I LOVE PICTURES. I just wanted to say that up front. I'm so proud of you guys for the constant photo hook up! I love being able to see what you all are up to, and I love showing y'alls pretty faces to investigators/members/you name it! I'll catch up as soon as I get my backpack back. It was found!! Phewph. I was honestly starting to get scared that I would never see it again, and every picture I had ever taken would be gone. Like when Griff lost his SD card after being in the Peru MTC. I almost cried. But I didn't though, so it's okay. Some elders are picking it up for me today down in a city called Speyer, by Heidelberg, and I'll have it back soon. :) so don't stress, Ma! I've got pictures to show you when I'm back.
It sounds like Stake Conference went well! What an experience. We also had Stake Conference yesterday with two different stakes, and Elder Ballard spoke to us again. He is so classic. So funny, confident, and cool up front, and yet so spiritual, encouraging, and powerful. Especially at 85 years old, travelling all over the world. That has got to take a toll on him, mentally and physically! But yet he keeps going. If that isn't a testimony of the truthfulness and importance of this work, I don't know what is!
Frankfurt has been nuts. Wow. I love every single second of it, and I would enjoy a little more sleep as well, but you win some, you lose some, right??
Haha I'll give you all the shortened break down:
Monday: lost my dang backpack. Freaked out a wee bit, but had fun that night at Family Home Evening next to the Rhein River. Tuesday: A boat load of appointments with investigators and members, some saying tschuss, some saying nice to meet you for the first time. A lot of fun and really really busy. Then I packed to be ready to leave the next morning. Wednesday: leave that morning for Frankfurt Airport to meet the new goldens. On the way over, I get a call saying that the office staff messed the time up, and the goldens were already there, just wandering cluelessly through the airport, and people were on their way to pick them up right now, and we should meet them at the Stake Center. Got there, did all the fun stuff and orientation, just laughing seeing how exhausted they are and remembering my first day. Got them off to the hotel to sleep. Picked up their trainers at the station and also dropped them off at the hotel. Thursday: met President early at the hotel. Had a meeting with the trainers. Brought the goldens in and met with them, and then had the pairing meeting! Always a blast. Afterwards we hauled to the train station to pick up the leaving missionaries and their luggage. Then we took them to the temple and went through with them, and then went to dinner right after. After that, we drove back to the Stake Center and had the leavers testimony meeting. Then took a million pictures for them, and drove them to the hotel to leave the next morning. Friday: every single missionary in the mission came to Frankfurt, and we penned them in the church so that Elder Ballard wouldn't get stampeded. Waited for Elder Ballard, and then had an AWESOME meeting with him. Way powerful. President Stoddard was pretty nervous because Elder Ballard was coming up with the agenda off the top of his head, and Elder Ballard turns to him and says "President, just reLAX!" He's a character. He had an open Q&A session with the missionaries, which was a lot of fun and informative. Afterwards, after they left off to their next big meeting, we got all of the missionaries to the train station and off to their areas. Had a couple of awesome appointments. Saturday: dropped off Elder Stimpson, who I'm replacing, at the airport that morning. Then had a 5 hour excel spread sheet session, getting things ready for the transfer. Whoof. Always a party. Then I had a chance to unpack, plan for the transfer, and have a few more appointments. Sunday: Stake Conference with Elder Ballard! Then two appointments, and then did numbers that night. Running kinda low on sleep at this point. And now here I am, we met with President a few hours ago to talk about the transfer, and yeah!
That's the condensed version, but still long enough! It has honestly been a blast. I love it. I already knew I loved this city and this ward and President Stoddard, but my companion, Elder Taylor Lindsey, from AF, is great as well. He'll be going home at the end of this transfer, so it's a big hand off! But things are looking great.
Well, now that I've chatted all your eyes off, I just want you to know that after having two meetings with an apostle this week, I know he is a man of God, and that this Church is true. When he walked in the room, there was a literal change that you could feel. And when he bears his testimony, you know that it has been tried and tested and confirmed so many times, that it is a diamond. The Church really is true. And Christ leads it with the same organization that He did when He established it Himself. My testimony of that is unshakeable. I love you all, and hope you have a great week. Let me know how the FHE Geneology thing goes at Grandmas! That's an awesome idea! I'll talk to you all soon!
I love you, Mom!
-- Elder McGinn