Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

Greetings from Austria!!!

I Hope everyone has had a good week. I have.

Last week we were super busy. The P. family invited the investigator B. and her son over for lunch and us also after church. It was awesome because they are getting integrated into the ward better. It was great to have a family really embrace her.

Last week we had an awesome lesson with B. She just recently lost her job and we felt like we needed to teach tithing. So we get to the lesson a little nervous. Ok, very nervous. I've only taught tithing once before. But we go into there and she just loved it. She was saying how it makes perfect sense; God needs the money to build His kingdom. And she also she quoted the Bible. What belongs to Caesar belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God give to God. How often do you have an investigator who helps you teach them a lesson?  She is completely awesome. Couldn't hope for a better investigator. She loves the church and she is really growing in her testimony. She asks us super hard questions though. They aren't the questions missionaries fear, it's she is reading the Book of Mormon so deeply and when she doesn't understand something she asks us. It's the type of questions a Seminary teacher asks another Seminary teacher. We're just like uhhhhh, and try to answer with the Spirit. It always goes well though. Then she always asks us if she can say one of the prayers at the lessons.

This week we have 2 exchanges. The Zone Leaders had one planned for this week already, but then Elder G. has to give a baptismal interview tomorrow in Vienna but we have stuff here to do. So we are going on an exchange with two elders in the Wien 4 Ward. Elder E. (the Swiss elder) will work with me in wiener Neustadt for a day. Then the next day I'll be in Wien working with Elder B. again. That will be cool. Going on an exchange with my last companion.

And here is the bad news. So last Friday we had Zone Conference. President told us that we needed to keep our calls to 40 minutes. I don't think anyone was super excited about that. But president has his reasons and we need to obey it. So 40 minutes is all we get to work with, sorry. I am super excited to call home though. 100 years ago that wasn't possible but now we can. And we can also email instead of waiting 4 weeks for a letter to get across the Atlantic a hundred years ago.

So this week has been a lot of fun. Last Saturday was the ward Christmas party and we had 30 people there who weren't active members. There were about 15 less actives 10 non members and 5 children of less actives who weren't baptized. And also it was a ton of fun. It took up most of our Saturday actually. We woke up, did service. Than had the party. Then came home and it was late so we had dinner and planned.

So Christmas Eve here is actually Christmas. Well, Christmas is also, and so is the day after. It lasts 3 days but the 24th is the biggest day. The 24th we are going to the P. family. They will be fun to have Christmas with. The wife is French and went to culinary school. So, we will see what we get for Christmas. The elders in the International Ward are having a Brazilian Christmas. Then, for the 25th we are going over to the Bishop's. They are also really fun. Then the 26th we are going over to the P. family. So it is definitely going to be busy those few days.

And ya, we are getting together great. We can see a few changes in how often people want to meet with us, with it being Christmastime,  but not really. So it's all good. We are going to be super busy though with everything. Our week is almost completely planned now. Every week I can tell a difference between how well we work together. Now we are getting into the rhythm of working together really well.

That's fun you got your first snow storm of the week. This past week has been pretty mild here. We had some rain which wasn’t too fun. But oh well. 

The Wien zone will be getting quite a few baptisms in the last part of this year. In our area B. will get baptized either the end of this year or the first week in January. Then the other missionaries in our district in Wien have 4 people set for a baptismal date by the end of this year: the elders have 1 and the sisters have 3. It's really starting to go crazy. So, I'm sorry but this mission is cooler than puerto rico. 

Things are really going well here in Austria.  I love it! The people are all so awesome. It is going to be different being away from home for Christmas.  Being with family is best for Christmas, but Austria is second best. Where else do you get so many awesome families to meet with? Ask Elder Hyatt. He'll tell you all about how cool of a place this is.  The traditions are pretty cool here. And people go Christmas crazy also. 

I Love you and thank you for the support.

Merry Christmas Everyone,
I Love you
Elder Devon Kinghorn

Wien Zone Conference
 Row 1: Pingree, Kleiner, Leban, Stewart, Strongs, P&S Miles, Thurns & Dents Row 2: Reid, Holmstead, Stapleton, Riser, Chapman, Christensen, Escher, Johnson, Kinghorn, Gubler, Bodily, Davies, Stilger, Evans, Moon, Steed, Bassett, Babcock, Brose, Cox, Sanderson

December 10, 2012

Greetings from Wiener Neustadt everyone,

Well everything is going great here in Wiener Neustadt. The sun is shining and life is great. Ok the sun isn't shining, but life is great. It's bitter cold. That's ok because B., one of our investigators, is making tons of progress. We read with her out of the scripture and I swear she gets more out of it than we do. She is just awesome. She arranges her own rides to get to church.  She said she wants to choose a baptismal date after christmas. So, she will get baptized the end of this year or the beginning of next year. Then G., he is also doing great. We have a lesson with him tomorrow. He is awesome. He barely speaks German but still he is so much fun. We laugh so much every time we go over there. Saturday we did a lot of service for them. They had to move a lot of furniture around so we helped them with that for a few hours and it was great fun. They invited us to eat dinner with them. But we were fasting so we had to say no. But oh well because all is good.

This Friday is Zone Conference. That will be great. It's my first Zone Conference. Yes!  And I have been a missionary for over 6 months now. Kind of funny how that works. 6 months out and having my first Zone Conference. Hmm something's up here. Oh well, I'm excited for it. I hear they are great and we learn so much durring the meeting, but it is going to be a long day. We have to take the 6:30 railjet to get there by 8 in the morning. Then it lasts for 8 hours. We'll finally get back to Wiener Neustadt at about 6 at night. It's going to be quite the day. But oh well. Everything will work out just perfectly. 

Oh, and I'm sorry but the christmas package won't come till after christmas. I still need to get all of the stuff that go inside. The one you sent should probably arrive shortly. And thank you for everything and all of your prayers. This area really is awesome. Wiener Neustadt is awesome. I wish you could all see it one day. 

So the movie Silent Night (yes I've heard of it already) they said it was really accurate. Just a few small things. And the song Silent Night is only supposed to be sung on the 24th. That's a rule. It's so special that it's only for that night. Or at church the Sunday before. Last night we watched the Christmas Devotional (in German) and the bishop's wife was saying how weird it was; that Silent Night is not supposed to be sung until the 24th. So yea, then I also found out that most of the Christmas traditions we have come from Austria or Germany like Christmas trees and all the green stuff. The traditional dinner has a lot of German influence. Saint Nicholas was German. But in Austria Santa Clause doesn't exist; it's the Christkind. It's baby Jesus, but not. And it has no gender. It flies out of the windows and leaves the presents. So ya, it's just a little bit confusing. 

Yes, I did get the beef jerkey which was amazing and also the cheesecake pan. But I have no clue how to make a cheesecake. Well I do, but I have no recipe, which doesn't help too much. Also, it would be nice if you sent some turkey bags. I don't think they sell them here and then the water would leak. The ovens here have a slide in bath that you can use instead of the rack. Just in an envalope would work. They are so tiny it wouldn't matter. And they are reusable. It doesn't touch the food just water so it's no problem. Oh just to let you know I have gotten really good at making up a pasta on the spot. We do that a lot.  And of course putting in sausage because I'm in austria. Ya, giant things of sausage are just a few euro, so why not? 

I love you.

Love, Elder Devon Kinghorn

Devon on the train