Monday, November 5, 2012

Liebe Familie,
Well, another week has come and gone. Although this week was a little slower (presumable due to the mid-transfer blues, low temperatures, or a combination of the two), it was still full of miracles!
So, we have been teaching a man and wife for a few weeks now. The woman is an American, the man a German. I did not know until last week, though, that she is from... (you will not believe this)... Yakima. Of all places for someone to be from! I could not remember people's last names, though! It was a little embarrassing... I kept thinking, "There is Aunt Linda (who married two guys named Charles), Uncle Wink, Uncle Del, Dean and Shelly, but what are their last names? Then I remembered Uncle Wink's actual first name is not Wink. But that was a few days later (I may be in Europe, but those blonde moments still come). Anyway, if you could write me back with the relatives who live in that area of the country, and include their last names, that would be great. Thanks!
Halloween was this week, but we hardly knew it. Sister Stewart's mother sent her a Halloween package, so we brought Halloween candy to district meeting on Wednesday. The elders saw the candy and said, "When is Halloween?" "It's today, Man." "Oh? Well, I dressed up as a missionary then." "Aw, man! You stole my costume!" Yes, we all dressed up as missionaries, hardy har har. But, really. We saw an ad in the Strassenbahn about how to carve a pumpkin (a glorious example for two reasons of the lack of knowledge concerning Halloween 1) In America, we know how to carve a pumpkin. There are not ads on television, or anywhere else, explaining how ones goes about doing that. 2) The day of is far too late to start thinking about and carving one's pumpkins. But perhaps the ad will help people be prepared for next year), and we saw one little girl dressed as a princess (though we think she might have been a tourist). We met with Danielle that night and made a Halloween Funfetti (instead of multi-colored dots in the middle, they were black and orange) cake (Sister Stewart's mother sent a cake mix as we do not have them in Austria. We also do not have powdered sugar, so it was a good thing her mother also sent Funfetti frosting (this, unfortunately, was not Halloween-themed, and we did not feel like picking out all the sprinkles that weren't orange. But it was still exciting!) for Nachtisch. That was very exciting and fun:] The next day, All Saints' Day, was celebrated. There was nobody on the streets. It was crazy!! But I am glad to hear y'all had a fun time celebrating Halloween :]
We also do not have Thanksgiving here, which means that as soon as All Saints' Day is over (or if you are Mueller, as soon as the temperature drops below 20 degrees on a regular basis), Christmas can be set up! The Christmas markets are being built, little advent calenders and stuffed Santas are in the stores, twinkle lights are being strung around the city, and the feeling of Christmas is here. It will be very fun to be in Vienna at Christmas time! It is so exciting already, and it is only the first week of November!
We taught the little Vietnamese family last night. We just ADORE them! We taught about the apostasy and the restoration last night. When we explained that the people killed the apostles, the mother's hands went up to her mouth, her eyes got big, and she gasped. It was so cute:] We gave them the Joseph Smith pamphlet in Vietnamese on Thursday and asked them to read it before we came last night. We ordered the Restoration video in Vietnamese (oddly enough, we didn't have the Asian languages DVD in Vienna. Weird, right?), but they couldn't figure out how to work their DVD player, so we had to watch it in English anyway! But they kept get excited when it would quote parts that Joseph Smith said in the pamphlet - parts they recognized. We left the DVD with them so they can watch it Vietnamese this week on a laptop, or something, and hopefully understand the whole thing. But at the end of movie, we asked if they would pray about if Joseph Smith was a prophet. The dad said, "I believe it!" The mother nodded up and down in agreeance. They are just so receptive to the spirit. They always get so excited when we ask them about reading and praying as a family because, "We just feel so warm when we do it." We brought stickers to entertain the children, and the parents just love having us over. They want so badly to learn as much as they can about Jesus.  They have accepted the soft baptismal commitment twice because they know that is what they need to do. They are, however, very nervous about church because this is all so new, and they just do not know what to expect. The first time we asked them to come to church, they turned us down because, "We will not know when to stand up and sit down, and we do not know the songs or how to sing very well." We explained that they don't ever have to stand up, and not a lot of people can sing very well, but most importantly, we will be right there with them to show them the ropes. The mother is going to try it out this next Sunday! They are just so teachable. We are loving the progress they have already made and are excited about all of the exciting things that lay ahead for them!
I hope that all is well at home. Have a great week!
Alles gute!
Ich liebe euch!
Sister Stephanie Reid
P.S. You should probably learn how to use Skype. That is how I will be calling home on Christmas. You can practice on Michelle, or something. But please be in good practice so I don't have to pay an arm and a leg to call on the phone home. Please and thank you. :]

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