Goodbye to Landshut!
With the Andersons and Bruder Koenigbauer
With some Klagenfurt Ward youth
3.7 meters of flooding
Helping clean up in Passau, with Sisters Garrett and Regnier and Elder Allan.
They helped the older couple clean out their flooded cellar.
The white mark at the top of the door is the flooding watermark.
They say (basically) that despite the flooding of 2013,
Passau is still here, and thanks for the help!
Hey Leibe Familie :) alles ist klar bei uns, keine Sorge über die Überschwemmnung, ge?
There was lots of excitement about the flooding, huh? Yeah, as far as I know, Passau got it the worst, maybe tied with Deggendorf. But no worries, the missionary apartments were not affected, at least not here in Landshut or in Passau (so, our district). The Sisters actally moved into their brand new palace this week (anything is a palace compared to the apartment here...) because Elders are coming this next transfer! That should be great for them :) Sister Garrett and Sister Regnier are very excited. And, because of flooding, they have done LOTS of service this week. We went to Passau as a district on Saturday, to help out. There were so many volunteers there! They had centers set up everywhere where people went and waited for an assignment, and they had food for everyone, but they were out of rubber boots by the time I got there, so I just walked through the mud and dirt and water in my tennis shoes. They dry fast, sowieso. I will send some pictures of the project. We ended up just finding an elderly couple who were throwing all the ruined stuff out of their kellar, and Elder Allan and I worked there with the Sisters. SO much fun, and they were very grateful. Everyone even offers us beer!! (We say we don´t drink--good teaching-by-example opportunity, eh?) and then we met up with Elders Jones and Abbott again, and their friends they had worked with, and tried to go find work. There were so many people there that they just told everyone that there was no work for the moment, and we had to wait. Pretty impressive system. And, to top it off, München Zone/stake is doing a Mormon Helping Hands service project this coming Saturday in Passau. That will be way fun! BUT....I won´t be there. OOOOOHH, the suspense is getting to you, haha :) have patience. (Yes, we got transfer calls). ;)
Do you know what else I got? LEDERHOSEN!!! :) They are so comfortable!!!! And awesome. I attached a picture. I wanted a dark blue shirt but they didnt have one in my size :/ so I stuck with the light blue. But anyway, what do you think? That will look good at Kate´s prom, right? ;) I can´t wait.
Let´s talk about transfers, ja? :) It´s pretty cool, lots of awesome things happening. There is a new zone in the Mission! All the German wards that belong to Swiss stakes are now a zone, and Elder McClellan is the zone leader with someone :) He has been zone leader twice, then! Pretty crazy. Elder Eaker is leaving Munich, and going back to Wien 5 ward, where he was trained!!! And he is training again! He is super excited. Elder Gochnour is the new ZL in Munich with Elder Orchard, (he was one transfer behind us in the MTC). Elder Allan is staying in Landshut, and gets to see Landshuter Hochzeit! His new companion will be Elder Hustead, who trained Elder Hansen from my MTC district. Oh, I get to see Elder Robins FINALLY tomorrow, at our meeting with Elder Nelson!!! (Have I mentioned that yet? Sorry if I forgot :O) and Elder Robins is going to be the new zone leader in Wien with Elder Riser (from my Klagenfurt district) :) The Sisters and Elders in Passau and Neuötting stay the same, Elder Jones is the new DL and will rock it up! Elder Harris is spending his last transfer training and opening the second Innsbruck area! I wish I could have worked with him one more time, but it´s okay--I am working with Elder Davies, who was trained by Elder Harris. :) it kinda worked out. Elder Davies I met in Wien at interviews once, and then I did an exchange with him my second time in Wien, remember him? He gave me lots of good advice, and he is awesome, I am excited to work with him in.......... jk, I am not going to tell you yet. (Sorry, I have to make this exciting for you). :p
Elder Gubler, who was ZL in Wien is the new Assistant to the President, and he is the Hammer! The Andersons are sad that I am going away, they wanted me to stay to see these baptisms through! But where I am going, I think I would be able to come back and attend the baptisms. ;)
So, talking about our friends! We met with S_____ and Be_____ last Monday, and read in Moroni 10 with them, trying to help them understand how to get answers. We gave them colored pencils, courtesy of Sis. Anbuhl so that they can mark what they like and then we can see what they liked! But none of our other appointments worked out with them :( we are meeting later again today, and I will have to say goodbye to them and get pictures). There was just lots of things going on, we were trying to do service for people who had lots of water in their cellars, like the Auras family and their neighbors. We spent all of Monday doing that, basically. They all have pumps to pump the water from the basement and out onto the street, down the drains. They live down at the opposite tip of the island from us, where the two rivers (well, it is the same river still) and the flooding channel come back together. The soccer field we played on weeks ago was covered with water, like almost a foot deep, maybe more. So we spent lots of time doing that, and trying to run to appointments and such. What an adventure. We had to cancel our appointment with the lady Elder Abbott and I found, we went and rang her doorbelll and talked to her and we are meeting her tonight, this time in white shirts and ties and not dirty, wet jeans and such. (We didn´t have her phone number :/). We met with P_____ a couple times. He has lots to do still. He will not be baptized at the end of the month, that is for sure. Elder Allan will have to decide if we keep teaching him or not. We met with Br_____ on Saturday too, and she just never finds time to read. We will have to move her baptismal date back as well. It is also so hard for us to teach because the kids run in and interrupt every five minutes, and she just has lots to do. We are trying to get Julian to go with us again, hopefully this Tuesday (tomorrow) because the kids like him and are quieter when he is there. We shall see. That´s how all that is looking. We need new investigators, though. Our potentials just don´t turn into anything, for the most part. No time, too busy, false numbers, etc. But we keep doing it!
Also, I should tell you about the tragic death in the Landshut Ward. A complete surprise. Brother Niedermaier, who translated in churrch for our investigators, who was always willing to pick them up, who was at our last appointment with Brigitte a little over a week ago, passed away on Thursday morning. He was a very fit man, 57, who went jogging Thursday morning, came home and made breakfast, then fell from his chair and passed away. Elder Anderson called me and told me and I was in shock. We had just worked with him on Monday evening at the Auras´ place. It is very hard for his wife and his one remaining son. They have lost now 5 members of their family (including some extended family) in the last 18 months. My heart aches for Sis. Niedermaier. But, what was great was that she came yesterday to our "stake conference" meeting with Elder Russell M. Nelson, and Elder Nelson spoke directly to her and told her how much he felt for her, and then he and the other speakers all bore testimony about the plan of salvation. Elder Allan and I saw that she had come and we said to each other that we hoped she would find peace and comfort at this meeting. And then, at the end of Elder Nelson´s talk, he said he felt impressed to leave a blessing upon the saints gathered there that day, and "invoking the keys of the Apostleship which he holds," he blessed us with peace and comfort, and with faith in Christ. That settled that for us. His talk was great, he had all the Primary kids stand on their chairs and sing "I am a child of God" and he held the music director´s little girl as he led the music. I really just pictured the Savior with the kids, because Elder Nelson is in all reality the Savior´s Apostle and servant here on the earth. After the meeting Elder Nelson actually stayed and shook everyone´s hand who wanted to. I will see him again tomorrow, so I let the members have their chance. It was so cool. The problem was, I was trying to catch members before they left so I could take pictures with them, since I won´t be there next Sunday. I got a few of them.
But, yeah, Sister Nelson also spoke and talked about how all the questions we are asked as members of the church could be answered the same way: "Because I know the Book of Mormon in true." She shared a story about Elder Nelson as he was younger, in an operation room, where one of the nurses asked why he seemed so different than the other surgeons. That was his answer, as quick as could be. So should it be with us! Why do we do this or that, or this in our church? Because I know that the Book of Mormon is true. And I know it! And I have no excuse for the way I live as a member of this church, because I am happy. And I have been incredibly blessed to know what I know, and to be learning what I am learning here. The Book of Mormon is true, and in all reality, that is the reason I am who I am. What about you?
Well, I will tell you now. I am headed to Stuttgart on Thursday! So, I get another shot at the Porsche Museum, eh? :) I will get to work with Sister Holmstead in her last transfer, and also some Elders from Elder Allan´s group, and all the other people who are there. Elder Davies will be training me in the ways of being a zone leader over there, and I am so excited for the things I will learn and to meet and watch over the people there, and the missionaries of course. So, now I will be able to see Elder Robins at least once a month, and also Elder Orchard and Elder Riser and Elder McClellan, because they do their ZL council every first Thursday of the month. That will be exciting :) I am way excited! I am not worried about Elder Allan at all. I wonder what my apartment situation will be like in Stuttgart.... they are just sending me as far away from the mountains and trees as they can. But I hope we can do some awesome zone pdays, then I can learn more Fußball skills from Sister Holmstead. Sorry, I have no idea what the address there is. Elder Allan will get me any mail that comes here to Landshut, but you know now that I am leaving! So no more mail here. I just got another letter for Elder Smith, who hasn't been here since the beginning of February. Don´t make the same mistake! I have packed one bag already. And the guitar shouldn´t be a problem for transfers. And yes, there are multiple missionaries who have guitars, and President of course just warned us about the effective use of our time.
Just remember what Sister Nelson said, and think about where you are in life, and why you are there. The Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and we know the plan of eternal happiness that God has for us. Don't forget it. I love you all and hope you have a great week, with scout camps and girls camps and all sorts of things. Happy belated birthday to Dylan, heard he had a great birthday haha. Liebe Grüße an alle Freunde und Verwandte :) ich hab euch lieb.
Mach´s guad, und lächeln noch weiter :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons