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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

All over Austria, Germany, and Italy...all in a week!

What a week!

I don't even know what to write about!  So much happened, we went to Hellbrunn,  to  Brixen, to Berchtesgaden, and to Vienna all in 7 days!  And we're heading to Munich tomorrow, holy cow!
     I think the first thing to write is that I am my Mother's daughter.  Elder Stilger had some extra Peanut Butter Cups from home and so he gave us some.  I was about to eat them when I realized that I couldn't eat them just plain!  They needed to be Frozen!  So, I am my Mommy's daughter.
     I had an awesome Tausch down in Brixen this week with Sister Lohmann!

On Wednesday morning we scheduled a couple of hours to just hit the pavement and find some people.  We start off saying, "Hallo, Wie geht es Ihnen?" to everyone.  But everyone would just say they could only speak Italian.  We knew that wasn't true, even if everyone in Süd Tirol didn't learn both languages, they're light eyes and light skin is sort of a definite indicator that they weren't Italian.

     We then decided to switch it around and started approaching everyone with, "Ciao! Com esta?" It made a world of a difference!  Everyone was so nice and willing to talk with us!  The best part was that if they started speaking in Italian, I would just say, "Bitte?" and they would switch to German, ask where we were from, etc.  It was SO COOL!  We ended up finding 2 really solid potentials, and having a blast along the way.
Ciao, would you like to hear a message of the Restoration?
    The Brixen Sisters also have an Investigator who actually lives in Bolzano.  So, I went to Bolzano!  Never thought I would make it down there!  She was such a sweet heart and the lesson was great.  It was a little sad because she has been feeling a lot of pressure from her family and friends about not getting baptized.  She told us that she just needed more time.  And you know what?  That is perfectly okay!  Elder Dyches said something really awesome at mission tour, "We teach for conversion, not baptism" That is totally true.

     They could have worded our purpose as missionaries any way.  They could have said our purpose is to baptize the world, to grow the kingdom of God, any thing.  But they chose to say that our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ.  We are not teaching to bring people to the waters of baptism, we are teaching to bring people to Jesus Christ. He taught us that we need to be baptized to do so, but baptism is not conversion.  Conversion is so much more than that.  So if an investigator needs time, then they need time!  If they are progressing, then it's not a disappointment.  They are converting!  They are repenting and coming closer to their Savior!  And eventually they will get baptized, as we continue to help them repent and come closer to Him.
We had an awesome Pday and went to the castle in Werfen and to Königsee.  We saw the coolest Falconry show (with Golden Eagles too) and then also the Königsee was gorgeous.  I feel so blessed that I had that opportunity!  we went with our Bishops family and also a recent convert and her husband.  Best Pday ever!  (Elder Halversen said the same thing--it's President Monson's favorite place in Europe, he goes there every time he is in Europe)

Elder Halversen

Vienna was super great!  We had a finding day on Monday.  Everyone from the Vienna and Salzburg Zones went on a tausch (exchange) for 2 and a half hours and just found and gave out books of Mormon.  We just went out a bunch of different ways and flooded Vienna with the Gospel!  I worked with Sister Allman and it was awesome.  She gave me a much needed boost of excitement and courage!  We talked with EVERYONE and it was so much fun!
     Mission Tour was also awesome.  The one thing I really went away with was just how much more I can do.  There is so much more of me to give!  Elder Dyches mentioned the parable of the Talents and it really struck me.  I thought about how one servant got 5 talents and one servant got 2 and one 1.  I love, LOVE that Jesus Christ, when hearing of what the servant with 5 and the servant with 2 talents did with their talents, says the exact same thing to them.  Well done, thou good and faithful servant.  Exactly the same.  He was just as pleased with both of them.
     It's interesting to me that in the end, one didn't have 10 and one didn't have 4, rather they both had no talents (as they had given them to their master) and instead had eternal life.
    I need to multiply my talents so that I can bring them home back to my Father in Heaven.
    All of the things said at mission tour really motivated me to give more of my best.  I was trying to figure out how I wanted to coin it, how I wanted to really apply it.  I realized one weakness I have had my entire life is getting up earlier than I have to.  I hate getting up, and so I always sleep in until the last minute I can.  On my mission I wake up at 6:30, which is when you are supposed to wake up.  I have been 100% exactly obedient in that regard so far on my mission.
     But, I can do more.  Just because 6:30 is the time I need to be up by, it isn't the time I have to get up.  I can get up earlier, in this sense I can do more.  And so I realized that if I start my day off doing more, I am going to spend my day doing more.  So I made a goal to get up at 6:20.  It's not a big difference, it actually helps the bathroom schedule in the morning, haha.
     I just want to do more!  I have so much to give and I need to give it, you know?
     So yes, that's where I am.  This week is crazy, as we go to Munich tomorrow and Friday.  But it's a great week.  We have some really special people we are teaching, and I feel privileged to do so.  Gosh, I love being on my mission.
     I love my Savior so much.  I can't even express it, just how deep my love for Jesus Christ has become.
I love you all!
Sister Henry

HI Daddy!
     I am so excited to watch the Sound of Music when I get home, isn't that so ironic?  I love the soundtrack now!  Sometimes I cry when I hear the edelweiss song just because I really love Austria so much.
     My fingers are starting to hurt, but I want you to know that I feel like you and I have both been going through the same thing!  I feel the same way, that God has just really given me my mission and an opportunity to change myself and my habits that I've gotten into before my mission.
     I get to see you next week! And don't worry, this time I won't talk as much.  I will let you all talk instead, haha :)
I love you!
Sher Bear

Oh yeah and the cool cave thing is called Steintheater.  It's a stone theater.  It was awesome.  It was by Schloss Hellbrunn, the yellow castle.  We went to the park in the near from it and played frisbee and stuff for Pday last week. (I crack up when she speaks "Germanish").

Singing in the Steintheater

Tori is the best!  Oh I loved Spencer's grad announcement!
      Oh I had a total break down last week because I am so sad to miss Michael's wedding.  I didn't realize it would be so hard.  I mean I always knew next week would be sort of hard  but I didn't realize how much.  I just it just put in perspective how much of a sacrifice my mission really is, and I am grateful I can sacrifice so much!  I just never realized that I really have put my life aside to serve the Lord.  But I have also been so blessed, and have felt so near the Savior at this time.  It's been really special.
     I've learned that consecration isn't forgetting who you are, it's just making God the most important!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Nephi didn't speak German?! & singing Bach next week

Easter in dirndls with a YSA from Salzburg

     So I had a funny experience this week as I was reading in the Book of Mormon.  Starting my 3rd transfer or so, I decided to only read the scriptures in German to help not only my language skills, but my ability to teach out of the German Book of Mormon and Bible better.  Nowadays, I open up my English scriptures when I have a question about the meaning of a word in a verse or something, so it's seldom that my English scriptures even come out of my desk drawer.
     The other day, I was reading in the beginning of the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 15 or so.  I finished the chapter, paused for a moment, and realized...the people in the scriptures didn't speak German!  They spoke English!
     Okay, in reality they spoke reformed Egyptian or at least wrote that way, I don't know what the heck their original speaking language was.  It was just so funny because I have heard the scriptures in English my whole life and it hit me that now when I think in my mind of the stories in the Book of Mormon, I always think of them speaking in German to each other! 
     I also had another funny moment like that.  We were waiting at Bahnhof and I needed to use the restroom.  I put my coin in, went through the door, and then America, we don't pay for the bathroom.  WHAT THE HECK?!  That is so weird that anyone can just walk in and use a public restroom without putting in a coin!  That just blows. my. mind.
    Due to Easter Holidays, we didn't have a ton of lessons this week, but the one investigator lesson we had was awesome!  We met with the H family and they are just the best!  He's a less active, she's an investigator and also their Grandson, R, who is 10 and lives with them, is also an investigator.  Ever since the first moment we walked in their door I have just felt this overwhelming swell of love for this family!  Honestly, I can take a pause from typing, sit here, think about them, and my heart swells up!  I love them so much!
    The lesson was just a blast.  We taught the plan of Salvation and all of them participated, even R had some really great answers!  We were laughing, smiling, and just so happy together as we talked about the truths of the Gospel!  We meeting again tomorrow, and I am counting down the hours I love them so much!
     I also had two awesome Austausches this week!  First with Sister Peterson!!!!!!!  It was so fun working together!  We just fell right back into rhythm and worked together as smooth as silk!  It was like no time had passed since we were companions!  I love Sister Peterson so much, she really is just one of my greatest friends.  She made me feel so confident and good about myself!  There is a reason she has trained so much, she is going to be a fantastic Mom.

     I also got to work with Sister Starns, she's a golden (brand new missionary) from England.  I had never worked with someone so young on the mission (about 2 weeks) and it brought back a lot of good memories.  We had a blast together and I learned so much about just being bold and courageous!  We taught a woman on the train from Wels to Salzburg the first lesson!  It was awesome!  Sister Starns participated the whole time, even with her limited German she taught big parts of the lesson!  It was really cool.  Gosh, I love Sister Starns too!

     I am really looking forward to this next week, too.  It's probably partially because the sun is out right now, but I just feel so optimistic!  What a great day and a great time to be a missionary!  Sometimes I just think, "Woah!  I am a MISSIONARY! that's cool.."  I love it here in Salzburg.  I LOVE working with Sister Clark!
     I love Jesus Christ.  I love Him so much! He loves us so much!  I feel that love daily as I talk with others here in Salzburg.  He truly loves each and every soul here on this earth perfectly.  Just an absolutely perfect love.  No ifs, no buts, just love.  We are never alone.
     Well, I am going to wrap this up!  Oh just btws, S(the investigator she had Mom write last week) is doing great.  She gets back from Holiday today so we should be meeting soon.  I love S!
Love you!
Sister Henry
Easter treats!

Q and A:
• What has been your biggest challenge this week?
My biggest challenge this last week was probably just being stressed.  I gave a talk yesterday in Church and also one of the members in the ward wanted to do a musical number.  I told him to pick a song and then he picked an aria from Bach's Matthäuspassion (St. Matthew's Passion)...and so we spent 6 hours saturday trying to put it together and it was really hard.  We ended up moving it to next week thank heavens.  So yep, I just felt a little stressed and just really worn out and tired.  But that happens every now and then.  I think about how stressful life is outside of the mission and then think...I'll stay on the mission with this stress! Haha
• What has been your biggest concern?
My biggest concern is just that I'm not doing all that I can.  I want to make sure I go away from my mission with the same attitude in Jacob 5:47, what more could I have done for the vineyard?  I want to make sure I am doing all that I can.  No regrets!  Haha (this was her Senior Motto--unfortunately her senior class had "partying" references for it, but she applies it to her life in the right way)
     I think my other big concern is that I am really worried for these people over here.  I see what sort of path their culture is trending and it's really sad.  It breaks your heart to see those you love exercise their agency to do those things that will hurt them.
• What has been your biggest success?
I think the biggest success in my mission is just the conversion that I have made.  Not only that, but I have learned the tools to make that conversion last after my mission and developed the skills required for that diligence.  Of course we won't know for sure until a few years down the road the end result of that success, but even being able to achieve the progress made so far is a success. 
• Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
Sister Clark.  We just really love each other.  I love having a companion with me 24 hours a day!

    Or Alois, Monica, and Rennie.  A family we are teaching.  I really love them too and we are meeting twice this week!  I really REALLY love this family.
• What are you looking forward to this coming week?
We are meeting with the family we are teaching twice this week!
• Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
Yep, my goal is to be more diligent!  Especially with talking with everyone.  I get very nervous to stop people on the street.  I am doing a Tausch with Sister Lohmann so hopefully she can teach me her ways!

Wendy is just the best!  Let her know that if she just puts my name and also Sister Chelsey Clark's name on it, then it will get to me fine even if I do get transferred.  Or she can just send it to Munich.  There's a chance I would get it later, but I would definitely get it.  I don't feel like I am going to get transferred out of Salzburg yet.
I am glad that Sam hasn't forgotten me :) (Sam Marrott, her 8 year old "boyfriend")
     Thanks for sending those pictures (of the Halders last autumn).  I printed some of them off for her too, before I had left the area.  I just had felt impressed to do it, and now I know why!  I am so glad the funeral went well.  Man, I am so glad that Elder Root is in Freiburg!  He has really helped that area so much, I can see it!  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the picture of Francis.  It's so cool, Mom, to see how much progress Francis is making.  I met Francis his first time he ever came to church.  I am so happy Elder Root is in Freiburg!  Man!
     I go to Vienna MONDAY!!!!!!!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?! 
I did get a letter from Britt!  He does write me the best letters on the mission, I think!
      Janosh is at the piano.  He is the really talented pianist.  I just thought it was funny, we rehearsed the aria from Matthäuspassion for 6 hours (Sister Clark is playing piano, him organ, me singing) and Sister and Elder Smith sat in the chapel and babysat us.  It was like parents at dance practice, so I took a picture.

The hymn "Oh Savior Thou Who Wearest A Crown" is from music from the St. Matthew's Passion. 
​I feel like Sister Clark and I have really just crossed the just companions line and have become great friends!  Oh by the way you should find her mom.  We keep talking about that :)