Monday, October 17, 2016


Oktober Fest

    I remember the first time I had ever heard of Vienna was in the song Vienna Waits for You.  I had always been charmed by the idea of the city; it sounded beautiful and classic in an artsy European sort of way, but I had hardly dreamed of ever seeing it.  When I was assigned to serve here, I was of course thrilled.  I had no idea why (to be honest I knew hardly anything about this capital of Austria) but Vienna was the one city I sincerely, sincerely hoped I would have the opportunity to serve in after being called to the Alpine Mission.

 Six months later, my heart is captured; I am head over heels.  I love Vienna, and the idea of leaving this place where I have fallen not only in love with the ward members but with the random people we speak to on the streets, the meshed cultures, the Greco-Victorian architecture, the crazy subway system, the Wienerisch dialect, the classic arts, the incredible war-torn history... It's hard.  I still have AT LEAST another three weeks before I leave here and already I am trying to brainstorm ways to return.

"Exotic" decor

     But that's the wonderful thing about a mission.  I knew before I left that there would be times that were hard.  And that is true.  But I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how much my heart strings would be tugged by the people who's stories I would never have had the chance to hear otherwise.

Things that went down this week:

- lots and lots of streeting through random neighborhoods and leave-strewn parks

- a number of opportunities to meet up with the COOLEST young people
- a sports night and a game night (I played chess for the first time in my life)
-  a beautiful garden-side lunch with the Bishop's family (LOVE THEM)

-  a Pakistani buffet where we sat on the floor and talked about traveling Greece (among many other things)
- a stroll past the Opera and a three-story H&M in a Victorian venue
- a lot of backtracking and rerouting and running through the station to catch the subway and otherwise just having to completely scrap our original plan
- an AMAZING fireside featuring Susan R. Madsen

Too short.... Story of my life...

Vienna's mini Oktober Fest
     Confession time: I am not the best missionary out there (haha). I am a natural introvert, and speaking with strangers is definitely not made easier when clumsily using a new language.  It is not uncommon for me to, for example, chicken out when Sister Slack says I should talk to the person walking past, or for me to just absolutely wing it when a lesson doesn't go as planned.   Besides this, my brain is an disaster-of-an-attention-lacking mess, I still accidentally call people "dude" (what can I say, I lived in Hawaii!) and I got way too excited when I heard "Rolling in the Deep" at the store the other day. But I am learning so much.  I am learning better how to follow the Spirit.  I am learning better how to see people for more than just how they look on the outside.  I am learning about gratitude, about facing fears, about strengthening testimony, about other points of views on religion and even politics.  I am learning about myself!
     I absolutely loved listening to Susan R. Madsen because she really hit home with how we as women can really step it up and use our unique attributes to influence the world for good.  We need to get educated, she said, both in the university and in the doctrine of gospel, because that is the way to truly impact the generations ahead of us.  She also pleaded for us not to be silent nor to confuse "humility" with "low self-worth." This reminded me a little of the parable in Matthew 5:

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Let us be strong.  Let us not think that are too small or insignificant to make a difference, but rather let us be a light to shine forth in the darkness around us.  Let us see ourselves as our Father sees us, and live up to that potential He has given.

Schöne Woche! Tschüss!

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts