Hallo! I hope your week was fantastic! Mine was rather boring and bland, because my companion was sick the whole time. So to shortly describe my week, I sat in the apartment a lot and had LOTS of time to read the scriptures and the Liahonaa :) yay!!!.... not. Ah I have been going crazy! The apartment is so small!! And I sat in there for much longer than I ever wanted to :/ But I still got some stuff done, so I wasn't just a couch potato haha. Except the apartment isn't even big enough for a couch...
My day so far has not really been how I planned it, becuase to top things off this week, the washing machine broke! So we were working with a member this morning to see about getting it fixed. So on Friday we went to the Ehepaar Andersons and did all of our laundry, because we had nothing else to do. So I got to play some more guitar while I was over there. The tips of my fingers are still numb haha. But I love it! I just looked through the Children´s Songbook and sang songs while trying to play them. It is a lot of fun! So I am sure Dad could fulfill his dream of sitting around with all his grandkids and playing hymns and such with them.
Otherwise, the things we DID do this week were a finding day in Neuötting on Thursday, an Austausch with the Neuötting Elders, and.... well, a district meeting haha. Last Pday I sat at home and wrote a couple letters, got the package ready to send to Justin. I will be sending that today. As well as the letters I wrote last week, because my companion didn't feel well enough to walk up to the post office. District meeting on Tuesday went well. We had an incredible lunch from Sis. Anderson, it was meatloaf, but some of the best meatloaf I have ever had! I don't know why. Plus some heavenly M&M cookies. For the austausch, exchange, I was working here in Landshut with Elder Niedens, who is training Elder Nicoll (that is why he is seemingly new in your memory Mom, because Elder Nicoll is somewhat new in the field). Elder Niedens is from Montana, and he is really funny. We got a picture with our Germany jerseys :) He doesn't play soccer, but he had one anyway! He is on the way towards loving Fußball hehe... haha that just reminded me that all my friends used to say I had an evil laugh when playing soccer. I totally forgot about that :) must be because I knew the cleats I was wearing were a bargain, eh? ;) haha. Oh, and the weather was fantastic, I walked around in just a white shirt and tie, no jacket I mean, for a couple days! I was so happy :) It is now a little bit colder, and it rained gestern. But that is okay. Finding day in Neuötting was still cool, I worked with Elder Niedens and a member from their branch. He was an older man, very nice. Well, we tried to give some cards away on the way to the place where we were going to door, and there was one older woman who said no to us, but then knew the member and they talked for like 10 minutes. And guess what? The street we were going to, the street that the Spirit told the Elders we should visit, was the same street that this lady lived on. We started dooring the street, and the people weren't very nice at all. I hate it when one person speaks for the entire street. There was a guy who said to just forget this street, no one wanted to hear anything. I think he knew that I didn't care what he said, we were going to do it anyway, because he kept telling me and I just smiled and said "schönen tag noch!" :) So, we kept going, and then the member said that the next house was that lady he talked to earlier! So he wanted to ask her if we could do any service or whatnot, and they talked for a long time with Elder Niedens and I standing there. But it was awesome because the member bore his testimony about the restoration and Jospeh Smith, and the priesthood power, and how it has brought so much joy to his life. She said she was too busy with her own problems to listen now, and proceeded to list off a lot of things she was dealing with. The whole time I was just thinking "Okay Heavenly Father, you sent us to this street, and right now You are looking down on this house. What does she need right now?" and I thought about that and then thought about a talk I heard from John Bytheway, an experience he shared from his mission in the Philipinnes, where they were trying to teach about the restoration and the older man just kept asking distracting questions, and at times was not concentrating at all. Eventually they figured out what the man´s eternal questions were, namely, where do we come from, why are we here, and where are we going? The man also had questions about why there is evil in the world, or something like that. So I thought about this woman´s problems she was listing, and the only thing that could make them all make sense was these questions, in short, the Plan of Salvation. So after she went inside, I wrote those questions on a card and bore my tesimony about finding the answers to those, and about God´s plan for us. What was cool was that she has a Sister in Orlando. I told her we were just there, and she said that she usually just goes down to Cocoa Beach when she visits, and I said "Well, I basically lived there! (very nearby, Satellite beach of course)" and then she mentioned that she had a sister in Argentina who has since passed away, so I said, hey my brother is there right now. Haha, crazy connections, yeah? So that was my finding day experience, and it was cool to see how the Lord prepares people. I am grateful that Elders Nicoll and Niedens payed attention to what the Spirit spoke to them. The Spirit really does guide those who have faith and who pray for His guidance.
Friday was spent, as I said, doing laundry and then weekly planning, and then Saturday was a big day! It was the day set apart by president for everyone in the whole mission to just clean out their apartments. Get all the junk out. So, we still studied, but then we got to work! I worked until 8 or so at night, from about noon-isch, and I enjoyed it! It may not look much better, but knowing that you did clean makes it just seem cleaner and neater to you. Although I still havn't been to the keller downstairs... probably should have hit that up too. Oh well, I will work on it. That was Saturday.
Sunday was another baptism in the ward, followed by eating! And then we missed the bus, and I wanted to walk home just so I could move haha. But my companion didn't want to go all that way, which would have taken a while, yes, but we weren't in the apartment and it was incredible!! Haha. So we walked along the busline until we were able to catch one. But the cities over here are dead on Sundays, so there weren't a lot of finding opportunities. Schade.
What a week, oder? Yours sounded much more exciting than mine. I can't believe Nathan is doing drivers ed! When did he get old enough? Mensch. Does that mean the Sentra will soon be rapaired, if not already? I would love to drive that when I get home... *hint hint*. I am glad they are both enjoying their sports and such. Don't talk too much about me at tennis, eh Nathan? Don't want to end up like me. And Kate is loving soccer, and her own cleats! Funny how something becomes cool as soon as everyone else likes it, ja? (Kate finally got her own pair of women's cleats--no more hand-me-downs from her brothers! She wasn't that excited about them--her choices were somewhat limited--until her teammates all loved them.) Gotta be careful there, what the world thinks is cool is not always good. Look, the gospel can be derived from any real life situation, see? I love it :) The gospel is true!
Oh, and as to how I remembered Shelby´s birthday, it is on Valentines day... that was pretty easy to set firmly in my brain haha. And, for Happy Birthdays, Fröhlicher Guburtstag Jacci, Max, Cameron, and Will! Late, but nevertheless still there :) Hope it was awesome! Wow my reign of 19-year-old terror is almost at an end! Heilige Kuh! So for those CTR/WDR rings, I think it is awesome! I love it already. I would say probably the large. That would be cool :) that is, if they have large still for my tiny fingers. I can't remember if my ring size is 7 or 7.5... Well, this is really funny, but I suppose you could ask Allie what size her fingers are, because we had the same size fingers haha. Hello Allie, if you are reading this! Thanks for having the same size fingers as I do! What are friends for? Haha. So, back to the point, I like the large. If not that, then the regular. We´ll see. well, you will see. I won't. Yet.
Bytheway, John.... haha thanks for the pictures of Elder Ogaard and Elder Crockett! Oh boy Dylan is having the time of his life, eh? Wait, does he get home soon? Holy cow, how much longer does he have left? Meine Güte. I bet he is shaking things up over there in Canada! And now Elder Ogaard has joined the club! Congratulations Kody! He is going to have a blast up there in Sweden.
Hey, guess what? The area presidency just sent out a memo through President Miles saying that we are now allowed to email friends on Pdays!! I will have to go read it one more time, just a moment... "Missionaries are to write to their families each week and are also authorized to communicate by email with friends, priesthood leaders, and new converts." Well that is totally new! It is from the General authorities and area presidencies. That is really awesome! Now we have longer for emails! So, I can write emails to friends at home! That is ridiculous. You should let people know that, eh? Of course, forewarn them that I only have so much time, and it doesn't guarantee a super lengthy answer..... but that does NOT nullify the real letter writing! Haha. But yeah, exciting new news! I shall see if I have any new email correspondents next week.
Um, I don't have much more to say about things over here. We have a couple appointments set up for this week, and we are finally able to go outside and find again! Hopefully that will help things pick back up. Because I have been so bored and feeling so useless this week. Not a good feeling. I have felt through some experiences, that happiness, real happiness, only comes through living the gospel and is felt and confirmed by the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I wasn't talking to people and bearing testimony, and so I felt the spirit slipping away at times, because I wasn't focusing hard enough on the right things. When sitting in a one-room apartment for hours/days, I started just losing focus. And I felt it when I got to church gestern. I go to the Relief Society every week before meetings and bear my testimony about things that are happening, about the joy from missionary work, and I got there on Sunday and just felt empty. It was not a good feeling. I tried really hard to keep the Spirit with me during the week, honestly, but it was hard sitting at home for so long. So ist es. So, thankfully I was able to bear testimony about the mission plan the branch president had passed out, and I know the Spirit was there because I was able to say those things with confidence. I don't know how I ever lived a life feeling so empty without the Spirit. There were certainly times where I wasn't really focusing on that. But I don't like that feeling, and how grateful I am that I have the gift of the Holy Ghost to be with me always. According to my faith and my efforts of course. So, if any of you feel like you are missing something in your life right now, strive to recognize, through the Spirit, how you can make some changes and be happy. It is possible. And I can bear testimony again and again of the power of tesimony itself. The Spirit speaks truth, confirms truth, and if you speak the truth, the things you know, He will sustain you. And there is nothing better in life than feeling and knowing that you are NOT alone. Trust me on that one. And you can trust your Father in Heaven on that one, too.
I need to pull things to a close, and so I bid you all farewell! Oh, I bought a 32 GB thumbdrive today, so I can hopefully back up my pictures on there. Plus I have some talks and such. There you go Tyson and Chris, I am on the bandwagon. We´ll see when I ever have time to listen to them now haha.
I hope the week is filled with adventures and that you are all happy and safe. Never forget what the Lord has done for you, and never forget all that He still does. He lives and loves me, and you, to the end. Just like I love you all!
Keep on smiling :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons