Monday, June 11, 2012

Week of June 11 from Braunschweig

Well the long awaited day has come and on Thursday morning at roughly noon my mission posterity was secured for another 2 years! I picked up my Golden from Berlin and he´s an awesome young elder from the San Fran Cali area and I´m excited to see what we can do! We jumped right into it this week meeting with investigators and having activities with the ward and he got a good taste of everything. The highlight of my week was probably when a member approached him and talked to him in a thick German accent and very quickly, and after he walked away my Golden looked at me with the picture perfect face and said "... was he speaking Russian?" Haha, it was great and brought back so many feelings of my first moments in Deutschland as well.  It will be a good couple of transfers.

So Tuesday we sent my old comp back up to the north DDR to his new city and then I took a train to Hannover to meet up with another elder who is also training this transfer and we spent the rest of the day and most of Wednesday here in Braunschweig. It was nice to not have to totally leave the area without missionaries for a few days! We had a good time and got to know each other a bit better. At night I put on my BYU shirt to go to bed and he pulled out his red Ute shirt and then the trash talking began.  It was a good couple days.

Wednesday we met with some more of our investigators at the refugee camp on the outskirts of Braunschweig and that was nice. It´s kind of a sad situation.  The houses are super ghetto and it´s a fenced, guarded compound. You have to surrender ID to get in and declare who you´re visiting and stuff and it´s just a sad place. Apparently after WWII germany was made to have to take in all refugees who try to claim assylum, so that´s why they have so many people here and why the country is getting more and more diverse. But ya, later that evening we headed on a night train down to Berlin where I got to stay the night with one of my good high school friends here in the mission.  It was SO good to get to see him again and talk to him!  He´s an awesome elder.

Thursday we had trainer training.  It was kind of fun to be on the other end of the stick and watch the assistants (absolutely destroyed from fatigue) try to stay awake and teach haha. Apparently the Goldens' flights were delayed, so they had all been up til 3 am trying to figure everything out so they were just way confused and tired haha. But I got one of the 17 Goldens and we hopped on a train back ot Braunschweig where we had 3 appointments scheduled for the evening.

Friday was also filled with appointments and a service project. We helped a member remodel her kitchen and got to visit the massive IKEA here to pick up everything. She´s awesome because she has a thick Leipzig accent and talks like a lot of people I knew in Dresden, so I always enjoy getting to talk to her. Her language brings back found memories of my time back east.

Saturday we had a massive ward activity/party. Not as many non-members came as we had hoped, but we were still able to offer tours of the church and had a display stand all set up. The night before a water pipe broke under the church and the electricity went out, so that wasn't the best, but it was fun to be with the ward and see them interact with my Golden. The bishop, one of the coolest people I know, had him bless the food in German and made sure he was right in the thick of things.  It was fun. The rest of the day we met with students and did a couple hours of doors.

Sunday was a good day as well. Church was wonderful, and I was especially touched by the music. We sang almost all of my favorite hymns, and while singing I was overwhelmed by the Spirit and realized how much I´m going to miss singing in German! I love the language and songs so much.  I don't know why that thought hit me so strongly, but it was just a good Sunday.

Well not much going on today.  We are going to go help a member out and just see the city a little bit. Going to go take my son to get his first Döner, so he´s pretty excited for that haha.  Training brings back soooo many good memories. I just hope he can love this city at least half as much as I love Kiel! Have a great week back home!  Love you all!

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