Monday, December 30, 2013

The 3 days of christmas :) (December 30)

Wow, for the first time, it actually seems like it's been a week since I was last at the computer.

Well, last Monday, I went to the Zotter chocolate factory. It was so cool! Every flavor of chocolate you can imagine, well even more than you can imagine because there is a lot of fruit here that is not in America. I even tried fish chocolate.... that’s a weird one. Our GML(Ward Mission Leader), Bernhard went with us. We really had a lot of fun. After that, we went caroling with the JAE (single adults) and it was a blast. It’s so great to get to know them a bit more. :)

Well, then starts the 3 days of Christmas, yes, Christmas is THREE DAYS. The first day being Heilige Abend, also the biggest of the three days. We spent this with the Bishop's family. (Fun fact, if you open a tithing missionary pamphlet, and turn to page 5, that is them! Also, page 11 of the same pamphlet is the ward building here :) ) It was a blast! We started the day off with a wonderful hike! It was so fun. I fell a lot, but it was so fun. I should have remembered the shoe spikes dad got me from Costco... they would have came in handy. Then we got to join in some of the traditions here. We ate and played games and went into a different room and played with the kids until ChristKind came. Well we walk into the family room and it is BEAUTIFUL! Christmas trees are decorated by the "baby Jesus" and have many candles and chocolate on them. We all sat and read the Christmas story and sang the correlating songs. It was so spiritual, I love the way it focused so strongly on Jesus. Then we all opened presents. It was just a great day! We even got to watch a movie, the Walton’s. Have you ever heard of it? I am sure you have, it’s an American film, but because it was in German, I bet it was even funnier. I loved it! A lot like Little House on the Prairie. That night Sister Judd and I opened the presents from the ward. Thanks to everyone that helped! They were so cute, and so fun to open. We had to make sure we got 8 hours of sleep so we were allowed to sleep in, that felt weird for the first day, but very much needed. That morning we opened presents then went to the church to have a party with our district. The tews made us yummy waffles. We ate, drank, and were merry. Well, the missionary kind of merry, playing games and Skyping our family. What a treat that was! I am so glad I got to spend some time talking to you. So fun! Then we watched Monsters Inc. University. That might be my new favorite Disney movie! SO CUTE!

The 3rd day of Christmas, we had lunch with a family who is less active. It was also a lot of fun. We then went to the movie theater, yep, you heard that right. And watched Stille Nacht! It was really a great movie; our GML is even in it! It's so cool to have an understanding of how the Catholic church works, and the area and watch that movie! I really enjoyed it!

Well, the news you are all waiting for, this Saturday, I ate Regnier Tacos. Shoot, making those with the steam and grease in the air, I felt at home! We had them with Petra. She loved them and kept telling me what a good cook I was. hehe Thanks so much!

We had 2 of the coolest lessons this week. Well, the first one wasn't a lesson. But we decided to visit someone who is less active less active and who we caroled earlier. Coolest guy ever. He has such a strong testimony of the church and knows its all true just openly admits he's lazy. Well, there’s some work to do, but I am SO excited to start working with this family! We will be meeting with them again on Saturday.

The other person we visited was with a young adult. It was so special because some answers to my prayers came out of my mouth as we were answering her questions and helping her, I must admit, I got a bit emotional. But it was a very spiritual experience for all three of us :)

Sadly, one of the elders in our district went home for medical reasons this week. It has been hard on everyone. He is a great missionary and I know he will be back out here very soon. It was hard for all of us to see him go.
Well, it was a great week.

Today, we went on another hike! It was beautiful. Austria is the prettiest place in the world.

I am so grateful I get to serve here.
Have a great week!
Sister Regnier

Chocolate Factory

Fish Chocolate!

Chocolate Factory

Fröliche Weihnachten! (December 23)

Liebe Familie,
What a fast week! We had 2 tausches (exchanges/splits) and Zone Christmas Conference, so if you think I was working with my companion all week, you would be wrong. Haha, it was seriously CRAZY.

Well, with this week being my half way mark. I was pretty pensive. Holy cow. I can't even understand how this happened. I seriously feel like it was yesterday I received my call, well that was a year ago and the day Sister Garrett picked me up from Munchen Bahnhof was half a mission ago! Craziness. Well to celebrate, I ate Mexican food and drank a cherry dr. pepper. :) I was in Wien (Vienna) and they had an American store with everything in it. Way cool!

This week, I had the most spiritual lesson I have had yet. It was with someone who is less active. When we first got there, it almost seemed like she didn't want us there. Well, Sister Winters and I had planned to present the family mission plan, but the Spirit had a different idea. As we were talking, I felt, for the first time, 100% lead by the Spirit. He was literally putting words in my mouth. We testified about how Heavenly Father loves her and how the Spirit would be there helping her. Well through her tears, she told us that she felt the Spirit so strong. It was obvious she is going through a lot, but I am so grateful the Spirit was able to use me to tell her exactly what she needed to feel. We met with a few people who are less active, and really saw our relationships improve a lot. One, who I had previously met with my first day here, and between had some very intense encounters, invited us for lunch the day after Christmas. Shoot, working with these whom are less active can be so rewarding and so cool! We even made Christmas cookies with such a woman and her cute German-speaking nieces. I emphasis German speaking because, it's dang cute. Nothing compares to little kids speaking German.

Well after writing you last week, we went to a family’s house in the ward. There, we participated in their FHE (Family Home Evening), which was so sweet! They had a talent and a check-up on PP part. Just something I would like to incorporate one day. :) This week was booked with appointments. I am so grateful for that. Between the 2 tausches(exchanges/splits) we had a great time at Christmas Conference. We had a White Elephant gift exchange and a potluck dinner. It was so fun! Sister Miles brought bells and we did some hymns like we did in Primary. We shared traditions, watched messages and just had a super time. Afterwards, we went caroling, SO COOL. See the image below, to see where. RIGHT IN FRONT OF RATHAUS IN WIEN. So cool, people gathered around, taking pictures and videos, and singing along. It was really fun.

While on my tausch in Wien, we were trying to find a former investigator’s house. Well we stumbled upon Mozart's house.... Only in Vienna! It is so cute there! I love the architecture!

Another picture is a member, her two friends, and a restaurant we ate at. Funniest group of people I will ever meet. Always, a crack up. Sister Judd says it makes her feel like we are on an episode of Bing Bang Theory, I couldn't agree more.
Well Sunday, was great. Sister Judd and I worked together for a WHOLE day, we met with someone who is less active, watched the Christmas broadcast, and had really good classes at church. In Relief Society meeting we watched this video.
Love it. It made me think a lot. How often am I digging for that garbage that I have already covered with the atonement of Jesus Christ? I am so grateful we have the opportunity to be beautiful, and move on from our mistakes.
I learned a lot this week. I learned a lot from the sisters I had the opportunity to work with. I learned a lot about myself and what I need to do to become the "4th Missionary."

I am so grateful for this time of year. The streets are packed, with people and decorations. Europe is the coolest place during Christmas. I am glad I can help bring more joy and help prepare for the Second coming of the Savior. Although, I am sad I can't be with my family this Christmas, I have the opportunity to be with others here. I have a great companion and a great ward.

Well, now I am headed off to the chocolate factory that produces the best Austrian Chocolate. Sweet. :)

I hope everyone has a great Christmas! Enjoy every minute of it. Don't get lost in the hustle and bustle. This is a dedicated time of year to really show your love and gratitude for the Savior.

Alles Leibe,

Sister Regnier

Monday, December 16, 2013

diese woche (December 16)

Well, this week just flew by.
Monday was kinda funny. After English class, we had an appointment with an investigator and invited an older lady in the ward to help us teach him. Well, she has this group of friends, we told them not to come, but they wanted to make us dinner. So random. Well they ended up coming, which only worked because our investigator never showed up. BUT we had a wonderful time with this group of friends. They are not members of the church, except the one. I am always so amazed what a great missionary she is! I hope that I will have that drive to constantly be finding new friends and trying to introduce them to the gospel. She's amazing.

Tuesday, we were able to do some member and less active work. We also had Gemeinerat. ummmmmm ward council meeting? I have no idea. Well we had this meeting where we all get together. The RS president is the coolest. She was so concerned with less actives and asking us how we were doing with them. She also told us to go by on one. Well, last time we talked to her on the phone, she made it VERY clear that she would make contact with us when she wanted and that we were not to make the contact. Well, I can’t turn down an assignment by the Relief Society President, but I was a bit nervous.

This week I had tausch (exchanges) with Sister Clark in Graz and we saw some miracles. Small, but oh so significant! We started off the day by going by a less active, she said she wanted us over, and she would give us a call, it sounded very promising. Then we went by on another less active that the RS asked us to go by on, not home. So we went by on other people. A potential that we had received a long time ago. When we knocked on her door, she remembered exactly who I was. She was having lunch with her extended family, but she asked us to come back. I was really impressed she remembered us and I have a lot of hope for her! We went by a less active that previously hung up on me on the phone, well, I was a bit nervous. But we also had a positive contact with her. After going by on these people, we saw some real success. It was funny, because that wasn't even our plan B, everything had fallen out, but for a reason. Well we had a bit more time at about 7. So we decided to go by that less active that wasn't home earlier. Well, over the klingel (intercom?), she was not nice. She told us she was already in bed and not happy with us. We left, I was feeling really sad, not knowing what we were going to say to the Relief Society President and a bit confused what to do. However, a bit later we got a call. She was apologizing and asked if we would have time for an appointment next week. It was truly a miracle. It was so cool. Tausches (exchanges) are really times for miracles! I have seen this a couple times on my mission now. When we make the slightest contact, the Spirit can talk to them and whether they come to church or want to make an appointment, its wonderful to see the Spirit work in such a way.

This week we also had Zone Training. Well, its quite different being on the other end of zone training. I felt that it went really well. Sis Judd and I talked a lot about the difference between charity and love. It was really a fun discussion. This week we had a lesson at a members about our baptismal covenants. We are committed to help others, and being charitable is really the way to do that! It is also always good to review what we have promised the Lord we would do. We know that when we do our part, he will bless us!

Saturday I attended my first Europe Christmas party. Wow, was it fun. I can't even explain how Austria feels about Christmas. It is so much bigger here, and it's SWEET. Well for the program, they told the story of Christ's birth with a slide show of pictures. These pictures were the scenes of the events but with the primary children's faces. It was so cool and well done! Afterwards, we ate soup (also, soup is so good here, I love Austria soup!) and socialized. I talked to a couple people in the ward I never had the chance before. I love these old ladies. You ask a simple question like, how did you learn about the church and they could talk for hours. It turns out the oldest lady in the ward's husband translated the Book of Mormon into German. SO COOL. Anyway, the Christmas party was a HIT.

Sunday was great. The Tews (the ehe paar (senior couple) in Graz) invited us over for lunch and we were able to figure out how we could work together in this ward. It was really great. They have so much excitement for the work. I have never seen such a motivated missionary couple. Seriously cool. Then we were able to have a very meaningful visit with our investigator. I must say, I LOVE the Spirit. It makes everything comfortable and lets us know what we need to say to help those we talk to. The Holy Ghost sure is the best tool :)

Well this week was a good one. We got ahold of many people, which we needed.
This week, I have just cherished my scripture study! The scriptures contain the questions of the soul. With this time that we study, we invite the Spirit. With these 2 aides, any question we could or might have can be answered. I have had some great searches this week leading off phrases in my p blessing. It has made it so much more personal. I encourage everyone to do that!

Quick cultural thing. Members here appreciate the Bible so much more. Sister Judd and I were talking about it this morning. The cultural basis here of the bible is so different. I get really sad that the German speaking people cant have the King James version with all of the footnotes and JS translations. We English speakers need to dive into our bible, we have so many more resources, that we take for granted!

Next week is going to be crazy! Christmas conference and 2 tausches (exchanges)!

Have a great week :)

Sis Regnier

This is a huge German decoration, if you can see it. They are everywhere- And way cool :)
The most popular decoration is the advents wreath. There are 4 candles and every Advent Sunday, you light one more. It’s a cool tradition :)
Austria and Germany LOVE Christmas! :)