Monday, February 25, 2013

A Slow, Cold Week

Hey Mom!
This email won´t be too long, we had a pretty slow week and I don´t have a lot of time today. This week we did not have many appoinments because it was creative finding week, and it was really cold and no one wanted to talk outside, so that´s why this week was so slow. We met with Bruder Olbert on Tuesday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I was on a split in Solingen with Elder Sommerville from Düsseldorf. We tried to go by on some members, and the addresses were mostly incorrect. We found a lady through doing that who was not super interested, but interested enough that we have an appoinment with her next week. We had language study with that member who has post-traumatic stress disorder on Thursday, and we also met with Stan the Man. Later on we had an activity for the young single adults of the ward, which was us, a 19 year-old guy Thaddäus Hoppe, and two girls in the ward, Ashlee and Sonja. We spoke in English the whole night because Ashlee is from South Africa and Sonja is from Sydney, Australia, and Thaddäus can speak English. It was pretty fun, and they needed our support since there are so few of them.
We also did some finding that day with a white board, offering our "stop smoking workshop." It was funny, we were talking to a guy and he was telling us that everyone just thinks we are a sect and that no one wants to talk with us or stop smoking, and as he was explaining all of this to us, a guy came up to us and said that he wanted to stop smoking. The first guy walked away at that point, and it was really cool. We met with Domingo on Friday, and it was also really funny. He has a bunch of bird food in his backyard, and shoots cats in the butt with a BB gun when they are in his yard trying to eat the birds, and there was a cat in his yard when we came, and he grabbed his BB gun and went into the bathroom with a window to the backyard and tried shooting it. We finally met with Bruder Köster again on Saturday, which was good. After ward council and church meetings, we ate with the Holland-Letz family just in the church building. It was a pretty slow week, like I said, but it was still good.

Oh yeah, and we went to Düsseldorf on Saturday morning to do a street display, and it was absolutely freezing and one elder forgot gloves so I let him borrow mine and we would trade back and forth, and then at the end when we took the tables and everything back to the apartment, my hands were so cold and in pain that the cold table left indents on my hands for a few minutes. It was terrible, but oh well, my hands are fine and I guess I will get more blessings from it haha.

Well, that was pretty much the week. I hope your week is good, love you!
Liebe Grüße, Daniel

Monday, February 18, 2013

Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds--Nuts!

Hey Mom!
This week was relatively good but disappointing at the same time. We got a text from Charles saying that he got a job and now has to work on weekends. He also said he has no time to meet with us, and will call us when he has more time. I am sure he will get baptized, but not in my time here in Solingen. It will probably take him a while before everything works out just right for him. Schade. Anyway, Monday and Tuesday were pretty slow. On Wednesday, we met with Stan the Man and ate a ton of walnuts and hazelnuts, and then did some go bys on members, getting in the door of Bru. Röhrig, an old dude who doesn´t want to come to church anymore and likes feeding us raisins and almonds. On Thursday, we met with more members, and then did some go-bys. We also got some contact info from one lady who has two small daughters. We were trying to go by on a member, and ended up going to the wrong address. We rang the doorbell we thought it might have been, and it was the wrong person, but this lady had said that she had been thinking about what the purpose of life was for the last eleven years, so hopefully she really gets interested and wants to meet. To end the night, we went by on this member who is now agnostic and won´t change. He has post-traumatic stress disorder and was kind of scary. He said he follows the opinion of his grandfather: "Es gibt zwei verschiedene Arte von Menschen: gutes Material und schlechtes Material, und das schlechte musst du kaputt machen."* We are just glad he liked us and didn´t attack us. On Friday, we had an appointment with Domingo, a member in our ward, and then had a fallen out appointment with a potential investigator.

Saturday was a good day. We met with an investigator, the guy who has a lot of JW beliefs. He had invited his friend and we had a really good lesson about the Doctrine of Christ. The Spirit was really strong and we were more sure than ever that he would come to church on Sunday. The lessons in Priesthood were perfect for all of the concerns he had, and there was a baptism of a little girl in the ward. The only problem was that he didn´t come. It was really frustrating, and it is just annoying how often things go well lately and then nothing happens in the end. Hopefully one day he will actually come to church, but we will see. Sunday was good, though. We went to church, had a ward luncheon after the meetings and baptism, and then had dessert at the Wüstehube´s house.

There is not much more that happened this week. Oh, and yeah a new transfer has begun. Elder Brown in Wuppertal is now working with Elder Minert, an Elder that was with me in the MTC. Sister Smith in Düsseldorf is training, and me and Elder Colson and the zone leaders in D´dorf are still together. This transfer is only 5 weeks though, for some scheduling reason with the MTC. Anyway, that was the week. Not too exciting, but this week should be okay I hope. Have a good week! Love you!

Liebe Grüße, Daniel
*Translation:  "There are two types of people, good material and bad material, and the bad you must destroy."  Thank you, Colby Hawker, for translating this for us. 

Monday, February 11, 2013


Hey Mom!

This week was a little slow, but it was still good. We met with Charles again, and taught him the Plan of Salvation. He agreed with everything that we said, it was just hard for him to understand a lot of things since his native language is French. He is still making good progress, and hopefully he will make his baptismal date. We dropped off a French Book of Mormon for him a few days ago, so hopefully he will read in it and progress even faster. He didn´t make it to church this Sunday because he was sick.

We also met with another investigator. We have discovered that he is quite well taught in Jehovah´s Witness beliefs. For that reason, he disagrees with a lot of what we say, but we always make sure to invite him to pray and find out for himself, which he seems willing to do. He didn´t come to church either, which hopefully changes this week.

Besides that, we didn´t have a ton of appointments this week because of Karneval, which is basically like Halloween and Mardi Gras all put into one holiday that lasts for a week or two. There was not too much celebration in Solingen; the big Karneval cities are Köln, Düsseldorf, and Aachen. We spent Rosenmontag (the big Karneval day, which was today) in Bonn because there it is much more family oriented and there are not nearly as many people just getting drunk and going crazy. It was pretty fun. There were a bunch of floats driving through the city with people throwing out candy and random stuff to the crowds. We did not get back until recently, and the city is pretty much shut down for the holidays, so we had to do our emails at the church.

Besides that, we met with a few members, and on Sunday we met with Sister Wüstehube, who is originally from South Africa, and then the Glosnickis, who are really cool. Bruder Glosnicki has been a member for about two years and used to be a professional skater, which is really awesome. But that was basically the week.

I hope everyone has a great week! Love you!

Liebe Grüße, Daniel

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Baptism Date

Hey Mom!

This week was kind of like last week: pretty slow for most of the time, but had some really great highlights.  We had our zone Pday in Düsseldorf last week, which was pretty fun. We met with Bru. Olbert, a pretty old guy in our ward, like we do every week, and read 2 Nephi 2 with him and talked about it after. We also met with Stan and Domingo, which is always hilarious. Stan is from Poland and Domingo is from Spain I believe, and they are really funny when they get together. We met with a previous investigator and we taught her the Restoration and were pretty bold with her about how we are the only church on earth with the authority of God. She said that she is pretty satisfied with her religion and doesn´t see a need to change, but she said that she would read the Book of Mormon and pray if it was true. Hopefully she does it, and with real intent, too. We also met with another investigator again. We watched the Restoration with her, and she liked it, but she doesn´t have great German or English, and said she wants to stay Catholic anyways. We were going to have a few more appointments that fell out, which was unfortunate, but it happens.

Saving the best for last though, we had an appointment with Charles, and invited him to be baptized on March 3, and he said yes! He came to church again this week, and just loves it. We are really just blessed to get to teach him, we don´t have to resolve concerns or anything with him, he just gladly accepts everything, including the Joseph Smith story. It is really awesome, and the ward loves him too. We have another appointment with him on Thursday, and one of the members of our bishopric, Guido Braun, wants to be there. Charles´ sons also still love the church, and they are very well-behaved boys. There is a little girl in the ward who is getting baptized a week or two before Charles´ baptismal date, so I think the sons will see that and want to get baptized as well. It should be really great.

Other than that, the Elders in Wuppertal had a baptism this week, which was really awesome. Things are looking good for our district, and this week we will hopefully have more appointments.  I hope you have a great week! Love You!

Liebe Grüße, Daniel