elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

This week was good in a lot of ways!

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Elder Weaver and I are getting along well. He’s almost done with his mission, actually. He’s finishing when Elder Garrett does in December. We are working hard here!

Monday we had a lesson with L, the 17 yo kid. We taught him the Restoration, and he was excited to read the Book of Mormon. His friend promised him a Döner (turkish Gyro, basically what tacos or hamburgers are to America) if he reads it in 12 weeks. 🙂

Then Tuesday, we had a member appointment with some awesome members named the L’s, who may or may not have a friend for us to teach in the future, which is cool. We also help with a football team on Tuesday, since Elder Weaver is really into football.

Thursday we had district meeting, which turned out really good. We focused on helping investigators keep commitments. We also had ward council, which is usually pretty lame, because missionary gears turn a lot faster then member gears. 🙂 And it was, but we are working on it.

Friday we met with L again and taught the Plan of Salvation, then we went on exchanges, and I went to Kiel with Elder Morton. Elder Morton and I were in the same district in Bernburg, so we are already good friends. We had an AWESOME exchange. I respect that guy a lot, and we had a ton of fun together. We had a full day of appointments planned, and were kind of bummed that we wouldn’t be able to do much finding. By next morning, all the appointments fell out, so we had nothing but finding! So we just walked down the street and talked to everyone for like 6 hours, just cracking up the entire way in between conversations with people. It was awesome.

Sunday we had church, which was okay, and then we went to a Born Again Christian church we got invited to that night. We were told it was a Pentacostal church, so we were pumped to see people talking in tongues and stuff, but there was none of that. It was just this Christian folk band and crazy lights and people getting waaaay to into it. It was wierd. Elder Weaver and I made a list of positives and negatives afterwards:

Positives:
1. Everyone was way into it. Like, no one fell asleep. Something our church could improve on!
2. The members seemed to genuinely like each other. Everyone liked everyone, and they all seemed really happy to be there. Sometimes I feel like our church puts us all together so much, we completely take for granted how close we are to everyone around us, exactly like we treat our family. It was like they were all friends, and we are sometimes like a family but we are all grumpy teenagers, who secretly love each other but don’t show it.
3. They really focused on Jesus Christ.

Negatives:
1. It was basically a party. The scripture about the voice of the spirit being not in the wind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire, but as a still small voice came to mind. It was not at all still or small, but our sacrament service is very simple and quiet. I like that.
2. It was somehow apparent to me that this was all completely the thoughts of men. It was men reaching out to Christ, not Christ reaching out to men, if that makes sense. Instead of Christ being at the helm, the Elder guy was at the helm, and they were all trying to get to Christ.
3. It was missing the “genius of our church”, as Gordon B. Hinckley put it, which is activity. No members had any jobs really. I love that in our church, they entire congregation is the priest. Everyone has a role. It asks a lot, but it makes everyone grow a little more.

Something cool I learned in personal study this week:

We were talking about the ten virgins parable in Priesthood on Sunday, and this super old guy raised his hand and said,

“You need a wick for the lamp to work.”

Turns out he’s actually just completely senile and that wasn’t a gospel related comment at all, but then the more I thought about it, the cooler it was.

The topic was on being a light. Everyone knows that the oil in that story is a testimony, and everyone knows how we can’t give people their testimonies. They have to find out for themselves if it’s true. But it mentions that when the bridegroom came, the virgins trimmed their lamps. So why do we need wicks?

Wicks turn oil into light. That’s our works.

oil lamp

That’s how we turn the passive testimony represented by the oil into a burning light. We use our testimony to be light to others, which is sharing our testimony but in a different way. I really like this not-really-scripturally-based-analogy because it totally talks about member missionary work.

I dunno. I have to go, that was a little rough, 🙂 but I love you guys!

Elder Greaves

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