Monday, August 6, 2012

Everything Here is Going Well

Hey Mom!!

Everything here is going well too. This week started off with cleaning our apartment, which was kind of nasty from the missionaries who were in it before but it is much better now. On Tuesday we did another split, and this time I stayed in Idar-Oberstein with an Elder named Elder Petersen and he taught me a couple things about how to cook. We talked to Herr Becker again, who apparently is one of 5 or 6 surviving concentration camp prisoners in the world, and he lives just up the street from us. He let us into his house and showed us a Book of Mormon that he had received at least 50 years ago, and he gave it to me. In return, I gave him a new Book of Mormon with my testimony inside and told him that he should read it. He also gave us a copy of his autobiography, but Elder Petersen took it so hopefully there is a way I can get one too. He told us that he only believes in nature now because of the things he saw during the war, which made him think that there couldn't be a God. It's pretty sad, but hopefully in the next life, he will have a change of heart.

After we were finished with the split, Elder Gautreaux and I visited a less-active woman named Jenny, who has a daughter who wanted to be baptized Catholic but now wants to be baptized LDS. Hopefully we can make that happen and in the process reactivate Jenny.  She is pure German but she speaks perfect English with a really good accent and it was hard to tell that she was not German until she started speaking in German. She is really cool  and also really nice.

We met with Hans J├╝rgen again. Schwester Hones' son, who is less active, was also there, and he was pretty cool. He was 23 or 24 I think, and hopefully we can get to know him better and see if we can get him interested in the church again.

At the Baumholder military base, we met with this guy called West, who was raised in the church and knows all of the doctrine really well and knows it is true, but he just doesn't care and is caught up in all sorts of stuff. He smokes and drinks a bunch and just likes the way he lives. When we went there, he had two buddies that had known some missionaries before, including Elder Gautreaux, and we just gave them both Books of Mormon and told them to read them and they said they would. We shared what it was about briefly, and they actually went to church on Sunday too. After that meeting, we went next door to meet with Sgt. Welker, who has been inactive for years because of terrible experiences he has had with members in the past. He told us about stuff people did to him and said to him, and it shocked me that members of the church could be so ruthless to other people with the knowledge they have of the gospel. He wants his daughter to be baptized in the church, and he even told us that he knows the church is true and he can feel God's love for him every time he is with us and it stays there for a long time after we leave, but he is just afraid of the same things happening to him that have happened in the past. Hopefully we can help him overcome his fears, change how he lives, and get him back in church with some better members.

We went on a split yesterday for church, and I was in the Idar-Oberstein ward while Elder Gautreaux was in the Baumholder American ward. It was the first time I was on my own speaking only German. I didn't understand a ton of what people said to me, but I gave my testimony about missionary work and after that a bunch of members bore their testmonies about how we can do better missionary work and be more excited about it. We also met with the Barth family after church for dinner, and they gave us 4 referrals, which rarely happens; the members  don't typically give many referrals because they say they have already invited everyone in the past. So we will contact those 4 and hopefully get some more success.

Well, that is basically my week. I hope all is going well and that everyone has a great week! Love you!

Liebe, Daniel

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