Monday, March 31, 2014

Miracle Sunday and a Good Birthday

Hey Mom!

Thanks for the birthday wishes! And you don´t have to worry about the
birthday package not getting to me, I will spend my last 5 weeks here
in Hagen with Elder Moore.

It sounds like it was an eventful week at home. I hope Dad´s shoulder is ok.

Well, I have a restricted amount of time to write my emails, so this
will probably be a little shorter, but we will see how fast I can
type. We have to catch a bus in a little while to an appointment.

This week was pretty good in spite of some appointments that fell out.
On Monday, we had a pretty typical Pday followed by a member lesson in
Lüdenscheid. It was a pretty average Monday.

Tuesday was our district meeting plus a little bit of finding, all
topped off with our English class. Also an average day.

We had to deep clean our apartment on Wednesday due to the cleaning
check we had the next day, and that took a little chunk of time. Later
in the evening, we had another member appointment, this time in
Herdecke, another city in our area.

On Thursday, after our cleaning check, we did some street contacting
for a while and then went to help a member with his home teaching.
Later on, we were going to have a member appointment, but it did not
work out. The buses drivers were on strike for Wednesday and Thursday,
and the appointment was too far away to try and take a train and then
walk or anything. So that fell out.

On Friday, Elder Moore and I did our weekly planning, and we also did
some street contacting on the way to the grocery store so we could get
brownie supplies. We usually make brownies for our members when they
have birthdays, and two member had birthdays. On top of that, Sunday
was ward conference, so we made three sheets of brownies for a kind of
potluck after the meetings. In the evening of Thursday, we were going
to have a member appointment with an active family, but they weren´t
at home. We called them and they had forgotten, so they hurried home
and took us to a little Greek restaurant to eat, but we were not able
to share a message with them because of the time constraint and the
atmosphere in the restaurant.

Saturday was filled with a little bit more action. We had a street
display in the middle of the city, and a pretty decent amount of
members showed up, as well as the missionaries from Unna. We were
there from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m. and gave out 5 copies of the Book of
Mormon as well as a ton of cards. We had some interesting
conversations and rejections from people, but anything for the Lord,
right? Later in the day, we had to cancel our appointment with our
investigator Manuella because no men in the ward could accompany us.
We did have our appointment with Bruder Kramer though, and it turned
out really good. We got to teach his son as if he were an
investigator, and I think it was really helpful for him. He said we
could practice teaching 2 times a week, and that is really good for

Sunday was probably one of the best Sundays I have had on the mission.
We were blessed with a few miracles. Moritz, our main investigator
right now, came to ward conference. We had a lesson with him the
previous week, and he said that he would be baptized when he received
an answer that the church is true. The talks in ward conference were
about acting in faith without a perfect knowledge, especially with
baptism. It was really good. We had a lesson later that evening with
him about the Plan of Salvation, and we invited him at the end to be
baptized on April 26th. He said yes! He just needs to clear it up with
his family so he is allowed to get baptized, but other than that and a
few more lessons, he is prepared. Another miracle that happened at
church was that an 18-year-old girl came who met with the missionaries
before and wanted to get baptized, but her parents didn´t allow it.
She still had that desire, and now is old enough to act for herself. A
girl in the ward who is friends with her in school asked her, "Why
don´t you meet with the missionaries?" She wants to meet again and we
received approval to teach her as long as it is her wish to be taught.
We will meet with her at a member´s home on Wednesday. It was a really
great Sunday.

Well, I had a good birthday today. The Elders from my district as well
as some from Dortmund came to Hagen and we played games and hung out.
I also signed up for classes for Fall Semester at BYU, so I think
everything should be ok there.

Anyway, I hope you have a really great week, and enjoy conference!

LG, Daniel

Monday, March 24, 2014

Last Zone Conference and Splits

Hey Mom!

It sounds like all of the Sundays leading up to my return home are
going to be busy in Vegas/Utah. I am sure it will make time fly like
crazy. Time is going by really fast here. It seems weird to think that
I hit the less than 50 days mark this last week.

Well, we had a relatively good week this week. We had to travel a lot,
seeing as we had two splits since the split we were going to have last
week didn´t work out. Elder Haskell got sick so we had to push the
split until this last week.

Monday was a less than typical P-day. We had all of the usual things,
but we were in a hurry the whole time. The Paderborn Elders came to
overnight with us considering the next day was zone conference. So we
had a member appointment with the Kleinerts, and the Paderborn Elders
came as well.

Tuesday was my last zone conference. Elder Timothy Dyches of the Area
Presidency (I think) came and spoke to us about being master teachers.
It was really uplifting and was really a good thing for me to hear. We
also heard from his wife who spoke a lot about genealogy and using it
with missionary work. Präs. Schwartz spoke to us about how we need to
keep our commitments to the gospel if we expect investigators to keep
theirs, and his wife spoke about the "unto what were ye ordained"
scripture. It was really good. Once we returned back to Hagen with the
Paderborn Elders, Elder Waterböhr and I got our stuff and headed to
Paderborn for a split.

Our split on Wednesday went really well. We had a lot of time to
contact people, and we found two pretty cool potential investigators.
We also made these little origami white dress shirts and delivered
them to some members in the branch there. We split back later that

On Thursday, we had a rather odd experience. We tried to go by on the
man who had spoken with us the previous week in the Döner shop and
asked us to come to his apartment to teach him. He and his wife were
home, and they let us in. The wife told us she was a Jehova´s Witness
and didn´t have interest in our message. We started to teach the man
about our purpose and the Book of Mormon, and he stopped us after a
few minutes, asking, "Wait, are you guys not Jehova´s Witnesses?" We
told him we were not, and he said he didn´t have any further interest
in our message. It was kind of strange, but at least the wife asked
for a Book of Mormon at the end. Maybe someday they will get back in
touch with the Elders. A little earlier in the day we were also able
to find a man who accepted a Book of Mormon and gave us his number,
and we are still trying to get in contact with him. We ended the
evening in Dortmund, where we visited Institute. We had two
investigators there as well as a less-active who prepared the food, so
that was a really successful evening.

I went on another split on Friday, this time with Elder Haskell in
Unna. We also had a pretty legit split.  We went by on a few people,
and the first guy, a former investigator, let us in. He is active in the Catholic
church and said he thinks it is great what we do but there are just some
points of doctrine where we don´t agree. He had a friend from his
church there, and the friend asked us a lot of questions. Eventually
we came to the Book of Mormon, and it was probably one of the most
natural intros to the book Elder Haskell or I had ever given. The man
asked if he could keep it and was very nice and interested. It was a
cool experience.

On Saturday, after splitting back and going to Hagen, Elder Moore and
I had a lesson with Manuella in Iserlohn. It went well for the most
part. We talked a lot about the Holy Ghost and his role as a
comforter, and the lesson was relatively smooth until the very end. We
came to the part where we were going to bear testimony and close, and
Manuella asked kind of a random question about Elder Moore´s little
sister and it kind of got out of our hands. Manuella and one of the
people we had as a joint-teach just kind of started a completely
different conversation, not about our lesson at all, and it kind of
made it really hard to get back the focus and close. It probably
wasn´t the worst thing in the world, but it could have ended better.
We then went to Bruder Kramer´s like usual, and his son, Chris, was
there this time. We did some grilling and played a little bit of
darts, and had some good bonding time with Chris. Bruder Kramer had
some heart pains after eating, so we didn´t actually get to talk to
him much.

Sunday was a really good day. We had church, and our investigator
Moritz came again. He really likes the church and how friendly
everybody is. After church, Elder Moore and I had lunch with the
Bensches and then dinner/FHE with the Schumaiers in Lüdenscheid, where
we taught Moritz again. We watched the Restoration DVD with him, and
it went really well. He said before that he wasn´t exactly sure how
the First Vision went down, but now he understands everything much
better. He also had a good question about the Word of Wisdom, which he
had learned about during some spare time at work. He said he believes
he received an answer to a prayer through the Book of Mormon, and he
is just doing great.

Well, that is pretty much the week. Transfer calls are this week on
Saturday, but I would be surprised if either Elder Moore or I were
transferred. We also have a street display in the middle of town on
Saturday, so I hope that all goes well.

I hope you have a great week! Love you!

LG, Daniel

Monday, March 17, 2014

Doners and a New Investigator

Hey Mom!

We had an interesting week. It began with some bad news, namely that Lukas, our main investigator, moved suddenly to another city in our mission without telling us or anyone else. We only found that out from
a member who talked to his brother. We can´t get a hold of him but I don´t think it has anything to do with us. Apparently he was just really stressed out looking for a job and decided he would move to go
live with his dad for now. Kind of disappointing, but we should beable to give the phone number to another set of missionaries in that city.

Well other than that, the week was good. It started off with a jamsession on Monday with a member´s friend. We shared a lesson about the Spirit and asked him if he wanted to learn more and he said no. We
later found out from the member that he wanted to know how we could both be Elders even though we are so young. We will have another appointment with him next month to discuss that.

Tuesday was not bad. We walked a ways to a park to try and contact people, but there weren´t too many people there. We walked back and later on had our English class. We also took over the seminary
class for a sister who was stuck in traffic.  On Wednesday, we tried our luck in a little city called Hohenlimburg, but didn´t find anyone there. When we got back, we made our way to the Hiemers, an active member family, to have an eating appointment with them. It went well.

Thursday was kind of a busy day. Elder Moore and I had to work out his visa issues and were running around all afternoon getting everything necessary done so he can stay in the country. We were going to get a
Döner (just an awesome food you will have to eat when you get here) before taking a train to Iserlohn to contact a referral, but we didn´t have time before the train was going to leave. Good thing there wasn´t
enough time because we later went to get those Döners and a Serbian man talked to us in the Döner shop, saying he would like to learn more about God and that he has never been baptized but knows it is
important. He gave us his address and told us to come by whenever. That was a cool experience.

We had zone training in Dortmund on Friday. It went really well. We talked a lot about finding and working effectively. When we came back to Hagen, we had just enough time to do a little bit of studies and
then went to the church for a ward game night, which was really fun.  Saturday began with a deep clean of the ward building, followed by a lesson with Manuella and another with Bruder Kramer. It was a busy
day, and we got a lot done.

We also had a full Sunday. We went to church, and afterwards had choir practice and a member lunch appointment. After that was all said and done, we took a train to Lüdenscheid to have a first lesson with a new investigator, who is the boyfriend of a teenager in the ward. He is a really cool guy and is really sincere in his desire to find out if the gospel is true and if God really knows him. He pretty much just absorbed the first lesson and then prayed at the end. The member family is doing a great job with him. He has already been over to their house for dinner a lot and prays with them and everything. I think he will progress quite quickly, but we will be sure to take it at his own pace and not rush anything. He is going to a young men´s
activity tomorrow, institute in Dortmund on Thursday, and we have another lesson on the coming Sunday. We are pretty excited about all of that.

Well, this should be a good week. We have zone conference tomorrow. It will be my last zone conference before I go home, which is a really weird feeling. I think it should be really good though. I hope you
have a good week! Love you!

LG, Daniel

Monday, March 10, 2014

Two More Months

Hey Mom!

Well, we had a relatively slow week this week. It started off with Monday being Karneval and everything, so we were pretty much just chilling inside all day playing games and being bored.

Tuesday was filled with a little bit more activity. We had district meeting in Unna and afterwards had a short finding activity in the city there. I returned to Hagen with Elder Pratt for a split. We taught our English class and talked with the members who were in the ward building that night. It was pretty fun.

After splitting back on Wednesday, Elder Moore and I went by on a less-active member and then later had ward council. It was a pretty effective ward council for us this time. We talked about our street display on the 29th and about investigators and everything. 

I had an interview with Pres. Schwartz on Thursday that went really well. I really like having him as a mission president. At the beginning of the interview he was like, "wow Elder Squires, do you know how long you have left on your mission?" He is good at messing with the minds of his missionaries haha. I will have another interview with him within the next 4 or 5 weeks. It will be my "Leaver´s interview," and those usually last about an hour or more. Later on, we headed to our bishop´s house, ate tacos, and shared a message about missionary work with the family.

Friday morning kicked off with a member appointment with the Klingers, an older couple in the ward. We then returned to the apartment to do our weekly planning session. We spent a large chunk of time later going to try and contact a referral that was pretty far away (who wasn´t home) as well as deliver brownies to a less-active in that same city. He was excited to see us and gave us his phone number. Hopefully we can start meeting with him and his family in the near future.

On Saturday, we were going to have a lesson with an investigator named Tim, but he didn´t show up to the appointment. Later, we had a good lesson with Manuella. We read Alma 9 together, which is where she is right now in her Book of Mormon reading. We ended the night with our usual Kramer appointment. 

Sunday was a little slow. We didn´t have any appointments with the members for the first time in a while. Everyone we tried to ask throughout the week was pretty busy, so we just went home to have lunch. There was a really cool experience at church though. A girl in the ward turned 17 last Sunday and her boyfriend, who is 19, came to church with her. He showed up again yesterday and was pretty excited to learn. He has even already downloaded the gospel library app on his phone and was reading along during the different classes. The parents of the girl who had the birthday are trying to set up an appointment where we can teach the boyfriend, and he seems really interested and excited about that. We hope that happens soon.

Well, I hope this coming week is more eventful that the last one. I had kind of a hard time staying focused this week just because there was not much going on and we had a lot of disappointments, but I think this week will be much better. We have zone training on Friday as well as zone conference next Tuesday, and it should be really helpful. Elder Dyches of the seventy is touring the mission, so hopefully he teaches us some good stuff.

I hope you have a good and safe week! Love you!

LG, Daniel

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Schedule to Avoid Karneval

Hey Mom!

Well, for the most part, we had a pretty good week here in Hagen. The week started off with another P-day in Dortmund. I had left my coat there, so we just stayed for P-day. I got a couple more things at the BVB store for some people I forgot the first time, and we went to some other places to look around as well. We finished off the evening at the Kleinerts again for FHE.

On Tuesday, we didn't have a lot happen until the evening where we had English class and then a lesson with Lukas, our relatively new investigator. We taught him the Restoration, and he seemed pretty excited about it. He even accepted the invitation to say a kneeling prayer at the end of the lesson, and he did a great job.
Wednesday began with district meeting, and then afterwards I had a split in Hagen with Elder Richards from Paderborn. We spent most of the day in public transportation trying to contact a referral who wasn't home and then went to a member's home for a Wednesday FHE. In total, we were probably riding buses and trains for about 3 to 4 hours that day.

On Thursday, after heading to Paderborn to split back, Elder Moore and I came back to Hagen and then shortly thereafter went to Dortmund for a lesson with Lukas and then Institute. It went really well. We didn't have a ton of time to prepare for the lesson since we had been on a split, but it still went ok. We taught him the first half of the Plan of Salvation. Lukas has been keeping his commitments and asks a lot of good questions. He also enjoys coming to institute, so that was cool to see him stay for that as well. He was even asked to give the prayer at the end of the Book of Mormon class and prayed in front of everyone even though it was his 3rd time ever praying in front of people.

We had a pretty slow day on Friday. It was the start of Karneval where a ton of people dress up in costumes and get hammered, so the mission sent out a text and suggested we try to do effective things in the apartment. We still had a member appointment in the evening, and there was not really any craziness on the street, so it was kind of a boring day with a lot of planning and organizing things in the apartment.
Saturday was a day full of activity. After studies, we first had a lesson with a potential investigator from Egypt named Kyrollos. He was a cool guy, but seemed more interested in learning about American culture than in our church. It was also hard to try and get him to accept a Book of Mormon because he said he might not read it and it could go to waste, but we eventually persuaded him to take it with. After that appointment, we headed to Iserlohn to have a lesson with Manuella. It went pretty well after a kind of shaky start, and she read out loud today in front of us for the first time ever! She goes really slow in terms of making progress, but she step by step moves forward. The evening consisted of going to Bruder Kramer's son's apartment to help install a light fixture. We ended up not really having an opportunity to help much, but we had good conversation and food.

Sunday was a good day as well. Manuella came to church, but Lukas didn't show up. We were kind of worried since our plan was to meet him at church and then drive together to a member's home, eat lunch, and then have a lesson there, but it ended up being ok. He had a lot of paper work to do for applying for jobs and things so couldn't make it to church, but he still came to the lesson. We taught him the last half of the Plan of Salvation, and it went well. He will have a busy week this week, so we invited him to pray to know if the plan was God's true plan for us, and he asked for a week to be able to think and ponder, and then we will see us at church on the coming Sunday. He is taking it pretty seriously, and I think there are good things in store with him.

Well, that was pretty much the week. Today is Rosenmontag, which is the day of the Karneval celebration where all of the parties in the bigger cities go down, so we are pretty much just going to go finish our shopping, and then head inside for the rest of the day since it is going to be wild in the city.
I hope you have a great week! Love you!

LG, Daniel