Ten Minutes

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.

hi

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.reflections

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.

butterfly

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.

 

pray for Germany

Pray for Germany

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.

 

Dachau

Dachau Concentration Camp

dachau 3

dachau 2dachau 5I 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.

dachau 4dachau 6

dachau 7dachau8dachau 9dachau 10I 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,

Sister Gardner

 

 

 

they came to get us

Being Saved by the office Elders

 (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.

Wir Sind kinder Gottes‏

Dear Family, Friends, Potential Missionaries, or You people who
stumbled here by accident during a rather extended internet wandering.

Welcome.

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
anyone.

Tubingen crew 1

Tubingen Crew back together in Munich

 

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

munich city3

Town Hall

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.munich building 5

munich building 4We 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
wear it.munich city 5
Munich city
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
Latter-Day Saints?”
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.

cleaning font

Cleaning the font

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
escalator.
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.modern munich

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!
-sister Gardner

I Know My Redeemer Lives

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.

Hellbrunn Palace

Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg

music paper

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.

Sister Pugh

Sister Gardner with Sister Pugh

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. the church

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.

sister Pugh 2

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!blown glass

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.

MLC June

MLC in Munich in June

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

Isar river

Isar River in Munich

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. in front of fountain

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.

Love,

Sister Gardner

Siegestor in Munich

Siegestor in Munich

Zone conf June

Salzburg and Wien Zone Conference in June

 

No One’s Gonna Bring Me Down…

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! 
Multiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notesMultiple musical notes
 
Boom.
black out. 
Audience bursts into applause
building

Stadplatz in Wels, Austria

 
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. salt mines 2
salt mines

Salt Mine tour on P-day with the district

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.
exchange 4

Sister Gilmour in Wels

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.
spider

Said the Spider to the fly…( view from a Castle wall)

 
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.
field white

field White and ready to harvest

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.
Mozarteum

Mozarteum – University of Performing Arts

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.the girls
 
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 

Teaching Through Life

Teaching through life…

Testimony, commitment.

Asking the questions they have in their soul.

Life is mess

Without our name tags.

Word on the street hey, you guys are Mormons

Teaching through life,

Find on the sidewalk,

Hey we would like to share with you…

“Nothing matters,” “no sir, to God you really matter,”

This is life… So we’ll keep teaching you…

 

This week flew by. Again.

I don’t know I cannot even really seem to exactly grasp when the week started, or how it all went by. I mean I know what we did on each day, but it just sort of goes and goes and goes and then it is Monday again.

My life is this work.

 

I don’t have very much time today, so unfortunately this letter this week will just be a nice bunch of bullet points.

️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️

But at least it has stars on it.

 

the zoo teaching

teaching all of God’s creatures at the Zoo

  • I preached to the Flamingos and the goats at the zoo. … (Matthew 16: 15)
  • I Talked to people walking along the river way in the most lovely part of town, and helped an American find the start of the sound of music tour, surprise she had already met with the missionaries before and a good friend of hers is a member, I challenged her to take the lessons again. (Alma 26:29-30) (not so much the second half of 29…)
  • We ate cake and sang loud for our cute teenage investigators birthday, who finally came to a young woman’s activity. (Mosiah 20:1)Birthday Party
  • I tausched with a lovely new missionary, that also happened to be extremely excited to help with the primary girls dance activity, and put up with me running around just like the good old days in Tübingen. (Mosiah 4: 27)

    Sister Harrick

    Sister Harrick from California- we went on an exchange t his week.

  • I ate all you can eat schnitzel at a members home… (Ends 1:20) (heh heh)j/k…(Matthew 15: 37)
  • We went and clarified the commandments to our friend who thought any painting of Jesus was blasphemes and would not read the pamphlets because of that . (Mosiah 27:35)
  • We had a wonderful zone conference and I was able to see many old friends and also find out what has been happening in my old Wien zone areas. (Alma 17:2-3)
    Zone conf

    Salzburg And Wien Zone Conference

    zone conf 2

    Zone Conference

    the MTC crew

    My MTC Buddies

  • And I kept a 6 year old investigators son busy in relief society when he did not want to go to primary by playing tic tack toe and showing him little Book of Mormon story picture cards. (Alma 43:30)
  • We got on a train and ended up far, far away from our goal… And just about out of our area, but found two people who had already met with missionaries in the past. The woman saw us wandering in this three house neighborhood in the middle of the woods, as we had gone down the dirt road trying to figure out if there was any way to get back home besides the next train that would come in an hour. Then this woman comes driving up, and asks us if we are lost and offers us a ride to the main part of town about ten minutes away with a car… Where are you two from… France. USA… Utah… Are you Mormon? (The breath of a moment that is just this sort of fist pump inside of my head) Ah, yes, yes we both are…. ….. Well the conversation continued, she did not take the copy of the Book of Mormon, for the one that had been inscribed for her she had not given back, but if that is not some sort of sigh to this woman I don’t know what is…. Literally in the woods and there were three houses and we just got off the random train stop when we realized we were on the wrong train, which we realized at that time because I had been so involved with talking with a former investigator that we met on the train of the Newmarket elders in our distrikt. …. God has a plan, especially when ours does not go as we had planned. (Alma 26:12)

    elvis was here

    Bus stop in the middle of nowhere…at least we know who has been here before.

Well folks, I just wanted to close up by saying our Father in Heaven loves us. No matter how many silly things we do we can always come back to him, and like the father welcoming the lost son, he we see us afar run to us and welcome with open arms. Our Father in Heaven knows your heart, so if he can see you coming, he is going to run to you… Any by that send those who will run to you. So if you see that, know you are most certainly not alone, accept the messengers who bring Gods love in his place they are his tools. His hands that put into action the desires and plans of his heart. Whether the messengers be missionaries, or friends or family, or random people on the street. If you want to come back or even just be better He will help you along your way… Let him know how you feel, pray to him. Tell him what is on your mind.

I love you all…

And happy Father’s Day, here’s to fathers on earth and a perfect Father in Heaven…

Love, sister Gardner

going to maria's

ON the way to a teaching appointment

What is This Feeling

WHAT IS THIS FEELING…..

What is this feeling so sudden and new,

I felt the moment I prayed to ask if it’s true.

My bosoms burning, the tears are flowing,

My soul is calming, the answers coming,

Burning like a flame, does it have a name?

Yeah….. Yeah!

Moroni, chapter ten, verse 3, 4

…. (Sing it, it works… But my song writing skills are all songed out.)

 

So let’s talk about missionary work instead. 🙂

Our work started Monday with a part member family home evening. He did not leave during the middle and only made one joke about falling asleep during the stake conference he came to. Unfortunately my attempts to let him win at phase ten did not work out so much, but at least I did not win.

Tuesday held distrikt meeting

And this time nothing crazy like trains going the wrong direction or bikes rebelling was able to make us late. And we ran into artist M on the way in. Our lesson with her went entirely as the lord had planned it. We had planned and practiced something different, but as we talked, and as she showed us her art, a beautiful lesson formed from our questions. We find out that a few years ago she had investigated many different churches trying to find the right direction. She has always had the question of what is the purpose of life. She is really amazing and agreed to hear what we have to say about God’s plan for us. Her art is colorful and patterned and she loved the symbolism we were able to find in it… Excellent opportunity to bring up the Christlike attributes or the creation or love of our brothers and sisters.

We gave a church tour to a man we met on the street last week. We taught him to pray and he did it even thou he did not feel very sure about it, he was looking at me as he said it, but eventually he got it and it was a beautiful moment.

Wednesday had us meeting with a man to give him a Book of Mormon, someone we met last week on the street, but my goodness this man could speak no English and a microscopic amount of German. …. And no French, but about six other ones. Oh well. We gave him the Book of Mormon showed him the website, used google translate to the best of our ability and I emailed him all the pamphlets in his language… So, we shall see. He also lives rather far away from Salzburg.Austria

The little girls dance class went so well. All the little primary girls came and their moms. And they were all wearing tights and leotards and dance clothes. I think they where rather confused I was not wearing ballet shoes and a skirt. I suppose I will have to dress the part of dance teacher a bit better next week. We did a warm up and a creative section and stretching and then of course practicing the very simple, simple choreography. But I believe they enjoyed it. They were totally into it, and looking at me with giant eyes. And then on Sunday they all came and gave me hugs. So I suppose that was nice.

MLC was an adventure. I always love taking part in the discussions there, it makes me feel really I excited to help the sisters in the zone, and we found out we will soon be able to use the area book app! I am so excited for that. My desk might now be too memorized but I love a good memorized area book and this will be a great opportunity. It was also nice to see some old friends and there have been many good memories in Munich. It made me think of the first time at MLC with sister Pratt, my first day in the mission, and of course getting sister Strihavka ‘s visa. Know what I love, my iPad still recognizes when I write her name. MLC sisters

Weekend was filled with A and K, he is participating more and more in the lessons and this time they invited us to eat and invited a friend who used to meet with the missionaries. They are simple happy people, they don’t expect you to dress nice, be too serious, they just make jokes and still like coloring and doing puzzles. They are not so uptight as some Austrian people. Sometimes they are a little too relaxed, but I still think they both have amazing good hearts. We laughed a lot as we did the dishes A came up behind me and was moving my hands around to wash the dishes and laughing her head off.

We went with M, and the poor thing has been meeting up with some other religious folks and they got her all confused about the millennium and resurrection. But we had a great lesson filled with the spirit. She is so close. I wish I could just help her overcome her concerns, but she just cannot get over a few things. We really, really, really hope she comes to church this week.

Sadly on Sunday no one was at church. We have four people committed to baptism, but they are not keeping their commitments so we might have to move all the dates back.

But I am busy enough on Sundays. We have so many tourists that come. That has honestly never been an element of any of my other areas. In the morning, amid greeting members, I am running around trying to make sure everyone who needs it has translation and then I am usually translating for relief society too.

This Sunday was fast Sunday and I wanted to bear my testimony so much, but there were no pauses and I had no chance to pop that microphone into Elder Erickson’s hand and then go up, but maybe next month.

I think I realized something this week.

I am a missionary Nerd. You know there are those people in school who like getting the good grades and learning. We call them lovingly nerds sometimes… Well. I am a nerd when it comes to missionary work.

I am a proud nerd.

I wanted to share just one scripture before I sign off .

Mosiah 24: 13-15

This is a scripture that came up three times this week in completely random unrelated lessons or meetings.

13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

 

I love that in this story God does not take away the challenges or the load to carry rather he qualifies and strengthens those who have been given this experience. He helps us to be cheerful as we work and labor. I really feel that this is true for our lives and the life as a missionary. I would actually be rather sad if the Lord just took this away, because then it means I don’t get to have the challenge of trying to make it work. It is like putting together a show or a presentation, yes, of course you could take away the fog, or the fly system, or the costumes. … That would certainly be easier. Less of a burden to try and manage, but I know it would also be less spectacular. I want to be someone who takes this big work that the Lord has given me. So much to manage and do and people to love and meet and serve. I want to keep being made stronger that I may grow. I know the lord is there for us when we need his support, but even better is when we can take his yoke upon us and pull with him, or put forth our sickle with all our might.

I feel that truly God is the one who shapes and corrects us into something more magnificent and breath taking. I trust him.

You can too.

All my love,

Sister Calee Gardner

a Fun  Little Story

We are headed to the church and I see this little fluff ball. He was on the walkway with tall walls on both sides. I was worried he would have a bike ridden over him or someone not paying attention using earphones would step on him. I know I can’t pick him up because then his mom would not take care of him. He is making scared little chirps and his mom is flying around above not knowing what to do. He is shaking and I am looking at the little guys almost in tears. So I say a little prayer. Maybe it is dumb to be so worried about a little bird, but I really wanted to help the little guy. But we had to go, so we start a little away, and he tries to fly up the wall but he only gets about half way and then falls back down again. I can’t leave, it takes a little while but I get him cornered and he hops on my iPad case and then I put him in the bush at the top of the shorter wall and to my joy he starts to hop from branch to branch, I was so glad he was safe.

little bird 1little bird 2

Good News

He lives! Jesus Christ, He lives! The son of God, the Prince of Peace,
the friend to all, his love shall never cease. Goooooood news. He
lives.

(If you are confused take a look at the opening song of the musical
not about Dorothy.)

From the moment this new transfer started we have been seeing a lot of
changes especially with the people. Wednesday morning was eaten up by
being at bahnhof, helping all the missionaries get their luggage where
they needed to go and being there to be companions for the sister
waiting on her new companion. Salzburg is the point, much like Munich
that many, many transferring missionaries have to go through on
transfer day. It was exhilarating to see new faces and old.
Bittersweet to say goodbye to friends, and inspiring to welcome those
who are brand new on the mission.


I envy these freshly bloomed missionaries, they have their whole
mission ahead of them. Would love to have a whole new set of eighteen
months ahead of me, I have wanted this time since I was 14, why would
I want it to be over any time soon. This was the big goal, the big
dream. It still is, I am still living my dream every day. Talking with
random strangers and trying to help them remember that we are actually
brothers and sisters.

This week two people that I love very much went on their missions.
Reading their first letters I felt so, so glad for them. A mission
is the most wonderful thing. I am so excited to hear about their ups
and downs, successes and failures, disappointments and victories, the
mere adventure and amazing learning process.

transfers

Sister waiting in Salzburg

Anyhow on a note of what is happening in Salzburg…

I have been trying to work in unity with ward members and leaders. We
had a great meeting with our relief society president, just talked
about some sisters we could be supporting in the ward and she also
told us her conversion story, it all happened just because her friend
invited her over to watch a presentation from the missionaries, she
was too shy to say no, and did not want to go alone so she brought her
brother and two friends. … Guess who are all members of the church
now? Boom. Member missionary work.

Then later that week there was a relief society activity. I loved
looking around the room and realizing I had done something to either
work with or serve each lady in the room. We have a sweet Italian lady
in our ward, she is married to an Austrian and they just had their
first baby. A few Sunday’s ago she and her baby had a bit of s fall,
there was a glass that broke, and the poor little thing had stitches,
just a few weeks old. We were all very concerned and an ambulance had
to come to the church after the third hour, anyhow, we made her a meal
and it made me so happy to see the little baby feeling ok, and the
hair starting to grow back where they had to shave it away.

We also had the wonderful opportunity to go to ward council this week
because our ward mission leader had to work. I love being a part of
ward council, it helps you know what worries the ward members have,
and you find ways you can help more than when the GML himself goes and
just reports. But our GML is great so I am not complaining. Just you
know me, I like to be in the behind the scenes, the ( (employees only)
if you will) and part of what makes it all happen.

We have got our children’s dance class and singing class all set up
for these next weeks and a concert lined up for the first of July. I
am glad we have a small stage, now I just need to figure out how those
lights work. 🙂 this is all for our activity in combination with the
relief society and the primary children. The idea is they can invite
their friends to participate and then also the teacher of those who are
learning a musical instrument, Just pray that we will be able to pull
it all off, the ward is worried about having it later because if I or
elder Erickson gets transferred than the engines powering things will
be dead.   Well, not dead yet, just, somewhere else. So now it is in
three weeks and the ward members hardly know anything. But if I can
make this into something, then my name is not sister Gardner. We
already had a nice response from the moms that we spoke with on
Sunday. The theme is “singende klingede sommer” or roughly translated,
” singing the songs of summer.” Just pray I can handle the class of
little children and that we will have enough Olafs for our “In sommer”
choir. If anyone can put together a number with little boys, it is
elder Erickson. The kids love him and he is so patient with them. I am
excited to also see how it goes with elder Apel.
transfer waiting
Elder apel is from Freiburg, I love that he speaks in German all the
time. He has a strong personality and he looks like someone you would
not want to mess with, in a good way. He has served in Switzerland his
whole mission and now he is in Austria for his last twotransfers. We will go
home the same time. Haha,…… when we go home……. which is still really far
away. He likes his meat, and loves to go finding. He is great. Our
district now also has a golden, being trained by elder Jensen. I am
excited to get to know him more.

We have many people preparing themselves for baptism but they are not
keeping the commitment to come to church. Every time we visit they
say, oh yes, I want to go, and then we ask how we can help them , and
make a plan and then… Sunday. No one.
Sorry folks, no matter how bad you want to get baptized you need to
actually go to the church you are wanting to join… Logical? I think
so. But I am patient. We keep trying and committing.

donut day

Artistic treat or donut day?

Many other lovely things happened this week. I don’t know how to
explain my whole week. Which is sad because a missionaries day is
actually very interesting to read about. My experience is rather
different than someone serving in say Nigeria, USA, Argentina, or Hong
Kong. Buuuut. It is all the Lords work. I wish I could just keep going
on different missions all over the world, I could learn every
language, try every strange food cooked by the members, wear pants as
missionary clothes or street contact in a giant city with enormous
high rise buildings that touch the sky. I could get to know all
people, and come to love even more than I do all cultures. I could do
service projects in a swampland, or translate a sacrament meeting into
sign language, talk with people who already know tons of Mormons
because they live in a neighborhood full of them, or try to teach in
Tibet without a translated copy of the Book of Mormon. Oh my goodness
the possibilities are endless. I mean I would not trade my mission for
the world. But what I am saying is all over the world, missionary work
is uncomprehendingly amazing.

And the work of Him who gives us life.
And part of a perfect plan with a happy ending if we choose it.

How are you doing with your part?

To close I just want to give my testimony that Jesus Christ knows all
our pains, he understands our struggles and every time we cry out he
is there. He performed the atonement that we might not be alone. So
weather our pain is deep and penetrating like the loss of a loved one,
or something more for the all days, like a habit we want to break, or
keeping our words and thoughts cleaner, the pain from a life saving
seatbelt burn from a car that stopped to fast, or not know exactly
what you want to do with your job, child, investigators, lack of clean
water, choosing a major, broken heart, testimony, loneliness… He is
there that you may not face it alone. Take advantage of this blessing.
He will wipe away your tears. He will not leave you comfortless.

All my love,
Sister Calee Gardner

package

Package from home

 

Mi a Name I Call Myself

That title was for all your Spanish speakers, because that is as close
to a Spanish title as we are going to get in the alpine German speaking
mission.

Ah, and the story that actually links with the title. I see a new lady
in the church on Sunday sitting by herself after relief society
meeting. Well of course I go start talking to here. But surprise….
She only speaks Spanish. So I whip out the maybe two dozen words I
know. Ok not counting numbers. I am trying to figure out if she is a
visitor or member or what. And of course even when I realize it is
really not working out so well… I keep trying. It was about a ten
minute conversation. I did figure out who she was and where she was
from. Member visiting from Columbia who’s daughter is in the ward and
had just had a baby.
I think the funny part was me running to get my ipad and whipping out
the google translate.
Hopefully I at least made her laugh. ball

Speaking of that.
This just in, in France, Dora teaches you to speak English.
The real question is how did we come to that topic of conversation….

Well that could have to do with being stuck inside for two days. Ok,
maybe not two WHOLE days, but almost. I had escaped that morning to go
to the doctor which actually ended up condemning me to sit for the two
days…knee

AGONY. Misery. woe.
I guess riding a bike all the time and walking and just being a missionary

is not exactly helpful for knee injuries. But,
egal.(no matter)text message

I am back on my feet and we had a pretty great week.

On Tuesday we did a bit of finding. Talking with people in parks at
their doorways, on the street… And along a walking path next to a
duck pond. We were going to visit a less active, to just stop by,
and we stop to talk with a man sitting on the bench. We ended up
talking for about two hours. He told his his story of coming over from
Pakistan. This poor, poor man. It was the most horrible story I have
heard. He thanked us profusely for listening and said that he had
actually been praying and feeling really alone and his friend had had
a big operation for his seizures that day and then we had started
talking with him and that he knows God answered his prayer.
After ending my exile in Freilassing we met up with the storrers and
K at the church. He talked for about two hours telling us his story.

I recorded it and will begin transcribing it into a document so it

can be translated into German and then used for his visa interview.

He was so,so,so grateful. His story, is something that just sounds

like a bad dream. He has seen so much death and hate and injury and

people treating others like less than animals.
In general conference they talked about letting a refugee tell you
their story, looking into their eyes. It makes such a big difference.
If everyone just took a moment to really listen and hear from their
perspective there would be so much more understanding. So much more
love.lock bridge

We rode out to M this week on the bus with an older member of our
ward. I got to talk with her the whole way up and back. She of course
got on the bus later than we did and got off sooner but in the end it
was probably about two hours, I learned about her whole life and her
journey to find the church. Her first husband and the fifteen years
she spend living in Pakistan and then meeting her husband after being
widowed and then coming back to Germany. She was converted to the
church and has amazing faith. At one point, we where meeting outside.
Maria got distracted because her grandson and his little friend were
playing too far down the dirt road getting down to the bigger road. I
know you are all picturing something in your head but it is probably not
even close. Think in the middle of the mountains In a village. Hard to
explain when you don’t have much time. Anyhow, M asked sister
hofmockel to go get them, but we need to stay together so we go
running off, because two old ladies are not going to be able to do
much In a moment when you need speed. We come back up the big dirt hill
pushing the little petal four wheeler looking cars that the little
boys where riding. We finally get back up and our member sister is

sharing Moroni 10. I was so proud of her. And M really listened. We

read mosiah 4 She finally really read what was in there and then said.

Wow. It is really the same teaching as the bible……. YES. What have

we been telling you.
So, we are making progress slowly but surely.

zone 2

Salzburg Zone

zone

Part II

We had a nice zone training this week. Always nice to see our friends.
And the elder from Peru cracks me up. He is short and so smiley. He
has a great accent. I also have made friends with one of the elders
from Germany. He was talking win sister hofmockel and I at the stake
sport day.zone 3

Our golden guy mike is sadly moving to Italy. We had only one lesson
with him but he was so ready. So we hope that he will meet with the
missionaries when he gets there. His friend that he invited to meet
with us came to church on Sunday. Woo in a taxi!

Well. Things are good here. great Boucing Icebergs, There are soooo
many tourists in the Bahnhof today. Wow. Just took a pause to talk to
a couple from Canada. He is a firefighter but cannot find work. She
studies physiology. They have been going through Italy, Austria and the
czech republic. Managed to talk about Jesus Christ and give them a
card.
And now I let that little dandelion puff fly out into the sky and we
shall see if it grows.Salzburg Hauptbahnhof

I had some great moments reading the Book of Mormon this week.

Read it again, it is true. The stories are real. There is good and bad
in every life but God is always there, he loves us. He loves you.

So do I you know.

Love, sister Gardner

 

I Have Confidence in Sunshine

I have confidence in sunshine

I wanted to talk about a certain word that I learned in my personal study today.

It is called anmutig

anmutig means, according to the handy yellow dictionary means Graceful. I am reading through the Book of Mormon in German, and I am in Mosiah. Shortly after the wicked king Noah leads part of the men of his people to leave behind their families. The people send their “fair” daughters before them and the lame guys are charmed and do not kill them anymore. Hurrah, happier ending than expected.

Anyhow, the process for translating is complex. Really, I notice that when translating for church every Sunday. You could just do a word for word translation, but you have to take into consideration the sentence structure and the ideas trying to be portrayed. So it is interesting that the word that was chosen was anmutig or graceful.

I had always though. Oh. They got them with their looks. Which might have been true… Which considering they were sword toting men in a sort of beastly rampage that might have been true. But this time as I read it in German, this passage had new meaning.

It would have taken a lot of courage to stand between your family and the fiends that had already slain others, their blood stained weapons raised poised to add to the slaughter. So that brings me to my observation. The word anmutig has the word mut in it. Courage.

So with a grace-filled courage these fair daughter stood before the army, pleading the lives of their mothers and fathers. And they saved them! Which was good because these people where not yet ready to be united with their Father in Heaven.

Long story short. Shout out to the female heroes of the Book of Mormon.

And let us be anmutig. Cause, that does not just mean you can waltz your way around the dance floor.

I suppose, in the end I hope that I can also be anmutig.

So. Pardon my musings.

Well, this week was pretty excellent.

Our referral from the Catholic nun accepted a baptismal date in the first lesson, and her friend accepted one too. And there is a third friend with a little daughter found through his woman. They were very excited but they have got to come to church still for the first time.

ice cream

This calls for ice cream celebration

I really enjoyed skype-ing on Sunday. It seems like some strange sort of time machine. Back to before I took care of hundreds of people in my different areas. In two different countries. From all countries.

Regarding the tourist. I was a little frustrated by this, because when finding people to teach it would be nice if the people that you talk to on the street actually loved in Salzburg. Not Texas, or India, or France, or England, Und so weiter. My friend sister Camilla Strihavka is serving in the temple square mission. She wrote that their job is to make sure that everyone who comes has a spiritually uplifting experience and leaves having come closer to Jesus Christ. So. That is what I hope I accomplish anytime I offer to take someone’s picture and they only leave with a card. I hope that for this time, I made a difference and that when they go home to their respective country. Hopefully we can turn some of these curious tourists into referrals for missionaries around the world. Feeling a bit united with my sister at home in one of the most popular tourist cities in all of Europe.

We had a stake sport day this week and I was helping with the little kids Olympics. One of the organizers for the primary had asked if we would be willing to take care of a station. So I helped little kids jump through hoops do a “Purzelbaum” (somersault) weave between the cones, through  tunnel, riding on one of those sitting scooters and back again. Actually, explaining it meant I had to learn some new words.

mama s

Mama Strihavka

I also got to talk with sister Strihavkas mom. Which was really nice. She and I had a great conversation, and at one point we just hugged each other, both with tears in our eyes . She is a strong lady. And some of the things  she did were just like sister s. Aber, I am not sad. Just glad I got to make this weitere connection. Also I met the parents of sister S’s best friend who is serving in Greece right now. So basically I’ve got my roommates all figured out if I ever come back to Vienna to study.

This week had a few hard times, and a few lovely times.

Sometimes you pack in all your stuff to do an amazing service project and lesson, and then your investigator does not want to walk back to their house because it is raining and there is no way you could work in her Garden anyway. And then you are forced to meet in a cafe instead and have to deal with all the people there. Sometimes no matter what you say people will not believe that our father in Heaven loves us. Sometimes members feel the need to tell you how you should be doing your job, but are not willing to invite the very less active friend you are working with to come to church.

spring in  salzburg

Mirabell Palace

But then again, sometimes you catch your train even though your chain breaks off your bike again, and sometimes people are actually so excited to hear about the gospel being restored and after you finish explaining the first vision, they take the pamphlet from your hand and turn to explain it in their own words to their friend next to them. Checking with you sentence by sentence if they got it right.  Sometimes you talk to cool students who just dyed their hair bright blue, this morning, and sometimes a fiesty Austrian papa, who has been holding out with W S like  determination waiting time to not join the church, is touched by the song you sing and then walks with you out to the car, explaining the herb garden and construction site next to his house as you walk out. Sometimes you get a horrible, sunburn. But everyone offers to bring you aloe Vera.

another zellow building

St Michael’s Basilica

Sometimes you rejoice when a lesson goes well, sometimes you are sadden when someone cancels. You celebrate all the elders birthdays but made too much cake. Ok, so that last one is not so schlimm.

All in all, this microcosm of missionary work shows what life is like. But no matter what happens, I can move on rejoicing that I am a missionary and a daughter of God.

VonTrapp Family home from the movie

Von Trapp Family Home in the Movie

16 going on...

I am 16 going on 17 gazebo….oh yeah!

God has a plan, he loves us, Jesus Christ stands in the middle of this plan, the Holy Ghost helps us to know. The Gospel brings joy to those who let it.

It has brought me joy.

…is it working for you?

 

All my love,

Sister Gardner

Salzburg missionaries

Sister  Hofmockel, Sister Gardner, Elder Erickson and Elder Samuelson…..and Salzburg, Austria

Rain Drops on Roses

Raindrops on Roses

Well. It is raining. Again.

But that is alright because we are sitting oh so cozy and dry in the waiting room of Salzburg Bahnhof. Free wifi, and lots of people who can’t leave until their train goes. You meet lots of people during those two hours despite the fact it goes by too quick.
sisters in a selfie
I just want to share a few lovely moments from this week.

I told you about meeting a man on the street and talking for a long while. Well. We met up that Wednesday and had out first appointment with him. We gave him a church tour and he was just really quiet during it, we went into the library and he finally says something.
There was some random book in there “the way to perfection” he asked is that what we thought perfection was. Darn it random book. But it was fine we explained about the atonement and that although we are not perfect through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can be made perfect. We get to the end and he asks. Ok, well what is actually your message. So we sit down in the chapel, chairs In a circle. We give an overview
of what we teach. Now E is not a big fan of books, he is more of a how you feel and doing service sort of guy. He shares about when he was fourteen he asked, in prayer not in the Muslim way, or the Christian way, but his own way if God was there. He described feeling
a burning in his heart, warmth. … But that is where the spirit just gets started.
He asks us how we came to know what we believe is true. I share about when I felt closest to my Heavenly Father. That leads to a few more things, but then our member A, who is return missionary from the Manchester mission. Talks a little about how the Book of Mormon helped her. He listens but then says. I have read the bible over and over and the Koran over and over, but it does nothing for me. I feel nothing. It is just words. Why is this book different.

Wow, I can feel the spirit as I start to write this..
We open up to Moroni 10:3-5 and ask him to read explaining that this book has a promise. We hand the open book to him. He does not read out loud, as he starts
like a crescendo, the spirit comes in, stronger and stronger until it literally has a physical feeling in the room, like a weight of warm, and an undeniable presence. His hands start to shake and he is silent staring at the words he has read. He looks up and there are tears just so slightly at the rims of his lower eyelid. I look to my companions, their eyes match mine with a wet line of tears on our cheeks. The feeling does not go away. He finally speaks.

Saying…. Something to the extent of.
That is different.
That is the feeling again. I have not felt that since I was fourteen. If I could cry I would. And you won’t believe me, but, well you see,
my sister died when I was a little boy. I really have not thought of her so strongly.

.. ” do you believe you will see her again.”
“Yes.” You will.
“What do I need to do.”

And so I invited a 25 year old Muslim Christian Austrian young man from Pakistan who has been looking for the truth since he was 14 to be baptized…

The story can only go further from here, and I don’t know what lies in store for him. But I know that it is important because I have never experienced that so totally realistically physicality of feeling the spirit. He is amazing.

minute 2

All Set up for the Minute to  Win it Activity

In other news, we had an amazing minute to win it activity, the decorations s turned out great and we had lots of visitors there and
it was really very fun. We know these games well in the United States but for many of these people it was the first time. I love when I am running around being a hostess and making sure everything is going well and all the games are going well. I don’t know, it is energizing. And exhausting.

Pray for V,  we went to visit her but when her mom came home she had us go immediately because she says her mom is not so excited about religion. But I felt bad leaving right when she came. We are not robbers. So I hope I can get to know her better so that she can know
we are normal people.

Ha, I got a call from a certain mama Strihavka on the phone who was very excited to hear that I was serving in her stake. I don’t think you in Utah understand what a stake is like in Austria. There are two stakes in the whole country. It divides in the middle. Vienna and
Salzburg. That is it. Chew on that for a while.

framed

Sister Gardner in Salzburg

I met a woman who is planning to make a pilgrimage across Austria. She is one of the two ladies we met thru our nun convent adventures. She is really sweet, loves Imagine by John Lennon which luckily sister Hofmockel could play on the piano and she has the baby tooth of herson as an earring. She is cool.

trying not to laugh

The beautiful Sister H

Salzburg is filled with tourists, and the American ones all know I am Mormon. Oh happy day. Go home and ask the missionaries to visit you.

I would say they are pretty charismatic, super fun, spiritual and sing a lot. And also secretly thinking of hundreds of different things at one time. And trying their best even though they often wonder how to perform the work as greatly as their Heavenly Father would desire. But also counting on the power of the Holy Ghost, the love of Christ, and the knowledge of the truthfulness of our message.

All my love,
Sister Gardner.