Monday, January 28, 2013

Liebe Familie,
This week was so crazy busy, but it was awesome! The biggest piece of news is, of course, that Wanni got baptized on Saturday!! Getting there was an adventure and a half, but it was such an amazing day!
To start, we had FHE with Binod, Nita, Sarita, and Om on Monday night. I love FHE with them. Sarita taught the lesson, and it was so neat to see how excited she got! She bore such powerful testimony of the importance of tithing. And we were sitting right there to help her out. That has been one of the many blessings we have seen of teaching Binod and Nita. Sarita and Om have been to church so much this past little bit. They are remembering why they first loved the gospel, and are embracing it with open arms once more. Sarita's excitment is so wonderful:] After the lesson, we played UNO with them. I love playing UNO with them, too! For example, Sarita stood and directed traffic, while Om had no clue what was going on (he would put in the wrong card almost every turn, hoping no one would notice. He was laughing the whole time:]), and everyone is trying to juggle the baby. It is just the funniest thing to watch. Sister Schulze had never played UNO with them before, and she was just dying, watching the show unfold.
The rest of the week was just crazy, though. Wanni wanted to get baptized in the building of Wien 3, which really complicated things more than it should have. The problem was there were two other baptisms in that building the same day, and we were struggling coordinating the water and guests. But, as was pointed out, these are the sorts of problems we want to have on our missions: too many people are getting baptized on the same day:]
Wednesday, we had district meeting in Wiener Neustadt. So we had to travel out there, then hurry back to Wien so we could meet with the Relief Society President before hurrying off to our appointment with Binod and Nita. But, we discussed ideas for visiting teachers for Wanni, which was really good. Wanni was so excited when she learned about this program. She thought it was great that everyone is visiting everyone every month. She nodded her head and told us that was definitely a good idea. I'm glad she thinks so! :]
Again, having Sarita living with Binod and Nita is a blessing. That night, we discussed their baptismal program. Binod, not entirely sure what was needed, started to ask what certain things on the list meant. Sarita just grabbed the list and took charge of getting the assignments made. It was the best when she said, ''Two Witnesses... Me and Om!! That was easy!'' Then she saw our faces and said, ''Wait, can we do that?'' We laughed and explained that they have to be Priests. She looked so disappointed that she couldn't be a witness, as she would be really good at that job, and said she would figure out someone else. And Sarita really did take care of everything. We called her this morning to see how things were going, and she reported that she had everything figured out except the musical number. We suggested Csaba (his major is the clarinet), and she said she would call him right away. That was a nice contrast to what happened last week concerning passing the buck...
Friday, I got sick. But it was good because Sister Schulze was on the phone all morning trying to figure everything out with the building for the next day while I slept. That afternoon\evening, I was able to spell her off and finish getting things figured out. The problem was, there was a chain of about four people calling each other trying to coordinate the building, as opposed to people just calling the people with whom they needed to speak. So finally around 7:00 that night, we got to the root of the problem, and were able to make the necessary phone calls to ensure Wanni could still get baptized the next day. It got so frustrating that at one point, both Sister Schulze and Elder Johnson said, ''Why don't we just baptize her in the Donau?'' So, all week long, we were running (well, riding public transportation) around, meeting\speaking with everyone and their grandma, trying to get the whole thing scheduled. But, everything got cleared up, and Wanni got baptized in a warm font the next day!
Wanni's baptism was really great. To say the least. For starters, she sent her dad a copy of the program a couple of days before the baptism to tell him that it was actually going to happen. He told her, 'Congratulations!!' Wanni was so floored that her dad had had such a huge change of heart. She still can't believe it. But, as we remind her, and she knows it, her Heavenly Father really loves her. She doesn't understand why or how He loves her so much, but she knows that He does.
We had a great turn-out, although it wasn't in our building, and there was a confusion concerning the time. I played the musical number at Wanni's baptism, ''I Am a Child of God.'' Although it wasn't the best I had ever played, Wanni was crying (and she said it was because she liked it so much, for the record).
After she came up out of the water, she looked up for the nod of approval, and then said, ''I did it!!'' It was about the cutest thing ever.
Her confirmation the next day was incredible, too. She was told that she has the gift of recognizing truth. How cool is that? And, the best part was when she was told, ''Don't worry about your family. Their hearts will be softened, and the will turn to Jesus Christ as they see your example.'' I kept waiting for the ''as long as you...'' or something like that, but it never came!! That was definitely the coolest promise ever!
Wanni is so wonderful and so happy. Being a part of her conversion process has been truly incredible! I told her that you guys pray for her (you said that you pray for the people I teach, and I thank you for that), and she said to tell you thank you very much. She knows that she would not have gotten baptized had it not been for all of the prayers in her behalf.
This next week will be ba great one, too! I am so so glad to be here serving my mission! This is an incredible work of which to be a part!
Alles Liebe!
Sister Stephanie Reid

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