Monday, January 16, 2012

These weeks just fly by...

Received January 16, 2012

Servas family/friends!
This week as the subject line says, really did fly by. I don't know where the days go, but they just seem to disappear. We went to Salzburg again this week and it was a good time as always. We got to have interviews with the mission president and we also learned from the Zone Leaders and Sis. Miles. We talked about giving people commitments so they are led to make steps toward repentance and progress in the gospel. It was fun to hear from them all. On Tuesday we went to the Mayer's house. We ended up talking a LOT about opera because Walter Mayer sings at the Landestheater in Linz in the opera chorus. I asked him if he knows Lawrence Vincent and he told me a
story about how he and his wife sang Christus am Ölberg (Christ on the
Mount of Olives) by Beethoven with the Linz choir. Walter Mayer sang
the role of Petrus in the piece and they even traveled around to
perform in different wards in Austria. If anyone happens to see Dr.
Vincent, tell him that the ward in Linz says Schöne Gruß. The investigator situation in Linz is doing it's thing. One (potential) investigator that we had ended up dropping us because he heard from somebody that we were a sect (real original). We finally confronted Benjamin on his circular reasoning and I don't think he likes us anymore. He pretty much makes everything way too hard on himself and can't believe anything that he cannot prove
scientifically. It would have been nice for that to have come out like
a few weeks ago but we finally squeezed it out of him in the last
lesson. He didn't come to church and I think he's just going to take a
lot of time and life experiences until he gets to a point where he
will start believing in God. We can't help him any further. Rene on
the other hand is doing very well and he actually came to an eating
appointment with Sis. Dafalias with us. He had a great time and she
really likes him. So do we.
Yeah, so that was kinda the week as it played out. Oh yeah, and last
Monday both Elder Chandler and I fell for different reasons. Elder
Chandler was walking down the side of a really long set of stairs on
the side of the Linz Schloss and slipped. He only hurt his hand a
little and luckily he had a little first aid kit with which he was
quickly cleaned and bandaged. About an hour later we went up stairs in
a shop that sells Tracht and were looking at Trachten Anzüge. It
wasn't priced too badly, but way out of our price range so we started
down the stairs. These stairs wind down around a central wall and on
the inside the steps get really small. I remember thinking "Don't
slip!" and then all of a sudden my feet were no longer under me. I
was able to save myself sufficiently because I was holding on to the
rail, but my arm went back with it and it hurt a little bit later.
There were a bunch of women down on the first floor and a sales woman
who all witnessed this occur. I told them I was fine, but now thinking
back I should have faked getting hurt so they would give me a free
suit, but oh well too late.
Friend points for this week/ the month of December go to Courtney
Severson whose letter I finally got through mission mail. Gold Stars
for you! I will be sending a letter out soon.
Transfers are on the 8th of February, so you can probably send me a
package if you want to. I kinda expect to be in Linz another transfer,
so I think it will be ok.
Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful week and that everything is
Edelweiß, German Shepherd puppies, and Alpen Täler.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hallo, dies ist der Anschluss der Missionare der Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage...

Received January 9, 2012

Hallo liebe Familie, liebe Freunde, und liebe Besucher! Wilkommen in dem Email von Elder Andrew Neumayer.
Yeah, so the subject line, last night we were waiting for the Wels Elders to call and ask for our Key Indicators for the week. When the phone rang I answered it and in the phoniest voice I could muster, I spoke out the subject line. Commonly known as the message box for the missionaries phones, and given that missionaries hardly ever leave messages for other missionaries, the Wels Elders just hung up. I couldn't believe that it actually worked. I called them back and Elder Parker said that he totally thought that he got our answering machine. Just a fun little anecdote.
By the way, you can translate the subject line and the first sentence, they are actually good Hochdeutsch.
This past week went by really fast. I was surprised how fast it went actually. Not a lot happened, but it just flew by. I finally got everything in order for my visa stuff and got the process started at least. We're expecting the "Führungszeugnis" to come in any day now and the lady at the office just said to get it in as soon as I get it. Luckily for me, I actually have a birth certificate, something that Elder Chandler did not have. The mission office had to call his mom and request one for him. She went and miraculously got everything done in one day and then got it off to DHL. It got here this morning. We found out that we will be going to Salzburg this week for Interviews with the Mission President. I hear that there's actually snow up there. We're having a California Winter here in the lovely area of Linz Stadt. The people on the hills (like Pöstlingberg) have snow, I bet Steyr has snow, the Alps have snow (picture attached). Just poor little Linz has no snow.
We got a new investigator this week! Rene Pachinger (another Rene). He's a friend of Sonja Pirklbauer (try saying that one ten times fast) who is one of the more missionary-minded members of the ward. She invited him to church last Sunday and he came. She gave him a Book of Mormon and showed him some spots to read in it. He came to have English class with us on Thursday and we ended up meeting with him an hour beforehand to talk about the Book of Mormon. He is interested and came to church again this week. We have another appointment with him this week. Our biggest obsatcle for meeting with him is that he has a pretty bad stuttering issue. Now with German that can be a bad thing. Heaven help us though if he starts speaking his "mother tongue" Mühlviertlerisch. Sometimes people forget that we are just poor missionaries learning German and slip into their dialects and then our understanding just goes *whoosh* right out the window.
We also found out this week that for the mission tour at the end of this transfer we will be going to.......WIEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited and so is Elder Chandler. We will have an awesome time there and will be there practically the entire day.
Yeah, so that was pretty much the week. I hope everyone has a lovely week and that everything is just peachy! Tschüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüß!

Now That The War's Over...

Received January 2, 2012

Anyone that has ever been in Austria/Europe for a New Years Eve should know what I'm talking about when I say, it was insanity. See, there's good reasoning behind the whole "Don't give the civilians fireworks!" thing. Let's just say, World War III pretty much broke out and all you see and hear is explosions going off all around you. They give the people some intense fireworks to shoot off on their own. They have little boxes with about 16 rockets that shoot up one at a time and burst in brilliant colors. These are the kind of thing that only professionals are allowed to use in America. Luckily, not too many of our comrades were hit. Jimmy went down from the shrapnel but he'll be ok. (Not really) But it was fun. We went to the Miesbauer family (the same as Christmas day) for the evening. It was a pretty full house. Naturally there was Bro. and Sis. Miesbauer, Matthias, and Iris. Iris' friend Clara came from Salzburg and Matthias' fiancee and her father came from Wien. The younger brother of the Miesbauers wasn't there, but he was somewhere with friends I assume. We ate really good food which we "grilled" ourselves on little table top stoves. After eating plenty of that we went and retired to the living room where we played a few games, one of which was Life. I probably won, but it's not like we were counting or anything...After that we watched Tangled (Pres. Miles approved) in German. The music gets the Neumayer seal of approval (so that means those of you who don't have it yet who were waiting for my approval may go and buy it). Alan Menken is always a good option. At the beginning of the movie Bro. Miesbauer decided to sleep because he was tired and moved over onto the couch to do so. After the movie was over we went outside to newly fallen snow. It was a couple minutes before 12 and we went to the neighbors across the street to watch the fireworks. It was awesome and everyone had a great time. Yesterday we pretty much woke up at around 8 (Elder Chandler slept until 11 or so) and got ready. It was a nice peaceful morning. Church wasn't until 3 pm, so we had plenty of time to get our (Mission President approved) 8 hours of sleep. We got to church and I was surprised to see half of the people that I know from Wien there. Marvin Till, Esther Duffles, Arnulf Schaunig, and more. It was awesome to talk to them. Rene and Benjamin came to church like normal. We had an eating appointment after church and we asked if Benjamin could come with us. They said yes and had actually been thinking about inviting him. So we went to the Erlachers (same family as Boxing day). This time it was just Bro. and Sis. Erlacher, Emily, and Sam (not the rest of the Erlacher clan). We had teriyaki chicken and raclette. For those of you who don't know what raclette is, there is a little stove on the table that you use to cook something (like meat) on top of and a little space underneath in which you slide a little pan filled with cheese. After the cheese is melted, you usually put it on top of potatoes. It was really good. I'll have to admit though, never before on my mission have I had to do so much cooking of my own food for eating appointments. It's a good conversation-inducing investment for larger dinner groups. Benjamin had a really good time and it's a really good opportunity for him to see how a Mormon family lives.
I hope everyone had a good New Year and "a gut Rosch" as the Jews would say or "ein gute Rutsch ins neue Jahr" as the Austrians would say. Tschüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüß!

Coming to you on Wednesday?

Received December 28, 2011

That's right, we had to change our P-day to Wednesday because NOTHING was open on Monday and yesterday was crazy with District Meeting in Wels, 2 appointments with investigators and then an appointment with the "beloved" Schw. Wegrath. She really is a loving and very kind woman (albeit a little racist) who loves to feed the missionaries. She gave us a lot of stuff to take home and it was lovely to sit and wait at the bus stop for half and hour with it in the hopes of getting home on time. This morning we went to drop off Elder Gruse for his little day-long trip to Offenburg. Elder Chandler and I are now alone in the Linz Ward and it will be interesting riding the elevator to the top floor of our apartment building with just us two. It started with four then downsized to three and now it's just us two. Today as a little Christmas present to myself I went and bought a collection of Grimm fairytales in German. It has pictures too! That will help keep up my German after my mission is over. For those of you wondering about my legal situation, it's all in process. I'm waiting for the police record from Germany and then, I should be able to apply. I can even go and apply and just tell them that I will get it to them when it comes. We had an awesome time over the Christmas holidays going to a ton of people's houses and having a great time sharing in their Christmas traditions. We got to go caroling and we sang a song. The lyrics are as follows:

Es wird scho glei dumpa
Es wird scho glei nacht
Drum kimmi zu dir Herr
Mei Heiland auf d'Wacht
Will singa a Liadl
Dem liabling dem kloan
Du magst jo net schlafen
I hör dir nur woan
Hei hei, hei hei
Schlaf herzsüaßes liabs Kind

Please do not try to put that in a translator, it won't work. If you want to try to say it, just switch the "a"s to a really dark vowel like an "o". Now you're speaking like an Austrian.

I don't have a ton to talk about this week, so I hope everyone had a good Christmas break and Happy New Year. Till next time, Tschüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüß!