This week has been RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME! Sister Woods is great as always and we're working like crazy here in the best city in the world! Our investigators are doing awesome - we had four people progressing this week.
The two I want to talk about this week are Z and R. We've seen HUGE miracles in their lives as they've read the Book of Mormon and have started to make some changes in their lives. It's so interesting to see which people progress faster than others: I think it really depends on how much each investigator studies the Book of Mormon. The people who read and pray and study and are diligent are making great strides whereas those who just read are taking baby steps. But, progress is progress and I can't complain there!!
Z is 17 and from Slovakia but, has grown up in Vienna. She speaks Slovakian, German, and English fluently and is, natürlich, so ridiculously intelligent. Z has been reading through the Book of Mormon everyday, texts us questions she has, started personal progress, and has been committed to keep almost all the commandments already. About two weeks ago, she asked if she could come out with us as we did missionary work and, of course, we said yes! So we've had a non-member joint teach with us at a million lessons haha. Z loves hearing other people's concerns and always pipes up about what we've already taught her. Testifying of the truth that she has already obtained. She is geniunely thirsting after the word and reads lds.org articles nearly every night. She and I have become really close and it was the sweetest thing ever! She asked if I could be her big sister! (She's an only child and her parents are divorced) She wants to be baptized and is already living all the standards necessary. I'm sure ya'll are waiting for the but... and here it is. Her mother is fine with her investigating the church but, isn't okay with Z being baptized. We hope that as we work with Z and her mother more, that her Mother will let her make the decision to be baptized, even if she doesn't necessarily agree.
R. What to say about R. haha We meet with him several times a week and he's like a little brother to me! He said we could be his big sisters haha (Although, I think we're the same age.) Our biggest miracle this week, started with him coming 60 minutes late for our appointment at the church. Safe to say, I was getting a frustrated with the time, but when he arrived, R asked if his friend, D, could come to meet us too. Referral! haha We said yes and offered to give D (when he arrived a tour of the church). R went on to tell us how D was a good guy, but didn't believe in God and he seemed a little nervous for us to meet. R always worries that bad guys will be mean to us. Anyways, we had a super lesson about the Plan of Salvation. He got the whole thing and he asked if he could get a Priesthood blessing. (We had talked about the Priesthood and blessings earlier in the week). We were surprised but, I went out and grabbed the Elders (whose Sacrament meeting had just finished). Right before they start the blessing, he asks if they could wait and bless D as well who would be coming soon too. So D came, and we started with a prayer. Right after that, Elder Riser and Elder Stapleton came in and blessed D and R. (For those who don't know, blessings are a special prayer given by those holding the Priesthood. It is similar to how Jesus would bless the sick or sad in the Bible to give them strength). What a fantastic way to start out a lesson! The Spirit was there so strong and the blessings were absolutely beautiful. That was David's first experience even hearing about the church and you could tell it really touched both R's and D's heart. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! I could tell D was a player, used to being a punk and not really caring about the rules but, when that blessing was given, it touched his heart. He seemed to glow and then we talked about Jesus Christ and how we as missionaries would love to teach him more. R was just as affected! You could tell he was SHOCKED by how much power that blessing contained and about how the Elders, through the Spirit, were able to speak the concerns of his heart. Blessings are incredible and if you haven't had one in a while, or even ever, I suggest you get one. Really, the comfort and peace and remembrance you feel will change your life. I know that I need to get blessings regularly so that I can always feel the strength and guidance from God. I'm so grateful that the Priesthood authority has been restored on the Earth again and that many young men have lived in such a way that they can use that authority with power!
Incredible week to say the least and those are only two stories! Our zone does a miracle count everyday and I've really felt a difference. Elder Robins said this about it, when we care enough to count the little miracles, God will bless us with great miracles! And that's so true! I love serving here in Vienna. It's hot. Humid. Busy. Crazy. But, it's also miraculous! and I feel incredibly blessed to be here. :) Know that I love you and I hope all is going well!