Wednesday, December 5, 2012

That one time the U-Bahn broke!

Hello my family! I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Our week was full of interesting experiences that is for sure. We taught some really cool people. B and N are the roommates of some members in our ward. They are from Nepal and are just so sweet and very receptive. J is from Nigeria. We watched the Restoration DVD with her and afterwards she said "Something is shocking me!" That's the spirit, my dear :) We taught W about temples and she got really excited about doing family history work.

Then on Friday and Saturday this week we helped out at the UN Women's Guild Charity Bazaar. It was HUGE. I heard that there were 20,000 people there. On Friday we did lots of work to help set up, including putting up some really big banners. Then on Saturday we were working the coat check. Luckily we did not lose any coats. We may have misplaced a few, but in the end, everyone got the right ones back :) The event was held in this big convention center right by where the UN has their offices here in Vienna. There were all these booths from different countries. They way I understood it is that each country picks a charity and all the proceeds they make go towards helping that charity. In addition the Women's Guild was selling old books and clothing and raffle tickets and there were also booths from Austrian charities and performances going on and oh my goodness SO MUCH FOOD. For lunch we ate Peruvian food and then an Australian dessert that I think is called a Pavlova that was basically the tastiest thing of my life. All the Wien Missionaries were there helping out.

Then after the UN thing on Saturday Sister Reid and I went to a Rice Feeding Ceremony for the daughter of S and O (they are the members living with B and N, mentioned above) Their daughter is about 6 months old, and at the age in Nepali culture you get together with family and friends and have a ceremony where the baby eats its first rice. It was so fun, and the food was absolutely delicious. So we had a very cultural Saturday.

Sunday was also great we had 4 investigators come to Relief Society, which is amazing because that's the first meeting and then they stayed for all 3 hours! Hooray!

We had a really unique experience yesterday night; I guess you could call it a miracle. We were going home from an appointment. We got in the U-Bahn. We only were going one stop, so we just stood by the door. As the train starts to go, all of a sudden we hear a big BANG and see a flash of light and the train starts slowing down and then stops. The main lights in the car turned off and just the lights by the doors were left. Sister Reid and I looked at each other and said "That's not good" We both quickly realized that this was probably not a problem that would be fixed in a couple minutes. So we looked around for some empty seats and spied two across from a woman and her son (who were speaking English!). So Sister Reid says "Let's sit down over there and share the gospel with these folks" So we march over and plop ourselves down and meet A and T. We chatted for a little, we told her we were missionaries for our church. Since they were speaking English, we asked them where they were from. Turns out they are Austrian; they just speak English to each other. As we were talking a little more, Anna just pulled out a business card and hands it to us and tells us to call if we ever need anything. Naturally we then hand her one of our cards and explain about the different church buildings in Wien. She was really interested in the English services and said she would love that so her son could speak English with some other kids (well, we've got a whole Primary full). She said they would come to church on Sunday and we gave her a Book of Mormon! Then the firemen came and opened up the doors of the train and we climbed down a ladder and walked out of the U-Bahn tunnel (something I never thought I would do in my life).

As we were sitting in that train, stuck in the U-Bahn tunnel, I just had the feeling that we were exactly where we were supposed to be. It was very peaceful, which I know is a strange thing to say about being stuck in a train several feet underground. Without the train breaking, we never would have met A and her son. Turns out they also just missed the U-Bahn and had to get on the next one. Who knows what will come of it, but I know that God definitely had his hand in the events of last night.
Today we are going to Graz because we are doing an Austausch (Exchange). So that means I get to work with Sister Pingree on my birthday! Hooray!

I am so grateful for the chance I got to serve a mission. I am constantly amazed at how much the Lord gives me. I have gotten way more out of this experience than I have put in, and for that I will be thanking my Heavenly Father for the rest of my earthly life, and probably the next one too.

Ich weiß, dass wenn wir Glauben ausüben und etwas TUN, dann passieren die Wunder. Wir müssen manchmal ein Schritt nehmen, ohne das Licht zu sehen, und dann schenkt der Herr uns das Licht, das wir brauchen. Dann erleben wir, wie das Sühnopfer uns Macht und Kraft gibt, weiter zu gehen. Der wichtigste Schritt ist der nächste.
(I know that when we believe and DO something, then miracles happen. We sometimes need to take a step without seeing the light and then the Lord gives us just the light we need. Then we see how the atonement gives us the power and strength to go on. The first step is the most important.)

--Sister Stewart

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