July 22, 2013
Well we had transfer calls this week. I really expected Elder Smith and I to stay another transfer together, but the plans are different. First of all Elder Smith is going to a city called Innsbruck. It's one of the most coveted spots in the mission because it's in a small valley right in the middle of where the highest mountains in Austria are. If you think of the shape of Austria as a chicken drum stick he will be in the middle of the bone part. As for me... I am going to be greenie busting again (with Elders Young, Smith, and now my new companion this will be my third time). His name is Elder Naegle and he is from Alpine, Utah. He was in Elder Smiths MTC group, he was Elder McGinns MTC companion, and Elder Stapleton was his trainer who has been with him for the last three transfers. I don't know him personally though yet. And of course I will be staying here in Wien 3rd ward. I am excited for the upcoming transfer, but I will definitely miss Elder Smith. Even though it was only one transfer we had a ton of fun and we made a really good team. I learned a lot from him and he is going to do some good work in Innsbruck, I expect him to be AP one day. This Thursday is transfer day.
In my apartment the other Elder Smith is heading home and Elder Martin will be getting a new companion named Elder Reading who is at his year mark now.
This week for the work things went great. Rebecca is making lots of progress and getting more and more excited about her baptism. Ambrol is doing fantastic as well. We set a specific date for him for his baptism, August 17th, the week after Rebecca's. He is someone who just gets so excited about the gospel it's quite amazing. They were both at church yesterday as well as two other investigators we weren't sure if they were coming. So it was awesome to see them there.
We had a really cool experience with a less active member this week. I think I am just going to copy and paste what I wrote in my letter to President Miles:
This week we had a really cool miracle that I wanted to share. It was about giving a less active a blessing, but everything that went along with it fell in place perfectly because of the spirit. We had a finding day in our area last Saturday and the day before we spent some time to plan out everything. We went through the area book and picked out old investigators from two different districts in Wien and started writing them down on a list for people to go by. I found a less active member in the area book and at first I thought I would just put her record away and just focus on the former investigators liked we plan, but as we went on I kept having this feeling that I needed to put her on one of the lists. The next step came when I was making teams and deciding which lists certain Elders should work on. For a long time I had a feeling that Elder Riser and Elder Jimenez needed to take a specific list (which as I later realized was the list that had the less active member, Amelia, on it). Finding Day came around and at the end Elder Riser and Jimenez told us that they had made an appointment out for Elder Smith and I to go by the next day on this less active and give her a blessing. The amazing part was that she was in the middle of the list and for whatever random reason that was the first person that the two Elders went by. They caught her right as she was leaving her house, perfect timing. When we went to give her blessing she told us she was having an operation on Tuesday and was really scared for it and she had not thought about a blessing at all, but when the two Elders came by and recommended it she felt God was looking after her and taking care of her despite her believing that her faith was weak. She asked if I would give the blessing and it turned out to be one of the most spiritual blessings I had ever been a part of. There were some very specific points addressed, and at the end she was crying, but just filled with joy. During the blessing you could really feel just how much Heavenly Father loved her and that she meant the world to him and that he had great plans for her. She was filled with the spirit and at the end she told us that as soon as the operation was over and she was recovered she would start coming to church again and realigning her life towards thinking more about Christ. Everything worked out perfectly and it was such an amazing experience to see.
We also had interviews with President Miles this week. They went really good. It was a lot different than interviews when I was a zone leader because it was a lot more relaxed and fun and there weren't as many responsibilities to report abou,t so I enjoyed a lot not having the extra assignments to talk about. During the interview I also got a new temple recommend because mine expires at the end of next month.
This week I also reached the point of no return. The bishopric in our ward found out that I played the piano and I am now the back up to the ward organist/pianist when she is sick or gone and they already asked me to play at least two musical numbers during sacrament meeting within the next month and a half.
I am going to wrap up there since we have a lot to do today, but I will try to send a package this week which has the memory card for this transfers pictures. I love you all a lot.
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen