Monday, February 24, 2014

It's HALFTIME!

Hallo meine Lieben!

Halbzeit..wow, it's halt time of my mission! I never thought I would ever write those words to begin my email. This Friday I will celebrate one year after going to the temple for the first time as well as 9 months being in the mission field.

Time has gone unbelievably fast. Perhaps in some moments it wasn´t always so, but looking back I am literally shocked that time is where it is right now. Just as each day begins new, now is the time to set new goals and resolutions, and help myself improve and be better than ever before.

This week was a whirlwind. We had so much happen! Being in TWO wards now AND with an extra companion is definitely different and definitely an adjustment, but our loving Father in Heaven will only give us mountains that He knows we can climb.

First things first...We met with Clara, a lady who has been taught on and off with missionaries for the past ten years. She is half Hungarian, half Austrian and is probably the sweetest person I have met my entire mission. She is so humble and excited to commit to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She told us that now is the time for her to start fresh, and she is commited to be baptized on Easter, April 19!! We are thrilled. Clara is so sweet, and we are so excited for the opportunity to teach her and strengthen her testimony of the Gospel.

We also began teaching Zacheus, a 45 year old man from Nigeria who LOVES the Bible and God. We met up at Westbahnhof and had our lesson in the benches there. That lesson was one of the most powerful and spiritual of my mission. Even amidst the noise and chaos of people catching trains and running back and forth, it was as though we were sitting quitely in the Church -- completely surrounded in the bubble of the Holy Ghost.  Zacheus, just as all the Africans I´ve ever taught, knows the Bible inside and out, and had many questions as to why we need the Book of Mormon. When he asked why we need the Book of Mormon, we read the scripture in Ezekiel where it speaks of two sticks: the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph. We also read in Matthew where it reads "in the mouth of two or three witnesses, (my) word shall be established.) Zacheus' eyes lit up with excitement, and we shared simple testimonies about the truths in the Book of Mormon. We gave Zacheus 3 Nephi 11 to read and will have an appointment next week.

This weekend we were able to enjoy a very special and unique Stake Conference. Broadcasted from Salt Lake City, we were able to hear from Elder Schwitzer of the Seventy, Sister Stephens of Relief Society, Elder Bednar, and Elder Hales, all speak to JUST the German saints. The entire meeting was centered on missionary work in Europe. The most special event of all, however, was the talk Elder Bednar gave. He gave it all in German...completely pure and untranslated. . It was BEAUTIFUL, and it was extremely touching to see the Vienna saints weep with joy to hear from an Apostle of the Lord in their own language. I will never forget what I felt seeing the members so happy. Honestly, I don´t remember anything Elder Bednar said, I only remember the powerful spirit that filled the room as he testified of the truthfulness of the Gospel, and of his love for the Saints in Germany and Austria.  It was a moment that will be forever imprinted in my heart.

Wonderful news! We met with Nicole again this week. She is progressing INCREDIBLY! We read the story of Lehi´s dream with her, and explained the symbolism of it. We talked about how much joy the Gospel brings us when we share it with others. We are hoping that Nicole will talk with her husband, Dennis, and have him be taught. We are also hoping to help her set an exact date goal for her baptism, and I know prayers on her behalf would be beneficial. I have such a testimony of prayer, even of the smallest and simpliest of prayers.

Being able to serve here in Vienna for one more transfer is such a great blessing. I truly love this city and it's people. When I was little and missionaries came home and would explain how much they love the people and land where they served, I never understood exactly what they meant. Now I know. The little puzzle piece that completes the picture in loving one's mission is CHARITY. Whether that be a mission as a full-time missionary, called and set-apart by the authority and power of God to serve His children, or our missions within our families and friends, the biggest key to happiness and being successful is charity.

Charity is deeper, more long standing, than normal, worldly love. Love is a product of charity. Charity is unwavering, strong, and genuine. When we have charity for others, we are unexplainably happy. Charity fills us with love, peace, comfort, and hope. It leads us to "go about doing good" to bless the lives of others. Just as Lehi and the fruit of the tree of life, the inexplicable joy we feel from the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be something we want to share. We want to fill our baskets and share with everyone the sweetness of this fruit, no matter the cost or sacrifice. This is what God has called me to do. I am so humbled to be able to partake of such a great responsibility and calling, to bring this basket of fruit over mountains and fields and plains, to help Him "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)

I love you, my wonderful family and dearest friends. Your prayers are of great strength to me. Hold high the flame of your faith, and press ever forward in the work of the Lord!

Until next week!


Karlskirche in Wien

Auf Wiedersehen Elder Worthen!

Best group of sister missionaries….saying Good-Bye at the Bahnhof in Vienna on Transfer Day

"One of my wonderful high school friends…now one of my dearest missionary friends, Sister Winters saying goodbye to Austria and heading off to Stuttgart!" 

"My dearest and most loyal Sister Clark…good luck in Salzburg!"

2 comments:

  1. The feelings and emotions are so tangible! It's strange that you can feel something so strongly that you can't really express - even through a blog post! I can just imagine how strong it is there! What a missionary she is!

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  2. Ok I can remember talking about this letter, yet I see I didn't reply! Seriously, she & Sis Henry wrote almost the exact same paragraph about resolutions & fresh starts. Astounding. Her thoughts on charity are inspiring! And I love the goodbye hugs-I just picture Sister Clark carrying it to Sis Henry in Salzburg. :)

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