Sunday, April 22, 2012

Week of April 21 from Berlin

Well the time has finally come and the transition begins into my final area on my mission! I'm super excited and it's going to be a great experience. It was a close decision whether or not I was going to stay in the office for the mission president transition, but at the end of the day the Lord knew how I've always wanted to finish my mission, and so I will be going to serve in the great city of Braunschweig! It's a city of about 250,000 located in the area of Hannover, so back in the west side of the mission. I'll be serving there with another missionary who I know well and took on his first exchange as his zone leader in Dresden. The other cool thing is that I'll be a district leader again, but in a special district. Braunschweig district is known as the sister district because it's only us two elders and 4 sisters in the district! So basically I won't do many exchanges or have to worry about them too much, they will just keep being awesome and I can focus on my own area and companion. It's a good load of administrativee duty off my shoulders, and even though I'm going to work my guts out, it will be a different kind of work. I'm super excited!

So this week was quite eventful. I wasn't sure if I was going to write about it, but I figure it's alright to talk about now. I had to have a procedure this last week for my foot. (Don't worry mom, I'm totally fine!) I had tried to fix things myself, but I'd been walking on a bum foot for about 5 months and decided it was just time to have a doctor look at it. So ya, I spent yesterday morning with a foot doctor getting two toes repaired. It wasn't the most pleasant experience- numbing toe shots are not the best- but I got to talk to him during the procedure a bit about the church and clear up some myths he'd heard. He asked if it was legal to have more than one wife in America or if we were doing that just illegally... you would think a doctor would be more educated than that, but oh well. His name was Dr. Weis (Dr. White) and he is literally the personification of a German doctor. Thick accent, land white hair spiked up like a mad scientist, but we was really cool and we had a good conversation. So I'm back on the mend, and feel horrible that I waited this long to get it taken care of, but I should be about ready to go by Tuesday when transfers come if all heals well. I just have to stay off of it and keep it elevated as much as possible.

Last night didn't help too much though... my companion and I drove up to Hamburg and taught the youth at a stake fireside up there for about an hour and a half and got home this morning at around 2 am. It was a super long trip, but totally worth it in my eyes. We taught them about missionary work, and today they are spending a day with the missionaries up in Hamburg Zone for a mini mission. The exposure to missionary work really helps them I think and prepares them to be stellar missionaries. The trip up there wasn't the most comfortable, and I found out this morning at the doctor that I wasn't supposed to be standing and teaching on my foot, but it was a worthy sacrifice. The nurses asked "Who is your boss, and why would he make you work?  Do we need to give him a note or something?" I could only reply "You don't know my boss, and during these two years I don't plan on handing anyone a sick note." But this weekend I am going to try to stay off it as much as possible. It was fun to be with the youth in Hamburg though and see their excitement for the missionary work.

Most of the week was spent doing transfers for my last time. I'll always have fond memories of kneeling with President and receiving guidance for the direction the mission should take. My successor is a good friend and old companion from Switzerland who I served with in Dresden. He'll be great. He'll have to learn everything quickly and be ready to welcome the new mission president soon, but he's capable and will do a great job I think. We get to pick him up tomorrow and spend a couple days breaking him in. I'm excited!

The work went okay this week. We focused on doors and finished dooring out a big student complex where we found a few cool people. We had a couple walk ins with two pretty hard core Muslims who appeared interested in the beginning, but ended up a bit contentious. They have the Book of Mormon now though, so we'll see if they take the time to let its converting power work on them. We're meeting with a couple of other newer people tonight.  Hopefully one of them will take a new baptismal date on. I don't know- we'll see! We got two elders transferred into our area as well this transfer, so hopefully they'll be able to teach some of our people while we're gone. One is my old MTC companion, so it will be great to see him finish with some people I was able to see start their journey to the church.

Well the church is totally true! I'm so grateful for all the great blessings I've seen these past couple weeks. I've been bouyed up and helped along to get done what needs to get done despite my many weaknesses. This experience in the office has been amazing and I've learned SOOOO much from President and everyone here. So many life lessons learned I can hardly comprehend it all. And now it's time to tie up the shoe laces extra tight and finish my mission like I've always dreamed. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store! Love you all so much, have a great week!

My new mailing address is:

Scholke Strasse 1a
38118 Braunschweig

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