elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

Aspen asked about the refugees . . .

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OH MY GOSH have I heard about the refugees. I’ve seen it too. It’s just about all Germans can talk about, because they are freaking out.

Neumünster has, as far as I can see, equal numbers of Germans and Middle Eastern people. I respect Germany for what they are doing, but have heard very little in favor it from the actual people.

refugee grafitti

From a newspaper.  The caption reads in German,"Another train arrived in Neumünster Around 370 more refugees arrived early Tuesday morning in Neumünster . The train from Salzburg arrived around 3:30 clock , as an Interior Ministry spokesman said."

From a newspaper. The caption reads in German,”Another train arrived in Neumünster. Around 370 more refugees arrived early Tuesday morning in Neumünster . The train from Salzburg arrived around 3:30 clock , as an Interior Ministry spokesman said.”

Numbers I’ve heard tossed around: Germany has received about 800,000 refugees now. Imagine Utah’s population suddenly becoming 1.5 times as large, and that is about what has happened. People are sleeping in tents, on lawns, every school gym is being used, and we are headed for what might be the coldest winter in 15 years.

Some Refugees are amazing, working their butts off because they feel like they owe the country something. but the program basically runs like this: They arrive after a RIDICULOUSLY long and dangerous journey with literal bandits and murderers, getting here by just walking for months. Then they get assigned to an in-between spot, where they wait for a month or so with paid-for housing and food, and with 90 or so dollars of spending money every 10 days. They have literally all of their basic human needs taken care of already, so they use this money for 1 of two things: They save up, or the other 95% spend it on really expensive clothes. They have nothing to save for.

So it is comically common to see a toothless, very poor looking middle eastern man smoking as many cigarettes as he can, passed out drunk on a bench, wearing 100 dollar Ralph Lauren or Lacoste sweaters, cat-calling at people walking by. It needs to be handled better. It’s about to collapse. There is a very real need for refugees to be taken somewhere, but they are flocking to Germany because they get paid the most.

Some of them are the most amazing people I have ever meet, who take their monumentally massive trials with a British stiff upper lip, gird up their loins, and get to work. But many get here and quickly realize they are on vacation. I don’t understand why this is happening.

They need to be helped, but if I could some up the problems I see, they would be:

1. Drugs to unbelievable levels, mostly cigarettes and heavy heavy liquor for buying, and cocaine for selling.
2. If they get married to a German, they can stay forever. You can imagine how that one has played out.
3. They have literally nothing to do all day. They can’t leave the tiny city they are stuck in, they aren’t allowed to work until they get a Visa, and they have stress from former lives, so gambling, drugs, and prostitution are real problems.
4. Those that want to make a good life are put down because no one trusts refugees anymore.
5. To reiterate, they are not even allowed to work. In old East Germany, there are 1000’s of abandoned, gross, brick, burned down buildings. It looks like a dump. You don’t have to speak Arabic to tell someone to take that sledgehammer and knock down a building. Build up the infrastructure!
6. They are letting in more than they can handle financially. This is, in all honesty, because Germans feel guilty and ashamed about the Holocaust. That happened because of hate for foreigners. I don’t think it is a coincidence that today, Germany is letting in so many.
7. The plan is to kick all of them out when it gets better in the Middle East. The middle east has never been even good before. Why would it get better now? Then what would Germany do?

So Germans are panicking. They generally just panic anyway. But just like Americans, it is so much easier to attack politicians than to support them, so Merkel isn’t particularly loved, although she is not altogether hated either, which usually is a politically victory in today’s moan-fueled society.

Phew – glad I got that off my chest.

Sorry, I spent a really long time writing Aspen about the refugee thing, because it’s just about all I hear about these days, so I had some thoughts.

So, I won’t have much time today.

Below is my letter to President Fingerle, translated into English by Google translate – oh and no, I cannot do German puns by any means. Although sometimes I can do bilingual puns with missionaries.

This week was …. hectic. We have seen success, but it was the most unconventional. We have found a lot of people – 4, which is actually more, perhaps, than all the dislocation it. But all, 100%, appointments have failed. Progress, but also disappointing. Hopefully we can make contact again. A couple of them were families. Who knows? Perhaps we see this week. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were all quite full and busy with appointments, with some members, but all have failed. Bad luck.

The good Sachen: We have contacted families two less active, and we will meet this week. That makes us very happy, and when coming back, then the municipality (ward) would also.

Our Gemeindemissionslieter is fully enthusiastic about our efforts to work with the community. He supports us. He said the council this week that we are doing a lot of good and he has noted that although all the missionaries to work hard, we will give our best to the particular. That’s good to hear! This helps the whole community to trust us.


Haha that was funny to read. Maybe you can get the gist.

Anyway, yeah, we found a lot of people. But they all fell out. Super lame. Elder Weaver is about to go home, too, so he’s getting trunky. (Mission slang which means the same feelings as homesickness, but at the end of your mission, with a special emphasis on dating). But I’m working him! Just kidding we are both working hard.

This week we had a really good district meeting that helped me personally a lot. Elder Cook (senior couple member) gave presentation on charity which was super awesome. He is a spiritual giant. I love hearing his thoughts.

The ward thing is slowly.. ever so slowly.. progressing.

Can I just publicly proclaim how important home teaching is? Yes, a missed month happens. But that is a calling from God.

We have to remain worthy for our priesthood, and if we don’t watch out for each other, who will?

Home teaching, in my opinion, is the direct application of why it even is that every man gets the priesthood. In earlier times, only a select few got it. Specifically, just enough to do the ordinances. But now, it is given to everyone to bless the lives of everyone else. It is not a joke, it is the power of God! We need to magnify it! If you have less-active families to teach, do it! Make that priority number one! If you have only active members, still do it! I can guarantee there is someone you are supposed to teach that needs help to read in the scriptures daily or say prayers, or needs a friend or an ear. Every time. I also give testimony that the better the ward does on home teaching, the better the missionary work goes, because the Lord sees that ward is ready to take care of new people. And if the missionaries offer to go on splits with you, (in our case we are not just doing that to make sure it gets done, but to get to know the members better and work with them more), don’t tell them “Maybe in December when I have more time”! It’s sooo important to show your kids that you are serving the Lord by serving others! Think of what that can do for your family!

I love you guys. Thanks for being awesome.

Love you,
Elder Greaves

P.S. I should be buying a coat next week hopefully.


One thought on “Aspen asked about the refugees . . .

  1. Good sum up of the problems! Very interesting read.

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