elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

Hey Guys!

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This week was a good one. I liked it. And of course, it finished off with General Conference, which I really liked.

One of my favorite things that happened this week is we met with an older lady in our ward named Schwester G, and with her nonmember husband. Of course, we wanted to talk about the Gospel with him, but we also knew that missionaries can sometimes get a little nervous or awkward or overeager in such situations, so we just wanted to make sure he liked the missionaries at the end of the day.

As we talked, the conversation just naturally turned to the Gospel. We ended up having an awesome lesson! He’s an awesome guy who’s just been frustrated because he can’t seem to recognize the Holy Ghost. But we were able to explain it to him a little better, and he really liked that. Hopefully something comes of that!

We also met with this less active guy who used to be a part of the bishopric. That was also a good lesson. He still believes the Book of Mormon is true, so we read in it together and try to get as much out of it as we could. It turned out really well. It’s pretty enjoyable because he just has this attitude

“GRR. I hate that this book is true!”

One thing I’m really excited about is our member missionary work plan. It’s a fact that the best way to do missionary work is through members. The actuality of our calling is that we are supposed to be full-time teachers, and the members full-time finders. I’ve never even heard of anyone getting anywhere close, but I’m pumped to try here!

We spent a chunk of our day planning everything we possibly could to really jump start the ward. Here’s part of our plans:

Operation Shirtless: This one was actually thanks to Sawyer! We made origami ties modeled after the one he sent me a while ago, and then put a thank you note inside. Then we give them to the members after eating appointments, etc. That’s really cool! I’d never thought I’d do something so cutesy, but Germans are suckers for homemade gifts. Really. Like in America, you’s be like

“Aw. That’s really cool!”

But here they like melt and hang it up framed on the wall.

So we are trying to take advantage of that little cultural chink in their armor. 🙂

Class:  We are holding a missionary class in December to explain actually how they can help.

Through the kids:  The Primary Program is coming up, so we ordered these “Future missionary” bracelets and we are going to help them invite friends. This is a proven tactic. And please, when I was 6, if the missionaries gave me a bracelet and told me to invite friends, heck, I’d invite everyone.

Plan:  We are helping our Ward Mission Leader make a ward mission plan before December.

Family History:  We are now going weekly to the family history center to meet members and nonmembers alike.

Temple:  The stake is paying for all new or returning members to go up to the Copenhagen temple once a month. That’s awesome!

Service:  This one I need your help on. We are going to have service project activities, because this ward has a terrible problem of not coming to activities. But it’s way easier to say you are too busy for soccer than it is to say you are too busy for premature babies. That is kind of sneaky, yes, but in a good way. Could you guys send me a few ideas of things that wouldn’t take too much work to set up, but have a good emotional story behind it?

I don’t have time for much else, and I’ll talk about GC next week more, but I really liked it. I dug the pottery analogy, and I loved Elder Nelson’s and Elder Renlund’s talks.

To answer those questions: The 500 dollar thing: I have been racking my brains to figure out where it’s all gone. I honestly have no idea. I went out a to eat way too much in Frankfurt Oder at the end, which is how I train to gain an appetite, by just eating right when I’m hungry and keep doing it, but I definitely stopped that. I’m really sorry. Truly. I can’t really explain it. I feel really bad.

We watch session 1 Saturday night, Priesthood Saturday morning, then S2 and S3. S4 we watch on our own, or sometimes next Sunday during the last 2 hours.

District leader is fun. I think I have it under control. One thing DL’s do here is call every companionship every single night, which is sometimes not what I want to be doing, but also it’s a ton of fun to talk to them. District meetings have been really fun to plan, and I’ve been getting some pretty positive feedback, so that’s good. Last week, the subject was helping investigators progress, but I try to say different or unique things, since most obvious stuff has been said. That seems to be working. This week, I’m going to be mixing it up by doing more of a spiritually-focused meeting. Every other district meeting I’ve ever been to has been about how to be a better missionary, but I just asked several missionaries to talk about a certain characteristic of Christ, so it will be a little different but cool.

Hey! To end on a happier note, I don’t know if you’ve read any bios of the new apostles, but Elder Renlund’s wife sounds like a powerhouse! She owned her own law firm and was in several committees, but gave it all up when he was called to Africa. Anyone that’s a mormon mom and a lawyer is cool in my book! 🙂

Anyway, I’m gonna go now. I can totally tell that my English is sounding very German today. I have weird sentence structure going on right now. Also, in German, I-e and e-i in words (like weird) makes the opposite sound as in English, which has completely fried my brain. It’s to dyslexic levels on those. I literally have no idea anymore. For example, fried. Fried would be said freed in German. To say fried, you’d spell it freid. Sigh. College will be fun.

I love you guys!

Elder Greaves

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