Haha Mother! Oh how I love you so. (those are honestly some of the first words that come to my mind whenever I write mother! You should be proud of the job you did in brainwashing me. :) )
Hey, whaddya know, it's raining here too! For the past few days it had been totally sunny and starting to get hot and humid (I don't recommend the bikes when it's like that), but now it's colder and cloudy and rainy! Spring just needs to give up the fight, and admit that everyone is pumped for my birthday. I guess a little excited for summer too, who knows. I always figured it was my birthday, and that's why they gave us school off so my friends could come to my party. I hope they still celebrate it even though I'm gone!
I'm glad you all seem to be doing well! We are as well! Super busy, but well nonetheless! This week included a lot of big events including meeting with President and discussing big plans for the Germany YSA Center plans and the Mini-Mission program, also going to IKEA, a couple baptisms in the zone, and other stuffs! We've been doing a lot of planning and thinking and things that aren't that exciting to talk about in emails. But I do want to share a cool experience from this last week!
I went on a split on Friday with the second University companionship here in Frankfurt. They opened this last transfer, and are having a hard time getting anything going. I was with an elder named Elder Arts from Provo who went to Maeser! (just random facts) anyway, we were having a decent day, we had had some good conversations and gave away a few Buecher Mormon. We just got out of an appointment and had about an hour left to do something before we needed to go home. We decided we would go back to some student dorms that we had been at earlier and see if there was any more success. We had only rung one doorbell, but I had a feeling we needed to be somewhere else, and that prompting was confirmed when Elder Arts said "ya know, I'm just not feeling it here at this building. Let's go to the Zeil." (the Zeil is the huge shopping strip in the middle of town) I agreed and we went to go get on a street tram. It was already on the platform, so we ran to catch it and got in just before the doors closed. We sat down, and not even five seconds later a woman sat down in front of me and smiled. She obviously wanted something or recognized us from somewhere. I introduced myself, and she said "I know!" and pulled a paper out of her purse on which was written the address of the church. She had moved to Frankfurt about a week ago from Romania, and hadn't been able to find the church, and she was desperate to find it, so when we got on, she recognized us immediately. It was a very short conversation before we had to get off, but we got her contact information and set up an appointment for the next day. The other Uni companionship works in the international ward, and this lady spoke better English than German, so we decided that they should visit with this lady the next day.
Last night as I was doing call ins with the district, I was talking to this companionship, and they told me that not only did she come to church right on time, but she also brought her 15 year old son who wants to learn more, and also a friend who has been searching for the truth! And, coincidentally, it was this friend's birthday that day. After church, she thanked the elders for her birthday present. When they asked what present, she told them that God had let her know this was His church for her birthday present, and she wanted to know more as soon as possible. This companionship was so excited, they were yelling over the phone. They have been struggling for so long, and after hearing that their area might close if it didn't become more successful, they fasted up until this split we had, and now they had two investigators with baptismal dates and a new family in the ward. The Lord has been making them work super hard without any reward, and they haven't slackened up one bit, and the Lord stretched them to see if they were ready for this lady and her prepared friends, and I believe He was pleased with their efforts.
The Lord is so aware of us. He really is working with us in His Vineyard. It renewed my testimony of the reality of this work, and how important it is that we are, like President Monson said, the same person in the dark as we are in the light. Whether it's good or bad, hard or easy, hot or cold, we don't change who we are. I encourage you all to ask yourselves if you really are the same person in every situation, and see where you can improve. I know we all can. I find a new weakness that I can strengthen every day, and the Lord helps us overcome these weaknesses by providing opportunities to grow and become stronger. It's about progress. Every day, no matter how little. Be better tomorrow than you were today, and if you follow that pattern your life long, you'll look back in fifty years and die of a heart attack you're so amazed. And then you'll be in Heaven, because you made all that good progress, right? :)
I love this gospel. It's not something I just believe, but rather, it's something that I am. Something I internalize. Something that everyone needs, and we must do all we can to help others find this joy like it says in 1 Nephi 8. This Church is true. I have no doubts, only faith.
Have the best week ever, and just know that it's raining over here too! My birthday/summer is coming soon enough, don't worry. Brighter days are ahead. :) I love you all, I'll hear from you next week!
-- Elder McGinn, your favorite