Monday, March 25, 2013

Liebe Familie,
This week was crazy busy, and then just downright crazy.
On Monday, we drove to Hallstatt. It is this gorgeous place with a lake. The mountains tour up out of the water, and there is a small castle (which I actually think is someone's home, not a castle) there. It was so gorgeous, and a lovely P. Day:]
Then, Sister Armstrong and I had to visit everyone and their grandmas this week, as she was leaving. So, that was just crazy trying to get everyone visited. We also had to go to Salzburg a couple of different times, so that ate up a big chunk of time. But Zone Training was excellent (as usual), so it was still good. Also, that gave us the opportunity to watch Sister Armstrong eat her first Döner. I don't know how she had finished her entire training and as about to go to her second area without a Döner, but we fixed the problem. President said this particular place has the best Döner in the mission (he must have eaten a lot of Döners to come to that conclusion), and I must agree it was pretty darn good. 
Thursday, we got up, did personal study, then got on a train to Salzburg so we could get on a train to Munich. There were so many of my old friends on the train, so it was so fun to be able to see them all again! Then e got to Munich. I saw even more old friends, and I met my little Golden. She is 19 (and the first from the group that is affected by the age change) and comes from Brigham City, Utah. Her name is Sister Smith. She is very sweet, and has a very easy-going personality, but she still knows how to work hard. It is wonderful:]
Friday we just planned all day, and we had our first Skype lesson that night! Anita and Bobi were pretty excited to talk to our 'collegues' in Romania, but the connection was really bad, and they said our German is better than their Romanian was, so it was easier to communicate with us. They do speak good German, so that wasn't our concern. We actually wanted it because of their son and daughter-in-law, so hopefully we can get them to do it with us sometime. Anyway, Anita got the contact information for the missionaries in her area in Romania so she can meet with them when they go on vacation for the next 10 days. Anita also told us she is planning on taking the Restoration DVD, the Plan of Salvation pamphlet, and her Book of Mormon so she can help her friends in Romania recognize the truth. She is such a good little member missionary, and she isn't even a member yet! She told us last night that she has already gotten her answer, and that she knows this is the true church. However, it isn't wise for her to get baptized without Bobi. She is right. So we really need to focus on Bobi and helping him realize that this is the true church. But we are so excited for Anita! And her friends in Romania!
Saturday, we were supposed to have a training meeting for the trainers and their Goldens in Salzburg. Sister Smith and I took the train to Salzburg. Then we waited by the bus stop for the bus to take us to the church. After about 20 minutes, we realized that particular bus did not drive on Saturdays. We then realized we had forgotten our Handy in Neumarkt, and we had no way of getting a hold of anyone to ask them what other bus we could take. I had the idea to walk to the Storrer's house, and ask them for a ride. They live about a five minute walk from Bahnhof. We did. They were not home. We then walked back to Bahnhof to find a place with a phone we could use (no one here lets you borrow their Handy, ps). We found a place, and I racked my brain for what numbers I had memorized. Luckily, I had Linz's number memorized, and they happened to be at this meeting, too. So I called them. Elder Stapleton told me which bus to take, and how to get to that bus stop from where we were, as it was a bit of a walk. We got about a couple blocks away, and then had troubles finding exactly where we were supposed to go from there. So we had to ask another woman for directions. She was very nice, and pulled up a map on her Handy to make sure that we could even see where we were supposed to go. We thanked her, and headed over there. Then I remembered I had forgotten to ask what the name of the stop was (I knew what it looked like, but I needed to know the name to know which direction we should go). So, we guessed a direction and got on that bus. It was night right. But, luckily, as I was paying for our ticket, the bus driver helped me realize that what I was looking for was more than likely in the other direction. So, we got off at the next stop, and waited for the bus going in the other direction. The bus ride takes about half an hour (the church is just outside of Salzburg, and we were just outside on the other end at this point). By the time we got there, we were an hour and 45 minutes late. So they rescheduled the meeting as they hadn't started yet as they were waiting for us. We felt so bad, but no one (except for one sister) was mad. They were just glad that we were safe. Anyway, it was an interesting adventure, and we are laughing about it now. And all things considered, we did pretty well with what we had and coming up with new ideas for how to get there. Not at any point did we say, 'Let's just head back home. We will never get there today.' So, that was good, too. Anyway, now we have to go to Wels this week. But that's okay. :]
Anita finally came to church, and she LOVED it!! When we got to their house last night, Anita was teaching Bobi and Nicoletta (one of their friends that we will start teaching now) about the sacrament and about how wonderful church was. She was so impressed with the speakers, the Sunday School class, and everything that she saw and felt. It's so fun to see how much she wants to share the gospel with everyone:]
Well, that is pretty much everything for now! Bis nächste Woche!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Liebe Familie,
We had a few wonderful wonderful things happen this week!
Monday we hiked this incredible mountain just outside of Salzburg. It was kind of foggy, but we decided that since we had already ridden the bus all the way out there, we would just go up and see what happened. We rode a cable car to the top-ish. We could not see more than about 5 meters in front of our faces. But, we started hiking around, determined to play in the snow if nothing else. We slid down some hills, then noticed that if we got to the top of some of the hills, the fog might be less thick. So we hiked to the top of a hill, and the view was incredible! We could see across the whole valley! And the mountains were poking out of the snow. It was so gorgeous! I would send the pictures, but I forgot my camera cord today, so y'all will have to wait. But it was totally worth the €14 we paid to get up there. 
The next day, we were back in Salzburg for a finding day. We were sent to the river to find people. We gave away 5 Book of Mormons, and only had one left. So we decided head back to the Storrer's apartment to reload. They only live a few blocks from the river, but we could not find their apartment for the life of us! But it was okay, because we met two really cool people who wanted copies of the Book of Mormon in their mother languages. We got their contact information and told them we would have the elders contact them. One of them was probably about 24 and from Iran. He was so cool! He told us that he really wanted this book because someday he will get married and have kids. And his kids will ask him about Jesus Christ. He will need to know what to tell them. Since the Book of Mormon speaks so much of Jesus Christ, he thought that would really help. He also aksed if we had a church he could visit. We told him we did. He said he couldn't come this weekend (which was good because it was stake conference anyway), but he was stoked to come this coming weekend! After we found him, we walked right to the Storrers'! We grabbed a few more, then headed back out. We helped an old woman from Hungary carry her groceries home. She was 86 years old. She was so cool and so sweet, and she gave us chocolate to thank us:] We gave out one more Book of Mormon and met a girl from Mongolia who wanted a Book of Mormon in Mongolian before we had to head back to Neumarkt. It was a very cool day!
We are still working on contacting all of the people in our Area Book. On Wednesday, we met a guy named Dragon and his wife Gordana. They were very cool, and didn't know why the elders stopped visiting them. So, we were pretty excited to find them!
Bobi and Anita are exploding with progress! First of all, they FINALLY came to church!!! They both really liked it! They talked about member missionary work, and Bobi was concerned afterwards because he thought that every member was expected to do what I am doing right now. The member that picked them up explained to them about his mission and how wonderful it was, and then he explained member missionary work. Bobi was fine with that. And Anita told us last night that if she gets baptized, she would like her two youngest sons (her oldest son is already married) to serve missions!! Also, their oldest son and his wife are often there when we are visiting Bobi and Anita. Christina really feels the spirit. Although she doesn't understand very much German, she often sits in on the lessons. Her husband, Daniel, never joins us. But last night, we watched The Restoration in Romanian, and they both joined us. They both had a TON of questions afterwards! We asked if they would be there when we come back so we can explain the Plan of Salvation. They both agreed! Also, our mission president spoke with the Romanian mission president about how so many of us are trying to teach Romanians who don't speak much German. He said that we could set up Skype lessons once a week with his APs!!! So, Sister Armstrong called Romania this morning (she was pretty excited about that) so we can hopefully get that set up for tomorrow night, as that is the hardest lesson to teach when there is a language barrier. We are so so so excited for them!!! Sister Armstrong and I think that Raul (the child of Christina and Daniel) will be a prophet someday.
And, finally, news from Friday morning. This transfer has already come to an end. Friday morning, we received a phone call from President Miles. He informed us that Sister Armstrong will be transferred to Munich, and I will be training here in Neumarkt! I am so excited to train! We will have a lot of fun:] And this area is at such an exciting stage right now! It is the perfect time for someone new to come! 
Well, I think that is all for this week. I hope everything goes well for y'all, and we will meld next week!
Sister Stephanie Reid

Monday, March 11, 2013

Liebe Familie,
This week was pretty great! 
We did an Austausch this week. I went to Wels with Sister Bice. When we first got there, we had dinner with a woman who is in her 70s and got baptized about four years ago. Apparently every third meal is questionable, so I either got meal one or two. She is very funny and loves to talk. She gave me a packet of soup and a jar of jam she canned (They were not one and the same: no worries), as she wanted to make sure I had stuff to eat in Neumarkt. She has so many stories, and I was so grateful I was not the missionary trying to teach her. Although it was a pleasant meal, it would have taken forever to get through any lessons:] But she was very sweet, and I am so glad I got to meet her! Wels got whitewashed my first transfer in Wien, and they are still struggling trying to find people to teach. Sister Bice and I went finding all Wednesday afternoon. We went by on formers and talked to people on the street. The bikes in Wels are broken, so we had to walk all over Wels. It was nice to be able to walk again! However, Wels smells very odd - there is a Vereinigten Fett factory in town.  Anyway, we found a really sweet girl from Albania while dooring a building. We got buzzed in by a random person (whose door we never could find. Then Sister Bice and I decided to door the building. We both walked to the same door and tried. It happened to be the only door we did knock on, but it was definitely a winner! She is in her 20s. She is Muslim, but if she is not planning on going back to a Muslim country, we can still teach her. She accepted the German Book of Mormon, so hopefully she starts progressing! 
The next day, we were supposed to tausch back after lunch, but the sisters coming from Neumarkt's train got delayed by 45 minutes. The Wels sisters had an appointment in Efferding at 2:00, and they had to catch the bus out there before the tausch could occur. So, I got to go to Efferding. I am very glad there were train problems. Efferding was such a cute little dorf! And the woman we visisted was incredible! It was a lesson zero, but she is so ready for the gospel. She was living with her less-active boyfriend until a little bit ago when he decided he wanted to start keeping the commandments again. Then she started thinking about the church and how serious it must be if he was willing to give up all that other stuff to be a part of it again. They are still good friends, and he took the kids on a walk while we visited. She had already started reading in the Book of Mormon and had a lot of questions (mostly about the Plan of Salvation (and reincarnation) and the Holy Ghost). Also, she thought I was a native German! So, I really liked her for that, too:]
Meanwhile, in Neumarkt,.Sister Judd and Sister Armstrong met with Anita. She is going to Romania the last week of this month to pick up the paperwork necessary so that she and Bobi can get married so that they can be baptized!!!! Last night, we enjoyed Romanian food (although it looked odd, it actually tasted really good!) with them, and Bobi told us that Anita wants to be baptized, but he still isn't 100% sure. Anita is so receptive to the spirit, but Bobi needs to experiment more before he recognizes the spirit. However, they are really excited about Pfahlkonferenz this weekend! We are so so excited for them and all of the progress they are making!
On Saturday, we had a mission-wide dejunking day. I could not believe how much weird stuff was in our apartment and basement (yes, our apartment has a basement!). But it was good. And for Frühsport this morning we organized the Liahonas, as that was the last thing to do. We have already made our first trip of taking stuff to recycling. We will have to make another trip of just garbage, and one more for Goodwill. But, it is really nice to have the aparment organized!
That is all for now! Remember, if you are doing the best you can where you are, that is what the Lord asks of you. Lift where you stand. 
Alles Liebe!
Sister Stephanie Reid

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Liebe Familie,
This week was another great one:]
Last Monday, we were in Salzburg. We (the other elders in our district, Sister Armstrong, and I) did the tour of downtown Salzburg and saw the building where Mozart was born. That was pretty darn exciting. We stood and stared for a few minutes before moving on. Then we saw the cathedral. That was very cool. Apparently it has been destroyed four times (the last times was when the Americans (oops...) dropped a bomb on it a week before WWII ended). But every time, they have built it right back up. Then we took a hike up the mountain, and checked out the fortress. That was also very cool. We got some great views of the city, and learned a lot about the history of the area. 
We found a lot more cool people through our area book this week, too. We met with a 13 year old boy named Stefan. He lives across the street from the church and loved coming to activities at the church. He was very cool, and we are excited to help him progress. He doesn't like reading, but Sister Armstrong and I have a plan. So don't you worry:]
Thursday, we made calls all day. One of the calls was quite crazy. It actually took place on Wednesday night, but still. Anyway, I called this woman who had met with missionaries about ten years ago. I told her that we had seen that she had met with missionaries earlier, and we were wondering if she had any interest to meet with us. She said that we didn't know each other. I reminded her that we could. That didn't sound appealing to her. She then asked how I got her number. I tried to explain that we keep records of people we meet with so when the new missionaries come, we know with whom we can meet. Either she didn't understand, or she wasn't having any of it. The next thing she asked was if I knew the elders with whom she had met (I was especially impressed because she named them). I said that I knew who they were, and she said, "No. You don't know them. You don't know anything. What is your name?" "Sister Reid," I told her. "I see. And where are you from?" I had a fear that she was tracking me down so she would know where to send her sniper team. I told her Utah, and she asked which city. I told her Salt Lake City. She again told me she didn't believe me. I wasn't lying; I was born there. I am technically from there. As I endured her crazy trivia questions and "I don't believe you" after every answer I gave, just kept thinking, "Just endure this conversation, let her drop you, and it will be okay." She also asked if I knew a David Zechmann. I noticed that he had been the joint teach a couple of times. Also, there are a lot of Davids in our ward. So I didn't know that he wasn't one of them. I told her I did - that he was a member in our ward. She said, "And what country is he in? Tell me. Tell it to me. What country is David in?" I told her Austria. And she again told me I was stupid and didn't know anything. But then a few minutes later, she said she wanted to meet with us. So we have a meeting with her for this week. It was a 20 minute conversation, ps. After the conversation, I told Sister Armstrong all about it (who was busting a gut the whole time, ps). She told me that David had moved to Dubai. We wrote that on the record for future missionaries. But then guess what. Yesterday, in church, guess who gave the closing prayer. That is right. He is back in Austria. So, I have decided to bring him with us to this appointment. 
Thursday night, we had a member come with us to Bobi and Anita's. It was an INCREDIBLE appointment! Our joint teach started talking about church, and how the schedule goes. Anita said there was a church they visited in Romania that was like that. She said, "I can't remember the exact name of the church. But it said 'Jesus Christ' in big letters on the side of the builing. It was in Temisora (the town that we told them a few weeks ago had the closest church to their home there). We really liked it there. But what was the name of the church? Yeah, the Church of Jesus Christ. I think that was it." We asked, "The Church of Jesus Christ... of Latter-day Saints?" "That could have been it. I really don't remember." I grabbed her Romanian Book of Mormon from off the table, turned it over, and pointed to the name of the church. "Was that it?" I asked. "YES!! That was it! Wow! How did you know?" We tried to explain that that was the name of our church! She and Bobi both said that they thought we were the Mormons. We laughed a little as we told them that was a nickname, not the official name. Then they told us that Anita has an aunt who was a member, Bobi has a cousin who is a member. And they LOVED that branch in Romania. Now they are even more excited to get baptized!! Then Bobi said, "I wonder where that nickname came from... Mormons..." We suggested that it could have come from the Book of Mormon. And Bobi thought that sounded like a good idea.
We also had dinner with them last night. They heard that I worked at Taco Amigo for three years, and they told us they had never had Mexican food. They bought the ingredients, and we came over and cooked for them. Next week we will experience Romanian food with them:]
Bis nächste Woche!!
Sister Stephanie Reid