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Monday, March 17, 2014

Klagenfurt: March 17, 2014

Dearest Fam-bam,

So this week was pretty great! I think I will just start out by telling you the coolest thing that happened this week: Elizabeth is back. And she was baptized in the Dominican Republic!! She showed us pictures of her at her baptism, and also of her in front of the temple in the Dominican Republic, and it was so awesome, because she was telling me that she knows that it's not all done. She said that she knew that she had to wait a year to go into the temple, and that just because she is baptized doesn't mean her work is done. It was clear to me that when the missionaries in South America retaught her, they emphasized that point, something that obviously must be a problem for converts there. It was so cool though! She asked me for a list of all the callings in the ward, so that she could know who is responsible for what. She is definitely planning on staying around.

The second coolest thing that happened this week has to do with Radu. Every Sunday, we tell a success story to the members in Priesthood, Relief Society, Primary, and Young Women's, and this time Elder Dickson convinced Radu to come with us and bear his testimony. So although a good amount of the members already knew who he was, yesterday he stood up in front of them and told them that he is going to be baptized in May, and he told them about how 'Andy and Elder Krieger' talked to him on the street. (Yeah... he figured out my first name at some point, and now he just calls me Andy, even when he is talking to members. They get really confused by it.) The whole thing was really cool, and I think he feels like he is more of a part of the ward now. I'm pretty sure he still has a smoking problem, but we haven't really had a lesson with him for about a week and a half or so, because he has been studying like crazy, preparing for a couple of tests that he has this week, and one that he has next Monday. We probably won't see too much of him this week either. We try to have daily contact through texting, calling, or something.

As for our other investigators... there were a lot that we didn't see this week. Zsuzsanna really surprised us this week when she called and explained that she wouldn't have the time to meet with us on Saturday, and then proceeded to explain that she would like to stop investigating the Church.  That was really sad, but we spent about thirty minutes on the phone, and I just gave her my testimony and really promised her that it would be something that would help her, but she decided to stop meeting with us. She said that her family didn't want to watch the kids, and that that was the reason, so I'm hoping that with time she will start investigating again, we'll see. Other than that we had a good lesson with Dominik and Peter, but they didn't end up coming to Church yesterday, which was too bad. That is the biggest problem with them, their inconsistency. We are hoping to teach them how to keep the Sabbath Day holy, and hopefully that will help them to understand why it is important to come to Church.

We also had our first Bible Study group on Thursday. We essentially started it for Frau Lahoda, who came this week, and so that we could have something to invite investigators and people on the street to. The first one was awesome. The member who we asked to lead it totally ate it up. He used a power point, dressed up in a suit, and you could just tell that he loved the responsibility of doing it. I have set a personal goal of trying to get two new people to come this week.

That's crazy that the Markhams had Spolmes at their house! I can't believe that the Markhams didn't call you and freak out. I would have freaked out if I had been in that situation.

I can't believe that Matt Secor is coming home so soon!! That is crazy! I still feel like I have a long time on my mission still, so that is crazy to me that a missionary who hosted me is going home now! And Adam Welker is going home pretty soon too... Wow. Time goes by quick.  And then we have Matt Hyer, on the other side of the spectrum. He already has his mission call?? Oh my word. That is so cool! Crazy, because I feel like he is still very young, but super cool.

Elder Dickson is doing very well. We go running every single morning, which is something that helps him start off the day right. I like it too because it is getting me in shape. We only go about two miles or so, but I am running faster than I ever have before, and have already shaved about three minutes off of my time, so I feel pretty good about it. I have noticed that same kind of thing about some of my companions, Mom. I do often feel like a big part of my mission has been working with my companions, and also working with the members of my District. I don't know how Elder Barker is doing, but I did send him an email, and so I hope to be able to give you some sort of an update next week.

What is this Honor Society thing with Anna? What kind of society is she being accepted into? I'm kind of confused, but that is really cool that you are going to Conference! I have never been to a live session of conference up until now. Hopefully I will be able to go when I am back at BYU, but we'll see.

Ok, I think that is all. I love you so much!

Elder Merkley

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