Monday, October 21, 2013

Visa Extension and Transfers

Hey Mom!
Well, this week was pretty good. On Monday, Elder Young and I went to Darmstadt to play soccer in the chapel with the rest of our district. It was really fun, but we couldn´t stay for very long. Once we got back, we headed to the Mühlmann´s for FHE.  Tuesday was kind of ridiculous. When I was new on the mission, and got my visa, I was supposed to get it for 2 years, but the people in Idar-Oberstein only gave me a one-year visa. I did all of the paperwork while I was in Gera to get it extended, but got transferred before they had it in to pick up. I accidentally forgot about it after I got to Langen and we tried calling the visa place, which wasn´t open at the time. We got a letter in the mail saying I had to come in during last week, and that I had to pay an 80 Euro fine and also I had to bring more biometric photos. I didn´t have anymore, so we had to go get some made that morning, and then we had to do all of the visa stuff in Dietzenbach, a city that isn´t even in our area. It was quite a long bus ride to get out there and back, so it took out a huge chunk of the day. When we finally got back, we trimmed some trees for an elderly sister in our ward. We finished up the day with some studies, and also had time to go to an appointment with a less-active woman. She either wasn´t home or didn´t open up when we went over, so that was kind of disappointing.

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to do a bit of contacting, and gave a Book of Mormon to an old lady from Italy. We had a decent conversation for a while, but then she kept just nodding when we told her a truth of the restored gospel and then would twist it to fit her own  opinion. It was kind of a frustrating experience, but it was a good lesson in patience. We later had a lesson in Neu-Isenburg with Boubacar, the investigator. Some people he knew passed away this last week and he also had a lot of stress with work, so he wasn´t super focused, but we promised him that he could find comfort reading about the Plan of Salvation, and invited him to read the brochure we have for that. Once we got back from there, we had an appointment with some members, the Piotrowskis. We showed them a Mormon Message and discussed how we could work with the YSAs in the ward to spread more church media.

Thursday was transfer day. Elder Young and I headed up to Frankfurt (a 9-minute train ride) in the late morning. There were a lot of missionaries there that I hadn´t seen in a long time, including Elder Colson (who just got transferred to Gera!), which was a lot of fun. I picked up Elder Brown and we headed back down to Langen. Elder Brown is a cool guy. He is from Texas and we get along pretty well. I bet that we will be together for at least two transfers here, which means Christmas as well. When we were on the train back to Langen, a guy who works for the Deustche Bahn (the train company in Germany) came up to us and asked if we spoke English. He took us over to some Americans who were on the train without tickets and had no idea what was going on. We translated the message for them that they had to have a ticket to ride the train down to Langen, and helped them get everything sorted out. It was a man and a woman with a little baby, and they both turned out to be professional basketball players that were going to be playing for teams here in Langen. We talked and invited them to learn a little more about the church and also offered them some help learning German. They were really nice and hopefully we hear from them soon. Later that night, we met with the Jungheims (some really cool members) and then had English class. We ended the night with our correlation meeting with Bruder Sauer (the ward mission leader), which went really well. Last Sunday, Bru. Stübe was called as an assistant to the ward mission leader, and he had been ward mission leader years before, so he is a great addition to the team here. He is very organized and passionate in fulfilling his callings, so we are really excited to see what he will add to our efforts here.

On Friday, we went to Heidelberg for our zone training meeting. We talked a lot about genealogy and doing that which we can do "today" to achieve our long-term goals. When we got back from that, we went to our bible study group we started. A member taught the class this week. We talked about Genesis 3. Bru. Mohr, the teacher, pointed out at the end of the lesson something which really strengthened my testimony of the Atonement. Before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were in the presence of God and could not die physically or spiritually, but they also could not have children or know the difference between good and evil. When they were cast out of the garden, those things all flipped: they were now able to die physically and spiritually and were not in the presence of God, but they could know good from evil and have children. Only through the Atonement are all of these things fulfilled, instead of just two of these conditions. Because of the Atonement, we can all be brought back into the presence of God, we can overcome physical and spiritual death, and we can still know good from evil and have children. It is good to know that the Atonement fulfilled all things in that sense.

On Saturday, we had our first go at church tours, but nobody came, so we ended up just doing our weekly planning during that time. Afterwards, we spent pretty much the rest of the evening helping put together furniture for some members who are moving from one city in our area to another. It made me grateful for all of the legos I put together in my life because it was basically just a really complex, huge set of legos.

Sunday was good as well. We had church, and during the meetings had a talk with the rest of the ward mission team to bring Bru. Stübe up to speed on the ward mission. After church, we went to the Langners for lunch and talked about the talks given by Elder Ballard and Gifford Nielsen from conference. We later went to the church, where the birthday of Bru. Sauer´s son, Valentin, was being celebrated. Bru. Sauer´s mother was there, who is not a member. We talked to her for probably about an hour. She said she wasn´t at peace with her current church, and that she might come by to our bible study group some time. She also asked about genealogy, and we were able to show here our fan charts that you can make online with the church´s websites. She was very interested, and might try to start her own. She was astounded that we could go back so far, assuming we had maybe 3 or 4 generations of ancestors. I was also able to show her which of our ancestors came from Denmark, and she thought that was great. 

Anyways, today is just a chill P-day with nothing crazy going on for once. I will have time to write a letter, so you can expect to get one from me this week. I hope you have a great week!

LG, Daniel

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