Monday, January 13, 2014

Up on the Roof

Elders Botcherby and Gibbons
Schönen guten Morgen, schönen guten Tag, ich schreibe euch was, weil ich euch mag. :)

Schon eine Woche vorbei, ist ja der Wahnsinn! We decided gestern as an apartment that we will only speak German now. Elder Weston was the one who asked, and we agreed, and then the GML, ward mission leader, told us the same thing at church, because he can see that Elder Weston gets frustrated when he doesn't understand what is going on. We all feel that way, or have felt that way, but the German is coming etwa langsamer for my companion, and even though he is pretty good at just going with it and winging it, he doesn't understand as much German as he'd like. So we are speaking only German. It is good for us older missionaries, too, of course. And it is back to normal for me, after speaking only Deutsch mit Elder Horlacher. One day it will just click. That is our biggest focus right now as a companionship and as an apartment. Just tough it out. Good life lesson. 

The week was good, we spent lots of time in between appointments and meetings and stuff just contacting the people on the street. I love that feeling when you just talk to everyone who walks by and even though tons of them just ignore you or stop for a second and then walk away, I feel unstoppable. Of course, that is still not the most effective way to find people, but we are good at it. I think that every person who says no just brings us closer to the one who says yes!.We met our goal to get 10 potential investigators, which is the standard of excellence for the mission, and this week we upped it a little bit. We didn't get to go by on those people with Br. Zornig, but we want to do that this week. We did go to a before-funeral ceremony thing for the Br. Ochoko, and that was a neat experience. There were lots of friends there, and they did I guess a somewhat traditional African farewell party. We sang Kumbaya and stuff like that, and a Catholic priest talked to us. The funeral is tomorrow, we are going to go support again. 

We had an awesome zone training meeting on Tuesday, the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders do a really great job! While we were there, the Ehepaar (senior couple) the Strongs invited us to come on Tuesdays and Thursdays to the Young Single Adult Center so that Elder Strong can work one on one with Elder Weston with German. So I sit there and read talks from Conference in German, or talk in German with the other missionaries who are there. (Speaking and writing are the best practices). Sister Green and Sister Motto are there usually, both of whom I know from Stuttgart, so it is fun to talk with them about Stuttgart when they finish teaching English to their "students." I hope that these classes just give Elder Weston practice and experience. I am very grateful for the Strongs' efforts. 

Oh, Bobby Simic was ordained a Deacon yesterday :) and all four of them who got baptized received a triple combo from the Bishopric. They were so excited! Michi wasn't there gestern, he was at his grandma's, so next week he will be ordained a Teacher. Mariya, the mom, wanted to meet every single day this week, and we are working more today, so that we can go with the Simics to Caritas on Thursday. Caritas is where I bought my first trachten suit :) so we will see what I can find! Ich bin begeistert. (By the way, I am sending a picture of me and Elder Botcherby from our rooftop, we went up there to watch the sunset and to sing at the start of comp study. But Elder Botcherby says hello, and wanted me to send a picture of us.) Anyway, we love familie Simic and we are so excited to see them this week so often. We are talking about the Priesthood today, for the boys. 

We met with A_____ on Saturday night and showed him the church! And we made it very clear why we want to meet with him, that we want to help him follow God and be happy in life. He wants to follow God, and we invited him to be baptized when he prepared himself. He wasn't completely sure at the moment, but he came to church gestern and liked it, so we will see where it goes for him :) As for the familie S_____, I believe they are doing well, but they haven't come to church a single time since I have been here. Some excuse comes up every week, I guess. But the zone leaders meet with them often. 

We went by on the cupcake man again, who we found at the beginning of last transfer, and we gave him a Book of Mormon and talked to him for a little while. He is really nice, and doesn't like how "cold" the people are here. He is Austrian, I think, but his family wants to move away from here eventually. So he respects what we are trying to do. I also bought a real American style cinnamon roll from him, and it was heavenly. Also gave me a headache. So sweet. He is a great guy. 

We have lots in store this week, hoping to get some new investigators from the people we have found. But we did notice something last week, at least I did as I was talking to everyone on the streets. We wanted to focus on getting to the Restoration as soon as possible, and how everything comes down to the Book of Mormon, and whether or not they have a testimony of it. Just like I said last week, if people are going to make sense of our purpose as missionaries and make sense of the message we are trying to give them, they need to know if the Book of Mormon is true. We were just talking about investigators and what their needs are, and everything just came back to the Restoration, to the Book of Mormon. And when I focused on that in my contacting, the Spirit was there to give testimony and I felt more effektiv, even if they didnt want to learn more. I spoke the invitation, like Mom said, and that was the best I could do. Always trying to become a "Preach My Gospel" missionary! So study chapter 5 in Preach My Gospel and see how you can use that in your efforts to recgonize missionary opportunities, like you told me about. Keep it simple and powerful. 
I wish you the best in that aspect, and much fun this week! I love you all! :) Mach´s gut!

Elder Jalen Gibbons

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