Meine Gute, this has just been the best week ever, and apparently it was for you all too!
We had a way good 4th out here with the Pobanz family from Ogden! They have three kids, all seven years apart, and their oldest son, Adam, who is 16 is actually gonna hang out with us this P-Day! It was the funnest and funniest appointment of my life, and sometimes I realize how much I miss ridiculous Americans. I even bought special socks for the occasion, which you will see shortly. Elder Anderson and I celebrated the best we know how!
Dad, that is crazy! We broke 100 missionaries from our stake?! That is so amazing, I love it. Probably on every continent, too, huh? I am so excited, the Heatheridge stake breeds some good missionaries, and they're gonna change lives out there. Sadly though, I'm the only one who got the golden ticket to Germany.
I'll catch you guys up to date with what is going on out here in Erlangen:
WE GOT PHONES BACK. Oh my goodness, now we can prove to people that we are, in fact, not Amish. It has been so hard without one, and now I can truly testify to what the prophets have said about how the world is changing, and we need to keep up to date. It really does help and all of the technology and luxuries we have these days are such huge blessings from Heavenly Father and provide so many ways and opportunities to bring His children to the gospel.
We had a crazy busy week this last week after we got our phones back and this next week is already planned out to be even crazier! Appointments, excitement, and success is picking up all over the mission, and I am so stoked it is unbelievable. I actually think I freaked Elder Anderson out a little bit this last week when I was just shouting I was so pumped. We have continued meeting with Bruder Steinbrecher and his son, but this week when we went by no one answered. So we hope they're okay and we'll continue to go by this next week. Also, we found a new investigator this week, who is looking so promising. His name is Sarmad. He is from Iraq and he came to Germany to start a new life after all of the horrible things that happened to his friends and family there. He is ashamed of his past life, and he wants to be "reborn again", and he has been looking for a way to apply Jesus more in his life. He was Muslim, and he says it's a great religion with great people, but it just doesn't have what Jesus does. He speaks no German and broken English, but he wants us to teach him both the gospel and English until he understands perfectly and until then he brings his friend with him to translate into Arabic. He is so ready and willing, and the changes in his life are already so obvious, I can't wait to see what more will happen with him.
Other than that, we were tchüssed by a really progressing investigator this week. Frau Bayerschmidt was making so much progress, but this week when we met with her, she wanted to make is short because she decided that she wants to stay Catholic. She loves our church, and still wants to learn more, but she is scared of how we baptize and is determined that her Catholic baptism counts. She says she just needs a break to see if this is really the direction she wants to go. Heavenly Father blessed us with the amazing gift of agency, and sadly we have to always respect that in other people. It is her decision, but we are always here and ready to help her. So we are praying for her, and we hope she will recognize the difference it had made in her life and will come back.
That sums up what is going on right now, and you honestly never know what will happen in the next upcoming week on the mish (Dad, Griff, Mase, Jeff, you all understand that) but I will let you guys all know next week! I'm so sorry that I won't get back to everyone this week, but there's a ZoKo in Nürnberg that we need to prepare to give a presentation at, but I'll get to you all next week, I promise.
I love you all, especially you Mother. I love you all!
(everything sounds perfect and I am as excited as ever for this packy package :) )
-- Elder McGinn