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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Görlitz District
Elders Luening, Voran, Colton, James, A. Olson, E. Gibson
Sisters Müller, Kläy

May Zone Conderence

Pictures from Berlin -- Eric's arrival at the Mission

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Lift Up Your Heart and Rejoice, for the Hour of Your Mission is Come..." D&C 31:3

Back: Elders Myrabo, Gibson, Ashby, Luening, Adams, Miles
Front: Elders Marshall, Shaw Sisters Thorton, Linford, Bohne
Elders Thorkelson, J. Larson, Gleason

We are off to a good start. All 50 + pieces of luggage arrived. We had a beautiful day to enjoy our trip to Mauerplatz and Golden Conference. Then, off they go to their new areas with their new companions.

"And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
Romans 10:15

Monday, May 28, 2012

German word of the Week: Bescheid [beSHYed] To know or find out of a surety.

     Hello to everyone this week. The work here is Germany is going great, and Görlitz is seeing miracles everyday. We had zone conference in Leipzig this week, so I had to get up at 4:45. It felt like I was in Seminary again... But it was a great meeting, and I finally got my letters from my Dad that I was supposed to get my first day in Germany, so it was pretty cool to finally be caught up. We were able to hear from one of our mission president's old companions, and hear the miracles that he was able to preform with him. At first we were all guessing that it was going to be Elder Bednard, because he was one of the AP's during president's mission, but it was Bro. Latylia, who is also a very big name in the world and the church because he is a very big sports name. He was one of the guys that organized FIFA world cup when it happened in the States, winner of the national cup for his tennis team in college, as well as one of the people that pushed for Soccer being included in the Olympics.
     When they were missionaries, it was the year that one of the Germans, Franz Beckenbauer, had won the world cup, and they thought it would be awesome to try to send him a copy of the Book of Mormon. But then a couple days later, they saw a poster that showed that he was going to show up at a hotel for a party in a couple weeks in their town, so they decided to try to give it to him in person. They knew one of the people that worked at the hotel, so they asked him if he could sneak them in, and he laughed and was just like, ''your gonna try to get into the hotel when one of the most famous people in the world is gonna be there? I like you guys and all, but that's just not gonna happen.'' So they decided just to mail a BoM later. But then, during the next P-day (on the day of the party in the hotel), while they were shopping for some sports equipment in a store, a guy walked in commanding everyone around. Elder Latylia thought that it would be fun to go up and talk to him, and so when he did, they started off with sports, and the guy fell in love with the missionary who knew so much about statistics and especially because he could play tennis, which was pretty much that guy's dream. So he told them that he was the owner of a really nice hotel, and that he was having a party later, but that if they had time, he wanted to play with them. They, of course, said that they could work it out, and played tennis with this guy, driving past all of the reporters and being able to park right next to the owner of the hotel. Later, after Elder Latylia beat him in tennis, he invited them to come in to the party, and they, 19 year-old-missionaries, made it into one of the biggest parties in Germany literally days after Germany had won the World Cup. A few minutes later, guess who walks in? None other than Franz Beckenbauer, the guy that they had decided to personally give a Book of Mormon to. Everyone was silent when the Soccer star walked in, so Elder Latylia, after giving his companion to one of the younger missionaries, walked up to Beckenbauer and said ''in behalf of the United States of America and from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints, we give you this gift on congratulations of winning the world cup!'' And that was just one of the stories that he told us from his mission. They also sang with one of the biggest Lutheran Choirs in Germany and tons of other amazing stories.
     I hope you guys enjoyed the story, and I am doing well. It's the last week of my first transfer (6 week period that you are with a companion in a city) of my mission, so now is when I finally get in the race and and get in the groove of missionary life. This last P-day, we went to the Zoo, and got attacked by a crow, saw a red panda, and had a blast with the animals. We also taught lots of lessons, got some great appointments with cool people, and are working to reactivate some members. And coming up this next week is what the Mission President is calling ''Espirit De Corps Wie Niemals Bevor'', which basically means that we are hoping to get 100 new appointments that will turn into investigators, so if you guys could pray for us to have success when we are finding people on Wednesday the 30th, then that would be awesome. Also, congratulations to all those who graduated on Saturday in Colorado Springs. It's crazy to think that it's already been a year for me. Finally, have a great memorial day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Word of the Week: Prüfung (prue-foong) - A test or trial. 
     This week was pretty dang busy. We taught over 21 lessons, and made out tons of new appointments with people. I have made a lot of headway with the language ever since I got here, and I was able to see fruits of that labor (I think it's only about the size of a grape, but it is still a fruit, right?): We had an Ausstellung- kind of like a street display- in Cottbus in which we set up a cool table with tons of pamphlets and books, and then went out and talked with people to bring them towards the table and try to set up a time for them to visit the Sisters (Cottbus is their city). We had all of the missionaries in the district, and so when we split up, they thought it would be funny to leave both of the Goldens to fend for themselves. Both of us have been in Germany for only a little over 4 weeks now, but we decided to go for it anyways, and started trying to talk to people. About 5 minutes later we had handed out about 5 conntacting cards and had given a very promising couple a Book of Mormon and a way to meet the Sister Missionaries for a follow up appointment. All of the other, more experienced missionaries, did not have quite the same amount of success. One of the Elders met a man who loved history and wanted to just talk about how we are not worthy to actually know the truth of religion unless we have read all of the Bible, the Qur'an, and know all of the histories of each. We told him that he could find out by actually asking God, and I think that we made him wonder a little bit. I think that our challenge for people to find out for themselves that this Church is true is one of the biggest reasons that the Church is true. We don't try to trick people by sending out all of our best rhetoricians to convince people of our book, but we send out 19-year-old goofballs (that still don't even really know the language in my case) to give it to people for free.
     Other than that, this week is going great. One of our lessons was to a Polish family, and we took a member that speaks Polish, and then sat there not understanding a lick of anything for about an hour and a half. I felt like it was day one in Germany again. We also had one of our progressing investigators drop us because he is still unable to get the answer to his prayer of if God is really there, but I think he knows that he cannot get an answer unless he really tries, and he's not willing to take the time to do it. Also, the work here is a little slow here because of how closed in all of the people are. I think that a lot of it comes from the fact that most of the older people lived here during the Berlin wall and Communist era, so they are very closed off to things that seem nice or friendly, because those were the kind of things that really screwed people over. We are hoping to get some new investigators coming up this week, so we'll see what miracles Heavenly Father has in store for his children in Görlitz. Best wishes for this coming week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

German Word of the Week: anmelden (on-MEL-dun): to log in, like I did with Skype yesterday; but a more typical use is: to make oneself known.

     This week was really busy and successful some days and a bit disappointing on other ones. We had a whole lot of appointments, met some really nice people that seem promising, and worked our tails off some days; other days, especially on Saturday, we had almost every appointment fall though. Overall, it wasn't a bad week, and it ended with us being able to talk with our parents on Skype yesterday.
     The Branch's Mother's day program was really nice, and all of the women in the ward were given roses from their children right after the primary finished singing songs and reading some poems, including an investigator we picked up that is not a mom, but was included in the picture and treated like one of their own anyways. She seemed like she enjoyed it, but she lives really far away so we'll have to see if she likes this branch or is going to go the one where the missionaries that are teaching her (she's not really our investigator) are from.  
     Other than that, the work is going well. My companion and I are going to work on inviting lots of people to church in preparation for June, a month that pretty much all of the church in Germany has set aside for inviting other faiths to come in and see what our church is really about. I'm secretly hoping to make the building smell like cigarette smoke by the month is over- that would make me happy.
     Skyping home was awesome, and I got to see everyone (Steven and Mindy were more like blurs, but I could tell it was them because one person looked like she was a good foot or two shorter than the guy ;), so it was really nice to say hi to the family. Today marks my second month as a missionary for our Lord, and time is flying by really fast. Have a great week and count all of the blessings that you recieve from Heavenly Father.
- Elder Eric Gibson
  Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage