Saturday, March 1, 2014

February 24, 2014

Here's some classy graffiti in the tunnel near my
neighborhood.  I crack up every time I see this.
This week's straßeausstellung...Damien on the left
Hi everyone.  How's it going?  I'm writing my email at the end of my P-Day today, and I am just exhausted.  We had another awesome P-Day.  Last Monday, we did that hike that we did before with a ton of missionaries.  It was so fun.  Then today, we went up to Neckersteinach, where there are four bergs right next to each other.  We went and explored all of them, and it was way fun.  We went with a couple from our ward and the elders.  I can’t believe how I can travel 20 minutes and just see these amazing sites.  I am going to miss it when I get home.

Sounds like things are going well back home.  Dad, Matt forgot to email me, so hopefully he will next week.  I want to hear where he's at with everything.  Also, whenever you tell me about all the snow back in the states, it is just foreign to me.  It has been the mildest winter ever here.  Today, it felt like summer.  We were so hot that we had to take our coats off.  It’s great. 

I thought that this was a classy ad...
Besides that, it was another good week here in the Promised Land of Heidelberg.  We've been making a lot of progress with all of the less actives and investigators that we have been working with.  We showed the film "Finding Faith in Christ" with Danielle and she just loved it.  She asked to keep it so that she could watch it with her husband.  It’s starting to scare me.  There are about 5 DVDs that we show people, and I am starting to get them memorized.  We show Glauben an Christus Finden the most though, and I can seriously quote the whole thing.  I find myself knowing exactly what they will say next.  "Ich sage dir, steh auf." What a touching scene.  The Restoration is also a good one.  "Ich kann das alein tragen!" Its really freaky, because as missionaries we just find quoting these things hilarious.  My sense of humor is going to be so bad when I get home. 

Tuesday night, we probably had my favorite appointment that I have had since I have been on my mission.  It was with the Familie Rodriguez, which is Damien’s family.  Oh man, it was a hoot.  They are so hilarious.  He was going off telling stories about his mission and all of the things that the American greenies would say.  Their culture is so great.  I was rolling I was laughing so hard.  It makes me so grateful that I can understand what they are saying, because I just love them so much.  We had a really spiritual lesson afterwards (I had to add that part so it seems like I did missionary work).  But really, it was just great.
From the top

Thursday was another great day.  We met with Erika for the first time, and it was probably the best first lesson I have had since I have been auf mission.  She is so prepared.  Sister Petersen and I felt like we should focus on the gift of the Holy Ghost, and how it has helped us in our lives.  Then her daughter, who is a new convert, bore strong testimony of it and how she feels it so strongly when she reads im Buch Mormon.  The Spirit was so strong, and Erika could feel it.  We asked her if this feeling that she had right now was something she always wanted to feel.  She said yes.  We promised her that she could through baptism.  She said that she would have to think about it, but I think that she will.  I can't wait to meet with her again.  

Friday was crazy.  We had three eating appointments that day.  I swear that is the curse of the mission.  You have none the entire week, and then they all end up being on the same day.  We were so full.  But we had a nice mix that day.  We had an English, Spanish, and German lesson that day.  We met at the Taylors that afternoon, and taught Kristin again.  She had some questions about what she had read im Buch Mormon, so we ended up talking about that the entire time.  She said that she prays every time before she reads the Book of Mormon, but that she still hasn’t felt the truth.  She feels good, but doesn’t know if that is an answer or not.  We talked a lot about how we can receive an answer and how it may not be some big feeling, but that it may come slowly.  She said she will continue to pray.  I think that she will be one that takes a little time, but eventually, it will come.  We also had a really good meeting with the Conchas that night, a family from Peru.  We talked a lot about member missionary work, and they are going to make a family mission plan for how to do their part in the ward mission plan.  It was great.  That night, we met with Helen, our investigator and Carmen and Bruder Girnus.  We had a good lesson on faith.  I love visiting that family.  They are so nice and Carmen is hilarious. 
Besides that, I am really excited about the new elder that came in, Elder Hendersen.  It seems that he has a lot of good ideas and we are going to work well together.  We are going to start advertising more at the university and for our Spanish activities.  On Saturday, we had another Straßeausstellung, and it was great.  Damien came and helped us out, and we ended up writing the Plan of Salvation in German and Spanish.  He loved it.  He was able to speak to three people in Spanish and in an hour, handed out two Books of Mormon to two of the Spanish girls.  During our appointment with them on Tuesday, he was raving about Reese’s that he had gotten from one of his companions on his mission, and so I brought him some.  Man, you should’ve seen the look on his face.  He was so excited.  It was priceless.  
Another beautiful sunset...

I learned so many cool things during study this week, but I wanted to share one with you today.  Since I have worked with so many Catholic people since I have come to Germany (Everyone is either Katholic oder Evangelisch), I have really wanted to figure out what the Book of Mormon has that the Bible doesn’t.  This week, I decided to compare the Sermon on the Mount to the one in 3 Nephi to see what was different, and it was really cool.  The one that I found the most interesting was in 3 Nephi 12:6.  It is talking about those that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.  The Book of Mormon adds "with the Holy Ghost.”  I really liked that, because we believe that we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It reminded me of our lesson with Erika, and just made me grateful for all of the times that I have felt the spirit and how it has helped me in my life.  I really liked this activity, because it made me dankbar für all of the small and simple words, here or there, that were lost and how big of a difference they make when they are put in.  I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon.  
This work is great.  I just love it.  I am excited for this transfer.  I cannot believe that today marks my SEVENTH MONTH mark on the mission.  How crazy is that?  Seven months ago, I was being dropped off at the MTC.  It doesn’t feel that long.  I feel like I still just got here, and now I am almost hitting my half way mark (especially if I go home a transfer early).  I need to make the most of it every day!  
At the top of the fort...

Have a great week everyone.  Mom and Dad, I challenge you both to try to hand out a Book of Mormon by the end of March.  My ward has handed out 150 in the past 6 months, and our bishop just asked us to order 200 more so that he can set them back out in the foyer.  It really does make a difference, and you will be giving someone the best gift that he/she would ever receive.  
Oh and Mom, I'll keep thinking about my Easter basket, but no scarves or tights.  It is seriously like summer here.  As of now, I am just thinking about deodorant.  Real American deodorant.  I will need more by then.

Ich liebe euch!


Love this!

Another picture of the amphitheater...
This is one of the Nazi rally amphitheaters....
it's huge!
Most of my district...

Saying goodbye to Elder Stimpson


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