Monday, July 23, 2012

Week of July 23 from Braunschweig

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

Another one in the books, the joys of the mission are everywhere to be seen! We had a fun week this week, a hard one, but a fun one. Summer vacation is starting here in Germany so everyone is just leaving us high and dry and leaving the country pretty much. Two of our new converts are flying back to China, and 4 or 5 of our most progressing investigators are flying around Europe to France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and who knows where. It´s kinda sad to have a lot of the people you worked hard to find and stuff just leave right at the end of your mission, but I´m trying to keep more of an eternal perspective and try and find more people so that when our current group gets back, the missionaries here will just be swamped with teaching. It´s not as easy as I thought it might be though. The other day we scheduled the first appointment with someone that I wouldn't be here for and it was a really weird feeling.

We spent a lot of time this week on our feet in the streets talking to people in between appointments and stuff. We talked to a lot of cool people though, met some interesting ones as well. We met a Muslim student and had an appointment with him in the college library, and he was just asking the weirdest questions and stuff... turns out he´s from some weird sect of Islam who believes Jesus Christ is never coming back to earth again (very opposite of normal Islam belief) and that they have found his body in India. It was weird because as we talked, he just seemed so different and we had so many things in common religiously. There are soooo many different beliefs I´ve seen out here who branch off from the main ones and appear to be more similar to ours, but then there´s always a massive lie somewhere tucked away in them. It seems like Satan is really good sometimes at the whole technique of telling 100 small truths with one big lie. "Eat from this fruit, it will give you knowledge" -TRUE "surely you won´t die" -FALSE Bleh, it´s so frustrating.

ANYWAYS, we commited 2 investigators who really wanna get baptised before I go to live some pretty major commandments and they are having the hardest time keeping them! It´s soooo hard for people to change behaviors. But just like Elder Packard says, "The study of gospel doctrine will increase improvement of behavior faster than the study of behavior," so we´re trying to help them understand the doctrine. One can´t give up coffee and the other can't get to church. Anyways, this week I´m offering the one who´s trying to get off coffee a deal that I will give up ice cream (my love here in Germany) with him for a week, and the other guy we´re waking up early and showing up on his door Sunday morning, so we´ll see if that helps everything move along a bit.

Highlight of the week was definitely the confirmation of our friend and new convert. It was just an awesome experience and he´s getting the priesthood as soon as he comes back from his summer break trip. We ordered him a way cool Chinese bible, which we wrote in and put some pictures in. I didn't remember though that in the old Chinese they read right to left, so we totally wrote everything in there upside down because we couldn't tell what side was up or down (it´s written horizontally as well) but it´s just a nice memory of our incompentency for him haha. He loved it though, and he loves the gospel. People like him make everything worth it.

Other than that it was just a solid week, not sure what else I can report on. The church is true, God is great, life is good. Hope you have a great week back home, love you all!

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