Monday, February 10, 2014

Prayers Answered, and Other Cool Things

Hey Mom!

We had a really busy last couple of weeks. I won´t give a big list of things we did two weeks ago, it wasn´t really a crazy week with a ton of cool experiences. This last week was really full of a lot of activities and cool things, though.

On Monday after P-day ended, I went on a split with Elder Robinson in Dortmund. I got to do a baptismal interview for one of their investigators, a Chinese girl whose name I will not attempt to spell. Usually the district leader interviews baptismal candidates, but the district leader in Dortmund district is German and the Chinese girl only speaks English, so they had me come in for the interview. She did a really good job. After the interview, we had a FHE activity in Dortmund with older, single people. It was a lot of fun. 

The next day, we headed back to Hagen for district meeting. We did some really cool role plays there to help teach our investigators, and it was really helpful for the companionships in the district. Once we were finished with district meeting, we met with a former investigator, Tim. He had been texting us all of a sudden throughout the last few weeks, and we finally were able to have an appointment with him. He is a really cool guy, and seems like he wants to take our message seriously. In the evening, we had our English class as well as a lesson with our investigator, Bernd. It didn´t go very well. He wanted to fight and discuss a bunch of strange topics and would not accept anything we taught about without bringing up some reason why the Book of Mormon is not important to read. We ended up having to tell him we could not meet with him further if he is not willing to read in the Book of Mormon because that is the only thing he can do to find out if the church is true. He told us he would contact us again when he decides if he wants to read the book or not. 

Wednesday was a really awesome day. We went to the town hall to get permission for a street display in the pedestrian zone, and as we were on our way out, I simply said hi to a man standing near the door to the building. He stopped us and asked us if we speak English, and we told him we did. Turns out he just got to Germany (he is originally from Nigeria but lived most of his life in Italy) and needed help to get his papers and everything worked out with the government. He asked if we could help him translate everything, and we did. He later told us that he had prayed the whole morning that someone would come across his path that could help him in his situation. It was a really cool experience being able to be the answer to someone´s prayer just because we were in the right place at the right time. Later on that day, we took brownies to a less-active sister in Lüdenscheid, but she said she doesn´t want to come back to church. We ended the night with ward council, which actually went really well. It was probably the best ward council I have been to in Germany so far. We got a lot accomplished and the council was supportive and interested in our efforts with investigators and the street display. 

On Thursday, I had a split in Hagen with Elder Haskell, who is usually in Unna. We had to plan out a lot of logistics to get to an appointment and also go by on some former investigators, and that took a while, but for the most part, we had a good day. Our appointment was with the Wächtlers, an active couple in our ward, and it was a great lesson. We watched a video from "Hastening the Work of Salvation" with them, and they seemed to be pretty excited about it. 

After splitting back on Friday, Elder Norman and I headed straight to Essen, a city in our zone. I had a district leader council there with the other district leaders in the zone, the zone leaders, the assistants, and Pres. Schwartz. It was a really good meeting, and I learned a lot about helping my district get excited about finding new investigators. After the meeting, we stayed in Essen and helped set up for a fireside/baptism there (the baptism of the girl I interviewed). Missionaries were only allowed to stay for the fireside if they had investigators there. We knew one was coming, but to our surprise, a second one came with a YSA. This investigator, Marvin, is way cool. He was meeting with the missionaries up until the week before I got here but stopped because he had a lot of stress with different things. He is ready to meet again though, and he said he already knows our message is true, he just needs help to stop smoking. We are meeting with him on Wednesday to talk to him about that. The fireside was great, and I think it was really helpful for all of the missionaries and investigators who came. Our Area Seventy spoke, Axel Leimer, and he gave a great talk about the Gospel of Christ.

Saturday was a great day as well. After completing studies and weekly planning, we headed to Iserlohn with Bruder Gernegroß (a member of the bishopric) to an appointment with our investigator, Manuella. She was the other one who came to the baptism. We had a really good lesson with her, and I think it helped her to make progress. We just read in the Book of Mormon with her where she was at, and we answered her questions. In the evening, we went to Bruder Kramer´s, like we do every Saturday, and it was really good and fun. I had to prepare a talk for the next day, and before we went over there, I prayed about what I needed to talk about. I thought to myself, "I am a missionary, of course I am going to give a talk about missionary work," but I didn´t have a good feeling about it. As I went on my knees and prayed, I had a strong impression that I was supposed to talk about tithing. I didn´t want to at first, but I eventually realized that it was going to be important for some reason. At Bruder Kramer´s house, I told him I needed to print something off for the talk, and he also gave me a DVD of the old church video where Lorenzo Snow goes to St. George when they are in a drought, as well as the church was in debt at the time, and in the film, he stands before the church there and receives revelation that the answer to both of those problems was that the church needed to pay full, honest tithing. Once they started doing that, it took a while, but the promise of the Lord was fulfilled and the rains came and the church came out of debt. 

We had a great Sunday. There were three nonmembers at church, one of them being Manuella, the next was Endurance (the man we helped at the town hall, and by the way, sickest name ever, right?), and the last was a young man who has a ton of interest to learn about the church. He came with one of the YSAs, and he wants to meet with us. The only problem is that he doesn´t live within our mission boundaries, but he is trying to decide if he wants to stay there or move to Hagen. I hope he moves haha! When the time came, I gave my talk about tithing. It went really well, and I felt good about the topic. After church, a lot of members came up to me to tell me that it was a really good talk and several said they learned a lot. The bishop talked to me and Elder Norman after church and said he was very impressed with our work and the fact that we let ourselves be guided by the Spirit. He said the talk was exactly what the ward needed. On top of that, Endurance told me that in his church in Italy, he also pays tithing but he had not paid it the last month and now needed to repent. It was cool. In the evening, Elder Norman and I went to the Gruse´s for a member appointment. Overall, it was just a great day.

Well, I hope this week will be just as good as last week was. Oh yeah, and one other cool thing happened: since my birthday is coming up, as well as the birthday for Elder Robinson, Elder Robinson asked Pres. Schwartz if we were allowed to go to a BVB soccer game for our birthdays, and Pres. Schwartz said "Elder, you are only on a mission in Germany once, you would be crazy if you didn´t go to a soccer game." I am pumped! 

Anyway, that was the week. I hope you have a good one! Love you!

LG, Daniel

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