Monday, August 11, 2014

Email & Lots of Pictures - August 11, 2014

You guys, Heidelberg is unreal. I'll send you guys some pictures of just walking through regular, every day streets, because we haven't even visited the castles or anything yet. But I honestly feel like I'm living in Disneyland sometimes, when we walk down certain streets. And everybody knows it here, too. There's just a feeling in the air the makes people happy and friendly, and it puts a spin on the work that is so nice and easy to work with. The work in all of Germany is way solid, of course, but Heidelberg is even more solid. :)

 Last Monday, we got a 16 year old from Karlsruhe named Jason K├╝chler as our mini missionary for 2 weeks! (I skyped from his house on Christmas!) He's already a great kid, and he's just been eating up the missionary experience out here. He tells us over and over that he doesn't want to go back, but I don't blame him because the week that he has been with us has been one of the most solid weeks ever!

 Heidelberg works like a machine. The missionaries and the ward. It's a ward of probably like 200 active, and in that is Germans, Americans, and Spanish speakers, so that means that there are a lot of different friends and cultures, and we're constantly going in and out. Some days I feel like I'm serving in Texas, and then that same night I feel like I got transferred to Spain. It’s the greatest, and definitely always keeps you on your toes!

 Elder Henderson and I have been working real hard on learning the Spanish, and it's coming! The Church has got to be true, because otherwise it would just be a miserable fail trying to learn a third language. I have only two settings in my brain, "English", and "Other", and "Other" only has one open seat. So when German takes a seat, Spanish just has to wait. But lately they've been starting to learn to share a little bit, and I hope they start to become better friends. The only problem with learning Spanish is the second I say "Yo soy Elder McGinn", the Spanish speaking members who can only speak either very broken English or German, go off a million miles an hour, and I have no idea where one word starts and the other ends. German has a ton of hard consonants, so it makes sense and you can pick up individual words, but Spanish is totally the opposite. German: kztuie kktzyx sketysw wsd gtle sw wei wes. Spanish: aeuiyldwuiaoeraolykdceiaousdioaueofoauegf. That’s how my brain takes it. But I'm getting better, and the Spanish members absolutely love that we're trying our best to help them out. Because they're a part of Heidelberg! And they deserve as much help with their branch as we can offer. And they are honestly the nicest people in the world. They want to help any way they can, they just feel so outside of the box because they can't speak much German or English. They're from all over, including Italy, Spain, Ecuador, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia and so on.

 There's actually a really cool YSA in the ward, who returned about 9 months ago from Spain, who can speak Spanish and English, named Damien. He's from Spain, and our lethal weapon when it comes to working with Spanish people. And we set apart this Friday to be a day of pure finding, no appointments, and just for Spanish people. We're going to go around with Damien and find only Spanish speakers, and we're determined to find a Spanish speaking family who will join the church. That's the goal. So you Spanish speakers, we'd appreciate you asking padre celestial to assist us on Friday. :)

 Aside from that, the work is great. We found two investigators this week, who both have committed to baptism! The first is Jerry, and the second is Charles. They're both students here, who are just ready to change and make the necessary steps to earn a testimonio. Jerry was atheist, but is now starting to change his opinion because of what he has felt and personally experienced through prayer, and Charles was going to become a professional soccer player, but feels that something is missing, that only God can fill,and he doesn’t want the money and offers and teams anymore. It's amazing, and the ward is treating them great, and we're excited to see where it goes.

 Also, there's a woman in the ward who we love who is helping out a ton. She's an American, and her talent is baking. She's literally a Europe-reknown baker, and is constantly baking insanely creative and beautiful cakes and cupcakes, and of course baked goods don't last forever, so whatever doesn't get sold or gifted or if she was just experimenting with a recipe, we come over and she fills us up a box, and we take them contacting, and CUPCAKES SOFTEN HEARTS, people. Jerry, who I talked about above, was found through cupcake contacting. It's way fun, and we never leave without having some crazy good, crazy creative baked good.

 Well, as you can see, things are rocking right now, and the Lord is blessing us so much. I'm so grateful for the experiences I have every single day. I've grown so much I can't even believe it.

  I'm glad you all had a good week, and I can't believe the summer is already over! Soak it up! And then back to the grind. I, on the other hand, will just keep at it, but lovin' it. I love and miss you all, especially mamacita, and hope you have an incredible week!

 Read your scriptures and say your prayers! We can't be reminded too many times. :)

 -- Elder McGinn

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