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Monday, April 29, 2013

Woche 10- Woche der Wunder - (sorry we are going back in time to Week 10! sorry for the mixup!)

Guten Morgen Familie Bartholomew!
Alles geht mir so so gut! Hoffenlich, geht es Ihnen gut auch!
I dont even know where to begin to describe this week! So many crazy things!
I guess Ill just start with Monday- right after I finished the last letter! That night we had planned to give a lesson to a less active, Schwester Zettl- I think Ive talked about her before? She is so cool! Anyways, turns out she was super sick, so instead of a lesson, we went with a member, and we actually gave her a blessing! It was crazy to stand in on a blessing in German! The priesthood still works, regardless of the language!
Tuesday morning was one of the most frightening moments for me on my mission yet. Amanda, our best investigator, called us to tell us that she was finished with us, wanted to give the books back, and never meet with us again. We planned to meet with her later that day to talk it over. Elder Janis and I had to take a few minutes to calm down after that, becasue losing her would be a serious blow to the ward, and really to this area. We prayed about it, and felt that whatever happened would be ok. Our lesson with her that day fell through, so we decided to meet the following evening on Wednesday.
On wednesday, we spent the majority of the day in Wien because it was Zone Training- and we learning all about FINDING- which President says we need to make a bigger focus in our mission. This was perfect for me because Finding is actually my biggest fear as a missionary- talking to random strangers and knocking on doors is a little nerve wracking! We learned a bunch a better methods to going about it, and I really spent the rest of the week attempting to apply them! Now when we got back to St. Polten, thats when the real miracles started. We met with Amanda at the church, like planned, and we had our joint teach- Bruder Shildbock- ready with us. We briefly let him in on the situation- that this was potentially a final lesson- and he was great to grasp the severity of the situation. The lesson actually went perfect, we addressed her concerns- she had been talking with friends- and Br. Shildbock made her feel way more comfortable about everything. I had the opportunity to bear testimony to her as well- and I dont think Ive even given so much into a testimony before. I struggled through the German, but the thought of her walking away when she was so close to changing her life around, was too much to bear for me, so I gave it all I got. And she just stared me in the eyes for a good ten seconds and said "yeah... yeah i know its true. I can see it, I can feel it. (looking at my companion) yeah I believe him, its true" It was such a relief to hear her say those words! and at that point of the lesson- the buzzer on the church door rang. Elder Janis left to see who was at the door... turns out it was Bruder Korherr. Bruder Korherr was baptised is 1992 and went inactive about a year later. He hasnt been to church in 20 years, he has a long ponytail, but for some reason, he told us he was just walking through the innenstatt, and felt like he needed to go ring the church door and see if someone was inside. We invited him up, and he sat in on the lesson! Crazy right? Afterwards we walked home with him, and had a great discussion, really comfortable, and set a time we would come back and visit him again! THEN after that we had a stellar visit with Wayne, where we watched the 1st vision video- he wasnt completely interested, but the spirit was strong!
Thursday wasnt incredibly eventful- we knocked a lot of doors, not a lot of success. BUT another incredible story! that evening, after we were pretty bummed out from the day, we decided to go by on the lady from a week and a half ago- the one who had just come out of a coma and wanted to meet in a week- so we rang the outside door of her complex, hoping she would be home. Someone inside the door jsut opened the door because they heard us talking- it was her! or so we thought. We walked in, looked at eachother for a few seconds, then asked her if she was the lady (Halberl) we were looking for. She said nope and walked away leaving us standing there so confused. So we climbed the stairs to knock on the door to the apartment- no one home. We walked back downstairs and asked the lady again if she really didnt remember seeing us before, becasue we were positive this was her. We discovered through the conversation that this lady we were talking with was actually the SISTER of the lady we were looking for! Halberl was back in the hospital, and her sister had come by the building to tidy up and get the mail for a few minutes when we showed up! We had an awesome discussion with her about why we were talking to her sister, and she says she wants to get taught by us too, when we get ahold of her sister! Crazy stuff!
Friday, we had 3 amazing lessons in a row that evening! First, we walked, in teh rain, with Bruder Korherr, because he doesnt want us in his house "until its 20 degrees!" so we need to wait for it to warm up a little bit! He is really comfortable around us, and really opened up about a lot of his challenges! We have hope of getting him back to church soon. Amanda was right after that- we ran through the baptismal interview with her and she passed with flying colors! She is almost for sure going through with her baptism next saturday, the 27th! We are SO EXCITED! My first baptism! Whoo! and the first this area has had in 4 years! After that we had a lesson with Wayne- we taught him most of the second and third lesson- and it was amazing! He is seriously slowly changing, and he told us he considers us some of his closest friends! So close in fact, that he called us at 2:30 that morning, partially drunk, asking us if we wanted to work out with him the next day. We had to politely decline. We have a way to go, but we have faith!
Saturday was our Helping Hands service project and our Finding Day! The ward cleaned up the river side for a couple hours in teh morning- let me tell you, Austria is beautiful, but there is a serious littering problem. its kinda bad. - anyways that was fun. Finding day! The elders from Wien came over and we devoted 4 hours JUST to finding people! Elder Neidens and I took to the streets first while the others went to check up on teh some people. Although Elder Niedens is more than a year out, he is much quieter than me, so I found that I hard to go out of my way to act as teh senior in that companionship. It was different than usually falling back on elder Janis- I had to lead out! and it was way fun! I didnt actually find anyone personally, but altogether, we got 5 potentials and a new investigator! whoo!
That pretty much describes the weeks! Things are going great! Its as hard as ever- but successes and miracles come every day!
I had some time to think this week during my studies- People always say Europe has no success- but I can say with ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE that is false! Anyone who says otherwise is lying. Sure our numbers look a little different than Brazil, but the members are strong, and miracles happen on the daily! And we are baptizing! Its happening!
I love you all! thanks so much for everything!
Adventure is out there!
Elder B

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