Monday, April 1, 2013

Liebe Familie,
This week was so wonderful:] It had its own challenges, as it was a Feiertag, and the Austrians take their holidays very seriously. We would call people to meet with them, and everybody would say, ''Sounds great, but I am on vacation right now. Call me back next week.'' Or ''Everybody else is on vacation right now, so I have to work a lot of extra shifts. I honestly do not have the time this week to meet. Call me back next week.'' By Wednesday, we realized that our calling people was just wasting our and everybody else's time. But, we still had a lot of cool things happen this week.
Monday was cool because we saw some of the Sound of Music sights. They would probably be a lot cooler-looking if the plants weren't all dead, but then again, the gardens have their own kind of beauty in the winter. We also went into the Cathedral again, and the man at the front said that Mozart was baptized in that Taufbecken. We were pretty impressed. Also, we were impressed that they knew that. We may not know where he is buried, but the people around here sure do know where he was baptized. Anyway, it was a lovely, but cold day.
Tuesday, we had district meeting. It was a very lovely one. Elder Pope, our new district leader, asked Sister Smith and me to talk about how we can apply our purpose as missionaries into our daily work. I thought about the part on page 11 of Preach My Gospel where it says that our success is measured by our diligence. We talked about diligence during our little blurb, and it was very cool. I had found a scripture the day before in my personal study that I really liked. It is in D&C 128:22. It says, ''Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.'' This verse just got me all fired up to do missionary work. This work will is a great cause, and we absolutely should go forward in the work, no matter how discouraged we sometimes may get. It takes courage, but as we have courage, we will attain that victory. You have to allow yourself to be happy; no one can make you. But as you do, the earth sings with you. And we are here because we need to free people from the prisons that are keeping them from eternal life. Anyway, you may not find it as lovely as I did, but I quite enjoyed the discovery of this verse.:]  
We went to Wels again this week so that I could be trained on how to train. That was another excellent meeting, and one I definitely needed. 
While Bobi and Anita are in Romania, Anita has a friend from just outside of Graz who is babysitting Frau Maschka. This friend is also from Romania, but speaks very good German. We gave her a Book of Mormon on Sunday, and we came over Thursday night to see how much interest she actually had in the gospel, or if she just wanted visitors. Nicolette is so cool. And so sweet. She is probably one of the nicest people I have ever met. We really enjoyed getting to know her. We are also super sad that we probably won't get to keep her, since she doesn't exactly live in our area. But we can totally go to the baptism, which we will do. 
Bobi and Anita also asked us to visit Christina and Daniel (their son and daughter-in-law) also this week. The don't speak super good German (until Saturday night, we honestly thought the only German they could do was hey, how are you, please come in, usw), but Bobi said, ''At least read a chapter in the Book of Mormon with them. You need to visit them.'' So, we planned that on Saturday night, we would at least give Daniel a Book of Mormon (we had given Christina one a few weeks prior), and see if we could communicate enough so they would understand we wanted to read, and when not, at least Daniel had a Book of Mormon. We klingeled their home, and Christina answered the door. She was so physically excited to see us, and she just kept saying, ''Please come in, please come in!!'' So, we did. She motioned that she wanted us to sit at the dinner table, and then she served us a pasta dish. It wasn't the tastiest thing I have ever eaten, but beggers can't be choosers. Anyway, we gave Daniel the Book of Mormon, and he thanked us graciously. Halfway through my plate of pasta, Daniel had pulled up Google Translate on his laptop, and was trying to read what the German phrase for, ''Could you come back tomorrow'' was. I said that was fine, but I asked what time. He laughed a little as he tried to think of how to explain it. So I drew a picture of a clock on a piece of paper, and asked him to point to which time we should come over. He pointed between a few times, and I kept trying to repeat back what he asking to make sure I understood. He then got on Google translate again and was trying to tell me to come back an hour earlier tomorrow. But he was spelling a word wrong in Romanian, so it wasn't translating properly. On the translation side, it said, ''One hour sooner. Summer-time.'' I tried not to laugh, but I finally understood. I also wondered what he had misspelled that that was how Google felt the sentence should be translated! Anyway, I agreed then went back to finish my pasta. After that, I started to pack up, but Christina, grabbed her Book of Mormon and motioned that we should come into the living room. So we did, and they flipped through their Book of Mormons, for a little bit, looking at us. I figured they were trying to ask us which chapter we should read. I quickly thought through some chapters, but I decided on 2 Nephi 31. We went around the circle, each reading a verse. They really liked it. Then through Google Translate, we had a conversation about the story of the Book of Mormon. I would flip through the pictures, and write about what was going on. They understood a lot more when I would speak than I thought, but we were still so grateful for the translator. I also explained how the Restoration film fit into that story, and then they really got excited. He also told us about his religious background all on his own (we didn't even have to ask). 
The next day was Easter, and well, it snowed. But Easter was lovely, nevertheless. A member family in our ward invitied us over for lunch spontan, and it was a great feast. We studied a little in the afternoon, and then we went back over to Christina and Daniel's home. Daniel told us about his work, and what they had done that day. Then we asked him if we could get on skype to talk to the elders in Romania. He readily agreed, and the elders taught them a little about the Plan of Salvation. The microphone was really bad, so they had a hard time understanding, but it was still great. I just keep asking myself how we would teach them without modern-day technology. I really am grateful to be a missionary right now, especially in this day and age.
I hope you have a great spring break! Tune in next week for more lovely stories from this part of the field:]
Sister Stephanie Reid

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