September 17: Do you know Mekamma?
First of all, congratulations Amber for getting married. I am very happy for you and it sounds like Rolf is a great guy. I was supporting you in spirit through it all. I hope everything goes well for you two and the kids. I am so excited for you both and I know everything will be good for you two. Love you lots.
Well we had transfer day and it was very hard to leave Rosenheim and Elder Young behind. That has really been an awesome experience for me that I will remember forever. However, I am way excited for the new adventures that are here in St. Poelten (I am using an English keyboard so I can't use the umlauts). We have a lot of work to do here. At the moment there are no investigators so we need to change that around. I think Elder Root is going to be a good companion to work with because he is very humble and really wants to work. I guess what I'm really excited about is that Brother Harmer - my good friend Jake Harmer's dad, who served here in St. Poelten for 11 months during his mission to Austria (speaking of which I will get you a letter when I can about what is going on in the branch). The first thing that a member said to me when I went to church on Sunday was if I knew a Mekamma because he told me that he informed him through facebook that I was the new missionary here. It took me a little while to recognize that he was trying to say Mike Harmer. Since Mike would know, it was Brother Schildbroeck who was the ward mission leader when he was here, but is now the Melchezidek Priesthood Quorum leader. By the way Mike, what other areas did you serve in?
As for St. Poelten, the area is a lot like Rosenheim in the sense that it's a bike area (though we don't use them as much as in Rosenheim) and we are about as far away from Vienna as Rosenheim was from Munich, but instead of mountains it has a lot of giant hills (kind of like the Appalachians). Our Ward Mission Leader is Brother Bauer who is really nice and excited about the work. The Brother Schildbroeck (son of the above said Schildbroeck) is the manager of a regional Football team (not soccer football, actually football) that plays against other teams throughout Austria and he has the missionaries come once every two weeks or so for about an hour to give the team help and tips, because apparently if you're American you know everything about Football and they will listen to whatever you say. It will be fun though to see.
As for District Meetings we meet in Vienna every week. One of the Elders in my district, Elder Basset, is training Elder Moon who went to Oak Canyon and was in my German Class; so I get to be his first District Leader in the field.
Real quick my actually mailing address is Trautson str. and not Trauson str. Hopefully if you sent anything it will still make it to me just fine.
I have been really blessed with amazing companions. Elder Davies and Elder Field were both amazing, but Elder Young has been an amazing friend. It's hard to say because I didn't think I could get any better. We had a ton of fun and we have a lot of things planned for when we get back off the mission including being roommates along with Jake and some others at BYU. We are also thinking that we might possibly extend the thirty days that are possible on our mission because where we both just miss the winter semester start line, we figured if we extended then we would be closer to when spring semester starts and we could come back together on the plane. We will see though, there is still lots of time.
I figured out why Elder Roots original trainer was transferred out, or my guess anyways. Elder Volz was sick for a few weeks, which made it hard for him to really train a new missionary. From what I can tell there are no identified investigators here. He forgot to explain to Elder Root that you could have the mission pay for train tickets and so Elder Root has been going with little money and has been near starving by the sounds of it. I nearly starved just living here since Thursday based off the little food there was. So we've been basically white washing it. Today we are spending the day cleaning the apartment. Elder Root said that Elder Volz was cool, it was too bad he had been sick, but he's glad there was a change. Prays would be greatly appreciated for us because we will need them here. Brother Harmer's letter actually helped me a lot, because at first I was a little discouraged, especially when you just come from an incredible area like Rosenheim with an awesome companion where you always had effective work going.
In other news I finally got to see both Elder Stapleton and Elder Terry who were the two people in my mission I knew beforehand. When I went to go drop off Elder Young to find out who he was training we got off at the Munich Train Station where we found out a bunch of Missionaries had been riding on the same train as us for the last 45 minutes, but we didn't know. Among those was Elder Stapleton. There was much rejoicing! Then later as we went down the train station I ran into Elder Terry who was also going to be training. On Saturday we had a meeting where the Zone Leaders met with the District Leaders and their companions in our Zone. Elder Stapleton isn't district leader, but his district is half in the Vienna Zone half in the Salzburg zone and so he was acting as the representative from his district in the Vienna Zone, so I got to see him there again. After the meeting we all went to a place called Herbs in Vienna where they worship the missionaries because we come so often. They have this challenge there where you have to eat this giant Cor-don-blu with a bowl of fries and salad - of the 10 of us there, only Elder Root, Elder Stapleton and I completed the challenge.
I have a favor to ask you mom and dad. Is it possible to get another one of Bishop Rife's Divine Virtue books? I gave my copy to Elder Young because he really enjoyed what he read from it.
Well I should probably get going. My emails might have to be on the shorter side from here out (though not too short) because there is only one computer in the church here that we can use and so we have to share and that takes a lot of time. Before I go, Happy Birthday this week Bekah! There is a package with a b-day gift for you in it! I can't believe that you are now 10. Also Brittney and Brandon, I hope the mud slides haven't caused too many problems for you. It didn't sound fun at all. I'm sorry for those who have had mud come all through their homes.
Love you lots
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen