Monday, December 30, 2013

December 2013 in Leoben Austria ! 8 months is Bruck an Der Mur

E. Ward, E. Botcherby and E. Spencer bros for life!

Christmas Market in Vienna Ausria

Two happy young men serving the Lord Josh with his Golden Elder Lance Ward from NC

Enjoying a creme filled donut a Krapfen

Snow in Leoben

Merry Christmas From Leoben Austria
E Badders, E Ward, E Thomas E Spencer roomates

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

here are som of this weeks happenings:

So to start off...HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!!!!! How many is that like 38??? :D hope you had some turtle cake and got lots of hugs at school! haha sure you loved that!

I really hope you like all of the pics this week! It took me forever to email them but i thought there were some good ones on there! Definitely better then last week for sure!

And thanks so much for the pictures!!! I do have to say those are probably the best part of emails on Monday! I love seeing pictures of everyone and their activities! The boys look so good in their football stuff and jacers looks super awesome on the soccer field! Those will be some cute wedding pictures someday of Jace and Eva!!!

So this week.....lets see! Ill give ya a quick outline:

We had to take an entire day in the week just to clean our apartments!!

We went to Slovenia again!!

Had some really awesome appointments with our investigators and with the members!!

So, to start out, PUTZEN TAG! (cleaning day) President and Sister Miles told us a while back that we would be having a cleaning day and we finally had it! Honestly it was really weird being in the house all day and not being allowed to do any missionary work! but now our appartment is all clean and hopefully we will keep it that way! we re-organized the study rooms, got rid of a bunch of dishes that we didn't use, and deep cleaned the bathrooms. It was really fun and we made tons of memories together so that was good! I know this might sound silly but I learned a couple things from that experience. Number one, when we work together we are able to accomplish much bigger tasks. I know that makes sense and everything but it was a really big testimony strengthener for me. It reminded me of the talk by Pres Uchtdorf I think about lift where you stand. When we all grab hold and do our part, and work together we can accomplish great things. This can be applied to many different aspects of life. One with missionary work....When we work together with the members, we will see much more success. In sports.....when you find your "role" and execute with the rest of the team you will excel! I guess it was just something cool that i learned from cleaning the house all day!

The appointments with our investigators are going really well. We are making progress with Michel. He is our investigator with a baptismal date. Antonios helps us teaching him in Arabic and we follow up with our testimonies in English. He has two little daughters Pardy and Carny. They are 5 and 4 years old! They are learning German super fast in kindergarten. I can totally see them growing up in the church and being awesome members!!!!! It will be so cool!

We got to go visit a couple members this week which is always fun. I wish we could do it more but they are all single women and there are not many men that are willing or able to go with us. it is sad, but we are grateful for the opportunity when we can go! We went to visit schwester cseh. She is doing much better with her health and we had a really solid appointment with her. We were able to share with her our favorite scripture. Honestly I don't really have one so i always just pick one that I feel is good for the situation!!! So i chose Helaman5:12 I bore my testimony to her and it was really awesome! She is about to be a really awesome missionary on the other side of the veil. It is sad, but Heavenly Father wants her back really bad but she is being really stubborn! She is an awesome example for all of us!

SLOVENIA! We got to go out and visit the first councillor in the Branch Pres again! It was soooooo awesome! We stacked wood for a while, then built a house for a hedgehog that lives in his back yard. After we were done working we went to visit one of the neighbors. He has some mental disabilities and is really struggling with his life. We shared some things about us, then shared a spiritual thought and then gave him a blessing. It really touched him. I Hope Bruder Tschiesche will continue to do missionary work with him!

Then he took us to a Gasthaus (i think its like a motel, you can rent a room but it is basically just a restaurant) and we had a boss lunch. Pretzlejauze is what its called and it is just a huge platter of meat. Ham, turkey, schinken (bacon kind of stuff), liver paste, liver blobs, liverwurst, bacon paste, pork in some sort of jello stuff, cheese, horse radish, jalapenos, and bread! It was so stinking good! I have to admit i am actually a liver fan! Its not that bad. It was fun to just try all of the meats and make little sandwiches with it! After we were finished eating we were walking out of the restaurant and we heard some people singing. It was a choir group from Kärnton. You will have to look the Kärntners up on line. Kärnton is a state of Austria and they talk really funny! They were singing at we listened for a while, then Bruder Tschiesche suggested that we should sing something! We sang Love at Home from the Hymn Book and it was really awesome! They seemed to like it! It was a really cool memory. 

So yeah, that's basically it from me this week. October is right around the corner so that should be fun! OCTOBERFEST!!!!!!!!!! Oh yeah! I was surprised when I found out that we can actually go to it on P-Days! I guess its pretty nuts where ever you go! The biggest on is in Munich but there are fests all over the place! And who knows I might get transferred up there this transfer! The chances of me staying with Elder Botcherby are really low! I think he is going to be transferred and I will get someone new! Who knows it might be a Greenie :) But yeah....Im pretty sure there will be some changes!

Keep up the good work boys! Have a good week and get good grades! And go beat whoever you play on Friday!!!! Love ya tons!

Bis nexte woche,
Elder Spencer

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

 Vienna, Austria Zone
Vienna Zone Conference, Elder Spencer was able to help with a musical number and be the pianist for the meeting

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

playing, driving, hiking, oh and doing missionary work!

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Number one, thanks for the letter last week! Jace and Colson, your art is amazing! They brind the spirit into my study area so thanks for that! And Justin, thank you for your little devotional! I will definately use that this week with one of the members and I will report to you to tell you how it went!

Last monday we went over to our Ward Mission Leaders house for dinner. The Schäffners are so stinking aweseome! Brü Schäffner served his mission in Czeck and after dinner we looked at all of his mission pictures! It was really fun! It was my turn to give the spiritual thought and I shared a scripture in Moroni 7. It was verses 27, and 29. They talk about miracles and that there are still miracles happening today! Because I am a missionary I am going to give you all a commitment. Anyone who is reading this email can do this activity. Every night before you go to bed, count the miracles that you saw that day. They can be small. For example, the other day we were running a little late and we had to sprint to catch our train. We did catch it and then talked to someone cool on the train! That to me was a miracle! Then when you count these miracles, make a chart! Then you can see how as your faith increases, you will see more miracles. I can promise you all that if you do this you will see the hand of the Lord in your lives. As we count the small miracles in our lives, and recognize that the Lord is there, he will increase our faith, and bless us with more miracles! So that could be a fun FHE activity!!!!

Teusday we had District Meeting! It was super good. Elder Botcherby is doing a great job as DL. I always feel uplifted after our District MTGs. We had a few appointments planned for after District MTG but they all fell out! hhahah It kind of stúnk but we got to so some street contacting in stead!!!

Wednesday was sooo BOSS! We got to go on a hike with Janic and Hagop! I have some pretty sick pics from that! We got the know them better and develop a relationship. The only stinky thing is, is that Janic is moving to Graz tomorrow so we wont be able to visit him anymore :( hopefully we can still meet with Hagop!

Friday I got to teach Omar again! He is so awesome! He knows everything is true and wants to be baptised!!! Its so awesome!!!! The members accept him whích is really good to see. The latest with Omar is that we are helping him stop smoking. He hasnt smoked in a week so that is a really good sign! Hopefully he comes to church for the third time this week!

Saturday was an adventure for sure! The other two elders had to go to Salzbug to get some paperwork for the car. (by the way, Salzburg is like the other side of Austria) They took the train there but their train coming home was delayed and they had an appointment that they had to be at so Elder Botcherby and I took the car and drove all the way to Linz!!!! It was so stinking beautiful! I have some pics of the mountains! It was a long day but definately worth it!

Church was really good yesterday. I understood everything, and am now more of an active participant! We met with Arash. The Dry Mormon!!! He basically teaches us all of the lessons because he has heard them all so many times! I am teaching him English so he can move to America and be baptised! Hopefully he does! That would be sick!!!!!

Learned a cool lesson this week on following the spirit, We were invited to this "reach out" christian workshop last night and we called Pres to see if we could go and he said "Yes, of course". So we went and as we were about to go in I fealt really un easy and had a really bad feeling about the whole thing. I dont really know why, or what would have happened if we would have gone but I guess that doesnt really matter. It least I followed!!!

Dad, you are so right! Emailing gets harder and harder! Everything is so rutine now. If you have any questions let me know!!!! Today we are off to Wien to switch the car and have a zone P Day!!!! Love you all, thanks for your prayers!!!!

Love Elder Spencer

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

hooray for people to share the Gospel with

 I will report on our investigators!


He is so awesome! He is still meeting with us which is a miracle in itself! He keeps reading out the book of mormon and is finding the stories interesting. We have been teaching alot about prayer lately and trying to get him to pray about the Book. Unforuanately he leaves on vacation in the next couple weeks but hopfully we can meet with him when he gets back. We really struggle with staying on topic when we teach him. He has really deep questions and I think we need to just stick to the basics! and thanks for the scriptures dad, Ill use them next lesson!

Fam Ancea:

They are the Romanians that we met with a few weeks ago. The husband just got back from vaca, but his wife is still there. We set up an appointment to go back and teach about the Book of Mormon!

Janic and Hagop:

Oh man, these are my favorite!!!!! Janic is a less active member who live with his grandparents. His grandparents are active but he doesnt come. He is 18 years old and he has a friend who is 18! Janic is Austrian (and also black! his mom married an african! we play basketball with him all the time!) and Hagop is from Afganistan but has lived here for basically his whole life. We go over to their house every friday to do service and Janic and Hagop are there to help us. After service this last week they invited us to go play soccer in the park! We have really built an awesome relationship with both of them. We are going over for dinner on wednesday and hopefully we can ask Hagop if we can share with him why we are here. He has asked lots of questions about missionary work which is AWESOME!!!!! My hope for the whole thing is that Janic can help us teach Hagop, become re-activatied and then baptize his friend!!!! So that really the most excitement we have with our investigators!!!!

Schwester Grabmayer:

She is a less active lady that we have been visiting for the last month or so and guess who came to church yesterday???????????? Schwester Grabmayer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was really good to see her and all of the members were really glad to have her back! Hopefully she comes again next week!

and finally.... Omar:

So Omar is kind of a split investigator between all of the elders here in Bruck. We (as in both companionships) meet with him EVERYDAY! He is a referral from Antonios (the Egyptian guy). I was able to teach him this last week and it was the coolest lesson ever. We checked in on his reading and answered his questions. Then he said something super cool. He said that when he was reading he fealt warmth and calmness in his heart. He didnt really know how to describe it to us. Good thing we knew exactly what he was talking about!!!! The HOLY GHOST!!!! I then testified to him that what he was feeling was the Holy Ghost and that it was testifying of truth. He then said that he knew the book was true and now he has a baptismal date!!!! It was a really powerfull moment. Then it gets better! We then watched "finding faith in Christ" the film about his life. After the film he told us that his heart was racing! Elder Badders (the new missionary who was teaching with me) fealt his chest and told me that is was beating super fast! Omar then asked to take a little break so he could compose himself!! We then taught about the devinity of christ and how powerfel the atonement is. It was such a spiritual experience! So yeah, he is technically the other elders Investigator so it wont be my first real baptism but I have helped him come closer to Christ so that counts for something right?!!?

Picked a flower just for his mom

He will play just about anything

Monday, August 5, 2013

EGrüss Euch! Ich hoffe daß alles gut geht mit euch!?!?! Es ist so wunderbar hier in Österreich zu sein!

I thought about doing the whole email in German but you probably wouldnt really appreciate that! I feel like my german is coming along really well. I am so much more confident when I speak and I think people understand me ok!

To start off, THANKS SOOOO MUCH FOR THE JOURNALS!!!!!! They are perfect! I hope they werent too expensive?! You can take the money out of my account if you want!

Weekly highlights! Probably number one is chatting with RY right now! haha its like Im texting him! haha good think it isnt against the rules!

SO this week. We did a lof of work with the members. We have set a mission goal that every companionship will have a baptism this transfer. We only have 4 more weeks to get that done so taking someone off the street will be pretty hard. But I do know that if we take some who knows a member, they will be way more likely to join the church. We just need to help the members want to do missionary work. Thats the key!

We met with Mario again this week! He is so stinking coool! He has read through 1st Nephi 14 as well as 3rd Nephi 11-14. He has such good questions and good interest. The other day I went on an exchange with a brand new missionary from Graz. He had been out for 4 days and I we had a lesson with mario! We shared John 3:16 about how Christ came into the world so save the world not to condem the world. Then Mario pulled a scripture from 3Ne 9 or 9 where it talks about how when Christ visited America he destroyed all of the wicked cities. He said that it didnt quite match up! I didnt really know what to tell him! I have been studying it for the past couple days to get an answer. I think that Christs mortal ministry was to save the world, but after his resurrection he had a different purpose. Not sure if that will answer his question or not! haha hope so!

What else...we did service out at the Ollendorf's house. They have a really big hill in their back yard and it had about three foot long grass on it! We cut it down using a SICKLE! hah pretty old school id say. the field is white!!!! my back hurt so bad afterwards!hah like father like son! The grand kids from the Ollendorfs are inactive and so we invited them to play mini golf today! it should be really fun! Janic is 19 and is such a boss and he has a nonmember friend who is coming with!

So cool experience from last week. We went to a eating appointment with a lady from the ward and her husband is a nonmember. I was in charge of the spiritual thought and I fealt really strongly about a particular scripture to share. It was 1st Ne 17:13. I shared my testimony that when we follow the commandments of God, the Lord will be there as our light. I have already seen that on my mission. That the Lord has his hand in this work and he leads his missionaries where they need to go.

So yeah, I had a good week this last week. Nothin to crazy happend unfortuanatly! I really need to have more adventures to make these emails cooler! Im super excited for next week though! We get to go to Wien again for Zone Training. Then I am going on exchanges with on of the Zone Leaders! I will try and learn the most that I can from him!

Oh one thing I just thought of, mom, you said in your email that the focus of seminary will be explain, share, testify. Ill do some checking but in Preach My Gospel there is a really good section on how to use the scriptures while teaching and Im pretty sure the principles are the same. Maybe that can help!

I am really starting to get the hang of this missionary work thing! Its about time right?!!? I love reading in the scriptures, but more importantly, STUDYING the scriptures. I am known in our district as the Study missionary. I love my study and I share what I learn any chance that I have. It is so incredible to see that when I study something in the morning, there is always an opportunity to share that throughout the day. I know that the Holy Ghost guides my studies so I can help the people that I speak with!
 Elder Spencer and Antonios

Storming in Leoben

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

GRAZ DISTRICT MEETING with President Miles

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Elder Spencer gets to be with new District Leader, Elder Botcherby for a little longer
 Elders on their way to interviews with President Miles

Josh brushing up on Spanish, they met a contact that only spoke Spanish,
 they are on a hunt to find someone that can teach in Austria!

This is a ward member Bruder Kudic who offered his organ to  play
 and introduced him to the  accordion, he was in heaven!

Service day with Elder Pugmire and Elder Kelly

Another Transfer come and gone

Josh was excited that he will be staying in Bruck an Der Mur with his trainer Elder Botcherby till at least the next transfer. His companion is a new Dictrict leader and will be having more frequent meetings in Vienna...Josh was willing to tag along to Vienna with him :) Pictures coming soon the other computer is acting funny and I can't get to them right yet....

Some tid bits from his letter home this week:

Also, this week we had Interviews with President Miles. Mission presidents are really awesome. Its pretty incredible how they can remember so many missionaries. Honestly I thought that he wouldnt remember me, but in my Interview we talked about what I had siad on my first day. It was really cool. We talked about how we as missionaries can help members want to do missionary work. Its been something that we have been struggling with. Just a little bragging moment.....He asked me to say the opening prayer in German of course, and afterwards he asked me if I was "Fast-Tracked"!!!! That was pretty cool to hear! I think my German is really progressing which is a total blessing.

We had a couple of lessons this past week and they went really well. We met with a man named Mario. He is Austrian (first one I have taught)! We taught him about the Book of Mormon and a little about the restoration. It was really cool, at the end of the lesson we asked him what he would do if he knew the Book of Mormon was true. We were hoping he would say be baptized, but instead he said "I'll share it with everyone!" It was a really cool answer. We then commited him to be baptized once he knows it is true. He will be a project. Word of Wisdom will be something hard for him I think. We actually met with him in a Beer Garten! haha no one was there so it was actually a really nice place to meet. Deffinately a first for me!

Monday, July 15, 2013

spring time in Leoben Austria

Lots of Highlights

Hey hows everyone today?!?! I hope you all are enjoying summer vacation. Thanks for all of your emails this week! Dad, dont kill anyone! and I had plans to wash that bucket out when I got home ;) Mom, good luck with the new calling! You will have to give Sister Dunmire a call and get some suggestions. Hopefully you can have the same impact on the students lives as she did on mine. Justin, congrats on the baseball! Sounds like you are doing awesome, and unfortunatly no, I have not eaten anything crazy yet.....hopefully soon though!! Jace, have fun with swim lessons! Tell Conner Hi for me!

So this week was FABULOUS! I made many good memories and had some incredible experiences. So here goes:

Ok so the first highlight of the week was our meeting with Brüder Kubic. He is a really old member of the ward, he lives by himself, and he is awesome. We went all the way out to Trofaiach to meet with him. We got there and he wanted to show me something. He pulled out this absolutely ancient Organ that he had. So I played some of the songs in one of his books for him. He was singing along and having a great time. Then we shared a spiritual thought with him and when we were finished he told us that he wanted to show us something. He then pulled out this box, in which was an ACCORDIAN! Oh man! it was so stinking cool. This old guy playing the accordian in austria! Doesnt get much better than that! I have a picture of it I'll sent later. I also took a video but I dont know if I'll be able to send it! So that was fun.

Next was our experience with Schwester Cseh. Side note ( Grandma would be BEST FRIENDS with Schw. Cseh! She is the coolest lady, goes all the way to Frankfurt to attend the temple for like 2 weeks at a time! She is the best) anyway....We went over to her house because she wanted to feed us icecream so that was awesome, then we gave a small lesson and after we had finished, she asked us to give her a blessing. She had an opperation a week earlier and it didnt go well. Elder Botcherby gave a super sweet blessing and I was able to stand in. It was such a tender moment.

Next cool experience from last week happened on thursday. Elder B and I had an appointment made out to go and visit a less active family in a small little town far away from our house. We had to take a train and just as we were about to get on our train she called us and cancelled the appointment. We were super bummed because that was basically our entire days plans. So we had to decide what we were going to do for the next few hours. We then thought about on of the people we had found earlier in the week. We found a lady while dooring her building. She told us that she didnt have much time and that she couldnt read German very well. Turns out she is ROMANIAN! (maybe Gma and Gpa can help) so we told her that we would bring by a Cartea Lui Mormon (romanian B o M). So we went back on thursday and she welcomed us in!!!!! (Doesnt usually happen) We taught her and her husband. The woman's mother lives in Romania and has had lessons with the missionaries already. I have a good feeling about them. Hopefully I can report to you their progress in following emails! It was a good lesson that sometimes the Lord has different plans than us. Like we learn in Isaiah his thoughts are not our thoughts neither are his ways our ways. But even though we were frustrated because of our dropped appointment, we were able to meet with the people the Lord wanted us to meet with.

Probably my favorite highlight this week came from our service efforts! We had plans to do service at Brüder Tschiesche's house all day friday. It took about two hours to get there by train so it was basically an all day thing. We got there and he told us that we would be picking cherries for him! He lives at the very bottom of Austria. He lives on Südsteirishe-Weinstrasse (thats the street) you should look it up on Google earth. So we picked cherries and while we were doing that his wife was taking the cherries that we picked and making Cherry syrup with it! Then they fed us fried chicken and some super awesome potato salad! it was so stinking good! Then Bruder Tschiesche decided to take us the long way to the train station. Turns out he took us into SLOVANIA!!!!!!!! It was so stinking crazy! We could see Italy and on a clear day we could have seen the Adriatic Sea. The pictures are absolutely stunning. You should for sure check it out on Google earth or something. I may have been in Brother Moore's mission! Who knows?!!? So yeah that was quite the adventure.

Man I'm full of highlights this week. The next on happened just yesterday. Two random people showed up to sacrament meeting! A Romanian man (figures) and his austrian wife! It was super cool. We are going to go teach them in a few days. Hopefully it turns out ok!

Last highlight....We got to go to Wien again for our Zone training meeting. I met some of the new missionaries which was really cool :) We as a zone decided to start counting all of the little miracles that we see everyday. Just like it says in Moroni 7: The day of miracles has not ceased. It is according to our faith that miracles are brought to pass. It is really awesome to look back at the day and see the hand of the Lord in our work. Even if we didnt teach any lessons or find anyone cool it is still awesome to count the small miracles.

Something that really stood out to me in my personal studies this past week was Mosiah 2:6. Here King Benjamin is beginning his remarks to his people and all of the people come to listen with their tents. 
6 And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his atent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them;

It just made me think about how greatful I am to have lived in a home that was pointed at the temple. Just like the people here our homes must be focused on the temple. Thank you for "pitching our tent towards the temple". Sooner than I would even like to think about it I will be home from my mission and will be trying to point my family towards the temple. It is super important. The second verse that I really liked was at the end of the same chapter, verse 41.

 41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and ahappy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are bblessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out cfaithful to the end they are received into dheaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

I have a testimony that those people who face the temple, and keep the commandments of God, will be blessed, not just in spiritual things but also in temporal things. "Remember these things."

So yeah. Thats pretty much it from me. The transfer is over at the end of the week and we will be getting our transfer calls on Friday. I hope I stay here with Elder B for at least one more transfer!. Its pretty crazy to think that next transfer I will hit my 6 month mark!

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. Mom, Im not sure If you were able to talk to Ben Green or Sister Green for that matter about BYU stuff? I would just like to get some more details on that! Thanks.

Well, I love ya'll,
Bis Nexte Woche!

Elder Spencer

Monday, July 8, 2013

another week

We had some more appointments made out and they fell out....but hey no point in getting a bad attitude! I think one of the reasons they send elders out on missions is to prepare them for being rejected by girls when they get home :) But anyway, we have been doing alot of member work, as well as just plain finding (dooring, and street contacting).

We did have a cool experience as we were dooring an appartment building in Kapfenberg. We had doored about half of it and finaly one of the people said, "Hey, you're the Mormons right? I have one of those books!" So we went in and talked a little more about it with them. They are romanian and their german is not very good so it was hard to communicate and they basically talked the whole time, but at least we were able to bear our testimonies and set up a return appointment! It is so interesting here with the amount of "Auslanders" we meet with. I think that word means foreigner in english....anyway, they are all very humble and accepting of religion. The only bad part is the ward members dont accept them. The branch only wants Austrians, and the only people that will listen to us are the foreigners. My personal oppinion on the matter is that the only way we will be able to bring Austrians into the branch is through the members themselves.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The other highlight from this week happened on Sunday. The theme of sacrament meeting was missionary work, and so all four of us missionaries were asked to speak. I gave a talk on how I prepared for my mission. I would send you the talk, but I dont think that would do anything! haha I thought it went really well. It was probably on about a 12 year old level, but hey, Ive only been speaking this language for like 15 weeks now! So yeah, that was really cool. Oh, and I dont know if I told you this or not, but I am officially the ward organist! Im glad I am able to contribute in at least that way.


So Josh says his is a very popular drink second to Beer.
 Not a favorite of his but had to have the picture of ALMDUDLER
So this missionary is enjoying the culture of Austria in his Lederhosen.
 He and Elder Botcherby look the part

Friday, June 21, 2013

IT''S THE LITTLE THINGS- lessons from a day in the life of Elder Spencer

Ok, the lesson that I learned this week. The little things do make a difference. Last wednesday we were working in Kapfenberg. There are a couple members there and so we wanted to go contact them, share a message and move on. It turns out that we kind of underestimated the size of Kapfenberg. Its the second biggest city in the Steiermark (the state of Austria I live in) (Arnold Swartzeneggar was born here by the way). Anyway, we walk to our first appointment which took way longer than we thought. We get there and the Sister opens the door and invites us in. But, we had to make sure her husband was there in order to follow the rules with exactness. Sure enough, her husband isnt home. Then we had to tell her that we couldn't actually come in because that would be agains the rules. She got really upset and was yelling at us, for who knows what, and threatening to call our Mission President. Finally we got her calmed down and made out another appointment. Elder Botcherby and I were kind of bummed out that we couldnt go in, but we had both made a comittment to be obedient. So we walk to the other appointment (which took about an hour) and guess what?!?! Her husband wasnt home either!!!! So same situation came up. Do we follow the rule, or make an acception just this once? We decided to follow the rule. So we start walking back to the train station when we realize that we are so stinking far away we would have to speedwalk/jog if we were going to catch it. (keep in mind it is 85 degrees outside) So we are sweating through our white shirts, running to the train. We got there 6 minutes late.......
So we start walking home. (not really knowing how we were going to make it there) As we are walking a car pulls over and a lady yells "Hey Ya'll, need a ride somewhere?" Hearing American English is not an everyday occurance so we were a little confused. We said sure and ran over to the car. She had pulled into a parking lot and we noticed that it was just her in the car. We were super tired, hot, and didnt know how we were going to get home, but it would have been disobedient to take the ride. The lady's name was Cyndi, she was born in LA and moved here when her husband got drafted to play basketball here. Her son is actually in Oregon right now working! She was super nice and awesome, but we told her that we were not able to accept her ride.
We finally catch a bus, which takes us to the train station, which then takes us home. We are dead tired by now and we could have easily gone home, but we still had half an hour. We decided to take this walking path and spoke with this lady named Sevda. She was very open to our message, and we were able to teach her a small lesson. She then invited us over to speak with her more. It was a testimony to me that when we strive to follow the rules, the Lord will bless us. If we would have gone into one of those lessons, or taken the ride from Cyndi, we would have not had the chance to speak with Sevda. In D&C 58:4 we learn that after much tribulation or trials, come the blessings. We saw this first hand. We only recieved the blessing of talking with Sevda after our faith was tested.

Sometimes our lives are hard. Sometimes we do not understand why we are being tried, or tested in certain ways. We must always keep a bigger perspective in mind. Perhaps our Heavenly Father is teaching us so that we are better able to handle one later on in life. It takes patience, faith, and trust, but I think it is worth it.

Elder Botcherby and I have been talking alot about how missionaries get so focused on numbers and how many lessons they are teaching. I think that that is hurting them in some ways. If we really understand what missionary work is all about, then the numbers will come. I came up with a little saying that I think summs it up. In German: "Seht durch die Augen von Dem Der alles seit." In English: "See it through the eyes, of Him who sees it all." Perhaps this mission is just preparing me for some aspect of my life that I cant even imagine. Yes, I do want to be a successful missionary when it comes to numbers, but really who is going to remember how many lessons I taught in a transfer? Its all about the bigger picture

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Baptism

Bruder Cisse on the left was baptized this week

This train was described as being like the train at the Portland Zoo a 1 1/2 hr ride

This is the kind of train these Elders are use too much better

I loved tis photo with the terrible historic flooding taking place in this region, this rainbow reminde me that the Lord's work still moves forward. TheElders will participate in flood clean up in Salzburgthis Saturday.

 Long train rides mean study time and......
play time :)

Josh had a dinner appointment this week. He was served a "really good soup"he said. He did not understand the recipe that was shared...after they left, Elder Botcherby told him he ate LIVER KNODEL ( liver dumplings) he said it was the first time on his mission he was glad he could not understand what the family was saying. But he liked it !

Monday, June 3, 2013

A POEM Written by ELder Spencer

"All is Well"

I would not choose to walk to walk the paths
of the mighty pioneers.
To walk accross the country,
living constantly in fear.
Their faith so strong they up and left
everything they had.
Their homes, their things, their saftey,
the children feeling sad.
They walked by sight not of men,
but of Almighty God.
Leading them to the place,
the gospel could spread abroad.
Their motivation:Faith in Jesus Christ
and the Prophet Jospeh Smith.
His divine and inspired calling,
most thought was just a myth.

I would not choose to walk the paths
of the mighty pioneers.
I do however, have my own
'Faith Tester' for two years.
To honor those who did the task
that none of us could do,
I choose to share their message
of the love of God for you.
Everyday I thank the Lord
for the mighty pioneers.
Their choices will impact us
for many, many years.
The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ
saves us all from hell.
We must thank the pioneers who sang,
"All is well, All is well"

I hope you like it. I wrote it after watching the Joseph Smith movie in the MTC!!!
Austria feels like home, wet and rainy

Elder Botcherby and Elder Spencer on Twin day, in their very European shirts and skinny ties