Elder Botcherby and Elder Weston both ate XXL Döners,
the size of which in emphasized here when sitting next to my normal Döner. :)
Here is Stephansdom in the light (what little light there was...)
Then we went to the city. I bought myself a new swatch,
and some stickers for my guitar :) Well, the Austria flag one is a patch
that I will superglue to the inside of my bag.
I photobombed Bobi :)
Bobi and I ready to eat!
Viktoria and I, showing off our awesome earmuffs :)
Roasting marshmallows over candles :)
This was a fun week. Poor Elder Weston was sick with a fever for two days. But I got lots of time to think and study, so that was enjoyable. The first day. Haha. On the first day I rewrote my stoplight analogy to more fully compare it to the course of this life and the purpose of life. Complete with scriptures. Yeah, I don´t think I ever told you that analogy. I came up with it in Stuttgart, and thought more about it on Christmas day last year, and it was solidified last week. (You will see it when I get home, I am sure. Remind me.) Although I could probably go more in depth. One day. I wrote my thoughts regarding said analogy out in my book of revelation. So that kept me occupied the first sick day. The second was kinda just random, I read about Joseph Fielding Smith in the Sunday School handbook thing, I sang some songs, and I eventually decided to try for the second time in my mission to make Buchteln, that recipe I got from Sister Kaiser in Klagenfurt. They turned out okay, but a little doughy. We scarfed them down anyway haha. Yes Mom, I still have my guitar, that was one of the two things I managed to hold on to, along with my little carryon bag. And now I have some cool stickers on the back of my guitar, from Stuttgart, Bayern, Wien, Austria, and I even found a Kärnten sticker :) Now I have something for each of my areas on my guitar.
Otherwise, the week really was fun! Elder Botcherby and I tausched on Tuesday, and it was a lot of fun to work together. We went by on lots of members to strengthen our relationships with them, and we just talked. It was our first official tausch where we got to work together, since the MTC. Crazy, man.
By the way, that scripture that Dad found was awesome. (John 4:34-38.) I laughed out loud as I read it. Four months. Not bad. Tender mercies, they are real.
I actually used Grandma Madsen´s talk about Uncle David for district meeting this week, to start off the meeting with a stong spirit. The theme of the meeting this week was "Adapting attitudes through the Atonement." Figured Mom would be proud of my alliteration. ;) The power of words... anyway, I heard from the zone leaders that some of the other missionaries in the district, who are all relatively young (yeah, anyone is young relative to me and Elder Botcherby...) are also struggling with being burnt out. It took me 20 months to reach this point, and it hurts me that these young missionaries are experiencing these things already. One of them talked about how he lost his "golden power" and feels like he is just at the point where he is enduring. Dang it, that is how I feel sometimes, why is he to that point already? But in reality, as I write about this, I just thought about how strong these new missionaries must be, the challenges that Heavenly Father sees fit to put them through. If they are strong enough now to learn how to move forward despite tremendous difficulties, then they will be incredible. That is proof that the Lord calls and the Lord qualifies. Anyway, the district meeting was about being able to adapt our attitudes to missionary life, which went right along with Sister Miles' topic (oh yeah, we had interviews with President Miles with this distict meeting) about the new booklets "Adjusting to missionary life." That booklet is way cool. If you can't get Nathan and Kate such a book, they can look at mine when I am back. It is so insightful and inspired. It has given me lots of ideas. But the meeting went way better than I thought it would, thanks Spirit, and I hope that everyone else learned as much as I did.
I asked President Miles the same question I asked Dad last week, just to see if he had ever experienced such a burn out on his mission. We had a great conversation, and it also gave me lots of insight. And then Sunday night there was a fireside thing about "Why God lets suffering and bad things happen?" Which basically just reemphasized the purpose of my struggles. To learn and grow. And so it goes.
As for that one appointment that I made out from calling everyone, we went there, Elder Botcherby and I, and the guy we were looking for sat us down, gave us juice, and then took off. And left us with his family-in-law, who couldn't speak German and kinda just wanted us to help them get work in America. Kinda disappointing. But, we have an appointment for Saturday with the guy I was texting, and I hope that goes well. I was telling him about the different study manuals and stuff that the Church has, and he said he wants to be able to just sit down, read scripture, discuss it, and apply it to our lives--good, I told him that is what we do haha. And he likes talking about spiritual things in English, so Elder Weston can take more of a part, too. I am excited for that. Then gestern at church I got a call from a random number in our phone, someone I have never met, and he asked about church, and wants to come next week! So thanks Heavenly Father for such miracles.
We kinda introduced the concept of Family Home Evening to familie Simic last Monday, and tonight we are doing a real one :) We are going to teach about the Restoration for Mariya´s sister, and hopefully figure out how much she actually knows and then we can help her prepare for baptism, too. :) I am excited.
There is lots to do, people to help, smiles to bring, and hearts to fill. Even when the weather is FREEZING. We can bring a fire that will stay, when they choose to learn more about the everlasting restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks for your prayers and love. I love you all :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons