elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany


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First, responses:

Mom:
So you saw Lauenburg huh? There is one neighborhood right here in Lauenburg where we see about 30 cats in an hour. Super creepy. As for my testimony growing, it’s kinda interesting. I’m a natural doubter.

I’m not one who’s like “hey we caught a bus! MIRACLE!”

I’m more like, “I’m sweaty”.

But that is what is great about the Holy Ghost. If you feel it, and you keep feeling it every time you watch a Mormon Message or read the Book of Mormon, you can’t really doubt anymore.

At the same time, I seem to be developing more into a Bruder H. kind of person than I thought I would be. He was one of my teachers who I really really liked, and was very successful on his mission, but not many of my fellow missionaries liked him. He’s REALLY bold. And it was hard to get used to. But I think there is something to be learned from him. He never let people get away with anything ever. He knew what was right and he was never going to let himself be complacent. And I really like that attitude.

Try something different for BOM study. Try reading it cover to cover and mark every single verse and write every thought about only one subject. I’m doing an Atonement (and to a lesser extent Plan of Salvation) Book of Mormon right now, which I did because my patriarchal blessing says to study the Atonement in depth. Try that with the Priesthood or Gospel of Jesus Christ or Parenthood or Teaching or Discipleship or Callings or Prophets or Testimony or Prayer or anything, and it will really open you up to receiving personal revelation (the only real way to learn the Gospel) from the Holy Ghost.

Bam. Missionary promise. Did you know missionaries are given the specific ability to make inspired promises, and that they really will come true? See Mormon 9:21.

21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Dad:

The work is getting better. I’ll say more below. Haha it’s funny how you and Mom share the same stories about Aspen and Sawyer. That bunny sounds great. If it weren’t for Jiggy, that would be fun to adopt. And I’m the worst about writing in my journal. I started writing again this morning, so that’s good. I have no idea why I was studying humility, but I learned a lot. Just all of a sudden at the end of my letter from a 2 weeks ao, I said “And I’ll talk about humility next time!” but I have no idea why. Weird how the Spirit works.

On to this week:

So last week’s letter turned out all Southern Baptisty. I’m just as surprised as you are. It kinda just came out that way.

That’s what happens when you literally listen to every single talk Jeffery R. Holland has ever said. 3 times.

Hopefully I can learn to control the burn, because I don’t think investigators would like it if I stood on their table and shouted my testimony. But I haven’t even tried it yet, so who knows!

But it has been easy to feel passionate lately.

The work is going just great, which I can promise you has absolutely nothing to do with the 2 brand spankin’ Elders serving in this area, one of whom still can’t remember how to say “I would like one of those donuts” (me) and the other who, literally every single night, falls asleep in the kneeling position. (that would be Elder Draper).

“Elder go to sleep. It’s now 11. Get in bed.”

“But I’m still praying!”

“No, Elder Draper, those are called ‘snores’.”

Speaking of Elder Draper, he has been killing me lately. And by that I don’t mean being annoying. Nor, in fact, do I mean, after I have come down from the mountain, poisoning me by degrees. (Little BOM joke there). He’s cracking me up.

Like when we came out of ward council, which was – how can I say this – COMPLETELY ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYINGLY BRUTAL, and he says,

“Well, at least we were bold!”

What? This is how it went, Elder Draper. “So Apostle David A. Bednar said that we should do a 40 day chain fast for missionary work with the ward!”

“No. ”

“Alright. Next item of business.”

Then Elder Draper says, “Wait, we WEREN’T bold? Dang it. I thought we were that time.”

Or when we were eating lunch with the other Elders in our district, and Elder Lauder says,

“Man, I just cannot figure you out, Elder Draper! I don’t think I have ever even seen you change facial expressions!”

And Elder Draper pauses, fork have way to his mouth, swallows, looks Elder Lauder right in the eyes and says one word:

“Stoicism.”

And then goes back to eating. Killed me.

But anyway, this week I was listening to a talk on gratitude by Thomas S. Monson (Just to mix things up from the Holland-o -thon), and he talked about the story of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes that we all know. But he talked about it in a way I haven’t thought of it before.

loaves fishes and you

 

He says that the Apostles did what are inclined to do. They said in effect,

“There’s no way we can feed all these people! All we have are some crusty loaves and those stinky fish Pete brought with him in his bag. Gross, they’re all linty!” (Incorrect emphasis added).

But Christ THANKED Heavenly Father for it, blessed it, and as we know, there was enough for everyone to eat their fill and more besides.

Sometimes, whether it be that we are serving in a HUGE AREA WHAT WERE YOU THINKING PRESIDENT KOSAK, or motherhood, or a new job, or any number of difficult life situations, and we just don’t feel like we can stretch far enough for the task.

We say, “There’s no way I will be able to go to all the people, let alone fill them up!”

But when we thank the Lord for the blessings/talents we DO have, and invite Him to help us, then we are more than a match for any situation. I know, because I’ve seen it, that I can be enough for an entire mission area, and I can spiritually feed all of these people, because that is what I have been called to do.

I know that when we are the best little fishes, the best crumbly loaves we can possibly be, in God’s hands we can become a feast.

Love, Elder Greaves

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Humility

First, replies:

Aspen: Missionaries aren’t allowed to hold babies.

I know.

It is still pretty warm here, but these past two days have been a little chillier. STOP PRAYING FOR ME TO BE BOLD! Just kidding. Keep reading your scriptures. Also, I hope you are reading this on the couch. Look at your skin. Now back at the couch. Now back to your skin. Now back to the couch. Now think about cows. Think about cattle prods. That couch is the skin of a cow. It was taken off of a cow. It once held all of the insides of cow, inside. You’re welcome. Also, I can almost guarrantee that your boots are made of leather… >:)

Sawyer: I need you to google some worthless things for me. Also, it sounds like cross country is going awesome!

1. Why do poisonous berries exist? Berries taste good so animals eat them and spread seeds. Why poisonous berries that animals avoid?

2. What causes waves? Tides are caused by the moon, but what causes waves themselves?

3. How do people do quick changes on stage? Is it special clothing or a technique or both?

Thank you. I need my brain to stop itching.

And seriously. This pencil is incredible.

This week I’ve spent a little time studying humility, because of a German word, and because the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was wrong in what I previously thought. I had always seen humility as being almost unaware of your strengths. You think you’re weak, and that makes you strong. It’s saying, Oh, I’m not so good at that… or when someone gives you a compliment: No, that’s not true, I’m not that smart/talented/musical/pretty/ nice/cool/righteous/spiritual whatever. After all, Pride is thinking you’re better than everyone else. Isn’t thinking of yourself as worse the opposite? I thought it was deflecting praise away from yourself. And it’s not. The German word for meekness is “Sanftmut”. The literal translation of that is “soft courage”. How cool is that? That got me thinking – Christ was the perfect example, and he has none of the traits that I thought made someone meek or humble. So I did what every good little missionary does and went to topical guide.

2 Chr. 7:14: Humility is connected with seeking for God. It says in paraphrase, humble yourself and pray and seek God, and I will forgive you.

Proverbs 15:32-33
32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

D&C 136:32 says if you are ignorant, be humble and acknowledge it, and the Lord will give you wisdom.

And 1 Nephi 19:9 says: And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

Here is Christ. He allows, let me repeat, allows himself to be treated in this way. Because he deserved it? Of course not! He said, he was the literal Son of God! He could destroy himself and resurrect himself on the 3rd day! When he was asked the night before his Crucifixion if he was the King of the Jews, he didn’t waffle, he didn’t say “Well I’m not that great. I’m wearing rags, I can’t even get the people to like me…” He said he was more than that! He was the only way they would ever get to return to God.

And think of Moses. We read in Exodus of a self-doubting, weak man. Called to be prophet, he sees the Lord, and he says, I can’t go talk to pharaoh. I can’t make the people follow me. And finally, most cutting, I can’t speak! I’M TOO WEAK. Did the Lord say, “Wow, you’re super humble! You’re the right guy for the job!” No.

It says in Exodus:  11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?  12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

The Lord promises to help him, and Moses STILL doubts!

And in verse 14: And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

The Lord gives him Aaron, not because he needed it, but because Moses refused to believe in himself. This is not humility. This is not trusting in the Lord. Then we read of a different, wiser Moses in the Pearl of Great Price.

10 And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. – He admits he is nothing compared to God.

And Satan sees an opportunity, one he may see with us, sometimes. He says:

  And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, SON OF MAN, worship me.

God had just called Moses “son” several times, and had compared him to Christ. Then Satan works to undermine that immediately.

But this time, Moses stayed humble.

 13 And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: WHO ART THOU? For behold, I AM A SON OF GOD, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and WHERE IS THY GLORY, that I should worship thee?

In that critical time, where in the past he had failed, and in the face of the very personification of evil, he says one very important word: No. He was a SON OF GOD, chosen before the world was, a prophet of the Lord who parted the Red Sea, and this spirit, this Satan, thinks he can make him doubt his divine right to heirship? Not a chance!

I think that it is too easy to doubt ourselves and forget who we are. But that isn’t humility. Humility is recognizing the power of the God, compared to how small we are. And Humility is knowing exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are, and knowing that the Lord, who gave them to you, will never ever let you fail if you are on his errand. I give my testimony that the Lord never forgets us, never abandons us, and never forgets that we are the children of God. Let’s try to do the same. 

I love you guys so much. Have a great week, and next time I promise to, I dunno, actually tell you who I’m teaching and stuff.

Elder Greaves


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This week, I bought a SUPER AWESOME PENCIL! Also, Elder Bednar came.

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09-14 Elder Bednar visit

All you can see is the top of Caleb’s head. 🙂  Near the back row, under the arrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First off, responses to questions:

Dad:
Things are picking up a little. A lot, actually. I hope we can keep the momentum. We’ve been working on talking to everyone we meet, because Elder Draper doesn’t like finding and neither do I, although as my German gets better it’s not so bad. That has blessed us a ton. I have been thinking all week that I know absolutely nothing about your mission! I want at least one story, related to topic or not, funny or spiritual, every week. I’m sure you have plenty. Geez, hundreds in a few months! We have handed out exactly 1 Book of Mormon to a nonmember, and he was a referral. I like the idea of doing Books of Mormon instead of pass-along cards. Investigators! What investigators? I literally taught my first real investigator lesson 2 weeks ago. On the last day of the transfer. Ouch. Actually, that’s part of the reason things are picking up. Germans get 6 weeks of vacation a year, and so during the summer, literally everyone is gone. Now, they are starting to come back. I’ve never even met that lady Sonja who has questions about women and the Priesthood. She’s been on vacation the whole time I’ve been here. But I’ll keep you guys updated. Elder Draper and I eat pretty well, actually. Here, lunch is the big meal, and you usually have bread and butter with maybe cheese and lunch meat for dinner. We usually have homemade pizza, or ravioli, or chili, etc. It’s nice. We were given red current marmalade by a nice lady yesterday. It’s super good. I’m jealous that you get to go to the dunes! I’m excited for Kyle Andrew; that’s awesome. I might wait on a camera because we will get iPads before the end of the year, and I can just use my companion’s. Thanks for the awesome letter.

Mom:
Congrats on the trial! Lawyers aren’t nearly as competent as I would have guessed. When you get a trainer, you and he stay together for 2 transfers or 6 week periods, and you always stay in the same area too. So we knew exactly what was happening next transfer. Elder Draper, who was trained right before he started training me, will have been in this area for 6 months at the end of this transfer, nad no one NO ONE stays in this area longer 6 months. Other areas, yes. This area? No. That’s just cruel. So he will leave next transfer, and chances are good I will stay. They don’t often take both missionaries out, or whitewash an area. And since chances are high I will train (Oh please please no), I will probably be here for 6 months as well. Even if I don’t train, I will be here between 4.5 and 6 months. So that’s the DL. Haha I can guess the exact pictures you are talking about. I will take those exact pictures. This is NOT considered a pretty area of Germany, but every town has an “Alterstadt” or old part of the city, and that is always really cool for non-Germans. 🙂 The one here is between 800 to 1000 years old, which is about average for Germany. Lüneburg, a bigger city in our area, is very pretty. But Lauenburg is on the Elbe River, so there is one cool picture I want to take. And all the old churches are crazy cool. I love that quote about adventure. I try to think about my mission as an adventure, and that always helps. I know you are praying for “hugs” from you, because I literally (and let me preface this by saying I’m not usually the “visionary” mamby pamby stuff kinda guy) But several times, always after my hardest days, I actually have dreams where you just hug me. And I always feel better the next morning. Kinda dumb, but it helps me.

So this week, BY FAR the best thing that happened was I bought a mechanical pencil that you never have to push a button to dispense lead. I don’t even know how it works, but it just keeps the exact same amount of lead ready to go the whole time you are writing. It’s mystifying. Much less mystifying are my black shoes, which (and I won’t say this is doctrine, but maybe we’ll hear something at General Conference) appear to have been designed by Satan himself for the soul/sole – double pun – purpose of impeding missionary work.  I put them on and I’m tired.

“Yay missionary work! I’m gonna go find someo – *finished tying*-I’m ready for bed.”

Also, Elder Bednar came.

So that was cool.

But this PENCIL!

Elder Bednar didn’t have a talk prepared, he just did a question and answer session with us. 1 hour of his questions, 2 hours of ours. It was all about how to teach and how to be guided by the Spirit, and how it is important to let your investigators do most of the talking. At the beginning, he gave us 3 rules: 1. Only write what the Spirit tells us, not what he says. Or in other words, write the small plates, not the large plates. (See Explanation of the Book of Mormon). So basically, don’t write down a secular history of the meeting, but what comes to your heart. 2. Ask a question if you have it. Act, don’t be acted upon. 3. Don’t ask any question with which you came.

After that, everyone was asking questions. That was really neat. Sometimes, he was a lot more bold and straightforward than I thought he would be. Sometimes, questions that I thought were dumb turned out to be really good to ask. For example, one Elder stood up and said he had 2 questions. 1. How are you doing? Like, is everything going okay for you? An admittedly confused Elder Bednar responded that yeah, everything was fine, thanks. Is everyone in the quorum doing okay? Um yes. Actually, after that question, Elder Bednar just lit up. He said that Elder Perry is 90, and no one can keep up with him. He’s just a whirlwind. Everyone, the other Apostles, the assistants, just can’t do it. He has too much energy. Others, Elder Packer for example, are feeling their age. But everyone is spiritually strong. 2. What can we do to help you? I’m gonna guess be a missionary. but actually, Elder Bednar said, don’t take this the wrong way. I’m glad to be meeting with you. But I’m in charge of all of Africa. And I should be there right now. He said that the church we saw in Nauvoo, where there was a Temple and a grove of trees, that is what it’s like in Africa. He said that is what the church will be like everywhere. They won’t spend money on church buildings because they aren’t necessary. That’s like way in the future I think. But we’ll see. We learned alot about teaching, and recognizing that the person we are teaching has agency.

Hamburg District 9 2014

This week, a few awesome things happened.

Wednesday, we found someone. The first person I have ever found since being here. We were really happy. After that, we tried an investigator that I had never met becuase they were never home. This was like the 3 or 4th time, and this guy hasn’t progressed in 3 years. He refuses to make appointments. But we wanted to involve his wife. This time, though, a lady was walking past us, and stopped and greeted us. Lo and behold, it was Michael’s wife! She told us Michael was upstairs, but we told her we actually wanted to meet with the whole family, because what we wanted to share would help them all. She was really happy and said she would definitely meet with us this week on Wednesday. She is a very “go-getter” sort of lady, so I think it will turn out really well. Andreas, an inactive member of several years, has come to church 2 weeks in a row now, and we are meeting with him and the Bishop tonight to talk about the Bishop’s role in repentance. We had English class too, and for the first time, people showed up. They are members of our ward, but we hope that they will bring friends. If they don’t, we’ll just make them feel guilty. 🙂 We’ve now handed out Book of Mormons to 4 families in the ward, and asked them to make a list of names of acquaintances and pray about each person by name to see if they are ready. They all accepted, so now we just have to follow up and keep reminding them. By that I mean threaten to pray with them like we do when investigators promise to pray and don’t. I’m not messing around here, people. I will not let them escape. I think I’ve told the bishop to do that like 4 times now. He’s not progressing anymore. We may have to drop him.

I should probably stop praying for boldness.

For example. We did work for Sister B, a less-active member and mother of former GML, [ward mission leader] Gordon, AKA my hero. He was there too. We sat down to give her a “Geistige Gedank” [Sidenote:  hmm…literally translates to “spiritually performing mental”] at the end, in which we had nothing planned, but I’d been thinking about a lot. We sat down and I told her that I would speak English so my German didn’t distract her. (Grammar Nazi). She said that was fine. So i said, “So. How’s your testimony?” She was a just little taken aback. Her son looked at her and said, “Well it’s a fair question”. She said she believed in God and Prayer, but not the Church. So I talked about giving faith a chance like Alma talks about with planting seeds in your heart. I told her she had to try it out before she would know, which means keeping all the commandments, specifically, going to church every Sunday, reading the BOM every day, praying about it nightly, keeping the Word of Wisdom, and meeting with us weekly to have us teach her the lessons (“We need the German practice!”) and keeping all the committments we give her. So I actually invited her to keep all the commandments at once. Which is not advisable. But she accepted hearing the lessons, which was all I wanted. We’ll get her. I’m told Germans like boldness.

Also, we met with a lady named Nancy who wanted us to explain Imagine Dragons lyrics because we are mormon and should know these things. Love ya guys!

Next week I’ll talk about meekness and humility, and how Christ’s example is completely different than what I thought it was. Also the German translations for these words are really cool. But here’s a question to think about. What is humility? It might be different than what you think. It’s definitely different than what I thought.

Love you,

Elder Greaves


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I’m tired.

tired missionariesMissionaries that aren’t Caleb because he no longer has a camera.  Which explains why we haven’t received any pictures.  :/
 
First off:
 
Mom: Your lesson sounds awesome! It reminds me of a talk by Joseph B. Wirthlin: “Come What May, and Love It”. I basically have it memorized because we have General Conference 2008, and that is the only thing we listen to in the car. So I’ve heard it maybe 15 times. I really like the Navajo rug analogy!
 
Sawyer has not emailed me his news, so I’ll have to wait til next week.REALLY REALLY sorry about pictures. But someone STOLE my camera the first day I was in Germany. Or I lost it. One of the two. I’ve been trying to see if I left it at the church to which all the new missionaries go, but no one has deigned to respond to little ole me.
 
Birthday wishes: Sooooo…. I need adventure backpack! I don’t know if that is too big, but every time you do a companion exchange, you need a backpack to put all your stuff in. Yeeesss. Also, Peanut butter comes in jars of about 4 Oz., and they cost about 6 dollars. So that is always welcome, but I need like 2 jars, max. Also, cool gospel pictures, because everyone laminates them to the covers of your daily planner. Most importantly, keep sending letters! They help me a lot. I love you so much, and your letter came on a day that I really really needed it. Thank you.

As for the money thing: the reason that Moms see money disappearing from personal accounts is 2 reasons.

1. Any bus or train tickets are refundable, because if they weren’t we wouldn’t have enough money. But that means every month, you use personal money, and then eventually get it refunded by them putting money on your card. But the cards are Bank of America, and so you get charged a ton for taking money out of an ATM, so they get that in cash and they don’t put it back in onto their personal account, because then, you’ll just get charged later. So basically all missionaries are jsut hording cash. (That’s why I took out 100 dollars: I haven’t spent a dime of “personal money”. Except for a bus ticket that I lost so I don’t get a refund. grr.)

2. American missionaries have discovered H&M here. And they go nuts, because it’s cheap and looks cooler than what they had before. The generally accepted plan is to buy H&M, wear it till it falls apart (a time period ranging between roughly 2-4 days) and then buy another suit, or winter coat, or shoes. In this way, you keep it fresh.

About Christmas stuff. How long will it take to get there? Because I’m definitely doing that.

Companion: Elder Draper. From: Utah. duh. Likes: Classical music. Plain Tofu. Soy Milk. Cooking. He’s not health nut or anything, just weird about tofu.  Dislikes: Laughing too hard. We are doing good together. A little tiny bit of contention this week, but that has more to do with the area than us.  Before this week, I had one investigator lesson I in 5 weeks. So my first REAL investigator in an entire transfer, 6 weeks, was on Saturday with a man named Daniel that we were referred to by a visitor a few weeks ago. It’s been REALLY REALLY SLOW. We literally have not handed out a single Book of Mormon to anyone but members. My companion is coming up on 6 months here, and he works really hard, but we are so bored. No one ever answers the door. The weather has been beautiful. I’m super excited to meet Elder Bednar! Thanks for the quotes too!

Dad: Thanks for your letter. I’m just doing everything I can to make sure that I’m not holding the Lord back. So I’m studying the language really hard, working on understanding the lessons really in depth (I’d send you a picture of my outline if I could. It’s ridiculous – lines going everywhere, words highlighted, notes in the margins …) we have “3-5 minute lessons” which is up to each missionary to develop (usually it is talking about the section headings), basically just a dense, interesting super-summary of a lesson. I just want to make a really good one. And of course scripture study. I know what you mean about success is being obedient. I just want something to do. The work picked up a bit this week.

It feels like time is flying by – but that it has also been reeeaallly long. I think Dad’s advice is really great, and I’ve been praying every night for like 4 weeks for charity. It is really making a difference!

Here’s the summary I sent to President Kosak,

“On Monday, we asked our GML to come with us when we taught Andreas, an inactive member of three years. The missionaries have been teaching him every week for a year. Bruder Breckwoldt, our GML, did an awesome job helping us out. Andreas agreed to come to church by going into the back room and asking Gordon to tie his tie for him. Not that he’s dramatic or anything. But, low and behold, he did come to church! everyone was very friendly, and he talked to everyone. He’s on vacation the next few weeks, but we really think he will come to church from now on.

On Tuesday, We tried to re-contact Nancy, who has refused to open the door the past 3-4 times we have tried. She didn’t open it this time either.

On Wednesday was Zone Conference. Afterwards, we met with Denise, who has investigated the Church for 3 years and has wanted to be baptized for a year. All of her kids are now baptized, and she had said she wanted to wait until December to be baptized (when her friend would be there), but told us she wants to get baptized as soon as possible. We have to go through the lessons with her again, but she has been to church every week for a year, so we are pretty sure everything will go fine. We are trying to get her husband involved, but so far, he is adamant that he will not be baptized.

On Thursday, we met with the Bishop, and gave a Book of Mormon along with the challenge to write his testimony in it, then write out a lsit of names of people he knows, and then pray about each name to see which ones he wants to refer, or give a Book of Mormon, or invite to church. And we told him if he feels that no one is ready, he can give his Book of Mormon with the testimony back, and we will hand it out to someone. We think this idea will get the ward excited about missionary work, will inspire people to give us referrals, and will even involve poeple that don’t have a referral. We are planning on meeting with a member every day this week to do the same.

Friday, we tried again to contact Nancy, and she finally answered! We set up an appointment for this week, and invited her son to soccer in Bergedorf the next day. We had a lesson with a VERY old man named Erwin. We asked if we could meet with both him and his sister next time, because he doesn’t seem to understand what is going on, but has read a lot of the Book of Mormon.

Saturday, we had soccer with Nancy’s son, and it was a lot of fun. After that, we contacted a referral we had recieved from a visitor the week before. His name is Daniel, and he is so prepared! He said he wanted to know something as strongly as we knew the church was true. As always, he is now going on vacation, but he agreed to meet with us when he returns.

Sunday, we had an eating appointment with an awesome family in our ward. We gave them a Book of Mormon and challenged them to pray about a list of names.”

That  guy helped me more than anything here. He was so awesome – so much fun to talk to!

Tchüß! (Bye)

Elder Greaves

 
 


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Now I’m running on a treadmill! Backwards! YEEHAH!

I promise that heading will make sense. 🙂

gas

This week has been ROUGH.

With our car, we only get 2000 km a month, which with a quick calculation means that we had

2000 km X 1mi/1.6 km = … and units cancel… carry the 1… 3.3 miles.

Approximately.

And we ran out, because our area is 300 km long. And we live on one side. So you can use a quarter of the km in one day, easy.

So we had to use the buses and trains all week, which I knew was going to be interesting, because Elder Draper has only been here 2 transfers longer than me, and when we rode the trains back from Berlin my very first day, we were lost for

– and this actually isn’t an exaggeration for once –

4 hours.

With all my luggage.

Fantastically, this trend continued, since we clearly have no ability to judge how long it will take us walk or ride the bus anywhere.

We’ve missed so many forms of transportation this week, I’m surprised they don’t just send us up north to see if we can’t miss a submarine and go for the Triple-Crown.

All that means is that I am more tired than ever, working harder, learning more, talking to more people, and less success. But that just isn’t right, dadgum it. (Now you know I’m angry).

Christ and angels are working in this area, because they are working everywhere. The field has been de-stoned, tilled, aerated, fertilized, planted and sown, weeded, watered, dunged, cultivated, grafted, reweeded, the corn has been topped, the wheat is rising above the chaff, the keys to the harvester are in the ignition, the oil’s been changed, the tires are full, and it is time to harvest here!

Harvest-Field-300x187Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;

For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in storethat he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;

–Doctrine & Covenants 4:3-4

This area is definitely considered a difficult one, but it has an awesome ward. We’re ordering 20 German BOM’s, and we are going to stop by every member’s house for like the next 4 weeks and give them BOM’s, then ask them to write down a list of names and pray about each one individually to see if they are ready for the message of the Gospel. And if they really don’t have any referrals, they can just write their testimony in it and give it back Sunday for us to hand out.

I WILL FORCE THEM TO LOVE ME.  THEY WILL ADORE MISSIONARY WORK, DADGUM IT.

We are relying on a combination of good looks, guilt, and good ole fashioned, way over the top American friendliness now.

Also the Lord.

I know that fasting and prayer works. Try it! We have received another referral, again from someone not in our ward, and it was right after we finished another fast this weekend. In the words of Bernie: Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

Dad: About soccer-They were all pretty darn good. It was weird because I’ve played with young guys and I played with old guys, but I’ve never played with 25-30 year-olds. It was interesting. I did alright, but my touch was absolutely gone. Had to play creatively, since I could not dribble to save my life. They were all super super polite, which is not something I’m definitely not used to.

The German people are different in a few ways:

1. They think that German is way harder than English
2. They are very polite always, but in a really straight-forward way that is definitely not American. An American might feel obligated to listen to you in some situations, or they might offer you something as an obligation (would you like something to eat?). But then they might complain to their friends later about how annoying it was that you talked to them or that you actually accepted their offer of food. Germans will just tell you that they do not want to talk to you, but then the problem is dealt with and it’s nothing. And if they offer you food or something, they actually mean it and will be offended if you DON’T take it.
3. They HATE accepting help.

Mom: Good luck with your lesson! Take on women and the Priesthood if you’re up to it! Just kidding. That’s a lot of work. I’ve been trying to get some stuff together for an investigator that gets back from vacation in 2 weeks who has a serious problem with that. I’m told she’s a debator, and refuses to pray as we ask her to, so if I can just make her consider that we are maybe right, she will hopefully try praying. She laughs when a missionary bears their testimony. 😦

Some really cool things I’ve found have come completely by accident while reading Jesus the Christ. A pretty well known one is how Mary Magdelene was the first to see the Resurrected Christ, but one that I didn’t really think about was the Virgin Mary. After eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Heavenly Father tells Satan that there will be enmity between He and the WOMAN, and HER seed. It was given unto woman alone to bring Christ into the world. This was certainly not a punishment, but a blessing, showing how the Lord definitely does not favor man over woman. I really liked that.

Anyway.

I really hope that works out for Grandma Ann [to be sealed to her parents]. Tell her I’m praying for her.

Speaking of Grandmas, how is Grandma Cathy? Just let her know I love her and would love to hear from her.

Sawyer:  That is so awesome!  And is that 12 minutes for 2 miles? Faster than me in 8th (9th) grade, especially at the beginning of the season. Height helps!

I’ll say more in my letters, which I still haven’t sent. Blame Mom, because I write half of her letter every night, then go to bed, then the next day I don’t like what I write and I start over.

Love ya!

Elder Greaves

lauenburg

 

 

 

Lauenburg