Hahaha Mom, can I just tell ya, you never disappoint! Today as we were on a hike for P-Day, we were talking about different little things our parents would do, or names they would call us (nicknames and offensive, good thing you only belong to that first category) and the first two I thought of were "sir" and "charlie brown". And then lookie here, you open with "Hello Sir". I called it! :)
Well, your hopes came true, Mom! We did meet someone this week who smiled and thanked us for our message. Multiple, actually. The two I can remember were #1: As we were having a street display on the Zeil. There weren't too many people interested in stopping and talking to us in the hot afternoon sun, so I started looking around at the people who were sitting on benches under the shade from the trees. After sitting down next to a few people and trying to talk to them without any luck, I spotted a smaller, older man who seemed to be enjoying the afternoon. I sat down next to him and started up a regular conversation about the heat (what all Germans talk about). Ends up he's from Italy, and can't speak awesome German, but was super happy and pleasantly surprised that I was having a conversation with him and listening to him. It went on for a while, he showed me pictures of his family on his phone, and I showed him pictures of my family, and we had a good conversation. Because of the language barrier we couldn't discuss the gospel too well, but he understood who I was and got the idea of what my purpose was, and he appreciated it. He especially lit up when I told him that Elder was Anziano in Italian (shout out to BRYSON NICKLE!), and that made a lot more sense to him. I had to go help with something else, but before we left, I grabbed an Italian Book of Mormon and gave it to him, and told him I wanted him to have it because it means a lot to me, and now that he was my friend, he meant a lot to me. His eyes watered up and he thanked me so much, and said that one day, whether in this life or the next, we will see each other again. And I definitely agree. As I walked away, he was reading the introduction. :) I may never know how that story ends, but I have a good feeling about it.
The second story was on Sunday! A cool YSA that we're working with named Kevin brought a friend from work to church! He seemed to enjoy the meetings, but they left before we had a chance to talk and see if he had any interest in learning more. When we got back in the apartment, a little bummed about missing that opportunity, we got a call from Kevin. He said they were all eating dinner at their house, and wanted us to bring a "Finding Happiness" DVD with us and to come by! We put together a quick lesson plan and headed over. His friend, Sebastian, is an awesome kid, 21 years old, and we built a good friendship right off the bat. After we ate, we showed the film, and then talked about what happiness really is, and how we find it. It was a great lesson, and at the end, we asked Sebastian if he had interest in learning more, and he said absolutely! He has questions that he wants answers to. So we made out an appointment for the end of this week! It sounds probably like a lame, no-duh story, but it's not. Elder Chicky and I have been working our tails off for the last two transfers, and now finally, after a lot of disappointment and frustration, things are starting to click, and we are finding awesome, solid investigators fairly simply. I think the Lord is blessing us for showing him these last 12 weeks that even though we weren't finding any investigators, we weren't gonna give up. We're pretty pumped, so yes, Mom, people were appreciative of our little "botschaft" this week. :)
Germany is blazing hot and humid right now. It feels a lot better than freezing and ice cold, but it presents a problem. Our investigator, Henryk was supposed to be at church yesterday, but he never showed. So when we called him after the meetings and asked what was up, he said that it was too hot, and he didn't want to leave the apartment. And that's kinda how Germans are. If it's hot, they stay in their dark apartments where it's cool and don't leave, because they don't have air conditioning and want to keep and enjoy all the coolness that they can. So we're getting tan, and the Germans are staying cool inside. We've gotta find a way to bridge that gap somehow.
ZUM GEBURTSTAG VIEL GLÜCK, Dad! You youngblood. I was thinking about you the other day, and how you're 32 years older than me, and can still shoot my lights out in a game of 1 on 1. I'll see ya on the Elders Ball court when I'm back! I hope you have a killer birthday though, and don't have to put up with any more sassy pants Griff! Tell me what you get! If you fly out here, I'll help ya pick out a pair of lederhosen!
The baptism on Saturday was great! Went smooth and successful. But not so much for Elder Gassman out in Taiwan! Hahaha he sent me this today, and I wanted you guys to check it out:
“Ok, went to the scariest baptismal service of my life on Saturday. There was a 70 year old man who was a little bit overweight being baptized and a first time baptizer baptizing him.... and the font is pretty small.
So to sum things up, the guy says the prayer and then goes to dip him in the water but the old guy just went limp. and pretty much fell into the water! but on the way down he hit his head on the side... and then he was just kinda under the water not moving for a second.
I was like "oh crap he's dead!" and the guy baptizing him couldn't lift him out! So if he wasn't dead he was going to drown. So another member like half jumped in and they pulled him out! but it turned out he was completely fine. He just laughed and smiled and said he was so happy that he was baptized... then it went quiet for a second
that was when the witness said "his toe came out"
So they had to do it again. The second time also wasn't very smooth but they made it. It was the most stressful baptism of my life.”
Hahaha only with J Gass.
Well, I love you all! I hope you all have a great week, especially on the 13th, and know that I am singing in a "barbershop quartet" that day for a musical fireside! No idea what exactly that is, but I was asked to do it! Have a good, dry, summer week, be good, tell Mom you love her every single day, and Dad too, and I'll hear von euch bald!
Lebe wohl, Deutschland!
mit freundlichen Grüßen,
-- Elder McGinn