elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

Better week

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Maybe you could guess from the the title, but this week has been much better. There are down weeks, ya know.


I’m just getting to the point now where I’m just about ready to be perfect, really.  Mistakes are for THE WEAK.

But… welcome to mortality, Elder Greaves.

A lot of this week was re-contacting all the old investigators whose first appointments fell out. And finally, we did it, so hopefully a few of them will stick this go-round.

We recontacted that Indian family for example. They were the ones whose baby we blessed. He had a heart murmur, or his heart was beating too fast, or something. He was like 20 days old. He is doing great now! But we stopped by like 10 times before they were home.

Something great that happened this week is that John, the brand-spankin’ new convert, brought 2 friends to church on Sunday, so we got 2 referrals! He is so amazing. Bad news: They speak Tigrinya, which, as you may guess, gives us absolutely no way to talk to them. No church materials, not even Google Translate.

Tigrinya is spoken mainly in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

But we will try to get by on German and English and pictures and hand signals. At one point, I turned to John and said this was hard, to which he laughed and said

“Man, you’re a missionary! I got you the work, now do it!”

And then . . .

“Eh. Just show them pictures of baby Jesus. They’ll like that.”

(Totally accurate read on Africans).

He’s a stud. This 85-year old woman is making a pretty good friendship with him, considering she can’t speak English, and he can’t speak German. Pretty impressive. I want them to be best friends. 🙂

At church, a large chunk of the members were gone, so there were only 12 adults in Sacrament, plus the two missionaries and the FOUR black people for whom we were translating. Pretty cool! We are taking over the ward! Pretty soon it will be English speaking. 🙂 (John, his two friends, and this random black guy Elder Pilling knew that just wandered in).

The worst thing this week is that we went on an exchange, so Elder Short came here with Elder Riddle and I went to Köthen for a day with Elder Glissmeyer. AND THEY ATE ALLLLLLL OF MY FOOOD. I’m talking 6 rolls, 2 gallons of ice cream, 2 frozen pizzas, half of my lunch meat, all the juice, 3 liters of milk, my olives (WHAT THE HECK?!!!) and then, to top it all off, they ate ONLY THE MIDDLE PART OF HALF A LOAF OF BREAD. It was stale, so I was going to use it for French toast (stale bread is the best for that).

All in all, a really fun week. Elder Riddle is great. He is going home in 6 months, and very much looking forward to it. He misses the ladies…. 😉 He still works really hard though, and loves his mission. He is REALLLY good at ballroom dance. He could literally go pro if he wanted to. An interest we have in common that we discovered yesterday is that we both still harbor the childhood fantasy of being a:

S is my favorite letter
—-nothing suspicious here
P is my next favorite letter
—-all very boring
Y is only slightly behind in 3rd place
—-don’t check for anything in this message, male sibling of largeness.


I think you guys know, and if you guys don’t you should, that if I ever get a secret message in a book in the library telling me I’ve been recruited to funky branch of some unnamed place of which I won’t say the name of, because you, know, this email might be read for key words which I won’t say, and I would hate for that to ruin my recruitment potential, That was a run on sentence, I would most definitely do that in a heart beat. Just so ya know.
I love you guys

Elder Greaves

The following is a letter sent to Caleb's mission president from a random person experiencing missionaries on a train in 

The Impact Of Missionaries

I've decided to reach out just because I experienced something incredible Saturday evening 
while sitting on regional train adjacent from two missionaries (in Berlin). I'm from 
California, grew up in a Mormon community and just thought it'd be worth sharing this story,as it left a smile on my face.

The two missionaries were sitting adjacent from me next when an old couple sat down next to them. The two missionaries started talking about Potsdam, what it's like there and 
eventually the conversation turned into how the old couple met. At that moment a group of 
gangster-looking guys tuned in and said that they'd like to hear also how the old couple metalso. Soon enough the whole section of the train is listening to this old couple's love 
story- a question that was sparked by one of the missionaries. 

The missionaries got off the train at HBH, but the conversation didn't end. The two groups 
spent the whole trip to Potsdam talking about courtship today and back in the 50's. 
Both groups had each other shaking with laughter.

In my time in Berlin, I've never seen anyone randomly talk to anyone else on the train and 
I've never seen such an interesting group enjoy each other's company so much.  Normally, a 
story that starts with two missionaries, gangsters and two old people ends with a punchline,but this one just left me stunned, smiling and optimistic about humanity. (Plus, I think 
I'll be more open to talk to Germans on the train!!)
Everyone got of the train saying goodbyes (including myself) and smiling ear to ear. Keep ontalking to people! You're leaving a positive impact on people, even when it's not 
immediately apparent. 

If you could please pass this story along to your missionaries, I'd be incredible grateful! 

Cheers from Potsdam!

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