Hey all! I'm back, and life is even crazier and busier than ever!
Before this conversation goes anywhere... Dad. You are the man. THE man. You don't understand, ever since I have been here in Frankfurt and we take rennräder ("run bikes"/street bikes) everywhere, they are the best things in the world. And your bike, and yourself, looks like a stallion of a rennrad. Let me know how it rides! I'll have to give it a go when I get back. You can trust me, we dodge cars and trains and people and pigeons on those bad boys all day. :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY/FATHERS/DAVES DAY!
Alright, sorry y'all. I just had to show Dad that I'm proud of his decision. Also, the barbershop quartet went well! We were definitely practiced up, the only problem was that we were up as soon as Elder Chicky and I pulled up to the church on our road bikes after biking at the speed of light back home after back to back eating appointments. So we figured it was better to sing a little quieter and softer than to try to belt it and cover the first row in potatoes and sauerkraut.
I'm glad you guys are busy with the cabin and family reunions and farewells and everything! I know how it feels to feel a little crammed and rushed, like right now! I'll tell ya why:
Not only does Elder Chicky go home this week, and we're super busy making sure he gets everything done and packed that he needs to so he can leave legally, transfer calls happened this week, and it wasn't just some simple news of who my new, experienced companion will be, but instead I was informed that as soon as I drop Elder Chicky off at the train station on Thursday, I gotta fly over to the hotel and pick up my new golden! Yes, I am sending one of the most experienced and oldest missionaries home, and in his place I'm getting a fresh, jet lagged 18/19 year old, straight out of the MTC. I'm way excited!! But also a wee bit stressed, because as of Sunday, the first official week of the Mini Mission starts in Kaiserslautern, and this morning I had 50 emails in my inbox with applications and information and everything else relating to that. It was super nice to have Elder Chicky help share the load, and now this new Golden has absolutely no idea what he signed up for. :) Let's pray his head doesn't explode.
So it's going to be a crazy week, because Elder Chicky and I are also in charge of picking up goldens from the airport on Wednesday, and taking them around the city to different activities and interviews and dinner and everything else that is planned out for them as soon as they arrive. So I've got a comp going home, a new one coming from Provo, the Mini Mission starting, and we're in Frankfurt, so we're in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly. And I love it. Haha Frankfurt is seriously so great. If it seems likes I don't like it right now, that's not true. My brain is just so scrambled with everything that I've gotta do right now that it comes out this way! But it's gonna be great.
This week wasn't the most effective weeks when it comes to legitimate missionary work. We spent a ton of time preparing to send Elder Chicky home, and worked a lot on the Mini Mission. He was also sick for two days, and that killed some of our time. But in that time, I made a giant sign with 2 Nephi 2: 25 on it, and we're going to use it on the Zeil for street displays to talk to people about joy! We're pretty pumped. We had some great other appointments with members who wanted to wish Elder Chicky well before he leaves. It's all in all just been a scattered, busy week, and this next one should be about the same, but we're loving it!
After transfer calls on Saturday, all the missionaries in Frankfurt were invited to brunch at Pres. Schwartz's home, and that was great. I've really come to love that man so much, and it breaks our hearts to see him go. But he understands that Pres. Stoddard has been called of God to lead this mission now, and I know that we are all excited to meet him and get that same feeling too. There's just so much ridiculous amounts of change in this mission right now that I can't keep it all straight. But the work of the Lord goes on, and won't be stopped. :)
I've gotta go, but I just want you all to know how important joy and happiness really are. 2 Nephi 2:25 tells us that that is why we are here on the earth. If God's plan and purpose is to help us be happy, and his Gospel is the way back to him, that has to mean that by living and following the gospel and commandments, we find joy and happiness. And there's no need to speculate about that, because in Mosiah 2:41 it confirms that. I'm so happy, and I know it's because I spend all day every day focusing on the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's such a simple pattern. Follow the Gospel, and be happy. I know that's true, and I know that you all know that too. :)
Have a great week, know that I love you all, especially Mom, and I'll hear from you soon and let you know how all the craziness is going!
-- Elder McGinn