(I told Andrew that his friend, Jake Berlin, got his mission call to Chile Rancagua and not to Germany like Andrew had predicted. Here is his response…) DANG!! I was really hoping Jake would be coming to the Alpine mission, but I guess that is okay, the Lord needs him in Chile. That is really exciting. Tell Spencer (Spencer Baker enters the MTC this week and is going to the Germany Berlin mission) hello from me, that Germany is awesome and get ready to work hard. Oh and to buy a suit in Germany. (PS I bought a suit last week.. only 50 euro, and it is better than the suits you get from Mr Mac. Oh and I bought a cheap backpack because mine broke, but then the new one broke too, so I might be buying a new one soon).
(During the phone call I asked him about his ward but I didn’t understand very much since he used names of places. Now I will have it in writing and I can look at a map and figure out where he’s at) Our ward covers most of the north eastern part of Austria. We have everything on this side of the Donau pretty much to the border. I've never been farther than Deutsch Wagram, which is where a lot of members live, and that is about 15 minutes by train away. We are planning on going to a town called Gänserdorf soon though, so we will see. We have a lot of members, but not all of them are active. Probably about 80ish members come to church. The Wien 4 ward is international, so they teach in English.
(I asked him if he had a regularly scheduled time for service and what kind of service they do) We don't have a regular time for service. We always ask people if we can do service for them, but they often say no. The only real service we have done is we dug about a six foot trench around this guy’s house one day. It took a couple of hours, but it was really funny. There was a construction crew working there too, and we talked to them. One of the guys left and he bought beers for everyone but he got 2 cokes for us. It was funny.
Oh Nickolai is still super crazy. He left church last week because he had "tooth pain" but we didn't really believe him. But last Monday we went to his house and he had ripped out all of his top teeth. hahahahaha he is so weird. I literally can't describe it. He wants to be baptized but he can't quit smoking. So we talked about the Book of Mormon, and asked if he thought it was true. He said he did. So we read 1 Nephi 3:7 and told him that God has prepared a way for him to quit smoking. Then Nickolai told us that the Book of Mormon wasn't true and that Joseph Smith was lying. It was funny.
Anyways, Sem (the Mongolian girl who came to church the last week) is really progressing. We gave her the Book of Mormon in Mongolish on Sunday, and on Wednesday we met with her again and she had read 29 pages! She had tons of questions about stuff because she has no Christian background at all, so we have to explain who Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are, but she understands things really well. We invited her to come to a baptism in Wien 4 on Saturday, and she came and loved it! She also came to church and has read to 1 Nephi 22. The only problem right now is that she is really really shy and doesn't like talking to other people at all, so at church she just hides behind us. And she has a little bit of trouble praying, but really for not knowing practically anything before she is progressing really well. We are really excited for her.
We also did a blitz on the university this week. I tried English contacting because some of the elders say that it works, and it’s funny because it works better than German contacting sometimes. Apparently the students like to show off how much English they can speak or something.
Okay here is my crazy missionary rant for the week. For some reason everyone here thinks we are Jehovah's Witnesses. Like I don't understand why. There have been missionaries coming to Vienna for like a hundred years. But apparently the Jehovah’s Witnesses are everywhere here, and it actually explains a lot why people think we are so crazy. It’s because they think we are J-dubs! Sometimes when people like ignore us or are mean we just yell that we aren't the Jehovah's Witnesses and then most of the time they come back or pay attention. It’s so funny. Who knew that the Jehovah's Witnesses had such a big presence here? Anyways the work is going well, they finally got a new ad campaign so we can look somewhere besides our feet, and my first transfer is almost over. Wow, have I really been here for 6 weeks? That’s crazy! Anyways the work will move forward, and we are so blessed everyday. I love you!
Leibe, Elder Terry