Oktoberfest is here! Well...kinda. It is indeed the season for Oktoberfest, but the HUGE parties are celebrated in Munich, and that's still kinda far from us! Other towns don't really celebrate it, everyone, and seriously everyone, just goes down to Munich to celebrate! So I am still safe and sober. :)
I'm glad the Geburtstag was a success, Mom! You have one more present coming your way from Germany! It's just a small one, but it's a little piece of Germany nonetheless! (don't worry, I'll get all the rest of you at Christmas! I've already got it planned out)
I don't believe any of you. We do NOT have Direct TV, now that I am gone. Who are you and where are meine eltern, die ich so gern liebe? I really don't know what to say to that. Now poor Elder Hobson has to take my rage because of your decisions. I hope you feel good about yourselves. And I also hope you record all of the best football games and march madness games for me to watch when I finally get to see it with my own eyes!
And whoa, hey, hold on now! Since when are you painting the family room, and what color??? What the heck is going on here, have you guys moved to Nebraska as well?? Mensch, families these days.
Well, here's the scoop, fam dam. This was a pretty rough week, I'm not gonna lie. We're not sure why, but the frustration and disappointment just pounded down this week, starting with Katia. The Wednesday night before Katia's baptism, Elder Hobson and I were coming back from an activity at the church, where we had also begun to plan out the baptismal service. On the walk home, we got a call that just crushed us. Katia had talked with her parents and told them all about what was about to happen and how excited she was, and they...weren't. Apparently they were quite anti-church, chewed her out, and forbade her to do anything else before she came home and they talked about it and what was going on. So the baptism didn't happen, and now she's back in Kazakhstan. All we can do now is pray and hope that things will go well. Who knows, maybe this is a huge blessing in disguise in some way, but it still hit us pretty hard.
To top that all off, the other two elders in this area, Elders Proffitt and Haskell, lost their phone. And how does that affect Elder McGinn, and Elder Hobson, you might ask. It doesn't. BUT. When a phone is lost, it is reported to the tech elders so that they can lock the phone to prevent it from being used and whatever else someone might do. So when the tech elders went in to lock the lost phone, they locked the wrong one and locked OURS. And they can't "unlock" phones. So now Erlangen, once again, has no phones for the next little while, and we're a little bit peeved. I know there has to be something that the Lord is trying to teach us from all of this, and we just haven't figured it out yet.
I would tell you all about the bike tires popping and buying new ones and those popping again, but I don't like to be a Debbie Downer, so I won't. :) Life is good, and lessons are being learned, right?
One thing that did stand out to me this week though was in my personal study one morning. I was reading about the story of Lot, and when Lot is commanded to leave with his family and possessions and flee, he is counseled in Genesis 19:17, "look not behind thee." I thought a lot about that, how we shouldn't look back and focus on the past. Of course we need to learn from the past, but the past is past, don't dwell there. What lies in the future is even more bright and brilliant than the past ever was, whether the past was good or bad. That doesn't mean forget the past or let it go, it just means keep moving forward, and look forward now to what is coming up. Learn from what you did wrong, or learn from what you did right, and keep going. I love how counsel that a man received 6000 years ago still applies to us today.
Well, aside from the rough week last week, this week should be a blast! Tomorrow is Zone Konferenz, Friday we have interviews AGAIN with President, and then Saturday and Sunday are General Conference! I cannot wait. I seriously feel like it's the week before Christmas, it's kinda weird. But we are so lucky for this weekend. I hope you all have questions or concerns in mind that you would like to find answers to. The Lord will do his part as long as we do ours, so if you need help, do what you need to do to be able to get these answers. I'm sad I won't be taking up my place in the Rio Grande for the second time in a row now, but I know you all will do me proud!
Dad, I agree with what you said, and it brings to mind one of my favorite scriptures to share, Alma 26:35. Read it for yourself and you'll see why!
Well I hope you all have a wunderbar week! Keep doing work at tennis, watching your direct TV, and getting prepped for NYC! I'm so jealous. But then again, I'm in Europe, hah! :) I love you all, and I hope you have the best conference weekend ever! Smile, make your beds, and be safe! Oh wait, mom is supposed to say that. I pray for you all! Til next time! Tschicka-tschau!!!!
-- Älteste McGinn