Monday, June 24, 2013

Great Week in Wien!

It's been another great week in Wien and I can't believe it's time again to write.  Really the days fly by so quickly.  It seems we're always running from appointment to appointment and next thing I know another week has passed by. So crazy!  So my apartment is special.  We're a four Sisters apartment, meaning we have two companionships! It is SO much fun. The other Sisters serve in the Wien 1st Ward and are really great.  Sister L is on her last transfer (she started out in the Berlin Mission but they called and asked her about three months ago and said the Lord really needed her in Wien... in a completely different mission. How crazy is that?!)  and Sister J is about 10 months in. They both speak really good German and are really fun to be around.  Our apartment is decent sized, one bedroom, a bathroom, kitchen, and living room.  The funny story about that is that we have bunk beds in our bedrooms but they're so squeeky the Sisters before me couldn't sleep. So they moved all the mattresses out to the living room.  So we have a sleepover, pangea bed night every night which isn't bad at all.  I think the EP (Ehe Paar - missionary couple) has been meaning to get over and fix them but it's been a couple months haha.  But, even with four beds and four desks in our little living room, we manage well enough. Honestly, we really don't spend much time there so it's not that big of a deal.

My companion is 21 from AF, UT and studied Biomedical Engineering for 3 years before coming out here.   I cover all of the English speakers in all of Vienna so my area covers like half of Austria. Over 2 million people live in my area. haha Inside my area boundaries, we have about 20-ish German speaking missionaries. So it's way cool. 
We have a bunch of investigators but the main ones right now are: J, C and L, R and A.  J is from Peru and speaks no English.  She speaks Spanish and so we use Sister G in our ward (she speaks like 5 languages) to translate for us as we teach her.  Her Baptism is scheduled for July 7 but, we think we'll have to move it back because she might be working.  C and L are from Ghana and have 3 children under 8.  Very Christian and are kind, sweet people.  R is 19 and is African but, he grew up in England and has lived in Wien for the last 3 years.  He's super awesome and is totally ready for the Gospel. A is 20 and has a boyfriend and a 2 year old daughter back in Romania.  A and her boyfriend really want to get married but, they can't until their Visa comes through and they don't have enough money to travel all the way back to Romania to get married so they call each other husband and wife and act like a married couple.  We had a baptismal date for her because we thought she was married but, then that came out and she's not willing to live the Law of Chastity.  So we'll have to wait until her Visa comes in! Hopefully, very soon!  We have others but those are the big ones we've been meeting with alot.
In our lesson with R this week, we were going to talk more about prophets and latter-day revelation, when he told us about he had been watching a religious tv channel and it said that premarital sex was a sin.  He had never heard that before and wanted to know if we believed that too.  Right then and there I taught the Law of Chastity and he said he wanted to live it.  He said he was afraid of what his girlfriend might say but he asked us to pray for her heart to be softened.  Hopefully that'll go over well.  It's crazy to me how ready some people are to receive the Gospel.  They want to follow God and will make whatever changes necessary to live in accordance with his laws.
We had a Finding Day on Saturday with a couple of youth in the ward and, afterwards, Brother B (he's from the Phillipines) took us to McDonald's it was delish!  haha He ordered me a ton of food and it was glorious!  That was our only sort of eating appointment this week so we've been cooking a lot but, this week we have like 5 or 6 eating appointments so that'll be great haha  SO excited! Especially because we have people from all over the world in our ward, they all came up and told me they'd be making something special from their homeland. So who knows? Maybe next week I'll have some great food stories ;)
It's weird for me to think that it 3 AM for ya'll right now, especially now that I'm finally over jet lag!  
Cool story for the week... hmms.  A couple of weeks ago, Sister D (Sister W's  trainer), met an African man named C on an U-Bahn (subway). She got his information and he seemed pretty interested in our message. They (Sis. D and W) called a couple of times to set an appointment but, he was busy so our first appointment with him and his wife, L was this week.  So we walk in and he welcomes us in.  His wife walks in as well and gives him the dirtiest look ever.  I guess she wasn't aware the missionaries were coming over. We come to find out that they had taken the discussions back in 2004 and something had really offended them.  Luckily, time had healed some wounds and I was able to clarify/correct what they thought the Elders had taught them.  L was very upset and thought that our church tried to 'indoctrinate', throw away the Bible and replace it with the Book of Mormon. That was kind of a shock for us and we could tell she felt very strongly about that.  We switched gears and taught the first lesson (all about the Restoration) and they were both very into it.   They said they'd love to have us come back as long as we promised to use both the Bible and the Book of Mormon as we taught.  I got SO excited and they said, we could come back this week.  Aw yeah haha!

Funny/lame story,  people this week have decided to come up to us and tell us how glad they are that we're here teaching about Christ.  The young people here aren't religious and don't really see a need for God in their life so adults, especially the Elderly, love to come up and tell us how great we are. Talk about an Ego Boost!  Even if they aren't receptive to our message, they love Christ SO much! And you're probably thinking.. Wow, this isn't funny at all... and, yep, I got a little side tracked haha Anyways, people will say, 'Wow, you're both really young to be teaching people about Christ.' And then, they'll turn to me and say, 'And, especially, you!' At this point, I'm giving myself a little pat on the back like Yeah! I am young. I'm awesome!  (Humility comes in small steps ;)) And then they ALWAYS say: 'You can't be more than 16.' Quite, the disappointment.  They never believe me when I say I'm 19... maybe I should wear more make-up or something ahah Either way, it's a good conversation starter. 
And, last but, certainly not least, a cultural story.  So in our ward, we have a very diverse mix of people.  Ergo, many different ways to greet each other.  Some are hugs, handshakes, the head nod, and, of course, the cheek kisses.  They come out of no where and grab your shoulders to greet you and scares the heck out of me everytime!  I'm getting used to this no touching other people thing and so when people touch me - I'm always surprised.  The first sweet lady in our ward, that attempted to greet me, was really confused and wasn't sure how to proceed after I sorta hopped back. But, then I just did what she was doing and it worked out well enough. I'm still not sure how exactly I'm supposed to do the whole thing? I think I just make the kissy sound while our cheeks are touching... and then flip sides... but, I might be doing it wrong hahaha. We all know how awkward I am!  Either way, whatever I'm doing works because we have 5 dinner appointments this week. 

Love Your Favorite Sister Missionary,
Sister Harman

P.S. I found out it only takes like 1 week or so for letters (if you send them to my address) and 2 weeks for me to get a package haha ;)

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