Monday, July 15, 2013

Some Small Miracles

Hey Mom!
Well, this week was probably one of the best weeks we have had in Gera so far. We saw a few really awesome miracles. Monday started off slow because Sister Meckel was sick and we didn't have that appointment like we had planned, so we are hopefully going to be able to go over there today for the first time in 4 weeks. When we were planning that night for Tuesday, we had one hour left to plan for between 1 and 2 pm. I had the feeling that we needed to go by on someone, which at first I was skeptical of because no one is home in the afternoon on weekdays in Germany. But then Elder Watts and I felt we needed to go by on a man named Thomas, who had a lesson or two from the missionaries in 2006 or 2007. We had been by on him once or twice in the last 4 months, and he was always either busy or not there. We went by anyway, and when we rang his bell, he stuck his head out of his window and said he had no time. I called back to him and asked him if he just had 5 minutes for us to come up and talk to him. He kind of thought about it for a second and then let us up. We ended up having a lesson with him for about an hour and he was really interested and willing to learn. We read Alma 32 with him because he is atheist and we wanted to establish how things would happen for him in terms of his faith. He told us that he has a few jobs and is rarely home, and if we had come an hour earlier or an hour later we would have missed him. It was really the first time on my mission where I felt like the Lord knew exactly what one of His children needed and simply used Elder Watts and I to carry out His work in the way He wanted it. It was a huge testimony builder for me that we are on the Lord's errand and that when we are consecrated to the work, we have the opportunity to be led by Him to serve others.

Anyway, later on that evening we had Gemeindeabend (ward evening), which is always fun and relaxing. On Wednesday, we did some sport contacting which turned out to be not too successful, and later on went to Sister Sorge's garden to help her fix the leak in the roof. It was way awesome because the guy who can fix roofs is a pretty big guy and could not get up onto this roof himself, so he just told us how to do everything. It was pretty cool because it basically involved using a kind of flamethrower (we didn't break any rules, no worries) to heat up the roof and put a new sheet of roof on top. After we went home and showered up, we went to a fireside at the Krause's, where we talked about laziness. On Thursday, we had more service, helping Sister Doerlitz move some old furniture out of an old apartment she was trying to sell. After doing that and having lunch with her, we went outside to work and came across this guy Elder Goodrich and I had talked with a few months before. He got pretty interested in Family History because he is not sure how to track down his dad and that line of his family, so he gave us his dad's information, and we are going to try and find the info for him. Friday consisted of weekly planning and another appointment with Thomas, which went really well. Aside from his concern that God took too long to restore His gospel, pretty much everything we went over (in the Restoration brochure) was logical to him. Seriously, every time we would read anything, he would just say "logisch." It was really great.

We then went and had an appointment with Raymond, who we hadn't met with for a while since he was always busy.  Saturday was mostly spent in Jena for zone training meeting. We were also supposed to have our interviews with Pres. Schwartz at that time, but through a miscommunication between the zone leaders and Pres. Schwartz, Pres. Schwartz went to Erfurt instead of Jena for the interviews, and we were then supposed to go there for the interviews, but through another miscommunication, the interviews just got cancelled. It was really unfortunate. I haven't had an interview with Pres. for about 4 months now. But there is always next transfer. Sunday was a really good day though. We had our church meetings, and I taught the Priesthood class about the importance of Relief Society, which turned out better than I thought it would.

Later on went to another one of those church services for that group called "Relationship," and afterwards, this girl named Verena came up and started talking to us about what we were doing there. We were having a really good conversation, and then the guy in charge of this group came up to us and just started bashing on the Book of Mormon right as we started talking to this girl about it. He used all of the typical bashes, talking about how in Revelation it says there shouldn't be more scripture written and everything and how the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible all the time, and we just stood there, told him we were not looking for a fight and just calmly stated our stance on the issue. He kept trying to bash, but we just pretty much ignored it and talked with him about something else. Anyway, this girl was watching us the whole time and seemed really interested to know what was in the Book of Mormon, and we wanted to try and get her contact info, but this guy was hovering around us the whole time, probably trying to prevent us from doing that very thing. Verena then at one point said she was leaving, so we also said we had to leave so we could try and get her number outside, but then some more girls started talking to us and we actually had a really good conversation with them, but we thought we had lost our chance to talk more with Verena. We asked those girls to give her a card with our number on it, but they said they wouldn't see her for 6 weeks, which was disappointing. Then we left, and as we were walking around the corner to go home, Verena drove past us and said bye out of her window, so we flagged her down and got her number. It was miracle timing that we were leaving as she would be driving away. It was a really great way to end the week.
Well, that was it for this week. We hope and pray that the success will continue and not just be a quick spurt like it has been so many times on my mission. Oh yeah, and transfer calls are on Saturday, so I will email you next week to tell you what is happening this next transfer. I love you and hope you have a great week!
LG, Daniel

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