Saturday, September 28, 2013

Parable of the Bowl of Soup

Hey Mom!
This week was pretty awesome. First of all, we got to go to the IAA in Frankfurt, the biggest car show in the world. It happens only once every 2 years. Looks like I got transferred just at the right time. It was awesome. I think I took over 250 pics. The cars there were incredible, and I am sure there were several that I saw that will never go into production and stay just concept cars, so not many people will probably ever get to see some of those cars again. The coolest part of the show was the Audi display. It was like an upside-down city and the whole middle section of the ceiling was a giant screen with videos of cars driving on it, it was crazy. We later on went to our branch president´s house to be there for his 20-year-old son, Robin´s, birthday. It was good. We sang some church songs and had dinner. 

Tuesday was probably the slowest day of the week. We had a meeting with our ward mission leader that evening, and wanted to prepare for that because we had a lot to discuss. We also had some go-bys on a few people, but we mostly had that appointment with him, after which we had ward council meeting. There wasn´t a whole lot of time for appointments that day.

Wednesday was interesting. We had a member lunch appointment with Gary Hess, who is originally from America. He served in Germany when he was younger, and he served in Solingen, so that was fun to talk about with him. We also taught him the Restoration as if he were an investigator to gain his trust in us as teachers and to sharpen our teaching skills. Later on, we went to an appointment with an eternal investigator named Erika, who has been kind of investigating  for 12 years or something. It was one of the weirder appointments I have had on the mission. Every time we wanted to discuss something, she just went off on the most random tangents. Eventually, I asked her if she knew what our purpose was as missionaries. She said something about God having an eye out for us, and then promptly began to talk about her neighbor for a few minutes. It was a little frustrating. We set up another appointment with her for this week, and if it goes about the same, we will probably not go by there often anymore. Right after that, we had a much better, more focused lesson with a less-active sister. We talked about the armor of God, and she enjoyed it. 

On Thursday, I had a split with Elder Standring in Langen. We went and did some service in the Mühlmann´s garden. While we were there, their 14-year-old daughter, Zinnah, brought one of her friends over to meet us, and then went back to school. They were on a lunch break. The parents later told us that Zinnah had been talking about wishing there were more youth her age in the ward, and they told her to find some herself because they don´t hang out with 14-year-olds. Zinnah watched the "Hastening the Work of Salvation" broadcast by herself and decided to start introducing her friend to us. Next time, she might invite her friend to a family home evening that we will be a part of as well. It was an awesome thing to see the principles learned in the broadcast actually put into action. And that was just the beginning of the awesomeness.

Friday was just as amazing. We had Zone Training in Heidelberg, which was great, and then afterwards went to the Mühlmann´s again for Sister Mühlmann´s birthday. She had invited a non-member man named Frank, and we sat by him and talked to him the whole time we were there. She told us before we sat down that he was against religion, but he was actually very nice and asked us quite a few questions. At the end of the night, we asked Bruder Mühlmann if he could give us a ride home (about a 15 minute ride), and Frank´s car was in the way, so he volunteered himself to drive us home. We talked about the church and us as missionaries the whole way back and he opened up to us why he had left his old church. Apparently a pastor had told him that anyone who is not baptized is not Christ´s friend, and we told him that was not true. He seemed to be glad we told him that. We invited him to church as he dropped us off, and asked the Mühlmanns the next day if they would invite him as well. 

Saturday consisted of weekly planning and going by on some people. One of the families we went by on was one of the families we met at Zinnah´s violin concert last Sunday. We made them cookies, and to our surprise, they were home and let us in. We talked for about an hour or so and didn´t get to teach much, but we invited them to church as well and they said they would try to make it the next Sunday (there was a castle show they were going to that Sunday). All of those things that we experienced in those three days were just because of simple efforts of members to have us conveniently where their nonmember friends were. I think too often, the members of the church want to explain everything at once to their friends. While they should answer questions, they sometimes don´t realize that the missionaries are trained and set apart to do that job. I kind of came up with a parable that makes sense in my mind at least, which I call the bowl of soup:

Once someone finds a soup he really likes, he wants to share it with his friends. He doesn´t realize that the soup might be a little hot for most people at first, and they can´t eat it all at once. He sometimes ends up spilling the soup all over his friend or trying to force feed it to him all at once, and the friend gets burned and never wants to eat the soup again. To avoid this problem, he should show the soup to his friend, maybe let him smell it, but then let it cool and let him eat it at his own pace. 

When you replace the soup with the gospel, it is no wonder that members lose friends sometimes when they introduce them to the church. They have to go about it the right way to see a positive result.

Sunday was a good day. None of those people came to church, unfortunately, but that is ok. According to the Mühlmanns, Frank couldn´t make it to church this week, but is going to talk about it with his wife for next week. We got a lot of assignments from the Elder´s quorum, which we will be doing this week. We also went by on some people, but none of them were home. And that was about the extent of this week.

I hope that you have a great week! Love you!

LG, Daniel


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