Family, this week was awesome for so many reasons. I'm glad you all had an awesome week! I knew you all would, who doesn't when Tanksgiving rolls around? (that's how the Germans pronounce it)
Our week has been all over the place! It started off with a TON of time in the office, getting things ready for transfers! A lot of information to find, flight plans to figure out, things to print out, all to get ready for the changes! Luckily this next transfer is a pretty small one. First off, we're only getting nine new goldens this next transfer, three of which are Germans and are coming in from the Preston MTC! That's a big difference compared to last transfer and next transfer in January when it's another 20+ group! Also, President didn't want to make too many changes before Christmas except where absolutely necessary so that missionaries can enjoy the relationships they've established and have an enjoyable Christmas, and not have to be a complete stranger in their new area when Christmas rolls around! I think that's a great idea, because I got transferred from Erlangen to Karlsruhe right before Christmas last year, and it was kind of hard leaving all of the relationships behind that meant so much to me, especially only a few weeks away from Christmas! So all in all, out of about 260 missionaries, I think there are 36 changes. So not too bad! It's a good breath of fresh air before the craziness of the transfer!
This week Elder Emery and I have to plan out all of our splits and then start gearing up for Zone Conferences! Yeah, life is crazy busy, but I'm lovin every last second of it right now. Is there a better cause to be busy for? I don't think so. :)
Because of the transfer planning, we didn't have too much proselyting time this week, but the time we did have, we made it count! On Wednesday we met with J&D, and...
He accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 20th of December! Looks like Elder Emery and I are going to be lucky enough to have a white Christmas this year, and we could not be more excited. :) We were teaching both of them, and when the topic started to come up, J picked up on what was coming and I could tell she was getting really nervous, and then when we invited D to be baptized, he smiled, kinda laughed, and said "of course! I'd absolutely love to." and then that classic moment comes around where the missionaries are so pumped and jittery that we wanna jump over the coffee table and hug them both, but we do our best to keep it contained and continue on in the lesson! We are SO excited! As are J&D! They were in church yesterday, and we're going over to a members house with them this evening, and also again on Wednesday. Things could not be running smoother, and I'm so thankful, this has been such a huge week of thanks. Thank you all for your prayers, and please don't stop. Miracles are happening and lives are changing as a result, I can tell you all that as a first hand witness. D is also probably the coolest/best investigator I've ever had. If I knew him at home, we'd be best friends. He's such an outgoing, positive, sharp guy, and he and J really help each other become so much better than they were. And who knows, give them a year and they could be a temple marriage. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for it. :)
That was definitely the highlight of the week. Other than that, we had some great meetings where Elder Emery and I introduced the "He is the Gift" world-wide initiative for missionaries, that you mentioned, Dad! It's huge, it's awesome, and it needs to be shared. christmas.mormon.org or mormon.org/deu/weihnachten for those of you who speak German! Spread it. share it. Remember why we actually have Christmas in the first place. :)
We also had three Thanksgivings! One on Tuesday with the Zone, one on Thursday with a member family, and then one on Saturday with these members down in Heidelberg! We also were going to go to the Jensen's (in your Stake) for Thanksgiving, but we had to be on our split in Heidelberg, so it didn't work out. :( I wish we could have, though! Man, we should have Thanksgiving every week! American holidays are the best, just saying!
We then helped out a member cut down a Christmas tree in his back yard to put in the ward building in Frankfurt, and it is probably the ugliest, most Dr. Seuss looking tree I have ever seen, but it looks at least decent when it's loaded with Christmas decorations!
We've got a big week coming up with new goldens coming, meeting with J&D and other members and investigators, who hopefully also make such awesome progress like D, and then transfers and leavers and the whole shebang! It's gonna be crazy, and I'll be back next week before ya know it!
I'm so happy that my mission comes to a close during this time of the year. The time where missionary work moves the fastest and the smoothest, where it's so easy to talk about Christ with complete strangers, and where we all grow a little closer to our Savior. I love Him, and everything He does for me. I encourage you all to do something for Christ this year. I'm gonna memorize the Living Christ in German, I think! But just do your best to be the kind of person He would have you be, and I promise you'll be happier that way. His way is happiness, and His way is the gospel.
I love you all, have a great week! I'll hear from you soon!!
-- Elder McGinn