I had this weird realization yesterday.
|The beautiful view outside the home where we had an eating appointment.|
We had an eating appointment at this member's house - they live outside of Wien, so they drove us to their home in their car. On the way back to the city, I felt so sick. I realized that it was because I haven't ridden in the back of a car for like, 3 months. I guess I have officially been on my mission for a long time - I can`t even ride in a car without feeling sick to my stomach! But, at the same time, I still stumble half the time when the U-Bahn lurches into motion...so I`m not quite there yet.
Anyway. Something Präsident Kohler has advised us to do is to try and fill our days with teaching. People who aren`t members of the church, less-active members, members, etc. Teach, teach, teach, when we can. As we practice teaching these lessons and discussions to those who are or aren`t LDS, we become better teachers, and we can try to strengthen the people we teach. It`s also a lot of fun to teach members - they can add so much to the lesson, and it`s a great way to get to know them. I`m at the point now where I feel I can adequately (although, slowly) express myself in German - it`s not as eloquent as I would like it to be, but I can generally say what I want to say. That being said, that isn`t always the case...there was a lesson we had with a member this week when, despite all my efforts, my words were just jumbling in who-knows-what way. I looked up and could tell from the looks on their faces that they had absolutely no idea what point I was trying to make! Haha! I took a deep breath and tried again, and it made more sense. Thank Heavens. Either way, I am so grateful for Sister Freimann - she helps fill in the holes of my language when I don`t totally make sense. :) People are just too polite here - they tell me that my German is good - even when it isn`t.
This week, when we didn`t have appointments, we started to try and go vorbei on some of the less-active members of the ward. On the ward list there`s quite a few people who are so inactive, not even the Bischof knows who they are. We met with a member of the FHV (Relief Society) presidency this week, and she gave us some people to go check up on too. It`s been so fun! We`ve met a lot of really cool people that we`ll try to help in which-ever way that we can.
Friday was also the weirdest day, because we went to Wiener Neustadt! There were some people we specifically needed to visit there, so we got permission from Präsident to leave our area, and bought tickets. It felt weird to walk down the cute Necco-Wafer colored building-lined streets again. It was really great because we got to visit some people, and also the new Elders in Neustadt got to meet some of the people we had been working with together. (Us Sisters were replaced by 2 additional Elders in Neustadt, so they picked up where we left off...so they came along with us that morning.)
BUT. Crazy thing. We literally ate SO MUCH FOOD.
|Sister Freimann and I eating our free OBB croissants.|
We had an appointment at 1, so we got on the train to Neustadt at about 1030, after companionship study. They sell refreshments on the train, so someone came down the aisle and asked if we wanted croissants. We said no, because we didn't have much money on us. We saw the girl just handing them to other people, and we realized they were free! What the heck? We had ridden that train who knows how many times, and that has never happened before! We quickly waved the girl back down and partook in the most wondrous, buttery croissants that have ever happened.
We then made it to Neustadt, where the 2nd pair of Elders met us, and we went to work! We had tracked down a few people for an hour or two when we all started feeling kind of hungry. We found lunch at a grocery store. Sister Freimann and I then left for our appointment, where we were fed popcorn (my absolute favorite snack, ever) and the most rich, delicious, filling cocoa you can imagine.
We were pretty stuffed. We were then walking down the road, headed back to Bahnhof when a car driving down the road honked at us - it was a member from Neustadt driving the other Elders. What the heck? They hopped out and said they were on the way to this regular eating appointment we used to have in Neustadt. We thought we might as well stop by to say hello, so we walked with them to the apartment. They were kind enough to ask us to stay for lunch! We ate the most delicious chicken lunch-ever. But holy cow, I was stuffed. I never thought I would eat again. I have heard tell in the past of missionaries who said they developed a skill on their missions to just eat and eat and eat...I believe it.
I had a really cool personal study, studying charity this week. Moroni 7:45-48 (in the Book of Mormon) probably gives the best example of it:
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if you have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail --
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever, and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
I think it’s incredible that it says that we must cleave unto charity, because it is the greatest of all. If anything, charity is the quality directly opposite of the natural man, who is selfish and inward-turning. To be charitable is to try and love like Christ loved, so we have to “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that (we) may be filled with this love.”
I just like that. Have a wonderful week.
A few more photos!
|Sister Freimann and I purchased a pair of companion socks this week. Pandas!|
|Playing ultimate Frisbee with the elders in a park last P-Day.|
L-R: Elder Pugmire, Elder Brady, (two Elders' names to come!)
Sister Bushman, Sister Freimann.
|On your mission you learn new skills.|
French braiding my hair by myself for the first time!
|A "Blast from the Past" photo: eating at a member's home before|
Sister Smiley and Elder Pingle left Wien. L-R: Elder Pugmire,
Sister Smiley, Sister Freimann, Sister Bushman, Elder Pingel.