Dad, you are as fluent as ever. I see you've been diligent in your Pun 101 studies. By the way, instead of saying "Hallo" for "hello" in German, you should say "Servus" (sar(as in Sarah)-vooos), it's better. :)
Wow, Dad, what a week! Sometimes I think I'm busy, and then I remember what your schedule is like! It's a ton of work, I can imagine, but these stakes wouldn't run nearly as smoothly without everything you stake presidents give! So keep it up. :)
Mamacita! How did I know you would open up with a Primary song verse?? I just knew it. :) Thank you! You don't understand the incredible will power it's taking to have that bag sitting next to my desk and me doing nothing about it...relief is just around the corner.
Well, since you've all asked, despite the long 250 kilometer drive, Düsseldorf was a huge success. The Zone Leaders in Düsseldorf had planned out a huge activity about the war chapters in Alma, and what we can learn from them, and there were three stations. In the first they tied ties around their heads and went with Teancum, one Zone Leader, into the gym and built a huge barricade around the stage out of chairs and tables and everything else you can think of, and talked about the importance of building our barricade and being prepared against attacks of the adversary. They then came to us, Gideon and Lehi, and were informed of the Mini Mission/their opportunity to join the ranks in the battle for a week and got them super pumped, and then they went with all of us and Moroni, the other Zone Leader, and got inside the barricade. The lights were low and there was Lord of the Rings music playing in the background, totally adding to the mood, and Moroni gave a speach, in which he tore his suit coat in half and made a title of Liberty. The youth all had been told to bring their own button up shirts with them, and all got to tear them and make their own Titles of Liberty, with their goals and dreams and motivations written on them. Kids wrote things like "Temple Marriage", "Big Family", "Temple Recommend", "Full Time Mission", and even "Mini Mission". That was followed by a small testimony sharing time in the barricade, and up until that point I didn't realize that almost all of them were crying. There was no break at all between kids getting up and telling us how much they want to reach these goals, or how they're going to build their barricade walls higher, and things like that. It was one of the most spiritual moments I can remember.
The youth are incredible and are going to be such a powerful generation in the Church, we just have to keep them motivated and on the right path as best we can. It's such a blessing to have such an assignment where we get to work with the youth across the mission. Aside from the 500 kilometers of driving and accidentally driving to the Düsseldorf airport because we got on the wrong side of the highway, I can't wait to do it again. :)
We had another priceless assignment from President Schwartz this week as well. President is so loving and grateful for all of the senior couples, and does all he can for them. One couple, Elder and Sister Jackson, are going home this next week, and President of course wanted to do something special. This couple is staying in a home right next to a grape vineyard, and Elder Jackson loves to sing. His dream was always to go to the top of the vineyard and sing over the hills at the top of his lungs. So President assembled a team of six missionaries, including us, to surprise them on Wednesday with hymn books, and we drove up to the top and for thirty minutes just sang whatever songs he wanted to out of the hymn books. Arguably one of the best things I've done in my life. SO pretty, it was unreal, and everybody loved it. Needless to say, it's been a pretty solid week. :) I'll be sending some pictures soon when I get the chance!
This upcoming week we'll be giving some presentations at the Trainer/Golden meeting in Offenbach, right next to Frankfurt, and there's a Ward Activity on Saturday at a castle where we'll be grilling, checking out the castle, playing games, and there will be water balloons! We've got a bunch of less actives and contacts who want to come, and it's gonna be big. We're stoked!
Well, now that I've talked your faces off, we gotta run! A gaggle of missionaries are coming here today to have a volleyball tournament in the gym, so wish us luck! Have a fantastic week, especially Thursday, and we will too! :)
The Church is true. Christ lives and leads this church today. We have a prophet, called of God, who guides this church through inspiration. I love being one of 80,000 missionaries who get the opportunity to let the world know. No unhallowed hand can stop this work from moving forward. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and the only way to find that out is to read it yourself. The longer I've been on a mission, the simpler my testimony has become, because I simply and undeniably know that this is all true.
-- Elder McGinn