Monday, November 18, 2013

The Work (November 18)

It must needs be that there is opposition in all things.

Well, I had a wonderful week. So despite getting this green junk, that only comes out of clothes in the sun, on my white skirt (oh and there is no sun), having my long skirt getting stuck in the escalator, pulling me down and almost ripping the whole thing off (I am counting that as a blessing, except I can't figure out how to get the grease stains out), and loosing my beloved planner on the last week of this transfer, I had a lot of happiness.

Last week I mentioned Schwester K____, who came to church for the first time in a very, very long time after we gave her a simple call. Well, we had an appointment with her this week. I have never seen someone give SO MUCH excitement over church before. The whole evening, she was saying how much energy she received from church, how the messages were perfect, how everyone was so happy to see her, everything. She loved it and came again this week. I am so happy to see her remembering how much the church blesses our lives.
On Friday, we got a surprise call from another less active. She was baptized in her birthplace of Peru, fell in love with an Austrian and has been living here ever since. She told us she was making empanadas again and would love to have us over. It was a party. We really had fun and were able to discuss why she was not coming to church and why her husband doesn’t like it. We shared a message on service. The nonmember husband was even participating. Then, guess who was on the back row Sunday? Yup, that’s right, BOTH of them. It was a miracle. The funny thing is that morning ON OUR WAY TO CHURCH I told Sis K, "This next transfer, one of my main goals will be to get K___ to come to church." Well, happened a bit sooner than I thought. :)

This week, I had an Austausch (a short-term missionary exchange) in the English-speaking ward in Wien (Vienna). I have never been a fan of Austausches and I think Wien is downright ugly. So, I was not excited. How wrong was I! This was by far the best austausch ever! Wien was amazing and I really enjoyed working with Sister Clark. I learned a lot and we really enjoyed working together.
A great thing that brought me a lot of happiness this week is our brand-new investigator, Dino. We had a lesson in the middle of a crowded McDonalds, but the Spirit was SO STRONG. It was one of the best lessons I have had here in Graz. Sister Kervinen and I worked well together to bring the Spirit and stress the importance of prayer, the scriptures, and church in our life. I really could feel the Spirit working through me. He was eager to set up another appointment and read in the Book of Mormon before we meet again. I am so glad when missionaries are lead to the people that are ready to hear the gospel.

We also taught our progressing investigator the Law of Chastity (First time I actually have don’t that in German). It went wonderfully! She was very accepting and is just working towards being baptized.

So, I obviously had some great lessons this week. However, NOTHING compares to the lesson I had yesterday. I told you about the catholic priest we met. Well, we called him a week ago and set up an appointment for this Sunday. Saturday, we txt him to confirm the appointment, he told us that "a couple young people wanted to meet us as well". Well, we walked up to the address he gave us, turns out to be the church. Okay, that's fine. We walk in, all these 16-18 year olds start shaking our hands and introducing themselves. Well turns out our lesson ends up to be a sort of "mutual activity" and the few young people were actually 18 youth. Haha. So crazy. So we all sit down, and we start discussing what we are doing as missionaries. The Priest loves us! He was pretty much saying they needed to have the dedication we have. We talked about a lot of things like the priesthood, eternal marriage, genealogy, polygamy (of course), seriously everything. The best part was THEY were coming up with scriptures to support OUR doctrine. Then when we got talking about Joseph Smith, someone asked where the plates are now. After we told them, the priest started asking them where the bible manuscripts are. No one knew. It was so fun! There was no contention and it was seriously fun. They loved that our religion gives a "second chance" after this life. One guy even said, he should just join our church.... well, he should... haha.  Afterwards, one girl came up to me. During the discussion I had talked about how I knew I was supposed to go on a mission. She asked me how I received an answer to my prayer. At that time, in a Catholic church, I felt the Spirit testify through me as I told her that she could receive her own answers and that she doesn't have to depend on other people tell her the answers to her prayers. I was able to learn a lot about what they believe. I really saw the truth to the statement "Sie nahen sich mir mit den Lippen aber ihr Herz ist ferne vom mir.(They draw near to me with their lips but their heart is far from me.)" I am really glad we had that appointment, even if we didn't receive investigators, we were able to help them understand "the Mormons," now they have all had a good experience with us and know the truth of what we stand for. That night I spent time studying the bible, looking for things I hadn't noticed before that really support exactly what Christ church believes in. I can honestly say, yesterday with the combination of the miracle that so many people came to church, that lesson, and my personal study, my testimony really grew this last week.

It was truly a wonderful week.

Liebe Grüße

Sister Regnier

Catholic Youth Group and Priest

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

If we are not preaching things in line with the gospel, then we are preaching against it (November 11)

Well time to catch you up from this week :)

Last Monday, I had a really great thoughtful day. We listened to a talk by Bill Carpenter. It was the most amazing thing ever. It was about his conversion story and his mission. GO LOOK IT UP! Also, if you can find the transcript to his talk, please, please, mail it to me! I would love to be able to read that. So inspiring. I thought a lot about motivation and those types of things. It turned out to be PERFECT because for district meeting, that is exactly what we talked about! What motivates us. Perfection.

So one of our new converts' houses caught on fire. Why has this happened to me twice on my mission! crazy. He calls us at 6:25 and simply says my house burned down.... Well turns out it was just his kitchen. We are setting up something so that we can go clean and try to get it in livable conditions again.
It will be nice to wear pants in this weather :)

This week, I was able to meet our 18-year-old investigator. It was so cool. She has a kid, who she loves more than anything. She is really searching to find out who God is. She grew up Muslim so she’s very nervous to try praying and such. With her questions, it's obvious that this is just what she needs! Keep her in your prayers because she needs a little push. I really want her to meet the young single adults. It's really nice we have those kinds of activities to invite her to! For example, this week we had waffle night, put on by the senior couple missionaries. It was amazing. The missionaries decided to go and it was PERFECT. The less active that we have been trying contact, also came! We totally clicked with her and talked to whole time. It was a really great feeling. I have such a testimony of these activities helping in the work! Plus we just had fun, ate waffles, and the Elders learned how to play this lord of the rings game (I wasn’t even going to try to learn how to play haha)

This week, while at a members, I met a guy who was actually baptized a year ago, but never received the Holy Ghost and confirmed. Sad. It makes me feel sad that he was so close, but didn’t quite get there. He somehow ended up getting involved with anti-Mormon literature, which is always so deceiving and misleading. He now drills the missionaries with questions whenever he gets the chance. It was an interesting experience to say the least.

Speaking of interesting. We had another encounter with the Jehovah Witnesses’. Well, we had a lesson with them. The ones I met with didn’t seem interested in really listening. When we answered their question, they just acted as if we didn’t and asked another..... It was kind of funny, when our new convert interrupted and said he would like to "ask a question." He started talking about how Jesus died for us, and His blood atonement is so important. Then he bursts out saying I WOULD NEVER LET MY SON DIE. He was concerned about their stance against blood transfusions and that sacrificing one’s blood to save another was a sacrifice the Savior made, so why couldn’t one sacrifice to save another’s life. IT was an interesting point and they seemed very awkward when confronted by his honest question. It seemed that they were really just wanting to create an argument with us, but it just didn’t happen, the attempt sort of back fired. It was an interesting experience to see such a different approach to teaching Gospel topics. You just can’t teach without the assistance of the Spirit.

This week, I called a less active and set-up an appointment with her. On Sunday, she was at church! For the first time, in a very very long time. She told me that her mother, who isn’t a member, told her it would be good for her and that she knows the church helps her. How cool is that. Just a little call from the missionaries pulled on her memory enough to talk about it with her mom and come to church! I am really excited to see how things go!

Church yesterday was AMAZING. We started off in a combined RS and Priesthood lesson about missionary work. Naturally, I loved it. Something I really pondered was that we are all missionaries. We just have to decide whom for. If we are not being good examples, we are being bad examples. If we are not preaching things in line with the Gospel, then we are preaching against it. It really is important to remember at all times we are children of God. We need to act that way and represent the good, at all times. I also was so interested that only 1/3 of young adult boys are serving missions. There can be so many more missionaries in the world!

Powerful right? There was also a talk about the problems pornography addiction. It was really wonderful. The speakers, the RS and EQ presidents, did a wonderful job. There were lots of handouts and ways that if people were struggling with this problem, there is help. That is something that is just so powerful in our church. We help one another. No matter what. I love it. I love this Gospel. I love the people in this Gospel. I know Heavenly Father is so proud of us as we are reaching out to his sheep in need.

Sister Regnier

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween Week (November 4)

Well that's an interesting subject, because, let's be honest, no one cares about Halloween here. No one even knocked on our door. I was really hoping. Here in Austria, they are already getting set-up for Christmas. haha

Last Monday, I had a wonderful experience with a family in my ward. One of the members that Sister K didn't really know invited us over. Once we FINALLY got there, we had a wonderful evening. They have a son with a couple problems that I don't know the proper names. He is in a wheelchair, and not able to talk or do anything for himself. I can see how that would be very hard on a family. However, this mom was wonderful. She sat there, feeding him while trying to make conversation with us, but it was obvious where her priorities were. When her husband came home for work, he immediately went and greeted us, kissed his wife, then took their 18 year old child out of his chair and cuddled with him on the couch just talking to him. He didn't care that his dinner was on the table, his first priority was his family. While we gave our spiritual thought, he sat there giving his son love and letting him know that he was there and that he loved him. This young man had something probably along the lines of Down Syndrome when he was younger, but after he had learned to walk at about age 5, he had a seizure that put him in the wheelchair for the rest of his life. As I was sitting there, observing this wonderful family, I had tears in my eyes. The way they acted, was perfect. It made me think about how our Father in heaven loves us that way, and he will give us what we need. We all need different things and he is able to give us all what we really need. It was truly a wonderful experience.

A miracle I saw this week was with a less active. We decided to bring by some cookies. We have gone by before, but she has never been there. This time however, she was there, and she invited us in! We were able to have a nice conversation and it was great to see her willing to talk to the missionaries!

We also had an appointment with another less active this week. She is from Peru and married an Austrian who is not a member. We went over there to teach, but stayed to serve. It was really fun. They were preparing to go to a birthday party where she was in charge of making all the food. She was behind schedule, but it gave us an awesome opportunity. Her husband was very surprised how willing we were to stay and help. Really, it wasn't too hard of a decision :) We got to learn how to make some Peruvian treats and have some fun. I actually ate something, couldn't tell you what it's called, but it is the best thing I have EVER eaten.

Well we had a very interesting day this week. It started with a lesson with our neubekehrt (new member of the church). While we were sitting on his porch, the Jehovah’s Witnesses came up. Can you say awkward? I guess they have been making regular visits. Charles doesn't know what to do, because he is "supposed to be Christ like and let people into his house"... but he doesn't want to talk to them.... He was asking us what the bishop would do in such a situation. Haha..  We then we went over to our members for a member lesson. And a catholic Priest, black robes and all, is sitting at her kitchen table. Haha, it was without a doubt, the most interesting lesson I have ever had. He was very curious about a lot of things. He was very impressed by the missionaries. We even watched a talk from conference. Good lesson. He even asked to take a picture with us afterwards.

Another awkward experience... The elders had found a potential they were very excited about. She lives alone so they asked us to go to her house. We did, and we did not get a word in for an hour and a half. You are crazy if you think I was able to concentrate to understand her thick steierisch accent for that long. We just kept trying to talk, but she talked and talked and talked. Now I know how people feel when they talk to me! Finally, she took a breath long enough for me to squeeze in that we had to go. But then she decided to give us a tour of her house and eat everything she had to offer. haha, people can be so fun. I LOVE meeting new people. haha

I came across a quote I really enjoyed this week- "Don't worry about how inexperienced you are, or think you are, but think about what with the Lord's help, you can become" Eyring. The man knows his stuff.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Sister Regnier