For those who didn't know, I absolutely love sunflowers. Kansas is "The Sunflower State," so they have always reminded me of home. What I didn't know pre-mission is that Kansas has nothing on Austria concerning sunflowers, or Sonnenblumen. They are absolutely everywhere! And absolutely gorgeous. I have untold numbers of sunflowers on my camera. Absolute best!
|Sonnenblumen! A little reminder of home.|
|Our street out the window in Wiener Neustadt.|
It is absolutely beautiful!
I am currently reporting from the chapel in Wiener Neustadt, area #2, that we finally were able to visit this week. It is absolutely beautiful! It's about a half hour train ride from Wien south to Wiener Neustadt. Sister Smiley and I both think that it looks like Arendelle from "Frozen." (Sister Freimann can't agree or disagree because she has been on her mission since the movie came out!) It's this charming little town with a town square and candy-colored buildings. The Bishof and Gemeinde here are incredible. (The "Gemeinde" is the church congregation or "ward", and the "Bishof" is the Bishop, and the leader of the congregation.) As soon as we got in, we set up an appointment with the Bishof where we went through the ward list and talked about how we can best help and serve and boost the Gemeinde here in WN. Now that we are more settled in both apartments and have met with all of the key people, we are excited to dive deeper and get to work!
A happy, happy missionary on her first night in Wiener Neustadt
|One of the beautiful churches in Wiener Neustadt...they just |
have these giant beautiful gothic cathedrals on EVERY CORNER here!
Something that I have reflected a lot on this week is how Heavenly Father answers our prayers. I am beyond happy to be out in the field and finally doing what I wanted to be doing as a missionary - but I didn't realize how much I would miss my support group at the MTC until we had split. Not only that, but there's only one other Golden (a new missionary) in my whole Zone, so I will seldom see anyone from my MTC group for these first few months of training. I was feeling really overwhelmed at first with two areas to try and learn - bus systems, Bishofs, Gemeinden, etc., and I knelt down and prayed for a sense of peace and for comfort, to know that I need to be in these two areas, in Austria, away from all of the wonderful people I had gotten to know. I prayed for opened eyes to see miracles and blessings around me, so I wouldn't dwell on what was hard and what I didn't understand.
|"On the way to the airport. Miss you all!" Sister Cook and Sister Wilkes in front;|
Sister Fenton and Sister Bushman in back. On the way to the Manchester airport last week.
It's amazing what a change in perspective can do. As I tried to forget myself and serve, I started to see so many more miracles around me- and little 'coincidences' like one of my companions happening to put on our favorite CD from the MTC, and seeing the exact same flower bush on the street that we have in my front yard at home, made me feel less small in this wonderful new country I have found myself in. I think Heavenly Father is sending us little blessings of love and comfort all the time - we sometimes just don't notice. When we pray for that changed perspective, it is impossible to feel alone!
|Pretty door...bring 'em the Gospel! (Also, there's a belt|
in my hair because I couldn't find a hair tie!)
Proselyting selfie, with Sister Smiley and Sister Freimann.
(Does Sister Bushman look a wee bit apprehensive?)
Last week on P-day we ventured into the Inner Stad (inner city), which was tourist central, but still really fun. We saw Stephansdom and Peterskirche, went to fancy European H&M, and heard people speaking English (which was weird). But great!
|St. Stephansdom (Sister Bushman in foreground)|
|Looking inside the dome at Peterskirche|
|In front of H&M with Sister Smiley and Sister Freimann|
Much love! Be wonderful this week!
More photos from my first full week in Wein:
|Fabled Spaghetti Eis( yummy ice cream!)|
|The initiatory Austrian drink - Bananen Traum|
|Ich liebe Wein! (I love Vienna!)|