|One of the last photos of the "dritt"? Sister Bushman,|
Freimann and Smiley enjoying a cool drink from the McCafe.
Transfer calls are this week! It feels insane. Today is my one-month mark of full days in the field. (what?) So Saturday morning, we will get a phone call from either the Zone Leaders, Assistants to the President, or from Präsident Kohler himself, and they will give us our fate for what next transfer will bring for us. We have been speculating about this all transfer. What makes the most sense (we think) is that Sister Freimann and I will stay in Wien 1 and Sister Smiley will either train or just get a new companion in Wiener Neustadt, but nobody really knows. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. No matter what, I am so sad because there is a 90% chance that the dritt is splitting up. Being in a dritt definitely makes things a smidgen trickier, but I just love Sister Freimann and Sister Smiley so much, it will be hard to not be with either one of them 24/7. Now, we just have so many shared experiences and inside jokes...for example, something Sister Smiley and I love to do is touch everything.
|With Sister Smiley touching the neo-Baroque statue of|
Archduke Albrecht in front of the Albertina Museum
We have this joke how we want to touch all of Vienna. For example, we touched Schönbrunn. We touched Stephansdom and Peterskirche. Last P-Day we got to touch a lot of stuff, because we went down to the tourist-y part of Wien with Sister Smith and Sister Threlkeld! We had tausch (exchanges) with them on Tuesday (more on that in a second) so beforehand we had a lot of fun together in Wien. We went downtown and saw Parliament, the library in the Wien Rathaus that seriously looks like a storybook or Harry Potter, The Operhaus where Mozart had tons of performances, the Albertina, the whole deal. We took a little break to have cake at this cute cafe, and I tried my first Sachertorte. (It's this really good Austrian chocolate cake witha little layer of apricot jam in the middle...it sounds super weird, but I'm thoroughly converted to the Marille/Schokolade flavor combo now.) When we came out we found half of the block was blocked off and there were a ton of people gathered...apparently Tom Cruise is in Wien to shoot "Mission Impossible 5," and we happened upon the set. We never actually saw Tom (shame!) but if/when you see the movie and Tom is rapelling down the side of the exploding Wien Operhaus holding a girl, know that I was totally there.
|At the Wein Parliament|
|At the Hofburg Palace -- former residence of the Habsburg dynasty, it |
currently serves as the official residence of the President of Austria (Heinz Fischer),
|The library at the Wein Rathaus (the town hall, which serves|
as the seat for both the Mayor and the City Council)
|Doesn't this look a wee bit like a scene from Harry Potter?|
Sister Smiley is inspecting the books.
|My first Viennese Sachertorte with Sister Smiley|
|Wein at Night!|
|The Word in Wein (maybe this one is for Tom?)|
|The top of the building does NOT have Tom Cruise...what a shame.|
|Sister Bushman at the Wein Operhaus ... I didn't see him this time, but I have|
an extra Das Buch Mormon with me in case I see Tom Cruise!
|The great tausch exchange with Sister Threlkeld, Sister|
Smith, Sister Bushman, Sister Freimann & Sister Smiley
Exchanges were wonderful. Sister Smiley and I split off with Sister Smith, who is going home in 2 weeks! She is incredible, not 'trunky' in the slightest, which is incredible (trunky is a slang term describing a missionary who is excited about returning home; "trunky" means he/she has already packed his/her trunk). I hope to be that missionary who is still talking to people on the streets and smiling and studying hard in my last few weeks as a missionary.
Mom, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE FAMILY HISTORY. This week, my mother sent me the thickest package of family history information, ever. My companions and I had a lot of fun looking through the various pictures, pedigree charts, and stories. I loved seeing how suave my great-grandfather Serge was. I also read a story about my great-something-grandfather aloud and Sister Freimann totally freaked out...apparently there is a video about him. John Tanner was a pretty cool guy (You can check him out here - https://www.lds.org/media-
library/video/2010-07-139- treasure-in-heaven-the-john- tanner-story?lang=eng )
|Sommerfest at the Weiner Neustadt ward|
This Saturday was the 'Sommerfest,' the huge summer activity for the Wiener Neustadt ward. It was pioneer-themed and there was square dancing, American foods, and country music. The only Americans there were Sister Smiley, Elder Durrant, and me. It was a ton of fun, a lot of less-active members and people investigating the church came, and we loved the fact that we were at an American party auf Deutsch in Austria. I'll miss Wiener Neustadt if I leave that area (which is most probable,) but they are a reaaaaaally solid ward, so they'll be okay.
Also, remember my ice addiction? We had a mini ice tray in the Wien 1 apartment, but none in Wiener Neustadt, and I couldn't find one to buy anywhere! We told the Wiener Neustadt Elders about the predicament and they gave me the ice tray from their apartment Saturday night! Haha! How quality is that? Sister Freimann says I should make it my own personal ice tray and take it with me from apartment to apartment. Maybe I could have my comps sign it or something, haha.
Finally, last night we had one of those comical experiences I know I'll remember for the rest of my mission. We had an eating appointment with a ward member and some of her friends scheduled and it wasn't far, so while it was overcast, we set out on foot toward her apartment instead of taking the bus. It was only about a 20-minute walk. No more than 3-5 minutes after we had left it started to sprinkle...and then rain...and then pour. None of us had umbrellas or proper coats, so at one point we all just let our hair down and laughed because we were so incredibly drenched and there wasn't much we could really do about it. We ended up having a little extra time before we needed to be there, so we stopped under an overhang and took a picture. It was so fun. It was even better when we showed up and found the Elders who were completely dry since they took the bus and brought umbrellas. (Elder Pingel even said, "I would offer to share my umbrella, but I don't think it would do you much good at this point!") We wrung out our hair and had a lovely eating appointment nevertheless.
|Soaked to the skin with Sister Freimann & Sister Smiley|
I actually thought a lot about what had happened during dinner that night, Thinking about myself, there was like, no reason I should be so happy to be sitting there in that apartment. We were drenched. We had walked a ton that day. But, when else in my life do I get the opportunity to wear the black tag and tell my Brothers and Sisters in the world how much their Heavenly Father loves them, all day, every day? Everyone can withstand a little rain!
Have a wonderful week! Sending love from Österreich!