Greetings to all of you beautiful people who read this email! The fight for the souls of Prenzlau continues!
Well i cant say that we have a whole lot new going on. We are finally starting to see the growth we have been working soooo hard for. It´s so tiny, but it´s still progress. We doubled most all of our numbers this last week (Pessimist-"what did you even double them from like 2 to 4 Elder Ott".. Elder Ott- "Yup") Haha but we will take what we can get. It was actually a bit more significant than that, we have 4 new investigators and one in church, pretty cool actually. It´s very rare to find new people here, because most of the people that you make out appointments with have met with the missionaries before and are mostly crazy... so when you find someone brand new in Prenzlau, that´s usually really good. One of which is a total Branch President in the future, but he just seemed so skeptical and hesitant to meet with us, but i have NEVER prayed and fasted so hard to meet with someone in my life. He is the future of this branch! Ugh i really hope we meet with him again!
So the new calling is actually going to be a bit more work than i expected, or pressure at least. I thought it would just be like, oh ya he´s the missionary and branch counselor, but ya, doesnt look like it´s going to all go down like that. I have to to councils with the stake presidency every month, with the branch pres twice a week privately, and with basically all the ward every week. I got my handbook and everything, with a list of people who are possibilities either to recieve the priesthood and/or temple recommends. WOW. I had no idea there were so many people who were members. Granted our area stretches far away and some of them live a 2 and half hour car ride away, but still, so many. Basically in my meeting with the District pres, he said that if Priesthood doesnt grow here, this branch will be dead within 10 years probably. He told me it was our job as a branch presidency to get goals for priesthood, temple recommends, and baptisms and then make it happen. He said our district has been tanking, we used to average 20 baptisms per year (our district is MASSIVE) and last year we had 2. So ya, i guess what i´m trying to say is, he basically psyched me out of my mind haha. Trying to read this whole handbook in German, try to learn the vocabulary of church leadership in German, and just trying to convey my thoughts and feelings is hard in German sometimes. But this work has to go further, in spite of my weakness, or the weakness of our small branch. No unhallowed hand can stop it, so i have the faith that if i give my best, seek correction, and stay humble, i will not hinder the Lord from miracles. My goal is to make Prenzlau as open for miracles as possible.
Speaking of trying to change things a bit here, we should be meeting with the mayor within the next couple weeks. Looks like it might end up being a pretty big deal. Should actually get a bit of press as well. I´m way nervous, especially because the one investigator we had in church this week is the mayors ex wife, hehe, so ya i´ve heard some pretty interesting things about him. But the good news is i got the Senator on my side.:) I´m also getting some basketball set up for the youth in the area and working on trying to get to play soccer with the political refugees. Also planning on attending a few other church gatherings from the Catholic and Evangelist groups here around Easter to show that we are supporting other churches as well, and Faith in whole. That´s kinda gonna be my goal with the Mayor. Deliver a brief history of the Church here in Prenzlau, how long we´ve been here, notable members and what not, deliver this article telling him what we do and why we have missionaries and get him to understand, our primary goal is not to convert all of Prenzlau to some weird sect, but to make the world a better place through tolerance, service, and love and then offer our services to help better the city. Just celebrate the heritage of Prenzlau and leave him with a positive impression. I´m still pretty nervous, but i hope everything really works out.
So i am totally writing this email from BERLIN:;) Gosh i love Berlin. We wont be touring the capitol building today because of a meeting, but we will be trading our bikes in with mission office and getting new ones, and coming down to see the building next week. It´s soooo coool here. The building are amazing, the Bahnhof is MASSIVE, ugh it´s crazy. So excited we found a way to get down here twice in one transfer haha!
Well anyways, i´m going to go and enjoy a nice little get away from Prenzlau and take a p´day here in the one and only Berlin. Gonna play some soccer and get to see my favorite ZL from Kiel again!!! Sooooo excited.
Thanks so much for the wonderful support and prayers. It´s only gonna get better from here, i feel it.