Monday, 28 March 2016

Vienna (Wien) 7/3/16 - 21/3/16 Woche 85 & 86 von 102- Deutschkurs, Missionstour in Salzburg und Pfahlkonferenz, Stephansdom, Wien Team Meal und Wohlfahrtstag!

Woche 85 von 102- Deutschkurs, Missionstour in Salzburg und Pfahlkonferenz!

Hallo! (I really hate that greeting, but it's what they say here- it just sounds way too English- meh!)

So after studies we went shopping! Like legit, I got so much food and spent hardly anything! It's the best! So after that, we headed to the Insti Centre to do emails and sort Uni stuff out, as we don't have the key to the one computer at the chapel, which we needed for Uni stuff. Then basically pday was over, so we went out finding on like a super busy shopping street by West Bahnhof! It was cool although nobody wanted to know! Then we headed home, did a bit more area book work and the day was done, but the bonus of the day is that the Sisters called us up part way through the late afternoon to say that they just found the best shop ever, which sells like everything British, so Sister Jest was like, ‘Do you want me to pick anything up for you from here?’ .. so I put in a little order and she's gonna bring it to Gemeinderat for me tomorrow! Excited! 

Dienstag! Oh my goodness! Well, we'll begin from the start and get to the crazy bit later. So after studies we still needed to sort out a Fortschrittsbericht for Gemeinderat tonight, so did that before heading to the Instizentrum where we had a quick lunch and then had a lesson with one of our new members. Having an Instizentrum in the centre of the city is so cool. It makes meeting people so much simpler! Then after that, the Wien 4 Elders asked us to stay as they had a lesson with a woman, so they needed someone to stay in the centre, so they aren't alone with a single lady. So we did Sprach, then went out and did some finding, popped by the post, cause I needed to send my GA back to die Schweiz, as I forgot when I left. Then back to the centre as Tuesday and Thursday is Deutsch/Englisch Course. There are like 4 classes Deutsch Beginners from Sister Neugebauer (Snr. Cpl.); Deutsch Intermediate from the Wien 3 Sisters and Wien 5 Elders (they alternate - one does one day, the other the other); Deutsch Advanced from Wien 4 and Englisch from Wien 1(us). Nobody came to ours, so the Wien 3 Sisters asked us to help, as Sister Gillmour is in her 3rd transfer and didn't have anything to do with it the last 2 transfers, cause of her level of Deutsch and Sister Freeke is new in the area and has never done any language course before, but the problem was that they had no idea what course or subject they covered the previous week and the class are divided on what they want to do. Some want to do Speaking skills and others want Grammar lessons- its crazy. We spend the first half hour going around speaking with individuals about what they are wanting and what they did last week and all. Then we headed home to get Abendessen. Oh and I love the trams here- they are so funny! Like every now and then it just announces- "Bitte Vorsicht! Andere brauchen Ihrer sitzplätze vielleicht notwendiger!" Basically .. Please be careful, some people need your seat more than yourself. Like it cracks me up every time- just the fact that they have to tell people that and they don't just realise it... Anyways, so after dinner we popped over to the chapel for Gemeinderat! It was a pretty good Gemeinderat actually. So many members here have served their missions in England. I spoke to Bishop and he says hi to Mom, but can't remember too much .. but he's gonna look through his mission pics and journals. Haha .. and I got a pic! Then the Bishops’ brother served in the same mission as uncle Matt and Matt was his DL or ZL, I can't remember. Crazy stuff!
With Bishop (he served in the same mission with my Mom and Dad)
The Sisters brought me the stuff from that British shop! Aren't they the best?! Legit, we saw like almost the entire Wien Team today- Wien 1- us and our Sisters, Wien 2- we bumped into at the centre today, Wien 3- at the centre, Wien 4- we live with, the Senior Couple- at the centre, the only ones we missed were the Wien 5 Elders! Crazy stuff! Working in Wien is so cool .. and next Wednesday we have a Wien Team dinner appointment! There’s a member in Wien 4 who takes the Wien Team out for lunch at his tennis club once a month! How cool is that? I'm super excited!!! 
The Sisters bought me some English stuff
So this morning was a full on study morning before we headed into District 1 for some solid finding hours. It was so packed! Like legit, District 1 is the tourist centre with real Austrian Touristy stuff and millions of people, so I was a good boy and took some pictures to send home to Momma! Then we headed to the Insti Centre to teach a former guy. I don't even know what his real name is. They call him Pineapple Joe on his record and stuff, so who knows! It was an interesting one! Then we did another few solid hours of finding, so there isn't actually too much to say about today. Our appointment cancelled on us this evening, so we did a bit of area book work and that was that.

We began the day by going to get me Anmelded, as the office finally sent me the stamped form to do it, so I got that sorted, but they told me I need to reanmeld in 4 months’ time if I'm staying in the country for more than 3 months. Meh! Well, then we went to pick up Elder Brady's visa from the visa place. It was terrible, cus we were waiting hours for his number to be called! It was ridiculous! Then when we finally got it and got home we had a lunch, did studies and headed to the centre to meet our Iranian Investigators. We taught the Ten Commandments and then we set up for Englisch und Deutsch Course, but nobody turned up for our English Course again and the Wien 5 Elders have Deutsch Course on Thursdays and they were fine, so we went to get me a Vorteilskarte which basically gives train discounts and I need it for the ticket we have for tomorrow to get to Salzburg. Then we did some finding and vorbeis and dooring before heading to the Familie H for Abendessen. So essen was awesome and the Sisters brought Wizard along, as B likes to play it with us, so we did. It was so much fun! Legit! This evening was great! Then we did the spiritual thought before running for the train .. and that was our day!

Freitag morgen was a real early one! We had to be out by 6.30 to get to Bahnhof Meidling for the train to Salzburg for Mission Tour! It was crazy early! We all get to Bhf to get the train and then the ZLs are late- so we all got on the train as the tickets were in smaller groups, but the ZLs had the ticket for them and the STLs, so we just left the STLs at Bahnhof while we took the train to Salzburg! Anyways! So the train was like packed, so we were a bit separated, although we managed to get a 4 seater. That’s one of the photos! Other Elders were just like airdropping random photos to us all, so we did a Wien 1 selfie and sent that! Well, we finally got to Salzburg- we legit just took a bus from Bhf to the chapel, but from the bus Salzburg is such a cool city! Then mission tour began! This time it was with Elder Pilz and his wife. He's an area seventy from Germany! It was actually a really cool conference and lunch was amazing! Then obviously your general chit chat afterwards before picking up mail and heading back. There are like 4 Britts in total in the Wien and Salzburg Zones, so we had to have a Britt pic, as that like never happens on the other side! Then we headed home, but this time we managed to get good seats on the train, but there were more of us! It was pretty fun! Then after trailing that humongous box around Wien, we managed to get home, had dinner and the day was over! I love my new suit- it's the best! Just the package in general is just filled with everything I wanted, but I'm gonna get an early one, cause I am dead after this mornings’ early get up! I can add my notes from Mission Tour, but they may not be all that understandable.... Well, Sister Kohler began by speaking about family and how much she appreciates being here and seeing all of us, how proud she is of us and how much she appreciates each of our mothers for raising us so well. How much she knows that our mothers would love to trade places with her to just sit up on that stand and stare at us all day. Haha! Then she went into the story of Elijah (1 Kings 19) and about how he wanted to give up. It was enough for him .. and how sometimes we feel the same as missionaries, but God knows what our limits are; draw upon Him and He will help. Then she challenged us to ask the Lord daily to remind us of how and where He has sent us that day to help Him and help someone else. Then President did a ‘Meet the Kohlers’ presentation, as it's been a while since the last one and there are so many newer missionaries who don't know the Kohlers all that well; so that was cool again. Then he spoke over the Easter initiative which goes live in 2 days time and we got our pass along cards. Then Elder Pilz spoke about what it's like to be an Area Seventy and what his role is. He spoke on missionaries of the Past and of the Present and the going forth of the work in German-speaking Europe! It was pretty cool. He spoke about being a missionary that people will remember forever, remaining in contact with members, leaders, investigators and companions throughout your life and making it a goal to introduce your future spouse and children to them. Then he closed with the Atonement and how the Atonement is ‘healing without scars’ (He's an Orthopaedic Surgeon, so he had a few stories to go with that as well). Then we broke for lunch. Then President spoke again about Heart, Might, Mind and Strength and linked it really well into the Wizard of Oz. It was pretty cool. Then Sister Pilz spoke about the difficulties of missionary work and the power of prayer. She shared a story which Sister Bednar shared with her, from a conversation she had with Sister Hinckley in which Sister Bednar asked how she does it, how she keeps going with full support for her husband and Sister Hinckley replied "I put on my shoes and just Go!" .. and Sister Pilz applied that into doing missionary work. It was really good! Then Elder Pilz again, this time we separated, so all of the Sisters went with Sister Kohler and Pilz and the Elders stayed with Elder Pilz and Pres. Here they spoke about Temptations and Protection and how everybody has weak spots and Satan knows exactly what and where they are. We need to learn of our weak spots and protect them. Then we came back together and Elder Pilz continued with the Articles of Faith. He broke them down into categories; so 1-3 talk about the Plan of Salvation; 4-6 about the structure of the church; 7-9 the resources or gifts of heaven; 10-12 the activities to build up Zion; and 13 Perception and Self-conception. Then he testified how the Lord is pleased with what we do and that was mission tour. It was a really good meeting! 
Off to Salzburg for Mission Tour

So not too much happened on Samstag. We began the day with studies, followed by Mittags, followed by weekly planning! It was a pretty effective weekly planning session to be fair. Then it was time to head over to Pfahlhaus, which is on the other side of Vienna- so we are like north and middle of the city and then the Stake Centre is South and middle. We basically share the innerstadt with Wien 2 as well, even though it's technically our area! Well, anyway we got there about 20 mins early, so did some good old meeting and greeting and another one of my MTC teachers is in the Stake. She is in Wien 2 Gemeinde, but we got to speak at Stake Conference! It was soooo cool! It is just crazy cool how you can now just speak to them in German, compared to the MTC where you could barely even introduce yourself and your purpose without note cards! Haha! Legit, Pfahlkonferenz was soooo good! The spirit throughout the Conference was sooo strong, it was amazing! I can add my notes again, but I took quite a few tonight. So one of the Counsellors on the Stake Presidency spoke first about the family being ordained of God and how each member of the family has a role to play on the role of the spirit in the home. He spoke about unity between the parents and then spoke a lot on the importance of FHE and planning it with spiritual guidance, as it is like any meetings found within the church, just on a smaller more personal level. Seek the Lord in planning FHE- He knows what the family needs and He will guide you. Then one of the youth spoke on how keeping the Sabbath holy brings us closer to Christ, focussing more on the sacredness of the sacrament and reflection during that time. Then one of the RM's spoke about what he learnt the most from his mission and how, when we truly love the Lord, we would share His gospel. Then we had a couple talk and it was Bruder und Schwester Beer (Schwester Beer was Sister Gehrig- one of my MTC teachers). Their talk was kind of all over the place, but it was brilliant. They began talking about being Christian and what that means; what it means to be a Saint and choosing to follow Christ. How Christ should be in our hearts at all times. How do we keep Christ in the centre of our lives? Serving others and how most of the time we don't even realise we are doing it when we do- watch your thoughts, words and deeds. Lead a Christ-like life in all situations. We are here so that bad people can become good and good people can become better! Then another Sister spoke about how we be true disciple of Christ and keep the Sabbath holy. She shared a few experiences including one from working on a Sunday and how she needed to be willing to make sacrifices to do what is right, in that case, to miss out on a bit of extra money, which they could have needed. It was a really good talk! Then another guy spoke about Ordinances, including the Sacrament and Temple ordinances and how we need to humble ourselves before all things Sacred! Then Präsident Wondra (Stake Pres) spoke about Christ. How we need to keep coming to Christ whether we are men, women or children. He touched on Easter and how it is the perfect time of year to think about Christ. Then he asked a few questions which I wrote down for us all to think about such as; Wie tief und innig denken wir an ihn nach?(I can't translate that one- something like ‘How deeply do we think on Him?’) How much time do we give to think on Him? In which relationship do we stand to Christ? Then he spoke about the Sacrament meeting being the most holy and sacred meeting of the church. In that meeting we promise to always remember Him, so put away all distractions- don't break that promise before you even leave the chapel. The idea of preparing and reflecting before renewing that covenant is not to show ourselves how bad of a person we are, but to remind ourselves of how great the love and mercy of Christ truly is. Then he closed by challenging us to think about whether we are living in line with our covenants- Are we on our way back to Him? It was a brilliant meeting and the spirit was so intense and that was just the Saturday evening session! I'm excited for tomorrow’s meeting! 

So Sonntag morgen we got a bit of study in as Conference didn't begin until 10, so we did Personal and then headed over to the chapel to help set up, as instead of meeting somewhere big enough for the whole Stake they held todays’ session in Graz and then did an Übertragung (no idea what you call that in English- like you video it and watch it live somewhere else) to the Wien 1, 2 and Wiener Neustadt buildings. It kind of sucked! Like, the signal dropped a few times and when that happened everyone just goes so irreverent, it's ridiculous! Well anyway, I can add my notes again from it. So Präsident Soucek (older brother of Bishop- he's a Counsellor on the SP) began with a Star Wars- The Force Awakens analogy and how we all have this Godly power- the power of the Holy Ghost. We need to awaken that spiritual power! It was a really good talk to be fair and his little analogy kept some ears glued to what he said! Then another guy (I think he may have also been a recent RM, but I don't actually know). He spoke on testimony and how Christs’ Mercy is the greatest attribute! Then we had another couple talk. These couple talks are actually really quite cool! I like the way they do them. Well, they spoke on confirmations of the Holy Ghost and how the Spirit can truly help us in all situations, not just spiritual decisions, but also life this decisions and how we need to follow those promptings when they come! Then a Neubekehrter shared his testimony- he was baptised a year ago, so he was so nervous, but it was really good! Then the Kohlers! I love these people! So Sister Kohler was first and she spoke about missionary work. She shared her story on her decision to serve a mission, even though PK was home from his mission and they could have just got married, but she went and served. She spoke about how it has prepared her to become a Mother and a Wife and how a mission helps us truly learn that we aren't enough on our own, but with the Lord we can be enough! She then challenged everybody to set a goal to serve a mission and just bore pure testimony of the blessings of it. I just love Sister Kohler. She is such a great example. She doesn't speak very much German and she never got the MTC to learn it, yet every Pfahlkonferenz she gets up there, says no to speaking in English and having someone translate and just speaks auf Deutsch, without any notes (or if she does, she never looks down at them). She is such a great role model! Then Präsident Kohler spoke. He kind of touched on a few things including how we don't get to partake of the Sacrament 4 times a year and asked how many of us actually realise that, how when we don't get to partake of it, how much deeply we should be thinking of it and the blessing we have to partake of it. He spoke about everybody doing their part and challenged everybody to bring at least one person this Easter season nearer to Christ. Then Präsident Wondra (SP) spoke about how we should be wanting the gift of the Spirit more than anything else in this world. How we must hold fast in what we believe and study the words of the prophets to help receive personal revelation. Then he gave 3 things we need to invite the Spirit: first, we need to have the desire to have the Holy Ghost with us; second, we need the right intentions in inviting the Holy Ghost; and third, we must keep the commandments. With each of them we need to be humble and true in the things we do. Then he challenged the whole Stake to invite the Lord to tell us if we are living in such a way which invites the Spirit. Then he closed in leaving a pretty powerful blessing upon the members of the Stake. It was actually a really nice Conference again, once the signal stopped dying! Like legit, that is probably my last Pfahlkonferenz as a missionary! That’s pretty sad! Well anyways, after that we chatted for a bit, tried to set up some appointments with members in the coming week and then headed over to Familie H for lunch. They are so cool! We played sleeping lions as well, haha! - but it didn't last very long! Then we came back home and watched the face to face with Elder Holland for comp study and sprach! It was actually really good! I really enjoyed it! Then we headed to the Insti centre for a lesson with our Iranian friends and then chatted with a few JAE, as they were having an activity there and watching the face to face and then home! 

It's been a pretty good week! There is so much goingg on here in Vienna its craziness, but I love it! We're helping the Sisters out with organising an Easter Devotional type thing for Karfreitag, which we're going to invite the JAE, Less actives and Investigators to, so if you have any good ideas we can include; so far we plan to share some Bible videos with musical items in between and maybe a few readings from the Bible. There’s a few other things I wanted to write here at the end, but now I can't remember what they were. Oh well! I'll write it down for next time! Well today we plan on going to a factory of something typically Wienerisch with the Sisters, so we'll see how that goes! I hope you each have a great week. Love you all!

Alles Liebe,

Elder Ammon Robertson xxxxxxxxxx

Woche 86 von 102- Stephansdom, Wien Team Meal und Wohlfahrtstag!


We'll go straight in on Montag! So after studies this morning we headed to the shop to pick some food up before we were gonna leave to meet the Sisters, but they messaged saying they were running late, so we popped over to the chapel to do a bit of emailing before going to meet them. So the plan was to go to the Manner factory as someone told us they did tours of it, so we get there and there are no tours or anything, just a factory store. So we looked around there, bought a few things and met up with Wien 5. Then we decided we'd go to Stephansdom instead. So we headed over to Stephansplatz, had a look around the Cathedral and then did the climb! My goodness, my legs were burning, but the views from the top were pretty cool! Then back down, had a group picture, then we went around the Easter markets for a bit before heading over to the Instizentrum to do some proper emailing .. and that was pday! Then this evening we just did a load of finding and a few vorbeis! 
At Stephansdom

The View from Stephansdom

So Dienstag began after studies by heading to the Instizentrum for district meeting. We have ours there, as it's more central for the district. Our district is Wien 1, St Pöllten and the Senior Couple (although they rarely ever come) and Brady is the DL. We had lunch and then had DM. It was actually really good! We did like the best opening hymn ever- we did a medley of 'God Save the Queen' and 'My Country Tis of Thee'- It was beautiful! Haha! Then Sister Jest had the Deutschtipp and she asked Elder Brady something and he said "Oui" so she then asked him in French if she should do it all in French and he said “Oui” again, having no idea what she actually just asked him, so then she just did like the whole Deutschtipp in French. It was soooo funny! His face was just so confused as to what just happened! Haha! The rest of it was based on extending commitments. I had to organise the roleplay, so I did a sequence role play- started as a bus contact, onto street, then a vorbei and into a lesson. Just like an ‘extending commitments’ in all situations type of a thing. It went actually really well and everyone played their roles perfectly! Then we did a few phone calls and redesigned our English course flyer, so we got that sorted and then we went out for a bit, before coming back for English/Deutsch course. Again, nobody turned up for us and then Elder Neugebauer got talking, then we helped clear up after the classes and then headed out again. I really hate finding sometimes, especially when the weather is so bad. Then we headed over to the chapel as the Sisters got the flyers printed for the Easter devotional thing, but they needed cutting, so they asked us if we could do it for them- so we did! It took forever, like there were sooooo many! Then home, dinner and bed! 

So Mittwoch we began the day with studies before heading over to the tennis club for our Wien Team meal appointment with Brother V. It was soooo good! We had a 3 course meal. For my main I took a burger, cause I was in a burger mood and haven't had one in a while and it was amazing! Oh mensch! 'Twas so good! Then the Wien 3 Sisters nabbed the spiritual thought- they did it so everyone writes 3 points of their testimony of Christ, then we all went round the table and shared at least one, then we gave them all to him and watched the new Easter message. It was actually a really nice thought! So after lunch we had like loads of time until this evenings appointment, so we headed to the University and did some contacting there- legit we had some brilliant conversations and gave away like 4 books; and we met some super cool guy who we can hopefully start meeting with. It was a great day! We also got stopped by a group of students outside parliament who wanted to interview us, so that was interesting.... Then this evening we met with M, M and B again. We spoke more about Easter with them and watched last years’ video, as the language is more understandable for them. It was a pretty good lesson and we had a JAE join us as well, as it was just before Insti. Then they stayed for Insti. I had to share the missionary moment, or more so I informed them about a few things such as the video and the devotional thing that the missionaries are doing on Karfreitag, then just did a quick Easter based spiritual thought. I think it went well! Then the class was based on the Saviour ministering in the Spirit world. A few things were said in the class which seemed pretty cool, one was- Death is just a bridge to the next part of life, life never actually ends. The second- Repetition brings Conviction! I just thought those two comments were cool! Then home and planned and that was the day!

Donnerstag after studies and lunch we popped quickly to the chapel to order tickets for district meeting and tausches next week. It's so much easier to just have a GA. Then we headed over to the Instizentrum to meet a new member, but he never showed up, so we quickly put together an email to send to the Bishops of the wards in Wien to announce this Easter devotional that the Sisters are planning to do on Karfreitag. Then we headed out and did some finding, although not too much actually happened. Then back to the centre for Deutsch/Englisch Kurs. Nobody turned up again for English, so we helped out with Deutsch again and marked the tests which they gave them in Tuesdays’ class. Then after that, we headed out again and did some vorbeis and dooring, although it was all kids that were home and it was like 18.30, so that was weird. Then popped to the chapel to do an MTC language assessment, which we have to do every few months. Our mission was like one of the chosen ones to do it, so we have the joy of doing those. Then we tried to figure out how to put up this BoM display thing in the chapel, which the Sisters had and were asked to sort, but it didn't quite look very good anyway, so we quit and will ask the Sisters about it at some point. See if we can find a better one to use. Then home, dinner and the day was done! 

So on Freitag after a bit of studies, we headed to the centre to meet with our Iranian investigators. Today we basically spoke about the 13 Articles of Faith and explained them a bit. Then told them to brush up on the Restoration, as next time we want them to teach it to us. They were totally down for it and getting pretty excited for it. Then we headed to the chapel to set up some tables for the FHV for their activity tonight before popping over the road to grab lunch at home. Then we did weekly planning, although we didn't really finish all of it on time before heading back to the centre to meet F (new member) and we spoke about tithing and answered some of his questions. It was pretty good. Then back home, did some sprach before heading over to the chapel for a lesson with an investigator I have never met... and still haven't as he didn’t turn or answer his phone, so we headed back home to finish weekly planning, then as it was coming up to 20.00, the sisters called us to say to come back to the chapel to eat the leftovers from the FHV activity .. so we did - bonus of living opposite the place!! That was super good and the day was basically done.

So we began Samstag with studies before heading to Pfahlhaus as we were supposed to be meeting F again, but he never turned up, so we started helping prepare stuff for this Pfahl Wohlfahrtstag (no idea what that is auf Englisch. It's like service, but not - because service is dienen). Then basically the rest of our day was spent at this Wohlfahrtstag! It was craziness. They invited a camp of refugees and then the day was spent feeding them and then playing games and different activities and stuff and that filled the majority of the day, but it was fun. Then we helped clear away before heading over to another appointment, which ended up falling through. So home, finished weekly planning properly, sprachstudium und essen!

Sonntag was a pretty average one! Church was pretty good- they based sacrament meeting on the FHV, so all of the talks were given by men and were based on women and the importance of women and stuff! Then Gospel Principles was based on Gifts of the Spirit. Then in Priesthood we gave out a survey type thing which we wanted to get the members to do, so we can know how we can better help them do missionary work. Then the class was based on the resurrection. Then after church we headed home, had lunch and did studies before heading over to meet a member who we were taking with us to vorbei on a guy we met a while back who only speaks Bulgarian. He was home, so we met with him - well we actually went for a walk together and had a lesson with this guy. He is a member who is now less active since he moved here, as he had no idea how to get to church and doesn't speak a word of English or Deutsch, but we had a pretty good lesson. We invited him to attend Deutschkurs. Then we headed back home, sprach und essen and the day was over. 

Well, I hope you each have a brilliant week! Love you loads and loads!

Alles Liebe,

Elder Ammon Robertson xxxxxxx