Golden in Graz!

One of the coolest and yet most surprising things to me about my
mission is how many different cultures we have here. We’ve got loads
of Africans, Romanians, Hungarians, Egyptians, among many other
nationalities. With this, we have a lot of varied languages. You will
hear lots of tribal languages from Africa, Romanian, French, Italian,
German of course, Arabic, and English being spoken anywhere. That is a
challenge and a blessing!

One of he coolest experiences we had this week was meeting with a
family of investigators from Africa who speak French. They understand
German, but mostly speak French.

Luckily, I had just picked up my new missionary, my golden, Sister
Grossen. She is from Gilbert, Arizona, but spent much of her childhood
in Japan. She has since learned a total of 7 languages. None of these
is German, but one of them, is French! So, after the three hour church
block of solid German, we went to teach this family.

We were teaching them the Plan of Salvation, or plan of happiness, and
they seemed to understand, but I had a weird feeling and felt to check
to make sure they knew we were there to help them learn and act upon
our message by building up faith in Christ, repenting and being
baptized ( as the first three steps toward a lifelong decision to
follow Christ). So I did and they said they only believed that Christ
was a prophet and hey we’re not interested in changing their minds. We
respect that, but we couldn’t leave without bearing our testimonies.
So I told them hat I knew the Book of Mormon was the word of God and
that through it and through Christ we could return to live with God
and find true peace in this life and forever after.

My companion heard the wife as she in French also bore her testimony
that she believes in the Book of Mormom and was thinking of changing
her life to follow Christ, but ultimately would stick with the family
religion. He then also testified that he loved the Book of Mormon
after reading the whole thing in 2 days and knew it was the truth. He
said that we were doing the best work ever done and that we could come
back anytime, but that he would like to not go to our church or join
it. It was incredible to hear such a strong testimony of the book and
to be there to support it, even if he wasn’t quite ready to be more
involved with this church.

We were able to use our diverse talents to connect with this family
and share a strengthening truth with them. It was just another amazing
moment in the mission field!

Earlier in the week I had to say goodby, as did the ward here, to
sister Gardner. She was a lovely companion and stellar missionary!
Before she left, we visited a member who lives not too far from us. Is
member served in salt lake temple square. Her insights wee incredible
and she told about the missionary work she did then as well as the
work she is doing now. She had the opportunity to give a Book of
Mormon to someone in the workplace and she told us all about her
wonderful experience. This lady wants now to visit e church sometime.
I was so glad to see that her missionary spirit had only grown over
the years and that she was an amazing example to us of bringing all
our siblings to the truth.

I love being a missionary and I do it because I know God gave me
everything I have and I want to serve Him back, because I love all of
my heavenly siblings and want to bring them back home with me, because
I know that through this gospel we can have a fullness of joy now and
forever and because I put this religion to the test. It never fails
me. I love it!

I wish you all the best of weeks and look forward to learning ,ore new
things alongside sister Grossen!

Alles Gute!

Sister Smith