Monday, March 3, 2014

Hello :)

The Belvedere, a palace in Vienna

Grounds at the Belvedere, playing with shadows
Faschingfest--a Primary kids' activity

Elders Weston and Gibbons doing a heavy-lifting service project

Hello Familie! How are you?

Where to begin last week.... we got some pictures on Monday from the Belvedere, where we go running when we go in the morning. But this time in daylight. It is very pretty. That is the first picture. And the second was also there, we had fun with shadows. Sorry Kate and Papa and Jacci,  I am not a professional. The third is the  Primary Faschingsfest we went to, it was way fun :) We did like a cakewalk thing, having the kids walk around the path of tape and stopping them and calling out a random number to see if anyone won. I think 5 of the kids at the end declared the Elders' station as being their favorite :) Score! Haha. It was pretty stressful sometimes, trying to rig the game so all the kids got candy... so ist es.

Last Tuesday we had a great time with President and Sister Miles and Br. Caletka :) They are so awesome. I got about five minutes to talk with Pres. and Sister Miles by myself as Elder Weston was helping Br. Caletka in the kitchen. They are incredible. They really enjoyed their stay in Wien, working with a lot of the missionaries. They drove us home after the appointment, and Elder Weston was asking Pres. Miles all sorts of questions about his work. Then I took the chance to ask them how they met :) That is a fun question. Sister Miles said that they were set up by a friend of hers. So I said, "Aha, so it was a member referral?" hahaha. They both agreed. I will miss them a lot in the future. 

Oh, we went to the Familie Husz last Monday as well, he is the GML (ward mission leader) and his family is so great. Their youngest son had chicken pox, but was as lively as ever! We found out our favorite Fußballer is Lionel Messi :) We are basically best friends haha. We got to know them, they looked at our family pictures and we feel much closer to them. I feel like I know the ward much better now, and feel at home. 

Oh yeah, we also had a service project on Tuesday, and we moved tons of bags of dirt and rocks and stuff from the kellar of a place and stacked them outside and upstairs. It was probably one of my favorite service projects, just straight hard lifting for two hours. My hands were dead haha. I will send a picture of that, too. 

We went to family Simic on Thursday. We played Simon Says and connected it to prophets, and how we need to do what they say. And if we don´t, we have to repent. The kids got a kick out of it. 

We also had a finding day on Saturday, in our area. As we planned this, Elder Weston and I, we had a lot of fun. We wrote out "Mission Alpha" and "Mission Omega" and the like on notecards, and said that the mission would be activated at the church when we prayed to start the finding day. And the mission would terminate at 15 Uhr. We had different targeted sectors (the different districts in our area) along with primary objectives (for example: Find.Teach.Baptize.Repeat.) and secondary objectives, such as: contacts wearing American sports memorabilia, with bonus points for anything other than Yankees or Chicago Bulls, because everyone wears that. It was way fun. I worked with Elder Aurich from Wien 5 for the 3 hours. We had fun and found some really cool people. I am excited for this week. 

Now the best part. I called all the people labeled as investigators in our phone, trying to set something up with them (the problem is, I don´t know any of them) and we got a call back from one who said he would love a visit in the hospital. His name is M_____ and we went to visit him on Friday. We got to know him a bit, and talked about how the Savior is there to help us. Also about building a firm foundation on Christ, that will get us through anything. He suffers from MS, so he is pretty weak, but he is just trying to make the best of his situtation. I admire that. We went back to visit him on Sunday, yesterday, and the older man in his room, W_____, joined us in our conversation. We talked about the people of Alma, how the Lord made their burdens light. And then we talked about Alma the younger´s conversion story, and the light that it brought into his life. When we mentioned light, W_____ stopped us and said he had a story to tell us, a story he doesn't tell very often. He proceeded to tell us that as he was 9, he got in an accident. And he almost died. He felt like he was being squeezed through a pipe, and at the end was a light. And this light was the most beautiful light he had ever seen, and he felt so good, he didn't want to go back to his crying parents in the hospital. It was something he hasn't ever experienced since then. And we told him that that light was from the Savior, and we can feel that light and love when we follow Him. And Willie agreed. He said he would give anything to find that light again, and we bore testimony that the gospel was the way for him to do it. 

This was a very special experience for me, considering the things I have gone through in the last bit of time. It was another experience where the Spirit was there and guided everything I said. I know it, because my German was the best German I have ever spoken in my life. I don´t know if I can say it was perfect, but it was the best I have ever spoken. It flowed, it was not just me speaking. My mind doesn't think that quickly or clearly. I will never forget that moment, sitting in a quiet hospital room in Vienna, Austria, with two men who didn't choose these circumstances in their lives, but who are doing their best to believe and be healed, to think positively. And the Spirit was there. 

And then their nurse walked in. She seemed to be a very nice daughter of God. Really, I am not being sarcastic. She opened the door and walked in the room and I am certain she was hit in the face by the Spirit. She certainly wasn't expecting that, or the two handsome young men sitting in the room there. (If I say so myself...hahaha). :) M_____ and W_____ asked if she wanted to stay and sit with us for 10 minutes, but she had to work. But it is okay, at the end, I left a Book of Mormon for M_____ and W_____, and I left another and told them that they had to give it to the nurse, B_____. We´ll see if they do it! That is how you get new investigators, you invite the Spirit so strong and then invite them immediately to share it with others :) Score! I feel like M_____ and W_____ are my best friends. We are going back Wednesday. 

And that is the story about how everything turned around for us. We have two awesome new investigators, lots of potential invesitgators to contact this week to try and meet, and we are just so grateful to have been blessed with it all. 

God lives, and He is leading this work. All the circusmstances that have led to me calling those people in the phone on that day, when he was in the hospital, have led us here. Man, He knows what He is doing. If I had called even a couple weeks ago, M_____ probably would still have been in Costa Rica on vacation, but he had a stroke and then got shipped back here so we could meet with him, and meet W_____, and so the nurse, B_____, could feel that Spirit when she opened the door. So ist es. 
I leave you all with a quote: "Doing something yourself does not necessarily mean doing it alone." I came up with that this morning.

I love you all, have a great week! :)

Elder Gibbons

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