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Monday, January 20, 2014

Smells Like Home.


This week was a really good one.   First off, to explain the title line.
Sister Garrett and I were walking back to the church after going by on a few people.  Our church is sort of out there, on the outskirts of the city of Salzburg, and so there is a point where you walk on a cute little path through a huge field used as pasture for cows.  We were walking, and it was a cooler, wetter night, and the sweet smell of cow poop was in the air.  It felt like a school morning! (There are dairy farms near Glenwood, Laurin, and Prairie, her elementary middle and high schools, my kids all don't mind the smell of cow manure!)

As we walked, we then heard some mooing.  Curious, we looked for the source and saw a barn on the side of the road.  There was a man standing outside, so we went to go talk to him.  Before we could get his attention, he went into the barn.  We walked closer and saw all of the cute cows and couldn't resist.  So we called into the barn and asked if we could come and pet his cows.  He said yes!  So naturally, we then became acquainted with all of the cows and he even showed us the new calf!  He was a little socially awkward, but really nice none the less.  We told him we'd come back and buy some milk from him.

 So then the next morning, while we were in the near, we stopped in to get some nice, fresh, milk!  We didn't know they only sold goats milk, but we really wanted to talk to the man again.  So we rang their little bell and bought a liter and a half of Goats Milk!  Turns out they weren't interested in the Gospel...yet...but we ended up having some fresh goats milk to drink!  Everyone we asked about it said it tastes nasty, but it isn't half that bad!  So all I have been drinking at home for the last few days is nice, refreshing, straight from the udder, goats milk.  Gotta love Austria!
 We also had another little miracle moment.  I was going through the new ward list and was reading off the people who live in our little dorf, Freilassing, and having Sister Garrett tell me about them.  I read a name and she didn't recognize it.  Turns out the updated list has a whole bunch of new people that weren't on the old one!
We decided to go by on one of the people, and the man wasn't at home but his girlfriend that he's living with was home and invited us in!  They have two of the cutest little children on the planet.  We went in, sat down, and just started chatting.  She really is awesome!  Before we left, we asked if we could just leave a little spiritual thought.  Sister Garrett looks at me with the companion look of, "you got this one." Yikes!  All I had was a pass a long Book of Mormon, and we all know how good I am at remembering scripture references.  There is a reason my scriptures look like  rainbow, let me just say that.  I flip open to Ether 12 as that's a solid chapter to share a thought out of.  I decide to read verse 26 which talks all about turning weaknesses to strengths.  I don't remember how the discussion went afterwards, but it lead to us inviting her to read the Book of Mormon and meet with us again.  She gladly accepted, we are actually going tonight! 

The cool part is, I don't think Ether 12:26 is what she needed to hear at all.  It literally was just a random thought to be shared.  (don't worry, I am trying to work on personal preparation for the day)  But that doesn't matter, because, through the spiritual thought, the Spirit was invited and then her concerns, thoughts, opinions, feelings were shared through that spirit and we were able to let the Holy Spirit truly teach her, Spirit to spirit.


We taught Relief Society yesterday with 8 p.m.-the-night-before-notice and were really trying to think about how we could make the lesson really neat and inspiring.  We got into the lesson with all of these ideas, it was a great lesson plan.  But as we taught, the Spirit guided the lesson so that it didn't follow our plan, but the Lord's plan for what the sisters needed to hear.

It is so important that we prepare lessons when we teach, but it is just as important that while we teach, we listen.  I am a firm believer that to teach by the Spirit, we need to listen by the Spirit.  It takes a huge load off of our shoulders when we know that we don't have to be worried about what we are going to say, or how our lesson is going to go, because if we are listening, we'll know!

Oh! WE GOT BIKES!  Getting around Freilassing was a nightmare as there is really no good bus system.  So we called up president and asked if we could get bikes...and he said yes!  It was sort of a head ache getting it all worked out with the money and everything, but now we are the proud owners of two new city cruisers and they are CUTE!  It's also good, because I was thinking about if I want to try just using a bike when I go back to college, and so now I get to test it out in winter time.  So far it has been awesome, though!
 

I also bought a Dirndl this week!  It ended up being a huge blessing, plus the fact that I have my homecoming talk outfit all picked out!

I have been having a tough time adjusting to a new area.  Like a pretty tough time.  Not so bad to wipe the smile off of my face, but it has still been hard.

I realized that I was trying too hard to get work done, to try and get the numbers and work in this area up and moving, that I was doing the opposite of the counsel in D&C 10:4.  I was running faster than I could, and trying harder than I ought to be.

So I decided to take a step back, and give myself time.  Here I am, trying to rub off a huge change like it is nothing! I just left everyone I knew and loved here and started off all over in not only another area, but another country and culture!  Who am I to talk to these people on the S Bahn or the Bus and tell them what they need?  I haven't even taken the time to get to know them!

Lately, as I talk with people, instead of going into my conversations jumping off my seat to tell them about Joseph Smith, I just try to listen to them.  To learn what is important to them, what they consider to be beautiful in life.  I realized that I need to take the time to get to know them if I ever want to be able to love them!  And I know that it is only through that love that they will be able to hear the message of the restoration with an open heart to actually be able to accept it.

Anyways, I wore my Dirndl to church yesterday and it ended up helping me get a lot closer with the ward, and feel a little more connected to this part of the world!  It was just one example of how, when we take the time to show our love and respect for others, then they will have no option but to offer the same in return.


(at Mozart's birthplace!)

I love being a missionary! I know I say that a lot, but it's just because it is true.  Don't get me wrong, it has not been easy.  It has been harder than I could have ever imagined!  But I love it.  I love these people and I love this Gospel!  I only want to share what I know to bring true peace and happiness with others, and so that's what I'm doing!
I love you all back at home!  Keep being the amazing you that I know you are!  We all have so much to bring to this world, it's only a matter of us living up to our infinite potential that each one of us has!
Love you!
Love,
Sister Henry
PS For the first two tausches (exchanges) I will stay here but then we will both go down to Brixen Italy and do a super tausch the last week of the transfer.  So that is pretty exciting.
     I still say hello to everyone, I am trying to bring everything good I did here to Salzburg so it is good!
The ward knows I play piano so I played for Sacrament Meeting yesterday.  They want me to accompany a flute quartet for Stake Conference but I really have to practice so we will see.  I am starting to get to know them, it just obviously takes time.  But they like me!  Of course I study German, but I don't worry too much about it being perfect.  I just talk with everyone and that helps the most.  It won't be perfect when I come home but that's okay, I plan on studying it further and refining it.  (Mom's note: I can't believe she might play for Stake Conference--she is a singer not a pianist!  Her piano teacher until she quit her freshman year, DeeAnn Field, will be thrilled! There are SO many blessings of serving a mission, if you're thinking about one, DO!)






2 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos! I can't get enough of how teachable she is! I bet her companions love her! The Dirndl was awesome too!

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    Replies
    1. You are so sweet Leslie! I hope I get to meet you in person soon. We are trying to plan a weekend to come down and meet my son's fiance in Provo.

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