Monday, May 02, 2016

At last, the springtime warmth emerges with the ribbons of May Day, and the city comes alive. Finally, people are willing to stop and talk to two young American girls on the sidewalk rather than just speed walk through the chill. Although despite our finding efforts we were unable to find anyone new to teach, we have had some interesting conversations with strangers about the purpose of life, and we had fun doing service projects and meeting with members/less actives. I never imagined all the random things that I would experience as a missionary, but this week I have seen a turned-down marriage proposal between people who don't really know each other, I have heard a synthesizer version of Come Thou Fount and a live informercial on workout equipment, I have strolled past Beethoven's house , and (Mom close your eyes) I have walked in front of a tram. Right now we are sitting at a bakery enjoying Austrian cinnamon rolls; we just took a hike past rolling vineyards and through sweet-perfumed forests to the top of the mount for a gorgeous view of Vienna. 

On a more serious note,  I didn't realize until I left on my mission just how lucky I was. How lucky I was to be born into a loving family... To be born in the church, in a town where there are so many members who have so firm a foundation ... To be a citizen of a country where there is peace and where those of certain religious or political groups aren't persecuted ... Why me? Previously, whenever I saw the news, it seemed too far away to be real. But after coming to the city of Vienna where so many refugees have fled, I have grown that much more grateful for my friends and loved ones, my home, and my freedoms. It's certainly not something to take for granted. Meeting these brave people has been so incredible, and as I continue to meet more I hope I will learn from their example of strength. 

We have a lesson tonight, and this week I want to be continually courageous in opening up my mouth to speak. It's a huge city, and so many have already told us of their desire to know where they've come from, where they're going, and why they're here. It's a marvelous work. 

Here is a bonus picture of a bunch of tourists who whipped out three cameras each when we were trying to take a group photo with the district:

    Gospel Girl
           (aka Sister Lundgreen)

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