Liebe Familie und Freunde,
Diese Woche, werde Ich "Auf's Wiedersehen" zu Göppingen wünschen. Ich werde nach Wien transferiert werden! Ich bin dankbar dass Ich in der Wien I Gemeinde dienen dürfen!! Ich bin ganz glücklich darüber, und Ich freue mich auf der Gelegenheit in Österreich zu wohnen und dort die wunderschönen WIener das Evangelium zu bringen. Unglaublich!!
This news pertaining to transfers is very bittersweet. I am so very, very excited to serve in Vienna and experience new things, but also so sad to leave Göppingen. I have made wonderful friendships with the members here and have put my best foot forward to build the Church in this branch. But I understand and feel that the Lord needs me elsewhere. I can only progress so far as a missionary here in Göppingen, and I am excited/nervous/happy/all of the above to go to Vienna and work with Sister Judd, and see what kind of missionary I will become there. In relation to Göppingen.... President Miles has decided to WHITEWASH and place 4 Elders here instead of 4 Sisters. Definitely a big change, but nevertheless exciting and wonderful. Transfers will be on Thursday, and I get to take a beautiful train ride with 6 other missionaries headed to Wien Zone. (I am also happy to see a little of my mission via a beautiful train ride through the Alps and Salzburg!! I will be going from one end of the Alpine Mission to the complete opposite end!...) Sister Woods will be going to Freiburg, in the Schwarzwald, to work with Sister Henry. They will be great together!
With this news with transfers, we have spent much of our week prepping the apartment and getting things ready for the Elders. With repainting the apartment, getting furniture put together, organizing everything, starting our packing, it's been pretty busy. Needless to say we have had quite the farewell/eating appointment schedule with members, but it's been wonderful spending time with the families and saying goodbye. Ahhh.....goodbyes are tender but I know that I will meet these wonderful saints again and I am so humbled to have had the opportunity to love and serve them. I will forever be grateful for my little Göppingen branch. How can I ever thank them for serving and loving me?
Last week we had the opportunity to head to Stuttgart and attend ZONE TRAINING! I felt this zone training to be particularly good, especially after General Conference. We talked about the importance of diligence, "Eifer" in German, and how that pertains to missionary work. I love the Christlike attributes! I would admonish everyone to read in Preach My Gospel with the Christlike attributes and think about how to apply them into your lives as members. Diligence as a missionary is KEY, and sometimes I feel like I am not very diligent. However, diligence is something that is built and strengthened through experience and time, and it is an attribute I will be striving to obtain throughout my mission, and even after! I am excited to see how serving in Vienna will strengthen my diligence and help me build the other Christlike attributes.
We had an awesome appointment this week with "I", our Iraqi investigator. He is devouring the Book of Mormon and loves reading in it. He read all the way to Jacob in 2 nights! Because there is kind of a language barrier, "I" will write down questions for us in Arabic, have his German instructor translate them, and then bring them to our appointments. "I" wants to make sure he is understanding as much as he can about the Gospel, so that's why he writes down questions. We will write down answers, so if he does need to understand better, he can have them translated. The Spirit is so strong during our meetings, and "I" feels it. He also came to church yesterday!! He loved our fast and testimony meeting. He was a little confused about the Sacrament, but we have a lesson for tomorrow to explain more about Latter-day Saint services and some commandments (Word of Wisdom). Sadly "I" has a smoking problem, but really tries hard to not smoke around us. There was once a quote (President Kimball?) that said there is no better sight and smell in Sacrament meeting than ripped jeans and cigarette smoke. I love it! It's so true! "I" is working so hard to turn his life around and to be happy. And the Gospel can bring that to him! I will continue to pray for this sweet, humble man.
Our other investigators are doing well! Jan, the referral we contacted, is loving the Book of Mormon as well. I think he will work really, really well with the Elders. Same with Destiny: although he has been flaky and wishy-washy sometimes when it comes to meeting up with us, Destiny has a testimony of this Gospel and will do great things in the Church one day. He is still wanting to be baptized, and has set the goal to be baptized at the end of November. Barbara is doing great as well. Her father is very old and lives with her, and she has had work and doctor's appointments every day. We are praying to be able to meet once more before transfers, and give her one last lesson. I think she will do well with the Elders and she does have the strong desire to find happiness, to find truth, to be at peace about what this life is all about. Uncle Tony laid a beautiful foundation for her and I hope we continued to build and strengthen her testimony and teach her that there is only one true Gospel of Jesus Christ upon the earth that will answer all her questions.
My mind is spinning and my heart is tender and full...... Right now I am realizing more and more the importance of giving the Lord MY ALL! Each day is truly precious. gel? Just as Herr Embley taught me in German class that "long time ago" in high school, life is all about EHRE und GENAUIGKEIT: honor and exactness. Although I initally thought this mission to be a small payback to the Lord, it in fact has ended up being the greatest blessing of my life. I love my Heavenly Father too deeply to express in words.....How grateful I am for the opportunity to serve our Almighty God, and His Son, even Jesus the Christ.
Have a wonderful week!!! Next time I email I will be in VIENNA!
I love you all. Thank you for all of your prayers and support!