Monday, May 27, 2013

A Full Week of Teaching

Hey Mom!
We had a pretty good week this last week. We had a lesson with a family, the Meckels, on Monday. We talked about praying in the family, and it went pretty well. On Tuesday, we had an appointment with a potential investigator that we had found named Herr Pfau. He was a nice guy, but was really indecisive and was hard to get answers to questions from. He accepted some of what we taught him though. We tried to set up a return appointment with him, and he said call back in June. I hope he turns into an investigator at some point. On Wednesday, we had our usual appointment with Sch. Doerlitz, and afterwards had our first English class and also a fireside at the Krause home.
We had a really good lesson with Raymond. It took around 3 hours, which was ridiculous, but he is starting to consider baptism and has been reading in the Book of Mormon and even marking scriptures. We taught him the first half of the Plan of Salvation, which he liked except he was kind of against the opposition in all things stance and thought it would be better if there was no devil or if we just never learned about him and only had good influences. We tried to resolve his concern, but it is one of those topics that we will have to study about more in order to resolve it completely. We had another lesson that night on the street, which was cool. Friday consisted of a really long district meeting since there was an additional hour about training. Afterwards we had a district finding day here in Gera. We found like 4 potential investigators in 2 or 3 hours, so it turned out ok. After that, we had a lesson with a member who previously had her name taken off the records of the church. It was really good and she wants to start living the commandments again, we just have to follow up and help her actually do it this time.
We had a split on Saturday with the other Gera Elders. I was on a split with Elder Waterboehr. We had an appointment with their investigator, Elisa, who is dating a member. We taught the Gospel of Christ, and it went really well. We then had lasagna afterwards. Yesterday was not super exciting. After church we had to do our studies and our weekly planning, which took most of the day. That is pretty much all that happened this week.

Well, I feel like my emails just get shorter and shorter, but time is starting to fly by so fast I forget a lot of the details and there are also 4 elders here so that puts some pressure on the time we spend emailing.

I hope you have a great week! Love you!

LG, Daniel

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Appointments, Investigators and Some Hard Labor

Hey Mom!
This week was a pretty good week. On Tuesday, we had a good appointment with Schw. Doerlitz, after which we headed to Raymond's for an appointment.  We told him we only had 45 minutes for the appointment, which turned then into 2 hours. Later we played a game at Gemeinde Abend called the Settlers of Catan, and it is a really fun game. On Wednesday, we did more work on the Krause's basement. It was really hard work. We were pickaxing his basement and carrying up dirt to a dumpster for about 6 hours straight. He took us to McDonald's afterwards, where we met an American guy from Massachusetts. Then Thursday was probably the worst day of the week. We had two good member appointments, but we had planned 3 lessons with potential investigators and they all fell out. We went to Erfurt on Friday for Zone Training, and that ate up the whole day. In the evening, Raymond came and met us near our apartment and we had a good appointment with him. We finished reading 1 Nephi 1 with him and helped him see how and why we would be giving him commitments and how it could be more focused when we meet with him. The Kempes walked past when we were teaching him, and they helped out quite a bit, too. Raymond wants his wife to meet with us as well, but she has concerns about our church that aren't true, like only being allowed to marry within the church, and Sister Kempe did a really good job answering those questions.
On Saturday, an investigator from the other missionaries got baptized. His name is Bernd Strunk, and he is really a cool guy. He has been being taught by the missionaries for the last couple years or so, and finally got baptized. After that, we had our mission-wide finding day. We did a ton of different finding activities, and got a pretty cool potential investigator. Sunday was good as well. We had church, where Bernd got confirmed, and then afterwards ate tacos with some of the members of the branch. When we got home, we went out contacting for a little while and had a really awesome lesson with this guy named Andreas. We asked him what the purpose in life was, and we got into a really good conversation about his life and his beliefs. The Spirit was really strong during that conversation, probably one of the strongest moments of the Spirit so far on my mission. We got his email address and will probably get in contact with him today. After that, we made our weekly plan.

This next week should be a good week. We have a couple good appointments planned, and I hope they all go through. Well, that is it for this week. I hope you have a great week! Love you!
LG, Daniel

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

From Daniel's Mom:  We got to Skype with Daniel on Mother's Day!  He looked great, he sounded great, he is the same Daniel we know and love.  I got to say hi to his companion, Elder Goodrich. They are doing well and working hard.  Daniel said that most of the people there do not believe in God and are not interested in religion.  The missionaries have to be very creative to get the attention or interest of the people they meet to be able to share their message. 
Daniel reaches his year mark this week on Thursday, May 16.  Last year on Mother's Day he spoke in Sacrament meeting and we had all of our family with us.  We miss him but know that our lives our being blessed by his service and dedication as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We are proud of him and love him very much.  He is an excellent son, brother, friend and missionary.  We look forward to being with him in a year from now!
Hey Mom!

We had a sport Pday today in Jena (pronounced Yay-nuh, thought most Americans would think it was like Gina haha), and we just got back to Gera. I also won't make this email too long because I still have to email Pres. Schwartz, and we just skyped yesterday, so there is pretty much no new information.

We had a good evening yesterday after the skype call. We went by on some former investigators the other elders had given us out of their area book, and we didn't see success from it, but it was still good. We then had our call-ins with our district leader, Elder Hunter. Today, we pretty much were just in Jena the whole time after studies and going shopping. We played soccer, ultimate frisbee, and some football. It was fun. Tonight, after we finish emails, we will try to go by on a guy we met last week and then try to get involved with a choir possibly that we found out about a couple weeks ago. I hope it turns out ok.

Well, that is really pretty much all of the information that I have for now. I am sure a bunch of things will happen between now and next week, so there should be a bigger report then. I hope you have a good week! Love you!

LG, Daniel

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Successful Week in Gera

Hey Mom!
This week was probably our most successful week in Gera so far. We taught 2 good lessons on the street on Monday after Pday, and then 3 more on Tuesday. We also had an appointment with that referral that we contacted, Raymond. He is a guy from Zimbabwe and is super religious. He is also hilarious. He likes to talk a lot and it is almost impossible to stop him. He kept us there at the first appointment for a little over 3 hours and when we told him at the beginning of that lesson that we would probably have 30-45 minute appointments, he was kind of disappointed. The second lesson that we had with him was only 2 and a half hours long, but was really good. He has a ton of good Christian values, has a good understanding of the Bible, and is willing to read in the Book of Mormon. At our last appointment, as he was closing the door right after we had given him the assignment to read 1 Nephi 8 in addition to reading from the beginning if he had the desire to know the story, he was like "Okay I'm going to go read the Book of Mormon!" It was way cool. He also already told a bunch of his friends about us and our message, and took a German Book of Mormon to give to his wife who is German. He also said he would try to come to our ward evening and bring some friends. He is legit.
Other than that, we had a really cool service opportunity on Saturday. Alex Krause, a YSA in our ward (the only YSA) did a bunch of track and field things when he was younger and now is in charge of the tournaments at the stadium in this one park, and he invited us to help keep things running during a track and field meet. I got to help pick up these balls that little kids were throwing as far as they could, and then help measure the length that these older guys could shotput. The coolest part was that I was helping with this girl and her boyfriend the whole time. We had contacted the boyfriend on the street the last day, who said no like most everyone else. I got a good chance to get to know him, explain why I had talked to him, and it was just a really good opportunity to show him that we were normal people with a higher standard. He wasn't interested as far as I know, but he now has a different impression of the missionaries. He told us that when we talked to him the day before, he thought we were Russians trying to sell him something haha.
Well, there were other good experiences this week, but I can just talk about things when I get to Skype home. I hope you have a great week, and I will talk to you on Sunday! Love you!
LG, Daniel

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Ton of Work

Hey Mom!
Well, for lack of time, I will keep this email short (that and that I started a new planner for the new transfer and all of the week's activities are in the old planner). I will first announce the transfer call info. Elder Goodrich and I will stay together; Elder Waterboehr will be joined by Elder Hunter, who will be the new district leader; Elder Ludlow from my MTC district has been called to replace Elder Fausnaught as a zone leader in Jena (awesome!); and Elder Moore will be joined in Werdau by Elder Warr, Elder Fausnaught's companion that he trained in Idar-Oberstein after we served together.

This week was ok. We did a ton of work, probably more work than I ever did before on my mission, and probably saw the least success as almost any week on my mission. On one day, I think Thursday, we did around 6 hours of finding time, which was really intense, and the only lesson we taught within that whole time was a girl from Mexico on vacation. We did get some info from another pretty cool kid, but his girlfriend came up and interrupted right as we were going to start teaching him about the Restoration, but oh well. We will probably call him tonight and invite him to our weekly ward activity that is tomorrow. We also had a good walk-in appointment with a less-active guy named Lutz, which went really well. He is an interesting dude and speaks incredibly fast with a real hard accent, so he is kind of hard to understand sometimes. He has kind of fallen away from the church over the last few years and told us that he knows he needs to get active again. He said that we could meet with him regularly, so we will probably call him in a day or two and set up another appointment with him. I got to go on a split with Elder Fausnaught before he goes home (in two days), which was great. We had a good lesson with that lady who took her name off the records of the church. Besides that, we didn't have too much going on this week unfortunately. Just a lot of finding time. Oh yeah, we also got a referral from the other elders since they had not contacted him yet, called him, made an appointment which fell out because of his work, and then told us to call on Tuesday.

Well, I am out of time. We had a sport Pday in Weimar and that took up most of the day, so hopefully next week's email will be more detailed. Love you!

LG, Daniel