June 24, 2013
First of all, I forgot to say Happy Father's Day to you Dad last week! I am sorry about that. Father's day is the day after Mother's day here in Germany so I completely spaced on it last week. I hope it went well though.
First of all, I know Mom might be upset with me if I don't give her this update at the beginning so here it goes; Wien is probably the hottest and most humid spot in our mission and on top of that this week we had a huge heat wave come through. It was a huge adjustment trying to go from rainy Stuttgart to smoldering Wien and I didn't react or treat myself very well. On top of that at night it is still super humid and we found out that the way my bunk bed is built and positioned (I sleep on the bottom bed) it turns the area where I sleep into a hot box in a sense. Needless to say it made it very hard to sleep at night and I had gone about 3 nights this week with only 4 hours of sleep. With lack of sleep and the heat problems, I started having some pretty bad migraines this week. BUT! Everything is ok now. I got in touch with the mission nurse and President Miles and we got things taken care of. The nurse had me stay inside and rest for a couple of days and told me what I could do to take care of the heat problems. I have also pulled my mattress out of my bunk bed and I just sleep on it on the floor and that has helped me a lot at night. Today, I am back to perfect health, the heat wave has died out, and it is actually raining today so everything is good. The other Elder Smith who is my roommate, was also having some cold and allergy problems and so we stayed home together for a couple of days while my companion, Elder Smith and Elder Martin went out to the various appointments we had. Again everything is well now. Since there is only so much resting or cleaning or additional study you can do when you have been confined by the nurse to stay in the apartment, and so roommate Elder Smith and I also found another way to help us recover like arranging a couple of songs on the guitar since he is a bass player for the jazz band at BYU and we have two guitars in our apartment, among other things. However, things are back in order, all of us are healthy and I am excited to be back out working again.
However, we do have some great investigators that we are working with. There are three in particular that are making a lot of progress. The first is Rebecca. She is Austrian and about 21 years old. She was referred by a friend of hers who is on a mission. Rebecca is accepting everything very well. She was originally taught by the Wien 2 Elders but she moved into our area about 4 days before I got to Wien. She has a baptismal date for August 11 and as far as I am concerned she is perfectly ready for it. I have not been able to actually have a lesson with her yet, but Elder Smith and Martin said their appointment this week went great. I have met her at church and she is very nice and humble. The second is Jan. He is from Poland but has been living in Wien for the last 23 years. We met with him last Tuesday and the appointment went really good. We found him our second day as a companionship and so that was our first appointment and he seemed really opened to everything and excited about the church. He went and started reading the Book of Mormon in the park right after our appointment with him and says it's brilliant. Our third investigator with progress is Thomas. He was a former investigator that Elder Smith and his last companion got in contact with again. He said he had been really trying to find the missionaries again, but didn't have the right number. He currently has a baptismal date in July but it will probably need to be pushed back because he can't meet with us to regularly and there is still a lot we need to cover as well as help him overcome smoking, but we have high hopes for him.
I am really excited to work with this ward. They seem very motivated about missionary work and very willing to help out and invite their own friends frequently to church. Our ward mission leader was actually the Branch President in St. Pölten about 5 or 6 years ago as I found out yesterday. This week we had an eating appointment at a members named Sister Jelinek and she had gone through and invited about 6 of her neighbors to come and listen to our message about the restoration before we all ate and played games and it went over very well. They all enjoyed what we had to say; none of them have time at the moment to spend to learn more, but they all happily took a Book of Mormon for themselves. It was a really good example of working well with the members.
We also had a fireside last night for the stake missionaries, mission leaders (bishop, ward mission leader, ward missionaries, etc) and anyone else who was interested where they unveiled the new stake mission plan. The concept was actually very interesting; instead of making some grand majestic plan with specific points, the main theme of the plan was to invite, encourage, and remind members to pray every day for more charity for mission work as well as for more opportunities. It was an idea that President Miles had really been pushing for and the Wien stake decided to adopt it. The theory is that if members are praying each day for these two things then they will start making their own mission plans like taking their own initiative to work with the missionaries. I think it iss simpl, but brilliant.
I think that will be it for this week. I hope all goes well. I love you all.
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen