That confusing moment when you wake up not knowing where you are, and finally remember that you had to spend the night in the church on the couch? Hate that.
Das ist aber eine Nebensache.
Mom, I like your weeks! They are so relaxed and chill, who can complain with that?? If you notice the places in the Book of Mormon where it talks about the people being extremely happy or living in times of peace, not much else is written and time flies, because it´s just typical, classic living! The Good Life. You´ve found it, madre. :) I´m glad! And sad I missed out on the Sunday party, but that hoop in the background is just begging to be jammed on, as I jump over Dad. Yep, you heard me. See you on the pavement next summer, pa.
It´s way weird to see the neighborhood in those pictures, and realize how it still looks mostly like I remember it! I feel like there is something missing from the neighborhood in the picture of the rainbow, but I think I just haven’t seen it in a long time.
Now that mom wants to know why her son was sleeping on the church couch last night, I´ll tell ya.
We´re not homeless bums. We were actually at an awesome appointment last night, watching our most recent convert´s son get baptized in D.C.! I don´t know if I already told you this story, but her name is Rochelle. She is an American from Seattle, but has been all over and is currently living here because of the army. She got re-married about a year ago, and as a present, her friend wanted to send her a church video called "together forever". Long story short, it never came, so she called Church HQ requesting the DVD. She talked for two hours on the phone, became best friends with the secretary, and had them send elders over with the DVD. The elders came. One looked just like her son in D.C. She was taught and baptized. One of the elders who taught her, his best friend was serving in D.C., where her son lives. They went over, met him, taught him, and he got baptized yesterday. So they skyped us in, and we got to watch the service from her house on the couch. :) But ANYWAY, she lives far away, so Elder Henderson and I had to send in numbers and data and other stuff to the mission office, like we do every Sunday night. So while Elder Henderson was pretty much completely done with the excel spread sheet and the email, it all froze and we lost it all. Like 2 hours worth of work. And the office wanted the numbers that night. So we tried, and couldn´t get her computer working. Train and bus connections are awful and seldom on Sunday nights, so we finally got a train and got to the church, but by the time we were finished, it was past midnight, and the trains only come once an hour, if that. So president just told us to sleep on the couches in the YSA center, instead of try to get home before 3 a.m. And that is why I woke up so confused this morning, wondering where I was. But it was a good Sunday, aside from that!
It was an all around pretty solid week.
We had a lot of appointments and were staying real busy, and then on Thursday we had Zone Konferenz in Frankfurt, where Elder Kearon of the Seventy spoke to us. It was a powerful, awesome meeting, filled with revelation and the Spirit. We then stayed the night in Frankfurt in a Hostile (is that how you spell it?) for a leadership meeting the next day with president and Elder Kearon. They were great meetings. Unfortunately they completely took up two whole days by the time we could get back to Heidelberg, but it was worth it. We talked all about increasing the positive attitude of missionaries in the mission, and simply baptizing. And since then, 4 baptismal dates have been set in the Zone, just in a matter of days! So it obviously had a solid effect on a number of missionaries, and we´re hoping it just continues to build! We also helped two inactive families move, one being the Stake President´s son, and he invited us back over for dinner this week so it will be solid! I hope so at least, because carrying a 400 pound dresser down 4 flights of stairs in an apartment building isn´t my definition of fun! I was happy to do it though, of course. :)
Of the biggest things I learned this week, it would be what Elder Kearon talked about with being happy and having a positive attitude. He talked about being a creator of circumstance, and not a creature of circumstance. God made this world for His children, that we might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25) by living and acting upon it! Not letting it simply act upon us and reacting. He talked about how if there is something you want in life, go get it! We were given brains and the ability to act so that we can go do things, and not just be lazy and wait for them to come to us. And that includes happiness. If you want to be happy, go be happy. Express more thanks. Help more people. Do more. And after all of that action or doing, you´ll feel better. Neal A. Maxwell said that "God is very serious when it comes to joy in the lives of His children." and I agree. Become who you should be, do what you should do, and live how you should live, and you´ll get there. But notice how those were all verbs. You gotta do something. The harder I work on my mission, the happier and better I feel. It´s a direct relationship. So I challenge you all to be a little happier this week. You may already be super happy, then heck, just add to it! Who doesn´t want more? And I think you may find that a lot of your personal happiness will come through assisting others to become happy. But shoot, find that out for yourselves. :)
This is a gospel of happiness. Christ suffered and died so that we can get rid of pain, suffering, and weakness. Don´t take His atoning sacrifice for granted. So many people gave their lives to preserve this knowledge and truth. It must be worth something, right? Use it to produce the effects and person it was created to help you become. Mosiah 2:41. So that´s my message for you all this week. Just be happy. Can you do that? :)
I love you all! Keep doin yo thang, and I´ll hear from you soon! Heidelberg is the best! The Church is true!
mit schoenen Gruessen,
-- Elder McGinn