Travels to Stuggart and General Conference

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WE made Elder Seewa bread for his birthday!

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I made this!!!!!

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Sister Grossen and sister Smith

Guten Tag!

This week was full of travels and conferences. This might sound like a
lot of busywork and hassle, but we really learned, saw and felt great
things throughout the week.

We were able to see our lovely friends from Iraq on Tuesday night, eat
Arabic food with them ( actually very good), and teach them about how
prophets are called, how we have this church on the earth today and
where it came from. We have pamphlets in Arabic to help us as well as
google translate when members can’t show up. The family is doing
really well and is always eager to learn more about this church. Their
progression in spiritual things has strengthened my testimony of the
importance of e marriage of personal testimony and active church
attendance.

One question we hear a lot out here as missionaries is why church? Why
is worshipping God in my own not enough? I find that Elder
Christofferson’s (a modern-day apostle) talk from the Sunday afternoon
session of General conference explains that really well.

First and foremost, we believe in having a personal testimony of God,
our Heavenly Father, and His son, Jesus Christ. However, we also
believe that God is at the helm of this church and hat His guidance
allows us to find the path back to him, strengthen our personal
testimonies and receive more Heavenly guidance than otherwise
possible.

I have seen the absolute truth if his in my own life! No one is
perfect, therefore the members and even leaders of The Church of Jesus
Christ of latter-Day Saints are not perfect, but God is and He leads
and guides us all home on the vessel that is this church.

Sister G and I gained much strength and wisdom this week as we heard
from our mission and church leaders. On Wednesday, we woke up super
early and not so bright to catch a 4 hour train over to Salzburg. In
Salzburg, we saw a ton of our good missionary friends and, more
importantly, were taught by our mission president and His wife. They
talked a lot about obedience and how hard it is but at the same time
how it enlightens us, frees us and helps us get home safely. This is
such a deep truth found in life. As we do good but hard things the
rewards are deeper and more beautiful than we imagined, even if hey
are not immediate .

That night, we ended up overnighting with the sisters there in
Salzburg. They live just across the German border. With all the
refugee issues as these people make their way from below up into
Germany, this was really interesting. We saw firsthand all the
refugees in their tents and we were checked for passports and
identification. There was no danger nor were there problems, but as we
carefully and politely handles ourselves in such a situation, we
noticed how happy the refugees seemed to be, despite circumstances and
how unified we all were as we exchanged looks with these people. It
really is an interesting time to live in this part of the world!

Later that weekend we got back, helped a member move into his new
apartment and got ourselves to the church for General Conference, a
broadcast of the prophets apostles and other leaders in our church
from the headquarters to all the world. They speak about varied
topics, none of which are assigned and are lead by God as they share
eternal truths that help us as we watch this better ourselves and our
lives.

In Austria, we watch some of it live as it is morning in the U.S., it
is evening here! This adds a feeling of unity to the meeting. One of
the best things about it, though, is that the members really make it a
unified thing by all showing up at the church, socializing before and
after, and just sharing in the joy of one another’s company. It really
does help us feel the spirit as we gather in unity almost as a family
to be uplifted by the words of Christ given to us by His chosen
leaders.

The more we reach out to one another in kindness, the more we learn
and feel Gods love, the more we help one another progress toward
eternal life and, better still, life with our eternal families! I love
this gospel and know the Church if Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
has a true and living Prophet, Apostles and leaders.

Have a fabulous week!

Love,
Sister Smith

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