elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

I am clearly all out of title ideas.

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Okay. I have, you guessed it, not very much time. To answer a quick question, this is the 5th week of the transfer now, so not this Saturday but the next I find out what happens. A fun fact of the day Elder Garrett just emailed me: The average rate of baptism in this mission is .9 baptisms per missionary per mission.

A fun fact about Germans I’ve never talked about: They have special work pants. They are canvas colorful overalls, and before they can do manual labor, they must be wearing their work pants. I think that’s pretty adorable.

“Hey come help us pick weeds!”

“Shoot, I left my work pants at home. Better go get them.”

This week, we’ve been noticing that people are markedly less friendly now, compared to 4 weeks ago. I think they may be recognizing me or something. Honestly, when people are rude or yell, it doesn’t really bother me. The two situations that do bother me are:

1. We talk for a while, they tell us something like their wife just died, we tell them they can live forever with their wife, and after a while, they tell us they wish it was true, but it isn’t. That hurts.

2. When we try to talk to them, and they refuse to make eye contact, but just keep walking, even after we try a few times. Just pretend like we don’t exist. That one just really ticks me off. A lot. I’m getting a little twitchy just thinking about it.

This week was very good. We were able to recontact people we had lost contact with. We invited 3 people to baptism. (Just a note, we try to invite on the first or second lesson to help them understand why we are there. We don’t really wait until we are sure they will say yes, or until they are 100% ready or anything. It’s not a marriage proposal.)

So that is really exciting. Those three people are:

Herr Petro: Found on the street. He is a gypsy from Serbia, here on asylum. He is a great guy with the a wife that speaks only Serbian and 2 of the absolute cutest kids I have ever seen. His wife can’t understand us, so her interest level is pretty low, but he said if he finds out it is true and we really do have the Priesthood, then he would be baptized. I really like him a lot.

Benji: This one I’m not so sure about. He’s one of now 3 referrals from John. He has the best English of the 3, but is still very hard to communicate with. Through a combo of pictures and a Tigrinyan dictionary and hand signals, we managed to communicate the Restoration to him. So we will see how that goes. He is a really nice guy.

Peters: Now this is exciting. It is basically every missionary’s dream to baptize someone their own age so they can raise a family in the Gospel and stuff. He’s 22. We talked to him in front of the grocery store, and he offhandedly gave us his address right before he got into a friend’s car and drove off. We barely even talked about religion, so we doubted how much interest he had. Fairly typical college student. But last week, we stopped by (3 weeks afterward). He set up an appointment for Friday, again, one we doubted would go through all things considered. Lo and behold, he was there! We had a great lesson with him. I was actually really nervous the whole time. I really haven’t had that many lessons with a normal German. I was a little . . . off my game, but he still said he would be baptized if he found out it was true. He says he really wants to develop his faith more, because he feels like it gets really hard to believe on God sometimes. I really think we can help him if we can keep meeting with him. Fingers crossed!

I love you guys a lot. I hope you have a great week. I love hearing all of your stories and adventures. Can’t wait to talk to you next week!

Love ya!

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