Monday, September 22, 2014

Wundertag...& 3 Months auf Misison?!

Liebe Familie und Freundin,

We bought these in honor of Sister Smiley, since she's no longer with us.
This was my first full week flying solo (well, with only one companion, at least) out in the field. I am starting to get more into the rhythm of working in a normal companionship. We both miss Sister Smiley, but we both get along really well too, so alles wohl. Also, I HIT MY 3 MONTH MARK ON MY MISSION THIS WEEK. My mission is 1/6 over. Uh, what? I literally feel like I was on that plane ride to Manchester yesterday. And now I'm in Vienna. What?

A sneak peek of Sister Freimann during personal study.
Anyway, It's actually super unique that I have a European companion, even though I am in a European mission! It's all because of Switzerland. A couple years ago, Switzerland changed it's labor laws, making it super difficult for anyone who isn't Swiss (or at least European) to work in Switzerland. We aren't paid as missionaries but to their definition it is still 'work', so only Europeans and Americans with a Swiss Passport can serve in Switzerland. There are 3 whole Zones in Switzerland, so most Europeans spend the bulk of their missions there. It's crazy that Sister Freimann hasn't been in Switzerland at all. It's almost like serving within 'mini America' within the missionaries, half of us will be at BYU after we're done here!
Speaking of America, when we talk to people on the street I've noticed that people can't generally tell that I'm American. I talked to this one Serbian guy at a Bus stop this week who said he could tell that English was my first language, but not that I was American. Isn't that cool? I just think that type of thing is super interesting. 

Remember how I talked last week about how what we do is according to our faith? I totally saw evidence of that this week!! We had had a lot of fallen out appointments and things of the like and Sister Freimann and I were a smidgen frustrated. I remember praying super fervently one night that I would have adequate enough faith to see miracles around me - even if just little miracles - so I could remember why I was here and keep working. We had literally the best day I think we've had in the past 2 transfers that next day! We've referred to it as 'Wundertag' (miracle day) ever since then. We had this incredible lesson with this guy who referred himself to the church because he met some Mormons when he was in America over the summer and was interested, had Sprachstudium (language study) out in a park on a beautiful day where we ended up having some conversations with people who just came up to us, found two new people who are interested to meet and talk about the gospel, a couple new appointments made out with people we didn't know we found in the phone, and a delicious dinner/'practice discussion' with a really awesome lady from our ward. The whole day Sister Freimann and I kept turning to one another, saying ''This is the best day, ever!'' Wundertag will go down in history.

On the way through the cutest little neighborhood
in the world to our eating appointment on Sunday.
Butttttt. There's a bit of a funny story attached to one of the people we called in our phone to make an appointment with. We didn't know who she was but she looked potentially interested, so we rang her up and she was more than happy to meet with us. We looked up her address that she gave...and it's not in our ward boundary! It was in the Wien 2 boundary, which is the ward where the Zone Leaders are. We texted them to ask if they had a record for someone by this name...since all we knew about her was her first name and address. A short texting-conversation later, we realized that they have been meeting with her about the church for a while...oops. We deleted her number out of our phone so other well-meaning Sisters in the future don't accidentally make appointments, too!

By the way, I knew Grandfather was famous but holy cow everyone knows him. At least 3 or 4 people this week asked me if I was related to the Bushman-author. They are always super impressed when I say that he's my grandfather! You wouldn't have thought that so many Austrians would have read his stuff, but what do you know!

I wanted to talk about the Spirit this week - I actually studied this verse a few weeks ago, but I still want to share it. In Alma 17 (in the Book of Mormon) the Sons of Mosiah have been going around trying to preach of Christ, but had suffered everything you could think of. Hunger, thirst, fatigue of body and of Spirit. I love what the Lord did to help them: 

 10 And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted. (Alma 17:10.)

No bells, no whistles. The Holy Spirit came to their hearts and whispered enough comfort to keep them going. It reminds me of Elijah when in 1 Kings 19 it says that "the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake, And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."

When Heavenly Father wants to get our attention, it isn’t with fire or tumbles or crazy rock slides. It’s by those subtle thoughts and impressions that He guides us every day! I know that when we pray for an open heart to understand those promptings, we’ll feel His presence more in our lives.

Have a FAN-tastick week!

Sister Bushman

P.S.  A funny story to end.  So this week, the St. Pölten branch (congregation) had an 'Ausstellung', where they had a stand in the main square with information about the church and stuff. They wanted us to come, so we planned on being there at 10. We caught the 9:30 train, but it was BEYOND crowded. There were so many people there, we had to sit on the floor between cars with about 10 other people. The train was also super late, it didn't end up leaving until after 10! (I've never been on a train in Austria that was later than 5 minutes.) By the time we got going, the train was going pretty fast to try and catch up on schedule... and we ended up going 235 km at one point...that's the same as 145.7 miles an hour!

One more photo!  Had to take a picture by this truck!


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