Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Week of July 9 from Braunschweig

Well here once again at the conclusion at one of the longest/shortest weeks ever.  Soooo many things happened but everything just flew by at the same time. From a new mission president to baptisms it was packed full of experiences!

Definitely the first momentous occasion of the week was meeting the new president and his wife at their very first Zone Conference Wednesday... no wait I digress. The day before, Tuesday, we set a SAWEET new baptismal date with a new investigator and that was an awesome lesson! But after that definitely ZoCo was epic. The new president is incredibly different from the old one, but he´s going to be amazing!  I´m excited for the missionaries who will be getting to spend a large part of their mission with him. We was a CES area director for East Europe, so essentially he´s a seminary teacher who absolutely loves the youth and a good joke. He´s super relaxed and just an amiable man, but has a massive testimony and love for the Gospel. He was so happy to see us and talk with everybody that the zone conference actually ran 2 hours longer than scheduled. It was nice to meet him though.  It´s still a little weird not having a mission president who´s been there from the beginning and who knows your personal mission story and everything you´ve been through, but the clean slate scenario is actually pretty refreshing.

After that the next 2 days were filled with teaching and finding. We had 8 appointments fall out this week which was super super frustrating, but we used the time to find new people and this next week is looking pretty busy. We had a pretty funny experience though one evening while contacting people in front of the palace in the middle of the city. Some guy broke up our approach and said we had 30 seconds to convince him why he should read the Book of Mormon, and at the end he pointed to the sky and screamed at the top of his lungs in the crowd "Ahhh the goldens plates... These are mormons- help they´re trying to kill me!!!" repeating it multiple times while everyone else looked at us, he then sprinted off at full speed screaming. Haha it shook up my golden a bit I think, but he´ll get used to dealing with crazies. Another crazy lady ran at us and said she needed help and then pulled us into a building where people with addictions get paid counseling and she led us in to "introduce us to the person who saved (her) life." Once we were in the room surrounded by people she yelled, "I have brought the church to curse you crooks for who you really are for taking our money!" haha That was an awkward one to get out of, but it´s weird how normal it becomes to deal with such situations after 2 years. The fact is when you´re out roaming the streets looking for people all day, you get to know the city crazies pretty well.

We also had a cool experience with an investigator we were teaching who is dealing with the age old question of, "If God is there, why do bad things happen to good people?" I´ve thought long and hard about this and there´s tons of ways to answer it, but the one that has most impressed me as of late is a little tiny scripture in 1 Nephi 11:17 where an angel asks Nephi a question and he responds "I know that God loves His children, nevertheless I don't know the meaning of all things." I just love that thought.  We just need to know that God loves us and if we know that it means everything. I also really like the scripture in 3 Nephi 13:32-33 when people ask why they can´t seem to have everything they need. God really does "know (we) have need of all these things" but if we "seek first the kingdom of God" then "all these things shall be added unto (us)." I really like those thoughts and we´ve used them a lot in our work lately.

Saturday was a great conclusion to the week, we had the baptism of a family in the district and the whole district came together to see it.  It was a great moment of Espirit de Corps. Afterwards we had a musical fireside, in which for the first time I didn't have to sing a duet in a foreign language! :D I just had to say the opening prayer. :) But we have a pro opera singer in the district, an organ player, and a sister with a degree in oboe performance from LSU, and another missionary was there to see the baptism who´s a concert pianist, so there was some real talent there.  It was a beautiful evening. Everything went smoothly and it was great to be there.

Sunday was also a good day.  We had a few investigators at church and the meetings were really good. About 5 mins before the meeting the bishop asked if I would give a 10 min talk on missionary work, haha but it was not problem and went really really well. Also an old mission friend was back to visit with his family who I went on lots of exchanges on so he and I got to take one of our investigators in another room and teach together again which was super fun. It was just a great day. Afterwards we ate with an awesome member who was also a long time temple president in Frankfurt. I learned a lot from just having some time with him and that was great. Overall it was an awesome week, and I just hope the next one is great also. Transfers are one Saturday- I´m pretty safe, but with a brand new president you never know what will happen. ;) Have a wonderful week back home. Love you all tons!

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