Hey that pergola thing sounds really cool! Your story about your bad joint teaches made me laugh, dad. I read the emails you write the same week. I’m just slow at responding! I kinda like getting emails, but letters are awesome too. Whatever you feel like. As for P-days, we have some time to go sight seeing, but I’ve seen about every square inch of Bernburg now. So today, all our free time was taken for Elder Riddle registering for classes at BYU. We still work for 2 hours on P-days, (normally after 6, but that’s when we do emails at a member’s house, so we work during the day) so we go and do work at a older person’s home for 2 hours. At first, they were all a little iffy about 2 JW’s cleaning the place, but now they feed us cake and tell us we are wonderful, so it’s a pretty cushy “service”. 🙂
This week has been… pretty yucky. But it got better. Sorry to spoil the ending, but keep that in mind.
Tuesday we didn’t find anyone, which always puts me in a bad mood. We had a lesson with Herr Mark, and taught him tithing.
He was really freaked out.
In fact, when we told him about it, he started to stand up, and said
“Well, that’s a shame. I really loved being here, learning more, but I can’t do that.”
That lesson was the most intense lesson of my mission. It was very spiritually charged. The whole time, we were working really hard to follow the Spirit exactly. At one point, we interrupted explaining tithing and its connection with faith to give him a Priesthood blessing. He said immediately afterwards:
“Ahh. I feel much more peaceful.”
He told us during that lesson that he knew it was all true. He recognized the Spirit and promised to pray about it. Next lesson, we reviewed the Plan of Salvation. He was still praying about tithing, but didn’t think he could afford it. On Saturday, we called him, and he told us he didn’t want to meet anymore, and he wouldn’t be coming to church. I haven’t ever heard from any missionary about someone that fell away so fast so close to baptism. It was really sad. 😦 Really hard. We hadn’t found anyone all week either, which was both unusual and unfortunate, because there was no one for us to be excited about.
Wednesday, I had a really bad headache and threw up, but I’m healed!
The Petro’s are moving back to Serbia. So I was a little grouchy come Saturday.
I was on exchange in Magdeburg, which was way fun. There are a ton of people there, and it was so much fun to serve in a big city for a day. While I was away, Elder Riddle and one of my good friends Elder Gallacher found a really cool 23-year-old. They taught him the next day and invited him to be baptized. He sounds awesome and I’m excited to meet him! Then on Sunday, by far the worst finding day of the week. We found two investigators. One is a petrolchemical engineer from India. The other is a 19-year-old from Albania who has lived here for 10 years. I’m super excited to meet with him too. I know that for those people, meeting with us is a life-changer. but in a small way, it was a blessing for us too. I really needed a little hope, a little growth. And it helped me. This week, I’ve really felt the blessing of prayer. Just in general, I’m amazed at the range of spiritual blessings the Lord will bless you with.
Something that has meant a lot to me is a personal plan I’ve made during my favorite hour of the day, personal study. A big focus in my mission is consecration, which means making yourself a better, more Christ-like missionary. But that is a mountain! I made a plan, and found this scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly;
It’s a pretty simple plan. But it has brought a lot of ideas. This week, I’m really focusing on meekness. I think my two favorite parts of my mission is seeing growth and conversion in myself, and in others.
I love you guys so much. I love being a missionary. It is so fulfilling, and I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned here at home too. Have a good week!