I love that quote that Mom sent, President Miles actually sent that in his email to us like two weeks ago. And Dad´s was great, too! I love quotes! I saw a cool quote yesterday in a calendar: "It is not what you are called, but what you answer to." -African Proverb. Goes well with responsibility and accountability.
This week was pretty different! Since we can't get ahold of any of our normal investigators, and because our appointment with R_____ fell out (he got stuck at work and rescheduled for this Friday), we brought our ward list with us and went by on lots of people who are less active and/or we don't know. And we find menschen unterwegs. <-- Whoa, sorry about that. We talked with a lady who was a Jehovah´s Witness, and we gave her a Book of Mormon! That is a first for me. They are great people, but many don´t give any room for conversation. She was very nice and had never heard about our message before! We found a cool pumpkin stand, totally honor code (see picture), in the same place, which was a little dorf in the middle of nowhere. And turns out most of our addresses for members there were falsch.
But yeah, we met with R_____ (different from above--a woman this time), the woman Elder Hansen brought to church! And a couple from the ward was there, and it was so awesome! She fed us great food, but then I had the chance to just sit back and watch as this member bore his testimony and taught. I thought, "This is incredible! This is how it is supposed to be. And this is where it starts!" So we are excited :) We had a joint teach for R_____ (the man), too, but it fell out. So we visited a less active with the joint teach instead. He is the stake president's son, an RM of a couple years, and he is cool. He was actually on school break and wanted to come help us. I want to be that member when I get home! I want my family to be the family from the "Hastening the Work" broadcast, where they just go and live missionary work, and serve! I love that clip. Anyway, we have another appointment with R_____ (the woman) on Thursday! And she came to stake conference and loved it!
Okay, I am going to tell you about gestern, because there were so many miracles! It was awesome! So we start the day waking up late, because the alarms on our phones did not go off. :/ We had promised to pick up a less active sister, who lived kinda out of the way. And we woke up five minutes before our bahn left the station! Great start, eh? So we still got out there, and the first miracle was that she was still there waiting for us! She had left her phone at home, and because we were late and couldn't get ahold of her, she thought we weren't coming anymore. But she decided to wait for one more bahn, and then there we were :) Thanks Heavenly Father! So we get to stake conference 15 minutes late, not too bad, and then we get a call from a referral from a member. This guy called a member, who was listed under the church´s information in the phone book, and wanted to come to church! Turns out, when they finally showed up, it was this man and his friend, both from Pakistan. One of them can speak German, the other not so much. And their English is a bit difficult. But they came! Afterwards, I left Elder Horlacher to talk with them as I went on the search for other people. I came back, and Elder Horlacher says that they wanted someone to sponsor them to go to Salt Lake City. Well, I thought, "Great, they just want money." But they talked some more with the Bensons, and we figured out that they just wanted to join the church! Because they have a friend who is a member and he said they should join the Mormon church. And they just thought they had to go to Salt Lake for that! So, no idea where they came from or why they are here, but they want to join the church! Miracle 2. We will meet with them and figure things out. After the meeting, a family invited us to lunch, and invited the less active lady we had brought with us as well! Which is great, because the lady we picked up usually leaves very quickly when she comes to sacrament meeting! But she loved talking with the members, and she was SOOOOO happy that it was such an awesome day, that we had picked her up (with our train cards we can take one person with us on weekends, that is what I mean by picking up) and that the members had invited her! AND! She wants to come do missionary work with us :) and learn English! She is so cool :) She also has a daughter who isn't a member, who came to church when she was young, but not anymore. And her husband isn't very happy about her being in the church. We are going to try and get a good relationship going with the family and just serve how we can :) Anyway, we continue the story. We drop the sister off, and she says, "Hey, just stay on this bahn, it will go to the end station and then head back this way." So we did, instead of getting off. And what do you know?! The next station further, who do we see? L_____ :) our investigator. He was so happy to see us! He gave us his home address and HE made the appointment out with us for next Saturay, at his home! We have wanted that forever! Meeting at his work is too stressful for him and for us. Miracle 3. :) So, then we go to Charlotten platz, where we have to switch bahns, and I stop to help a man from Shanghai, who needs to get to his hotel. We helped him buy a ticket and then we rode with him to where he needed to go, along with his 3 friends/family members. He was so nice, kept saying we didn't have to come with him. He then gave me his number and name and said he would show me around Shanghai the next time I am there :) I call that miracle 4, the Lord has something in mind. Maybe one day I will end up on a trip to Shanghai, and I will call him up and he will accept the restored gospel. Who knows, haha. Then, we finally get out at Bopser, heading home. There was a young Chinese woman I noticed out of the corner of my eye. I thought maybe she needed help finding something, but then our crosswalk light turned green, and she walked in the other direction. But then, at the end of the crosswalk, I noticed her behind us again. So I stopped and asked if she needed help getting somewhere. So we helped her, and gave her our number in case she needed help again, and then we started telling her what we do, that we were missionaries. We asked why she was here, and she said she was just on vacation. Then, out of nowhere, she opened up and just said that something didn't feel right in her life, and she decided to take a break, and go and find herself. Well, I know exactly why she was there! We both bore testimony about how the BoM helped us find ourselves, and we are going to give her a BoM in Chinese tonight, because she goes back home to China in like a day. But hey, however the Lord needs her to get in contact with the missionaries and get a Book of Mormon, I will be there to do it! Miracle 5 :) And there are always lots of awesome things that happen, little miracles. Life is wonderful! I got to send a little note to Klagenfurt with the son of Bruder Trippel, from Villach :) The son lives in my stake, in Tübingen! That is a tender mercy.
That was yesterday, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here! And to be part of this work! You don´t have to have a namebadge to see the wonders of everyday life. Look around and open your eyes and watch how you can see the Plan of Happiness in action. People have agency, and they use it, for good or bad. People go through hard times, or are incredibly blessed, and they learn and grow. You´ve done it, too! You are still doing it. Don´t ever stop!
The Lord lives and speaks to us through our prophet today, Thomas S. Monson. Obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel brings blessings. "In this there is safety and peace." Renew your committment today, right now, to be obedient with exactness, like I have. When we do so, the Lord will remove the clouds of darkness from our lives and help us to see clearly. The power of the Atonement is real. Repent, let Christ in, and move forward in faith. That is the wonderful news of the Gospel, for every single person. I know it is real, and it is true.
Gottes Segen auf euch für die kommende Woche! Ich hab euch alle el lieb! Lächeln! :)
Elder Jalen Gibbons
PS Deutschland is so green! Pretty!