Wednesday, November 26, 2014

October 20, 2014

Hey family! 

You always say that nothing much changes from week to week, but compared to how things were when I left, things are WAY different.  Taryn's probably going to Ecuador, Troy's been married for an Ewigkeit and is is applying for medical schools, Moms building a high school, and Dad is looking for his next great job.  That’s a lot of changes.  But life moves on.  Its going to be weird going home to that.  I tend to think everything is on still while I'm gone...oh well. 

Also, I got the Halloween box!  Holy Reeses, that’s a lot of food.  Thank you so much.  My district is rather excited about it.  We are going to have a pumpkin carving / Reeses eating party next P-day. 

Dad, as for your talk, oh gosh I have no idea.  All I can say is that the only real success we have here is through the members...but that is a worn out theme.  Honestly though, that’s hard, because most of my mission, we have been trying to find investigators to get the members excited, and right now our branch is so tiny that I need all the help I can get to help them do missionary work, too.  If you get any brain blasts from my past experiences...let me know ha-ha.  But look into Heidelberg...that’s where we did our most work with members, and cool things happened. 

Matt emailed me this week; well him and Ethan have been emailing me every week.  It’s been really nice and cool to hear about all their experiences!  Matt needs a reality check.  His email contradicted himself.  How can he not have many investigators and need more when he had 20 MEMBER PRESENT LESSONS?  That is UNHEARD of here.  We are happy when we can put a 3 in that column.  It’s a dream to have even 10 lessons with investigators in a week...or just 10 lessons total.  I can’t even imagine having 20 member present lessons in one week.  That boy, he needs to count his blessings. 

But, reality check here in Germany.  Sorry, I didn’t have 20 lessons, but I sure worked hard, so that’s okay.  Sister McMurray and I had a split on Tuesday.  It was the best split I've been on on my whole mission.  Sister McMurray and I just did work, but she was able to answer so many of my questions that I have been having lately, and so it was much needed.  I also happened to be there on the day that they got bikes, so naturally we switched around our plans a little so that we could ride the bikes.  It was such a blast.  We got lost, and ended up in the middle of nowhere and our GPS died.  We were just biking through these back roads in gorgeous green fields.  And then we finally found this less active that we were trying to go by on.  Let me just say, I have never been treated more like scum on my mission.  I've dealt with a lot (A LOT) of rude people, but never someone like this.  This guy answered and we asked him if he was Herr so and so.  He answered who’s asking, and then we said we were from his church and wanted to introduce ourselves.  He blew up at us and started yelling and cursing us out and shoving us, telling us to get out and that we knew the way out.  We tried asking him if he just wanted us to remove his name from the church rolls, but he wouldn’t give us the time of day and just shoved us off his property.  Goodness gracious man, I’m still a human!  But that’s okay.  We just got back on our bikes and road through some more gorgeous fields and laughed it off because we felt very missionary.  Bikes, dooring, rude people, getting lost...what could make for a better day?  But I loved every single second of it.  Maybe its just Sister McMurray, but it was a good day. 

This week's fruit experiment
Our investigators are doing well.  Ruano, our investigator from Mexico, is just solid.  He’s reading a ton in the Book of Mormon, wants to come to church all the time, and just soaks up everything we say, asking a ton of questions.  I wish I could understand and communicate with him better, because obviously my Spanish has gotten pretty bad, and his accent is totally different and hard for me to understand.  But I count my blessings for how much I do get, and that we can communicate enough to allow for the spirit to take over.  Teaching in Spanish really makes me feel like a golden again, where I mainly have to just sit there and insert my little comments and hope that the spirit can help me out during the silence.  But clearly its working, because he is progressing and all.  Ruano is solid.

We always find all the random fruits and test
them out.  Provides for entertainment,
but they don't always taste the best.
Ola is doing well too.  We watched President Uchtdorf’s talk about light and truth with her, and she loved it.  She said that she needed to change her thought process and read the Book of Mormon with the intent to prove that it was right.  She finally kept her commitment and read in the Book of Mormon this week.  2 Nephi 2.  She said that as she read it, she realized that it did teach what the Bible taught.  She’s finally making progress, and it’s all because she is giving the Book of Mormon the time of day.  That book is powerful, and really is the only way that people can gain a testimony.  If they don’t read inside, then they can never come to know if this is God’s church.  If they do, and most importantly do it with the intent to discover if its right, then miracles will happen.  Slowly but surely, Ola is making progress! 

We got a referral from Osnabrück this week, for a girl named Darlene.  She has been investigating the church for years, and moved down to Münster area to live with her mom.  We went to go meet with her, to find out that she lives 1.5 hours away...waayyy toward the end of our area.  WHY ARE THESE AREAS SO BIG?  We get there and had a great meeting, and she said that she believes that the Book of Mormon is true, and loves the feeling when she is at church, and just sounded like she is just ready to be baptized.  So I asked her way bluntly, "Why aren’t you baptized yet?"  Turns out she is lesbian.  We don’t really know where to go with that one, but I am just praying for some inspiration.  She is one of the nicest girls, though, and so we are going to work through this with her and just continue strengthening her testimony. 

We made cookies and a
card for Raphael's birthday.
Raphael.  I realized something this week.  I’ve worked with a lot of people for a really long time on my mission.  I have been working with Raphael about three months, not nearly as long as other people, but it seems like I have known him so much longer, and that he just needs to get baptized.  He seems like he is a member already.  Everything just clicks with him; I just don’t realize what the missing link is.  Last time he was talking about how he likes it when members live what they believe.  We are hoping as we continue to teach the commandments, something will strike him and he will suddenly stop us and say, “LET’S GO GET BAPTIZED.”  Some day I'll see a miracle like that. 

We haven’t been able to meet with Elkin this week.  He has been stressed out of his mind with problems with his Ex-wife and everything.  Dumb.  But hopefully soon. 

Lost on bikes in
beautiful Germany
Other than that, just lots and lots of contacting.  Fun stuff.  But its always worth it when you find that one woman sitting lonely on a park bench and you end up having a 30 minute discussion about the purpose of life and pouring your heart out about the Book of Mormon.  It doesn’t even matter when you find out that she doesn’t live in your area, because she gives you her information, and a hug and tells you thank you for the talk and that she wants to meet with missionaries where she lives.  That’s what it is all about.  I’ll get shoved out of mean less active doors and told nein a million times if I can have one nice discussion with one nice lady on one nice bench and maybe change her life.  I'll never know what happens, but that’s okay.  I like getting to share my testimony with others. 

Transfers calls are this week.  No matter what Dad says, I’m pretty sure Sister Heywood and I will be staying together.  But we will see. 

But until then, Ill go share the gospel with some more people and try to make a difference in someone’s life.

I hope that you all have a good week!  See ya later. 


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