elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

This week was another weird one.

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Hey guys!

Friday, the Zone Leaders, Elder Allen and I went to Flensburg for their baptism. It was so awesome. M. is just a great guy. He’s one of those converts that make you inspired to keep working, because you want to find someone just like him.

But then, a train fell out going back, so we had to take like a 3 hour bus ride instead. That was pretty annoying. But that day was just weird all the way around. We got a conference call that morning, which means the whole mission was on one phone call.

M-Russell-Ballard

Elder Ballard was heading through Germany to do a video conference about how ward councils should be done. THANK YOU. But he realized he had a little tiny hole in his schedule, so he asked President to call over a few missionaries to talk with Elder Ballard. President Fingerle decided instead to get all the missionaries to Berlin by Sunday evening to have an hour long conference. That took a massive amount of coordination, but it worked!

So we got to shake Elder Ballard’s hand. This is my second apostle now. I’m thinking about turning it into a game, like Pokemon, to see how many apostles I can get. Got to catch them all!

Pokémon-Gotta-Catch-Em-All_art-520x292

Anyway, he talked to us about, of course, missionary work. It was super awesome. He said a lot of cool things, one of my favorites, as he was talking about getting a passion for missionary work, being,

“You’ll get to the point where it’s cold and wet and you look out the
window and it’s raining, and you say, ‘Ah, I get to be persecuted all
day!'”

He has perfected old man charm.

Actually though, one of the most meaningful things I learned was not really what he said, but his attitude towards missionary work. I had forgotten how missionary work could be. His view of missionary work is finding people that are interested in learning more about families, or just interested in your message, and you get invited to their nice clean home and have a wonderful evening with their family. And then you come back the next night and do it again. I think I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking all missionary work could be is meeting with lots of kinda strange people in their dirty little apartment, and then trying to come back next week, if the appointment doesn’t fall out.

But he reminded everyone, I think, that it could be a lot better. I liked that.

One thing I’ve learned on my mission is, there are a few things I hate a lot in this world. One of them is not having a garbage disposal, but that’s beside the point.

I hate complacency. It is terrible.

I never want to ever use the phrase “good enough” again. I think being a go getter means trying to do everything you have to do the absolute best that you can, whether that’s a talk, a calling, setting the table, or filling out paperwork. I don’t like it when I or someone else assumes that, although there is room for improvement, it’s a passable effort.  That’s dumb. I hope I and all other missionaries can take that to
heart, and not be satisfied with where we are now.

I also have a particular hatred of cynicism. I can’t stand it.

Cynicism is the justification of the apathetic, the anesthetic of the
lazy, and the addiction of our society.

Waxed poetic there for a second, sorry. I’ve thought a lot about it. 🙂

In other news, I’ve been really enjoying taking all this time on trains to just think. I realized I haven’t done that in forever. Back at home, if I had nothing to do, I would be playing some stupid phone game I didn’t even want to be playing, or listening to some music I didn’t care about, or watching some show that bored me, because I thought that is what you did. But man, thinking is a blast! I just like letting my thoughts wander and go where they want, and usually that involves some really great brainstorms, if I do say so myself.

Lately I’ve been on a real flying kick, so I realized the other day that no one has ever gone to the moon as a solo pilot and as an independent space program. I’d be an astronaut. So I thought about all of those things and all the problems.

Also, I’m sure I could break the record for longest fall without a parachute if I jumped out of a plane into a stadium filled with styrofoam peanuts, which would take some funding, but hey. Sounds like a plan.

This week was too crazy to have almost anytime to do real missionary work, but we found a really cool lady that hopefully we will be teaching soon.

I love you guys!

Elder Greaves

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