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Monday, October 1, 2012

Guten Tag Familie und Freunden, I can't say much other than that we had such a great week! Well, to start off, right after we finished E-mails to family last week, we headed to a late-night appointment with a family that we had set up over 4 weeks ago. We were not very optimistic about it going through, so we were surprised when the wife answered the door and said that she was really excited that we had come. They are a family of 5 with one child married and away from home, but sadly the other 2 children are in their 20's each suffering from a mental disease that makes it where they are considered handicapped. We started talking about the restored gospel, but they were fairly skeptical about it. He quickly explained that he was raised communist, and so he did not believe on God, but that he is open to the idea. They said that they noticed that all of the Christian children have helped support their two mentally retarded children throughout their school years, so they know there is something good about it. But is it true? Another story... so far. We invited them to pray and they declined, but soon realized that if they were "open to it", as they claimed, that they should at least try it out before telling us that is was not for them. By the time we left, the spirit of the home was completely changed, and they invited us back to meet with them later this week. Another experience we had was on Wednesday, with a contact we found in the area book. He seemed really nice letting us into his house and when we sat down, but when he joined us, he slammed his fist on the table and told us straight up that he believed that Jesus Christ exists "but that is all, and there is nothing you can do to change that." We were taken aback at his straightforwardness and superciliousness, but we were able to calm the situation down, and ended up having a good talk about the Plan of Salvation and how it could change his life for the better. His heart was softened, and now we have a return appointment to talk about Pre-Earth life next week. On Wednesday, we decided to do a whole new way of spreading the name of our church by participating with one of our investigators in a city choir (here's where I take a moment to thank the Wallin Family for helping me get some singing practice in and for my brother Jacob getting me to join the choir at church). Anyways, they meet at a music school in the old part of Goerlitz in a beautiful building overlooking the Goerlitz landscape with Peter's Kirche in the background. It was a surprisingly large group of people; all of them except 1 were at least 20 years older than us, so the age ratio was defiantly off balance. I was put in with the Basses while Elder Bangerter joined the Tenors. The substitute director was really excited to have us, thanking our investigator for bringing us along, and everyone started to ask us who we were and what we were doing in Germany. The music was wonderful, and I got to keep all of the music, so now I have some very beautiful German stuff to take home with me. One of my favorite parts about the school was that there was a 400 year-old trumpet on display in the foyer of one of the levels. I had to stop drooling on my way up the next flight. Another highlight of this week was that our Mission couple finally moved in. We spent all of Thursday getting their apartment ready for them. We started at 7 A.M. with literally nothing- including no light fixtures or furniture- and by the time noon rolled around, we had set it up enough to make it a place that they could live in. Unfortunately, they still do not have a kitchen, but it should be coming in sometime this week. Their names are Elder and Sister Bauman, from Salt Lake City, and they are really wonderful people. They are BYU fans, and their son is well known because he was a starter for 4 years on the football team there. Their apartment has enough keys that they could be janitors, but they love that they are finally here in Goerlitz. I am kinda sad because I am almost certain that I am going to be transferred out of Goerlitz next week, so I am not going to have too much time to be with them. This morning, we made them breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and homemade apricot syrup with bacon. I am finally mastering how to make pancakes from scratch, as well as some super good Swiss bread, tomato butter, and banana bread. On Sunday, we had simply a wonderful day. We walked with the couple to their first day of church, and all of the members greeted them with warmest welcome I have ever seen. They are all really excited to have new members, and it reminded me of when I was brand new with how much English everyone was speaking. We also had 5 investigators show up to church, including Jana Nocke, who now has a baptismal date; Noreen Neugebauer, the lady from Chemintz that comes every other week; and a Polish guy that we contacted on the street on Saturday. He was such a surprise, and luckily one of our members can speak polish, so he was happy at church and said that he and is wife will be there next week. The best part was at second hour, in which Jana Nocke's 11 year-old daughter asked me if she could get a copy of the Book of Mormon in German. In comment to that, Elder Bangerter, with total awe, said "the last thing that I was doing at 11 years old was looking for the true church." So if you guys didn't catch the little part about me most likely leaving, please hold off on any letters or packages until I give you my address for the next 6 weeks. Other than that, I hope everyone has a great week and I love you all!

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