Monday, April 28, 2014

Focus on the Basics

Hey everyone!

Well we had another great week in St. Pölten. Luckily I didn't get sick like the rest of you. I can't believe that pretty much everybody was sick through the week. So far I haven't been sick on my mission but I am keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way. 

Well last week I had mentioned that we had been having a hard time finding people to teach but now things are getting a lot better. We were at a restart phase when I showed up and now it is starting to pick up pace a little bit. We met with a woman that we found last week named D-----. She is from Russia, and due to a lot of deaths in her family and losing her job at the same time, she fell into some pretty heavy depression and lost her faith. But she has now realized that she really needs her faith in Christ and she is studying in the Book of Mormon. Our only problem with her is that her English is not very good and neither is her German. She sort of speaks both of them at the same time. We understand her pretty well but she doesn't always understand what we are saying completely. We will probably start teaching her German pretty soon. 

We also found a young Austrian family with two children. They were really interested and they want to have a tour of our church building. They also wanted to come to church yesterday but they had somebody visiting them to see their new baby. The father had a lot of questions that were good questions but they weren't going to help him develop faith quite yet. He was asking us a lot of "deep doctrine" questions, and although we could have answered that he hasn't yet developed the faith to believe what we would tell him. I have found it interesting that no matter how much interest a person has about the Gospel, if you don't take the time and focus on the basic principles of the Gospel, you can't make nearly as much spiritual progression. 

Today all of the missionaries in Austria will have a big finding day in Vienna and I get to work with Elder Stilger! I am way excited. He has been working as a zone leader in Salzburg and I have only seen him a few times since he left Haag so I can't wait. We also have a mission tour tomorrow in Vienna, and Elder Dykes from the quorum of the seventy will speak to us. We will be there for almost the whole day. There will also be about 80 missionaries there so it should be a good time.

I am sorry that I have only been able to send a few pictures since I have been here. The computers are just too slow for it to work. Oh ya, this transfer is only five weeks long so we will get transfer calls on this coming saturday. Also, Dad, the address of our church that you found for your old boss is correct. And it does start at 9 as well. 

I hope that you all have a great week and that you are all feeling better now. Congrats to Haley and Andrew for graduating!

Love you all!

Elder Eldredge

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Cookies


Hey everybody! It sounds like you all had a really great week! Some day I want to see this scooter riding/kite flying game. Thanks for sending the photos! I thought that you might had already sent them to Konstanz. 

We had a really good week here as well. I got to work in Vienna on wednesday and it was awesome! I have never seen so many people! While I was in Vienna, this member took us out for lunch with about six other missionaries. This guy happened to have a pretty good amount of money so we went to his old man tennis club and had over-priced asparagus for lunch. It was actually really good. This man told us that he got his money from working pretty high up in the Leica camera company. He told me that the next time I came to Vienna, I could just show up at his place and he would show me all of his antique cameras. He was a really cool guy.

Working here is pretty interesting so far. When I got here, Elder Buckley told me about all of the investigators and it sounded like a lot was being done, but when I came it had been a few weeks before they had met with their
investigators. They also didn't seem to have much interest anymore either, so we have been starting over. We haven't been seeing to much success since I have been here but I have a lot of excitement for this next week. We had a lot of uncontacted potential investigators and previous investigators that needed to be contacted and we are finally getting to the point where the ones with real interest are having time (especially with easter being done). So we hope that this week will be great and that we can get this place rolling.

We did see a really cool success yesterday though. On saturday we baked tons of cookies for everybody in our apartment building and wrote a note for each of them, just saying "happy easter" and stuff like that. We dropped the cookies on everybody's doorstep on our way to church so that they would find them. When we came back from the church we got a knock on our door, and a women from our building gave us a big plate of homemade cake and some easter eggs. She seemed to have been really touched. Plus our notes all had the church name and email address. It was pretty cool.

I am writing pretty early this week because we are going to have an easter party at one of our members houses. We are going to play soccer with one of the young boys in our ward there, and then we have to leave to go to another easter party with a family that is really big into football so they are huge people and they eat so much food! I hope I don't die.

I took a picture of our district a few weeks ago and I will send it to you today. I would send more photos but this computer at the church is just not ok with that. 

I hope that you all have a great week! Congrats to the Glenns for graduating! I love you all!

Elder Eldredge

Monday, April 14, 2014

Getting Settled in St. Pölten

Hey family!

This week was pretty great! You all seem to be doing a lot of work and having fun. It has been pretty similar over here. We had interviews with president miles on Thursday so we got to go to Vienna for a little while. It was awesome! We get to go there each week for district meeting and I will work there on an exchange this week. It will be the biggest city that I will have worked in. I'm pretty sure that like 80 percent of Austria's population lives in Vienna, so there are always people to talk to.

Parker's new district.  His companion, Elder Buckley, is on the left
Because of general conference, yesterday was my first time at church here. The branch is pretty great even though I think there were about
25 people there yesterday. The members were all trying to invite us over for easter but I think that pretty much everybody in the branch will be eating at the same place. One of our members invited all of the part member families and us to an Easter lunch. It is going to be really fun because we are setting up a soccer game for one of the boys peter. His mother is from salt lake but she married an Austrian. He speaks English pretty well but it is a little funny because he uses German phrases and idioms all the time. We understand him but it would be tough without knowing German.

We are meeting with a guy named L---- each week. He is from africa but he is here to get an education and return to Nigeria to get a position in the government. He is really awesome and he keeps all of his commitments and believes the gospel, but he just doesn't have enough money, after his school fees, to come to church. He lives in a town called Krems which is about 45 minutes away with a train from St.
Pölten. But we are hoping that we can somehow get him to church. If he could come he would be ready for baptism but I guess it will happen when it is supposed to happen.

We have a really great member, Bro. Bauer, who is really excited about missionary work, and he spends every friday with the missionaries just driving them to lessons and being in all of the appointments. He even makes out appointments for us sometimes. A few weeks ago, at a service project that we did as a ward, Bro. Bauer set up an appointment with a man who is a wilderness tour giver. He wanted some help cleaning up a park. He told us that he would need us for about 4 hours so we went with bro. Bauer to go clean up trash. We actually only cleaned for about  20 minutes and then he told us about every plant and insect or bird or whatever there was for the next three and a half hours. We carried our trash bags around waiting for him to show us where to clean but he just wanted to look at frogs. We tried to bring up the church a lot and we had some good conversations but pretty much the only thing we got out of that time was a free drink, fun facts about grass, and a brochure for more nature walks. We had a good laugh with bro. Bauer afterward, and planned to have the next "Bro. Bauer day" be much more successful.

So It was a great week! Elder Buckley and I are doing great. Tons of fun all the time and we are working hard. I love being on a mission! I hope that you all have a good week! I love you all!

Elder Eldredge

Monday, April 7, 2014

Back Home in Austria

Hello Family!

Austria is awesome!!! As much as I loved Konstanz, I love being back home. My companion, Elder Buckley, is a way nice guy. He is really tall too so he makes me look somehow shorter. He is still really new in the mission so he hasn't seen much outside of Vienna but he is doing really well and is willing to work hard. St. Pölten is a pretty cool place! The city's inner part is really pretty which makes up for the outskirts which are, well.... less pretty. But I still love it and the people here are really nice which is the most important thing. I have already met a good amount of our members even though we didn't have church. We worked with our ward mission leader, Bro. Hirschmann, and his family on friday while we helped clean a lady's garden. His parents are really really old and have this cool old house. The father was even branch president in Haag a long time ago so they were excited to here that I know everybody there. We are given a lot of food here. In my first two days I ate so much sausage and red cabbage that it hurt. I love austrian food! This area is like Haag because we do a lot of service in small little villages. When we worked in the lady's garden, we were right next to the Donau, in the middle of a lot of really pretty mountains with castles on top of them. It was pretty cool. Sadly, though, I can't send photos this week because the computers in the church here go way slow when we try. But there will be some next week.

General conference was really great! We watched the saturday morning session on saturday night at one of our members, and watched the rest (besides sunday morning) at the stake center in Vienna. It was great because most of our zone was there and many were old friends so we got to catch up and stuff like that. Our zone is really great. 

Oh ya, before I left Konstanz we had a lesson with the L----s so that I could say goodbye to them. They are doing great and they said that they had prayed about Joseph Smith and that they knew he was a prophet! They are both really really excited for their baptism. I won't be able to visit them because they are far away and we can only visit baptisms in our district now. But I gave them my E-mail so hopefully I will hear from them soon. 

The work here seems to be going pretty well. The members are excited and willing to help. One member, Bro. Bauer, takes us around on fridays with his car so that we can visit potentials and investigators. There is a lot of organizing that needs to be done here though. There seems to be a lot of phone numbers to people who we don't know and things like that. But I am excited to get this area on fire. I can tell it has a lot of potential and I think that many of the lessons I learned in Haag about finding people where there aren't people will come in handy.

I am glad that you all are doing well! I can't believe that those trees are gone! And Happy birthday dad! I think I need a list of everybody's birthdays because there is no way that I will remember them all while I am out here. I will make sure to say hi to Geoff when he is here! He needs to make sure to eat the cheese. And lots of it. He also needs to drink Rivella. Basically just eat all the food that comes his way. It's all good.

I love you all!

Elder Eldredge

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Hey everybody!
Thanks for all of the pictures! It looks like you all had a really busy and fun week! We also had a pretty exciting week. I will be going back to Austria! But this time in the vienna zone. I will be working in a place called St. Pölten and my companion will be Elder Buckley. He is only in his third transfer now so I will be his second companion. From what I have heard from a missionary that was trained there, St. Pölten is just like Haag with less members. I am so excited! I love germany and switzerland but austria feels like home because I was trained there. Plus the food us unreal.
Church yesterday was really hard for me though. Our branch president gave me a hug and thanked me for working here and the other members kept saying how much they were going to miss me. But I promised them all that I would come back after my mission.
We had another amazing lesson with the L----s. We watched the restoration film with them and they said that they wanted to be baptized before they watched the video, but now they REALLY want to be baptized! We are working on organizing a place for them to watch general conference in spanish this weekend and it should work out great.
The weather here has gotten really pretty. It definitely feels like easter is coming now. Konstanz happens to have a lot more people in it when the sun comes out. Strange how that works. The parks by the water are always packed full of college students kicking soccer balls and stuff like that. It has been making street contacting much more effective.
Congrats to Nate and Spencer! They will love those missions a lot. Plus they can speak spanish together when they come home! That is cool.
I was reading a talk from Elder Nelson from the last conference this morning. It was the one where he spoke about the importance of physical and spiritual wellness. I really like what he said about how the quality of our future in the eternities has to do with how we take care of our spirits and our bodies. I have noticed that as I keep myself healthy, I am more ready to act on what the spirit tells me, and that I have an overall better mood.
I hope that you all have another great week! I love you all!

Elder Eldredge