Monday, September 9, 2013


Hey Mom!
Well, I am in Langen now. The apartment is not bad, even though it was pretty gross when I first came in. I have been cleaning it up little by little throughout the week. My new companion, Elder Young, is good as well. He is in his 5th transfer and is a hard worker. He is really tall, which must be a big change for him. He just trained an Elder who was even taller than he was. The branch here is awesome. The members are really nice and apparently very supportive of the missionaries. We are hoping to get more activities in place with them so that they can have relaxed environments where they could invite their friends as well. In terms of the area, is isn´t anything I am not used to. Small, not a lot of people out and about. I don´t know what I would do if I were to get sent to a huge city. We actually have a church building here, and it is in a great location with some decent foot traffiic. I am enjoying it here, but it will also take some time getting used to biking places. Both of the bikes are quite large so they aren´t the most fun to ride. 
This week was ok but hectic. On Monday, we had our P-day in Gera and then played soccer with our English student, Ali. Tuesday was a typical day of district meeting and Gemeindeabend. Bernd left early at Gemeindeabend and told Elder Norman that he wasn't getting a lot of support as a new convert, and we realized we needed to meet with him ASAP. We had a lunch appointment with Sister Dörlitz the next day, and then raced off to Bernd´s. We read D&C 121 with him and also a story in PMG 13 about a new convert who felt alone in the church. He had told us that he had made his decision to leave the church, but after our lesson, he said he would reconsider. We gave him 1 Nephi 17 to read, and then we left. We had to race off to the train station, and then I got transferred. 
AWe took the train to Jena, and met the Weimar Elders there. I went first to Erfurt with Elder Jordan from Weimar to drop off my bags, then we had to take a train back to Weimar to teach their German class to some guys from Bangladesh, and then took the train back to Erfurt to overnight there since the train for transfers left from Erfurt early the next morning. 

We got to Frankfurt a little before all of the other missionaries from other zones, and while we were waiting, I traded one of my ties for a tie from a Deutsche Bahn worker (the German train company), which is a goal most missionaries never achieve. I was pretty pumped about that. We then were all ready to go to our new areas, and a tree hit the tracks going out to Darmstadt, so we had to wait for a while. The Ward Mission Leader from Darmstadt took us and the missionaries from Darmstadt to lunch and ice cream while we waited. When we finally got to leave, we travelled to Darmstadt and I met Elder Young there. We headed back to Langen and had an English class with a guy from Ukraine I think. We then had an appointment with a less active member about genealogy. His family are all non-members, and we hope that they can get interested in the church through family history. The next day, we had our weekly planning session and an old couple from the ward, the Schwarzes, after which we had an English lesson with Bruder Schwarz. 

Saturday was an alright day. We had to go out to another town to buy some street chalk. Langen is apparently too small to have an arts and crafts store where there is street chalk. We had planned to draw a line from the train station to the church (about a 3 minute walk or so) with arrows toward the church and questions along the way, such as "What is God´s plan for you?" and things like that. We didn´t end up having any time for it, but we can do it this week still. We went by on a couple of people, who were not home, and that was about it. It was kind of cool though: we were on a bus and there were some people from the Middle East next to us on the bus, but we didn´t talk to them or anything. We then saw them again on the street, but passed them without talking to them. We then passed them later on the street again, and this time realized we were probably supposed to talk with them. The one guy actually said we needed to talk some time to exchange religious beliefs, but wouldn´t give us his number. We invited him to church, and hopefully he comes sometime.
Sunday was a good day. We had church, and I got to know some members of the branch. Even though it is a branch, there are more active members here than there were in Solingen ward. During church, the member who taught Sunday school, Bruder Mühlmann, teared up when he was talking about an experience from his mission, and later on in sacrament meeting I got to bear my testimony and introduce myself to the ward. I referred to Bruder Mühlmann´s story and told everyone that I hoped we could experience the same joy in the work we do together. After church, we had an appointment with some members, the Noacks and the Sauers. Bruder Noack is a cool guy, but it was kind of an awkward appointment. They had just started preparing the food when we got there, and Bruder Noack wanted to sing almost every piece from this oratorio (spelled right?), and had Elder Young sing with him. It took about half an hour or more and was kind of weird. Bruder Sauer, who is our Branch Mission Leader, was kind of just looking up every once in a while, probably as uncomfortable as I was. We did end up having a good lesson with them afterwards though. It was about being an example like Christ was. After that, we went contacting for just a little bit and found a guy whose girlfriend had thrown him out and was looking for someone who could help him. We got his number and said we would talk to our Branch Pres. to see what we could do.
And that was pretty much the whole week. Today we are going to Darmstadt to have P-day with the Elders there (namely Elder Hutchings!). I hope you have a great week! Love you!
LG, Daniel

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