Guess who's back! Unfortunately, right? :)
What a sick week you guys had! The only downside being Syd's birthday, but at least you all got cake out of it, right? :) Don't worry Syd, your letter is unterwegs as we speak, and will be in your shaky, not-worthy-to-drive-the-silver-bullet hands in a mere couple of days!
Knox! I gotta say, that is one of the coolest names I've ever heard. Al and Jeff, you guys have good taste. I approve, if my opinion mattered at all in the first place. :) Congrats! The long 9 months is up, and I bet it feels good, huh Al? I love the pic with Cohen holding the next heir to the throne. I can't wait to see those hood rats again! I hope you're doing better, Al, and that you can enjoy some solid meals for yourself, and not for the growth inside of you taking it all.
BYU! Not gonna lie, I doubted them! But I've come to a conclusion with BYU that always keeps me satisfied. If I simply assume that they'll lose all the big games, either 1. I'm right, or 2. I'm pleasantly surprised. In this case, #2 was the case! That's so sick. I remember when we watched BYU drop SDSU in the loudest night of my life! Obviously Elder Emery is pumped too. He's in our zone, and we've gotten to be good homies. Does that make me famous too?
Tell Houston and Braden hi for me! Dang, I can't believe they're already home. Time is going by way too fast. I love those kids, and know they rocked it out in the field. We miss them out here, that's for sure. And Bryson wrote me and email the other week and told me that he's in Rome, I'm jealous! Me, Cade and Bryson keep in pretty steady contact, no worries. The 9th Ward Knuckleheads will never be divided. :)
I'm glad you all had a solid week! I thought about you guys, and you especially Dad, yesterday and Saturday at our Stake Conference! We had a great meeting on Saturday in Heidelberg and our Stake Presidency really emphasized missionary work, and the members getting into shape and working and spending more time with us missionaries. Things are really quickening out here! And then on Sunday, we had a satellite broadcast from Salt Lake City with a member of the Seventy, Elder Schwitzer, Sister....oops, forgot the first counselors name in the relief society presidency, but her, Elder Hales, and Elder Bednar. Every one of their talks was translated into German, except Elder Bednar's. He gave it in German himself. :) It was so cool to see him using the language of his mission to speak to the members he still loves so much. And they were all so impressed, even though we're all positive that President Uchtdorf went over his grammar and pronunciation with him before this. :) The lessons and experiences he learned and had on his mission in southern Germany are still applicable in his life today, and made him who he is! And I know it's the same for all of us.
This last week was kinda rough, appointment wise. We had plenty of member appointments, which is good, but three of our investigator appointments fell out because they stood us up, and either never came, or weren't home. Marianna is out of town, and the younger ones are taking tests or at home for the break. But we got three new solid referrals from the mission office this week, and we're excited to go by and get to know these people!
The work is good, and it's gonna be rocking with my new companion. His name is Elder Blake Jensen, from Seattle, Washington. He's two transfers younger than me, but a champ. He served two cycles with a Swiss elder, so he's got some pretty solid German as well. He's cool, and we know and have served around a lot of the same elders out here, so we're off to a pretty good start.
It was a way good week, and we're looking to make this next one even better! We've got some pretty big plans for setting up a street display in Heidelberg with a projector, and we'll be projecting Mormon Messages onto the side of a building and passing out QR codes, getting people to look up mormonchannel.org online. It's gonna be sweet!
Well, I gotta wrap it up, but I hope you all know that I love you all, and love this church! I wouldn't trade these experiences for all the money in the world, because you can't take money or material possessions into the next life, but you get to take all the spiritual and intellectual knowledge you want. :) So read books! Especially das Buch Mormon. Because I support what Joseph Smith said, that there is no other book on earth that will bring you closer to Heavenly Father, and that's exactly what brings happiness and peace in this life. :)
I love you all, and I'll hear from you next wekk! Tschau!
I love you the most, Mom! :)
-- Elder McGinn