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!