It’s official! Elder Riddle and I will stay 6 weeks longer together in Bernburg. Then, I will almost definitely go.
…But that’s enough time to get a few more people soaking wet, Gospel style!!!
Just so you know, because I’m super jealous, Elder Garrett has had a pretty wild few transfers. The transfer after I left Lauenburg, He got blitzed (transferred mid-transfer) to go close down an area for a week (a lot of work) and then whitewashed (both companions are new and have no idea what is going on in the area), where he was Zone leader for 1 transfer (usually you are there for 4 transfers) because President combined their zone with someone else’s, and then he got sent to the area of areas, all I ever wanted in the world, my favorite ward, everything I could dream of . . . A little tiny town bordering Poland that barely ever sees success, so that is exciting enough, but then the branch President has gone completely rogue, kind of hates every missionary that gets sent there, and refuses to let anyone get baptized unless they’ve read the whole Book of Mormon and come to church for 6 months. Which is ridiculous. President came to the town once just to sign a baptismal form that the Branch President refused to because they hadn’t read the whole Book of Mormon yet. In short, he is a CHALLENGE! Grr. I’m super, super jealous. It could be so much fun.
This week has been pretty great. We set TWO baptismal dates, for a total of 3, all for March 21st. One of them is the wife of Bo Petro. Her name is Rana. She’s only 20. It’s definitely harder to teach her because she only speaks Serbian. For example, we went by on Saturday for our lesson, but Bo wasn’t there. One of his friends has a child that got very sick and has to have like a 6000 Euro surgery, but they can’t talk to the doctors because they only speak Serbian, so Bo is at the hospital all day every day translating as best he can. That means they weren’t able to come to church again, which is scary because we don’t have much extra time left. If something else happens, we’ll probably have to move the date back. But, that is a fairly decent excuse, ya know?
The other one is a super funny old German guy named Bruder Mark. I talked a little about him last time. He is 79. When he doesn’t understand, and also when he agrees, and also when he needs to fill space while he’s thinking of the right word, he just says ja (said ya, means yes) over and over and over and over super fast, so it’s like:
“Bruder Mark, have you read in the BOM?”
“What did I just ask?
“I…. didn’t understand?…ayayaya..”
“DID. YOU. READ?!”
“Yyayayayayayayayaya! 10 chapters!”
“Cool! What did you read about?”
It’s great. But he’s come to church twice now and is just loving it. He leaves halfway through Sunday school after sacrament because lunch time at the senior center is like 10:30. Love him. It’s looking really good for him. I think he’ll make it to baptism. He’s really enthusiastic about everything. We gave him a church tour, so it was like:
“Here’s a picture of Thomas S. Monson, he’s a prophet!”
“Really? Wow!” and then he walks past a book shelf and he’s like “OMIGOSH. THIS A SHELF. A SHELF FOR BOOKS. Very practical. I love this bookshelf. Nicely placed.”
Not much time, but I would like to share a short testimony of the Holy Ghost. He is there with us, teaching.
Bo had a cool experience with the Book of Mormon already. He’s read about 70 pages so far. He reads during the night when one of the babies need to fall back asleep. He says sometimes, he’ll be angry or frustrated at his two kids (1 year old, and 0 year old) for crying or screaming or not sleeping, so he’ll go to the other room and read a few chapters. And he feels this peace come over him, and the anger is gone, and he appreciates his kids more.
That’s the beginnings of a testimony! He didn’t even recognize it as the Spirit until we talked about it. But He was there, testifying. The Book of Mormon, as it says in Preach My Gospel, is the most powerful tool for conversion.
Also, Dad, I absolutely love the talks. Keep ’em coming. This last one was super interesting. I’d always felt slightly uncomfortable, because I felt like we (and I) didn’t focus on God enough, and were giving all the glory to Jesus, which is exactly what Jesus DIDN’T want in the premortal existence. It has helped me a lot, and I’ll probably read it a few more times. Thanks for your testimony and for seeking after gospel knowledge.
I hope you all have a great week! Love you!