Jalen in his Derek Ryan hockey jersey
Derek got the team to autograph it for him
Well, what a ridiculous week! The first half was rather uneventful, much packing and such by Elder Stokes, who had so much stuff that he had to send some packages all the way to Australia haha. Hopefully he passed the weight limit at the airport, although Elder Harris told me that his flight into England was late, and that he got stranded there and had to stay the night there. Poor guy, now his dream of going to church as a missionary on 3 continents is shattered. Hope all is well though.
But, I went to Munich on Thursday and got to see lots of missionaries and say goodbye to the ones headed in different directions, or home. And then I finally was told who my companion was, Elder Allan from American Fork, UT! He is awesome, he worked as a salesman for some company before the mission and is so ready to just talk to people and such. His German will just get better and better with all of the practice, so even if he isn't too confident now, there is no worry. We got home on Thursday, dropped his stuff off at home, and then took off and went to talk to people and did some doors, and found a man, with whom we met this morning! He was really nice, and he just needs the answers to the questions of the soul, which we can provide through the plan of salvation :) But we had some good experiences, even though it is FREEZING once again!! Stupid weather. We walked around for 1 1/2 hours yesterday in a freezing wind, but it was a lot of fun. He is so ready to just do missionary work, and he does it, then asks if he made any mistakes, then continues on. He just has to develop his ear for understanding the people haha. So does everyone, oder? Elder Allan is apparently a state chess champion, or was crowned so in elementary school. He turned 19 his second day in the field, Friday, so he just graduated in 2012. I will send a picture or two, because I finally have all my photos backed up on my thumbdrive, and I bought a card reader thing that makes it so much faster.
I am glad you enjoyed the package! And... I don't think I have your Klagenfurt stuff yet. I have not received anything from Hawaii, no packet or anything. So, don't know what to do about that. Elder Orchard brought me stuff that I had there, like Derek´s hockey jersey (which is totally AWESOME!!!) but I can't remember any package from Hawaii, and he said he never saw it. Maybe I got emails or something from while you were in Hawaii, but I just don't know. What was the package anyway? Maybe my mind is just blanking.
Oh, we also had some eating adventures this week. On Friday we went to Herr S_____'s house and he invited us to eat with him, which we did. So we went inside and there was a huge piece of meat sitting on the table, and he cut up good bread and shaved ham off of this hunk of meat, and he also had salami. The meat was special ordered from Italy, and it was so good! We also had green olives filled with almonds, pretty good, and some kind of paste-spread made out of duck and pig liver and such...tasted like tuna. He gave the rest of the jar to Elder Allan haha. But, I can also now say that I have eaten Caviar!! It was okay my first shot, with some mayonnaise with it, but then he made us take a big scoop and try it by itself. Pretty...fishy... then to end, he put a TON of it on a piece of bread with some butter. Oh boy, I ate a lot of caviar. But otherwise we were kinda disappointed, because he just thinks we are friends basically. He knows what we do as missionaries, but he just lets us do it and he doesn't have any interest to change. Schade. Otherwise, in the last few days we haven't been able to meet with any of our investigators, but that is because we just can't get ahold of them. We will be happy to go find more people, and Elder Allan and I will do so! I never want to be in the apartment for as long as I was when Elder Stokes was sick. So we will get lots of good work done :)
I am loving the experience of training, grateful for all that I am learning, especially now that I am still district leader (which we finally figured out haha). It gives me even less time to think about myself, and I am satisfied with that. I will let you know how things are going, and hope to have lots of great experiences to share with you in the next little while.
Thanks for all of the pictures, that Harry Potter thing looked so cool!!! And the fortress. Too bad you didn't get to hike down the cliffs. That doesn't happen everyday. I see you are enjoying weather that appears similar to mine at the moment. Yay, we will endure together! Say hello to everyone for me :) And Janet and Chad, welcome to the European Fanta bandwagon! It´s good stuff! By the way, Dad has some prettty cool shoes. What are they? And it is weird seeing Nathan wearing all of my clothes.
But anyway, I have like no time. I was trying to write quickly to some of the members in Klagenfurt, plus Derek and Bonnie and such. So this will be rather short, but I will end with my thoughts on the Lord´s answer to Alma´s prayer in Mosiah 26 (or 27, can't remember exactly). Alma was just given the new "calling" of having to judge all the people committing sins and whatnot, and he surely felt very uncomfortable and inadequate and overwhelmed. So he turned to the Lord, and the last half of the chapter, verses 15-32 I think, are His answer for Alma. I love how he tells Alma that he will have eternal life. That is coming from the Lord, but no doubt through the Holy Ghost. And that same Spirit can talk with us, and we can receive such comfort from the Lord. I also like how the Lord reminded Alma about how blessed he was, because he believed on Abinidi´s words and that he was a tool in the Lord´s hands. And His admonition to Alma was to simply serve Him, and gather His sheep. Think about how you receive answers to prayers, and remember how blessed you are for such an opportunity.
I know that the Savior lives and that this is His church on the earth today, led by Him though His servants the Prophets. The Book of Mormon is true, and the truth can be felt and learned and confirmed by the Spirit. It will touch you so deeply that it can never go away, except through neglect. Make good experiences everyday, and thank your Heavenly Father always.
I love you all! Till next week, keep smiling :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons