Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas is Coming

Hey Mom!

Thanks a bunch for the Christmas package, I guess I had either forgotten to write about it or I didn´t have a chance to pick it up from the neighbor until after last Pday. I can´t remember. But I really like the ties everyone got for me, along with candy and letters and stuff. I am really relieved to know that everything I sent got to you guys safely and that you like it. The Schwibbogen (that nativity-ish wooden thing I sent) looks really cool lit up in the dark! A bunch of Germans have things like that on their window sills, except they usually aren´t as fancy as the one I sent home. 

This week was ok in the beginning but ended kind of poorly. We had Pday on Monday and we went to Darmstadt to play games. Because of the travel times and all of the things we had to get done, we were in a huge rush all day and just barely got our grocery shopping done by the time Pday ended. After that, we went to a city called Rödermark to try and make contact with that old referral. He wasn't home, but on the train ride home, an older man talked to us and we helped clear up some false beliefs about Mormons (plural wives, etc. etc.). We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon, and he wanted to give us 10 Euro for it really bad but finally accepted it simply as a Christmas gift. 

We did more service at the Tafel on Tuesday, which is always a good part of the week. When we were finished and had showered, done studies, and tried to contact a former investigator, we went to part of a school concert with the Wagners. They invited us to come with them, and we asked Pres. Schwartz for permission. He said it was up to us if we were going or not. We then asked the zone leaders to see what they thought, and they said to do it if we felt like it was something good to do. We took it as a sign that the Wagners are gaining more and more trust in us, so we went. While there, we got a sort of referral from one of the sons, Felix. He asked us if we would come play pool with him at the church the next day because he was about to move to Wiesbaden a few days later. He was going to bring a friend along who he had already given a Book of Mormon a while ago, and wanted us to kind of just start talking about the gospel while playing. 

Wednesday rolled around, which started off with the usual studies and lunch. When we were finished with that, we headed to the church to work on a few things on the computer and after that, we headed to Neu-Isenburg. We went by on a few people, including a less-active, a former investigator, a random name who showed up on the ward list, and a member. Unfortunately, none of them were home. We saw the member on her bike (Schwester Murcia) and asked her to give her nephew, Carlos (our investigator) some questions we had written up and then translated into Spanish. Once we had done all of that, we headed home to the church to play pool with Felix and his friend. We only had an hour to play, and for some reason, no one ever started talking about the gospel. We at least got to know his friend, so hopefully we will be able to get his number or address from Felix so we can come in contact with him now that Felix has moved away. We only had an hour for that because we had an appointment with the Mühlmanns after that and we had to catch our train toGötzenhain. We had dinner with them along with a few friends of the daughter,Zinnah, and that went really well. After dinner, we watched a Mormon Message about Christmas and then headed over to a neighbor of the Mühlmanns with SchwesterMühlmannZinnah, and her friends, and gave him some cookies for Christmas. We are going by on him again tonight to give him the "Joy to the World" DVD and a Book of Mormon. Hopefully that goes well. 

On Thursday, we had district meeting in Darmstadt. We were there for almost the whole day because Pres. Schwartz was here doing interviews, and Elder Overall and I were the last ones because we were the only ones who didn´t have appointments in the afternoon. Ours were in the evening, so Pres. just asked us to stay and wait, which we did. My interview with him was relatively short considering the fact that I had an interview with him recently. He did give me a interview for a temple recommend though because mine expires in the end of January. He wrote on the recommend that the interview took place in August of 2012 so that it would expire shortly after I got home. That way I could have an interview with my own stake president after the mission. Once we headed back to Langen, we just stayed on the train and headed to the Dreieich Bahn so we could go to Dreieichenhain and have a lesson with Michael, our older, German investigator. He had listened to his assignment we gave him, but told us that it didn´t really mean anything for him. We talked about that for a while and also about faith. We listened to the recording of Alma 32, and he told us at the end that he had little desire to change or do anything, so we mutually agreed it would be better if we didn´t visit him much after that. That was kind of lame, but we saw it coming. He said he still wants to listen to the whole Book of Mormon, so maybe something will happen there when he does that. 

Friday began with the Tafel again. It was the last time we will do Tafel this year. It is shutting down until January 7th, so we will return at that time. After that, we went to the church to practice singing with the ward choir. We practiced and then went to sing in an old person´s home. That went well, and there is an old, sick member in the ward who lives there, so we got to visit with her as well. In the evening when that was all over, we headed to Neu-Isenburg to have a lesson with Carlos. We had planned to talk about the Plan of Salvation, but he had some concerns and misunderstandings about baptism, so we focused our lesson on that. Schwester Murcia´s friend was there to translate for us, and while it was not the greatest that we had a nonmember translating for us, it was our only option. The lesson, we thought, went relatively well. We also got a lesson scheduled with some more of Schw. Murcia´s friends who just happened to be at her house.

On Saturday, we had a kind of slow day. We were in the church for church tours, but no one came. While we were waiting, we got to watch the Christmas Devotional, though. When that was all over, we did weekly planning. It took a long time and we had a hard time focusing. After that, we went by on Schwester Sonn, a less-active sister, and made a new appointment with her. We finished the day by updating our area book and brainstorming for the mission finding day. 

Sunday was kind of a shock. We had planned to have a lesson with Carlos during church, and that happened. Schwester Murcia was not there; she felt sick, so she stayed at home. Her friend took Carlos to church to translate for us again, which was nice of him. We did teach the Plan of Salvation this time, and it seemed to go well. At the end, we asked Carlos to pray, and he did. We were ok with how the lesson went and thought that it would have been helpful for Carlos. After he said the prayer, we started packing our things to head down to sacrament meeting, and the man translating for us said that Carlos had something to say. He then said something in Spanish, which the friend translated. Carlos said that he had thought about it and no longer wanted to be baptized or meet with us. It was really abrupt and kind of a surprise. We were kind of sad, but that kind of thing happens on the mission. We did our part, and did everything we could, but for whatever reason, Carlos didn´t want to continue to learn. After church, we went to the Langners for lunch, which was followed by caroling at another old person´s home and some elderly members. We finished the night having dinner with the Kempeners and a former missionary, who served for 9 months in Langen a few years ago, along with his wife. 

Well, that was the weekly report. It was kind of unfortunate week, but there were still good things that happened. 

I am excited to Skype in a couple days. I will see you on Christmas! Love you!

LG, Daniel

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