It’s a Pioneer Feeling in the Morning

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.july 26b carth

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.pageant

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.july 26

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
-Sister Gardner

 

 

 

No Good Can Come From Bad

No Good Can Come From Bad

Therefore using this same logic: No Bad can come from Good.

So therefore, every good effort is not wasted because it is putting a little more good into the world that was not there before. Thus increasing the overall fraction of the good inside the world as other forces work hard to bring just as much bad. Basically by adding to this good, I am adding to the confusion because of my clarity. Because the good presents something different than what is the norm and therefore makes people ask themselves why is this random person being nice to me? Why do I feel this good feeling? For the norm of the world would not have you feel that way. Rather a sort of smudgie grey color. But I am really trying to inspire a bit more sunshine a bit more light and color into your life. Putting in good because the bad will get me nowhere nice.

Are you confused yet?

The beginning of this letter acts not only as a true expression of an idea but also a portrayal of what happens when there is not simple teaching with the spirit. In my physical science class, I learned about how a refrigerator works. The air is made cold but actually still produces heat thus adding to the “chaos” in the world. A refrigerator only works if it has the closed off space to create the climate to keep your leftover spaghetti edible. If you leave the door open it does not act as an air conditioner, actually a very ineffective space heater.

This is how I am trying to explain teaching with the spirit. If the door is not closed, meaning if the spirit is not there, I could put all the energy I want into trying to help them understand it, but it will not work, it will not be effective. I have been working on teaching simply, teaching to the needs of the person, and most importantly teaching with the spirit.

SO…..with that image in mind. Think how you can keep your own “refrigerator” effective to the promptings and guidance of the spirit.

Vienna on a Cloudy Day

Vienna on a Cloudy Day

Vienna

Vienna

Hofberg Palace

Hofberg Palace

In other news, let me share a bit of how I have tried to add some good to the world this week.

In Vienna on Wednesday I got talking to a man who wanted to sell me a ticket to an orchestra concert I could not attend. The topic turned to religion and he looked at me with shock when I told him that there was a living prophet today. Then as quickly as he had felt this little twinge of truth, he pushed it away. He looked at me and told me not to lie to myself. I was able to look him in the eyes and say with total confidence that I knew that God has given us a prophet in this day and age to lead and guide us. I could just sense his confusion. I wanted to teach him, but often people are just not quite ready to hear it all. That is when I am glad that I have already been able to find out for myself and raise a warning voice.

St Stephens Cathedral

St Stephens Cathedral

horse statueSo other interesting things: We went out to the little dorf called, Eggendorf and went tried to visit some lost lambs. We left the lambs little papers that will hopefully remind them that their Father in Heaven loves them and that their brother Jesus Christ is always knocking just waiting for us to open the door and let him in…. knock, knock, knocking -open the door and let him in.

We had a great lesson with W. We are just continuing to fast and pray for his progress. He is an amazingly determined man and his wife is a spunky inspiration to me. It is truly a blessing to teach them.

Sister Pratt Gave me all the blue ones because they are my favorite.

Sister Pratt Gave me all the blue ones because they are my favorite.

I was able to meet the J family. The husband will be baptized he just needs to find a job that does not require him to work on Sundays. It is really important to him. He showed up with his wife who is a member and their little baby in full traditional African clothing. They looked like beautiful exotic tropicals in a garden of Austrian wildflowers.

Sister Pratt with Härtigs

Sister Pratt with Härtigs

I was also able to meet with E. E is an Egyptian man who writes poetry to help him cope with what he feels.

We were surprised on Sunday when we had seven investigators at church!! Oh my goodness. 5 of them speak Spanish, so suddenly I am sitting in a Spanish investigator class all in Spanish doing my best to follow along with church vocabulary. I had been trying to learn some Spanish, so if you have any suggestions let me know.

Well, I need to go so that we can catch our train to Vienna because today we are going to tour an OPERA HOUSE. Cue the phantom of the opera overture. I am a little bit….okay, a lot excited..

Opera House backstage tour.  We don't look excited at all.  Ha Ha!

Opera House backstage tour. We don’t look excited at all. Ha Ha!  I almost cried it felt so good to be so near a stage. 

Opera House Backstage

Opera House Backstage Tour in Vienna

Thank you Elder Chilcutt and Call for going with us.

Thank you Elder Chilcutt and Call for going with us.

Sister Gardner on a Sunny day.

Sister Gardner on a Sunny day.

Well. I just want to remind you that gaining a testimony is just an act of remembering what you already knew. It is blessing to know of our heavenly heritage. You are all sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves you…

and guess who else loves you…

Oh, you clever people.

Me.

Love,

Sister Calee Gardner

Going out on a limerick

I would write you a limerick for this weeks post but sadly I see now the qualifications and my time for today’s email makes this task a bit difficult. But I am leaving you with the instructions and I will give you some snappy little number for next week, if you make one for me too? Well, what say ye?

limerick is a humorous poem consisting of five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables while rhyming and having the same verbal rhythm. The third and fourth lines only have to have five to seven syllables, and have to rhyme with each other and have the same rhythm.

Have a go my loves.

From the Aquarium last week - " And here we have"

From the Aquarium last week – ” And here we have”

Wiener Neustadt Elders  Elder Call and Elder Chilcutt

Wiener Neustadt Elders Elder Call and Elder Chilcutt

Which Stop to take.

Which Stop to take.

I’ve Got Sunshine On a Cloudy Day

I’ve Got Sunshine On a Cloudy Day

  1. Little kids on the street all decked out for the first day of school.
  2. We found placemats for our table and a really wrinkly tablecloth that was quickly folded back up as soon as we pulled it out.
  3. The way people who speak Spanish beam when you throw in Hola and Gracias amid other phrases throughout your German speaking with them.
  4. Clomping up an ivy covered wall to retrieve a soccer ball and all of the little kids are cheering. (Don’t worry there was much safety to this process and many ready hands below) The funniest part had to be sifting through the thick foliage growing on the shed roof to actually find the ball.
  5. Liebekuchen (Cookie)
  6. Sweater weather approaches.
  7. Opera houses are a thing.
  8. My vegetable soup attempt was not a flop.
  9. People want to be baptized.
  10. I love the moon that lights the way when it is dark.

There You Are

“There You Are. We but care that there you are”. That is what I am going to be singing in my head to every single person in this itty-bitty city. Because seeing someone on the street that is not the main square of the whole city is literally like finding a four-leaf clover or the opening to a musical based on Charles Dickens last work. Actually, I am not sure how it is like that; you could say it is a mystery in fact. Heh Heh. Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to……

The Mystery Wiener Neu Stadt!

(applause)

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

Sis G and Sister Pratt

Sis G and Sister Pratt

Thrown swiftly into a town and place with no knowledge of the prior lives lived here the two find themselves in a mansion of a missionary apartment. Goodness gracious who would have thought that there could be separate rooms for sleeping and studying and eating and sitting. On the cusp of the Hauptplaz (main town square), the sisters look out upon the world they now hold in their hands. They are excited and frightened to begin the next chapter of this story.

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

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

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

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

Yes, I have left my darling Graz behind and now turn to this wonderful new place. We have been working hard these past few days to get on our feet and understand what the frabjous is happening (thank you Lewis Carroll) We now have acquired a map, an area book, and a ward list. We have a phone and an apartment building that smells like incense because of the hippy store in the shop next door. (all the classy hippy hipster smells) and lots of Spanish copies of the Book of Mormon.  (mom’s note- I have heard the missionaries teach as much in Spanish in this area as German or English)

If you think you keep hearing someone singing show tunes, that is probably you hearing sister Pratt and I. All. The. Time. I hope you like it. You are very welcome.

The peacocks of Graz.

The peacocks of Graz.

But really, I am so excited to be in this new place.  Is it a little terrifying and already a little hard? Yes. Do we have to sort of re learn our finding techniques? Yes. Do we have so much love to give to this little stadt of Austria? Also yes. I can already tell there are going to be miracles here, with the people I meet and the ward I come to love.. Speaking of that….

Something really lovely happened at our member eating appointment yesterday after church. The Elders had already told us that the ward was so excited to have sisters and then we where talking with this family and they where asking what we liked to do, and we both have a great love for music and also know that it is a special medium for the spirit to work though. We shared this and they looked a little surprised. They told us they had been praying that the sisters who would come would have musical talents and know about it because they want to do another musical fireside. I felt this feeling of peace come over me. I am so glad I am here.

The musical fireside is something that I have been wondering about since I came on my mission, it is still a few months away, but hopefully I can A) stay and put it on or sing in it or B) help it get all planned and ready to go. We want to try to teach voice lessons here and get two language classes going. We also want to start up a FHE for the youth once a week. There is so much to do, it is sometimes like trying to swallow a whale in one bite, but I think Shel Silverstein wrote a poem about that and it turned out all right for her. Melinda Mae did it one bite at a time.

Little Beautiful flowers

Little Beautiful flowers

Some other good things this week: We got to know the bishop over an intense game of Football (Soccer for you yanks). Heh, heh. We hope that more people will come this next week, but it is good to offer these activities for the ward and investigators and anyone else who would like to kick around a happily worn soccer ball on the back lawn of the church.

I have be trying to read a bit in Doctrine & Covenants this week and I found something really lovely that I wanted to share.

“And no one can assist in this work except [she] shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope and charity being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to [Her] care.” D&C 12:8

This little part has been entrusted to my care. My companion and I are responsible for helping people come to Christ. It is a big job. Everyone has something or someone or some(insert word here) entrusted to them. How are we taking care of what we have been entrusted with? May we have the courage to do it the way Christ would want us to. Well I know my adventure will continue. I am glad to be busy and my heart feels full and glad when I am able to talk with others about what I hold dear to my heart. Getting better all the time.

Luckily for me, the people here still use Baba to say goodbye.

So, Baba! All my love.

Sister Calee Gardner

Mixnitz Hike

Mixnitz Hike

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

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

Mixnitz Hike

Mixnitz Hike