It is truly splendid to see how my theatrical presentations fit in with the world I am living in. It is not just a story we are telling. it is truly what happened.
We have been working on a song to sing for Nauvoo Singers. It is I am a child of God set to the accompaniment of Blackbird. I love the song and the idea created through their juxtaposition. I will try to send a recording. I love how music speaks to the people here. I also loving singing ‘Whenever”: “I know that my heavenly Father loves me” outside as the birds sing and the wind is literally rushing by. Nature is god’s theater.
I am filled with hope despite my insecurities of the future and my feelings of inadequacy I face daily.
As I turn to prayer and the Scriptures and most importantly to serving others, that is where I find my solace. That is where I find the strength to overcome everything I face.
All My Love,
With the clock ticking ever closer to the half hour, I don’t have much time to write. So I will start with the most lovely miracle in the form of a story.
Once upon a time after Sunset by the Mississippi someone came back stage and said “Sister Gardner, German!” So Sister Gardner sprints gleefully away to meet the next adventure. He was visiting on a road trip with the young man who’s family years ago had welcomed a German teen into their home for an exchange program. years later, the friendship is still strong and the American is now a returned missionary eager to see the sights with his German friend.
She convinced him to stay for Trail of Hope promising that Philip (That’s the German man’s name) and I could talk after the trail. She was worried she would not be able to find them, but to Sister Gardner’s Joy, she saw him and the American friend walking up from the River. She talked with them excited to speak in the language that she so loved. She invited them to stay for the evening prayer and devotional. it was lovely to watch as her fellow missionaries shared simple testimonies of God’s love and plan. Then to her excitement and amazement the group chose to sing a song uncommon to their nightly meetings, “A Child’s Prayer”. To her joy Elder Muncy even went and got his guitar and Sister Zamora had her violin. “A Child’s Prayer” is the only song that Sister Gardner still knew every single word to in German. So as they played, she sang along standing next to Philip. She watched as he looked to the stars and wiped a tear away from under his glasses.
This eternal investigator who had been in a town in her mission felt the spirit again after a long time. She joyfully gifted him another copy of the Book of Mormon. He said that though he was scared to accept what he knew to be true, frightened to be different than his family and accepting all the teachings, he would really try and figure it out this time.
Even in Nauvoo, I am able to meet and teach the investigators of my Sisters teaching and serving in Freiburg in my beloved Alpine German speaking Mission.
The Gospel is true, God is Good.
Greeting from Nauvoo!
I have started calling people folks and I am afraid to say I have even thrown out a few “Ya’ll”s They are infiltrating my vocabulary!
This week has been so quick. I can hardly believe I am writing you again. I am always tired, but it is a wonderful feeling to be exhausted. My voice is still just taking it’s own sweet time getting better. That is really hard. But everyday I see how I am still able to bring the spirit and fulfill my duties and desires as a missionary despite my limitations.
I have had an amazing miracle this week of meeting someone almost every day who speaks German. Sister Greenwood had forgotten her tag, so I let her use mine and slapped on my German tag I had in my backpack. I was talking with a family after a performance. The kids were shy and it was not going as well as it usually does. Then the teenage daughter noticed my tag, She smiled and I was a little embarrassed because I had forgotten. Her mother comes over and she points it out to her and then her mom starts rattling off in German! She was German and also served her mission in Austria. She is from my mission. The Freiburg zone where I did not serve, but she knew all these places that I knew. We ended up talking for a good 20 minutes about her conversion and her mission and her children. All in German. It was a wonderful emotional experience. She was so glad to speak in German.
and I felt so glad that The Lord was letting me use my language in the middle of Nauvoo. I have run into people in other places too, but that was a big miracle for me.
I have loved seeing the youth groups that came in this week. It was nice to perform for a full house, and then at Sunset by the Mississippi there was a huge group from BYU I. I love doing The Promise and even though my voice is a struggle in Nauvoo singers, I love that too. Just walking around and singin for people. Or doing the little play by the tree called “Youth of Zion”
Today we will perform our first Sunday Concert. It is a new idea that I think is wonderful.
Amid feelings of Stress and inadequacy and sometimes wondering if I fit in over here. I find that the best solutions to “old man Satan’s” brew of trouble and negativity is to serve. When I look outside myself, I am always rewarded with someone to love and inspire.
I love when we get to sing at the visitors center next to the Christus statue. I feel privileged to be able to share my testimony of Christ.
I know he is our courageous older brother, and the bringer and supplier of peace… In deed he is the Prince of Peace.
Till next week
All My love! -Sister Gardner
This week marked the beginning of putting my hair up in to 1840’s hair styles every night. I am glad to say I got a lot of good practice from doing Christmas Carol because it is exactly the same. Well, that is to say, the hair is the same, but the humidity and the vast amounts of sweating I do make it a little more difficult out here in Illinois.
I am feeling so happy every day, There are hard bits every day, but then I feel good too. We have finally been able to start talking with visitors who are coming! Last night we had our opening night for Sunset by the Mississippi. It is a great show, but there are literally only about 7 minutes when we are changing shoes and costumes that we are not on stage. I am excited to see how my body handles a whole summer of this high energy. But I feel good, I feel stronger.
Unfortunately, my voice is still just trudging along. I no longer feel sick, but my tone and range is shot. I am so sad. I have felt worried, and wondered why God would let this happen when he was the one who called me to be a performing missionary. I was pondering this during my scripture study one night when I read in Nephi 16. This is the part where the bow breaks and everyone is starving. God called Lehi and his family to leave. They were obedient and did as they were asked. They worked hard and followed the directions of the liahona, but despite their valiant behavior they still where faced with suffering and affliction. I was reading how they began to murmur.
And I realized, even though I was trying to wait it out and be strong and not worry, I was murmuring. I need to learn to be humble. I need to find away to make things work, even if I am having to make a different bow than I am used to. Even if it is course and made of wood rather than steel. I know that it will still serve it’s purpose to bring light and salvation and needed nourishment to my loved one and those I serve on this mission. I cannot promise that my voice will be as clear as it has been in other performances, but I know just like Nephi’s wooden bow, it will serve its purpose by the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We have had a choreographer here with us, he is really good and has worked with lots of big professional artists. He is a member of the church, but it was simple to see that the world was taking its toll on this son of God. I felt the prompting that we needed to write in a Book of Mormon for him. All of the YPM’s writing their testimonies and favorite scripture along with a thank you note in the back. as the time has progressed, we have seen him change and feel the spirit. And yesterday after watching The Promise, he had been crying and told us that he felt like he had been re-baptized and now had the courage to go back on a good path and return to his closeness with God. We saw how the spirit of Nauvoo brought to remembrance the things that he knew but had started to forget. I presented the Book of Mormon to him at his little good bye meeting we had.
I don’t know what is in store for him, but I do know that he was mean to be helped by the missionaries of the 2017 YPM’s. I could talk about so many wonderful conversations I had yesterday with visiting families. But just know that the missionary work is alive and well here along the Missississippi.
Ten minutes to write down the results of a week of life and experiences and hundreds of people and interactions and sideways glances in passing at a little black badge representing something far greater than the person writing this all down.
I finished the Book of Mormon this week. In German. I was worried I would not get it done in time, but I did it, which was a goal of mine during my mission. It was a beautiful moment, because I really realized that I was able to get just as much spiritual strength and learning form it as when I read it in German. I mean of course it is at a different depth, but I love it. I love the process.
I remember sitting on my couch at home with my friend, I was marking my scripture mastery, he was studying a script. That book of Mormon in German was given away long ago. But I remember trying to read that first chapter. I got to the I Nephi of Goodly parents and that was about it.
When I read it I feel the spirit. I understand the stories, and I feel of their truth.
Ich weiß dass Das Buch Mormon wahr ist. Ich wieß Das es uns helfen kann, neher zu Jesus Christus zu Kommen. Es ist ein Zeugnis dass er wirklich da war, Dass er Leute geholfen hat und das er kennt uns. Wenn Mann in Das Buch Mormon liest, und diese tut, mit ein offen Herz wird Mann wissen das Gott liebt sein Kinder.
I just want to close this short, short email by telling about a certain experience we had this week.
Last week, we stopped a lady on the street, we had five or so minutes before our next appointment and I just stopped her to use the time as best I could.
We talked to her very briefly, but the conversation ended with her giving an address so we could come by and bring her a Book of Mormon.
The day comes. We take it on by she accepts it smiling and we make a new appointment because she does not have time to talk about it.
Well this week we had our second appointment. She welcomes us in and then begins to explain. How when we left last time, as the door closed she just started to cry, and remember a dream that she had had a month or so ago.
She dreamt that two young woman where going to come to her and teach her about God. The spirit was so strong as she shared this and she started to cry. I know that God prepares people always everyday to hear the message of the restoration. I know that he loves his children. He knows them. He is so aware of us.
This last week as many of you may have heard there was a shooting in Munich. As I contemplated on the lives that where lost, finished the book of Mormon with the record of millions of lost lives, and today walked on the grounds of the concentration camp only a city or so away from where I live. I contemplated a lot about the souls that die. Not in an overly morbid way, but just thinking about it. It is of course part of the plan of salvation.
I thought about the scripture in Alma 40:11… It talks about the state of spirits after they die… “are taken home to that God who gave them life”… Everyone is going to get to go back to his arms. We will all be able to see a father that we love so dearly but have not seen for so long. That is what can bring us comfort in times when we see the world becomes more and more evil.
I am still loving this work. I am living and breathing it, and trying to hold on to every chance I can. We are working hard and giving our best. It is not perfect, our work, But through Christ’s atonement we get better every day.
Just in closing. I also wanted to mention the excellent Tausch I had this week with sister Abram. It was so great to work with this woman who is in the same place as me, One foot in the grave another on the banana peel. It helps me remember all that I have learned all that I am learning… and all the many millions of thousands of things I am still going to learn. …
Well. Folks. I suppose I leave you there.
The song of the day seemed to be Have I done any good in the world to day…
So. Sing it through and then do some gooooood.
All my love,
(from Mom) Answers to a few questions I asked her:
Tell us about the terrible shooting? where were you? What has the atmosphere been since?
Luckily we were at the very end of one of the subway lines on the other side of Munich. We had been at an appointment and stopped for a bite to eat instead of going to the main bahnhof to eat. We went down to take an s bahn to head to the church and there was just a loud speaker repeating down in the station that the police had shut down all public transportation. U bahn, s Bahn, buses and Straßen Bahn. All public transportation. By talking with people we start to figure out what is happening. I call the zone leaders to ask if there was any word from president. Everyone seemed shocked and confused and scared. Everyone was on their phones calling family members or taxis. The zone leaders said there had not yet been an order to go home. So we were trying to figure out how we would get there. But then we realized here was no logical way we would be able to get there and we looked how long o would take to get home by foot. Four hours, according to the map. Well that was obviously the worst case scenario. So we just start figuring out how to go straight home. We walk away from the station a block or so and find a taxi, but he is in his break so he won’t take us. We have called our GML for ideas how to get home. We try to look at buses because there were a few running, but not going through Munich. The taxi line was busy, and of course it was because basically everyone was on their phones trying to call them. Anyhow. That is not working. We call the senior couple in Munich they are willing to help but waiting for a visitor that was supposed to be coming, they said it would be an hour or so. Then this member who is super rich and takes care of all the missionaries even though he is not so active calls and asks where we are because he is going to come pick up any missionaries that don’t have a way home. Well that is fine, we get permission from president, but he is still about 45 minutes out because of the traffic of everyone trying to get home. The Hansons call us back and say that they have found a solution… Who was on their way to save us but …. The office elders. That’s including elder Maw. We have to walk a ways because they are getting through slowly. We finally find each other and then they start to drive, but the traffic is stopped on the highway and we saw probably 25 ambulances and police cars and the like. It was intense. But the elders where light hearted and we all got home safely. The next day bahnhof was empty and everyone we talked to had angst. We talked with a lady who had been there. She was so scared and we talked with a lady at the waffle stand and she was so scared to be working. And then at the little concert we helped at the music teacher asked for a minute of silence and then asked me to pray. And at church everyone mentioned in their talks and such. It really shook this city. But luckily we are the ones who bring the message of peace and we are protected. I know it.
Dear Family, Friends, Potential Missionaries, or You people who
stumbled here by accident during a rather extended internet wandering.
Glad you made it.
It is sunny outside about 27 degrees Celsius. We had plenty of rain
this week, but that provides an excellent opportunity for all our
umbrella street side service to the door on a Sunday morning desires
that we could have.
I dont’ know exactly what to do with two wards at one time. I know I
have got nothing on those people serving in Utah with like three
stakes and a temple and a petting zoo, but it is something really new
for me. When I got this call I was thinking just Munich 1 but it is a
lie, and now we are singing in Munich 3’s Ward conference next week.
Freut Mich. and running up and down stairs to go to different sacrament
meetings and relief societies and trying to make sure we don’t forget
The week was good. Despite having two wards, our pool of progressing
investigators is very small, so that has been my goal this week and we
were able to find so many new people to teach. It was great. I love
that moment of stopping someone on the street and just teaching right
then and there. It is a beautiful feeling, to stop someone and
literally explain the importance of your message. Saying, I know you
are probably on your way to do something good, but this knowledge is
more important than that. So I have high hopes for this coming week
We had zone training this week. Luckily it is not yet my last one. Or
so I hope. We shall see. We got to take part in zone training by
teaching a bit about how to work with the members. We did a little
object lesson which involved partly elder Jacobi ripping paper and
then attempting to rip a hammers guide. Ha ha. The basic idea was, the
more members (pages of paper) you involved in the progress of anyone
you are teaching. The more support and protection they will have for
when hard times come. I wish it worked like that all the time. But the
general idea supports itself.
We also wore our dirndles so that was nice. Talking to people in the
rain with an umbrella in traditional dress. I love that we are
actually allowed to proselyte in them. The elders are not so lucky in
the lederhosen. I think I will always try to find any opportunity to
I also loved hearing the testimonies of the new elders who are just
starting their missions. I am so excited for them.
I am Running out of time so… Let get to some miracles this week.
We were on our way home from Munich Hauptbahnhof, we entered the train
scouting a place we could sit and talk with people. We see a four some
with two teens, a boy and a girl about to sit down. They sit down one
on each side of the foursome. As we sit, the boy gives us a bit of a
strange look in a sort of annoyed that we chose to sit with them, the
girl as well. It takes about forty-five seconds after the train
leaves. And suddenly this girl is practically rising out of her chair
trying to read sister Pugh´s Tag who is sitting Diagonally from here.
Her eyes are big and excited. And she says in her very German accented
German “Are you missionaries? From the Church of Jesus Christ of
I was sitting next to her and she turns to me, her face with a sort of
strange excited smile.
She tells us she is doing a project in her school about our church and
that her Uncle is a member in Texas.
I ask, ‘Well, do you want an interview?’
She goes on to explain that she is planning on watching 17 Miracles.
We exchange emails. She starts her project in two weeks. They get off
two stops later.
All of Munich. Seven different train cars that we could have gotten
on. many, many fourmans… and one companionship of Sisters in München.
God led us to her, and we did not even realize what we were doing. He
is the master Craftsman, we are just his tools.
That was a great Miracle.
But I think the moment I really liked this week was seeing a young
woman crying going on the up escalator. and we were on the down. It
was late and we needed to catch our s bahn. But, I had one of those
moments, where you just feel like the Holy Ghost just say. Go! so you
do. Haha. I ran back up a fourth of the escalator. (there was no one
else on it) and met her up at the top. She is crying. I ask, are you
alright? She nods. Do you need a hug? She nods again. So I hug the random girl at the top
of the escalator platform. and then I fish the roses out of my bag
that the family who´s daughter got baptized yesterday gave us for
helping to clean up. Whip out two white roses and a hallelujah video
card. Sister Pugh was also a champ scaling the opposite going
I don´t know exactly why she was crying, she did not say, but I felt
this care for this random girl, and I felt that it was a moment where
I got to be God´s hands literally hugging this little lady. I am glad
he lets me experience things like that every day.
Interesting fact that fits in with our title for today. We are all
enlisted is the title of the song in English. But in the German hymn
book they took out anything about war or battle. The title is We are
Children of God…. Happy are we.
I am glad that a mission can help me to change my desires. When I
desire to be more like my father in heaven and Jesus Christ, he helps
me to have the right priorities and to overcome myself. Not change or
forget who I am, what I love, but help me achieve more of the
potential my father has for me.
1. Wir sind Kinder Gottes, laßt uns dienen dem Herrn!
Fröhlich sind wir, fröhlich sind wir!
Ja, beim Aufbau seines Reiches helfen wir gern;
Zion wolln wir bauen heut und hier:
Gib deine Gaben willig und frei,
hilf deinem Nächsten, stehe ihm bei,
in deinen Pflichten sei stets getreu;
so dienen, dienen freudig wir dem Herrn!
Wir sind Kinder Gottes, laßt uns dienen dem Herrn!
Fröhlich sind wir, fröhlich sind wir!
Ja, beim Aufbau seines Reiches helfen wir gern:
Zion wolln wir bauen heut und hier!
2. Unser Herr braucht Helfer heut an jeglichem Ort;
kommt, seid bereit, kommt, seid bereit!
Helft in seinem Weinberg, zu verkünden sein Wort,
fürchtet nicht, der Herr steht uns zur Seit!
Hilf einem Freund die Wahrheit verstehn,
freu dich, an seiner Seite zu gehn,
lehr ihn, die Liebe Gottes zu sehn;
so künden, künden freudig wir das Wort!
Wir sind Kinder Gottes, laßt uns dienen dem Herrn!
Fröhlich sind wir, fröhlich sind wir!
Ja, beim Aufbau seines Reiches helfen wir gern:
Zion wolln wir bauen heut und hier!
Got to go, love you!
Coming to you… On a Monday…. In Munich…. In a three story church building. That certainly at one point was a whole apartment building. That is painted Yellow. and lives almost across from Theresienwiese which is where the biggest Bier (Beer) Festival in the World takes place.
Fitting place to have a baptismal font, eh? Are you looking for some people who need repentance… Well. Good thing I am a missionary.
This week feels like it is not actually a week long. The moment you are in a new area, the last one feels like it was a sort of dream even though on Monday you where walking on the bridge in Salzburg and now you running with a beautiful Merida look alike through Germany.
I had a great experience with the Atonement this week. As I considered choices I have made in my life, and things I have learned about myself, both strengths and weaknesses I am always amazed by the way that the Lord can shape me to something better. Without the Gospel, I would be a sad pathetic version of myself. I would be more carnal, and lazy, and quick to anger. The Gospel helps me have more peace in my life, and love in my soul. I am in no way perfect, but I know the atonement works.
I have met many new faces this week, most kind, many tired, few disgruntled, and some earnest. I have shaken probably one hundred hands, and I washed and dried dishes with happy little Hispanic ladies. I have Said goodbye and Hello, and talked with people from all walks of life on the Subway.
Oh, Missionary life, it is a fantastic Adventure. I LOVE IT
Everyone likes to bring up that it is my last transfer. Ok, yes. It is. I´ve got it, I´ve acknowledged it. But I am not going to dwell on it.
I have a lot to do.
Basically what happened is…
The Elders in Münich 1 are being Pink washed by us, But we are still taking care of the Investigators… and therefore Members of Münich 3, But there are also Elders in that ward. So Sort of like a 2 area 6 area book ( Munich elders area books are less organized than I would have hoped) Area.
My companion is Sister Pugh.
She is kind, loves to tell stories. sings ALONG. Is our navigator, a good friend, from Washington…. and makes me laugh every day. I am so glad for the challenge of this last area, and that I get to have this grand adventure.
Also today I found out that it is the area that my Grandfather finished his mission in… In the same church building!!!! Wooo!
We had a wonderful lesson with a part member family. They are all members except for the Dad. AND they come originally from PERU, so I recognized the flag, and they were so excited that my little brother was there right now, and they have never been taught by sisters so I am really hoping we can soften his heart and help him make a date.
Then on Sunday we see this young woman with her little brother, we talk with her and find out she investigated two years ago, and now has decided to come back because…. she wants to GET BAPTIZED.
Our GML is really cool, and it feels a little like when I first got to Wiener Neustadt with a young GML. but this time no elders. But that is a funny story. Elder Call went home this transfer, and as we were walking to the church we saw him and elder Bensig talking with a lady on the street doing the last bit of finding, and I have not seen that guy for about a year, and my face just bursts into a big smile when I realize who it was and his face gets all excited, but then he had to focus back on the lady. Ha ha.
We also got the Area book app. Oh my goodness. I am excited for the technology. But I feel like a grandma… Back in my day we carried our bibles in the granola bar box cover we made for our mini version. we brought our actual preach my gospel to district meeting… We updated the area book with our own hands and ink pens. Ha Ha
Over all.. things are going great. I am just enjoying the adventure.
I want to close by mentioning something I learned in my scripture study…
The idea of comparing Elder Abinidi and Elder Ammon…
Well Abinidi, he did not get to see the baptisms until after he died… Not just the end of 18 months death… and Ammon happened to get the best new member referral possible..
Both amazing missionaries. Both men spoke with the power of God and revelation from the Holy Ghost. Their “numbers” may have looked a bit different, but God knew they were giving their best, and all things happened according to his plan.
I am glad that I have a Father in Heaven, that I really truly can say, I believe that there is a God, that he is a person who loves us, a father, who has a son who really lived. Jesus Christ.
It is not some sort of vague Christian perspective or idea that is nice around Christmas time.
“I know My father lives, and love me to. The spirit whispers this to me and tells me it is true and tells me it is true. ”
I also know that my Redeemer lives… That’s what we sang this morning.
And it is true.
And no ones gonna bring me down And nobody in all of Aus. No investigator who is or was.... Is ever gonna bring me down. Bring me dooooooowwwwnnnnnnn ahah haaaaaaaaa! Boom. black out. Audience bursts into applause
Well I am looking at the end of week four and the start of number five in this five week transfer. The sand is trickling down but Dorothy still seemed to manage. Anyhow. This week, of Sister Gardner. As a missionary in Salzburg. That place with the musical guys with powdered wigs, historically incorrect singing nuns, loooooootsssss of tourists, unsurprisingly no snails for breakfast, and the fortress on the hill. There are however two well used umbrellas, many people with eyes glued to the football (soccer) game, little girls in tutus, a salt mine, buses, lot of buses, a Very, very German German, original piano musician from France, a proud to be an American who misses his organ shoes, two wise grandparents, and then of course the laughs at stupid puns, and wants to carry your groceries, or change your life, or at least give you a card, Mormon gal. Maybe she is singing. Who knows.
This week, was certainly partly defined by the tausch (exchange) to Wels that I had with sister Gilmour, and the amazing miracles we experienced there. We went walking on the street heading to go see if an investigator in a part member family was home, we stopped and talked with a man named P and had a wonderful conversation, as a nice bonus, he has an elderly mother living in Salzburg and he would love if we would go visit her once a week and make sure she does not feel alone. And then we get invited into the home of a family that we stopped on the street. We sat on their elaborate carpeted floor and drank orange juice while he told their story. He was seemingly insistent that I come with sister Gilmour on Sunday to eat, so I hope it worked out without me.
The next day we go to stop by a few members, and less active in the area of an appointment. We go in, knock on the door, they open the door we explain who we are and we get about a two second stare and then. Slam. Ok... Then we are going down the stairs and we see a mom trying to get her kid out of the stroller and take up all her bags. We carry the things up and put them in her kitchen then she invites us to sit down,we talk for a bit, she says she thinks she knows our church. We are not sure if it was really our church but we have a good discussion, and then show her a video... "I have seen that video before, that is the one my friend showed me." ......Introduce the Book of Mormon, " I have that, I just have not unpacked it yet from moving from Vienna." ..... Ok. Ok. Ok. Ok This lady has a friend in Vienna that had already taken her to church and introduced her to the gospel. Later we get rejected hard core on a random less active stop by, we help with a random woman who happens to live exactly across from the people who rejected us, and then she turns out to have already investigated the church, and wants to come see the church. But wants her whole family to be there so that they can see it together... Glorious Nachos. That is an amazing story. Basically that tausch was filled with miracles. Plus it was nice to talk to people about sister Strihavka, considering it is her old ward.
Um sonst.... Dance classes with hyper little girls and them fighting over the different colored scarves, but sister Gardner keeping her cool. And knowing they are cute enough anyway. A great part member family home evening, he likes it when I sing. A great member coming along to a new convert and investigator lesson. And a heart to heart with our little lady still living with her boyfriend.
Another highlight was being invited to go help at a workshop at the motzartteum it is a university for the performing arts in Salzburg. We got to mingle with students and do some very creative movement, art, sound, and shadow storytelling activities. It was one of those times where so thing you don't usually think would be the stereotypical "door to door" missionary work proves to be a very effective missionary tool. I love when people finally admit that they know a Mormon, and I am just like. Ha. You do know us. And I know you are curious. It was a great service project for a member who called in from Vienna in hopes that we could help. It was so fun.
I found a guy two weeks ago who we invited on the way to fHE, he came, and then came on Saturday for sports, he also happens to be a coach so we got to play with his ten other friends and two members that came, In the pouring rain on a muddy field. It was great. Sunday had a nice chance for lots of translating, a special musical number in sacrament meeting, and a talk about Enos in the primary. Over all, it was a good week. My thoughts this week link in a lot with the idea.... Just, Do it. I am not talking sports here, but there is something to be said about this idea. Sometimes it get used to justify recklessness, but in my case it solidifies and edifices not only missionary work, but also obedience. Even though it is always an interesting experience every time I talk to someone on a bus or the street or train, I have to decide to do it. I have to take that breath before I open my mouth. I have to do it, when I need to stop doing something, when I should go to bed, or plan... Anything. It is this process of human life of learning to have self mastery. To be an object that acts not something letting your environment or others choices effect you. It is deciding daily between good and evil, just ok, and great. It is prep for new things to come and future lessons to be learned. but the thing is, in all this hard work and decisions, and questions. It is so that we become stronger. More like our Father in Heaven. Alma 57:21, 27 I am working on that and I am still not perfect, but I am getting Better, and I also take comfort in knowing that my mission success is based upon my commitment to do the things which the Lord hath commanded... For he provideth a way. And I am the Gardner planting the seeds. I send my love, and an invitation to start doing soothing today that you should. Or stop something you should not, strive to be a bit more exact. I pray for your progress. You pray for my investigators to progress.... Ok.? Ok. :) Love, Sister Gardner