Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week of July 16 from Braunschweig

Hey everyone!

German word of the week is... TAUFE! (baptism) We had an epic week and we finished off with a super awesome baptism of a young student who´s grown to become a very good friend! And on top of that we found 3 new people this week who all accepted baptismal commitments and one even commited to cook for us the next time we meet which is also a wonderful commitment we missionaries love to hear. :)

So the week began Monday at 6pm after P-day was over. We had just planned 3 hours of tracting since we felt we needed to find more people, and after a couple of hours I was getting a little tired and wondering if we should just go by on an eternal investigator who lives next to home, but we kept on dooring and ended the day with a SAWEET walk in with a really cool young student who will be moving to the US in 2 months to the city of Providence, Rhode Island, the current missionary city of a good friend of mine.  So ya, we´re working on a trans-continental referal. ;)

The next day we had 2 appointments with 2 Chinese guys we had made apps out with last week and both of them were drop dead golden and ate everything up we had to teach. One of them even gave us jade necklaces.  They´re super super awesome. We also taught a few of our refugee friends who are all kinda struggling at the moment. It´s really humbling to walk from a big beautiful European city to the outskirts where there´s a fenced off compound full of refugees from everywhere from Afghanistan and Sudan to Vietnam. It´s a night and day difference in style and living, but also in faith and hope... the refugees have tons more faith and hope and in a lot of ways are far more rich than many of the Germans we speak with.

Wednesday we had a great district meeting and one of the sisters who´s going home tomorrow gave a fabulous thema about what she had learned on her mission. It´s always something special to hear finishing missionaries talk about their mission. I always sit there and just think "I hope I can talk about my mission like that when it´s o.... oh"

The other days were just filled with lots of teaching appointments, eating appointments, and preparations for the baptism. One appointment was with a guy we found doing a street display who had been taught and baptised in Paris and just didn't think the church existed here. He was teary eyed as he thanked us for "helping me get back on my feet." Baptism prep was great too. I think this was the first baptism I have had where everything went 100% smoothly and there was no last minute rushes to do anything. FINALLY, I have everything down and it´s almost time to head home. I guess I´ll just have to try and stack a whole bunch of baptisms in before that time comes.:) After our investigator´s baptismal interview though, the interviewer, who is a good friend, pulled me aside and asked, "How can someone have that thorough a knowledge of the gospel and the commandments before baptism? I´ve looked my whole mission for that." So ya, he´s ready and I think he´ll be a great member.

Sunday was just a great day. Had a good amount of investigators at church, including a nice young college student, who just returned from living in Utah as an exchange student with an LDS family, who just came all by herself. She seems really interested, but wasn't really willing to meet with us during the week, so we´ll just hope she keeps coming and feels the Spirit. The new stake president was also there (the last one just got taken to the Seventy recently) and he gave a great talk. He shared -a story about his recent trip to America where he was visiting his daughter and son-in law in Cali. He really wanted to do a hike in Zions on his trip, so he and his son-in-law woke up early one morning and drove 8 hours to Zion, hiked 4, and drove the 8 back. He made a great analogy with how that trip can be compared to life. Had they been forced to do that trip, it would have been miserable and they would have found a million reasons not to like it, but because they both chose to be there and make it, it was one of the most wonderful experiences he´s ever had and he grew a lot closer to his new son-in-law. Sometimes in life we forget that we choose to come here, and that we can choose to find great joy in the journey and at the end of it all we can look back and say we loved it. Had we been forced to come here and do everything, we would have a very opposite opinion. His main theme was "the church will grow when the members get happier." It was sooo true! Out of everyone on the earth, who has more reason to rejoice than us! Nevertheless we forget to show it sometimes.

So ya, it was a great week this week and I hope the next couple weeks go the same! Thanks so much for all the love and support back home. Love you guys!

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