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

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