elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany


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No time at all!

I’m already over time. Because I’m getting transferred, I have a lot to do! I’m getting sent to the glorious, bustling city of Bernburg.

Bernburg

Just kidding, there’s like 10,000 people total. At first, I was a little upset. I really wanted to stay, not the least of which because there could conceivably be 3 baptisms this next transfer. But Elder Garrett is just like me and would do all the things I would do, so Lauenburg will be great. But it will always be important to me. Plus, Bernburg was super unknown, and it was like the boring city in boring zone in boring part of Germany, but then Elder Lee from my district told me it had a bear pit.

So I’m good.

But also, it is super tiny, in East Germany, with a super, super old ward of 20 people, with an 80 year old ward mission leader who used to be a German mission president, and no one has had success in years!!! That’s what I’m talking about! Plus my companion is newer than I am.

SO I GET TO USE ALL CRAZY IDEAS I CAN THINK OF HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Really, I’m super excited, and have lots of pictures next week.

So here’s what I wrote President this week.

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Hello President!

This week has been a very productive week in some ways. I don’t feel like we wasted any time. We only found 3 people, and we had a goal for 5. In that way, we didn’t do as well as we would have liked. But starting with Monday…

Monday: We had a lesson with Arnold., a less active that we finally got back to church and is starting to get active again. He recently set a goal to prepare for the temple. He is now quitting smoking.

Tuesday: Tuesday Elder Garrett was “sick”. Just kidding. But he really didn’t feel well. He slept for a few hours, which was the BEST THING EVER. I finally got to write in my journal, and a scrubbed and organized all the cupboards. I also scrubbed down the entire bathroom, and I think now it may be the cleanest elder apartment ever to grace this mission. Then Elder Garrett got really bored with being sick and dragged himself all over town talking to people, even though he really just felt crummy. He’s a hard worker.

Wednesday: I woke up at 6, (we do that most every day to clean or organize bookshelves or write in journals… just to stay on top of it all), and started to clean out the very last disorganized thing, a closet of left over elders’ unwanteds that had been slowly and menacingly accumulating for years. Of course, it was at that moment, as all the stuff was spread across the entire apartment, that Elder and Sister C. knocked on our door. We were told by the office they were coming Thursday. It took a little work to convince them we were not actually gigantic slobs, but after they saw that I had actually cleaned the range hood grate the day before, they forgave us and figured it really was just a misunderstanding. Then we had a quick lesson with an AWESOME investigator named Franz, but he was really stressed from work and had stopped progressing. Hopefully he is better next week. We then tausched with the Bergedorf elders, and I was off to Bergedorf. I was on a roll already, so I organized their apartment too. It was obvious that Elder S. had been having problems with obedience, really with sleeping, and was pretty down about it. Elder Garrett had said something interesting to me – that he was so cunfused last time he was on tausch. Elder S. seemed to be working so hard to stay on top of things and stay awake, but he didn’t seem to be able to do it. So we decided I should get to the bottom of it.

Psssh. Wasn’t even hard. Turns out Elder S. had a problem with this his whole life. His father and grandfather suffered from…

drumroll…………………………………………….

sleep apnea.

Put that together with his awful snoring, stuffy nose, and the fact that Elder L. had noticed how he moved in his sleep too much, and now we have a pretty good guess as to why Elder S. has this problem. He’s literally sleep deprived. He was pretty scared he might get sent home or something dumb like that, or that you would be mad at him for making excuses, but I assured him you would see this as a problem to be solved, and would understand that he really has been trying. I told him that you cared about him, and would never jump to conclusions about the source of the problem stemming from lack of of desire. He is excited now to get to the bottom of it, once I told him it would help him be a better missionary. It’s sad it’s taken a year for this to come out, but I think he can have an even better second half.

Thursday: This was the rest of the tausch. We went finding. It was TERRIBLE. I HATE doing purposeless doors. I need a reason, like a referral in the area. Then dooring is awesome.

Friday: Lüneburg day! Best day of the week. This was like the first time ever that we didn’t find someone in Lüneburg, but we worked more effectively than ever, and as hard as we could. We felt tired and happy when we got home.

Saturday: Scared out of my mind for transfers. I really wanted to stay in Lauenburg, because Elder Garrett and I have been able to work together so effectively from the very beginning of the transfer, and we have 4-5 super solid baptismal candidates for the next transfer. So I was sad when I got called to Bernburg. At first, everyone I asked had never even heard of it, and it seemed like it was going to be a super average, super boring area. Then Elder Lee told me (and I found out from my new companion) that it was one tiny town, one tiny ward, and awesome former mission president GML, a teaching pool of 8, and a companion even younger than I was. Then I got excited. I wanted hard areas, and it sounds like I’ve got one. I know that Elder Pilling and I can get some serious success there.

Sunday: We stopped by people in the deep deep south. Of our area. Because we had the kilometers for once.

I’m gonna miss Elder Garrett, and I learned a lot from him, but I’m excited to go on to bigger and better (or more like smaller and equally as good) things. We’ll see each other around, and we have secret plans to be companions in Magdeburg or Neubrandenburg anyway. But that manipulation will come later. 🙂

Thanks for your service,

Elder Greaves

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Love you all! See ya next week, from Bernburg!

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Can’t think of a title . . .

One baptism down, the rest of Germany to go! (Including her husband . . . :)

One baptism down, the rest of Germany to go! (Including her husband . . . 🙂

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Hey guys!

This week was… hard, but still great. We have been making tons of progress, and this week we still did, it was just a few less tons than we wanted. Not really anyone’s fault, it’s just this week Elder Garrett (district leader) had to focus on the other area a little. The sisters were home all week sick, and the elders are just having a rough time. But we were still able to find some great people.

This transfer has just flown by because it’s been so crazy (I swear it’s the area. Elder Garrett says he’s never been so tired, and we went on exchanges, and Elder L. (going home in 2 transfers) says it’s the craziest one he’s ever been out on.) Next Saturday (and by that I mean this Saturday, DAD!) I find out if I’m being transferred or not.

Two days ago, I was okay with either way. I trust Elder Garrett to do everything the same way I would anyway, so he could stay. 😉 He, on the other hand, has been trying to figure out ways to convince President Kosak to leave me here for another transfer (“If he’s smart and wants baptisms…” says Elder Garrett). But now, I think I can learn more here! We have been trying to figure out how to consistently get referrals from the ward, since we have practiced and learned how to find, how to teach, and everything else, but no one we ever asked had any idea how to consistently get referrals. But I think this is the best place to figure it out! Anyway. Hope I stay, okay if I go.

The crazy situation I will share this week is we got a call on Saturday WAIT PAUSE ELDER GARRETT JUST REMINDED ME OF CRAZY SITUATION NUMBER TWO. Two crazy situations.

Impossibly difficult situation number 1:

On Saturday, we got a call from the Bergedorf Elders. There was a call on their church answering machine that said a lady named A.S. really wanted to come to church really, really bad. They were so excited! Until they learned she lived in Lauenburg. Then they were kinda angry. 🙂 But we got a referral from them, so we stopped by that day. This old lady had a very confusing conversation with us at the door, in which we were trying to tell her she called us about coming to church, and she was telling us that couldn’t be right. Turns out, she couldn’t understand Elder Garrett at ALL (Suuuper thick accent), and she could only understand me of I spoke reeeeaaalllllyyyy slowly and rolled my r’s. Seriously. One time, we tried saying the German word for God, which is “Gott”, pronounced like, you guessed it, “God”. She had no idea what we were talking about. She was like, I’ve never heard that word before. After repeating ourselves for about 2 minutes, she finally said, “OH, GOTT!” So yeah. It was rough. but anyway. She was an inactive member of some church for 50 years, and she wanted to come back, but couldn’t find one. Important piece of info: She lived in East Germany when she went inactive, so she had never seen our church as it is now. The church there, then, did not have the fullness of the Gospel, and was very much persecuted.

Facts she told us about this church that could mean it was a different church:
– It was called (in German of course) The office of apostles of Jesus Christ.
– She had a hymnbook with this church name on it that was her mother’s.
– This hymnbook had a cross on the cover.
– She did not recognize us as missionaries (but East Germany never had missionaries)
– She had never heard of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
– No other German who we have asked has heard of this church.
– She had a badly translated (from English) modern letter from this “Apostlesamt Jesu Christi”.
– She is not on any records we could find.

Facts that made it seem like it had to be our church, right?
– This church had 12 apostles.
– It was restored in 1830.
– It is around the world.
– She said “really, all churches are offshoots of us”
– When she thought we were a different church, she tried converting us (MORMON STYLE)
– She believed the church should bear the name of Christ.
– She thought all wards usually meet in small rooms and houses (True in East Germany, and still true today in many places here)

So we have no idea if we are lying to this lady about this being her church or not. Funnily enough, she came to our church with her little letter and hymnbook a week ago, and members were like “No, this isn’t your church.” HA. They will be teased for that if this 70-year-old widow is a member. But like, if the church has no records of her, do we still baptize her? WHAT DO WE DO? We told our members, other missionaries, and even our mission president, and everyone is just like, hmmm. Sure hope you figure that one out. So we are on the hunt.

Strange and miraculous experience number 2:

A week or so ago, we received ANOTHER media referral (that makes 6 or 7 for me, which I think is like a super power or something because I’ve never even heard of anyone else recieving them here, not in my area, not outside.) We have the largest area in the mission (takes me two and a half hours driving at GERMAN SPEEDS to get to the bottom), and our biggest fear came true when this guy was from a little tiny dorf south of Salzwedel. So he is 2.5 hours away. So I shot him an email (Missionaries don’t email investigators enough. Tell your friends. Tell everyone. Everyone should email investigators. They are so comfortable writing testimonies to you and asking questions.). And sadly, he is SO AWESOME. He loves the Mormon culture, families, and the COMMANDMENTS. No joke. He’s like,

“I looked up all your commandments. I’m already keeping most of them. I want to keep all of them. Also, I’m taking vacation time to drive to church in 2 weeks. So, like, teach me there. And everything.”

Except he sounded a little bit more refined and less like me.

And it was in German.

So we told the ward, and everyone is freaking out. They are so excited. Some asked if they could take pictures, since no one has ever even heard of someone coming out that far. But anyway, we had ward mission conference this week, which was so much fun, because then it was just us sharing all the crazy miracles (having investigators kinda count as miracles, honestly) and we just blew their minds. It was like a magic show.

I love you all so much, thanks for how awesome you are. Mom, thank you so much for putting me in contact with the branch president [from Ethiopia!] Thank her for me! Also, I’m trying to send my Christmas package but it is not done yet. I didn’t forget, it is just taking a long time. If it is late, I’m so sorry.

Thanks for all you do! Have a great Thanksgiving.


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And the craziness continues!

So this week, as you may have guessed from the pattern Elder Garrett and I have set, was insane. Again.

Upper left is Elder Greaves with his Hamburg District.  To his right is his companion, Elder Garrett.  They do look a bit alike!

Upper left is Elder Greaves with his Hamburg District. To his right is his companion, Elder Garrett. They do look a bit alike!

Of course, I’m running out of time, but here goes.

This week we did an exchange with the zone leaders. I went with Elder W. to Hamburg. I actually learned a lot from the exchange, but I really wasn’t with Elder W. that much. We got back to Hamburg, did a little street finding on the way back to the apartment, then had lunch, companionship study, etc. Then the other companionship, Elder G. and Elder H., had a basketball activity planned with some potential-ish investigators. Elder W. and I had planned to try this new dooring technique with the Plan of Salvation pamphlets, but Elder G. felt too sick for basketball, and Elder H. needed someone to play. Elder W. offered to let me play, but I was too excited to go finding in Hamburg (best finding in the world, and I really hate basketball anyway), so Elder G. and I went and did that until 9. OH MAN IT WAS SO FUN.

Those Hamburg Elders have it soft, people.

Both of us were new, and sometimes we couldn’t even understand people. For example, this one man spoke really fast with a really thick Italian accent, and he had to catch a train, so we just walked with him. Neither one of us had any idea what he was saying, but were still able to make him into a contact! That’s ridiculous. We made 7 or so contacts, since no one wanted to make appointments right then, but I think maybe a 4 of them could actually turn into investigators. So great! It was awesome to be with another Elder who spoke “new” German, because we had no choice but be absolutely fearless. It was a great learning experience, but I do wish I had time to at least teach a little with Elder W., because he seemed really awesome. Maybe next time. He’s a good example of someone that’s obedient and helps others be obedient and work harder without being overbearing. He shows that it’s possible to have a lot of fun on your mission if you stick to the standards and work as hard as you can. He’s a super cool guy. He was converted a year before his mission by his girlfriend, who later dear johned him. Welcome to Mormondom, Elder W.! 🙂

Dear John comic

In Schwarzenbek, we met with Franz, a man we found while buying chicken after we found no one in 4 hours of straight finding. He has read in the BOM we gave him and believes in the Restoration story. Its awesome, except that we were talking about all this in between customers at his chicken truck. So that was pretty crazy. We’ll get his address next week. Definitely a weird situation to be in, since he is making appointments and progressing, but we still don’t have his address. That’s not a problem we usually have, but we just felt pretty strongly it wasn’t the right time yet.

After that, we stopped by on a contact that Elder N. (Other zone leader, also my hero) made with Elder Garrett the day before. He was just a cool Italian man who said the classic “I’ve got no time now, maybe try tomorrow” line. He let us in and talked for the first half hour about how he wasn’t religious. We asked him if he ever prayed before. He said he never really had. Then we told him how we pray, and he was like,

“Oh. I do that all the time! I just get on my knees and talk to God like he’s my Father!”

So far so good!

Then I asked him if he had ever received an answer. He said no, which was pretty awkward, but we kept talking about how he could, what the Holy Ghost felt like, etc., at which point he said,

“Wait! The night before you knocked on my door, I had a dream that I was talking to two long-dead friends from Italy, who said they heard a knock. They asked me to go answer it, because there were two people there who only spoke German.”

He said he had stayed up all night thinking about it. “Now that I think about it, that was an answer from God.”

Wow. Talk about awesome.

In Lüneburg, We finally organized the area book of the sisters, and started going through all the contacts. We met Ama, who has read in the BOM and believes it is all true, and is really excited to be baptized by the Spirit. After he finishes his Master’s degree in 2 weeks, he’s headed back to Ethiopia to be a professor, so he won’t be baptized here, but I hope the missionaries there get in touch. We’ve passed along all of his info, and we have his email so we can stay in touch as well.

We also met with Kai, a Muslim. We need to find out about the whole moving back to Pakistan thing before we teach him to baptism, but he is super cool. He’s the first Muslim I ever really talked to about faith, and, in at least the branch of Islam he practices, he’s closer to the truth than most Christians. Every problem he had with Christianity, we don’t have.

He was like “Why all the crosses?”,”I think Christ is still alive and will come again”, “I believe in prophets after Christ” etc.

Just goes to show that Mohammad really was more of a reformer. He wasn’t a prophet, but he was kind of like Martin Luther. It was fascinating.

Then we were finally able to meet with Ross, a media referral that we received 8 weeks ago. All of his info was wrong, but then I found out you can also get their email address, so I just shot him a quick email. He answered and we met with him. He has read in the BOM online, believes it’s true, and knows the entire Restoration story, down to gold plates, angel Moroni, everything. He is so awesome, and so, so, so, nice. He works with handicapped people, and kind of reminds me of Daniel. He wasn’t able to go to church this week because his grandma was sick, but he is excited to come next week. I think he will be the next baptismal date we set, maybe even this week!

Saturday, we received a referral that lives south of Salzwedel, which is to say, 2 hours from any LDS church in Germany. He literally could not live in a worse place to receive the gospel, but dadgum it he wants a BOM and if he answers his email, we’ll give it to him! I think I have a magic touch for media referrals. Elder Garrett has recieved one his whole mission, except for this one. This is my sixth. *shrug*

Sunday, of course, was amazing. We had a baptism, which was very smooth. Our new WML might have scared her to death, telling her all these things she had to do (tuck your dress between your knees, put hands here, plug your nose, bend at the knees, THE KNEES!, hold your breath, breathe deeply, don’t lock your knees, don’t lift your feet, on and on, til we were practically all hyperventilating.) She did have to be baptized twice, because her hand was above water, but whatevs. She’s clean now! She was super happy and gave us big hugs, and the missionary that started it all was on Skype watching from home in America, (with President’s permission) so that was awesome. and the ward was surprised to find that we had taken care fo everything. Like, they had nothing to do. Dee was very happy, and I hope it will be the first of many here in these next few months. THEN, DRUM ROLLLLLLLL……………….

The Piano Guys came and visited.

the piano guys

Yup. Me and 30 other missionaries in the surrounding area got to talk to them and hear them play, and had a bumpin’ testimony meeting. It was sweet. So those pictures will be on the mission blog soon. Hope you can see me! They were all really great people, and were clearly well practiced at giving quick spiritual thoughts. All very very very different. I’m almost amazed they are actually friends. The piano player is very serious, and Steve, the cello guy, is very jokey and funny and talkey. The other 2 (started it together, film guy and piano store owner) were just as awesome.

Anyway, I’ve now sung backup for the Piano Guys and danced back up for Alex Boye, so just let me know if there are any other Mormon idols that I should perform with, and I’ll get right on it. 🙂

Love you guys so much. You all are awesome. Especially my family. Love and miss you!

Oh, real quick, we are going to celebrate thanksgiving next week (is it third thursday or second to last thursday?). Send us some quick recipes for pie crust or stuffing? No big deal either way.

Love, Elder Greaves


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Finally! Pictures!

Okay, I’m never sending pictures again, so enjoy those ones. Just kidding, but it really took about 30 minutes. Dumb email.

Anyway, this week has been great. Lots of ups and downs. As for Elder Garrett and I getting along, we recently planned our futures together up until retirement, if that answers your question.

This week some really awesome things happened. We kept working with Dee (names changed), who will be baptized this week. She has come to church every week for 18 months, so we haven’t done anything special there. She went with a Mormon friend in France to go see Thomas S. Monson speak. After the meeting, he was walking out, then stopped, turned around, and walked right up to Dee, shook her had along with a 1 or 2 others, then left. She felt a shock, and knew he was a prophet. Then later she literally tried to escape to France to be baptized, because she really wanted her friend to be there. That’s no joke. We got a call from President Kosak about it. He was not amused.

We set a baptismal date with Nannita (I talked about her last time). She was really excited, but she lives 90 minutes away from church. She doesn’t have a car and couldn’t afford a train ticket (30 bucks each week). We talked to the Bishop, because this is a common problem in Germany (well, it has happened before at least). He called a quick ward council. Half the ward thought it was dumb, she should come herself. After talking for a little while, Bruder B., my favoritest old guy ever, said “This is dumb. I’ll just drive her of no one else will.” That would be a total of 2.5 hours driving, and that’s just to get her there. He’s 75, can’t hear a thing. He promptly fell asleep, so he might think that is still the plan, but it shut up a lot of younguns who were trying to argue against it. Eventually, they figured out a plan. I’m truly grateful for this ward. They all work really hard. There is no one that just doesn’t care.

But that meant that this Sunday, Nadine wasn’t there. We hope we can get her to the baptism Sunday!

We were in Lüneburg, which is an area we just took over, a few months ago, after we went through and overhauled the areabook. We stopped by on an African guy who, according to our records, stopped meeting with the sisters because he doesn’t believe in the Bible or the BOM. But when we asked him about it, he said he knew it was all true, and even wanted to be baptized. BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE: He finishes his master’s degree in 2 weeks, when he will move back to Ethiopia. So they will be getting an awesome referral. I hope everything works out for him, and I’m glad we found him before he left.

So Elder Draper and I received a ridiculous amount of media referrals this last transfer. 4. That is, yes, 4 more than anyone else I’ve talked to. That is obviously not us, because that is just people going online and saying that they want a BOM. And our area has less people than most. That’s just the Lord, knowing we were awful finders (He was right). But a lot of times they put the wrong address and phone number. But recently, I found their email addresses, really buried in their info, so the HUNT IS BACK ON! YEEHAAH!

I love you guys so much, I’ll be more spiritual next time, especially when I don’t have to send dumb pictures.

But this area is getting so much better, and I’m getting so much better. I’m so grateful to be here on my mission, and I’m learning so much. Have an awesome week!

Elder Greaves.

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That ring thing is a stock, where a prisoner would be chained up so people like 800 years ago could throw fruit at them, etc. Just nochalantly in the middle of a square, no one even noticed it. Weird.

 Elder Draper and I tried to take many many picutres in front of a church. There are a few of our attempts. The beautiful building with wooden logs showed how spoiled we are. We were trying to find cool places to take pictures and completely walked past that because it is so normal here.

Elder Draper and I tried to take many many picutres in front of a church. There are a few of our attempts. The beautiful building with wooden logs showed how spoiled we are. We were trying to find cool places to take pictures and completely walked past that because it is so normal here.

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Creepy jester was in Möln, which I think means jester.

Creepy jester was in Möln, which I think means jester.

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The guy I have my arm around in front of cars in Elder Peterson, he was an MTC bud, we both had to get tires exchanged for winter.

The guy I have my arm around in front of cars in Elder P., he was an MTC bud, we both had to get tires exchanged for winter.


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ABSOLUTELY THE MOST INSANE WEEK EVER EVER EVER

No seriously, this week has been crazy. Elder Draper is now in Hof, land of the Lederhosen, which I’ve come to find out is recognized as almost definitely the hardest area of the mission. Poor kid, he was excited to leave here because it was so hard.

karte-Hof toddler-lederhosen-boy-costume

But the whole problem, solution, source of all this craziness is my new companion, Elder Garrett.

He is EXACTLY LIKE ME. EXACTLY.

It’s like hearing me talk when he does. We have the same sense of humor. The same political views. The two skinniest pairs of arms in the mission. We are the same height. Both played baritone. Teach lessons in exactly the same way different from everyone else. Are the same amount of crazy emotional and logical. Love to study and plan, want to be so organized but aren’t, focus on working with members, change voices for the different characters inside of our heads, use sarcasm like a comfort blanket, talk too much, talk too little, hate to run except when it is fun, want to be ultra-successful, like wearing sweaters, eat the same foods, don’t like bare feet, feel the need to have blankets,

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

Tuesday: Pick him up from train station. Go home. Work. Nothing happens, except he freaks me out with his confidence.

Wednesday: World explodes.

It’s district meeting day: Not much time to work. We go to a little town, where we contact and street find for 4 hours straight. No success. Totally used to it. New Comp freaking out, because he is used to being ultra successful. Call member who was late to pick us up for joint teach. Actually, we were an hour early. Looked stupid, felt stupid. Good first ward contact for Elder Garrett. We have 45 minutes, so we go get dinner at a chicken truck. It was really far away and not super good looking, but we were strangely both insistent that we had to walk past all the other options to go get chicken. And then we found out why.  HE GAVE US FREE CHICKEN!

Oh. Also he read our nametags, got out of the truck to read them better, and asked us about or church. Taught him about BOM. Five minutes later this fry cook with earrings and scary beard face was hugging the BOM to his chest and telling us to come meet with him next week. So found an investigator named, at least in my mind, the chicken truck man.

Then we had the joint teach with (name changed) Dee, the investigator that has come to church every week for 18 months, but she wasn’t married and blah blah blah, no one has ever baptized her, which was super annoying to the ward, because they love her. But set up a date (we had previously set up a date to set up the date, so not a surprise). Then we missed our train stop on the way home, and basically died laughing. We got off in Boizenburg, 15 minutes from Lauenburg. There we were basically assaulted by the nicest only Ukrainian speaking Ukrainian family ever, who we helped find a taxi to reach political asylum. Which means we missed our bus. So we had to wake the Bishop up to come pick us up. So a good first day for Elder Garrett with the members. Then we got home at 11. We are supposed to be home at 9. That was DAY ONE.

And it just hasn’t stopped. The next day we found someone else, but only after we had contacted everyone we knew and no one ever had interest. And we had again given up on the idea of finding someone that day. Then she had a 7 person family.

Then the next day we helped an older family move in. They told us it would take “less than an hour, because we are bringing all of our friends.” All their friends were over 70. We literally did everything. Me and Elder Garrett (who is as skinny as me) had to carry a full on organ up a flight of twisting stairs. In Europe. Where stairs are ladders. And of course the fridge went in the cellar.

Then we had another move the other day. And we found someone else, someone Elder Draper and I have tried to contact probably 3 times and has never answered. And through it all, joints teaches were falling out and into place, investigators were disappearing and talking about how they wanted to come to church, and everything was weird. Of course, I don’t have a lot of time, but just know it was crazy and so so so fun. Things are changing here!

This week, the investigator I want to talk about is (name changed) Nannita.

She is from Brazil, speaks Spanish and Portuguese and enough English to understand us. She had a Mormon best friend in Brazil, and the missionaries started to meet with her there, but then she moved here, where she was found dooring.

“Oh good. I left my Book of Mormon in Brazil” is not the normal response when someone opens the door!

But now, she and her family lives right below the only Spanish speaking Mormon family in our area, and her husband works with the father of that family, and her son is friends with a kid in our ward. I think the Lord wants her baptized. We haven’t been able to meet with her a lot because she is often traveling with her family before they go back to South America, but she is so sweet, and we want to commit her to baptism the next time we can make a lesson.
Anyway, I love you all so much, and it’s when you give it your all and you’re done that the Lord blesses you.

Elder Greaves

10-14 ZTM Hamburg


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Literally only have 10 minutes

So it got cold all of a sudden, and I have to buy a coat today, so I only have 10 minutes today.

But hey.You should be used to that by now!

Next week, I’ll have my letters planned out so all I have to do is transcribe. But anyway, a sehr schnell [very fast] low down.

Elder Draper is getting transferred to literally the farthest area away from this area possible, in the southernmost, smallest area, smallest branch area that speaks Bayrisch, a completely different dialect that he won’t be able to understand at all.

And, he is training. You don’t usually train without already being in an area, but they must have seen how awesome I turned out.

Anyway, this last week has been awesome with Elder Draper. He is seriously one of my best friends, and I am sure going to miss him a lot. I’m staying here, which is darn good. I want to to be here until the end of the year, but I don’t get much say! My new companion’s name is Elder Garrett, he’s been put for a little less than a year, he just finished training someone in my MTC class, and he will be a district leader here. Don’t know anything else about him, but I’ll meet him tomorrow!

I’ve been wanting to tell you about my investigators and such for a very long time, so I will just quickly talk about a few. Or one. Most everyone on our list that is extra-prepared came through referrals. Not from the ward, but from media referrals. That’s really cool, since we received 5 total, which is exactly 5 more than have been received here in like 3 years. Seriously. Just goes to show that the Lord takes care of you, especially when you are both new and have no idea what you’re doing! 🙂

Nadine: 20 years old, called the mission office and said, quote “I want to meet with the missionaries. Send them to me.”

Now that’s cool.

It is really fun to be able to meet with someone so young and excited, since that is basically the exact opposite of the general population. We have taught her the restoration and the first half of Plan of Salvation.

I don’t think I’ve told you, but Lauenburg, or “Town of Lauens”, has a very special meaning. Lauen means lukewarm. I’m serving my mission in Lukewarm town, Duetschland. Ouch.

Anyway, 30 seconds left. I love you guys so much, thanks for everything, I had an awesome birthday, I loved the book so so much and have already used it.

Elder Greaves

10-14 ZTM Hamburg


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The Final Countdown

So I have pictures to send, but I don’t have time this week. It was the pictures or me, and I chose me for you.

You’re welcome.

Mom:

I think I gave you the wrong address. It is Glüsinger Weg 31, not 3. They all reached me, as far as I know. One got stuck in customs, not sure why, but it may have been the one I was supposed to wait for… Sorry! It was the law! Anyway, it was the Recipe/Memory/Picture book, which may be my favorite present of all time, except for, of course, when I was 5 or so, with my orange Charizard watch that hooks on your belt and said “Wake up sleepy head” in Ash Ketchum’s voice as the alarm. That thing was sweet.

 

charizard

So,I never ever ever have enough time for anything, and I was planning on writing about each one of my investigators, since I still haven’t done that, but I only have 5 minutes. So I’ll just go really really fast.

This week, we had quarterly interviews with President Kosak. He is super awesome, and I always learn a lot. We had told him about how we were struggling to work with the ward, so he went into a stake-wide meeting 10 minutes later and told all the Bishops up front to stop treating missionaries like babies. He’s so cool.

Anyway, he talked to me for a lot longer than usual (30 min. vs. Elder Draper’s 10) and then ended with an ominous “And who knows what will happen to you this next transfer in a week!”

Absolutely no idea what that meant, but, on a sidenote, I haven’t slept in 3 days.   No seriously, I’m a little nervous.

I’m staying in Lauenburg, HALLELUJAH, this next transfer and Elder Draper is leaving. That’s all I know.

I’m super happy to stay here because I need to baptize these people, darn it. We have really struggled these past couple weeks to have appointments. People in our area just don’t answer the phone! So we have to spend all day trying to set up appointments. We finally have solid investigators, more solid than this area has had in years, and they are all on vacation or busy or never home! GRR.

I will find them. I will make them feel guilty. And also the Spirit. That’s good too. 🙂

Really no time this week, but I find out Saturday about new companion stuff. So that will be interesting! We saw a few really cool things happen these last few weeks. We have received 5 referrals, staggering, really, and while not many have been from the ward, we will get there. This ward is so awesome. They just need to know that we are.

I love you guys so much. I know this Gospel is true, and I have felt such an increase in the Spirit this week, as Elder Draper and I have tried our best to improve ourselves. I’ll say more next week!

Sawyer:
That’s awesome – Nathan Pancake. Drop and give me 20 – Pancake. Private Pancake. Major Pancake. General Pancake. The pun possibilities are endless. Anyway. Read your scriptures more than you are. 🙂 Read them when you get home from school, not right before bed as something to check off. I’ll follow up, too. 🙂

Aspen:
That is exciting that Grandma and Grandpa are moving there. Don’t worry about drowning. It does end. In like 5 weeks when you have Christmas break, actually. 🙂 Read your scriptures more. Study a topic. One Book of Mormon, one topic. Pick a date to finish by, not how much you will read in one day. You’ll do better that way. You’re awesome.

Love ya!

Elder Greaves