elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

Hello everyone!

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Well. This week was definitely an upturn in little ol’ Frankfurt Oder.

There’s been this wonderful feeling lately that everything is going to just get nuts here in a week or two. Weird things are happening. These 2 members, (2 of 9) named O and A, are some of the coolest people I have ever met. They have been working with us like crazy. It has been a testimony-builder to me to see that member missionary work is starting to explode. They are incredibly spiritual, and they can feel the building excitement too.

As far as material, numbers progress, it’s just been kind of “meh” lately. Nothing exciting.

But there’s this incredible sense of building energy. It’s like everything we are doing is just setting the golf ball on the tee. Sometimes, I get really impatient, and just want to smack the ball, but the Lord knows what he’s doing, and He wants us to be able to go the whole distance. So we are taking time to put the ball on the tee. I’m excited to harvest. This week, we have seen some really great people come out of the wood works. We met with 2 referrals from members this week, both of whom are so prepared.

We basically spend all day yesterday at O and A’s, because they are friends with most of our investigators, and we just taught everyone all day. It was exhausting and kind of weird, but a ton of fun and it helped a lot of people. I think one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever gotten is when O said we remind her of “their missionaries.” Their missionaries baptized upwards of 6 people here, and those people are the foundation of this ward. I don’t know if we deserve that high of praise, but I’m willing to work to be worthy of it.

Elder Allen is so wonderful. Our teaching unity is off the charts. He is doing so great and he is exactly what I prayed for.

There are a few things that have really spiritually hit me this week.

Firstly, prayer.

Don’t worry, I knew prayer was a thing, but this week, I’ve felt my relationship deepen with my Heavenly Father as I took the time each night to do a kneeling, out-loud prayer. I’ve tried my best to make a solid conversation out of it.

Second is a lesson I’ve had reconfirmed to me.

Maybe because I’m stubborn and prideful and bull-headed. We had a lesson with one of my favorite investigators ever named J. He is 24, Brazilian, and absolutely is just the life of the party. But J has a problem. He is a Baptist born again Chirstian, a lawyer, and a Bible School graduate. In other words, he has been born, raised, and trained to bible bash. And it is SUCH AN EASY TRAP TO FALL INTO. I’m no expert, but I love the Bible, and I think it is honestly amazing to study through the lens of the Restoration. There is so much truth, and so many traces of the original teachings of the early Christian church in it. And there is just a balance between answering questions with scriptures and trying to shove the Gospel down someone’s unwilling throat. About 30 minutes into the lesson, I realized that no one was being edified in any way. The Spirit was not present. And so I did what I have had to do with J a dozen times. I apologized for being arrogant enough to try and “win” with the Bible. I assured him that the Bible is not our main source of truth – it is only a manifestation of it. Truth comes from God through the Holy Ghost. The rest of the time, we just bore pure testimony. It touched his heart. Our joint teach, a convert, pointed out to us that he is starting to care more. He is starting to get scared it’s true. In a weird way that’s progress. I repented, and I hope I have truly just learned my lesson this time.

Third, I learned that a mission is most fun when you think you can’t possibly do it all.

I love the feeling of everything just getting crazy, running around, weird stories, tons of energy, collapsing after 9:30, and starting all over again the next day. It is a blast. I think if I take a step back and realize that the Lord is just working through me, it is kind of a form of arrogance to try and save my strength. I’m not needed. I don’t need to make my self last. The faster I try everything and do everything I can, the faster the Lord can take over. What a wonderful gift.

Guys, I know this church is true. I love it. I love Christ. He is exactly what I want to be. I have big goals! 🙂 I know that He lived, suffered, died, and lived and ministered again all out of love. I know He felt our individual pain and suffering, weakness and frustration, for the express purpose of loving and nurturing us later. I know He accomplished the greatest missionary task this universe has ever seen, namely the Atonement. He braved scourging, smiting, and spitting, stripes and nails and spears – I know He rose above feelings of doubt and pain, heartache and even abandonment, because He knew EXACTLY why He came. And He did it. “This is the testimony that is in me.” (Alma 7:13)

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I hope this week is awesome for you, and I will be praying for you.

Love,

Elder Greaves

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