Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gifts of the Spirit

Hey Mom!

How is everything going this week? Everything has been going well here. Elder Bonzo and I are getting along just fine and our lessons are starting to go really good. I can't remember if I said it in one of my letters, but one of our practice investigators, Karl, has committed to baptism. One of our other investigators, Frau Zeidler, hasn't committed to baptism yet, but we had a great lesson yesterday about the Holy Ghost and the spirit was incredibly strong. She said if she came to know that these things were true then she might get baptized, so hopefully we can keep having good experiences there.
The new missionaries here are pretty cool. There are 37, and half of them are going to Frankfurt. One of them is from Vegas named Elder Jex. He's pretty cool. I can tell most of the missionaries are really intimidated by us and how well we speak German. A lot of elders that I say even just "Wie geht's?" to don't respond just because I think they are nervous. A few of them have pretty good German though. One new sister has had 6 years of German, so she's got a pretty big head start on everyone. When Matt H. gets here the MTC is going to be extremely crowded on the day that he comes in. I think right now we have between 2200-2500 missionaries here, and when he gets here it will be around 2900.
Yesterday I had an interview with Bruder Luna and he told me what a great missionary I'm becoming, and I know that it's not really anything I'm doing. I'm just trying to be obedient and learn and the Lord is doing the rest. I feel kind of like Ammon because these Gifts of the Spirit that I get to enjoy here are just that: gifts, and they come through God's power and love. Anyway, yesterday we got a letter from President Schwartz with a checklist of things to do before we get to Frankfurt and what the schedule is going to be once we get there. We have a couple hours to get oriented and get our bikes and such, and then we go out in downtown Frankfurt and street preach. It's kind of intimidating to think that in two weeks I'll be on the street contacting random people. I hope I get a good trainer once I get there.
On Sunday, we went to our fireside, and instead of someone giving a talk, a member of the Seventy portrayed Willard Richards on the stage and told all the stories of Joseph Smith from his point of view. It was really amazing, and at the end, we sang "Praise to the Man" and during the first verse everyone started to stand up and by the end of the first verse, everyone was standing and singing with a lot of power. It was a crazy experience, and it was a real testimony to the Prophet, Joseph Smith.
Gym time has been a ton of fun lately. A few days ago, I played soccer with a bunch of elders in my zone, and a lot of them are really good, and I scored two goals, which was really sweet. Yesterday we played softball, and my first two at-bats I hit homers, and that was also really fun. I am going to miss gym time once I leave the MTC, but hopefully since I'll be in Germany, I can play some soccer more so than basketball. I'm still no good at that.
In terms of the language, we have learned pretty much all of the basic grammar principles now. The last thing we worked on, and something that I have been trying really hard to get down, is adjective endings. In English, because there are no genders for words, you don't really have to worry about changing adjectives at all. Zum Beispiel, if you call a book, a church, or a man red, it would always just be "red." In German, however, a book is neuter, a church is feminine, and a man is masculine, so it would be ein rotes Buch, ein rote Kirche, oder ein roter Mann. And then all of those would change depending on the case of the noun. Also, if the word has a gender spoiler, like der, die, or das (der words), the adjectives that follow it take a weak ending. The whole concept of it is that you have to declare the gender of a word as early as you can. Anyway, that's everything that is going on here. Everything else is just the same, except for the fact that Germany is so close to being here. Ich hoffe, dass Sie eine gute Woche haben, und, dass Sie viele Segnungen haben werden. Ich liebe dich, aufwiedersehen (auf-wieder-sehen literally means on-again-see, just thought that was interesting)!

Liebe, Daniel

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