Happy Thanksgiving!! Are you all ready to gain 10 pounds? I am!
Elder Emery and I are better just in time for an awesome week! With Thanksgiving coming up, we are going to be eating Thanksgiving four different times. Once tomorrow with the missionaries in the Zone after our Zone Training Meeting, once with President and Sister Stoddard in the Mission home on Thursday after Transfer Planning, Friday night with some of the best families around, and then again on Saturday in Heidelberg on our split! Our split this last week with Heidelberg fell out because of crazy traffic and a crazy schedule that would have made the split not worth it, so we rescheduled to this Friday and Saturday, which coincidentally happens to be the day that they are having Thanksgiving Dinner with one of the coolest member families in the whole city. So I'm pumped. And my stomach will need to be pumped by Sunday.
Our week was solid. It was a bummer that the Heidelberg split fell out, but we made up for it by being in Ramstein for the next day and a half with the Zone Leaders down there! It was really interesting to spend a day and a half preparing for everything in English! And when we went out on the streets to door and contact people, it was all in English! It felt really weird, and kinda uncomfortable at first, but I got over that quick. Every American down there is a soldier, and while we were out contacting, there were planes and helicopters constantly flying overhead, either taking off to somewhere else or landing in Ramstein. Little did I know it's the biggest US military base outside of the US! They call it the "Hub", because anything that has to do with the Middle East, Europe, or Africa, comes through Ramstein.
We had a number of appointments, including teaching German, and were able to find two new investigators for them and a couple of potentials. Don't get me wrong, those were all awesome highlights, but what really blew me away was one of our assignments from Sister Stoddard when she knew we were going there: buy Thanksgiving supplies on the commissary! And that we did, folks, that we did. How much did we buy? 150 dollars worth. About 110 of that was for President and Sister Stoddard for holiday baking, and the other 40 was because of us..... c'mon, you all know I can't just walk by a bag of Cap'n Crunch!! Or Lucky Charms. Or Mini Wheats. Or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Or Gatorade. Or Cream Soda IBC's. Or Mint Oreos. Or Cheezits. Yeah, we went to town. But all in good reason! It was a good time.
After our split in Ramstein, we came back with them to Frankfurt, because the following day was Mission Leadership Council in Offenbach, with all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders! That went very well, and at that meeting we talked about the new initiative coming from the Church, which I hope you all already know about called "He is the Gift". If you don't, go to christmas.mormon.org, and hold tight. It's gonna be big, and we, as 88,000 missionaries, are pumped.
Anyway, after MLC we had a split with the Nürnberg Zone Leaders! One of which is Elder Hobson, who I served with in Erlangen. They are great elders, and we had a great time. We attended a baptism in the international ward to which none of our investigators showed who said they would, but it was still good! We then had a street display with all of the Frankfurt missionaries, and I had to carry a TV out there for us to show Mormon Messages on, and after carrying that piece of plastic for 2 miles, my arms are dead. Still. Morning Sport just doesn't cut it.
We had a couple more appointments, and then had Church and the Primary program, which was hilarious and spiritual all at the same time. J & D were both there, and thought it was awesome. I was so happy that it was the Primary program, because all of the kids said their little phrase, and being just little kids, they were short, simple statements of pure doctrine, with some humor here and there. That's exactly what the Gospel is. Nothing big and complex. Simple truth that makes us understand our purpose, and ultimately makes us happy. And I think they really understood the doctrine from yesterday more than anything else they have learned to this point. Aside from that, there were other meetings and pretty boring things we had to take care of in the mission office and with President that I don't think any of you would find entertaining, so I won't post about it.
But this next week should be good! We have a few Zone meetings that we are visiting and speaking at, Transfer Planning with President since this is the last week of the transfer, a lot of giving Thanks, and a split with Heidelberg this weekend! That sounds like an awesome week to me. Super busy, and that's just what we're looking for. Isn't it funny how at home sometimes that's the exact opposite of what we're looking for? So we're hoping all goes well. The time in between meetings and transfer planning that we have we're packing with whatever appointments we can squeeze in and we're looking forward really to our appointment on Wednesday morning with J & D. We're hoping to be able to set a baptismal date with him on Wednesday! Keep them in your prayers! I have the same goal as you, Dad. At least one more before I have to go home. It will happen.
Dad, I agree with your words that it's easier, and more comfortable, to serve than to be served, and I'm glad that that is all I do out here! But the course of the Lord is one eternal round, so it's gotta come back somehow, right? :) Stay happy and healthy, you guys! The Church is true, and making huge strides right now as many many hearts are being softened and becoming more receptive to the message of Jesus Christ at this time of year. The Europe Area has a goal to double the numbers in the church by 2019, which seemed huge and daunting until they said "that simply means that everyone needs to bring just one person in the next 5 years." Piece of cake”.
I love every single moment of being a missionary, and hope you all can feel that. :) And I love you all and can't wait to hear from you soon!
-- Elder McGinn