At the Denggs' home making apfelstrudel
Jalen knows I love tulips!
Okay, so that I don't forget, let´s establish the skype stuff, eh? :) So we will plan to do it at 8 o´clock my time, so noon there. We are going to the Family Hopf :) I have to remember now what my information is, I will look back at my planner from Christmas haha. That is how that will work, ge? Noon, be there ;)
Well, today has been great so far :) We went to pick up Elder Allan's visa this morning, and we were headed home again when two African guys stopped us. The problem was, they were speaking French. So we had some awkward seconds, where they were looking at my nametag, and then they asked if we spoke English! Of course we do, last time I checked. We told them again in English what we were doing, and we told them about the Book of Mormon. Then Elder Allan pulled a French Book of Mormon out of his bag :) and the guys said they were so happy to meet us, and asked when they could see us again :) So we got their numbers. It is going to be a good week, because we already have 2 potentials, which is the number we got for the whole last week! Awesome :) I was really happy after that. I love those experiences. We had another one like that on Wednesday, where we hadn't found anyone willing to listen to us, and then we talked to a Romanian guy and his mother, and Elder Allan pulled a Romanian BofM out of his backpack. Way to be prepared, Elder Allan! I decided to start carrying at least one non-German language with me. Maybe Polish. We talked to a nice Polish couple last night, in English. They taught me how to say "how are you" in Polish. But they didn't want to listen to the gospel. Darn it. And I probably can't even pronounce the Polish correctly. I guess I didn't learn too well. We also gave two younger men, maybe our age, Books of Mormon gestern. One asked if we were Christian, and he showed us his tattoo of Christ on his arm. Well, now he has a Book of Mormon to add to his faith. Haha. And there was another younger man on Saturday who was very interested in the Book of Mormon, and was so excited to take one. Too bad none of these people wanted to give us their information to meet with them again. But, we gave out a Book of Mormon every single day last week. That is one of our mission goals, so obviously we were blessed for that this morning. We shall keep it going! :)
Otherwise, the week was pretty rough on me, in all honestly. On Thursday we talked to so many people who just didn't want to hear it. There was some younger woman we talked to about the purpose of life, and I asked if she was interested in learning more and she said yes! So I asked if we could get her information to try and set up an appointment, and she said no. I was just so confused. Rough. Then the guy we talked to after that, we asked what brought him happiness in life, and he smiled, kept walking and said,"absolutely nothing, tschüß!" and the words going through my head, which I did not say, were along the lines of, "Don´t you understand that that is what we are trying to give you? Just take a freaking second and listen, eh?" (You can see why I refrained, and later had to repent...) Yeah, it was rough. But then we talked to some very nice people, which made me feel better. So geht es, aber. The life of a missionary is really the most rewarding thing. All these experiences were just precursors to the comfort and peace I was able to find later through prayer and when I had time just to think. I learned a lot.
Hey, transfers are past! We have the two new missionaries in the district, Sister Regnier from California, and Elder Abbott from Orem, Utah. That is all I know about them haha. I will meet them tomorrow. But I am excited to work with both of them!
We had our ward trip this week, it was so much fun! I will send some pictures, yeah? First we did a hike, then ate lunch, played on the cool playground (it is all so much better in Europe, weißt?) and then we went and did an alpine coaster thing, like we did in Park City! It wasn't as big or as good, but still fun. Even Elder Anderson had fun on it, no braking haha. It was a good day.
Oh, we also had an awesome appointment with a woman from Ghana with Elder Anderson, she was one of the ones who talked to US after our exchange with the zone leaders last transfer. We finally got to meet her, and it was so great! We just bore tesimony about the Book of Mormon, gave her one in English, and she said she would do her best to read at least 5 minutes every day, because she is pretty stressed most of the time. But we talked about the power of prayer, and she told us that even though she is always stressed during the day, when the day comes to an end, she told us everything turns out alright. And she knows that comes from God. She thinks it is really cool that we have prophets, she likes that. And then we told her we would love for her to come to church, because the family is really emphasized there. Hopefully she can soon. She asked us a few questions about our standards, basically, because she said that she didn't drink alcohol, she likes modesty, etc. So we smiled and said that she would fit right in, haha. It was so cool :) We are calling her today, to see when we can meet again this week. It was just a cool experience for me because I really felt that we were good friends, and I knew that what we had could bring her so much happiness. I guess you would call it love. You can find it, even in the world today, of that I testify.
We got to meet a less active sister this week, we went to dinner with the Andersons and Sis. Zacherl. She is from Brazil, and she served a mission there too. When we were leaving, we had committed her to coming to church, and she just said that she knew she should, but no yes or no. Sis. Zacherl asked me how someone could forget after serving a mission. Beats me! But she was so nice, and it was good food. She had a very nice house, too. For two of them. Her husband isn't a member. That is also a problem. But he wasn't there.
I also learned to make real Austrian Apfelstrudel this week. I rolled out the dough and stretched it out. I will send some pictures of that too. That was with the Denggs.
Well, lots happened this last week. But it was really the quickest week of my life, I swear! I am just happy when I go out, work, come home tired, sleep, wake up, study, go work, and so on. It is great. And I know that as long as I do all I can, the Lord will touch people and prepare them to receive Him. Maybe not for me. Maybe not for years. But I will do what I can now so that they get that chance. And there are people ready now, and we are working hard to find them. But the Lord knows who they are, what they do, and we will just find our way to meet them through the Spirit. It really is a different perspective when I am on the streets and think about how that person walking towards me ended up doing so right when we were walking that way. Mind-blowing, wirklich. It helps me keep talking, and the blessings always come. Obedience. It is the key to happiness. The Lord will do His part, you´ve heard it all before. But when you actually do something, and you see that the Lord really does do His part, your understanding and gratitude for the gospel of Jesus Christ will be deeper and more meaningful. I can promise you all that.
Well, I already emailed Logan and Kelly and Ben for their birthdays, but I hope everyone else with a birthday this week has a great one too :) I am excited to talk to you again on Sunday, it will come so fast. But until then, I will be here, doing the greatest work in the world. Don´t worry about me :)
I love you all and pray everyday for you. I hope you are happy and healthy and enjoying the wonders of life.
Keep smiling :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons
PS- so the pictures... my cool CHEF apron at the Denggs, and my balancing act was about 15 feet off the ground (so it wasn't super easy!) and the other one...what was it? Oh yeah, Bavarian forrest. And a member has a very beautiful front lawn! Got some pictures for you, Mom. Pretty cool :) ciao!