Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Lot More Success and Effective Things To Do

Hey Mom!
This is the only week where Pday will be on Tuesday. We had zone training and interviews with Präsident Schwartz yesterday, so that´s why it´s been switched.
This week was one of the best weeks we have had in Gera since I got here. We saw a lot more success and had effective things to do every day, so that was really a blessing. On Monday, after Pday, we went by on an older woman we had been by on a couple weeks before that, and we had a really good lesson with her and the Spirit was strong, but she said she couldn´t change her faith. It was a little frustrating because when we testified of the Book of Mormon, she said she believed what we said, but then she refused to read in the Book of Mormon for herself. I think it is just one of those things where someone is too worried about what people think instead of worrying about what God thinks. The next day, we had a lesson with Bernd and then had another lesson with a former investigator from other Elders years ago. This guy almost got baptized and then started having a lot of doubts, and now he just argues and bashes a lot. Then we just bore testimony to this guy that all he had to do was read the Book of Mormon and pray about it to find out if it is true, and he admitted that he had never done that. He still wasn´t interested in meeting with us again, but I think he felt the Spirit of our testimonies and hopefully one day reads the Book of Mormon.
Wednesday was a good but exhausting day. We decided that we would walk from the very north tip of the city to the south tip, contacting along the way. It is about a six-mile trip, and we did it in about three hours. We found two potential investigators that day, so it was pretty cool. We later had an appointment with Lutz Müller, a member, and finally had English class. Thursday was one of the best days I have had in Gera. We had a lesson in the morning with a member; had district meeting; had a lesson with Schw. Pröhl, who took her names off the records of the church a while back; had a lesson with Bernd Strunk; then later we got let in on a door by a man named Thomas F. He was very talkative and had been drinking a little, and it was really hard to teach anything. We had to watch our 5-minute DVD (Finding Happiness) twice because the first time he just talked the whole time. He said we could come back though, so we did that yesterday. On Friday, we had our weekly planning session, had lunch with Schw. Dörlitz, and later on we got invited to dinner by the people we did service with last week. We ate at this traditional German restaraunt, which was really good. At one point, they all started talking about religion, and we just sat there and listened. It was cool because they are all atheists as far as I know and they probably never would have had that conversation if we had not been there. At the end Elder Watts had the prompting to give them all pass-along cards, and they were actually all pretty happy to get them. Who knows if something good will come out of that.
On Saturday, we cleaned the church, and then later on had an appointment with a less-active we had lost contact with for over two months, Emily Jahr. We had a good lesson with her and hopefully she will be more willing to meet with us in the future. We have a follow-up appointment with her this week, and I hope it goes well. Sunday was typical church. There was hardly anyone there. Excluding the missionaries, there were nine people at church. It is really sad how small the branch is here and how small it will get if we can´t find some prepared people. We had a good conversation with a lady on a streetcar stop and also with another lady on a bus that day as well. They didn´t want to meet, but took cards. We hope that goes well, too. Yesterday, like I had said, was zone training. It was really good. I got to give a theme on finding through your own efforts, especially on how to open your mouth and talk to people about what is important to them. During my interview with Präs. Schwartz, he gave me the task of setting Gera on fire with geneology, so that is what we are going to be doing for the next while. It is going to be tough considering we have very few geneology resources (there is a family history center in Erfurt, an hour away), but we are going to do our best. Pray for us that we will be able to pull it off because we are going to have to do a lot of work with the city, and they don´t like us anyway because we are religious.

Well, that was the week. I hope you have a great week this week! Love you!

LG, Daniel

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