Flooding in Landshut
Jalen, curled up next to the radiator after a cold, wet day
(notice the shoes drying out on top of the radiator above the keyboard)
Servus, I am just tired of thinking of subjects, and I think you all know what the subject is anyway, oder? Haha. But grüß euch miteinand!
Remember what I said about the weather last week? It got worse. Haha. Dad was worried that I had a bad attitude, but no worries there because I was just happy for all the cool things happening with investigators and such. Yeah, I´ve had to put my shoes on the radiator overnight every night, and they are all hard and stiff in the morning, but just like Dad said, the worse the weather, the prettier my wife will be :) Haha. Trust me, I don´t go around with that as my motivation; rather, I look at it all as just part of the work, and we have a lot of fun. But for real, there is a TON of water here. The rivers are so close to overflowing. I will send you some pictures of the river overflow places. We normally walk there... for example, where those signs are in one of the pictures, those are usually about head level, and we walk there to go home. But they have everything marked off. The Germans have never seen such weather. Passau is actually flooded. We were going to have a district pday today, but that isn't happening anymore. But I will still go buy my lederhosen today :) Yes, I withdrew the money on Saturday. Anyway, it was so cold that we had to take drastic measures to stay alive! (As you notice in the 3rd picture) :) just kidding, it wasn't that bad. It has been a fun week :)
SO, we had no one at church yesterday :( P_____ said he was going to Hambug, Br_____ didn´t come, and S_____ and Be_____ were invited to go with a friend to church. But S_____ and Be_____ were really worried about that, if we would be mad that they were invited somewhere else haha. Of course not! But we met with S_____ and Be_____ like 4 imtes last week! And I had an Austausch with Elder Orchard in Landshut this week, and he actually had the chance to meet all of our friends with baptismal dates! That was cool. Elder Orchard's brother served in Ghana, and is currently living there, so he had a great time talking to Br_____. We had a lot of fun too, Elder Orchard and I. We did have the awesome dinner with Br_____ and Julian and Christina, and they taught the kids to pray, and then we went back the next day to meet and to try and eat more of the tons of food that was left over. We talked a lot about the purpose of life, she is very interested in that, in her purpose. So it was wonderful to bear testimony about how the gospel enlargens (<-- is that a word?) our view of this life, and how following Christ will bring the only happiness that lasts. With S_____ and Be_____, we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ, baptism and the Holy Ghost, and we are trying to help them recognize answers to their prayers, which they so diligently say! We also taught the Word of Wisdom and Chastity, and they both agree that it is not easy, trying to follow Christ in the world today, but S_____ tells us over and over he wants to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost to guide and protect him his whole life long :) good that he understands that! We are meeting them again in about an hour, which makes this email a bit shorter. Sorry. Oh, before I forget, thanks for the pictures of Tyson and Kody and Logan, and the pictures of Christina and Sydney are awesome! Can´t believe it is already JUNE! But it doesn´t look or feel like it haha. P_____ is also doing well, I guess. He was successful not smoking for like two days. Then we saw him across the street the other day, and he was smoking :( he didn´t see us. Dang it! He did have us throw away all his coffee though. I was worried that my backpack would smell like it forever.
Oh, we helped M_____ again this week, to move stuff from down in the kellar to his apartment, which is at the very top, of course. Then he bought us dinner. I got a gyro, it was very good. He is such a nice guy! When we talk, he asks us questions about the Book of Mormon, and he tells us experiences he has had and asks us what we make of it. It is a different kind of teaching, but a good experience!
Did I tell you that I bought a guitar? Last pday, we were looking at a music store at guitars (well I was) and they were all so expensive. I had about €85 left from my birthday, and I just couldn´t ever decide what to buy. So I found a guitar, nothing special, it was only €79, but the man gave it to me for 70 because I am American, and gave me a carry bag for 20. Elder Allan lent me 5 euro, but I paid him back already. So yeah, I just decided that I would use the money to develop a talent that could last my whole life, eh? I am pretty happy. It is relaxing. And I don´t know any songs, I just play the Primary children´s songbook songs, because the chords are written in there. My favorite and probably best right now is "When I am Baptized" you know, the one about rainbows. Good stuff :)
We had a finding day here on Saturday, and I got to work more with Elder Abbott! We found a lady and gave her a BoM and we are meeting with her tonight :) we are excited! We can finally practice our Deutsch now! Haha. It also rained that whole day. Needless to say, we have done lots of dooring. I haven't done it for awhile. But who knows when this weather will stop. I miss having people on the street haha.
Transfer calls are on Friday. Isn´t that crazy??!!! I haven't thought about it, and continue not to. I just go with it now. But I hope I stay for Landshuter Hochzeit :) das wäre super. Schau ma moi!
When I was working with Elder Orchard on Austausch, he told me he had accidently seen our release date. He kept telling me we were so old! Haha. It is ridiculous how much time has gone by, and 2013 is half over. What in the world?! I´m not going to tell you my release date, because I also do not want to think about it. But that kinda jolted me again. Just like life, we can´t take things for granted, you have to make the best of every single day! I agree with Paul, when he said in 1 Korinther (Corinthians) that he was who he was by the grace of God. I am so grateful for what I have learned, what I am learning, and what I will learn. I am grateful for my wonderful family and friends who support me and love me. I love you all too. One day all the things that happen in life will make sense to us, so why do we need to worry about all that now? Just have faith, forget yourself, and do something. If there is something I could say that I have learned up to this point, it is that I have to stay busy. I will have to stay busy for the rest of my life, because when I sit around with nothing to do, then I get distracted and lose all excitement and motivation. It also goes with the gospel as well (of course, that is kinda my whole life haha), in that when we sit somewhere with nothing to do, the temptations that come are hard to get away from. We need to have some forward momentum in our lives, always learning something more about the gospel, applying things to our lives, so that even when temptation comes, we can get ourselves hence. Boy have I noticed the difference, when we are just out doing work, the time goes by and we do so much, and I forget all the things that are trying to drag me down and discourage me. Live the gospel and love it, it is a natural defense against the potholes and whirlpools of Satan. Live so that you have the Holy Ghost as your guide. He will be there. I know that, I feel it everyday.
And like Paul says in 2 Cor. 3, we have been guided and comforted by God so that we can do the same for others. Because I have been given much, I too must give. That is the gospel, and that goes perfectly with the quote Dad sent me. See how simple the gospel is, how easy it is to see its power and influence in our lives?! See the blessings that come from it? Why would we do anything to hinder that? We just have to stay true, and one day we will be found blameless before God, through the mercy and merits of Jesus Christ. Of that I testify.
I love you all and wish the best for you. Keep smiling :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons