Well, sorry that I double let you all down this week! But I will explain later the chaotic last 48 hours I have been through to get to this point, but first!
Dad! That's way cool about the NASA thing! I never realized until last night because we were extremely late coming home, how much I miss seeing the stars in the sky! The sun always sets out here about 9:30-ish, when we're already home, and it stays always kinda light the whole night anyway, so we never get a chance to see the stars! You can't help but think about the universe and how everything got there when you look at the stars at night, and it always reminds me of when Alma says that everything in the universe gives proof that God exists. It is so true.
And to answer your question/comment, air conditioning doesn't exist in Germany, so I actually have never been in an appointment where we haven't sat together and bonded in sweaty, sticky clothes. Really brings you closer to people, let me tell ya! Air conditioning is a luxury that only the states seem to possess.
I'm glad you're back to the garden and regular life though, Dad! Germans definitely LOVE their gardens. Most people live in apartment complexes where they have no yards to work in, so they actually buy their own personal gated off lots of land where they put sheds and garden plots in some other city, and they go there to get away and work and garden! The definitely take pride in them, and I feel like you'd fit in quite nicely with them out here!
My hair has indeed begun to regrow from my buzzed-convict looking status, and I have never been so glad that my camera has been broken during this time period, so that there is no recorded evidence, only on Anderson's camera. (no, I haven't gotten my camera back yet, but I'll call the members who said they could fix it later this week and I'll get back to you on Monday with what's up! I think it will be just fine though).
Do you guys realize what yesterday was? I have now been on my mission for officially 6 months as of yesterday, and it feels like it's been a mere 6 weeks. Where is this time going?! I am slowly every day becoming one of the "older" "more experienced" missionaries out here, and I definitely am not. But time definitely flies when you're having fun, and I can testify to that.
EXCEPT FOR YESTERDAY. Fun is the last word I would ever use to describe yesterday, and let me tell you why...
So yesterday was the Golden/Trainer meeting in Frankfurt, and I was the travel leader with everyone's tickets and in charge of getting Anderson and I and also 10 other elders and sisters there. Besides waking up at 5 am so that we could catch a train to Nürnberg to catch the main train to Frankfurt, all went smoothly and we got to the meeting perfectly on time. It was such an awesome meeting, and it made my month to see Elder Divver again and spend a few hours with that kid. And then came the "fun". It was time to go and we had to get back to the Subway station in the pouring rain and lightning storm, which we did, with five minutes to spare til our train came! And then ten minutes later, nothing came and then 30 minutes later, it still hadn't come. And then 30 minutes later, our main train left from where we were supposed to be in Hanau, and our train in Frankfurt still hadn't come to even get us to Hanau. We missed our train. At this point it was already 7 o'clock, and we were still in Offenbach. So we talked to a travel guy, and he told us to ride 30 minutes back to Frankfurt and see if there was a train there, so we did. And it was CRAZY! EVERY train in the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof was delayed because of this thunderstorm, and there were seriously millions of people there, trying to switch trains and this and that and it was absolute chaos. We finally found a train that could take us to Nürnberg, but it didn't leave for 2 hours. So we rallied up our group and looked around to find a place to eat that didn't have a million people in line. When we were waiting to get food, a voice came on the intercom and said that our train was leaving in five minutes. So we ditched the line and sprinted back to our train and made it just in time. By now it's 9 o'clock. So we were finally headed home, when another voice came on the train intercom and said due to complications, we'd be taking a different route to Nürnberg that would take an additional 2 hours to get home. SO...to make a VERY long, VERY frustrating story short, we arrived in the Nürnberg Hauptbahnhoff at 12:04 after midnight, and then Anderson and I had to catch our 40 minute train back to Erlangen. We are very tired, but very glad that that day is over, as is President Schwartz, because we had to call him a million times to let him know our status update.
So that is my week so far, and that is why I have been off the map and running around like crazy. BUT, all is well. We are seeing the blessings despite the craziness of this week. This last week we had 4 investigators in church!! We had Sermad, a woman named Monika and her boyfriend Klaus, and a member referral named Katja from Kazakstan! The work is increasing, and it is obvious. The Lord needs elders who can keep up, and Elder Anderson and I are stoked to see how crazy this week will be!
Also, there's something I'd like to ask of you, Dad. I already asked Griff, Mase, and Jeff, but I would also like to ask you. One thing I've noticed that really is contagious and gets everyone excited about missionary work out here is success stories. Whenever anyone has some success (a contact, a really good lesson, a baptismal date set, anything!), there are always calls going around, sharing the story and getting everyone fired up! We are seeing so much success in this zone, and it made me wonder how much success is going on in the world, and I realized that my family is a testimony of that. Mase and I have served on opposite ends of Europe, Griff and Jeff served in Central and South America, and you served in North America! We all have our success stories, and I wanted to ask you all if you could share a success story with me as often as you'd like to, from your respective missions! I know we all have seen success and blessings, as little or giant as they were, and it really gets other elders fired up to hear about it, so if you all could share with me individual success stories that you had, as often as you want to, I would really love that.
Well, the work is advancing. I love what you said about the Spirit, Dad. A lot of us are way too casual with how we refer and respect Him, and few of us realize how critical He is in our daily lives. He speeds up this work through us, the Lord's Servants, and it gets faster and faster everyday, and I love what I am doing more and more every single day.
I miss you all, I can't believe it has already been 6 months, but I love that I still have time out here. There is so much more to do, and I appreciate all your love and support. I pray for you all multiple times a day, and I know you are all doing so good! I will hear from you all soon, and have a great week!
I love you all! Die Kirche ist Wahr, findet es für eure selbst heraus! Ich liebe euch!
P.S. I had an amazing interview with President, Mom! He really is an inspired man of God, called to lead this mission. The advice he gave me was exactly what I needed to hear, I wish I could counsel with him daily. I would do anything for that man.