Monday, September 22, 2014

September Specials

 A birthday for Sister Tew! We celebrated after District Meeting with a french toast breakfast.

 This was the day of my birthday at FHE. Baldur (very left) made a fabulous German Chocolate cake.

Live action of the FHE birthday celebration with some of our peeps!

 As we were driving  in the small village of Thal (where Arnold Schwarzenegger is from), we saw this most interesting church and went inside. I had to post it for you to see.

 This is the chapel looking from the back toward the front. We think it is Catholic but not sure.

 It is built to look like being under the sea. The seats are molded and hard, so the tiny cushion helps just a bit. I was fascinated by the unique design & decor, and even put my two euros in the box for a cool sea shell souvenir.

An interesting bush outside the church- like an Austrian flag!

And another unique one!

 Hayli Egbert is our new YSA from Arizona. She is here for 11 months to study business and enjoy Austria. She emailed Bishop Lex before she came, so we got in contact with her to meet her at the train and help her get oriented, especially with our YSA group. This month she is taking classes from the University to learn some German, but when her other classes start in October, she will take them all in English. Alot of American students come here for that reason. She is great and we love her very much already!

 Bro. and Sis. Pail hosted a BBQ in their beautiful yard which was fun and a great intro for Hayli. Afterwards, some of us hung around for a while  playing Five Crowns on their covered patio.

 Ok, So this was a fun excursion to try to find a lost member at this address. Pretty scary, I expected a zombie or something to jump out at us at any moment. It was even raining to make the mud worse. Turns out that he moved to the city to forget all the junk that he has accumulated. We left a note for him and he actually called us back that day when he came here. He wants us to visit him in town!

 All of us Sisters after Zone Training in Vienna.

 We had some time after Zone Training to meet with Aigerim and take her and our Graz Sisters to lunch. Aigerim is working towards baptism soon. What a great young woman from Kazakhstan. I posted in an earlier posting about her and told you that she is in Vienna to study Bio Chemistry.

 This is the beginning of a party called a Polterabend at our church for Phillip and Lilly who were getting married the next week. They do all kinds of fun things to celebrate an upcoming marriage. 

 As you can see... this is one of them. Sister Heika Lex has lots of ideas. Don't know how thrilled Phillip was though.

 The idea was that everyone had a pole with a cloud tied to the end with a string and Lilly had to cut them off and read the good advice on the back. Live action below:                                                                        
 Everyone loves Heika for her hard work and fun loving spirit.

 We helped out in the kitchen. Elder Tew is trying to make a funny face for the pic but looks rather interesting don't you think?

 All of these band members are in our JAE group and used to perform alot until they all got so busy with school, work, etc. that they don't really have the time now. They are really good. They played for Phillip (who used to sing with them) and people were having a good time dancing.

 At transfers, we received 19 year old Sister Pentz (tall) as comp to Sister Threlkeld and Elder Mitchell (right) as comp to Elder Plumb. It is exciting to have a fresh golden straight from the MTC come to us. What a fabulous, positive, enthusiastic 18 yr. old Elder from Seatle, WA. We are enjoying these new missionaries that joined us here in Graz.

 Elder Tew is having a good discussion with our new investigator Ben after Institute. Ben is an amazing young man of 27 who was born in Nigeria. He moved here a few months ago and is working as a barber. He attended our church a few times in other places and looked up the church here and just came. (Another Lisa story) He is being taught by the Elders and is looking at Oct. 19th to be baptized. The Lord has guided another wonderful soul to His church! 

 These are all the Elders in our District now. Bruck an der Mur received 2 more, making 4 there now. So here they are after our last District Meeting with two study chairs, 2 boxes of  B of Ms that they needed, a fan, and their other stuff. They took them with them on the train and it was quite a sight! Watch the parade below:


 Hummm interesting... So the grocery store that we shop at just upgraded and put three new cigarette machines outside their doors. The price went up a bit but that doesn't seem to stop anyone of any age from putting their 4,4 euros (about $6) in for a pack of 20. The devil must be laughing alot- that he was able to influence people to make and market a product that is so nasty, smelly, addictive, annoying, unhealthy and hazardous to everyones health, and even get people to pay money for it! Many people of all ages smoke here, and it can be a stumbling block for some investigators.

 This is what we found in the front yard of a Catholic Church.  It is a metal statue of a priest with an interesting pet. Notice the fangs on that thing!  We drove here to meet our RS Pres. and her husband to follow them in our car to visit a couple, who live far out in the country, who are members that don't come to church. We see lots of interesting things as we visit people.

 Here is another one of them. Actually this nice, friendly dog belongs to the Struckl couple that we visited. It was so funny to see him try to come and play with us through the cat door. Watch him below:  

 We were laughing at the dog as we talked to them on their grapevine covered patio. Bro. Zorn and Elder Tew were able to give them both a blessing. It was beautiful day. She came to church Sunday!

 It is pumpkin season!! And that means more pumpkin seed oil or Kurbuskernöl. Steiermark is famous for this dark Kernöl which is a staple for salad and more.

 When we passed this field, we were able to see the different stages of the pumpkin harvest. The middle of the photo are the plants before the machine comes to put the pumpkins in rows as you see at the top. Somehow the seeds are taken out and the remains that you see in the front of the picture, will be tilled under to fertiize the soil for next year.

 As we were driving back from visiting the Struckls, we had to turn around as we passed this cute place by. What a find!! So many different kinds of pumpkins and such fun looking ones. And the Kern öl is the best out in the country they say.

 We made our purchase!

 And here are our pumpkins- safe at home! And of course a liter bottle of Kern öl. They mix this oil with a vinegar and either salt or sugur depending the taste they want and this is the dressing for the leafy salads. We had to buy some to use for our Institute dinners, so they wouldn't "run us out of town" for not using their famous provincial salad dressing!

 Our bird pumpkin family. These are not painted at all- they grow this way. Heavenly Father is a great artist, don't you think?!?

 Elder Tew is playing his harmonica that our friend Pam sent him. (Thanks Pam) We are watching Raphael so his parents could go on a motorcycle ride. The playing  was putting Raphael to sleep and the funny thing is that Rick put himself to sleep while playing it.

The Beins are  wonderful and we hope they will be an eternal family in the near future!

 I am feeding Raphael his lunch.

 Just thought I would update you on the peacocks at Schloss Eggenberg. We just found out that at this time of year after mating season is over, the males loose their beautiful tale feathers and start to grow new ones for the next year's mating season. We thought these were the young birds, but no, they are the adult males without their plumage. Works out nicely for Schloss Eggenberg though, because they sell the tail feathers in the gift shop for 3 euros a piece. 

And  the last pic of the day!!  Sister Threlkeld, Sister Pentz, Sister Tew and Elder Tew all dressed up for church yesterday in our Trachten(traditional) clothes. (we planned it)


Sid Price said...

Love to read your blog. I still think if the Brethren knew how much fun you are having, you would be called home, but it is the Plan of Happiness after all! Carry on.

The Tews said...

Mabel loved seeing the pumpkin patch pictures! Those bird pumpkin/squashes are so funny! The Kern ol sounds good! Add a little vinegar and it's Rick's favorite dressing!
I just laughed out loud at the fact that Rick put himself to sleep while playing the harmonica!!
You are doing such great work and seeing so many neat things. I am so glad you started this blog! Love the ocean church, marriage traditions, and I can't believe the guy with all the junk called you back! Glad you had a fun birthday.
We pray for you and for your investigators. :)