Monday, July 29, 2013

Hey Mom!
This week was not too bad. We had our typical P-day on Monday, but this time our whole district came to Gera to play games and such. On Tuesday, we had our weekly visit with Schw. Doerlitz, and then later on we had an appointment with our investigator, Thomas. Unfortunately, he hadn't kept his commitments, so he is still not progressing, but we had a pretty good lesson. We brought Bernd, the recent convert, as a joint-teach. He was kind of drilling Thomas, and we thought it was going to turn out really bad, but at the end of the lesson Thomas said that he liked Bernd's teaching style and hopes that he comes to our next appointment. We got pretty lucky with that one.
We later on went to Gemeindeabend, and then we had a split with Jena. I went to Jena to work with Elder Ludlow. We had a pretty good split, in spite of the heat. We had a couple of appointments that went pretty well, but the second one was late in the evening and we got out of there later than we wanted. In order to catch the train to get back to Gera, we had to ride the bikes as fast as we could in the pouring rain back to the apartment so I could pick up all of my split stuff and then ride the bikes again through the rain to the train station. We made it by about one minute. It was pretty intense, and we were soaked. I learned a lot on the split, and Elder Watts learned a lot from Elder Bonzo, and we have a lot more faith now and are also planning more effectively, so it was a productive split. The next day, I was back with Elder Watts in Gera. We had an appointment with Bernd, and then we had another appointment with the Meckels fall out. We also found a pretty cool potential investigator we are hoping to get in contact with, but he hasn't answered the phone or our text yet.
On Friday, we had our weekly planning and then a bunch of finding activities, which weren't too successful until the very end of the day, when we found a potential investigator from Poessneck, a small town we have been trying to get the Kempes to take us to since there are is an inactive, part-member family over there. Now we finally have a good reason to go out that far, so I hope it works out with this guy. On Saturday, we had a zone finding day in Weimar, and I went contacting with Elder Ludlow. We found a really cool girl from California who was here for a choir thing, and we gave her a Book of Mormon after talking to her about the importance of going to church. She said she has LDS friends and has seen missionaries around California before. The fact that she was concerned with her recent attendance at her church and that she has ties to the LDS church makes me think that she will be pretty interested when she gets back to the states in a few days. Talking with an American girl just reminds me how much more open people are in America. After we got back from the finding day, we had another appointment with Bernd, and then did some go-bys on a couple people.
Sunday was a miserable day. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this was pretty much the hottest, most humid week of all time, and Sunday was the worst. German buildings are too cool for air conditioning, so we just died for 2 hours in our awesome rented-out space. We then went to lunch at Schw. Kretschmar's after church, which is always really good. Elder Watts and I decided we would fast since things aren't going super great, and it is hard to get a 24-hour fast in here anyways since the members always feed us right after church on fast Sunday. We didn't take into account that all we had planned for the whole day was go-bys, and we were just dying, and started to get a little dehydrated, so we came in a little early to do some studies. We ended our fast today, and we hope that the work starts picking up. Our goal is to have Gera teaching 15 lessons a week by the end of the transfer, and this last week was 6 lessons, so we have a lot of work to do and a few people to find.

Well, this week is going to include a lot of finding, and I hope that we can find a new investigator who will keep his commitments, something I haven't been able to experience on my mission yet. Gera needs to grow or it is going to die in the next 5-10 years. We just lost 2 members and no one in the branch is getting any younger. Pray for us that we can be guided not only to the people who need the Gospel, but also to the people who actually want to accept it and can make progress. I hope that all goes well this week! Love you!

LG, Daniel

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