So I´m sitting at my desk right now typing this email while fireworks are going off like crazy! It´s only around 6 o´clock but man, Germany just seems to light up on New Year's Eve. Today has been a great p-day, so relaxing after having had a CRAZY week this week. Since we have to be back where we live at 6 pm tonight because we shouldn´t be outside, we decided that since we have computers where we live we´d write while we were home anyway and take advantage of the once-a-year longer p-day. We woke up this morning, I got a good P90X workout in, then got all ready, 2 hours study time, and then we were off looking at some of the year-end shopping deals, eating lunch at our favorite italian pizza place here in Berlin, then playing some sport at the Stake center. Ah, it´s just been soooo relaxing and nice!!!
So this week is basically your worst nightmare as an assistant. New missionaries coming in, Zone Leader Council to prepare and just a bazillion reports to generate. I got more acquainted with Excel this week than ever before. It´s just crazy. The big problem though was that I got pretty sick, too, which held me back a little bit. But just like I was promised when I was set apart, I haven´t yet missed a single day´s work due to sickness.:) Monday was normal- getting reports and numbers collected, staff meeting, meeting with president, not to mention a couple of member appointments with it being 2nd Christmas as well. Oh ya, I almost forgot- Christmas was last Sunday! Weird. Ya got to talk to the family, and open presents with the apartment. Man it was a good Christmas.:) But ya, Monday, despite being a holiday, was a normal day in the office. Tuesday, the new goldens came. I LOVE PICKING THE NEW GOLDENS UP!!! It´s really the funnest thing in the world.:) We got a total of 5 sisters and 2 elders from the Provo MTC that day. We brought them home and got all their luggage dropped off, then took them to check in at the office, take a nap to kill the jet lag, and just entertained them for an evening. Now normally when goldens come, they come with the Preston goldens, so we don´t have the overlap, but this time Preston´s came the next day, which left us with a whole entire blank day to spend with the goldens. So the next day we met them at the hotel after breakfast, took them to the mission home, showed them a documentary of the missionary work here in Germany, and did a finding 101 class on basic missionary finding skills to prepare them for the surprise later in the day.:) Then we took them to a special place called Meter Pizza, where they make a pizza literally 1 meter in diameter, and then we took them to dead center Berlin and pushed them out of the van and the other car we were using and had some experienced missionaries pick them up and take them to talk with the people just swimming all around them. Then we took them back to the hotel for dinner and to meet up with the Preston goldens who had finally arrived from their late afternoon flight. After dinner the sisters went back for a sisters meeting and we took the newer goldens and the two remaining elders finding. I took a new Swiss missionary, and we had a great time together. Overall though it was a very stressful couple days, but extremely rewarding. It is SO refreshing being around goldens! Thursday the trainers came, we trained them, and then had golden conference where we hooked them up with their trainers and sent them off all over Germany to their areas. Among the trainers for the 7 new sisters where all 3 of the sisters from my golden group who, and this is crazy, ARE ALL GOING HOME SOON. It´s weird to think about, but it´s the sad truth- the sisters are almost done. I´ve almost been out for 18 months.
So ya, Thursday afternoon we walked back into the office where we finished up a bunch more things for the Zone Leader council which was yesterday. We worked late into the night, then got up at 5:15am to drive to Hannover. We had a good productive meeting. It was my first time leading the floor on the numbers discussion, which goes a couple of hours in the morning session, and it went okay. I was really scared I might pass out with all the sickness and fatigue, but I was sustained and everything went okay. In the afternoon session my companion and I taught about "returning to PMG". We talked about the importance of Preach My Gospel and how it would have the answers to all of the problems individual zones and individual missionaries are having out here right now. We watched the satellite broadcast which was given to all ZL´s Ap´s and Mission Presidents when PMG was released and talked about how we could implement it more as a mission. It was a really good reminder and I think it will help in the future. It really is an AMAZING book. Everything you need to succeed as a missionary is in there. M Russel Ballard promised in the broadcast that if we master PMG we will become better fathers, members, leaders, and teachers for the rest of our lives. It was a pretty moving promise, and one that I think I´m going to put to the test. I love Preach My Gospel.:)
Well anyways, hope you all had a wonderful week this week and a happy happy new year! Love you all so much and love hearing from all of you back home!