Hey all, we'll be back on later, we're actually on our way right now to do something with the district for our last p day here, and we're gonna email after, but we figured we'd drop in and send off some pictures real quick to get those out of the way, and email after! These are all pictures I took yesterday with people in the ward because......I've been transferred! Where, you may ask? I guess you'll just have to wait a few hours to find out. :) See ya soon!
Well well well, I'm back! Did ya miss me? Who am I kidding, you all probably haven't even woken up yet, sloths. But I hope you're all dreaming of where on earth I could be headed next...but before we get to that...
Talk about a crazy week! Mom, you continue to surprise me every day with your burglary skills, and I haven't decided yet if those are good skills to have, or if they concern me. But keep it up, there would be a lot of homeless people around if it wasn't for you breaking in. Thanks for keeping me in the loop though with your "snapchen" of the St. George Temple! One of the prettiest and oldest there are. Temples make any city a hundred times prettier!
BYU, Utah Jazz, Utah Utes...does anything from Utah have a better than .500 record this season in any sport?? This is a joke! Oh well, looks like the number 1 spot in the draft next year will be ours! That's something to look forward to. How far along is the college football season?
I'm kinda jealous of your guys' Thanksgiving set up this year, too! Luckily enough, transfer day, where we are all riding trains to our areas happens to be on Thursday, Thanksgiving. So anyone being transferred doesn't have a shot at having a legit Thankgiving dinner, but maybe the day after! Who knows. All I know is while I'm travelling on a train, Elder Hobson will be with the elders in Grafenwöhr on the American base, having a true Thanksgiving feast without me. That loser. I hope he knows I hated my two transfers with him. Haha just kidding, I actually love that kid. I have been so blessed to have had the opportunity to serve with such a dilligent, committed elder. Too many elders out here are convinced that Germany is too hard, and there is no success, but he is one of the few with the mindset that since Germany is 60 or 70% without religion, (how would you say that in English?) that gives us a huge area to work with! He is going to be a stud back here in Erlangen. Of the 4 elders here, three of us got transferred out and only Hobson is staying! He's pretty stressed with the responsibility on his shoulders now, but I know it will just transform him into a champ.
So. Where am I headed? If any of you somehow in someway. that would kind of creep me out if you got it right, guessed Aachen as my new area...you're wrong! Haha I'm going to Karlsruhe! In the Heidelberg zone and the Heidelberg Stake. And I'm not just being transferred, Präsident Schwartz called me on Friday as a District Leader there! I am SO excited. I have only heard amazing things about Karlsruhe and the people and ward there. There are four elders in Karlsruhe, (me and my comp will be the University elders there), and the other companionship includes an elder named Elder Boyd from Canada, who has been here in the Nürnberg Zone with me and we've gotten way tight! So we're both stoked to be working so close to each other in such a pretty area, not to mention that next cycle includes WEIHNACHTEN, and Heidelberg is famous for one of the prettiest Christmas Markets ever!
So the work is amazing, the people, the area, and the timing, and I am so excited. A little nervous for the responsibility I now have, but I trust in Präsident's decision, and I know the Lord will help me through whatever challenges and changes it may require.
I am very sad to leave Erlangen, this is literally my home in Germany. When I came here, I had just been trained, and was barely three months out in the field. In two weeks I will be close to ten. My entire mission has been here, and me and the members and investigators have come so close. Brother Buchmiller, the uncle of Katia, made sure that I knew if I was ever in Erlangen again after the mission, I could stay in their home with anyone I wanted for as long as I want. Haha I love them all so much, and I know that together with Elder Hobson they will be able to see miracles with Verena, Zhang, and Bernd that I had only seen the beginning of. They are definitely in good hands.
Thank you for the quote Dad, it is something that I am going to print out when I have the chance, because it really is true.
"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise.
Life is like an old-time rail journey - delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."
One of the biggest secrets of life and happiness in my eyes is Gratitude. Not enough people actually count their blessings, like the hymn encourages us to do. I am so grateful that Thanksgiving is this week, because it gives us a chance to really realize what we do have. A family, a home and shelter, food, and friends. Some people don't have most, if not all of those four things, and sometimes we aren't even grateful for them. I really encourage you all to "count your blessings" this week. Realize what you have. Not what you want to have, or what you could have, but what you have right now. And don't just realize, give thanks. There is no quicker way to find happiness. When it's freezing cold, we're getting rejected by everyone, and we are hungry out here, I have learned that the quickest way to find an open heart and a prepared person, warmth, and to forget about our growling stomachs, is simply by thanking the Lord for the chance we have to be his servants and to help others find what we have and enjoy every day. It works, everytime. I promise you that. :)
I hope you all have the best weeks ever, and I'll email you somewhere from Karlsruhe, Germany next week, hopefully with some pictures! I love you!
Tschau tschau for now!
-- Elder McGinn