March 8, 2011


My dear family!
Sorry this is a day late! Random things come up all the time and through out pday so don't worry when you don't hear from me on Mondays. This time it was a German holiday though. President didn't want us to have pday on it and be out with all the people partying during the day so he moved it. Which didn't really matter since the thing basically went since last Thursday and ends tomorrow. So there will still be partying people everyone. Frankfurt was only bad in certain parts of the city though which were easy to avoid.

Anyway! The last week was good and flew by. I was looking back through my planner to find something and looked back like two weeks and couldn't find where I wrote it down. Then I just started flipping closer and closer to today. Then on Wednesdays page last week I found it! So strange I thought it was over 2 weeks ago. Time doesn't exist. It does actually but it’s weird.

The week was good though. We did a few tausches and I was the one who usually went to the other cities last week. It was cool though I was in Wiesbaden with Elder Schwitters. That area is an American Military ward. It was so weird! All the stuff we did was in English. I kept messing up and would switch in to German and realize they had no idea what I was saying. My ability to pray in English is basically gone. I have to go really slow and think really hard. And still I mess up and organize the sentence according to German grammar and when I'm at the end of the sentence I want to say the unconjugated form of the verb and realize that makes no sense in English. So I pause and wait and think ‘how I can somehow make it make sense.’ Usually I don’t know so I just start the sentence over and remember to put the verb where it’s supposed to be.

It was cool to be there though and see the dedicated US Military members. They are really cool. The ward there is also pretty big. At the end of the night we did splits with the Elders quorum. So I went with this one brother to go do some home teaching. We visited this family with a few little kids and all the little kids were running around speaking in English and it was confusing me so bad. I would forget it was an American family and hear all the little kids speaking English so fast and then it would register. I don't think I would do good in a military ward. I don't know how to do gospel in English anymore. Plus the English I've been speaking for the last however many months has been with others who speak German as well. So we use a whole lot of German words in there and German grammar. That’s ok though! Because I'm serving in Germany among German speaking people. So my English doesn't have to be perfect.

Then we had these 2 Elders from Koblenz come down and stay with us for a day because there city turned into party city. They are both German and can speak zero English. Elder Amandoron can understand basically everything and can express himself pretty good in English, we only speak German though. It was funny though being with them for a day. They don't understand any English at all. The funniest was they brought their areabook with them for us to translate. They said ''Look it doesn't work. We want to do areabook work and find people out of it. So we open it up, sit down in front of it. And see words all over that we don’t understand. Everyone writes in English! Imagine you sat down and opened an areabook up and it was written in Arabic. That’s how we feel.'' They're good Elders though and they work hard. Its way cool being able to work with so many different missionaries.

We helped one of the Romanian families move last week. That was also fun. They love having us around and they seem to be accepting everything pretty well. The other Romanian family was too busy to meet with us for a while (the 27 year old father and mother with 5 kids). Then he called us Saturday and asked if we could come that night. We had time so we went out there. As we walked in they already had visitors. All the kids and mothers were in one room talking, and they showed us into the dinner room. Around the table were a few men speaking Romanian with their bibles in front of them. The father stood up and showed us our chairs and said ''finally, finally you are back''. We were able to give them all a Book of Mormon in Romanian and to talk to them about why it is so important. They are all Pentecostal and very strong in their faith. So the 2 other men had tons of questions and were basically trying to prove us wrong while Herr Tinislaf (the father) had his book open to 3rd Nephi 11 and was reading quietly. One of them started to tell us that we were weren't teaching certain things that were very important, then Tinislaf spoke up (with his head still down reading) and pointed at the book and said ''yea but it’s all here'' then he just kept reading. The man looked at him confused and we said ''yea. Let’s open up and all read together''. He is searching and wants to know if it is true, and he will find out. It was a cool appointment.

Today was also cool. We started off our pday with a quick stop at a member’s to help her. She is actually in the International ward in Frankfurt and we had never met her. But the Sisters in the International ward called us last night and asked if we could go help. The sister in the ward had just had an operation and had her hip replaced and she couldn't walk up the stairs to her apartment. So we met her and her son there in the morning.

We decided the easiest way to carry her up would be if she was sitting in a chair. So her son went up to the 4th floor to get a chair from her apartment. As he was gone the Sister took her crutches in one hand, grabbed the railing, and started pressing forward up the stairs. We kept telling her it’s ok and that she could wait but she just went. So we stood at her side until she had made the first flight. Then her son came back with the chair. Her son grabbed her bags and everything. Then we got the chair and sat her in it then Elder Amadoron and I carried her in the chair up to the 4th floor. They invited us in quickly to sit down and talk.

They are from Bolivia but have been in Germany for 40 years. The sister was probably in her 80s and her son in his 50s or 60s. They both just kept saying thank you and explaining how grateful they were. It was just a quick stop along our way in the morning. We didn't really feel like we had done much but the way they were thanking us you'd think we just saved their lives or something. Shows again how amazing service is.
We may not think its much but to the people we are serving it means everything. They made out an appointment with us and would like to have us for lunch next week. Just for a 15 min thing. They were 2 very cool people. The sister was so grateful.

As we sat and talked I thought about other acts of service we do. And what the Savior did, and what he taught about it, and what service really means. It was a humbling experience. While we were sitting there I asked what kind of an operation she had had and she said she had her hip replaced. I was pretty surprised and said 'and you just climbed a flight of stairs!' Then she simply said ''yes...I wanted to do what I could to make your work easier''. In this moment where she needed help she was trying to figure out what she could do to make it easier for us. And she did something that was surely not easy or comfortable for her.

I learned a lot from her this morning. I hope to keep that always in mind, to also do whatever I can to lighten the burden of others. Even when it is not easy or comfortable. Because most the time it is not easy or comfortable. Like Elder Busche said--The pain of sacrifice last only a moment, it is the fear of the pain of sacrifice that makes us hesitate to act.

I am really grateful for my life. For the life God has given me and the experiences I have had along the way and the people I have met. For the many things I've been able to learn from so many people who don't know the impact they have had. Many of them I will not be able to thank in this life. Many I don't even know, or only knew for a short moment. The only way I can say thank you or repay them right now I think is to live what I learned from them. And to live it the best I can. And become the best I can. And doing that so that I may be more capable to serve others and pass on what I have learned to enrich the lives of others and bring them closer to their father in heaven. The Gospel is the best tool to do that.

I love this work, and I love you all so much! I hope you all have a good week. Look for opportunities to serve.
Elder Puriri

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