elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

First full week, actually lasted a month and a half . . .

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Hamburg District 8 2014

Hamburg District 8-2014



Sorry I haven’t been able to write in last 4 months.

That’s how long this week has felt. Not necessarily because this week has been hard. I mean, it really was awful but also because I felt so many emotions and learned so many things. This is probably how the sister missionaries feel ALL THE TIME.

Also, I am eating enough. Also, okay I’ve lost weight. Also, it was weight I gained on MTC food, so I just … levelled out. Below averagely. Also, I look GOOD, so it’s all good.

Also, this week has been 9 3/4 months of the best, worst, and weirdest stuff ever, which I hope is how every week is, minus the bad stuff, because I’m not about that life.

Excuse my typing errors. I’m typing this in an internet cafe owned by a clearly un-American owner, and that isn’t even an exaggeration. No really, I’m telling the truth this time.

A literal quote that he told us, translated by my trainer after we left last week, was:

“Palestine has killed 1000’s of children. Israel? It just has a few bombs! A few grenades! Big deal! They blew up like 4 cars. Tops. Right? I mean, America should mind it’s own business right?”

To which my trainer vigorously and sweatily agreed, and I did my signature, “Ja, ja”, head bob, and turn to trainer for confirmation. He is talking loudly.   Help me.

Anyway. A summary of the past 3 years of my life, beginning with this last Monday.

To say people get offended when two smiling, handsome young men knock on their doors and ask if they believe in eternal families is the UNDERSTATEMENT OF THIS DISPENSATION.

Basically, for the past 8 years, I’ve said,

“Hey do believe in Jesus Christ?”Nein grumpy cat


“Hey do you believe in eternal families?”


“Hey do you love your family?”


“Hey how about we help you garden?”




I see a red banner dragged behind a cartoon devil figure that just says NEIN all across it every time I close my eyes. Also, some “Kein Intresse” and “I’m already baptized” slogans sprinkled in.

A few decades ago, when I got here, I had heard the whole “you’ll get a lot of doors slammed in your face” or “you’re looking for the one” things all the time. But no really. They aren’t lying. Germans have a phrase that translates to what is essentially,

“What I don’t know isn’t important”. WOW.


If the past 4 centuries have taught me anything, it’s that you can really love the people anyway. I love the lack of humor here. It’s humorous. Here’s a German joke, a real zinger. They have to rhyme, apparently. This was told to my trainer at an eating appointment, and all the German’s cracked up.

“Alle gucken auf den brendenden Haus ausser Klaus, er guckt raus.”

It means: Everybody looked at the burning house except for Klaus. He looked outward.

Then the Germans died. Well not really, they just laughed. Klaus died though. They thought my companion didn’t understand because he didn’t laugh. That’s not the reason.

You don't say!


Anyway, a few highlights from the week since I’m running out of time.

The funnest thing I’ve done since being here is met with Jehovah’s Witnesses for 2 hours. They got really mad when I shared Amos 3:7. They basically started yelling at us that our religion is wrong and we don’t believe in the Bible. They refused to let us speak. literally, they just talked louder when we tried to answer their scriptures. They would share with us one and then say “OOPS!” because they thought it completely destroyed our faith. Luckily, it wasn’t even hard to answer their scriptures with scriptures of our own, let alone with testimonies. We ended up just sharing those and leaving.

Let’s see… highlights…

1. A naked man at the door. Didn’t even get to bare my testimony. Ha. Pun.
2. A 70 year old woman with a cigarette at the door wearing a tshirt and panties. And that’s it.
3. Being at a member eating appointment on Sunday for 4 hours, not understanding a word. They are the most talkative, poorest, sweetest people I have ever met. Tiny house and dog. Watched Bruder S. play with his dog for 2 hours before we ate, part of which play included pulling the dog around and wrestling it, touching every part of its body. Then he served us our food. And I ate it all, which trust me is an accomplishment just portion-wise and germ-wise, but also it was the grossest thing I’ve ever ate. Tofu and this spicy liverwurst sausage stuff. And I’m grateful for it.

I had a ridiculously hard day Saturday, but lots of prayer and study that morning really helped me. I’m loving reading Jesus the Christ, because it’s as close as I can get to entertainment. 🙂 I love it here, even though it’s hard. I’m completely out of time, but a few things that have helped me is the pictures I have of you guys, my ring that reminds of a much harder time and a special talk with my mom, and how good I look with these brown shoes.

Love you guys, more spiritual stuff next week.

Elder Greaves




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