Die Familie McGinn!
Welcome back, Dad! It's good to hear you didn't give up the fight to a little erkältung, and are back in business. I was getting a little worried there for a second!
Indeed, the unfortunate news is true. Good old Elder Shively who you met on Christmas Day is now serving his local sheriff in Kaiserslautern, in the German Branch! K-town is where tons of Americans are, and one of the most productive zones in the mission, so I'm way excited for him! He's a solid elder with tons of potential, and I wish I had had more than just one transfer with him.
The new companion is Elder Colson! He's originally from Connecticut (a soft place in Dad's heart) and then moved to Hurricane, Utah for two years before the mission! He's two cycles older than me, and we were in the Düsseldorf Zone at the same time. He's a super funny kid, and has a ton of good, creative ideas, so I'm excited to see where this heads! In the other companionship, Elder Boyd stayed, Elder Minert left, and Elder Blanchard, from California, came to work with Boyd! We're stoked.
The work with our investigators is going very well right now. Herr Döschner was at church, like always, on Sunday, and for the first time since I've been here, I smelled (smelt?) no smoke on him! We'll be going by tonight for our usual FHE at his house, to see if he's on track for the end of next week! We also set another baptismal date! Saidu, our rock solid investigator, committed to the 8th of February! Week 5 of this transfer. We set it so far in the future because he's working on getting his work schedule rearranged so that he can come consistently to church before he gets baptized, because he lives and has committed to everything else! We attempted to also committ Wojtek, but he wouldn't say for sure. He says he has absolutely nothing against it, and believes it is good and necessary, but just won't commit yet. He's a little intimidated by the idea of coming to church, but luckily ("luck"= the Lord's tender mercies) the YSA's are having a FHE on Tuesday that he said he'll come to, because it's not so serious as church, but still coming to the church building! We have some way solid YSA's in this ward, so I am so confident that this is a huge step for Wojtek in getting to know them all, being friendshipped, and developing a desire to come without the missionaries just asking him. We're way hopeful for this week!
Also, a member in our ward, Bruder Wiese, got a Book of Mormon from me yesterday because he said he's been chatting with a coworker of his who just had a recent death in the family, and he feels like it's time to give them a Book of Mormon, and maybe introduce them to the missionaries! It would be one of the first complete families I've taught on my mission, and that would be a huge miracle. Member referral, teaching in members home, and a family. So we're keeping them in our prayers and hope it works out! We just are being blessed in every way imaginable right now, and just trying to keep track of it all is the hardest part!
If you're reading this right now, Grandma and Grandpa Mangum, YOU FIGURED OUT HOW TO WORK YOUR IPAD AND I'M PROUD OF YOU. I LOVE YOU. Hope they got it. :) I love you too, Grandma McGinn!
No way is Houston already back, are you serious? One of the AP's, Elder Andrew Bratsman actually knows Houston and Sharissa Nielsen from BYU, and he says hi! Tell Houston hi for me too, and the mission field misses him.
Mother, Baden Baden was on in this program? That's my area!! In fact, I was in Baden Baden last night! Our area is the only part of the Frankfurt mission that has the Black Forest, and it starts just a little under the city of Karlsruhe and just spreads southward past the end of our area. It is unbelievably pretty, even in the winter without snow, so I can't even imagine how it must look during the summer or spring!
Well, we're excited for this next week, and I hope you guys are too! The work is just cruising out here right now, and I love it. I can't see myself being anywhere else doing anything else and being any happier than where I am, what I'm doing, and how happy I am right now. I love you all, and hope you guys have the best week ever! Don't worry Mom, I'm being good, kind, happy, and I'm being haved. :) The Church is true! I know, you know it, and so does our Primary President who gave a talk on "The Living Prophet: Spencer V. Monson." Close. Bis auf wiedersehen!
Ich hab euch lieb!
-- Elder McGinn