Hello my family!
We had a pretty good week last week. We were pretty busy and it’s getting colder and snowing and wind is blowing and it’s cold. But it’s ok. Because with that lots of cool things are happening too.
The Frankfurt weihnachtsmarkt christmas market? is now up here. We haven't seen it yet, maybe we'll go today. We've heard it’s pretty cool, but every time we go by we are underground in a subway I guess is the word. So we can't really see it ha. But lots of people always get off and on at that stop. The weihnachtsmarkt in Annaberg last year was awesome, we'll see how big city ones compare.
On Wednesday and Thursday last week we had a 2 day zone conference/training meeting thing. It was kind of strange but cool. It was from like 10 to 5 both days but luckily we live right in Frankfurt so right when it finished we were able to go work, other missionaries had to travel home and basically couldn't do anything in their area both days. We had to do a couple workshop things at the meeting but they went pretty good. It’s basically just more training stuff like that 3 day training meeting we had at the temple a few months ago. We are supposed to practice and train and practice and train and practice and train. Until they say stop I guess. They said we should be having those training meetings like that at least for the next year though! Pretty interesting but its helping a lot and I really like the stuff. It helps us remember to focus on the people, to be sincere and teach the people according to their needs. I think it’s good they are putting such a big emphasis on it right now.
Last week I was able to tausch with Elder Good. It was tons of fun ha. He was golden in Gotha when I was in Nordhausen. He was in the Berlin mission for one full transfer then the next one the mission change happened. So I never got to actually work with him on tausch but at district stuff I did. Now he's here close to Frankfurt and we got to do a tausch. It’s pretty cool to see how much people develop and change. I met him when he was brand new in the field, now he's almost been on a mission for a year. It’s also weird to think back when he was brand new I was fairly new as well. Now I still feel new but realize I'm not.
There have been so many new missionaries come in lately. Right now in the mission there are about 60 missionaries who have been out less than 6 months. The transfer coming up there will be 15 new missionaries coming in. that’s so many missionaries young on missions. It’s weird to think I'm one of the 'older' missionaries to them. I still feel super new. But it’s pretty awesome to see how much people develop.
Anyway though with Elder Good I called up some guy who had formerly had interested in the church and we made out an appointment with him at the church for later that day. So as we got to the church Elder Good realized his comp. had taken the church keys to Frankfurt. So we couldn't get in. Then the guy showed up and we apologized saying we didn't have keys. By the way it was super cold at this time. Then the guy just said ''well there is a reason you called me today. And it’s ok you don't have keys. Thinking and talking together here about God is more important than being warm'' Then he just said ''we can talk right here''. I was pretty shocked and was thinking 'yea but it’s really cold man' Then I realized that was super selfish ha and that he was totally right. So we stuck the freezingness out and taught him in front of the doors. About 30 minutes in I looked at Elder Good and his hands were in his coat pocket and his coat was like vibrating then I realized he was shaking and was rocking back and forth on his feet then I realized I was doing the same thing. Then I looked at the guy and he was totally calm and just talking to us. I felt bad we were freezing and probably not as focused as we should have been but it was still a really cool experience and I learned a lot. We apologized again at the end and asked if we could meet the next day INSIDE the church and he said yes. So that was good. The Elders in Offenbach will continue teaching him. He was a really cool guy.
Then I got back to Frankfurt and we tausched immediately again! Lots of tausches. Then I was with Elder Collins in Frankfurt. I was kind of worrying since I haven't been in this city very long and it’s probably the biggest city I've been in where I've had to be the leader of getting us places. But we were able to get everyone we needed. We had a lesson with and guy named Michael and Joseph Lersch (former comp.) came with us. It was cool it felt like we were back together in Schwarzenberg. Michael is also way cool though.
The day before Shahab's baptism last week there was a blood drive at the church for Red Cross and we were there setting stuff up then we saw Michael and invited him to Shahab's baptism the next day. He came and then after he came up to us and was like 'I would like to be baptized on Dec. 18.' It was sweet! He left the church a while ago and didn't have anything to do with it for a long time, then he came to the blood drive and we just invited him and he said it made him want to come back. So we've organized stuff for his baptism and are teaching him helping him prepare.
It’s a blessing to be able to see how much the gospel can change people. That’s like why we have it. To help us leave the natural man behind and become more like Christ. Actually seeing it happen in people and allowing it to happen in you is really amazing. You realize more and more how real it is, that it isn't just something that’s good to help people become better people or improve the quality of your life. It’s really so that we can become more like Christ, so that we can prepare to return back to our heavenly father.
I was reading in 2 Corinthians 3 this morning and was kind of confused at the beginning. Because I read the first few verses and felt like they were really cool. But I didn't know why because I didn't understand them. So I decided to study those 3 verses. It was cool! Morning study is one of my most favorite things ever. The verses actually made more sense to me in German and I would share them with you but you wouldn't understand ha. The german words are usually more descriptive I guess. Basically to summarize one of the points I got out of it is that the influence and affect we have on others reflects what is written in our hearts. Like Paul is talking and says that those people are an 'epistle' or reference (german translation) of what is written in his heart. It’s cool he says that those people are like the manifestation of what is written in his heart and that all men can 'know and read'. So people can 'know and read' or understand those other people and understand you better because of the affect you've had on them.
Sometimes people try to hide what is really in their heart or deceive themselves or others, but the true effect we have on people is a manifestation of what is really written in our hearts. I've experienced that a lot on my mission. Meeting other people, teaching them, the effect they've had on me and that I've had on them, with other missionaries as well. Sometimes people will exercise their free agency contrary to what you teach, say, or do, but they will have felt and noticed your influence. Lots try to deny it simply because they are scared. But they know and you can know that you have had an effect on them. Hopefully it has been a good one. So I'm going to work on pin pointing more exactly what is written in my heart. If something needs to change I will work on re-writing it, so that I can better influence others for good. You could all think about it too, what is written in your heart? What are the manifestations of that? Or are the things 'referencing' what is written in your heart not what you would like them to be? But as we do this we have to be guided by the spirit. It’s such a blessing to have the restored gospel today. Recognize and utilize this opportunity God has given you to reach your divine potential. And do your part to help others reach theirs.
I love you all! Thanks everyone for all of your love, letters, and prayers. You're all always in mine. Have a wonderful week and be happy!!