German Word of the Week: zählen (ts-ALE-ehn) to count
I just wanted to start off by saying how amazingly happy I am that my brother is going to be able to go back out on his mission! It has been a very long and difficult journey for him, and now he can put back on the armor of the servants of God and go back into the field. I am honored to be able to serve with him.
I am still in Görlitz, and chances are that I will be for another transfer after this one because my trainer has already been here for three so I'm most likely going to be the one training the area in about 6 weeks. I am happy that my trainer got to stay though- I think that it is easier to be able to keep the same person rather than having to get a new one that wants to do it differently. We had some pretty cool events this week, and on Wednesday we were able to find a man named Walter for our "Espirit De Corps Wie Niemals Bevor." He said that he wouldn't be available until this Saturday, so we will see if we can count him as one of the Golden investigators that goes all the way to baptism.
On Friday, it was pretty much the day of miracles for us. My companion was feeling a little sick, and every time we were up walking around it would just get worse, so we decided to do our weekly planning and let him rest. We did that, and he was feeling a bit better but didn't want to rush it, so we stayed inside and called some contacts to invite them to church (it is the month of June, which the Area Presidency has designated as "invitation to church month"). One of the first guys we called said that he was really excited to meet with us again, wanted to get baptized still, but before that wanted us to finish teaching him our message of the restored gospel (miracle 1). Then, when my companion was feeling better, we went out to teach our lesson. On the way there, we decided to do some doors in one of the Wohnungs, and we saw the name of a less-active that the Branch President mentioned to us only 2 days before, and she was home, which was a crazy occurrence (miracle 2). But then, we did some more searching for older contacts, and we were able to set up an appointment with someone who has never been home for over 6 weeks (miracle 3). He was also very excited to learn from us again. And finally, on the way home, Elder James was feeling a little hungry, so we decided to stop by the Düner Ladens and talk with the owner to see if he had read any of the Book of Mormon yet. But when we got there, we met a struggling member (her daughter has a very progressive stage of cancer) and were able to check up on her and make sure that she's doing alright (miracle 4). This was all in one day, mind you, so we could basically see the heavens open up and God placing us exactly where we needed to be right when we needed to be there.
We were also able to go to the temple on Saturday in Freiberg, and I did the session auf Deutsch, which was pretty cool. I love being to see how the church is pretty much the exact same even all the way across the world. It also continues to surprise me with how many Germans can speak English.
On Sunday, we had the baptism of one of the members, and so we had over 8 investigators go to church to see the service, which they do right after regular church here. We were able to even talk with some of them, and they said that something seemed different about this church, and that they might even come back again some time. After the service, we had a huge potluck lunch, and then the children decided to start stealing the Missionaries Nametags and running away. I got mine back, but then was tackled by 9 kids. One was biting my leg, 3 more were holding my legs down, 2 were trying to push me over, one jumped on my back, another had a thing of bamboo that he was hitting me with, and then one of the young women had a branch of Stinging Nettle that she was hitting my face with (For those of you who are not aware of what that is, it is a plant that feels like tons of tiny needles going into your skin, and can irritate where it touches for hours afterwards). In the end, I was able to get them all off of me and back into what I thought was the safety of the church. I was wrong.
The working is going really well in Germany. Once again, have an awesome week and make sure to count the miracles in your life. A quote that I picked up this week that I thought everyone might enjoy is from Gordon Brown, and it reads:
"It is better to face fear once then to live in its shadow." Until next week!
- Elder Eric Gibson
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage