Wednesday, January 29, 2014

An Effective District Meeting

Hey Mom!

Well, we had a pretty good week here in Hagen. It started off with P-day, after which we had a Family Home Evening with a family in the ward, the Clemens. We watched a Mormon Message with them, and it was really good.

On Tuesday, we headed out to a smaller city to drop off some birthday candy to some members in the ward. Later on, after also planning what we wanted to discuss in Ward Council Meeting the next day, we had our English class at the church. I wasn't a part of it though; Elder Norman and I did a split with Priesthood holders, and I went with a member of the bishopric to help him with his home teaching. It was a good appointment. When he drove me back to the church, we had a lesson there with our investigator, Bernd. That also went well. We talked with him about the necessity of the Atonement. We compared it to a Father asking all of his kids to make a perfect table, patterned after the table of a master table maker. We talked about how some would do better than others, but without the help of the master table maker, nobody would be able to make a table as good as him. It really helped him understand that concept, so hopefully we answered all of Bernd's questions there. We also talked about the role of the Holy Ghost and how you can recognize the Spirit.

We had district meeting on Wednesday, which went really well. We planned a game together as a district, based on something a different district in our zone did. We call it the "Hagen Games." It is basically a way to help us get out of our comfort zones and do the things that a lot of missionaries know they should do but sometimes don't because it is uncomfortable or foreign to them. For example, some of the things for Elder Norman and I include talking with people in buses and trains, calling at least one member everyday to build trust, updating our records daily, doing at least one role play a day during companion study, etc. There is a points system associated with all of these things, and each area in the district has different things they are doing as part of the games. The winner at the end of the transfer gets a free tie from Primark (which only costs a couple bucks) from both of the other companionships. We were careful not to do things that directly effect the key indicators of the mission, like lessons with a member present, new investigators, and so forth because doing so would probably take away the spirit of missionary work and cause us to do things to get points instead of to help people. So the things we do are all things that only effect our own agency and help us grow. The Paderborn Elders have already seen a lot of progress in their area and in themselves because of the things they have undertaken to do, which is awesome. Anyway, after that district meeting, I went on a split in Paderborn with Elder Richards. We talked a lot about the area and what things could be done to improve the situation there, and we also tried to contact a couple of less-active members/former investigators at the university there. It was a good split.

On Thursday, I went back to Hagen, and Elder Norman and I visited some more members who had birthdays in a little town called Werdohl. It took most of the day since Werdohl is quite a ways out there, but missionaries hadn't made it out there in a while, so we thought it was a good use of time.
After weekly planning on Friday, we had a lunch appointment with a member family. The husband is not a member and also didn't want to be a part of the visit, so he wasn't there. The rest of the family is girls (the mom and three daughters), so we had to have somebody else there. The oldest daughter, Anne, brought her boyfriend there who is 18. We had lunch and then watched a Mormon Message about the Book of Mormon and finding out that it is true. At the end of the appointment, we were able to give the boyfriend a Book of Mormon, and it was awesome. We didn't want to be too pushy, but we hope that he reads in it and asks us or Anne some questions about it. Later in the evening, we had a dinner appointment with a different member family. It also went well, and we invited them to watch a video from "Hastening the Work of Salvation" since they were running low on time and we didn't get a chance to watch it with them.

Saturday was a good, busy day. We had first a fallen-out appointment at the church, which was unfortunate. A former investigator had randomly sent us a text, asking us how we were doing, and through that we set up an appointment. Like I said, he didn't show up, and he later said he couldn't make it but wanted to come to church the next day. After that, we took a train out to Werdohl again, and got picked up there by a YSA in the ward to help him go home teaching in L├╝denscheid. That appointment was followed by a lesson with Manuella, one of our investigators, and that same YSA was our joint teach. We talked about prayer and how it is a commandment that we pray, and we hope she can eventually gain the courage to pray with us. She gets nervous and scared doing new things in front of people, and I guess she still needs a little bit of time. We ended the night by going to Bru. Kramer's, and we ate with him and watched a super old church film as well as a short Mormon Message. It was a good day.

Sunday was also nice. We had a good church service, and Bernd and Manuella both were at church. After church ended, we gathered up all of the YSAs in the ward and planned out a YSA council between just them and us every second Sunday in the month after Sacrament Meeting. We feel strongly that the growth in Hagen will come through the YSAs, and they have a lot of good ideas and tools to do missionary work that other members don't always have. We are excited to work more closely with them, and it seems like they are pumped as well. After that, we went to the Jan├čens, another member family in the ward, for lunch. We watched a video from "Hastening the Work" with them, and they really liked it. We finished the day with our studies and call-ins with the members of my district.

Well, we should have another good and busy week this week. We are heading to Dortmund for P-day today. We are going to hit up Primark and see what is up there. It is a sweet store where everything is super, super cheap but still good quality. We later on have a FHE appointment with our ward mission leader.
I hope you have a great week! Love you!

LG, Daniel

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