December 23, 2013
Well I hope you will all have a fantastic Christmas! I am way excited to skype home tomorrow, even though I will see you all in about two weeks anyways.
So around this time of year the missionary work kind of slows down because Christmas time is very serious in Austria and Austrians don't like to be bothered when it's time for them to spend with their families and just have some peace, understandably. So the emphasis during this time is to spend as much time as possible with members and get involved in Christmas traditions. Our ward has close to 100 active members and we have been able to spend a good amount of time with quite a few families which will continue into this week as well. It has been a lot of fun and has been great for me to enjoy the Christmas season here with the members I love before I start getting ready to go home.
We did get a chance to meet with Axxxx towards the beginning of the week and the appointment went well. She thinks she will get baptized sometime in March, but she still wants to learn a little bit more because she doesn't feel completely comfortable until she spends more time with the church.
On Saturday the Wien 4 Elders had a baptism in the ward; not for their ward, but Elder Abbott taught a man in his last area who was originally from Wien and his two favorite missionaries (Elder Abbott and one named Elder Jones) are both serving in Wien right now so he decided to come and get baptized and confirmed by them. In preparing the baptism they asked if I would give the talks for it so I was able to take part on the baptism a little. It was a very spiritual baptism, one of the strongest spirits I had felt. After wards the man treated us all to Schnitzel.
We also had a Christmas conference with our zone and President and Sister Miles on Thursday that went really well. It was kind of like a zone conference, but dedicated more to having fun with Christmas activities and a Christmas devotional.
So President Miles has this philosophy about the importance of missionaries being involved with Christmas traditions with member families when they are with them for the holidays. He allowed us to get involved with some activities that aren't normal for missionaries and one of them is there is this movie that I believe is also in America called "Silent Night". It was directed by an Austrian who is a member of the church about the story behind the song Silent Night. We were given permission that if we go with members we were allowed to go to the movie theaters to see this movie. We went with a few of the YSA after Christmas Conference and it was really good. It was really weird being in a movie theater though and one of the fun parts was the previews at the beginning.
On Sunday a lady from my ward and I were able to do a piano duet together for Sacrament meeting. We pulled it together last week and it came rather quickly. It was an arrangement of the First Noel and it went really well.
I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you remember the reason for the holidays.
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen