I guess I'll start with the biggest piece of news first. We got transfer calls on Friday! The call didn't come until pretty late (they normally call about 8 in the morning, we didn't get called until 10, needless to say it was nerve wracking). Sister Taysom is going to Munich! She will serve in the third ward, just like I did! And, I will be training! There is a brand new, "Golden" missionary coming! I will go to Munich to pick her up on Wednesday. It would be so weird to be trained in the International Ward. I know I will have to speak German with her as much as possible to help her learn. I am really humbled by the opportunity I have to train. I hope I don't corrupt her too much :)
This week we did my very first Austausch! (Exchange) Since our mission is HUGE and there are so few sisters, Austauschs (at least for me) have been few and far between. Sister Taysom went to Neumarkt (which is near Salzburg) and I stayed here in Vienna. The Sisters serving in Neumarkt are the ones closest to us at the moment. The train ride there takes about 3 hours. So we met them about halfway (in Linz) to trade companions. So I got to work with Sister Marquardt. We had some really good appointments and met some cool people. We contacted a couple Africans on the street and in the Strassenbahns. Talking to Africans is so fun. They are such open, friendly, and humble people (the problem is following through with them; they are hard to get in contact with again). Sister Marquardt hasn't really served in any big cities so far, so it was a very different experience for her. It was so, so hot. Since we were riding in Strassenbahns the whole day that made the heat even worse. They are not air-conditioned, so they basically become ovens. Being in charge of the area for a day gave me a taste of what it will be like to take over the area when Sister Taysom leaves.
Friday we had a Sports Night with the ward, which went really well. A lot of the youth came, as well as a friend of one of the members who has been to a lot of activities. The second counselor in the bishopric brought watermelon! The members here are awesome.
On Saturday we visited a Synagogue with one of our investigators who is a deacon in the Catholic church (he is a funny person). Synagogues here in Germany and Austria have very tight security. We had to e-mail them with our names before hand and then make sure to bring photo ID. The service was really enlightening. It was interesting to see how they worship God, and to think about how in the end, all anybody wants is to be close to Him. I also was able to see some of the parallels to our faith and realize where some of the things that we do come from.
Last night we had an eating appointment with one of the families from the ward. It is the family of N, who got baptized last week (and confirmed this week!). They are from Ghana. There are three sisters who moved here about 20 years ago and have raised their children here. As a consequence, the family speaks a mixture of German, English, and their native language. They will start a sentence in German, throw in some English words, and then when they get irritated start speaking their language from Ghana. At one point one of the moms yelled at her children "Guys, the missionaries cannot understand you!" So then they switched to English. It was so funny.
W, our Chinese investigator, is doing pretty good! On Sunday she came to church! We just have to get her reading in the Book of Mormon more.
Ich bin so dankbar, hier in Wien zu sein! Meine neue Mitarbeiterin und ich werden eifrig arbeiten, um die Auserwählte Menschen zu finden. Hoffentlich ist sie bereit, Wunder zu sehen :)
(I am very grateful to be here in Vienna! My new companion and I will work hard to find the elect. I hope she is ready to see miracles.)
Tschüss! Ich hab euch lieb!
P.S. the guy sitting next to me at the Internet Cafe just asked if it was OK if he smoked (which people do in the Internet Cafe all the time even though it is NOT ALLOWED.) I told him I would rather that he not, and then he didn't! Hooray for people who are still polite! Hooray for small victories!