As November has come to a close, I feel the need to begin this epistle with a list.
Things That Broke This Month
- my ankle (not really - I only twisted it (yes, again (and, yes, falling down the stairs again (I actually had to admit that was how it happened this time as my usual feats (skydiving, usw.) were not activities in which I would be engaging as a missionary))), but I feel it sort of belongs on the list)
- handy (only for 12 hours - Sister Stewart incorrectly inserted the SIM card, so we had to go to the Orange store the next morning to have surgery performed - but it is functioning once more)
- Sister Stewart's necklace
- Sister Stewart´s pen
- my twisty-top pen
- washing machine
- front door handle
Yup, this month was pretty great! No, but really. It was:]
This week was very lovely, but the weekend was definitely the most story-worthy part of the week. On Thursday, we started teaching Binod and Neeta, roommates of some less-actives in our ward. They come from Nepal. They said they don´t even know what Nepali people believe, and are very open and willing to learn about our beliefs. We have to take things slowly, but not too slowly. It helps that they live with members and are so open-minded for sure! They are so cute, and we love them already! They even were in church on Sunday, and just seemed to be having a great time!
The less-active couple has a six-month-old baby. She is the cutest baby. She has dark hair, long, dark, curly eyelashes, and is almost-always smiling. Since she is six-months-old, she can start eating solid food. In Nepal, instead of having baby showers, they have rice ceremonies. And we got invitied. Sister Stewart said that in countries with high mortality rates, they celebrate the birth of the baby after the baby is old enough that they are sure he\she will actually live. When they excitedly asked us to be in attendance, we weren't entirely sure what a rice ceremony was. We knew Adrika would be eating rice for the first time, but that was about it. It was an actual ceremony! We were there on Saturday night, along with a few of their other Nepali friends, and another couple in the ward. They laid out a blanket on the floor. The mother held Adrika. In front of them was a plate with dry rice (an oil lamp atop the mound), a plate with cooked rice (made red with food coloring) and rose petals, and a bowl of rice pudding. Everyone took turns getting on the blanket, facing the baby, putting some red rice on her forehead (and rose petals on her head, if he\she desired), feeding her a bite of rice pudding, and giving her a present. It was very cool, and there was Nepali music playing in the background. Then we all enjoyed a Nepali feast. It was so yummy! And Adrika was just so excited the entire time (she loves attention and will start screaming during lessons if attention is not at least some-what focused on her. So, the rice ceremony was definitely on her list of Top 5 Best Days).
We also did service for the UN Charity Bizarre all day Friday and Saturday. We, along with the other missionaries in Wien, helped set up, helped with parking, and then helped at coat check. During coat check, Elder Johnson joked that we should give out their numbers (the numbers that they give us so we know on what hooks hang their coats) on pass-along cards. I suggested giving them number holders, aka Books of Mormon. But, we did get to do some missionary work afterall! A woman came up to us at one point to get her coat back. Elder Johnson left to grab the coats, I asked the woman where she was from. She said Peru, then she turned to (what I'm assuming was) her husband and said, ''He is from New Jersey.'' I got very excited as he is a man who speaks English - someone the Elders can teach! Elder Johnson returned, and the woman asked where we were from. I told her we were from Utah, and she asked where we had learned to speak German so well. We told her, and also told her we teach German classes twice a week. We wrote down the address of the church and center where the language classes are held, and she was so excited! I asked if we could have her number, so she wrote down her name, number, and address! She was very excited, and she left. So, that was very cool!
Yesterday, Sister Stewart and I met with Danielle again. She is finally back in town! On our way home from her place, we ride the U-Bahn for one stop, then we pick up the Straßenbahn for about 8 stops. Since the U-Bahn ride is only one stop, we usually don't sit and talk to people. But there was someone we had to meet. So, about half-way between the stations, we saw a flash of light out of the window accompanied by a loud bang! Sister Stewart and I thought it was weird, and then the U-Bahn skidded to a halt. Then we thought it was very weird. We waited for a bit. The driver came over the loudspeaker and said there was a problem with the train (no kidding), and to be patient. We decided to sit down. We sat across from a mother and her son. I was about to greet her in German, when she said something to her son in English! I asked where she was from. She said she was from Austria, but she and her husband wanted her son to learn English, so they speak English in the home. We talked for a long time, as the train was broken. She gave us her business card, and told us to call her if we ever needed help with anything. We gave her a pass-along card. I gave her an English one, and Sister Stewart said, ''That one's in English. Here is a German one. Unless, would you like to attend church in English?'' The mother was very excited about the aspect of church in English - this would be another place for them to practice, if nothing else! She asked if they had a program for children, so excitedly explained the format of church, in particular the primary. They were both so excited to come next Sunday! And. We got to walk out of the U-Bahn tunnel! I have always wanted to do that! Definetly an awesome night!
Well, that is all for now!
May the force be with you.
Ich liebe euch!
Sister Stephanie Reid