Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 21 -- Servus von Wien!

Servus von WIEN!!!!

Meine liebe Familie und Freunden,

Goodbyes to Göppingen were so hard! It was really sad leaving the branch I "grew up" in. The members were actually really sad to be getting 4 Elders....they love the Sisters!  And why wouldn't they?:)  We are wunderbar!   We had so many eating appointments last week, we really only needed to buy groceries so the Elders could have food when they got to Göppingen. Yup, we are nice...we made them "Welcome to Göppingen" treats!  I know Göppingen is in good hands with Elders Bartholemew, Thompson, and their goldens.  I'm really excited to see the success there!  But I will miss it.

Transfer day was......crazy and stressful!  Probably the craziest travel experience I've had, ever. Welcome to mission life, right? We left Göppingen at about 10 am Thursday morning to get to Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof by 11, and our train to Munich left at 11:40. I traveled as a "solo sister" with 5 elders to Munich. My posse consisted of Elders Fuchs, Mohn, Morey, Philips, Smith, Christensen and a few angels to boot.  You didn't need to worry one bit Mom, I was in excellent hands.  Elder Philips, coming from my district in Stuttgart, is in St. Pölten and we traveled the whole way to Vienna together. Elder Smith also traveled with us the whole way, headed to Klagenfurt. Our train got into Munich 15 minutes later than scheduled -- yikes! -- and as a result we had a 1 minute Umsteig (disembark) to get to our train headed to Salzburg. We BARELY schaffed that train; it was a tender mercy from the Lord we did, otherwise we would have had to wait for another 3 hours for the next train to Salzburg connecting to Vienna. Strong and capable missionaries waiting in Munich Bahnhof rushed to help us get our luggage onto the next train, and thankfully none of our luggage was left behind. Whew.  It was a minute and a half of pure chaos! The ride to Salzburg was breathtaking, but we weren't able to enjoy the scenery for long. When we umsteiged in Salzburg, which our steig was supposed to be for a half hour, we found out our train getting to Salzburg was late, and as a result of that we had only a 3 minute Umsteig to get to our train to Vienna.  I did get to see 30 seconds worth of beautiful Salzburg, and my heart kind of ached that I wasn't able to see more.  As I looked at the Hohensalzburg castle, I remembered how great our trip was there last year and fun it was to climb that with you Mom and Dad.  

The trian ride to Vienna was absolutely gorgeous!!! Seeing the Alps was like coming home. :) From Munich I was able to travel with Sister Reignier, headed to Graz, and we talked about the incredible beauty of our mission. I cant get enough of it!  After 9 hours of travel across 2 countries, we safely arrived, a little exhausted and travel weary, in Vienna around 6:30 PM, where we were greeted by the missionaries and my cute companion. Sister Judd is amazing!  She is from Las Vegas, and is in her 9th transfer. Her German is spectacular, and she knows how to work hard. We get along very well: our personalities are extremely similar, but different enough that we compliment eachother. She has an impressive drive to do missionary work, and I'm excited to learn from her this next transfer.

We had just enough time to drop off my luggage at the apartment and then head off to an appointment with our investigator Andie.  Andie is about 29 years old and is just about the sweetest most genuine person I know. She loves the Gospel and we are preparing to set a baptismal date with her!  Even though I was so tired that night, I was very happy to get right to work in our new area and meet our investigators.  A happy missionary is a busy missionary! Stimmt.

We also met with Nicole this week, another incredible investigator. She is a mother of 4, and her kids are all under age 11. Remind you of someone Mom? Little 4 year old Davin is my new favorite person, and he is convinced we are now boyfriend-girlfriend:)  Nicole is preparing to be baptized, after we recieve permission from her husband who is often times not home. Nicole loves the New Testament stories, particularly the illustrated children`s book version made by the church, and so we read and explain them to her. We read about "The Widow's Mite" and she was very intent about it. As we had a 5 minute Pause and talked with Davin about Star Wars, we noticed Nicole reading the Bible story book alone. Following our Spiel with Davin, Nicole asked us questions about the ministery and miracles of Christ. It was really neat! We are planning on using this story book not only for Nicole's kids, but also for Nicole, because of her childlike knowledge about Christ and His Gospel. Childlike faith is beautiful.

Every Friday night we have Waffle Night at the insitute, and we attend when our investigators are there, to help them feel welcome and help incorporate them into the ward and JAE (young adult) group. We went with Andie, and were able to introduce her to some of the JAE'`s in our stake. Funny thing about going to the JAE Center: I met the BYU Vienna Study Abroad Group!  Ha..can you believe the coincidence?! ((Sidenote...Natalie was seriously considering Vienna Study Abroad right before the age change for missionaries was announced.  She would have been studying there right now!) Needless to say it was somewhat surreal for me to be among them, talking with them, when I could be standing among them and talking with a different Sister missionary who could have been in my shoes, in my current position. My heart swelled with gratitude and love as I realized that the Lord has blessed me by sending me here to Vienna. Ever since I got off the train, I have had a constant sense of peace, love, and happiness to be here in Vienna. Perhaps it is because I have always dreamed of coming here, but on a deeper sense I know it is where I need to be. I KNOW there is a great purpose for me here in Vienna and that purpose is to preach the true and everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, to share the joy, to tell people where they can find happiness, and to assist in His work and help these precious souls find their way back to our Heavenly Father.

Yesterday, Sunday, was awesome. I felt right at home in my ward. I LOVE this ward!! And I met President Soucek Dad! In Sacrament Meeting he had me stand and then told about how you and he were companions and what an amazing missionary you were.  (He was Kevin's missionary companion in Hamburg) The Vienna 1st ward has incredible members of the Church with a zest and fire for missionary work. Our GML Perry is fun and hilarious and dedicated to us.  He and his wife Teresa are newlyweds of about a year, and they LOVE the missionaries.  Both are RM's and are so helpful to us. Serving in a ward will be much different than my little branch in Göppingen, and I am excited to see what things I learn here. 

No biggie but last night on the way to an appointment, I got proposed to by a guy from Yugoslavia. His German wasn't very good, but he knew enough to say "Du, mich, heiraten?" It was quite funny, and I made up the excuse I had a boyfriend back home in the states (thanks Jameson!). Sister Judd laughed and then we talked to him about the Book of Mormon. We are going to pass him over to the  Elders (Elders Richman and Worthen) tomorrow to reden more about THE CHURCH and not how to marry one of us.

Short week this week and these past few days have flown. I LOVE being in a big city!! (You were right mom!) I'm excited to see what new things I will learn, more than I could from my time in Göppingen. I gained so much in my time in Göppingen, and in many ways I am "homesick" for it. Serving in Stuttgart Zone was something that helped me grow and develop as a missionary and into a better "myself", and to better learn German and "figure things out". Although I am still doing both those things (Wienerisch seems like a whole different language-- very different than Schwäbisch and very sing-songy --it sounds beautiful), I feel right at home in Vienna. Yes, it's of course an adjustment, but it has been much much easier than I thought it would be. I know that there will be hard days, those are unavoidable. How I go about tackling those hard days, and learning the experiences from them, is what matters most. I need to always remember this wonderful feeling of being here, this peace and love and joy, and reflect on that when times get tough.

My heart is so full!  I LOVE this Gospel with my whole heart, and for the chance to be in the Alpine German speaking mission. This Church is true, and there is nothing that can stop this Work of Salvation.

Til next week! (I PROMISE I will put pictures up next week....with transfers and getting settled taking pictures slipped my tut mir leid! Sorry. )

Alles gute!
Sister Natalie Motto   


  1. Love it! Her knowledge of the German language I think will bless her in her work and inspire other missionaries around her! One can tell she is an awesome missionary!

  2. From your comments and hers, I have the same strong feeling that she is supposed to be in Vienna! I love her use of German verbs in the first paragraph.