Another GREAT week in Graz!

Liebe Kinder Gottes,

Another great week in Graz!

Sister Gardner and I are just working hard and having fun, all at the
same time 🙂 That is good, but it also makes the time go by very
quickly. I cannot beleive it has been over a year of missionary
service for me. What is time? It goes by too fast, for sure!

This week we got to do some really cool service. One of the sisters in
our ward has a handicaped son who is in a wheelchair and can’t speak
or do much on his own, but is such a sweet guy. He requires a lot of
care normally and so his mother (though she does a perfect job) has
little time for much else.

She feeds him, though he can’t eat normal food so it is special as
well as his liquids, clothes him, bathes him, helps him record what he
did so he can share it with others through a recording device, cleans
after him and moves him from his bed to his wheelchair and back so he
is not suffering from just sitting all the day. It is really amazing
all that she does and how much love she does it all with. Still, it is
taxing for a woman to do all of that with her twenty-year- old son.

So, we stopped by on Saturday and were able to take him in his
wheelchair for a walk around her part of town while she got some other
things done around the house. I could really feel how much God loved
this sweet spirit and was thinking of all those who have imperfect
bodies and how special they all really are. I am so grateful to the
parents of these amazing people who really do love and look after them
even though it is a ton of extra work. We drove him around, took him
by a swing he used to ride as a child, and sang to him in the park.
Becuase Sister Gardner’s voice is so amazing, he was super excited to
hear it and was smiling a ton the whole time.

Like the typical members here, this mother had prepared a beautiful
dessert for us as we got back, even though we told her we did not
expect a thing. People are just too good! I hope someday I can serve
as fully and as dilligently as this sister. She is so wonderful.

We were also able to talk to some people. One night we delivered a
Book of Mormon to a woman named Bushpa, from India, and her family.
Her sister was there and let us in. They had just prepared dinner and
were super excited to have guests.

They let us in and we taught them about the restoration and the Book
of Mormon and they loved it. They are super interested to hear more.
On top of that, they told us a little bit about India and what it is
like to live here. They both have degrees in sciences but because of
the language barrier and foreign status, they have to work at food
places and minimum wage type jobs. It is really frusterating for them,
but they still appreciate it here. T

hey had also beautiful pictures from their indian weddings. They are
adjourned with jewels and henna tatoos on their arms and it is so cool
to see and hear traditions from other cultures. They were so open, fun
and bright. We are super excited to keep teaching them!

There was another family we started working with this week. They are
originally from Africa but have been here quite some time. The country
they came from in Africa is french-speaking. We had given them a
french book and so came back to explain it. They mostly speak French
so some parts of the lesson were a challenge to communicate, but with
the Ipads, the french materials, and ect we were able to share a
message with them about how families can really be together forever,
why there are so many differnt churches and how they might go about
finding this truth for themselvs.

They will be traveling to France to visit family this next week, but
we will see them after that! They loved the idea that the Book of
Mormon exists because it means that God has always worked with the
people all over the world and that He speaks to us still.

It is really cool to watch these small and simple truths completely
change the outlook and dynamic of familes as well as individuals. Just
as I have seen the sparkle in so many eyes appear after they feel the
spirit tell them that this book and gospel are true, I have felt my
own heart change.

I thought this week that perhaps it is more of an evolving than a
change. A change means something totally different.
I am still very much myself, just a lot further along than I might
have been before. I have evolved into a smoother, better person
without losing myself. 🙂 I know that only God could have helped me do
that and I am so grateful for the challenges and trails He sends me
that help me become better!

Life really is a time to learn, evolve and love. I know we can do that
as we find and embrace truth. I know the Holy ghost does that in each
of our hearts. Things that were once impossible become easy. Things
that once seemed unimaginable become reality and life becomes simply
more beautiful. I beleive that and I know that our faith is the
foundation of all of these amazing things. The scripture in the Book
of Mormon, Moroni 7:33 really describes that.

Anyways, I am so grateful to be out here and ich bin immer beser,
Mission sei dank.

Liebe Grüße,

Sister Smith

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