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Monday, July 9, 2012

     So this week I had some of my biggest disappointments. The lady that finally decided to get baptized last week has pulled out of her decision and is another step or two back. She is holding really strongly to her Lutheran beliefs, and has a particular friend (mentioned a bit more later in my story) that  we think is influencing her to not go through with it. It is really sad for us because she seemed so excited about it just a week before and now she it totally against doing anything, including ever going to church again. We also had a hard week with our other investigators, including one deciding that he is going to leave town for vacation for 2-3 weeks, one that has a six-year-old that is at least as crazy as Jacob was when he was a kid.
     Also, we were able to meet the new mission president, Präsident Kosak. He is not even close to the same as Präsident Pimentel, but he is also really strong with the spirit, so I'm not worried about him being a great guy, but all he told me when he met me was that I need to talk louder and that my hair is too short "but looks good," whatever he means by that. I will admit that I cut it a bit shorter than I usually would, but it grew back pretty fast last time, so I wanted a bit of time between cuts. He can speak English really well, but you can also tell that he is a lot more comfortable in German.
     Fortunately, we also had some pretty cool miracles this week as well. As far as this "friend" of our baptismal date goes, here's the story:
     "Once upon a time there were two missionaries. One was super handsome, dashing, and experienced; the other came from the mountain-covered landscapes of Colorado (now burned to ashes from weeks of fires). They both had an appointment with an investigator that had been meeting with the missionaries for many-a-year, each set bringing her closer to her decision to change her life for the eternities. Unfortunately, the night before, these particular missionaries had received an inauspiciously distressing phone call from their beloved investigator- she was having second thoughts. They planned out their lesson of how to support her and keep her commitment, but then it all fell through when the more experienced missionary realized he had made a fatal error- the Sraßenbahn times. To their disappointment, they had forgotten that it came every 30, not 20, minutes, and that they were going to be late to this very important date. They ran down the steep hill, past all of the old people that look like zombies, through the woods and prairies, and managed to get to her house on-time-if-5-minutes-late-is-okay. Covered in sweat, they ringed the door-bell, and in response came the very unsure but familiar voice of their beloved investigator, 'bitte?' They quickly said their names, said the routine excuse for if being on-time-if-5-minutes-late-is-okay, and made sure that she was available for the appointment. She was not only forgiving, but was very distressed because she had forgotten to write down the fact that her two missionaries were coming. She invited them in, and they went through the door and up the steps to her very well kept home. Inside, they found her and her friend were playing a card game. Then, the truth of everything was discovered... They taught a seemingly awkward, but very testimony-building lesson with her friend, in which the missionaries asked point-blank if their request to have her baptized was too much in regards to their personal religious beliefs. She responded that it was not, but that it was her friend's decision. Immediately afterwards, although, the two women turned to anger as the elders once again brought up the topic of priesthood authority. They haughtily refused the claim that the authority of the priesthood could be restored, and that their leaders did not have this authority. And thus the two elders were finally able to discover the true reason for their inversitgator's turn from her commitment, and her hesitancy in answering all of the Elder's questions." (Excerpted from History of the Elders of Görlitz Pg. 219-220)

     That may sound kind of disappointing to some, but it was a small miracle because we really needed to allow her friend to see exactly who we are and what we believe. In the end of the lesson, they had no reason to say that the church was not true, save that they were too old and that they had already chosen their own church (just lame excuses from my viewpoint). We will meet with our investigator again Friday, so hopefully we can help her overcome her concerns. But as for another miracle, it occurred yesterday. The spouse of a fairly recently converted member showed up to church, and she was asked to give her testimony. She did it mostly about him and how much she loved him, which was really awesome to see.
     But that is pretty much all the crazy stuff that is going on here in Görlitz. We are going to go to the temple on Saturday, so that is going to be a lot of fun, and then we have transfer calls this week. Most likely I will be staying here because my companion has already been here for 4 transfers, but we will see with the new mission president and depending on what Heavenly Father needs for the town right now. Thank you everyone for supporting me and know that you are all in my prayers. Aufwiedersehen!

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