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Monday, July 29, 2013

Are you a Hamburger?- Weekly Letter

It is my first week in Hamburg, and it is so exciting to be here! I have already gained a love for the people, the members, the missionaries, and my new companion. So far, the city has been a great place to work, and we have quite a few investigators that we are working with, a few of which either have a baptismal date or are dreadfully close. First things first, my new companion, despite the odds, comes from Colorado Springs!!! I totally saw him a few times when at Stake activities, and I even played him in church youth basketball. We have spent the last week using terms like "black forest, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and President Muirhead," which I have not even thought of using for over 2 years. He is in his third transfer, so still fairly new, but he is a really solid guy. Another crazy thing is that a brand new Sister missionary comes from the exact same ward that my family is going to be moving into in Centerville, Utah.  Our week missionary-wise was good. We have a person from Ghana on a baptismal date, a few other ones on the way, and quite a few people that we are going to be meeting with this week. It is a really exciting time to be in Hamburg, Germany. I can tell that the town is a bit smaller, but it is still one of the biggest cities in Germany, so the feel is not too different. I love the fact that I can ask people if they are Hamburgers, which is just how one forms it for if they come from the town. Of course, it makes total sense to them, but right after I asked someone, I just chuckled to myself, because it means something totally different in English. The town is beautiful though, and it is crowded with such a wide variety of people. The ward seems to be really awesome, the building here is HUGE, so it is sad that the chapel is fairly empty on Sunday, even though it makes sense, because it is a stake center for the Hamburg stake. Well, that is all the time I have for this week. I love you all, and here is my brand-new address for Hamburg. I will be here for at least 6 weeks, and I hope to receive letters and packages from you all, haha.  Elder Eric Gibson Po√ümoorweg 21b 22301 Hamburg Germany  Have a great week and I love you all! --    - Elder Eric Gibson   Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Going to Hamburg


     This one will be nice and sweet-
     Well, I don't really have much time since I need to pack and such, plus this week was really slow for the missionary work here, so there is not really much to report on anyways. We had transfer calls last Friday, and I will be going to one of the other gigantic cities in Germany, but this time the true west. I have never been there before, so we will see just what kind of surprises I will find. I have always had to deal with inconspicuous dialects of German, so it will be nice to hear proper high German, like it is meant to be spoken. I will post the address of the apartment next week, so if you have any letters, make sure to address them to the mission office or just wait out on it. I love you all and will send more information on my new companion and the city in the coming weeks.
     I love you all and I know that God is watching over us. I love being able to serve here as a servant of our Lord. Have a great week!

--

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

Monday, July 15, 2013

This week in Berlin


  This week went by really fast for us. We were always doing something different for every day of the week, and so there was not really any down time. Elder Myrabo and I are both enjoying our time here in the German capital. The main things that happened this week consisted of my companion and I teaching large groups of people. On Wednesday, we taught a lesson in a Zone Training Meeting on structuring all of the lessons that we teach on a solid commitment for the investigator. It turned out well, and the Zone Leaders said that we hit the nail exactly on the head with it. But then on Saturday, I got a call from the first councilor in the ward here, and he wanted me to give a 15 minute talk in church on Sunday. I am glad that he has faith that I can come up with something in German in so little time. The talk also went well, and my appreciation for the rhetoric courses in college increased dramatically through it. After my talk and the talks from one of the missionary couples in Berlin-Tiergarten ward, the ward members started asking all of the missionaries for Book of Mormons that they could give to their friends in the coming week. It was so exciting to see the spirit working in them and that they have a desire to share the gospel. The ward has exploded about missionary work the past few weeks, and we have seen some awesome miracles through it.
     I've decided that I love soccer. I played it for my first time with the Europeans here, and I learned just how awesome the sport really is. We are doing it with the ward every week now, and we have seen some really great missionary success through it as well. The Europeans love this particular sport, and I figured, "I'm here, so I might as well do it." I have been wrong about it for years- It was so much fun!
     Our investigators are also doing well. There was a man that we have been working with the last few months, and just this last week we had a really good lesson that showed us exactly where he is on the gospel path. He still has some concerns about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, but he has a sincere desire to find out if it is true, so we are going to start focusing on those two things with him. We are also meeting with some families that have some really great potential, so hopefully we can see some progress with them in the next few weeks.

Have a great summer!
     
- Elder Eric Gibson
  Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage

Monday, July 8, 2013

Toil and Moil- Weekly Letter


This week was fairly slow. We had quite a few appointments that dropped, and so we were left trying to call people and organize new times to meet and how to have them progressing again. I feel like it did not work out too well- plus we have quite a few investigators who are going to the hospital for various reasons. It is weird that they are all doing this simultaneously, and so all of our investiagtors are going to lose contact with us for a few weeks (I think that we make many of the people we meet with sick haha) BUT, we were also able to see some really awesome things, including finding some new people that we are hoping that we can teach in the coming week. One of them is the brother of a person that we have been meeting with for a few weeks already. He has been really nice to us, and last time we were over there, she was gone, so we went ahead and asked him if he wanted to meet with us on his own and he said yes. He seems like a great guy. We have also prepared a list of all of the less-actives members to go by on so that we can get them coming back to church. After the broadcast a few weeks ago, we have all been really excited at getting the members involved a lot more into our work, and we have seen some really amazing stuff from it. It is cool to see the little changes that are taking place in the ward now that we have 3 sets of missionaries who are all wanting to stop by and teach them. They are starting to become a bit more excited about our work and are wanting to involve themselves more within it.
I love being able to serve here in Germany among the world-renowned "stubborn people"- I fit in really well with them :-)
I know that what we have to share with them is the truth, and that those who allow the gospel to affect their lives will find an increase of happiness and peace in a turmoil-filled world. We just toil and moil to get them to realize that.
Have a great week!
-- 
- Elder Eric Gibson
  Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage 

Monday, July 1, 2013

5,000 blue name tags - weekly letter


Oh, what a week! I have had so many interesting experiences this week that I can't think of any way to structure it except to go through the days individually:

Monday- Elder Myrabo and I wanted to check out a museum on Wednesday, so we did not take our usual P-day. Instead, we did regular missionary work, which was pretty good. I have been studying from the new testament, and so I had an awesome study in Ephesians.
Tuesday- In the morning, Elder Myrabo and I used our work-out time and went running to an investiagtor's home. Half-way there, and due to the light rain that was coming down, I tripped and hit the cobblestone pretty hard. Of course, we wanted to get the letter sent in, so instead of turning around, we kept going. I started to bleed pretty bad on my right knee and hands. But due to a few band-aids and ibuprofen, I am doing fine now.
Wednesday- My companion and I went to the Pergamon museum- one of the highest renown museums in Berlin and even in the world. Inside, they have complete replicas of many greek and babylonian gates. Also, they have a special exebition of the epic of Gilgamesh which we were also able to check out. It was so interesting! I loved going to it and seeing all of the gates and walls, especially the pergamon, which is a greek alter that fills up a room the size of a soccor field. We learned that the pergamon is also mention in the bible in Revelations 2:12-13, in which John desribes it as the seat of Satan. It is a museum that is certainly worth going to and checking out.
Thursday- We had a regular missionary day, in which we went by a few contacts and then stopped by a member to wish her happy birthday. While we were there, we gave a spiritual thought and one of her family members was really interested in our beliefs of the pre-eath life. We even were able to make out a return appointment with her and she is now meeting with the missionaries!
Friday- Certainly one of the more interesting days of the week. One of our investigators has family that are Jehovah's Witness, and so we were invited to visit their conference that they hold once a year. It was really interesting, because it was covered with people that were wearing blue nametags that said "Gottes Wort ist Weisheit!" (God's word is truth) with their names and home congegation on it. We caused a bit of a tumult because we were wearing black nametags that said a few other things, but in general, they were very friendly to us. They had quite a few questions about our doctrine, and so it was a good way of teaching them some of the truths that we hold dear. We were able to stay for a few of the talks that were given, and they seemed very similar to our save that they do not end in the name of Jesus Christ nor do they say amen. Rather, they all clap for the person that spoke, which seemed very foreign to me. Our investigator decided to go with us when we left- he seems like he is very unsure because he feels torn between two religions. He is starting to get a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and so we are planning to have much more regular contact with him to help him find which church he feels is best for him.
Saturday- We held a street display in one of the busiest plazas in Berlin, which is auspiciously situated right next to an Underground station. It was awesome, and we were able to contact hundreds of people, hand out quite a few copies of the Book of Mormon, and handed out thousands of cards. It is wonderful to see what eight missionaries can do in two hours when we are put in the right spot.

Well, I have used up most of my time. I hope that you all enjoyed the report of this relatively full week. Have an awesome summer vacation and make sure to catch the wave of excitement that is coming from the first presidency regarding missionary work. The Lord is wanting us to kick it up a notch.

Love you all!

-Elder Eric Gibson