Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Liebe Familie,
Folks, on Saturday, 29. December 2012, Danielle was baptized! And on the 30th, she was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! She was just beaming. She was so happy. There are no words to describe the spirit and joy we have felt this weekend.
Christmas was great, too. We spent Christmas Eve with Sister Gomes, a Brazillian in our ward. We had also the elders dabei, the Arthurs (a couple in our ward), and Wanni. We were just a band of misfits, but it was a lot of fun! We learned about Brazillian traditions, which was very cool. Sister Gomes also gave all of us gifts for Christmas. We sisters got hats, the elders got ties, the Arthurs got scarves, and Wanni got a little Christmas ornament that said, ''I love you.'' It was Wanni's first Christmas, so that was neat, too. And, that night, an angel walked us home. At first we thought I had met the third of the three Nephites, but then we realized the more likely explanation was a ministering angel. I am, therefore, still on the hunt for the third of the three Nephites.
Christmas day, we went running, and then opened presents. We went to Mary Ann (a Filipino member of our ward)'s house that night (with the elders again), skyped, and had Raclette. It was so great to see you guys:] By the way, in answer to your question, I thought of another river I have seen. I have not only seen the Donau, but I have also seen the Isar. Also, I think I misunderstood the question on Tuesday when you asked where I am. We live in Vienna, and we work in Vienna. Our area, since we are the international ward, is the boundaries of the Vienna stake - about half of Austria. Although we have to try to leave our area, we usually stay in Vienna. If an English-speaking individual lives outside of Vienna, the missionaries in that area take care of him\her as their ward is much easier to get to. Hopefully that answers your question better. :]
Wednesday, we went caroling as a district to Stephansdom. We caroled our hearts out for 3 hours and learned a lot about how to improve next time. We also took a district picture, which turned into a blessing in disguise. Sister Jovero called us and said she had made too much dinner and wanted to give us some. We had an appointment at the church that night and wouldn't have time to eat. We met her and were very grateful for this tender mercy. We went to the church and ate our food while we waited for 7:00 to come, when Bobby was supposed to show up. When we finished eating, we decided to get phone calls done. While we were in the midst of this endeavor, we received a call from Pres. Miles. A sister in München was being sent home, and her companion needed a companion. Sister Leben was to be on a train by 1:00 the next day. We called Bobby again, who said he couldn't come, left the rest of the dinner for the elders (there was a lot left over), and went home to start packing. Sister Leben boarded the train the next morning at 12:30, and we were very glad to have the caroling picture, otherwise, we wouldn't have had a district picture! And that would have just been sad. Unfortunately, the picture was taken with Sister Leben's camera, so we will have to figure out ways to get copies, but at least the picture exists.
On Friday, the Wien 5 elders, the Wien 4 elders, and we cleaned the church in preparation for Danielle's baptism. I got to wear bare feet and clean the font with Elders Christensen and Johnson. It was so much fun!! And, my housekeeping skills came in handy when the vacuum cleaner clogged. I knew exactly what to do to take the vacuum cleaner apart and solve the problem. The others were impressed:]
And, on Saturday, Danielle was baptized. She was so excited and had this smile that she couldn't hold in. Sister Stewart and I stood on the side of the font as Bishop Jovero baptized her. We gave her huge hugs as she came out, and she was almost crying. We had everyone write their testimonies for her while she changed, and we have put them together in a book for her. That was such a neat day.
On Friday morning, we received our transfer calls. I am staying in Wien for the next 6 weeks, but Sister Stewart is going to Göppingen, a town outside of Stuttgart. I will have Sister Schulze as my companion. She is my great-grandma (my trainer's trainer's trainer). She is from northern Germany and has the most beautiful German I have ever heard (I met her briefly at Sister's Conference). And, Sister Stewart's companion is not done being trained, so I get a step-sister! Woot!
That's all for this week. I hope you all have wonderful New Year's festivities.
Ich liebe euch!
Sister Stephanie Reid

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