At the MTC: Jalen seeing Tyson off to Albuquerque at the crack of dawn,
July 16, 2012. The next day it was Jalen's turn to head out!
Doctrine and Covenants, Section 4 (the missionary section),
with the German, Austrian, and Swiss flags superimposed on it! :)
Austrian countryside, taken from train
Grüß euch wieder, es freut mich euch zu schreiben. :)
So, as you can tell by the previous two emails, I figured out how to get pictures onto the emails without downloading the whole App that is on my camera already. So, if I see any crazy cool things that I have to share, I will send more! Otherwise you will just have to wait for the next 20 months :)
So, this week was fantastic! I don't have a whole lot to talk about, except for the miracles and wonderful experiences that happened. So in actuality, I have LOTS to talk about!
So, we had a an appointment set up with Alex, the man we found in Villach, on Wednesday, and we were literally headed to the Bahnhof (train station) when he texted us and said he had to move it!!!!!:( He said we could move it off to next week sometime, and I told Elder Eaker, "Oh no, Mr. Devil is NOT keeping us away from this man until next week!" In consequence, we got an appointment on Friday, and got busy trying to make things work out so that we could visit the Grigorjan family from Armenia that same day and have someone to translate into Russian for us. So, we seemed to have everything worked out, but then the man who was going to take us to Villach AND translate for us AND be a joint teacher for Alex couldn't go!! Bwah!!! We were scrambling around, trying to figure out a way to get to Villach WITHOUT me using my personal money again, and so we asked the Halls (a senior missionary couple in Klagenfurt), who happened to be going to a dinner there that night!!! Miracle 1! So we got to Villach, and went with Elder Hall to Alex´s Wohnung (apartment) and we had THE GREATEST lesson ever! I think most of that is because we were NOT leading that lesson. I don't rememebr what I said, or what Elder Eaker said, or all of what Alex said, but we really got to just bear testimony that Heavenly Father is there for Alex. Alex has been having some rough times, and he told us he was just on the bottom of life right now. Rock bottom. But because of that, he is super humble, and he has been thinking about lots of stuff like the purpose of life. The coolest thing I have seen while teaching Alex (we taught him again at Br. Mauch's house yesterday, after we all ate together) is that we read a scripture, and Alex says, "That is me. That is exactly me." He sees himself in the scriptures! How hard do we try to really do that? I know I don't try hard enough a lot. We actually asked Alex if he had any friends who would like to learn about the gospel, and the answer shocked me. He said, "I am 38 years old and I can honestly say that I have no friends." No one texts or calls him to see how he is doing. He just has it rough. So I told him we are his friends, and he smiled. We have also resolved to get in touch with him every now and then and see how things are going.
We then visited the Grigorjan family, and we had a family from our ward come to translate. It was very good! I figured out that Sis. Grigorjan is a very good painter! She did all the paintings in her living room, which are gorgeous! I would love to buy any of them. So that is what she does most of the time at home, but sadly she can't sell them in Austria yet. We are going to help a little with German if we can, so she can pass her test. OH MAN, she gave us some real Baklava, which was super delicious, whether Russian or Armenian style. Also, we figured out the word for "good" in Armenian sounds just like the English "love." Can my Armenian experts see if that is correct? haha
Miracle 2: we got a ride home with the family who translated for us, which is more money saved from my personal account! (By the way, the reason I always have paid is because Elder Eaker is having troubles with his personal account). Miracle 3: we got another ride home from Villach with Vassili last night, which was also great. He is really funny haha. I love talking with him.
The coolest thing was that Alex came to church yesterday!!!!! I think this may actually be my first investigator who has visited church. He said he had a good time in sacrament. I was sitting and thinking to myself about how amazing it was to have someone who just doesn't know why he is going through these things come to the church, where everyone greeted him as a friend. I prayed the whole meeting that he would feel the love that the Lord has for him, and that he would really desire to learn more. I thought about him, my first self-found investigator ever, recognizing his potential, and the reality of the Plan of Salvation, and being baptized and getting married in the temple to his future wife. Obviously we have to teach him more, but I just thought about the fact that the process is beginning, and I had to hold back tears of joy. I know now this joy of which so many have talked about, the joy mentioned in D+C 18, a joy that is nothing I have ever felt before. This was just for ONE person, one son of God who has the potential to change and live his life in a way that allows him greater blessings and to achieve exaltation. Just one person. then vs 16 comes in in D+C 18, and I thought about the fact that I still have 20 months left to experience this joy! It must start now, this desire to feel that again, a desire which will fuel my work for the time I have left. Haha I heard the song "Wake me up when September ends" yesterday (on the Mauch´s car radio). What an appropriate awakening. It's now Oktober. Time to work harder.
So, my experiences this week were very dear to my heart. I will keep you updated on Alex for sure. He is such a great guy. We also have another appointment today with Edward, who had been on vacation for like the last month and a half! We will see if he is really serious or not. But that is about it so far, aside from our work trying to visit less actives and former investigators. Oh, we still meet with Derek and Bonnie (an American couple who are there because the husband plays in an American football league in Villach) every week, which is a lot of fun. Villach is #1 in the league right now! Pretty cool.
So, the last week of this transfer already! That is ridiculous!!!!! I don't know where I am going yet, not till Friday, so just bear with me!
If I have learned anything this week, it is that we need to be humble in everything we do. We are then more in tune to the Spirit, and it is easier for us to follow His promptings. So, be thou humble!
As for cool quotes, I can't think of any :/ tut mir leid (I'm sorry). But I must go, and I bid thee farewell. Love you!
Never stop smiling! :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons