Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Get ready for Christmas!

Well, it's been an awesome week here in Wien.

We started off the week with a fabulous P-Day, wherein we visited the Christmas Market in front of the Karlskirche. It is definitely more on the artsy side. The whole square in front of the church was covered with booths. They had a carousel for kids that had been built out of scrap metal and discarded baskets and things. There was a really cool stall with things made out of leather and then a stand where they were making crepes with buckwheat flour. Christmas is definitely a good time to visit Vienna, I highly recommend it.

One thing we have learned this week is how effective it is to talk to people in public transportation rather than on the street. On the street people are most often in a hurry, trying to get somewhere. In the public transportation, they have to sit and listen to you :) The best way is to just strike up a conversation, ask what they are up to, where they are going. Either people will ignore you or get curious as to why this American with the black name tag is talking to them. It is a great opportunity to then share with them a little more of why we are here and what we are doing.

Friday was Zone Conference day! Because Graz is so far away and we had to be at the church for Zone Conference at 8 a.m., we once again hosted the Graz Sisters in our apartment for the night. It was fun to have a sleep over again :) Then we all had to get ready and go, which somehow we (mostly) managed to do within an hour. Zone Conference was great, as always. President and Sister Miles spoke to us and also one of the counselors from the mission presidency, who is a native Austrian. We got our Christmas packages at the conference and also the box of Book of Mormons that we ordered. Luckily we brought an empty suitcase with us.  That made it a whole lot easy to take everything home on the public transportation.
D is doing great, we are just helping her with the preparations for the baptism and giving her all the love and support that we can. She will be leaving town this week to visit family for Christmas. Since she will be gone, we thought we would give her an Advent/Baptism calendar to do while she is away. The basic idea is we have an envelope for each day from now until her baptism. In each one we are putting a conference talk or a little note from one of us along with some scriptures to read. That way we can have "daily contact" even though she won't be in the same country for the week leading up to her baptism.

On Sunday I talked in church about how Serving God and Others Brings Joy. One of the quotes I found while preparing the talk has stuck with me. In True to the Faith it says "The true key to happiness is to labor for the happiness of others." I have seen that principle in action on my mission. The days that have been the best days are the ones that were chock full of missionary work, where we just worked as hard as we could for our investigators or for the members.

Die Monaten auf Mission vergehen so schnell! Ich kann es kaum glauben. Ich bin dankbar für die Heilige Schriften, für die Führer der Kirche und dass ich jederzeit zu meinem Himmlische Vater beten kann.
(The months go by so quickly on a mission. I can hardly believe it. I am grateful for the scriptures, for the church’s leaders and that I can pray to my Heavenly Father.)

Mach's gut! (Take care!)
--Sister Stewart

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