elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany


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I hope you had a great week!

Hey guys!  I’m so glad my package finally arrived. The Pyramide should also come soon. This week was OK.  I’m still learning the ropes of being a Zone Leader.

I’ll try to describe what it’s like. Once a month, you go to Berlin. President tells you what he wants to tell the missionaries. You hold a zone training meeting where you pass on that info. Being a district leader is like being a bishop. You plan weekly district meetings, which are like the sacrament meeting. Being a zone leader is like being a stake president.  You work with the district leaders mostly. Zone training meeting is like stake conference. As a district leader, you work mostly with missionaries directly. A zone leader has less opportunity to do that, and does a lot of paperwork and a bunch of other tiny little things. Usually a companionship has one phone to share, but because we make and receive so many calls, we each have our own. We set some goals once a month, which everyone ignores 🙂

It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. There’s always just a bunch of inconsequential little things or emails or forms or planning sessions that you have to do that just makes every day super short.

I. JUST. WANT. TO. GO. FINDING!

I finally got to meet the ward. Like I said, they are all young college students, mostly getting masters or Ph.D’s. We have an investigator from Zambia getting his Ph.D in photonics, which is just about the craziest witchcraft I’ve ever heard of.

Photonics is the science and technology of generating, controlling, and detecting photons, which are particles of light. Photonics underpins technologies of daily life from smartphones to laptops to the Internet to medical instruments to lighting technology. Who knew?

Photonics is the science and technology of generating, controlling, and detecting photons, which are particles of light. Photonics underpins technologies of daily life from smartphones to laptops to the Internet to medical instruments to lighting technology. Who knew?

For example, computers read binary. LED lights constantly blink, faster than our eyes can see. Apparently, they are working on being able to get wifi just by having your computer read binary from a lightbulb.

Heh?

No idea how that works. But anyway, he was on baptismal date, but wasn’t ready at all and kinda freaked out and wasn’t answering his phone, so we decided to do like annoyingly persistent missionaries do and stop by. He was home, and it soon came out that I was studying Physics. He flipped out and got African-excited (it’s a thing) and almost shouted

“I found a brotheh!”

And we talked for the next twenty minutes about all that jazz. Pretty sweet. Hopefully we’ll be meeting with him again now.

On Sunday, I led our Gospel principles class. There were a few nonmember visitors that I wasn’t planning on (they’ve never had contact to the church before) so I had to basically change the whole lesson plan in the bathroom 5 minutes before  (I guess you could say I was stalling HA).

Then of course over excited, over intelligent members brought it immediately to “we can become Gods”, so that had to be controlled and made more normal. But it was super fun.

Tomorrow we have zone training meeting, which is zone leader game day.

I’m excited for this week – we finally will have some time to work, though I’ll be on exchanges in Erfurt for 3 days straight.

Love you guys!

Elder Greaves

P.S. About the classes, don’t worry about it. Elder Weber and I are going home at the same time, and it’s expected that you get permission and then register for classes yourself. We are both going to BYU too, so it will be all good in the hood. 🙂

He's in there! Just hard to see.  This was taken at Mission Leadership Council for December.

He’s in there! Just hard to see. This was taken at Mission Leadership Council for December.

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Hey guys!

Tell me when my Christmas package arrives! I also just sent the Pyramide [wooden nativity]. So that should come soon.

[Family played “Where in the World is Caleb Sandiego” since we had no idea where Elder Greaves was for a week.  Dad chose Hanover, Mom chose Hamburg, Sister chose Madgeburg, and Brother chose Salzwedel.  And the winner was????]

Well, to cut it short, you were all wrong. 🙂

I went to Jena.

Salzwedel, though, was in my first area in Lauenburg – it’s pretty small. It was 2 1/2 hours away from our church! (That area was huge). That’s where I assumed I’d be going, because that was where Elder Anderson just came from.

My companion’s name is Elder Weber. He is super awesome! We are in the same MTC group. Actually, I’m the 4th missionary in a row to serve here from our MTC group. Elder Weber and I, Elder Anderson, and Elder Peterson before that. Elder Weber wants to study computer science. It is kind of spooky how similar to Chuck he is (from the TV show).

Jena is absolutely gorgeous. By far the prettiest town I’ve served in. The scary thing is, there is a good chance this is my last city. It has about 100,000 people, which in terms of missionary work is medium-small, but on the Elder Greaves scale is huge.

About 60,000 of those are college students, which means it’s a lot of fun. Jena has an extremely high level research center for light, so most people we meet are either getting their Ph.D’s in optics or photonics. This one guy in our branch named SR is studying optics, and wants to develop virtual and augmented reality stuff.

HOW COOL IS THAT?

I’ll put a cool experience that happened this week through google translate.

In Neumünster , we were completely packed with appointments. We have R met. Last week I wrote about R also. A brief summary: We did find the whole day . Did not do anything. All people were especially grumpy , so we were even. But we have given a Book of Mormon to Rudy, written with our number in it. He called us and said that he has noticed how happy we were, and he knew that this was so, because we were both Christians. He has asked us to teach him how to become a Christian, because he wanted to be as happy as we are. We talked about prayer. He meant that he could not pray , but asked us to say a. We made it , and he wept. He said that he already so find it and he was praying alone.

Also, the day before we were leaving, we got to finally put O on baptismal date. She was really excited, and as long as things go according to plan, I’ll be skyping her baptism on January 29th! She is so amazing. It was definitely a bummer to have to go after that. But she is super prepared, and she will make it.

I hope you guys have a great week!

Love you!

Elder Greaves