Monday, January 7, 2013

Liebe Familie,
This week was so crazy, but so wonderful!!
On Monday, we celebrated Sylvester by Liz and Csaba, and the Family Perez. Csaba is a music student (his instrument is the clarinet), and Liz is his wife. Csaba comes from Hungary, and Liz comes from Serbia (or another country that starts with an S; I always get them all mixed up (the countries, not Liz and Csaba)).  They were married in December 2011, and they are about the funniest couple I have ever seen. Csaba is a really good cook, too. The elders and us were invited for lunch. We just talked all afternoon. At the end, Elder Johnson asked Csaba to play us a song. He said he would if I accompanied him. So, I played a song out of my new piano book, and he played along. Csaba thinks I'm really good at the piano, so that's nice:] Then, we (the elders and us) went to the Perez family's house. They live outside of Wien, but the fireworks were still impressive. We played games with their kids (who are our age), and at midnight we did fireworks. The fireworks here are insane!! Danielle said around her house (she lives in the center of town), it sounded like a warzone. Elder Escher was a little disappointed with the fireworks we saw, but Sister Stewart, Elder Johnson, and I were quite impressed. We then melted lead and dropped it in water (I also think this tradition is illegal in America). Then, you interpret what shape it is, and this predicts how your year will be. I got a monkey. But the monkey said, ''Don't trust liars.'' I will be sure not to do that this year.
We returned home a little before 3 am (Brother Perez drove us home as we were not allowed on public that night). Our mission president still wanted us getting 8 hours of sleep, so we were able to sleep until 11! That was weird, but lovely! 
Binod and Nita fed us momo to say good-bye to Sister Stewart. Binod is really good at making momo. That guy is full of random talents. Anyway, they are both doing really well, and are as excited as ever to keep learning about the gospel in preparation for their baptisms!
We gave Danielle her binder with the testimonies, and she loved it. She called it her ''happy book.'' She also gave us thank you cards and Victoria's Secret body spray to thank us for teaching her. She is so happy and so excited about her baptism. She really does know she made the right choice, and that her Heavenly Father is watching out for her. She is also excited to visit the DC temple for baptisms when she moves home in a couple of weeks. And she asked Sister Stewart and me to be there when she receives her endowments in a year. She is just so excited! It's neat to be around her.
Thursday, Sister Stewart got on a train to Göppingen, and Elder and Sister Strong became my companions. Sister Strong is new to Vienna, so she asked me to show her where the malls in town were, as she had had trouble finding them. So, we went shopping. She doesn't really like shopping, but she seemed to have a good time. And let's face it; she was with me - how could she not?
I got to see Sister Holmstead and her golden before we picked up Sister Schulze, so that was great, too! I absolutely love Sister Holmstead with all my heart. 
Sister Schulze it wonderful, too. She comes from a town outside of Dresden, and has the most beautiful German I have ever heard. She patiently helps me with my German (which she speaks all the time - I really appreciate that!). And she asks for help with her English! It's great that we're both learning together. That's been fun for both of us so far:]
Wanni is really progressing. We found the Gospel Library in Chinese for her on her phone, and she has loved that. She also got really excited when we taught her about fast offerings, and wanted to donate right away. She is so cute and so wonderful. She is so excited about her baptism and prays everyday for her dad (as do we). We are trying to have her ask her dad to help her with family history. If he sees how important family is to the church, perhaps he will be more supportive. He has a huge book at home that he has put together of his family history, so it is probably important to him. Wanni will get baptized someday. We just need her dad to be understanding. But she is so ready to go. 
Wellp, that is all for this week! 
Be safe and make good choices!
Sister Stephanie Reid

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