Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28 from Prenzlau

  Wow, well i cant believe that a week ago i was still sitting in that familiar old internet café in Kiel and now i´m all the way over here in Prenzlau!  Wow, it feels like every thing has changed about my mission and all in less than a week.  So yes, i arrived safely here in Prenzlau right on time Tuesday afternoon, no problems at all. The train ride was very enjoyable, mostly because the majority of it was spent with like my favorite missionary ever... it´s wonderful not to have to transfer alone. I had about an hour and a half of time in Berlin Hauptbahnof, (that means the main train station) which is AMAZING by the way, where i ate lunch and met up with a few other missionaries all headed out to there new assigments as well. Elder P, who i was traveling wanted to take me out and do some street contacting in Berlin (usually the last thing a missionary wants to do on transfer days) but i wanted to spend all the time i could doing work with him before we had to go our seperate ways. We only hit the streets for about a half and hour, but got a way solid contact for the Elders in Göttingen, so that was way cool.  Then i headed up on my train to Prenzlau.
   So Prenzlau.... basically the exact opposite of Kiel. Rolling hills and windmills as far as the eye can see. Everybody in this town has been contacted at least once by the missionaries, which makes finding time, lets just say, extremely frustrating. I dont know if it´s because it´s east Germany or what as well, but the people are generally a bit more... not open... and not too polite about having to put up with more missionaries, so ya, it´s frustrating. Pretty much the worst way to make me angry i have found, is to stick me out in a small dorf, have me walk around for hours trying to talk to people, and then to have me meet people who wont even look at me or respond to me when i approach them... that really chaps my hide. But i´m trying not to become one of those Kras missionaries who bugs people till they respond to you, i just ask them if they know anybody who is polite enough to actually speak to other people and then move on. Man that bugs me though...
   So basically i went from a Gemeinde of 140 active members or so and a nice big church building, to one of the smallest branches in Germany. Yesterday we had 8 people in Church. Our church is a tiny office space we rent out on the second story of a small building. We had 8 people there. I had to bless the bread and the water, my comp had to pass it, and i had to give a 25 minute talk, and we had to teach Sunday School (we only have 2 hours of church here) Haha and we got our assigments the night before church. Pretty much sounds like something right out of an old time missionary journal. My talk went really well actually though, and overall i felt the spirit at the meeting.
  After the meeting, our like one other priesthood holder, our branch president (who is actually the equivilant of a US Senator here in Germany) called us into his office and basically about had a break down. He looked at me and said "you´re new here, PLEASE do something, we cant continue the way things have been going"  Ha, ya, not good. The only people the missionaries have been teaching here are eternal investigators, most of them with some sort of mental disability, and long story short, there´s nothing going on here at all.  So at the moment i feel extremely overwhelmed and i dont know what i can do other than talk to everyone i meet. The city has been doored out multiple times and a good 80% of our conversations end up with the person saying they know exactly who we are and what we do, and dont want anything to do with the "black suit people"  Haha not good at all. One little miracle though, since i got here, we´ve made an appointment out every day. Basically we made out more appointments last week than have ever been made out here in a year or so, and the most my new comp has made out on his mission.  Now we just have to have the faith that they will go through, and work from there. Yep. Prenzlau is an extremely difficult place to work... i just hope it all goes well.
   My new comp is pretty cool, he reminds a lot of my good cousin Travis, except for he´s a bit quirky i might have to say, but we´re doing good together.
   Overall, dont know what all i can say about this week. My German has really been kicking into gear, and that´s been fun. It´s helped a lot too because all we do is try and talk to people all day and spark up some meaningful conversations haha, but ya. I really hope we´ll see some success here and turn this place around.
  Have a wonderful week back home.

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