Anyway, we have a baptismal date for the 17th of November!!! But, now that you are wondering where the heck that came from, let me tell you about the rest of the week ;) haha
Actually, changed my mind, I will start with all the business. First of all, Nathan´s solo sounded hilarious! I can see him doing it well haha. Plus, my shirt that he is wearing in those pictures makes him look even better ;) Yeah, Nathan and Kate both look like they are doing fantastically! I'm glad the musical stuff was figured out and all of that. So, first off, it was suggested to me by Elder Eaker that when you send a package to Tyson you tape a picture of Jesus on the side so that people don't mess with it. At least that is what they did for his brother in Brazil. Superstitious people haha. But he said it worked, and I was just thinking about that with all that good stuff for Christmas. Also, another item for me, if possible, Just like Tyson, it would be awesome to have Zebra pens and pencils! I'm still using the mechanical pencil I bought at BYU and I love it (it is 0.5, small, which I like better). But yeah, if that is possible, then I would love you forever ;) (I kinda already do, no worries.)
Auch, you should make a new Skype account for me and send me the username and password, because I can't remember my own. Plus if you do it at home, then you can make sure we are both already contacts and then I don't have to do that here when the time comes. Danke schön :)
So, the week. We bought some American stuff on Monday, I got a vanilla Coke and a wild cherry Pepsi (so basically I was honoring JD and then the rest of the Gibbons family ;) ) plus some Raspberry poptarts. And some honey flavored gummy bears. Then I wrote Allie I think, annnnd that was bascially it. Tuesday was district meeting and finding day in Bruck an der Mur, and I got to work with Elder Riser. We didn't find anyone :( but we only had like 2 hours of actual work. So, it looked basically like we were in for another rough week. (They did find other potentials, with all the other missionaries; I don't know why, maybe I am just bad luck haha). Then Wednesday we rode home on a train with NO seats, so we sat in the space in between cars, by the WC. Fun. I got some cool pictures tho. Then we got home and we had another referral from Church Headquarters! So we went by on her, but she wasn't there. Then we went to the church after some more finding and helped with the Primary Halloween party. We put on a fun dry ice show, so water, dry ice, fog, and then you add dish soap and you can pop the bubbles and then fog comes out! We had way too much fun with it haha. And the kids loved it.
Thursday is when things started turning around! We got to go visit Frau K___, the single mother, and it was a good visit. Mensch (which means "man" as in "oh man!", Dad) I got to tell the First Vision for the first time out here, for some reason Elder Eaker has just done all the rest. But for real, if you want excitement and adrenaline, forget roller coasters and come on a mission and then bear testimony about the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. Every single time it happens, and it´s something you may never have felt before. I just got excited and I probably started blabbering, but then Elder Hall (who was our joint teach) got excited too and started talking about the priesthood. So, it was awesome! But, sadly, now just isn't her time. But we are certain it will come. She is just too busy to come to church or worry about changing religions. Schade :(
But then we went by on the referral again, and she was there! She was surprised to have three (Post men, mail men) come and deliver the Book of Mormon. She had expected a package haha. She let us in and we introduced the Book of Mormon. She was in Iowa and did a tour of Winter Quarters in Omaha, but they had just run out of German Books of Mormon! She was SOOO excited to get it too! Then Elder Hall asked for a Bible so he could show her the whole "other sheep I have which are not of this fold" thing. And when he did, I saw her fold the page down like she wanted to go back and read it! So, I showed her in 3 Nephi 15 where Jesus says "you are the other sheep" and then she folded that corner down too :) Plus, she made us all sign her Book of Mormon! So we signed under Elder Hall´s testimony. Pretty cool. Sadly, she just got busy with work, so we couldn't make a return appointment, but we have her info and we are confident we will get a call from her soon ;)
Then we went to Villach and visited with Bonnie and Derek, who told us that one of his teammates from Canada wants to come join our lessons! SWEET!! Plus I got one of Derek´s hockey cards. It´s in my journal.
Well, Friday was the big day! We helped the Casellas move into their new place (by the way, we got to help give Daniele the Melchizedek priesthood yesterday, and set him apart as Ward Missionary, which he is so excited about!!! :) It was awesome, and he is the greatest guy ever) and we got a text from a man we don't know, saying he wanted to meet with us. So, when the ZL´s got here for our exchange, Elder McClellan and I went by on him to see what was up. Turns out he was a former investigator, from a year ago, and he had had a baptismal date but never went through. We haven't heard anything of him or from him. But we learned that he wants to change his life, in large part stop smoking, and he was thinking about how to do that when his thoughts turned to us! So, there we were. We were able to bear testimony about the Atonement and how it would help him, and we talked a little bit about the stop smoking program. Then, when we learned that he had had a baptismal date, meaning he had already learned about everything at least once from the missionaries, we decided to set a new goal for him! I was thinking maybe the 24th of November, but then he said that we could meet once, twice, three times a day, and that we could call anytime and he would be there in 30 minutes; so, I decided he could be ready by the 17th. The thing is, I feel like Captain Moroni, because I don't remember what was said by either me or Elder McClellan. But we knew it was right, and that if this man (name is V___) would seriously prepare himself, it will happen. So, we have thrown away all of his tobacco and lighters and ashtrays and we are going to help him clean some of the smoke smell out Wednesday. We have had a couple setbacks from Friday till Sunday, namely him smoking a "couple of cigarettes that we forgot" haha. But he started yesterday, when he came to church with us and even bore his testimony! (he just said he was glad to be back in the ward-- he knows some members already from a year ago). So, he contacted us. After a couple weeks of us working hard and not seeing anything, we got this miracle without doing anything, no effort on our parts. Haha the Lord was probably testing our faith. But yeah, that is the story of the baptismal date. However, if he has had a setback since yesterday, we will probably have to push the date back a week. But, I have faith. We have also given him a blessing with the ZL´s, and it was a great experience. I will keep you up to date of course!
Well, if you can learn anything from this last week, it is that bringing others closer to Christ gives you a happiness that you have never felt before, and it is lasting happiness! I don't remember thinking about myself once this last weekend. I was focused solely on helping others. And I WAS happy, joyful. The Gospel brings such joy, when you follow its teachings and try to be like Jesus Christ.
To answer dad´s question, which I just remembered, yes, I am the first up there after the bishopric member to bear my testimony every time. If Klagenfurt rememebrs me for anything, then maybe it will be that :) haha. but really, bearing testimony to anyone about things you know to be true is just exciting, thrilling! And I get plenty of chances.
So a quote that I got on the church program gestern: Jeder Mensch hat die Chance, mindestens einen Teil der Welt zu verbessern, nämlich sich selbst. (Every man has the chance to make at least one part of the world better, namely, themselves.)
Are you being the person you want to be? Are you being the person that God wants? Hopefully that person is the same, so do whatever you can to make it so.
The world is a beautiful place, and each day brings miracles, so never stop smiling and thanking God :)
I love you, til next week! :)
Elder Jalen Lawrence Gibbons