Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 28, 2015

Anyways so this week has been really crazy because Christmas, of course!! I tried to write down all of the things that happened this week so that's good. This email is only from Wednesday because the other days were in my last email.

Wednesday was good because we went caroling with the stake presidents family, which was really fun! We had bells, Santa hats and a bongo, haha. For some reason whenever we carol it led to someone giving us chocolate, which I have SO MUCH OF NOW!!! I guess that's not a bad thing but I'll probably get fat... That night we had a joint teach with the sisters to teach Markus. It was a really big lesson for them because they committed him to baptism!!! Yay!!!! Hopefully he follows through with it. He's a cool cat.

Thursday we went caroling and delivered the Vanillekipferl cookies to the people we got the ingredients from. After that we went to Gottes Dienst at the church where they sing songs and pretty much just act out the nativity. Then we went over to the Wagners! Sister Wagner is so funny!! She also makes really good food! In Österreich they celebrate Christmas on the 24th. It was really fun we went around the room and talked about our Christmas traditions. After every person we would sing a Christmas song then go to the next person. They actually got us gifts!!! I was not expecting that at all! I got a nice tie, more chocolate…haha and socks. After that we ate. Sweet mama her food is delicious! We had a cake at the end that was sooooo gooooood! Probably because it had Hazelnut in it. But then again they put hazelnut in literally everything over here! And yes of course I got the recipe. I would sent it to you guys but it's in German. If you still want it just email me. After that we went home and slept.

Fri(IT'S CHRISTMAS!)day, we opened up our presents first thing that morning! I loved everything I got! Just because it was from home, family and friends! :) After studies we went to the Erlacher's. We had a big meal with their whole family. We taught them all how to play clue! Crazy right!? None of them had ever played it! Then we went to the church to SKYPE!! :D It was so good to see my family and cousins! I could have talked to them forever. After skyping we went home.

Saturday we went to a huge meal at a different Erlacher's house. We had turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy and pretty much anything you could ever imagine! I was so full after that! Then we went home and did weekly planning which took up our day.

Sunday we showed up for church, had choir practice, and then boom President Kohler and Sister Kohler walk in! It was so random, haha! It was really good to see them. Plus that day there happened to be 14 investigators show up! President and Sister Kohler both gave their testimonies in sacrament and it was super good! President Kohler even taught our investigator class which was crazy with so many people! After church we went home and did studies.

Yup that was my week! It was really fun and probably will be one of the most rememberable times of my mission.

One of the things I learned this week was...
Progress improves when you measure it. When you set goals, measure and constantly evaluate them your progress rapidly improves.

If any of you are just working, going to school or just what ever you are doing ect... I would like to extend a challenge to you all. Set at least 1 or 2 goals to achieve by a certain time. Write it down and put it where you can see it everyday. Then work towards that goal and constantly evaluate it. If we go bye just living life we never improve. If you are constantly trying to better yourself you will be a lot happier down the road with who you are and what you have become.

Well I hope these emails help you guys and are fun to read! :) Until next week.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 25, 2015

It was so good to be able to talk to Elder Ashcroft. He couldn't be happier were he is. He is doing really so well. We got to hear some German, which was really strange coming from him. He is catching on so quickly. As good as it was to talk to him, almost face to face, it was hard to say good. It was the first bit of home sickness we have seen from him. We are certain he will continue on his days and forget about us again. We couldn't be happier for him and know he is out serving the Lord.
a person who leaves there families for a while, so others can be with their FAMILIES FOREVER.
Showing off a few things her got from us for Christmas
 and actually using his seflie stick. Sense we never get picture
of him only scenery pics.
Hopefully it becomes his most used gift.

December 23, 2015

Week 14
This week was pretty good. There is so much anticipation building up for Christmas.

Tuesday we exchanged with the zone leaders. I stayed in Linz while Elder Albrecht got to go to Salzburg. We got a new zone leader this transfer Elder Nebiker. He is a really hard worker and it was really awesome to work with him. That night we taught the Persian group and had ward mission correlation meeting. The lesson with the Persians was good but it just wasn't quite as good as the lessons we have been having with them.

Wednesday morning we were going to meet with a less active older lady. She is living alone so we needed someone else there with us to joint teach. We couldn‘t find anyone so we couldn‘t teach her this week. :P Later that day we went finding. We found this really nice guy that seemed really interested in the gospel! He was Catholic and believed in God but he thought the Catholic Church has fallen away from Christ. We gave him the first lesson on the street. He was a well off business man from Graz. Graz isn't in our area so hopefully he agrees for the missionaries to meet with him there! After this we exchanged back and Elder Albrecht and I went finding in Landstraße, which is downtown. We got invited to go to an Evangelist culture night/religious discussion. There was free food so of course we went! :D We talked with some people there and explained our religion to them. It's good when you can talk with someone about religion without trying to pick a fight and everyone respects each other's beliefs! After that we somehow had a conversation on the street with a guy from Italy. He didn't know German or English, haha! We gave him a Christmas card. :)

Thursday morning we had a joint teach with the sisters. This guy, Markus, is really a golden investigator! We taught him about the 10 commandments and invited him to come to church. He came to church and he already seems like he's a member, it's crazy! The rest of the day we went to Solar City and went dooring. That was our Thursday! :P

Friday morning we got a call from a less active older lady. She said that she has been really dizzy lately and needed a blessing so we went right over. For some reason they always ask me to do the blessing, haha! She was such a nice lady. She gave us chocolate and oranges. After that we did the rest of our studies and had weekly planning. That night we were supposed to teach the Persians but they didn't get the memo! The only one there was Masa, our other translator. We talked with her for a bit and got to know her better. She is the coolest! She can speak English, Persian and German. On our way home we had a wrapped Book of Mormon, for Christmas, and a note. We put this on someone doorstep and doorbell ditched them. Hopefully something good happens with it!

Saturday President sent us an email with a bunch of fun ways to go finding. He challenged us to do a different one everyday. We decided to go recipe dooring. You go around asking for ingredients for a recipe then go home to make it. You take back the finished product to the people who gave the ingredients to you. At first all the people thought we were so weird, haha! We got all of the ingredients for Vanillekipferl, an österreichisch cookie that is amazing!! That night we had a benefits concert at the church. It was really good! One of our investigators Rumy for Ecuador played in it. After the concert we played ping pong with the Persians for a bit and went home.

Sunday at church all of the Persians were there on time, which was awesome! We had Masa translate sacrament meeting for them with a little ear piece. This was the first time they've actually understood sacrament. :) After church there was a Christmas meal. All of the primary kids did a nativity for us. It was so cute!! Then we went caroling with the young men and women to members that were in old folks homes. It touching to see how much it meant to them. The homes over here are way different! They have bars and all of the old people just sit there and get drunk!

Monday we got groceries then cleaned the church. After that we ate at brother Obermyers house. When we got home we made the Vanillekipferl that we got ingredients for. That was pretty much our day!

Tuesday we went to Bahnhof to get Elder Albrechts package. Then went to the church for district meeting. After district meeting we made Schnitzel potatoes and gravy for a big party the ward missionaries were throwing for the Persians. :D The Persians made the rice which was so good! After we ate we gave them all presents because this was their first Christmas ever!! It was quite a big turn out, 16 or so Persians came! We all playing ping pong again and they taught us a bit of Persian. I know how to write my name and count to 10, haha!

Yup that was my week and a half. So many things happened it's hard to remember them all.
Dooring Ingredients (above)
Persian Christmas (below)
Okay so things I have learned this week are....

  • We are here for a future greater than anything we could ever imagine. That future, one day at a time comes alive when you do something more than just exist. It comes alive when you your live life to fill the measure of your creation, which is serving the Lord.
  • God knew that Abraham had the faith to sacrifice his own son. Sometimes God puts us through trials to show ourselves that we have the faith.
  • The Lord and the Holy Ghost can only work with what is there. We need to keep trying and doing as much as we can so that he can help us.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December 14, 2015

Hello everyone! I don't have that much time to write today so I might leave some stuff out.

Tuesday we had a lesson with Werner Schopf. He is such an awesome guy! We brought a member that was about his age and they seemed to get along quite well. After that we went to the church to teach the Persians. It was such a good lesson!!! We went over the plan of salvation because there were so many new people. There is no way that we taught that lesson. It was all the spirit! We went into detail about everything and answered all their questions perfectly. It was amazing! We also ha our last district meeting with Sister Baker and Elder Carr…:( but also this was one of the best days I've had on my mission so far!

Wednesday was one of the most tiring, wet, cold, rainy days ever!! I thought I was going to die... Haha!! But I had my first Austrian doughnut. :D It was amazing!!! Also we found a cool place where you can take a book and exchange another book for it. I got a really cool old press printed German book. I exchanged a Book of Mormon for it haha! ;)

Thursday I gave my first blessing on the mission! It was for one of the members named Klaus. He is one of the ward missionaries. He also baptized a guy named Mahmoud. Mahmoud translates at our Persian lessons. The crazy thing is that Mahmoud didn't even know German when they taught him so they just used body language….hahaha. Eventually he learned German and is now really good at it Later that night we went to a religious discussion that we got invited to. It turns out it was just a bunch of Monies….hah! They have some weird beliefs but they were pretty dang nice.

Friday we only had one lesson with the Persian. We taught them how to sing silent night J ….naturally because that song came from Obendorf Austria! Other than that we just tracked.

Saturday we went to a Deutsch course at the church for German study. One of the members teaches it. It is really good because a lot of non members come. It's a good way to get investigators. We stayed back at the apartment most of the day because were doing our weekly planning. After that we went to Plesching See to door. The people over there seem to be a lot nicer!

Sunday was good! We only had two investigators at church one of the Persian speakers and Rumy. We committed Rumy to baptism three weeks ago but he has been so busy we have had to postpone it. He still comes to church every week and he said he will call us this week. So that's good! :) We are planning on making him cookies. After sacrament meeting we were in our investigator class and all of the Persian speakers came in! It was so crazy!!! Brother Alsobski taught them about the gift of the Holy Ghost. It's was really good! So the dilemma we have with the Persians is that we can't baptism them until they get citizenship. Brother Alsobski basically told them to all go get citizenship which would be crazy if they all did at once. After church we ate with a member family, the Erlacher's. They are such and awesome family and their daughters are so freaking cute!!!! They wore our name tags around and we wrapped Books of Mormon for them to give away. We watched one of they Christmas church videos and had palat schinken which is basically a crepe. The best part was sitting down with the family and singing 4 or 5 Christmas songs. It was what Christmas should be.
So here are some things I've learned on my mission so far...
  • When you try your best every day your best becomes a little better.
  • Most people are going around living life with their hands two inches from their face. Sometimes it's nice to take a step back.
  • Faith emits a light.
  • So throughout my life I've always had little trials of faith and doubts in the church. I wanted to believe it but I wasn't sure. It would always bug me because within a day or two I would always find an answer to reconfirm whatever it was that I was doubting. It was always maddening because I didn't know why I would have these doubts. But recently it all made sense. Without those little reconfirmations along the way I could never grow or progress and I would forget why I knew the church was true. These doubt are important!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 7, 2015

Week 12

This week was a really good one. Mostly because it's getting closer and closer to Christmas!! :D On top of that I'm in one of the most cultured places to be during Christmas!! I can't wait! I was going to bring my study journal to write you guys some of the things I've learned this week but I totally forgot it! :P I will try to remember next week.

On Monday we went to Weihnachtsmarkt, the Christmas market, it's is so cool there! They make hand made Christmas ornaments, Austrian food and pretty much anything you could ever want in life. They have a Weihnachtsmarkt/Christkindlmarkt in every city/town but ours is one of the bigger ones. :) After I had bought a giant Debouche (gingerbread cookie) we went and ate at the Erlacher's. The Erlacher's have the cutest adopted Egyptian babies! That was pretty much our day.

On Tuesday we talked with a referral from one of our ward missionaries. He has a ponytail and works at a pawn shop. He didn’t have much time to talk but told us to call him and make out an appointment. Hopefully that works out. After that we went to the church and taught all of our Persian investigators! I love those guys so much. We attempted to teach them the restoration again. There were a ton of new people there we weren’t really able to do that. So, the lesson went a completely different direction but that's ok it happens sometimes. We had ward mission correlation meeting and ate a dönner after.

Wednesday we only had one lesson so we found pretty much all of the day. We went as far east as we could walk. Our lesson was with Brother Schopf. He is a really cool guy! He is probably in his 50s and born and raised in Linz. His brother is a bishop in Australia. He had given him a Book of Mormon with highlighted scriptures to read. We taught him the restoration and it went really well! There’s a member about his age so hopefully they become friends.

On Thursday we had exchanges with the District Leader and his companion. I stayed in Linz with Elder Carrand while my companion went to Wells. Elder Carrand is seriously the coolest guy ever, I love that kid. (He is the one on the picture) We went around town speaking with hardcore “California surfer” accents in German. That has to be the funniest thing I've ever done haha!! Elder Carrand even asked someone where the nearest beach was, it was so funny. It went as far as people asking us if we were from California, so I guess it worked. The latter part of the day we went to Auwiesen on the Straßenbahn to go dooring. We found a huge apartment complex and shared the Christmas video with a few people from last year, the older one is better. We would ask them what Christmas meant to them. The video is so good and has such a strong meaningful message. That night we are at McDonald's. We ate so much which we regretted...

Friday was really good! We ate at one of the members house for lunch. We were dreading it because she is famous for feeding giant 7 course meals. And we were still full from the McDonald's the night before!!! It wasn't to bad though. It was only a four course meal. She even made cookies for Elder Carrand and me to take hom. :) After we taught the Persians at the church. The regular translator wasn't there. Luckily one of them speaks broken English and is one knows more about the church, so we taught through him. We went through the entire restoration. It was a supper good lesson and when we bore our testimonies the spirit was so strong. They have been through a lot in their lives. What people don't realize is that the refugees don't just get up and walk out of the country, most of them have scars and have seen horrible things. It makes you really think. As soon as they can get permanent residency we can baptize them. I really hope it works out! After that lesson me and Elder Carr exchanged companions again.

Saturday was the day I've been waiting for for a while. It was the day we had Christmas Conference and Elder Meville and me would be able to see our other companion from the MTC, Elder Johnston!! :) In the morning we got transfer calls!! Elder Albrecht and me are staying in Linz. Sister Baker, from our area, is leaving to Munich. :( Elder Carr is leaving to Munich too. :(:( I'm so sad. After the transfer calls we left for an hour ride to Salzburg. Once we got there we practiced a song we were going to sing. Elder Meville and me were waiting for Elder Johnston and suddenly he walked in and gave us a hug. It was so good to see him again. I love that guy! We had our Christmas Conference, ate lunch and watched a movie on how the song silent night was made because it was writen in Salzburg. It was cool too that some of the members from the Linz ward were in it. I get to see Elder Melville quit a bit so we wished Elder Johnston luck, got our Christmas packages and went home.

On Sunday we just went to church, ate at a members house and went home to study! :P