Monday, September 24, 2012

Liebe Familie,
Last P. Day, we visited Schönbrunn. It was so gorgeous!! We just wandered around the gardens. It was a perfect day, not too hot, not too cold, we didn´t even need a light jacket! But it was great:] It was a good thing we did that last Monday, though, because the weather took the official turn fort he worst on Wednesday. I really think summer is over now. Time to break out the scarves, boots, coats, and tights!
We taught Danielle three times this week! She texted us Monday morning and asked if it would be okay if she fed us dinner. She is so sweet! So, we had dinner, and then taught the lesson. I clarified her question on polygamy. We read the scriptures in Jacob 2:27-30 and D&C 132:37-38. When we opened up to Jacob 2, she said, „I´ve read this one before. It´s why I started having the questions in the first place.“ We had her read all the way through verse 30, explaining what the phrases meant, and she said she hadn´t read past verse 28 the first time. When I was done presenting the scriptures on why it happened, and why we no longer practice it, I asked if that made more sense. She responded that this stuff won`t matter once she knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet – after that, everything else will fall into place. She is correct, but it helps to clear up hang-ups so her heart can be open to receive the revelation. We taught about the restoration, and watched the movie. After the movie, we asked her how she felt. She then explained that her boyfriend (who happens to be a member of the church) told her to pay attention to how she feels when we talk to her, when she reads in the Book of Mormon, etc., as that is how the spirit talks to her. She then concluded with, ``I think the spirit is telling me that it´s true.´´
On Wednesday, she fed us dinner again. She made fajitas. She had to look so hard to find tortilla shells, and such! And she said the cheddar cheese was found in the exotic cheese section. Who knew! We taught the Plan of Salvation – she had a lot of questions, but really seemed to understand and accept it. We also gave her a soft baptismal commitment, and she responded that that was obviously the next step.
On Saturday, before the adult session of stake conference, we met with her again. We showed her the baptismal font (ours is definitely the prettiest one I have ever seen.) and talked to her about the importance of setting a date, so we have a goal. She turned us down flat on that one. She said her parents are not as understanding as she thought they were, and that she wants them to be supportive. She also said that if they still aren´t accepting in another year, she will have to move forward without them. But for now, she doesn´t want to ruffle too many feathers. She still wants to keep meeting with us, but we just can´t set a date. And that is completely understandable. So, Sister Stewart and I are praying a lot that her parents hearts will be softened. That is a big decision, and it would be hard to not have her parents´ blessing.
Mom was saying that she has a student that doesn´t speak English or German, and she has a hard time communicating with her – she can´t even tell her to sit down. Every Tuesday and Thursday, Sister Stewart and I teach English classes at the institute. Sister Stewart´s class is the people from Austria who would like to learn English. I got the people from Iran who are here waiting for their American visas and need to learn English as part of the application. So, I also have to teach two lessons every week where I don´t speak any language that the people in my class teach. For example, on Thursday, we spent about 15 minutes trying to clarify the meaning of ít´ in the sentence „Who is it?“ I had told them Tuesday that „it“ was the pronoun you use when it is not a boy or a girl. Then on Thursday, we were talking about question words, and I said that we use „who“ for people. They were all so confused, and it took that long for us to communicate what they were confused about, and then for me to explain why we used „it“ in that case. So hard sometimes, but so good! I gave them another Book of Mormon on Thursday, and I found a Farsi Gospel Principles book in our church! So now, I can teach them a spiritual thought in their native tongue. It is so great how that book just happened to turn up when it did… :]
We also met with Peter this week. He is from England and a Deacon in the Catholic church. He is so cool. He hates the organization of the Catholic church. He is planning on attending General Conference, and was apologetic when he realized his schedule did not permit him to attend the Saturday morning session (which is aired Saturday night).  We explained that that was okay, that the important one was the Sunday morning session (which is aired Sunday night). He then looked at the schedule for Sunday, and promised to go to all three sessions.  We laughed a little as we commented that that was quite the marathon, and he said, „Well, look, there are hour and a half pauses between sessions for food, and such. I can do it!“ He carries that last Conference addresses Ensign with him, and he just loves what we teach. Problem is, the Catholic church is his livelihood. But, we keep plugging along with him, and maybe eventually we will figure something out for him. At our next appointment, we are thinking of having the stake employment specialist sit in.  
Sorry that was quite long, but I hope you made it through!
Ich liebe euch!
Sister Stephanie Reid:]

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