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Monday, June 24, 2013

It's (another) boy! - Weekly Letter

Dear Family and Friends,
The missionary work in Neukölln is doing pretty well. This week, we spent quite a bit of time planning out exactly what our plan for both our district and for our companionship are, so it was not quite as much time on the streets as the rest of the transfer. Also, having Zone Conference does the same thing. I am hoping that our new vision and renewed spirits from Zone Conference will give us a more sure direction, and that we will be able to contact even more of the children of God. We split up all of our members in our ward, and so now we are going to start going by on all of the less-actives that we can. It seems auspicious, although we still have to still go over how we want to work with the active ward members.
Our investigators are also doing well and progressing in the gospel. This week, the problem seemed to be time. We had quite a few appointments that fell through, and all of the return appointments did as well. People are pretty busy during this season, so plans change constantly. But that is why I am so thankful for technology and especially for our cell phone, because we are still able to keep in contact even when they decide to go somewhere.
I really enjoyed our Zone Meeting. I was able to see my great-grandson, or in non-mission jargon, it was the person (Elder Stringham) who was trained by the person (Elder Nelson) who was trained by the person (Elder Gerberding) that I (you know me already) trained. They all happen to be boys! Now you can see why I would rather just call him my great-grandson, hehe. It was a really great conference, and I especially loved the thoughts that we recieved from our mission president and his wife. We focused quite a bit on teaching and how how we can better use the scriptures in our work.
I love being able to serve here in Germany. The members are truly wonderful people, and it is truly a pleasure to be able to serve with them all. I am really excited to watch the new broadcast- I have already heard a bit about it, but we are not going to be able to watch it until the 30th rebroadcast, when it will be available during a daytime hour here. I love you all and wish you the best!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Back problems

This week was not quite as busy. My companion's back was really hurting him earlier in the week, so we had to take things a bit slower than usual. He finally decided to call the mission president's wife on Thursday, so I knew that it had to be pretty bad. He is not one to call unless it is really, really bad. Later that night, we got a call from a retired doctor that ís serving in Görlitz with his wife, and he told him what he needed to do and how to make sure that it won't get worse.
We witnessed some miracles this week though. One of our investigators, Bernd, decided that he was ready to be baptized. Right after we committed him, he said the prayer, in which he expressed his thanks that he could change his life and become a new person through what we are teaching him. It was actually really powerful. The other fun event was that the investigator we have who is already on a baptismal date came in a suit and tie for the first time. I was so proud of him! He is finally starting to mingle and fit in with the ward here, so it was a great sunday for us. 
I guess that Obama is going to be coming to Berlin this week. It is funny, because it will be the closest that I have been to him since he was put into office, and it will be in a foreign country. The Germans are really excited about him though, and he will be giving a speech at Brandenburger Gate. But other than that, it was a pretty slow week for us. The transfer just started, so it should pick up soon (once my companion's back is feeling better). I wish you all a great week, and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD!!
 
With much love,
--

Monday, June 10, 2013

Drip, drip, drop, big June showers



The forecast in the news this last week was rain, and lots of it. For the first time, the meteorologists and nature actually delivered what they were both planning on, and we got buckets of rain coming down on us for most of the week. On Wednesday, we were eating a lunch together in the mission office when the Mission President walked in and said that over half of the cities near rivers were flooded over. Luckily, none of the missionaries had any issues (all of the apartments were fortunately high enough from the banks of the water), and Berlin had no problems whatsoever, so I was not in any danger zones.
I honestly did not see much of the weather though. Wednesday night, my companion threw up a few times, so we spent all of Thursday and half of Friday in the apartment. I was able to get all of the deep-cleaning chores that I have been wanting to do, but after that I just read from the scriptures and prepared a few lessons for the coming district meetings. We had transfer calls this week, and the news is: I am staying here in Neukölln! President wants to keep me right next door so he can make sure that I am not causing any problems- you all know how I am :-)
Our investigators did not really make any progress this week since we were in the apartment for a lot of our work time. But now all of our records are up to date and we made out some calling sheets, so the work will progress this week. We even made out a really cool app. with a lady yesterday who is really interested in eternal families.
This week, I studied quite a bit in Romans about Jesus Christ and how he is viewed by Paul. I realized that this is really important scripture because it is from the prospective of a missionary who is preaching the gospel only a few years after the death of Christ. He had personal connections with the apostles and had even seen Christ himself in a vision. He bares a powerful testimony of the necessity of Jesus as the Christ. I particularly love Chapter 11, in which he list all of the gifts of grace- I would recommend taking a look at it when you have free time.
I am doing well. Summer is always a great time for missionary work, and despite the weather, we have seen some really awesome stuff happening. The Lord puts us where we need to be, as long as we live worthy of it and make sure to ask Him in prayer for what to do and where to go.
Have an auspicious week!

--

- Elder Eric Gibson
  Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage





Monday, June 3, 2013

Now I understand- Weekly Letter


Dear Family and Friends,
This week was really good, right up until the very end... I will start off with talking about our main investigator. He has been progressing very well, but yesterday we had a really bad lesson with him. He now refuses to follow the Word of Wisdom, and with his attempt to explain why, he put himself into a paradox that he does not plan on getting out of, which included him saying that he is the not-yet-glorified Christ, and therefore he would have the authority to change the commandment. Obviously, this was a huge disappointment for Elder Myrabo and me, because we know that he knows that he is not Christ, be he is using it as an argument so that he can not commit to following this particular commandment. It just leaves a pit in my stomach to think about the hole that he has jumped into, and hopefully we can see him figure it out this next week. We learned from this lesson that we need to make sure to clearly teach revelation, prophets, and especially, the Word of Wisdom to him this next week.
Our other investigators, on the other hand, are doing much better. We had one man who is now wanting to get a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He used to be in another church with is very strict to the bible, so his main concern was that we believe on another book and claim that it is from God. We explained the story behind the book, which he has never really heard because he has just read the Book of Mormon before in chapters. He felt the spirit of its story, as well as why we believe that it is vital to the world today. After we did that, he became very somber and said "Wow, this is a very sad, but very powerful story. Now I understand." I just have to mention, it is a missionary's dream to have an investigator say those three words. So cool! 
We also met with a few other people who seem to have interest. One of them is a lady who we have been meeting with for a while. She has a boyfriend who is really friendly to our beliefs, and so now we are going to start including him a lot more into our lessons.
Well, it was a pretty crazy week for us, but as always, a lot of fun. This last week, I started writing in a new journal book. I am now on number 4! I am now able to look back at all of the experiences that I have had so far and see how much I have grown- all of the experiences that have shaped me into the missionary that I now am. It has been really fun to look back at what I did and learned in my first area (as well as all of the people that I have grown to love so much!). I know that this church was restored through a prophet of our Lord. I love being able to be out here with a name badge on. With His name on my heart everyday.
Have an awesome week! 
-- 
- Elder Eric Gibson
  Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage