I'm back, and I'm healthy! That's the best part. Four elders are back on the streets of Karlsruhe instead of two, and it's good to be back.
This March Madness situation is outta control. 10 vs. 11 seed?? Since when! Don't tell me Ash is in the lead again because she picked her favorite jerseys out again...haha I can't believe March Madness is already coming to a close and I've missed it for the second year in a row! I love that time of year, and the Germans don't care. But to keep the spirit of March Madness alive, we did play a random pickup game against four Germans in a park, surrounded by people, while wearing shirts and ties. They laughed when we asked if we could play against them because of what we looked like, and we LIT THEM UP. They'll think twice next time they laugh at those Mormons who trashed them in church clothes in a park.
This week was good! And very busy. We had Zone Conference on Thursday, and a split in Heidelberg on Wednesday, so we didn't come back to our apartment in Karlsruhe from Tuesday night until Thursday night! It was worth it though. Elder Dyches is an awesome man. He spoke a lot on Obedience, on Team Work, and on overcoming fears, three things that could unfortunately be a little better with some people in this mission! He still remembers picking up Elder Bednar in the airport when he arrived and Elder Dyches was one of the assistants! He has a deep love for Germany, and his thoughts were very inspired. I received a lot of impressions and thoughts on how to help the district, and myself from his comments. Some points weren't even what he said, but what the Spirit brought to my mind and heart as I sat in that room that was so filled with the Spirit. I love these meetings, and these opportunities to hear from amazing general authorities with so much love and knowledge and experience, and even better, in a room with 130 other missionaries. I would dare say that on Thursday there was hardly a place, other than the temples, where the Spirit was so strong. I love being on a mission!
Other than that, the week was filled with member appointments and street activities and displays! A lot of our investigators have vanished and won’t respond to calls or texts, so we have been rebuilding our teaching pool with completely new people, and it's looking very promising! I hope I don't have to leave it all when we find out what will be happening with transfer calls this Saturday! I guess we'll see. Other than that, the only other news of the week is that Brother Döschner's dad passed away this week. He looked really down at church, and he came up to me and made sure that we would be coming over Monday night to bring the spirit to his house for Family Home Evening, because he needs something to comfort him and get his mind off the matter. I'm keeping him in my prayers. It's a sad experience, but it's also really beautiful that now Brother Döschner is REALLY finding his testimony in the 2nd lesson that we were teaching him not too long ago!
The Church is true. I know it with all my heart. No, Germany isn't like South America. We haven't been getting millions of baptisms. Not everyone wants to listen to our testimony. But I've realized that it's not just by someone listening and accepting your testimony that it grows. If that were the case, my testimony would not be as unshakable as it is. It grows from simply sharing it. Bear your testimony and it will grow. If you have the opportunity, let your testimony grow. Don't keep it where it is because you think it's enough. Keep growing it! President Monson still grows his testimony every day, and look how much further ahead he is than us! I promise you all that there is someone in your family/your circle of friends/whatever who could benefit from hearing your testimony if they heard it. Maybe you've noticed someone who you feel could use it. I encourage you to seek out those people, member or non-member. Everyone is a child of God. Everyone here on Earth accepted His plan, and sometimes they just need to be reminded of that. Because it's all true. And I bear my testimony of that. :)
I love you all, have the best week ever, and I'll be back in a week! Be good, be safe, be happy, and do what you all know you should do! Because you know I will, Mom. :)
-- Elder McGinn