Monday, July 22, 2013

Liebe Familie!


What a crazy week! And warm! It is like 80 degrees in our apartment, pretty rough, because you just stick to everything you touch because of the humidity and such. But I probably can´t say much, because I am not in some other place that is no doubt way worse. 
Anyway, we got transfer calls on friday! Elder Davies geht weg :( he is going to Offenburg, not too far from Stuttgart, but in a different stake. I will get Elder Horlacher as my new companion, the Elder Horlacher I knew from the MTC group above me :) He is way funny! AND he was trained in Landshut! So if we get to go back there, the ward would know both of us :) Yeah, I asked Elder Allan how the baptism (of Sympla and Benito) went, and he said it was great! The water in the font was low, apparently, so they had to baptize one of them 3 times and the other 5 till they got it right haha. But it worked :) Oh yeah, guess what?! Elder Allan is training next transfer! Wahnsinn, oder? There are so many missionaries coming out that there have to be so many trainers! I know he works way hard, and he will do great!
I don´t have a ton of time this morning, we are doing a district pday, going to Taco Bell on the Base with some American members, then afterwards we are going to visit the Rittersport factory! Should be lots of fun. A member from Singen (Elder Davies´ first ward here on the mission) is coming to spend some time with us! He is preparing to go on a mission, which is way cool :) And he attributes it all to Elder Davies just being his friend when Elder Davies was there. Look at the power of example and pure love! We can change so many things when we just try to do as the Savior would. 
We had a great experience this week in meeting with a man named K_____ (a different K_____, although now we are meeting with two K_____s, haha). Elder Davies found him months ago here, and called at least once a week to try and meet up with him. He never answered. On Tuesday he tried again, and after ten minutes, K_____ finally called back and we set up an appointment for that night! We met with him, walked to the church, and had one of the greatest lessons of my life! He has some addiction problems, but wants to get away from it all, and says that he had never answered because he was afraid we wouldn't accept him and his image, how he was. He was still apprehensive as we first met him, but he changed completely afterwards. He said one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard, and told us over and over that he just had so much strength and light from meeting with us, and he tells us everytime that he is so grateful that he met us. We committed him to baptism on the 14 of September, and all we did was teach him about the Restoration, and bear testimony about how he could do anything with faith in Jesus Christ. I can´t think of any other lesson where the German language slipped so naturally and fluidly out of my mouth, and the Spirit was the reason! We taught the truth with testimony, as Pres. Monson said, and it was incredible. My favorite part was when we read Alma´s story in Alma 36, because K_____ told us about his past. We said we would switch off reading aloud every two verses or so, but he started reading and then didn't stop. He read it, and saw himself in it, and when it talked about the pains and afflictions, he got emotional and he could feel his own pains, and then it talked about the light, from the Savior, that incredible joy from repentance. And that story was written for him. Amazing how the scriptures do that, ja? :)
So, he came to church gestern, but wasn't feeling well and went home. But the Lord sends angels to help us all, doesn't he? There was a lady in church who neither Elder Davies nor I know, who went up to K_____ after the meeting and said, "I can see that you want to quit. I can see it in your eyes and your face, you are ready to quit. And you will do it!" No idea who this wonderful woman is! But the Lord watches out for each of us, and Heavenly Father knows His children. 
That was one miracle this week! From many. I write down the miracles that happen every day in my planner. My journal is kinda....terrible.. but I know the Lord´s work is moving forward. I love you all very much, and am grateful for your examples of faith and love, and I wish you all the best! 
Keep smiling!
Elder Jalen Gibbons
PS--Photos!  Check out the sweet shirt I bought last week. It says, in Bayerisch, "eins zwei drei, gewonnen", referring to their triple championship win this last season, so funny :)
Then, this was my shopping last week, I got a pair of shoes, the shirt, the shorts, socks, and a Fußball.  I was worried about the shoes being expensive, but I found these ones :) 
Now, a sweet Audi r8 by our church! But just wait, that isn't even the end of the nice cars...
Let´s just call it "New Mission Vehicles..." ;)  Yes, I am standing there with exactly 8 Lamborghinis, two of which were the brand new Aventodor. Beautiful machines. The orange one is probably my favorite. We found the Bentley/Lamborghini dealer of Stuttgart. I must say, we decided it would be a sin to buy such a car. We discussed afterwards how we didn't feel very good, and decided it was the strong testimony that money DOES NOT equal happiness. And after that, no other cars on the road even caught my eye. See what money and luxury does to you? That was our experience last week :) Life lessons learned. And we had fun doing it too.
Love you, 
Elder Gibbons

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