Okay, I am going to try to answer the many repeated questions that I seem to be missing each time haha. So, Elder Eaker is from Rome. Haha, but really, Rome, Georgia. Gotcha! He is not far from Atlanta. He is a great guy and works hard, also keeps me working hard. Dad asked what our routine is. So we study personally and then German (2 hours) and then we have the 12 week program, which means for the first 12 weeks in the field we have 2 hours of companion study. So we do that every day. Then we have Lendkanal that we walk rather regurlarly, just to contact. We are invited pretty frequently to members´ houses, so that is nice. We do lots of street contacting, and dooring in different areas. That is basically it. It is much quicker with bikes now, but still, we travel a long time. It goes quickly though. So, Thursday is 3 months for me! I am done with 1/8 of my mission. What the heck!!? That is crazy, and quite a motivation to work even harder and become a better missionary every day. The key word there is BECOME. We can all hope for things and have goals, but until we BECOME the person we want to be, our goals will forever stay goals. That is what I am working on.
And yes, it is just us two here in Klagenfurt. In fact, we are the only two in Kärnten (the entire state). Our apartment used to have 4 tho, so it is nice and big. I like it haha.
Okay, so last week we went to Graz from Monday to Wednesday. We got there and it was super hot! I was told we were going to go to the Arnold Schwarzenegger museum thing, so I was super excited and had my camera and everything! We got to the desired bus stop and then realized that we had an hour before the bus got there. So Elder Monson decided we were going to start walking! So we walked in the hot sun for about 20 minutes, then stopped at another bus stop along the same route to see when the bus came. It was stop #3, out of a line of 20 or so stops. And we were trying to get to the END of these 20 stops. So they decided to just walk back home. I was a little miffed (haha my favorite word from Calvin and Hobbes). So we walked home, and then the other elders decided we were going to play monopoly! (by the way, it was very nice outside...) and after a while I was the only one that Elder Eaker hadn't destroyed yet. BUT I am tired of just sitting inside and doing nothing every P day (there is your answer Dad, nothing on P days) so I said, hey I'm going outside to juggle your flat soccer ball. Which I did. Hey, you are going to like this. Guess what I got from the Graz apartment?.... Barely used pair of Nike Tiempo cleats! For free! Knew you would love that haha. I don't think I will bring them home, but I can carry them around. I tried them already but I don't quite have the touch down yet. Oh, I had some fantastic lemon and strawberry Eis in Graz. I know Dad likes the lemon. (Zitrone)
Just a random fact, I figured out that my swatch matches my adidas F50 clothes I bought in Frankfurt a few years ago.
So we had an exchange in Graz, and I spent an hour and a half in the church waiting for an appointment (once again, I am bugged by use of time) but I finally just sat at a piano and tried to see how much I could play. Sorry Mom, not much. Almost have the introduction to "A Childs Prayer" haha. I also wrote the German words for Army of Helaman, A Child's Prayer, and I Feel My Savior's Love. Mom talked about using songs to keep oneself focused, and I can already attest to the truth of that. Every day I am singing A Child's Prayer in my head, almost instinctively. I also say D&C 4 a lot, along with other scriptures. I am really working on getting rid of all distracting thoughts, since I need to be totally focused on my work. So those songs and scriptures help. Good idea Mom!
Oh man, I found "Inheritance" (Eragon series) auf Deutsch! I almost bought it, but I would have to carry it with me and never read it. So I will before I come home. They also have "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." Pretty cool.
I went to my first PFK meeting (PEC) and felt totally useless haha. No idea what is going on. My understanding is better, yes, but mostly with simple things... They can't just rocket off and hope to have me understand. I am working on it...
So, I took a picture of Vogl street the other day, for Becky haha. Well, it was really Voglgasse (alley or something). I have a few pictures of funny signs too.
Okay, Federica is getting baptized next Sunday!!! We have everything planned, and we are all so excited! We are getting in contact with her every day, cuz Satan will no doubt throw everything he has at her to change her mind. That is NOT happening. It's great that she already has Daniele, who is basically just AWESOME!! That will help a lot. I will take pictures of course. Leaving their house the last time, we actually got to ride home in pouring rain. It felt really good. But it was also a little chilly on bikes. I like the rain here.
By the way, I cleaned our kitchen over the weekend. Everyone else (the Graz elders were here) was playing, you guessed it, card games! So I did something else. Oh, fun times. But yesterday I found a big Adidas outlet store, so I have something to do next week! Today we just plan on playing sports with Graz, who are coming for Federica's baptism interview. At least I will finally be outside and playing sports. Except everyone else wants basketball. They may be playing with three people... bwahaha.
So something I listened to this last weekend was Troy Dunn´s "Life is a game of Football". You should look it up and listen to it. I actually heard it way back when Bro. Peterson was my Sunday School teacher. That class was probably Tyson, Logan O, me, Sydney, Carissa, and Christina! But he talks about life as a game of football (obviously) and his excitement and enthusiasm is just contagious. What I got out of it was what he said about teamwork. We are really at "war" with the evils of the world. People may not recognize that, but anyone who believes in God and is somewhat religious knows that there is good and there is evil. Anyone can look around the world and see the terrible things that are happening, and wonder what is going on. How do we fight it? How can we hope to overcome it? Well, we have the answers. And Troy Dunn lays it out rather simply. LDS or not, whoever reads this, I would invite you to listen to it. We are a team, everyone against the evil influences of the world. We have our team leader, Jesus Christ, who we know will win in the end. We need to do what Elder Holland talked about, and just figure out which team we are on. (Thanks for that quote Becky). We know who wins, so why, why would you do anything to push yourself away from that team? Anything the world offers is not worth it! Yeah, Satan's influences are powerful, but we have teammates who can help us block. Bishops, leaders, parents. But we also need to realize that we too may need to be blocking for someone else. Someone, a friend who is getting rubbed into the dirt. What is your responsibilty? Listen to him talk (Dunn) and think about that. It is great. We want to get to the homecoming party, but we want to do it together, with those we love, as a team. Choose your team and stick to it.
So, a quote before I must go: The Missionary Motto--Obedience is the price. Faith is the power. Love is the motive. Spirit is the key. Christ is the reason. Joy is the reward.
Remember the reason you live the way you live. Remember why you love those you love. Don´t look for faults in others, or even in yourself. You will come to know your faults anyway, and then you strengthen them.
I love you all. Never stop smiling :)
Elder Jalen L Gibbons