Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011

           Wow, the last 6 months have gone by super fast. I can’t believe that I am already there. Sorry we don’t have any tie burning traditions, I probably won’t do anything besides the normal preach the gospel to every person we see. Thanks for the funny conversation from Max. It’s good to know that he still remembers me, and that he still remembers Caleb as well. That is crazy that you ran into my old kindergarten teacher. I don’t remember her at all, not even her name, so I’m glad that you remember.
            This Friday is transfer calls, so it might be best if you hold on to the package until next week. I would really like to stay in Wiener Neustadt, but with my luck I will probably be transferred. Maybe to Switzerland this time. That would be acceptable.
            This week was rough. Pretty ridiculously rough. Andreas went to rehab, the Schäfer family went on vacation in Deutschland, and Christina went to work and was sick. So pretty much we had nothing for the week, and had no investigators at church yesterday. And we found out that Georg, an investigator who is waiting on an answer from the First Presidency before he can be baptized, will not be coming to church for the next month, and maybe not again for a long time. At least that is what he says. Apparently he has a crush on a member in the ward, and she doesn’t like him back, so its hard for him to go to church and see her there. Yeah, I had no clue what to say after that one. I felt like I was in high school again or something. So we are working on that with him, but he won’t even meet with us, which makes it pretty ridiculous. But pretty ridiculous just about sums up our week.
            But at the same time, this week has truly been a blessing from the Lord, definitely aimed directly at me. I have really learned just how much is really expected from me as a missionary. I used to think of a mission as like a marathon, or like cross country training, where you have to pace yourself, increase a little bit at a time. But a mission is more like a dead on sprint, all the time. There is no pacing, no tapering, and no breaks, and no saving anything for tomorrow. The Lord expects you to give 100% of yourself everyday. And if you do that then he promises that he will give you the strength you need to work tomorrow. 2 years is not a long time, in fact 6 months of my mission is already gone by. And the Lord helped me remember this week that there is always more that I could be doing.
            We did have a really cool experience this week. Well actually we had a lot of really cool experiences, but this is one of them.
            We went by on a former investigator named Martina Scheifinger. She owns a horse ranch in a town about 10 minutes away from Wiener Neustadt. Anyways we went by, but she wasn’t home. So we called her, and she said to come by the next day. So we came by the next day, and she was there working with some of the horses. She let us in, said hi, but then went back to working with the horses. We just stood there for a good 10 minutes as tons of other workers on the ranch are walking past and looking at us weird. Eventually Martina came back over and talked to us again. She asked us what we were doing here, and we explained that we just came by to get to know her and see how she was doing. She was really rude and curt with us, and I figured she wasn't interested at all, so I just wanted to leave, but Elder Bagley asked if there was anything we could do to help out on the ranch. She seemed surprised at first, and didn’t really believe us, but Elder Bagley kept asking if there was anything we come do to help. Finally she said, "you can scoop up the horse poop." At this point I was more than ready to go. I thought to myself, "I’m a missionary. I teach people. I don’t scoop poop." But Elder Bagley agreed to do it. So we scooped horse poop for a good 20 minutes, and then when we were finished we came back. Elder Bagley asked if there was anything else we could do to help, and Martina said no, but that we could come inside and talk to her and share our message with her. It turned out to be a great lesson and we got another return appointment. I was really glad that Elder Bagley followed the spirit a lot better than I did, and it reaffirmed to me the power of service to open people’s hearts.
            Well that is about it for this week.

Elder Terry

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