Elder McGinn, coming in live from Karlsruhe!!
Hey fam! Sounds like Thanksgiving was killer this year! Mom, I never doubted you for a second. I just try not to think about it because Dad has free reign and no competition for the pies. I'm also glad to hear that no one died, and that you are not a visionary woman!
Catching Fire...everyone has been talking about that lately! It came out this last week here in Germany, and it's all anyone talks about in Church! It was funny, because then all of their noses started to bleed. Guess it happens out here in Germany too, Dad. :) and even though they rub it in our faces that we haven’t and can’t go see it, I know that my arm will always be longer than their brains.
Tell Brother Tidwell hi for me! He has always been such a role model to me, ever since he moved into the ward forever ago. I pray for their family often, and just hope that things turn out fine. They’re in my prayers, I love that family!
Well, on my side of the world: Karlsruhe is amazing. I've been here less than a week and I already love it. We live not too far from the hauptbahnhof (main train station) right across the street from a big catholic church that always klingles its bells. Karlsruhe is a lot bigger than Erlangen, the main shopping strip is 10 times bigger at least. The other companionship here lives in our same building, just two floors below us, and we're both all in to get things going here. There haven't been the most diligent missionaries here in the past, and we're working hard to change that. In the short time I've already been here, we've met with three of our progressing investigators! One is a 22 year old Columbian named David, another is a 27 year old-ish from Poland named Wojtek (Voytek), and the third is a 60-something-year old man who looks identical to an older version of Dave Parker, who has a baptismal date, but is just working to quit his smoking habit before he can be baptized. They all look VERY promising from the first impression I got, and I can't wait to really set in and work with them.
The district got me busy right away and on Saturday I did my first baptismal interview for a girl who will be baptized next Sunday here in Karlsruhe! She's an investigator from a less-active family in our ward who has been taught by the other companionship. It's the first in a while here, and it's gonna be a huge opportunity to get the ward fired up!
My companions name is Elder Shively, from Salem, Utah! He went to Salem Hills High school, and is the first elder I have met who is younger than me! He graduated this last year, 2013, and came out right after graduation. He just got finished being trained, so I'm "golden busting" him just like Elder Hobson.
I really hope Elder Hobson is keeping up back in Erlangen with three new elders and he being the only one who knows his way around and the investigators! I hope the investigators keep progressing and he gets to see three baptisms there, and really change the mindset over in that side of the mission. I miss Erlangen, but I'm excited for the potential Karlsruhe holds, and I can't wait to get to work.
We gotta go meet up with the other elders, so we gotta go, but I love you all! I love the opportunity I have to be a missionary in this exciting time, where you can literally see the work speed up and advance. Miracles are happening every day, and I know it's because of your guys' prayers and faith! Thank you all so much for your support and help and prayers, I can't wait to get started out here and really make a difference in advancing the Lord's work. I hope you all have the best week ever and that you get my little package I sent off soon, and I'll hear from you soon!
-- Elder McGinn