July 1, 2013
Ok, so this week was a little bit of a recovering week because our apartment has been pretty sick. I have still been having some bad headaches from last week and both the Smiths got a really nasty cold. On top of that Elder Martin got some pretty bad stomach cramps. But! Everything has worked out and we are all doing a lot better. I havent had any of the headaches since Friday and the two Smiths are top notch right now.
It still didn't mean that we weren't able to do work. We were able to meet with our investigator Rebecca twice this week. She is really making a lot of progress and she is well on track for her baptism in August. She is a little shy, but as she has gotten used to us she has opened up a lot and now I think she really enjoys when we meet together. She loves coming to church and the ward has taken to her very fondly. She gets along well with the members and they are treating her super good. Yesterday in church during sacrament meeting she went through about three chapters in 2 Nephi and just marked some of her favorite scriptures in it because she felt like that was what she needed to do. She is already asking questions from Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price as well.
We had a fantastic appointment with a lady named Elsa this week. Elder Smith and his last companion met with her a few days before I got here and weren't able to make another appointment until now. When we reached her house she seemed a little nervous and she told us that this would be our last time meeting together because she was Muslim and she said she had enough and didn't really need more. That instantly resulted in a lot of silent prayers for the spirit. We started off with getting to know her better and she opened up a lot and it became a really enjoyable time and then she asked, "So what do you actually believe God to be?" From there we took off following the spirit and asking a lot of questions and relating our beliefs to what she already believed. You could see the spirit come over her and by the time we started introducing beliefs that were unique to our church she accepted them fully. By the end of our time she kept saying how if we had more time she would love to keep hearing more and that once she gets back from Albania (she left the next day and won't get back until mid August) we could start meeting again. It was a great example of how the spirit can reach people's hearts in a special way.
Do you by chance remember one of my old investigators back in St. Pölten named Liz Chavez? She moved to St. Pölten's area with the Hirschman family (my eventual new ward mission leader's family) for a few weeks, but then moved back to Wien into her own apartment. Well what I didn't realize is that she is in my ward. She had been in Spain for vacation up until last week so that's why I hadn't seen her yet. She has since been baptized as of February. It was really cool to meet with her again. You can see how much the gospel has lit up her life and she has an awesome attitude of wanting to share the gospel with the rest of her family.
This week we had a number of service opportunities to help members in our ward with moving. We have a really great ward and the members are super friendly. It's a ward that you can tell is really closely bonded with each other and they are super fun to be around.
So, I had a "brain fart" this week and forgot that I was supposed to give a talk yesterday in sacrament about enduring to the end. I remembered as I got to church that morning. The fortunate thing was that in Germany and Austria they always have priesthood meeting first, followed by Sunday School, and then Sacrament meeting at the end. I had time during the first two hours to come up with ideas for my talk and experiences to share. Thanks to all the talks I had to give while I was in St. Pölten, I have long gotten over the time where I had to write my whole talk out rather than just write the ideas down and speak about those. It went well and I was able to cover my whole 15 minutes. Thankfully Heavenly Father is willing to help me out with getting ideas of what to talk about after I completely forgot I had an assignment.
Mom, could you send me a chocolate chip cookie recipe by chance? I seemed to have lost all my reciepes when I got here (I probably left them in the Stuttgart cupbard) and our apartment was craving cookies the other day. Don't worry though, I still have my Swiss bread recipe memorized so you will still have the chance to have some when I get home. Thank you.
I sure you love all a lot. I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July this week. Make sure to celebrate some American pride for me.
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen