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Monday, February 17, 2014

Good job, Wayne!




Thankfully, Sherry's former companions write to me too, because she forgot to tell us Sister Garrett is being transferred to Weiner Neustadt Austria and Sherry's new companion is Sister Chelsey Clark from American Fork Utah.  Sister Peterson said they will "tear up Salzburg with kindness." And we were all just thrilled to find out Elder Root is finishing off his mission where she started--in Freiburg! 

So I can check one thing off of my mission bucket list!  We were getting on the bus to go to Europark and teach a lesson at Starbucks (I love being a missionary) when I saw a couple of empty seats and had to make the split second decision of who to talk to.  Sister Garrett and I almost always split up when we contact in public transportation just because it makes it more personable to talk to someone one on one.
I look to my left and there, next to an empty seat, what do I see?  A white collar.  Yes my dear friends, he was a Catholic priest.  I sit down and go, "Hi! How are you doing?  That is so cool you are a Priest because I am a missionary!"  We end up having a great discussion and he talks about how inspiring he finds it that someone young like me is dedicating this time in life to God.  He hadn't heard about the Book of Mormon or the Church before, and so we exchanged contact information and are going to meet!  That reminds me I have to call him.  Ah, emails home are such a blessing sometimes :)
But yes, missionary work has no bounds.  Maybe if I were just trying to get people baptized into the Mormon church it would have bounds.  But this work is way bigger than that, this is the work of God so of course a Catholic priest would be interested in meeting with us!  I am just still so stinking excited!  Yes!
I want you all to know how important it is that YOU are missionaries.  I was on Tausch (exchange) with Sister Erdenesogt and we started talking to a nice man sitting across from us on the S Bahn.  His name was T and we start off the usual way, "how are you?  Oh yeah, we're not from here, she's from Mongolia, I'm from America, etc."  When he finds out we are Mormon missionaries he gets really excited and talks about his friend Wayne in Florida who gave him a Book of Mormon!  He says he read in it a little bit, but can't say he read in it a ton.  We have a great chat and he lets us know that we are always welcome!

Washington girl pumping the gas
So we go and meet with him this past week, Alise one of our super awesome JAE's came with us, and it was great!  His 17 year old daughter was also there and we had a great discussion about the church, what we believe, what is important to us, etc.  Thomas let us know that he wasn't too interested in taking the discussions (we'll work on that) but his daughter A was very interested in the Church.  We offered her a Book of Mormon, which she then asked her dad if it would be okay.  He said of course!  She was so excited to get one, and really wants to come to Church!
The best part is that the real work, the work that made T and A open to the Gospel, wasn't Sister Garrett, Sister Erdensogt, and I at all!  A huge part was having Alise there to be able to talk about the Church from a normal person perspective.  We as missionaries are frankly weird, and if we are all people are exposed to, they would think the Church is really weird.  But when a member shares their life and their experience, it means a lot more to the person who is learning.
And I just can't help but be so proud of Wayne!  I have no idea who this guy is but he is awesome!  Because he wasn't afraid to share the joy he finds in the Gospel, and to share the Gospel by sharing a Book of Mormon, Thomas was willing to listen to us.  We talk about God softening the hearts of the children to receive the missionaries, but we forget how the hearts are softened.  I frankly believe it's the friendship and love of the members that opens the hearts for people to listen.  And let me tell ya, it's a lot easier to teach someone whose heart is open to listening!
This week was full of a lot of miracles and blessings.  This transfer I just felt thrown in the wringer but now looking back, it was a successful one!  I really am grateful to be here in Salzburg, I love this city!  Man, I am so blessed!  There is no better place to be than serving God all day long by serving his children!  Seriously, this work has made me the happiest I can remember.  It has brought such a depth and joy into my life!  You should all try it if you are not.  I am so grateful that my mission won't end with these 18 months but that these 18 months are really just the start!
I love you all so much!  I am so grateful that God has put you all in my life!
Love,
Sis Henry

From our chat: (about Elder Root's transfer to Freiburg) But yeah, the ward is going to LOVE him! He better tell them who he is! They'll flip! I love that ward so much, it just makes me so happy! That city is my favorite place ever!
Haha well when I heard I didn't believe Elder Halversen or Elder Stilger! But then I had to control myself not to think about it because I would get super excited and start listing in my mind all of the people I want him to say hi to for me. I am just so excited for him! But yep, it took the past 3 days to actually believe it! I am so excited, I just can't even explain!

This is my reward for God making me see him (Elder Root)! Ha! He owed me! Just kidding, but I am super happy about it.
(Rachel Zwingli Christensen wanted to know her reaction about finding out she is part Swiss) I know, how funny is it that we are Swiss! Now I want to go back! Some day!
From her letter to Wendy (her BYU Mom)
  I am the Sister Training Leader for a companionship in Brixen, a companionship in Wels, and a companionship in LInz.  So it is perfect because we don't have to do too many exchanges, but enough that we get to see a lot of stuff :)  [she also mentioned to me that "Being a STL isn't too bad, it's a lot less work than a zone leader so I'm lucky."]
The weather has been gorgeous!!!



1 comment:

  1. I can't think of a better Sister to talk to a priest! Her excitement is contagious! Way to go Sister Henry!

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