What a miraculous week!! There have been many blessings this week and a real explosion in the work. I’ll start off with sharing my thoughts about General Conference though, because you were asking 🙂
There were two quotes that I really appreciated and hoped to touch on. The first was from Elder Stevenson and he was quoting the austrailien mormon snowboarder who had attempted to comfort another snowboarder during the olympics that was nervous about the next run she would have on the half-pipe (the happenings of the last olympic are all unfamiliar to me). She commented, “I’m a competitor; I want to do my best. But I also want everyone else to do their best.” I feel like with time on my mission, the Lord has helped me conform my old views and bad habits to slowly accept this mentality and finding true joy in the success of other missionaries. Where I maybe used to compete to have the most success compared to others, I now love seeing and celebrating with others in the success that they and I are granted from God. Our talents and achievements are truly gifts from Him, and when we understand that, we can’t really take pride in His achievements, but rather be thankful for the blessings he gives us and more especially others. I love seeing others happy and witnessing the miracles they are blessed with.
Secondly, I love Elder Bednar’s quote pertaining to the truck story he explained. He stated, “it’s the load that brings us back to our families and Heavenly Father.” I love that!!!! Without the trials, challenges and “weight” we are given in our hardest moments, we won’t grow and continue on our path to becoming the person the Lord wants us to become or returning to live with Him again.
NOW!!! For this week! We set two new baptismal dates, both of which are scheduled for 3.5.14, the same day as Lukas which is also my last Saturday on the mission. Here’s how these two were set: The first was set with an older austrian lady named Lotte. She first met the missionaries many years ago in Wien but didn’t ever really get to talking with them about the gospel at that time. She explains that she cooks really well and the missionaries would often come over to eat and chat for a few hours. We had a really great lesson this last week as we discussed our purpose and hopes with meeting her. At the conclusion to the lesson, we invited her to be baptized and she accepted.
The second investigator that we met with this week is a 40 year old austrian man named Christian. He’s golden. Back when Elder Smith and I were working together, we met with him one time and it was immediately clear that he was prepared. Unfortunately, since then he became very busy taking care of his ill mother who can’t be left alone and refuses to hire a stranger to help her. So Christian has been busy the last couple months spending every second with his mother and taking care of her daily needs. On Friday, he called me and requested that we meet again, because it had been too long. We met then on Saturday and had a great discussion about the restoration, at which point we committed him to be baptized on 3.5.14!!! We then invited him to come to General Conference the next day and he accepted excitedly. He came to 2 of the sessions and we’ll be sure to meet with him this week to follow up. What a miracle to find someone so prepared and excited to learn!!
Everything is still progressing nicely with Lukas and we’ll probably finish up discussing the rest of the commandments this week. We talked about the Law of Chastity and his understanding of these principles and morals was incredible. If you lived in Europe, you’d understand how amazing it is that Lukas at the prime age of 23 has found these truths for himself and has the self control to stick to his resolve. He’s expressed two times this week his dedication and preparation to be baptized and we’re excited to teach him finally about tithing and the word of wisdom!
So, if everything works out according to the plans and the will of the Lord is such, we’re now preparing 3 investigators for baptism on my last weekend here!! I’m truly grateful for this blessing. But I also know we can do better, and there are many others that I know have the potential to make this step in the coming weeks. The time is coming to an end and there’s just too much I hope to accomplish still as a missionary. Now or never!! 🙂