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Monday, April 21, 2014

Klagenfurt: April 21, 2014

Dearest Fam-bam,

Ok, so sorry that I am writing so late. I have also a very limited amount of time tonight, but I am going to be trying my best to get in all the things that needed to be written. The reason things are kind of more stressful recently is trying to email all these people from my old areas and get all this stuff figured out, and it leaves me very little time for writing you, which I really regret. I don't necessarily enjoy writing such long emails every week, but I really like for you to know everything that is going on in my life, well everything that I can fit into an email, I forget a lot of things. Thanks for complimenting my emails, Mom. I really do try to put in effort and write the important things from the week.

Anyway, something cool that will be happening next week. We will actually be heading over to Vienna next Tuesday so that we can have a Mission Tour with Elder Dyches of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. That by itself is really cool. Just last night, however, we got a text from our Zone Leaders and found out that we will be doing a finding day in Wien while we are there, and we will be doing exchanges with Elders from the Wien zone. And I guess they thought it would be cool to put a couple of Father-Son pairs together, because guess whom I will be working with? Elder Barker! I'm really excited to work with him again and see how he is doing. He's about a year on his mission, and I'm really excited to see the progress he's made since the last time I saw him.

Easter was a lot of fun. The Wades actually invited us over, and had a really great Easter lunch with us, complete with a lot of pretty typical American foods, which I really enjoyed. Sister Wade is a great cook, and she has such a great heart. In this part of Austria, they have a cold Easter lunch (I think, at least that is what I heard, and what we kind of experienced today. Today was a holiday here too-because it's the day after Easter, I think?), with meat, and a lot of horse radish. My sinuses were on fire at one point from smelling it/from eating it.

Elder Dickson and I are still going running every day, that pain behind my knee has essentially gone away. In fact, we just stepped up the distance today, and probably ran over three miles at a decent pace. For me, a decent pace means around 25-26 minutes for that. It was a lot of fun, really beautiful, and we were able to chat the whole time, which made the run way more fun and less painful than it normally is. You two should bring your running stuff when you come, so that we can still get up in the mornings and start our days off with a run, I love doing that.

Well, we did get one new investigator this week. His name is Amir, and he is from Iran. He is Muslim, but he wants to convert to Christianity. He is one of the students that we found in the Mozartheim, which is where Radu lives. I don't think this University is anything that special, I just think that this house is where most of the foreigners live, because it is pretty cheap, I would assume, and located within ten minutes from the University. Anyway, Amir is cool, and we actually met with him twice this week with members there. It was a cool experience, and we are hoping that he will be able to start progressing and accept the baptismal committment. We do want to make sure that he doesn't want to convert just so that he doesn't have to go back to Iran, which is something that he has mentioned to us before.

This week I have been learning a lot about love. I have just realized how much I need to work on my charity and selflessness. I think that a lot of the other Christlike attributes I am missing could be developed if I first would have the basis of the pure love of Jesus Christ. I'm really trying to focus on developing this.

Anyway, sorry this is so short, but our email time was a little short today. I love you guys! I know the Church is true, and I love being a missionary. I'm looking forward to coming home, but I am also looking forward to these next few weeks of service.

Elder Merkley 

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