Monday, December 10, 2012

Birthday Austausch, Austausch Birthday (Birthday Exchange, Exchange Birthday)


So many big things happened this week I hardly know where to start! So I will try to go day by day and keep everything in some sort of logical order. Buckle your seatbelts, folks-

Monday- P-Day! Sister Reid and I headed down to Graz to play with the Graz Sisters and then that evening Sister Pingree, Sister Kleiner (who is serving with the Graz Sisters while wating for her visa) and I went back up to Wien for the Austausch (Exchange) on Tuesday. That night when we got home there was a smallish package from the mission office waiting for me. I was confused because we hadn't ordered anything. I then opened it to find a nametag that said "Sister Leben." Now, at this point I got even more confused. President had called a few days before and asked if we had space for a third person, but I never heard anything definitive after that. So I called President Miles up and said "uh, President, we have a problem... Do we have a new companion coming?" He was also surprised that I hadn't heard anything. Turns out Sister Leben was for sure coming, on Thursday. So that was the first big surprise.

Tuesday- My Birthday! Sister Pingree made Crepes for breakfast :) Then we headed out for a full day of appointments. We met with some of the Filipino members of the ward. Sister Pingree wanted to have a picture taken with them. As I was taking the picture I just had to laugh because they are so tiny and Sister Pingree is 6 feet tall :) Then we went and taught W, which is always a pleasure. Then we had English class, during which Elder Johnson taught our class the song "Mother Goony Bird" which I had never heard before, and also had the class sing "Happy Birthday" for me. Then after English class we went to teach D.  and GUESS WHAT! She wants to be baptized!  She is so sneaky. We got all the way through the appointment before she said "So I've decided I would like to be baptized!" Hooray! Best Birthday present ever!

Wednesday- We switched back companions. Sister Reid and I went finding in Wiener Neustadt and found the cutest Armenian woman. That evening we had dinner with our Ward Mission Leader.

Thursday- was nutso. Sister Kleiner came to work with us because Sister Pingree and Sister Holmstead had to go to Munich and they couldn't leave Sister Kleiner alone in Graz. So we picked her up around lunch time and then started going to our appointments. Then we had English class and then Sister Reid went with one of the members to the airport to pick up Sister Leben. Sister Kleiner and I then made our way over to the church to meet with D.  Oh, and we had to carry lots of extra bedding (due to the influx of people that would be sleeping at our apartment), cereal and milk (because said people also needed to eat breakfast) and a birthday cake that one of the Elders gave me. So we arrive at the church heavily laden with things only to discover that Sister Reid has the key! And she's at the airport. SO I stood there and started calling some members. Meanwhile, Sister Kleiner, being the logical German that she is, walked around the building and discovered that there were people in the family history library, so we were saved. Then a few minutes later Sister Reid and Sister Leben showed up. So we met with D. with 4 missionaries. That was fun :)

Friday- I spent the whole day in bed :( I had a nasty 24 hour stomach bug. So I just basically spent the whole day sleeping. But luckily, there were still 3 other sisters here, so two could go out and then one stayed with me. They switched halfway through so no one got stuck inside all day long. That night Sister Pingree and Sister Holmstead came back and stayed the night so on Friday night we slept 6 people in our apartment.

Saturday was pretty lovely. We taught W and then discovered the second ward was having a baptism, so we attended that too. The little girl was baptized in Spanish by her dad and then confirmed in German by her uncle. Cool stuff.

Sunday was fabulous! We sang in church! W came to see the Christmas devotional!

So the results of this week:
-We have a new companion! Sister Leben is from northern Germany. She has her call to the Washington DC North Mission (hooray! next door neighbor!). She is here waiting for her visa to come.
-D. will be baptized at the end of the month!

So, I will now let you catch your breath until next week :)

Ich weiß dass der Herr uns kennt. Er weißt, was wir brauchen. Er hilft uns immer. Manchmal wissen wir nicht genau, warum manche Dinge passieren, aber der Herr weißt alles und führt uns. Ich bin dankbar, dass ich diese Arbeit tun darf :) Ich weiß, dass Jesus Christus lebt. Ich freue mich so auf Weihnachten und die Gelegenheit, mehr an ihn zu denken.
(I know that the Lord knows us. He knows what we need. He always helps us. Sometimes we do not know why some things occur, but the Lord knows everything and is leading us. I am grateful to be doing this work. I know that Christ lives. I am so happy for Christmas and the opportunity to think more about it.)

mit lieben Grüßen (with warm regards)
--Sister Stewart

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