Monday, March 3, 2014

A 180 turn and back to two!

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

WELL. This week took a 180 turn. Just as unexpected as our transfer news last week to become a "dritt", this week we recieved an exciting phonecall that we would be getting another sister in Vienna. Her name is Sister Friedrichs and she is waiting for her visa to Australia so she can begin her service in the Australia Melbourne Mission. Thursday morning we were told we would pick up Sister Friedrichs on Tuesday March 4. Within just a few hours we were informed we had 3 hours to buy tickets and get to the Vienna Airport to pick up Sister Friedrichs! Admist the chaos, we were able to get the apartment reorganized and get it set up for her. Sister Friedrichs is really sweet! She's from Lübeck ward and is 21. Her German is BEAUTIFUL and she has the sweetest personality. She has a great sense of humor and I think will really love working in the Vienna 4th ward with Sister Packer. Sister Green and I sind wieder ZWEI!!

Being in a dritt for 6 days was very different but also fun. I grew a lot in those few days...relying on the Lord and working to be more selfless and thoughtful of others.  We had a great Pday at Stephan's Platz and Stephan's Dome, one of the most beautiful areas of Vienna I've seen. We were able to walk the streets as it got dark, and all of the big buildings were beautifully lit.

Etwas lustiges (Something funny): on the way home from an appointment Wednesday night, we were waiting for our strassenbahn at Schottentor and noticed one of the members from the Wien 4 ward, Brother Kaldaran, was working at his sushi stand. We talked with him for a good 10 minutes and got into a conversation with his boss, who has heard a lot about the Church and spoke very highly of Brother Kaldaran. We were able to answer some questions and talk a little bit more about the Book of Mormon. As our strassenbahn pulled into Schottentor, the boss said "Jimmy, why don't you give these lovely, hardworking Sisters some of our best sushi?" Chaos ensued the next 30 seconds which involved Sister Green and I running to the Strassenbahn, Sister Packer grabbing one box of sushi, me getting almost squished by the strassenbahn doors, us holding up the strassenbahn, and a lady who waited in line behind us at the sushi place running us a second box with eggrolls. The hot eggrolls melted the plastic container, but regardless we enjoyed a warm, fresh meal of sushi on the way home. Yes, we ate it all before we got home, and took some pictures as proof. Hard working sister missionaries = hungry sister missionaries and you know HOW much I LOVE Sushi!!

Post Sushi

Hard working missionaries= hungry missionaries=sushi=happy missionaries!
At the Primary Fasching celebration

Friday we met with Nicole and had our best lesson yet!  We talked about the 2000 Stripling Warriors and focused on the theme that "they did not doubt, because their mothers knew." Nicole ensures that she and her children pray morning and night, and after she reads the Book of Mormon she tells the stories to her children and they discuss them! We taught Nicole, Nelia, and Davin the song "Armies of Helaman." I teared up a little bit as we sang (thank you Motto genes) and after, as Sister Green talked with Davin and Nelia, I was able to share my testimony of my mission with Nicole, and what it means to me. My heart is so full as I recount this experience: there have been countless number of times where the Spirit has confirmed to me that meeting Nicole and teaching her sweet family is exactly why I was called to Vienna. It is without a doubt I KNOW that I was sent here to meet Nicole, and for me to see her example of being a mother and being an "honest seeker of truth". She is MARVELOUS, and I am so very, very, very grateful for the opportunity of being able to teach Nicole the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Saturday Sister Green, the Elders, and myself helped Perry (our GML) and his wife Theresa (the Primary president) with the Primary Faschings party! We got some pretty great pictures and had such a great time being with the kids. (For all who are wondering, "Fasching" is the Austrian and German and Swiss version of a springtime version of Halloween. Think Topsy Turvy from The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Nicole and her kids came, and we also had some friends of Theresa and Perry come who aren't members. We were able to talk with them in a more "relaxed" and "normal" setting. I feel like it's always good to show nonmembers and investigators that us as missionaries are "normal" people too...... just with a different and unique calling.

We had a really neat district meeting, where President and Sister Miles were in attendance. We talked a lot about gifts and talents, and were encouraged by Elder Jensen (our district leader) to go through our patriarchal blessings and make a list of all our gifts and talents, and then write how we can best use our individual, God-given talents in our missionary work. It was really a neat experience, and I want to share mine with you.

Each of us is unique and different and we each have something special and individual to add to the work of the Lord. As I did this activity, I was very humbled because I quickly realized how many gifts the Lord does give us. It is very known to me that the Lord shows to us our weaknesses that we may be strong, but what I just discovered was that the Lord will often pick His WEAKEST to carry forth His great work. Just because we have weaknesses does not always mean we aren't "cut out for the job". In fact, it does mean we are qualified for it, and the Lord is simply waiting for us to answer His call. Nothing has rung more true for me here on my mission than the truth and fact that each of us is a beloved, treasured, precious Son or Daughter of the Almighty; our Heavenly Father is the most powerful being in the universe. Shouldn't that mean, that, when we have weaknesses, we simply should turn to Him and ask for His assistance, rather than leaning upon our own knowledge? I can promise that as each of us looks upon our weaknesses with humility rather than discouragement, and turn to God in prayer and desire to change and become better, He will send His hosts of angels to surround us and support us. And if you don't know that, go pray about it!

Ich hab euch ganz doll lieb. Have a WONDERFUL week!!

Your little Vienna missionary,
Sister Natalie Hannah Motto

Hump Day

Me and Vienna

Sister Packer and me

Familie Mörwald

Our Daily Bread…aka weekly groceries

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