Monday, June 17, 2013

Serving in Vienna, Austria

Hallo von Wien!

I'm glad everyone is doing well and don't worry.. I'm so excited for Chas and Sarah! Give them big hugs for me! 

As you heard, I'm serving in Vienna, Austria!  It is a HUGE city with around  two million people and it's bursting with life.  My trainer is Sister Woods and she is really great.  Super laid back but, knows how to work really hard.  This is only her third transfer here so she JUST finished up her training last week.  She knows her way around the city and we have been teaching SO many people. It's awesome! Here's the coolest thing,  we're serving in the Wien 4 ward and it's an international ward.. aka in English.  Take that Bruder Wagley!  haha (He was one of my MTC teachers and said I'd probably never get to use English).  Our area covers all of Wien, which is ridicululously massive.  But, we have so large an area because we're in charge of teaching all those who don't speak German (and hopefully, speak English. Although, often that's not the case) throughout the whole city. It takes like an hour to get to church but, it's totally worth it! Our ward has a crazy mix of people from: America, France, Spain, Brazil, Philipines, China, Bulgaria, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, and a whole bunch of others.  Some travel really far to attend our church, which again is in English.  Oh and did I mention I get to teach in English?! So nice.  That being said - my German is improving so much already. We do streetcontact in German and then if people are interested, we then refer them to the other missionaries. (Total in Wien there are around 20 missionaries and we refer people we find to whoever covers their home). SO cool! 

Here's a cool story, we were having a lesson with a man named Rudolf. He is from Wien and, while he does speak English, German is his native language. So we were having a lesson with our Zone Leaders (He lives in their Area) to do the handoff.  The lesson was going okay but there definitely seemed to be some rising tension in the room as the Elders spoke with him.  On a side note, I should mention I could not understand Rudolf's German... HEAVY accent haha So I had no idea what he was saying but I understood the Elders so that was good at least.  Anyways, I was totally content to just sit and listen and I kept thinking Hey! if the Spirit tells me to say something I will but, until then.... no need to interrupt!  I was so relieved as the lesson went on and I felt nada.  Then when tensions started rising... my heart started to go crazy and I knew I needed to say something.  Except I literally had no idea what was going on and didn't know what to say.  I was freaking out knowing I need to say something but, not sure how/what. Next thing I know, I've said, 'Excuse me, excuse me... I'm sorry.  What is he saying?'  (In English) They both 
just looked at me dumbstruck. And R  just laughed like crazy and asked me, in English, if I had understood the question the zone leaders had asked him.  (Of course, because I was freaking out so much, I didn't know what they had asked him).  He explained what they were talking about and I was able to bear my testimony of God's love for us and why we need commandments.  The Spirit hit like a wall and R's argumentative aura faded.  You could tell he felt the Spirit and the lesson went on (back into German now) and he agreed to try and pray.  It was SO cool!  I was really embarrassed about interrupting Elder Riser and Elder Robbins but, it all turned out okay!  Follow the Spirit, awww yeah! haha

One last story, I asked a man on a train if I could practice my German with him. (He was a sweet old man!) He and I were speaking and I couldn't think of anything else to say conversationally soo I asked him what his favorite color was.  The question took him so off guard that he just laughed like crazy. Glad to know I can make people laugh, even if I don't understand them all the time haha  

I love you all so much and you're the best EVER! Oh, oh, oh. I'm living in a four Sister apartment (which is super uncommon, I'll have you know!) and they're great. Sister Linford is on her last transfer and is really funny. Sister Judd has been out around 10 months and is also super hilarious.  We have a really great time! Oh, and they both speak excellent German so they help both Sister Woods and I out alot. We both still have a lot to learn.  I absolutely love it here and get so excited to talk to everyone.  I've given away a bunch of... I don't know how to say plural Das Buch Mormon auf Deutsch.. Oh well. Something to work on haha.  (Ya'll should probably proof read this baby before putting it up just because this keyboard is different so there might be lots of errors.)  
Anyways, LOVE YOU and don't forget to do member missionary work.. it makes such a huge difference! And go on Splits with the missionaries and think of me, ja? DO IT! 

haha Love you all,
Sister Harman

So I just sent you an epically long one but haha here's my address (send both packages and letters here):
Hormayrgasse 59/9
1170 Wien, Österreich 
My mission president and his wife seem really kind.  We didn't really get to talk to them all that much because there were 27 of us that arrived on Wednesday.  They're coming for a Mission Fireside this week and President Miles said he would do personal interviews then.  But, he seems very sweet. :) 

BTW the Sisters in my apartment thank you so much for sending me with music and M'n'Ms safe to say those didn't last very long haha.  And we're allowed to listen to Christian music (even Christian Rock) as long as it has uplifting lyrics so that's awesome! I'm doing great, working hard and loving every second of it.

Anyways, LOVE YOU!

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