Since last week, a lot has happened! We received transfer calls this week and I will be spending my last 6 weeks in Vienna with Sister Baugh. She is in her 9th transfer on her mission and I am in my last. We are both finishing training goldens right now and will be whitewashing the Vienna 3rd ward.
There are 5 wards in Vienna and there used to be only one set of sisters, but we will be replacing elders in this ward and will be the only missionaries in it! We will also be serving as sister training leaders. It will be crazy, trying to learn transportation and the ward in just six weeks, but fun and I’m sure that the Lord has much in store for me.
It will be sad to leave gorgeous Graz and the fabulous sister Grossen, but that is life and after having moved a few times on my mission, I know that everything has it’s season and that true friendships never really end!
This past week, we were able to meet with our family who come from Iraq a few times. We went to their home on Tuesday and taught them then helped them with German. However, as we were there, we learned that it would be their son’s 8th birthday on Thursday. So we rushed the next two days to put together a cake and surprised him with it on Thursday.
He asked to relight the candles three times so he could blow them out and then was so anxious to eat his piece of the cake, that he was trying to lick the knife as his dad served him his piece. So sweet!
They are also making a lot of progress as children of God! 🙂 WE visited them again on Saturday and we had a talk about baptism, because they had questions about it. We explained that it was important because when it is done correctly and with the proper authority, baptism cleanses you from all sin and prepares you to live with God again. It is a two way promise between us and God.
We promise to follow Him and His commandments for our whole lives. Seems like a hefty promise, but the blessings much outweigh the simple promise we make. The blessings are a life free of guilt and shame, immense joy, the gift of the holy ghost (which helps us know things and guides us daily) and a chance to live with God again.
As we explained this, we also had to explain that it would be dangerous for them to make such a promise and become Christians officially if they ever returned to Iraq. Therefore, they must obtain a permanent residence before being baptized. They expressed a sincere and strong desire to be baptised but were also willing to be patient and wait until it was totally safe for them. They are so amazing!
We had a few other appointments, but one of my favorite was with members on Sunday. The Sanders Family invited us over for dinner with the elders and a single adult in the ward named Mao. They fed us amazing food and took us to this GORGEOUS lookout point. It was like living the sound of music.
Although the food was good and the view was gorgeous, still the best part was being in good company. Their company and the company of the spirit. As we strive to grasp the simplicity of those good moments where we are just close to great people who we love, life becomes even more beautiful. As I have gone throughout my mission, I have really realized that the spirit helps us see the beauty in others and that the beauty of other people can really brighten our lives.
As we serve our neighbors and give of ourselves, it is our lives which become enriched. Isn’t God so clever for designing us this way? The more we serve Him, the happier we are. It’s a beautiful thing.
Some of these things that brighten our lives are miracles!
Actually, just as I was emailing, a miracle happened. Sister Grossen and I heard a knock on the door, so we went to the door and here stood a man who asked, “Is this the Mormon church?” We responded saying yes, so he proceeded to ask us if he could know anything about it. We said yes and asked for one moment to grab some materials from the church to share with him.
We ran inside, remembered that we did not have Books of Mormon in our bags, then searched the church. We quickly discovered that the library didn’t have any, so we checked the YSA room that is normally ALWAYS locked, but the door was wide open and many copies of das Buch Mormon were in the shelf. So we taught him about the Book and gave him a short overview introduction to the church.
He told us that he had a dream that he needed to learn about the Mormons. The thought couldn’t leave his mind all week, despite him not being religious normally at all, he decided he needed to follow this sign. We made out an appointment with Klaus on Wednesday and he left very excited to learn more! Thank goodness for knowing the message and for spiritual promptings!
So, this week I have learned to face trials with the biggest smile we can muster, even if that means just keeping it together, to find the beauty in everything and that as we find this beauty and strive to serve others, our lives are illuminated with the love of God and his wondrous blessings! Life is beautiful!
Have a great week!
Bis bald in Wien!