elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

First Week of the Transfer

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March 2015 Brother Schutze

Brd. and Schw. S. got called on an emergency mission to Finland, because he is like the only Sealer in the world who speaks fluent Russian, and because of Ukraine Russia conflict, Russian members are now going to the Helsinki Temple. He’s gone for 6 months. 😦

March 2015 Brother Markgraf

Brd. “Mark”, who is in the middle, and who is ancient, looks even ancienter than he really is in this picture. In the back is our Plan of Salvation drawing. On the right is Brd. Tee, our joint teach. Germans haven’t figured out that we can smile in pictures now because they don’t take 10 minutes to take anymore like in the 1800’s. Gotta love ’em.This is probably the only time I’ve ever seen Brd. Mark NOT smiling or saying “Yayayayayayayayaya.”

This week has been really really decent. Brd. Mark is really solid. He told some members on Sunday,

“I may be 79, but I know this is this place for me!”

He’s almost definitely going to make his baptismal date on March 21st. Plus I think he’s been flirting it up with the ladies at church, so that’s good.

The “Petro’s had a bad week. On Wednesdays they are the best family ever and I just love them. On the weekends, they’re flakier than the croissant I had for breakfast this morning. That is to say, very flaky. For the second time, a lesson fell out that we had brought a joint teach to. We called, and they said

“Oh! We’ll be there in 10.”

Twenty minutes later, we called and they said the same thing. Twenty minutes later, we went home. It just makes my stomach church thinking about it. They are so great. At least Bo knows this Gospel is true. They both accepted the Word of Wisdom no problem. We taught them the whole alcohol, tabacco, coffee, tea thing, and later he was talking about his friend, who he thinks is a bad influence. He said

“He smokes, he drinks, he gambles… he even drinks coffee. He just doesn’t know about this stuff.”

Never had someone accept coffee so easily. But then! The weekends!

Plus, they love us. We got Serbian food on Wednesday.

But the WEEKENDS.

We’ll have to push back their baptismal date, so we fasted for them Sunday, and when I pray about or anything, I feel really good about them, like there was some sort of misunderstanding, but at all other times, I’m pulling out clumps of hair. Pray for them, and I’ll get a picture of them Wednesday.

A few days ago, we found another family with 2 cute kids, again from a strange, (in my mind) unpopulated country. But this time, the father doesn’t speak English.

We just found a family from Albania, here on Asylum because the father got in trouble with the Mafia. They are pretty cool, and he even came to church, but we have no common language. It will be interesting to say the least.

This morning, I read a talk by Elder Bednar called “Becoming a Preach My Gospel” Missionary. One thing really hit me, and I’m going to work on it.

He said, any time we try to manipulate an investigator or anyone into accepting the message, we are taking away their agency, and we need to repent. I haven’t tried to trick anyone or anything, but I think at times, I’ve lost sight of the fact that the real teacher is the Spirit, and my job is just to get the Spirit there.

Sometimes, I feel like I try to hard to artfully word a concept or something to make it more pretty or palatable (never changing doctrine, but still). But we read in the Book of Mormon that we should preach nothing but faith and repentance, and sometimes I’m afraid to preach the repentance part. It can be a little harsh. But that is exactly why I’m here. I say every day that we want to bring people closer to Christ, and that is only through repentance. In fact, that is the definition of repentance. So look for an update next week about how that is going. It’s kind of like being bolder, but more like getting out of the way to let the Atonement and the Spirit do the work.

Anyway, I love you guys. I hope you have a great week!

Elder Greaves

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