Monday, December 31, 2012

A Baptism just in time for a Transfer


This last week was chock full of happenings, I am still surprised that I managed to survive it!

Monday- Was Christmas Eve! After writing e-mails we went and had a lesson with W and then took her with us to the member's house we were visiting for Christmas Eve. W's first Christmas :) Sis. G was so kind to host us and the Elders and W and a recently moved in couple from the ward. She had a bit of a problem in her apartment, the electricity stopped working in the afternoon, but then she got it fixed in time for us all to celebrate Christmas Eve together. Sis. G is from Brazil and was telling us how in Brazil they wait until midnight on Christmas Eve to start celebrating and then the party just doesn't stop! It was so nice to be able and just sit and eat and talk with good people.

Tuesday- Was Christmas! We got to sleep in (a little Christmas present from President Miles) and then we opened presents, studied, and then went to visit M A, another member in our ward. She made Raclette for Christmas dinner :) And we sang some Karaoke.

Wednesday- We had District Meeting and then ate lunch and then went caroling in the middle of Vienna and THEN President Miles called. You always know something big is about to go down when President Miles calls. He asked to talk to Sister Leben and then told her that she was being transferred in Munich. And she had to get on the train the next day. Oh boy. So we figured out train schedules and went home so Sister Leben could pack.

Thursday. We got our Transfer calls! I have been transferred to Göppingen, Germany. For those of you following along at home, that means I spent 4 transfers in Munich, 4 transfers here in Wien, and as far as I have figured out (I try not to think about these things too much) I have 5 transfers left on my mission. So who knows, Göppingen may be my last area, or I may get sent somewhere else afterward. After the call, we did a little studying, and then went to the Bahnhof to put Sister Leben on the train. She was only here 3 weeks! It was so strange to be back down to two, I have spent a good chunk of my mission being in a Dritt. Thursday evening we met D (she came back from Christmas break!) and made the program for her baptism.

Friday- It rained. We didn't have a translator for our appointment, and we desperately needed one. But then things got a lot better in the evening when we went to the church. Some of the Elders in town helped us clean the font and get it all ready for the baptism. Then Danielle came and we picked out clothes and had a lesson with her.

Saturday- Baptism Day :) The sun was shining (which is uncommon for Wien in the winter time). We met the Graz sisters at the Bahnhof. They came in for the baptism because Sister Pingree taught D a couple times and D really wanted her there. Then we went to the church. We almost forgot to start filling the font, but luckily someone reminded us. The bishop came and practiced with D, we got the programs printed just in the nick of time, and we only started 15 minutes late! (I know that sounds bad, but keep in mind, this is an International Ward!). The baptism was perfect; D came up out of the font and just said "Wow!" She was beaming the whole day long.

Saturday was a BIG day. You know those days; they only come along a few times in your life. The day you get married, the day you start your mission, the day you get baptized, those are all BIG days, milestone days. As I was getting ready on Saturday, I was thinking about how the events of this day would change the rest of D's life. So much has happened that has brought her to this point, and I know that her life will be full of lots of other things in the future, but for this one day, all that mattered was the step she was taking right here, right now. I am just glad I got to be a part of it.

Sunday- Was my last Sunday in the ward :( I gave a talk (which I got assigned to give on Saturday-go figure). D got confirmed. We had dinner with a Ghanaian family. It was hilarious because the mom made "kid food" i.e. meatloaf and mashed potatoes for us and her kids (who are 23 and 21) and then traditional food for herself and her sisters and the grandma.

I am sad to be leaving this place. I feel like I have grown so much here, the members especially have just taken me in. The Vienna 4th Ward is a very special place; there is no other place quite like it. These people come from all over the world and are very different, but somehow it all works together to make one very colorful, diverse whole. I will miss the Filipino food, I will miss hearing Nigerian prayers, and I will miss little French kids talking about all the different animals they know. But even though it is sad to go, I know the Lord has something big in store, and I know that I need to keep moving forward. Somehow, someway, I will see these people again. I just have to put them in the Lord's care.

Ich weiß, dass Jesus Christus mein Erlöser ist. Wenn wir ihm nach folgen, dann bekommen wir Frieden und Freude, die die Welt nicht geben kann.
(I know that Jesus Christ is my savior. If we follow him, he gives us the peace and joy that the world cannot provide.)

Mach's gut!
--Sister Stewart

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