Saturday, May 11, 2013

Liebe Familie,
On Monday, we met with Eva for the first time in a month. That was the next time she had available at the end of our last lesson with her. We took the appointment, confused at how she had no free hour for a month. She had asked about signs of the times last time. We answered her first few questions before we asked if we could talk more about it next time. During personal study that morning, I studied the chapter from the Gospel Principles manual. We decided to use it to help teach her. We were going to swing by the church on our way to her house and make a copy of the chapter so she could also study it on her own time. We could not figure it out at the time, but we could not get out of our house on time for the life of us. We only had enough time to grab an extra one from the church. It turned out to be the best thing! We came to her home, and she invited us in. She gave us strawberries and water, made herself some coffee, and sat down at the table. She asked how we had been, then we started with a prayer. After the prayer, she told us she had had a question last time, but she could not remember what it was. I reminded her, and she said that wasn't it. Then she thought for a few moments, reworded it, and said, ''That was my question!'' I said that was exactly right, and I pulled out the Gospel Principles manual to start answering her question. Our original intention was to have her read two paragraphs to introduce the topic. Then we would discuss a couple of the signs. She read the first two paragraphs, then said, ''This is so interesting! May I read further?'' We said, ''Of course!'' and she read the next page before she said, ''May I borrow this book so I can study it on my own time?'' We told her she could keep the book. She started flipping through and was so excited as she said, ''I can really keep it?!'' We told her we have a ton more at home, and she really could keep it. She was so grateful. Then she started asking questions about what happens to people who die without getting baptized. We had the opportunity to explain baptisms for the dead, and once we had it all cleared up what that entailed, she thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then she said, ''When the sisters used to come, they would do service for me. And I have these windows that need to be cleaned. You don't have to if you don't want to, but, I really could use some help cleaning these windows because my kids won't help...'' Although we thought that was the weirdest way to ask for help, we told her we would love to help her clean her windows. So we got to see her again the next morning! She told us she had already read the whole chapter and some other stuff, too. She LOVED it! She asked who Alma was, and we told her he was a prophet in the Book of Mormon. She said, ''Okay, that makes sense. I will have to read those scriptures, too, then,'' whereas before she had the attitude of, ''I still have my Book of Mormon from when the sisters were here before, but, ya know...'' But now...! Before we left, she also told us what her schedule was like for the week. She SUDDENLY has all of this time to meet with us! Last night, I talked to her to set up a fest appointment for this week, and she told me she has read even more in that manual, and she just loves it. She told me she understands it because it is written so clearly, and she loves reading in it. Who would have thought that all of that would come from a Gospel Principles manual of all things? The Lord works in mysterious ways, and everybody is so different. It is so important to listen to the spirit and let Him guide you. I would never have guessed that that is what she needed to get excited about the gospel! But that is what Eva needed. The Lord knows what's up.
Then, on Saturday night, we had another fabulous Skype lesson with Daniel and Christina. We have seriously been praying for so long for a solution to help them understand church. We are so thankful for skype and that the elders in Romania can teach them, so they can make progress at home. But, how are we supposed to do church? At some point, they need to start coming to church. The elders can't speak German, and it would be dumb anyway to try to bring the laptop to church so I can translate the sacrament meeting into English, so they can translate it into Romanian. You can see why we needed a new solution. Anyway, we have a less active in the Salzburg ward who served her mission in Romania, but we couldn't get a hold of her. And she isn't in our ward anyway. Back to Saturday night. So after the lesson, we were chatting with them (Daniel's German is getting way better, ps - we still had to use Google Translate for a few sentences, but it is much better than when I first got here), and they told us they can both speak Spanish! We have a woman in our ward who speaks great Spanish, and is so excited to translate for them! Then, I bore my testimony on Sunday about how the Lord really is in the details of our lives and how when we pray in faith, our prayers will be answered (using this story as an example), and a bunch of members came up to me afterward and said this girl had moved back into the ward. Bam! We are so going to get Daniel and Christina baptized, and this less-active girl reactivated. And until that happens, we have a woman who can translate it into Spanish for them! Missions are so cool.
And THEN, on Sunday night, we had a lesson with Bobi and Anita. We had this fabulous couple in our ward, the Grünauers, there. They are powerhouses. We taught about prayer, and Bobi finally prayed out loud at the end of the lesson! He has NEVER done that before! Plus, Schwester Grünauer committed them to have family prayer everyday! And they agreed that would be wonderful! Also, Bobi works until 12:30 every Sunday (the exact time church gets out), but Bruder Grünauer asked if Bobi could be to church if it started at like 2:30. Bobi readily accepted. Then Bruder Grünauer got a klug look on his face and said he would see what he could do. I don't know what he has up his sleeve, but there are blessings and miracles all around!
P.S. On Tuesday night, we arrived home, and saw we had missed two calls from President Miles while we were in our lesson. His voice mail said, ''Sister Reid and Sister Smith. I need you to call me back.'' We were so scared. Especially because he didn't answer when we called back. I was shaking as I was thinking of all of the reasons he would call us. We were freaking out. We hadn't done anything wrong! I mean, we aren't perfect, but no missionary is - otherwise we would get translated. We both thought that maybe he had changed his mind about not transferring me next. We started freaking out about that. We started to plan for the next day as we waited for him to call us back. I was shaking and could barely write. The phone FINALLY rang, and I answered it. I said, ''Hello, here is Sister Reid...'' He said, ''Hi, Sister Reid! Here speaks President Miles! How are you doing tonight?'' ''We're doing well, President...'' ''That is wonderful news, Sister Reid. I actually need to speak with you and Sister Smith. Can you put me on speaker phone?'' I had no clue what in the world he needed, but I summoned Sister Smith, and set the phone on the windowsill. It was no big deal. There are so many sisters who will soon be in the field (or already are here) that we will need sister zone leaders. And Sister Smith and I received the calling! We get to do Austausches with all of the sisters in our ''zone'' (there are 7 zones in the mission, but 5 sister zones - we have different borders) every transfer. We also get to go to Munich this week for Mission Leadership Council. We get to tausch with Passau, Linz, and Wels. We are way excited for this opportunity to serve. The funniest thing is how scared we were. It was obviously no big deal at all!
We also have Mission Tour in Wien this week, and we have an Austausch with Wels on Thursday. Then we are headed to Munich on Friday. It will be a crazy week, but it will be so much fun, and we are going to learn so much!
See you Sunday:]
Sister Stephanie Reid

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