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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 Spanish...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.
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LEDERHOSEN

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