Just when I thought we were free of the hot summer (the last week has been relatively cool) today it is HOT again.
So much to tell and so little time! I apologize in advance if this is a little hard to follow.
First story of the week: D. D is Polish. He is an investigator that the Elders in Wien found. I had taught him a few times, but since he speaks better English than German, they passed him off to us. The first appointment we had with him was last Wednesday and we were actually able to set a baptismal date with him! That was a miracle and a half, because there is a bit of a language barrier. We set up another appointment for him on Saturday, but we knew we had to get a Polish speaker there to help us out. Luckily there is a member of our ward who served a Polish speaking mission in Chicago (random I know). He came to the appointment on Saturday and boy, what a difference that made. Where before D had been pretty quiet, now he just talked and talked. It was really cool to be able to see him express himself in his native language. His baptismal date is for the end of September, so that means he needs to come to church every Sunday between now and then. We'll have to exercise some real faith!
This past week we found 5 new investigators! That's right. And most of them were found through members. I really have a strong testimony now that the best way to find the people who are ready for the gospel is through the members. It is much more effective than talking to people on the street or knocking on doors (or in our case, ringing doorbells, since you don't actually knock on doors here).
This past Sunday was probably one of my favorite days on my mission so far. So many good things happened. First off, D came to church! And he came to all three hours! That was awesome, and we found another member who is Polish that could talk to him! We also had two more investigators in sacrament meeting, and then a friend of a member who has been to church a couple times came up to us and said she wants to meet with us! It was just amazing how many miracles we saw.
A little back-story on one of those miracles: We teach English classes. Most of the people in our English classes are from Iran. They are either Christian or Zoroastrian and have fled Iran to escape the Muslim government. They come to Vienna to wait for visas to get to America. So they come to us to learn English. These are some of the nicest, most humble, and genuine people I have ever met. I can only imagine how hard it would be to just pick up and go, leaving most of your things behind, in search of religious freedom. Anyway, lots of the Iranians have shown interest in the gospel, but the problem is communication. We do have selections of the Book of Mormon in Persian (Farsi) but we have been trying to find a way that we could teach them. And then low and behold we find out on Sunday that the ward executive secretary speaks Persian. His mother is from Iran. Not only that, but then he said "Oh, and I found about 12 copies of the Gospel Principles manual in Persian. We could maybe do a whole Sunday School class in Persian." If that's not an answer to prayer, I don't know what is.
This week is going to be amazing. The area is literally exploding right now. We have so many cool people to teach, I am sorry I can't tell you all of their stories.
This week we also get to go to Munich! We will be having Sisters Conference with all the Sister Missionaries in the whole mission! I'm so excited!
Vielen vielen Dank für alle eure Gebete. Ich spüre sie. Es hilft mir zu wissen, dass so viele Leute Himmlischen Vater um Hilfe für mich und meine Mitarbeiterin bitten. Der Herr hat uns so reichlich gesegnet, und ich weiß, dass er uns weiterhin segnen wird, wenn wir Glauben ausüben.
(Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your prayers. I feel them. It helps to know that so many people ask Heavenly Father to help me and my companion. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure and I know that he will continue to bless us if we exercise faith.)
Ich hab euch lieb!