Jalen and Elder Orchard--true Derek Ryan fans!
Klagenfurt/Graz, Austria reunion:
Elders Orchard, Eaker, Riser, Stapleton, and Gibbons
There's nothing like good old American root beer!
Guten Morgen, liebe Geschwister. Liebe Freunde. Liebe Leute (that reminds me of Danny in Klagenfurt haha. Man I miss that guy :) )
Also, servus, wie geht´s euch? Hoffentlich geht´s schon. Isn't life great? And conference was fantastic! Although Mom ruined the Sunday afternon session for me, because that is the only one I haven't seen. I saw all the others and loved them. This morning I wrote out all of the promises that stuck out to me in the talks, and also all of the little nuggets of truth and super-ness that I liked. Because, like I said last week, I was taking the things I learned to heart, about Alma 5:58 and such. And I noticed it too, that as I was watching conference I was so excited to hear the promises given us from the servants of the Lord. And I am so excited to try them out and see how they work, because the Lord has spoken it, and it will happen :) Wish I had done that my whole life, not just here. Ah, life goes on.
Thanks for the pictures of my trainee haha, and also Chris at the San Diego temple!!!! I have a picture of that in the apartment. It is so beautiful. I also got an email from Becky this morning, that was a nice surprise! Ihr geht´s guat--gel, Becky? Haha.
Ah man, I am so excited for our Zone pday today in Munich!!! I will finally hopefully get to play soccer for the 3rd time on my mission! Yay!! We shall see. Oh by the way, I finally got the package from you :) Thanks for the awesome tie! No idea why it took forever to find me, but no worries.. Plus, blueberry tootsie pops?!!! That blew my mind! Keep me current on those, eh? ;)
Hey, I love you guys. Just so you know :)
Anyway, this week was pretty cool! Nah, it was great! Sadly we have not gotten ahold of many of the potentials we found, even though we tried to invite them all to conference. We also called all the people in our area book and we had a few people say they were coming! But they didn't :( Although one of the potentials we found last week turned out to be a former investigator who has basically been taught everything by missionaries, so we just have to go for real understanding this go around.
On Thursday and Friday I spent much of my time in München at Zone leader/district leader council. I got a huge group hug from Elders Orchard and Eaker and Stapleton and Riser, all former members of the wonderful Klagenfurt/Graz district. :) It was great seeing them. I met lots of new people, and also saw Elder Niedens again, and Elder McClellan and Elder Harris, and lots of people from the MTC who were behind me. It was awesome. Elder Stapleton and I slept in the living room of the mission home, where we did all the things the first night, when we met the trainers, with the map and everything. We talked for a long time. Haha. President came down in the morning and told everyone that Elder Stapleton and I had stayed up too late haha. But so did everyone else, they just couldn't hear them. :) It was great. I love those guys. Being a missionary is awesome, people! Do it sometime :) (under the right guidance of the Spirit, I should add ;) ) There is nothing better.
Also, we had a real Bayerisch weiswurst breakfast with pretzels on Sunday morning, and it was so good! They also made us try their Malz drink, which I think must be a kind of alcohol free beer. I don't know though. They call it their German root beer. They really love American root beer though. Haha. I will try and bring one home for you to try, you know, in like 3 years when I come home..... :O we will not discuss that point any further.
Everything is going well! Hopefully we have more time and opportunities to find more people and start actually teaching people. Dad asked if we were consistently teaching anyone, and the answer is no. We are trying really hard, but we just need something else. We have the Lord already, this is His work, and we try and have faith and confidence, but we are also getting to learn patient perseverance, eh? What we need, like so many mentioned in conference, is the MEMBERS!!! I was thinking that, thinking about all the stuff that President has asked us to do in order to get members more involved (which by the way, is basically everything that the prophets and apostles repeated this weekend--an inspired man) and I basically just summed it up so: if this mission, in this part of the world, wants to have success, an accelerated rate of success, we need the members. So, we are working on that too. What was really cool is that Pres. Auras, the stake president, took some time to meet with all the members of our district gestern before the Sunday morning session, and it was awesome to see how much he cared about the work here. He shared an experience with missionary work that he had, and we know we have his support. We all need to work together to make things happen. That will definitely be our focus in coming weeks. Until it works, actually. So, please pray for us and for the missionaries in general. We need to call down the powers of heaven, for we cannot do it alone. This is not our work, it is the Lord´s work. Thanks for your caring support and prayers already. The Lord will bless you.
Well, one of my favorite things I heard at conference was something that Elder Robert D Hales said. He said, "The Savior was despised and rejected of men. It is our privilege to stand with Him." Mensch, das war echt inspirierend! I would invite you all to ponder the promises you heard, the words that touched your heart. Then, with full faith, do what they say, and watch as the promised blessings come. I echo the call of Pres. Uchtdorf to those who feel entrapped by darkness. We need not dwell there, for the Lord has promised to illuminate our path out of it. He has done so for each and every one of us, and I know what it feels like to walk in the light. Isn't that song one of Dad´s favorites? Please, do not despair in the thought of hopelessness, because the Savior is there. So have the Prophets of the Lord spoken it, and so soll es geschehen. We can be completely confident in the Lord. We can rise up and become the people we are meant to become. It is possible. So start now, from wherever you feel you are. You do not walk the path alone.
I love you all, and I do realize my emails seem to be decreasing in length. Sorry, but I get the chance to talk to my friends as well :) That is a wonderful opportunity to get more people involved in my work as a missionary! As an Elder at the ZL/DL meeting said, the time spent on emails is not a time for us to go home, rather a time for me to bring all you readers here :) Hope I succeed in some small way in that. If not, tell me so.
Keep on smiling. :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons