Monday, August 4, 2014

Email - August 4, 2014

Mi Familie!

 Yes, that was my best attempt at Spanish. And you wanna know why? Elder McGinn is going trilingual, folks. I even bore my testimony in Spanish yesterday at church, not in the German ward, obviously!

 Heidelberg is fantastic. It has the biggest ward in the stake by far, and it´s pumped full of German-speakers, English-speakers, and Spanish-speakers! And not only is it big, but it has some of the most solid, hardworking members I´ve ever met. It´s seriously such a blessing to be around such hard working members, it makes me want to do anything I can for them! It is also home to the Heidelberg 2 Branch, the only recognized Spanish speaking branch in the country. Like Spanish is literally a focus of ours right now, and the mission has supplied us with Spanish learning books to work on our Spanish! It´s great, and kind of identity confusing.

 This is what I´ve got so far: Hola Hermanos y Hermanas. Mi nombre es Elder McGinn. Ey crayo (I spell how it sounds) en Dios y tambien en el Libro de Mormon. En el nombre Jesucristo, Amen. I know, way simple. But it´s a start! And the Spanish members love that we try to speak to them in their language. It´s a ton of fun! So Griff and Jeff, you both thought you could keep secrets from the rest of us, but not anymore. :)

 Yes, Heidelberg is stellar. But we´ll get to that later. I was surprised to leave too, Mom! So Elders Kitchen and Lovelace and I ate all the American food we could as fast as we could, and got through almost all of it. I left them with some Froot Loops and a couple of Otterpops in the freezer. It killed me a little inside to do that, I won´t lie. Haha. But it was great.

 It´s weird no longer being in a trio out here. It´s a lot quieter. But it´s alright, because the new city makes up for it. Heidelberg is amazing. I told you a little before about the ward, but even the city itself is unreal! I was told by a member that in WWII, the Americans were specifically ordered NOT to damage Heidelberg, because it was so pretty, and I´m glad they didn´t! From so many members´ homes, you can look up onto the hillside and see the massive Heidelberg Castle, and the Alte Bruecke (old bridge) that leads to it, through the historic old part of town. Everywhere you go there are cafes and little diners, with little shops and souvenir stores all over. Most of the city, at least the old part, is cobblestone streets, and on every other corner there is someone playing some kind of instrument like a pro. It´s really so pretty that it´s impossible to describe, so I´ll just have to take a million pictures and send them your guys´ way!

 My companion is Elder Dallin Henderson from Rancho Cucamonga, California. He´s been out just about the exact same time as I have, and he´s a great elder. Super easy to get along with, and a hard worker. It´s gonna be great. The district I'm in has barely changed since I left Karlsruhe. Karlsruhe and us are a district, and Elder Jensen is still in Karlsruhe, as is Elder Blanchard, and Elder Henderson was here too when I left from Karlsruhe so I already know a bunch of the people, and it will be a quick start to everything!

 We´re headed off to a city in the zone called Mannheim (Mannheim Steamroller) in just a little while to play soccer with the zone, so I gotta sign off pretty soon, but I want you all to know that I believe in God and the Book of Mormon, and that this church is true. When a Spanish member taught me how to say my testimony in Spanish, I learned just a few simple phrases of what I knew absolutely was true. It was extremely short and simple, but I think that´s what made it powerful. We don't have to have testimonies right now about how vast and incredible the universe and the stars are, as long as we DO have testimonies of the little things, like reading in the scriptures, saying our prayers, and going to church. When we have a testimony of those simple, little things, the rest follows. So find out what your simplest, most converted gospel truth testimony is, and build off of that. Alma 32: 27.

 Es ist alles wahr. :)

 Ich liebe euch sehr! Ins besondere dich, Mutter. Passt auf euch gut auf, und bis das naechste Mal!

 -- Elder McGinn

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