elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

This week was pretty mixed.

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We had a lot of good things happen, but quite a few setback as well.

Most of the people that we found last week are super awesome! The two highlights are definitely a Chinese girl named Y and F, a German girl. Y has heard almost nothing about God, so it was really interesting teaching her and breaking it down to really simple concepts. We just explained to her who God is. We broke it down like this:

  • God is our Father.
  • This means we are His children and he loves us.
  • He has plan for us.
  • This plan is how we can be most happy here and after this life also.

F came to Institute on Thursday, because we ran out of time to meet with her at another time. We were talking about the Restoration. I’m not exaggerating when I say that in the first 20 minutes, such things as golden plates, Urim and Thummim, how Joseph Smith translated by putting his face in a hat a using a seerstone he found, which we have today in our church history vault, and angelic visitations. We counted how many times Joseph Smith saw angels. You know, to make it sound more nuts.

Elder Weber and I were freaking out, because this was F’s first ever exposure to the church, and she wasn’t even religious. So we (pretty artfully, honestly) moved the conversation from “what do we believe that would make someone new freak out” to “how can faith help me?”

It was hands down the best Institute class I have ever had after that.

The teacher asked the question “What are the benefits of faith over knowledge?” Pretty much stumped all of us.

So he gave the example of Christopher Columbus. He couldn’t have know there was something on the other side. He put his life on the line, and those of his crew, because he believed something. And that brought him to action. Then he compared that with traffic laws and speed cameras, and also smoking. We know that smoking is bad , but how many people still do it? Clearly a perfect knowledge has no power to move to action. It was really cool, especially considering it wasn’t at all planned. F was loving it, connected well with the members, and participated a ton.

The bad news is, both of those people are out of town for the next month. GRRR.

Another great thing that happened this week though:

There is this really sweet Romanian lady that begs in front of our church. The senior couple missionaries here started inviting her to activities. Sometimes we walk in, and they are all sitting together doing water colors. It’s the cutest thing. Anyway, all the members talk to her through Google translate whenever they see her, and she will use the bathroom and stuff when we are in the church, etc. This Sunday, she brought her husband and 2 kids to church! She said she felt like God had led her to this church and to the senior couple, and it proved to her that He loves her! They loved church, and were super happy to be there.

One of my new favorite scriptures to finish off:

Isaiah 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

I love that last part. I think I always want to be clad with a cloak of zeal.

I love my mission so much. I make mistakes, but I keep trying. Thanks for everything guys! Have a great week! I love you!

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