Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 24, 2012

Schloß Gloggnitz
Well it's a good year to not be watching  BYU football I guess. The only kind of American sport here is basketball. Lots and lots of dunking. (Haha, get it)  Is our replacement QB best or what? 

Anyway, it's great seeing investigators really progress and terrible when you talk to someone and they really don't want to keep commitments. In our area book so many people were so close to having the gospel but then lost it all. Ugg. Oh well. Having an area book is nice because we get to call lots of people who say don't call back or we spend forever trying to find a place and then no one is home. I'm not complaining it's adventuresome. Or taking long train rides looking into the forest. Haha. I sent mom a picture of a Lindt factory we saw on our train ride. I thought she'd be a little jealous. 

Some news for Michael and anyone else that might want to hear- I saw a Mercedes sls amg convertable and a few weeks ago a McLaren mc12-4. 

I also hear that Wien (Vienna) is a black hole so it's very likely I'll stay here in this zone for a while. Not as much as a black hole as Switzerland. Once you go to switzerland you don't come out unless you're a zone leader or AP. 

 What else is there.  Oh what are the specs of the new Iphone. All I know is it's longer I think has a bigger screen. I'm a bit in the dark.

Oh yea, we have a cell phone. It's at least 5 years old and was nothing special back then. So without a map we get lost quite a bit. Friday we rode up to a city on our bikes for an assignment from the bishop and we spent 20 minutes finding a street. Then we gave up after no one knew where it was and came back because of an appointment we had.

It's too bad you couldn't go to the temple dedication. So yes, Brother T. is going to be baptized this Saturday. Nothing could stop him. He is amazing. Then S. is in Italy looking for a visa so it's easier for him to work. B. from Baden is doing good. If she comes to church this Sunday or General Conference (Oct 6 & 7th) she will be baptized I think. Then G. as soon as he gets married will be baptized. Then there’s J, we had our first real lesson with him. (Our ward mission leader said for us to wait with him) he said he had prayed what to do and his answer was to read the Book of Mormon. He is an awesome guy. And the guy from pakistan A.  He finds out Friday if he can move to Wien. 

Ok earlier this week we went to a place called Gloggnitz I think. Looking for an old investigator. We got really really lost. Haha  Asking everyone where this one street is and with no map it's kind of hard. But after an hour we found the house and no one was home.... Oh well that's life. But we did get some really cool pictures.  I'll send you some. 

Then yesterday we went back and of course no one was there. We then went to another city to look for a potential. We got lost there too, but we found where he lives. Then no one was home again. So then we rode our bikes to Muthmannsdorf and we spoke with the refugees there (A.) and some others. Then it was rainy and cold and dark as we rode back. Don't worry we have lights flashing so everyone can see us.  And plenty of street lights. 

We got back for dinner and I told Elder B. “What's more missionary like than riding back from a refugee camp on a bike in the cold dark rain?”  It's true. Oh, this week I will be going on an exchange with the zone leaders to work in Wien. If it would have been a few months ago it could have been with Elder H. (from our home ward).  I still have hope I'll be able to work with him in the future. 

I have not had any gelato yet but I have had a döner. and Lindt chocolate. The Lindt factory is in my area.  I'll send a picture of that too. 

I love you, Elder Devon Kinghorn


Lindt Factory

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 17, 2012

So how are you?  I thought I would write a letter to everyone.  Life is good here.  I love the ward.

When I return I’ll not be able to eat white bread.  We were talking about that.  

We have a few investigators who have a ton of potential to be baptized.  We have two with baptismal dates, and a family from Spain.  They are sweet.  I really hope they get baptized.  They have tons of potential and have progressed so much.  

Tomorrow we go up to Wien for a zone meeting, then to German class.  I’ll teach JC.  He speaks no German and no English.  The translator J. can’t make it.  So, that will be fun. 

OK, I’ll tell you a story we had last night.  We were dooring.  We ring one house with a sign that has a picture of a dog.  I think it was a warning or something.  I don’t speak good enough German.  Then this guy comes out and basically says we that we are Muslims.  Then we bore testimony.  Then he told us his life story-how he was in the military in Rowanda and all of these stories.  Super cool guy, just a tad bit scarred from wars.  

We did some math and decided it isn’t super expensive here.  Our apartment is probably 300€ a month.  Maybe 350€ from estimating from other apartments cost.  Then 180€ each to spend on food, toiletries, etc.  Then probably 60€ travel each month per missionary.  The train from Munich to here was 80€.  Luckily the Öbb month card is only 40€ and it covers most of our area.  

We were thinking of going by this family.  We looked on the map and it’s 25 miles up into the mountains one way.  Super pretty ride..but heck no, too much wasted time and energy.  Anything more than 5 we really think about.  Baden is a 15 minute train ride.  We go there twice a week to see people or to do finding.  We actually find quite a few people doing that.

We had a mishap with our bikes, my companion did. We were in the center of town with a few hundred people. He was peddling on his bike really hard and the chain slipped so he was holding on for dear life onto the handlebars with his feet dragging on the ground. He was perfectly ok, but it was really funny. These two girls that we had talked to about 10 minutes before came running up to see if they could help, and I just couldn’t stop laughing. If he was hurt it would be one thing, but all he had was a little scuff on his shoes. No big deal. 

I don't know if there are ever forest fires here.  It always rains without end.  Well, not always, but at least once every week or two.  Last week while we were on a train it just started a massive downpour.  We waited a few minutes for it to slow down.  Then we went to our ward mission leader's home.  He then drove us to the T.'s (our future baptism next week).  It was a 30 minute drive on the autobahn and no public transport to there and back within any reasonable amount of time.  We had dinner.  It was pretty much potatoes and deep fried meatballs.  So unhealthy, but so good.

That's cool that Elder Oaks was there.  Elder Nelson came to the Alpine Mission last week.  Austria is far away, so everyone in Switzerland and Germany got to meet him, as well as 2 areas in Austria.  The rest of us Austrian missionaries got left behind and didn't get to see him.  Sad.  Oh well, we have plenty of work to do to bring people into the kingdom of God.

 Last week we had a dinner appointment with the family from Spain.  They eat so much healthier than Germans and Austrians. It was still really good. Hopefully they will be able to get married next month. The man is really ready to be baptized. He just needs to marry A.  She will be a couple more weeks or months before she´s ready for baptism. 

Another time this week we had a lesson with brother T. We spoke about the Word of Wisdom a bit and then he said, “Oh we have wine, we don’ need it anymore.” So then the ward mission leader said that you can use it for cooking that´s ok. Sister T. said, “No, we don´t like that. No good for cooking”. So they gave it to J. to cook with. Haha J. with his Spanish accent speaking German. 

We picked up a new investigator.  She lives in Baden. She is so prepared for the gospel. She has the potential to be baptized next month. If she soaks up the gospel it will be that soon. Hopefully she does. I think it will happen. We just have to work with her so she will be baptized. And of course use the ward as much as possible.

I love you all
Elder Devon Kinghorn

Monday, September 10, 2012

So this week was pretty exciting. We set two  baptismal dates! One is for the 29th of this month. His name is Brother T. He is pretty much golden. We didn't really ask him "Will you be baptized?"  More of "When will you be baptized?" He read the whole Book of Mormon in just thee weeks!!  Now he is working on the Doctrine and Covenants. The second is named S. He is from India. He speaks very good English, as well as a billion other languages. He is super cool. He is also about 4 feet tall. But a super nice guy and his baptismal date is November 3rd because he is going to go back to India for a few weeks. Also in our district the sisters have a baptism for the 29th of this month. They are in the Vienna international ward. He is from Poland. This is a really exciting time to be in the mission field. 

I think this is the best ward in the area. Yesterday in church 10% of the attendance at sacrament meeting was non-members. We had 8 non-members there, 6 investigators and two friends of a family. Well one of the investigators is a Russian and technically isn't an investigator  yet.  We found her at the visa office.  She is from Russia. She will be coming to our German class, so that's good.  She has a Book of Mormon in Russian and soon will be an investigator. 

That's crazy that Brother Nally will be the new MTC president. Well I guess Michael won't get to see them in the MTC. He truly is an amazing guy. And Jason will be able to see him. 

So tomorrow we go to Wien (Vienna) again for a zone training thing. Haha it's just 30 minutes away by train. Rail jets go super fast. On straight-aways 250 kph- that's 150 mph. Fun stuff huh?

Remember Brian Rean with his skit boxes?  Plural of box is boxen.

Well, here's a picture and also a view from our apartment.  Next week I'll have more pictures for you.  It's finally sunny-before this it was usually rainy.  Riding a bike in the rain isn't too fun.  You're suit pants get soaked, but it's all fun.

"Plural of Box is Boxen"
View From the Apartment
View from the Apartment

Monday, September 3, 2012

First area: Weiner Neustadt, Austria

Ok so I'm here in Austria in a city called Weiner Neustadt (New Vienna). It's great. I love the ward here. They are awesome. So my trainer is from Utah also. He is a lot of fun and I like him a lot. 

The train ride from Munich to Wein (Vienna) was gorgeous. We went from Munich through Salzburg to Wein, then here in Weiner Neustadt. Just amazing! We go to Wein (Vienna) quite often. The people here in Weiner Neustadt are just amazing. I love them all, and they all help out with the German language quite a bit. I'll send more in my letter to everyone. 

The villages we pass by on our bike ride are the type you dream of. We went through a canyon and as we come out on the right side there's a cliff.  And perched on top of this cliff is a castle. It was maybe 1000 years old and falling apart. But still it's awesome! I didn't have my camera, but I will return to that area. 

So I'll just give a rundown of the past week. Everyone wants to know everything that happened so here it is. Tuesday we left the MTC blah blah blah. The airplane from Seattle to Amsterdam was only 8 or 9 hours not as long as I expected.  

On the way I talked to this mom and her daughter. She basically said we weren't Christian. I said, “We believe in Christ, he is the center of our religion. We believe it is only through Christ we can return to heaven and what's more Christian than that?” So she said, "Well if you put it that way". The name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ. 

Then later on the ride we talked to a few other people. Then with about 1 hour before we land this lady in front of us was flying with her husband and 2 year old daughter. So we started talking to her about religion. She was saying how now prayer is more of a personal thing and we were like yes perfect. So we explained how that is central to our doctrine-our own personal relationship with God. Then I gave her a Book of Mormon and had her read the introduction and she ate it up. So now she is a referral to missionaries in the Milan mission and hopefully something happens from it. So then we flew to Munich and I just talked to a french guy. It was just more of a discussion on what Mormons believe. He didn't want to hear discussions just wanted to know more. So I think he will be ready for missionaries in 2 years or so. 

In Munich we arrived and met the AP's and President Miles. After a quick welcome we put our bags into a van and then we took the train with the AP's to the mission office. 

On the train we were contacting people. I could understand people pretty well actually I was surprised (remember that for later). Then we walked a short distance to the mission home. There we had a short meeting with the Mission President and Sister Miles. She gave us a rundown of her family. So that was sweet. Then they let us sleep for 20 minutes, of course I couldn't because that's how I am. I took an ambien on the plane and slept for 5 minutes. 

Then we practiced placing Book of Mormons while President Miles interviewed all of us. That interview was very simple but I could really feel the spirit of President Miles. He is an amazing guy, truly called of God. After this we went to the Mission home (not office) for dinner. I then was welcomed by Elder H. from my home ward. That was awesome. That night we had a short devotional then we were told who our trainers would be. 

First the area was introduced with something cool that has happened. So President Miles said, “Okay, the next area is Wiener Neustadt.  What is something that's happening now?” So Elder B. stood up and said, “Well a few weeks ago we found a man name B. He has read the whole Book of Mormon, Mormon doctrine (I think it was that) and is now working on the Doctrine and Covenants”. Then President Miles said “Elder Kinghorn, you will be serving there”. I was so excited. It just felt right. 

That night we slept back in the Mission Office and I hit the floor and was out. There was no time to fall asleep before. Awake for forty hours straight and we were tired. 

The next day we had training for a bit, then rode the train to Wien (Vienna).  As soon as we hit Salzburg we were in the alps for a good 2 hours. It was so cool. But we were dead tired. Then from Wien we took another train to Wiener Neustadt. 

We arrived at about 9:30 and our ward mission leader picked us up. He is from Spain. He is awesome and helps us out so much. Friday we tried to anmeld (register) but it was closed so we will do that tomorrow. Then we went out visiting investigators or potential investigators. Most of the people weren't home.  But it was pretty quick because we were on our bikes (it's a biking area). We also spoke to people on the street.  

This is not the same German as it is in Germany. I didn't understand anything the people were saying-so different. But we did place 2 Book of Mormons on the way. Then we taught a German class. How? I don't know. I can't speak German at all. 

Then we went to a ward activity, then went back and ate dinner. My companion is a great chef. He was in culinary arts school and studied French and Italian cooking. So yea. that's nice. I thought I'd be a better cook than most of my companions. But nope, he is much much better than me. 

The next day we went to Wien for a meeting and then got schnitzel that was just enormous. One and 1/2 inches thick and a foot long and 6 inches wide. It was so good though. 

We returned and started proselytizing. We called an investigator named F. (a refugee from Africa) to confirm an appointment because he lives forever away. He said we could meet with him so we got on our bikes and started the 10 mile bike ride up the mountains to go reach him. We passed by three villages on the way but I didn't care because I was just so freaking tired. I haven't exercised in a while. Finally after 10 miles uphill we reach where he lives. And of course he wasn't there. But we had also planned on giving out a Book of Mormon in Ulig, so we gave that out. We were talking to people there, and they were all refugees so they wanted a book in their language. So we have to bring those with us next time we go in Somali, Persian and I can't remember the other languages.  They were weird and look like scribbles. 

Yesterday in church I, of course, had no idea what was going on.  But it's ok, I'll get it sooner or later. Then we had lunch with a member-super good pizza. His cousin was there who wasn't a member. So we gave a short lesson on the power of the Book of Mormon and gave her one in Hungarian. Then went up to a city called Baden. It’s about a 20 minute train ride. We went searching for potential investigators. e got one and placed 2 Book of Mormons that day. Also we met with one potential investigator and we now have a lesson for tomorrow. So starting tonight, we will be very busy. It's very good though. The people here are prepared and I hope I don't mess anything up.

I love you,
 Elder Kinghorn