So apparently "gift" in German means poison... So if you say "Ich habe ein Gift für Sie!" that doesn't mean you have a gift for someone... *embarrassing moment of the week.
So! In other news! On Tuesday and Wednesday Sister Jest and I went on tausch with the sister training leaders! (tausch = splits.) Sister Jest stayed in Wien (Vienna) and I went with Sister Pratt to Wiener Neustadt and holy poop! it was seriously the best. So great to get a change of scenery! Wiener Neustadt is in our zone, about 45 mins away from my area, and it is sooo different! You can actually see the mountains there! It's not a giant city like where I am in the middle of Wien. I loved working with Sister Pratt, she's so cute. I was worried that it would be super hard to go back after such a great tausch, but it was a pretty seamless transition, surprisingly! The tender mercies of the Lord are definitely over those who call upon His name for help :)
New Year's in Wien is AWESOME. The biggest New Year's Eve party in Europe or something is at Rathaus, I guess! We were allowed to stay out till 10 on NYE, but there was actually a terrorist bomb threat at Stefansplatz (near Rathaus) so our mission president told us to stay far far away from there the entire day. It was kinda scary, but everything is good, I think, because I haven't heard anything! I always feel so out of the loop here. I can't even keep up with any worldly things happening! Too busy with the work of the Lord :)
This week has been soooo full of such awesome spiritual moments for me! I think I have calluses on my knees from praying so much, but it's so great. Every day as a missionary is such a spiritual high. I've learned so much about the potential Heavenly Father sees in me, and the things He wants me to learn through this experience! The second I feel like I am starting to master one challenge that has been thrown at me, another one comes up! And honestly I love it so much! I don't like to stay in the same place very much anyway so Heavenly Father definitely knows how to best help me learn and grow here :) I've been learning more and more each day about how I can give my complete self to serving the Lord! Give my will, my heart, and unify my purpose with Heavenly Father's. It's hard, but worth it.
We had our first snows this week! (snow = schnee.) It was awesome while we were watching it in our apartment, but then not so awesome as we got outside. Alex's mom wasn't kidding when she said the cold here chills you to the bone! My bones are probably permanently frozen right now. And this week, surprisingly, has also been full of... Peruvian food! Who would have thunk!! There are a couple Peruvian families in our ward who were less active and are just now coming back regularly, and boy do they like to feed the missionaries! Like every day. If Alex is eating as well as I've eaten this week then I'm not worried about him at all. And it's funny to hear their German with a Spanish accent. (haha)
With the beginning of this new year, I've decided to pick a scripture of the year. I was realizing that this whole year for me will be 365 days of being a missionary! How crazy! What an awesome year this is going to be :)
so my scripture is Alma 26:27-31
27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world--not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.
30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.
31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.
I love this scripture so much and I know that at the end of this year, no matter the challenges and hardships I have, I will be able to look back and see the fruits of my labors! I'm so grateful for the trust that Heavenly Father has in me to let me preach the gospel to the people of the Alpine German Speaking mission! I wish you all a happy happy new year!! :) sorry for the novel email!