Monday, January 12, 2015

Email - January 12, 2015

Yo tango un testimonio en el Dios y tambien en el Libro de Mormon. El libro de Mormon es mi libro favorito.

Well, family, this is it! This is so weird, I really don't like it. I've been trying to ignore the fact for so long, but now I'm seeing some people for literally the last time, and I have to force myself to face the fact that I'm leaving and saying goodbye. It's been really, really hard. Harder than I ever imagined it would be. I had a good, long interview with President Stoddard last week, which was the best preparation I could ever have for going home. We talked about everything, and he helped me really to feel that the Lord is pleased with me and my efforts, even when I haven't been able to receive that witness and confirmation on my own. I hope that He is. I hope that I did enough. But I can't change that now, I can only give everything that's left in me to these last few days, and then submit my work to Him! This could be the longest email ever, but I'm not going to do that, because you'll all hear it from me a million times over as soon as I'm home. You're going to very quickly ask me to stop sharing stories and talking about my mission. My mission has changed my life. It has saved me. It has given me my own testimony, and made it as solid as steel. This Church is true and is the only living church on the earth.

 Das weiß ich von ganzem Herzen. Ich könnte mein Zeugnis nie verleugnen. Es, und die Erfahrungen die ich gesammelt habe bedeuten mir viel zu viel, um sowas je zu machen. Ich liebe meinen Herrn, und weiß dass er mir in allem beisteht. Er versteht mich mit einem vollkommenen Verständnis, und freut sich jedes mal wenn ich zu ihm komme, egal aus welchem Grund. Ich werde nie der selbe Mensch sein der ich vor meiner Mission war. Das Evangelium ist ein Evangelium und Lebensweise der Änderungen. Das Evangelium verlangt dass wir uns ändern mussen. Uns zu ändern heißt das wir das Evangelium gelebt und beherzigt haben. Ich werde immer würdig dafür leben, die Beziehungen und Freundschaften, die ich entwickelt habe, zu pflegen und behalten. Jesus Christus steht im Mittelpunkt in meinem Leben, und wird da stehen bleiben. Ich bin froh dass ich diese Chance hatte, ihm dienen zu dürfen und mich wachsen zu lassen.

 (I know with all my heart. I could never deny my testimony . It, and the experience I have gained important to me too much to make something ever. I love my master, and knows that he stands by me in everything. He understands me with a perfect understanding, and looks forward to every time I come to him, for whatever reason . I'll never be the same person I was before my mission. The gospel is a gospel and lifestyle changes. The Gospel demands that we must change ourselves. To change us, that means we have the gospel lived and heeded. I will always live worthy of it, to maintain and keep the relationships and friendships I've developed . Jesus Christ is at the center of my life, and will remain there. I'm glad that I had the chance to be able to serve him, and to let me grow.)

 This last week was filled with transfer planning, the transfer call, and driving to Nürnberg to be present at an amazing baptism that President couldn't be at, so he sent us in his place. Also, after church yesterday, we ordained Daniel to the Aaronic Priesthood as a Priest. Couldn't be happier right now. :)

 This next week is simply filled with appointments to say goodbye and hand over the teaching to Elder Allen and Elder Lovelace, who will be taking my spot, and then spending the day with the new goldens, then the leavers' temple session and testimony meeting, and then at 8:05 a.m. my time the plane lifts off!

 I love you all. Unfortunately I can't sum up everything I want to in this email, but I hope that you will be able to see in me everything I wish I could say. I'll be seeing you all soon, so don't go anywhere anytime soon and don't have too much fun without me!

 zum letzten Mal... (for the last time…)

 Bis Freitag! (Until Friday!)

 Elder McGinn

Monday, January 5, 2015

Email - January 5, 2015

Fam! Happy New Year! Frohes Neues!

 I hope you all had a great week this week with New Year's! All missionaries had to be back in the apartments by 6 p.m. because it gets a little crazy, and before I knew it I woke up at 6:30. Didn't hear a single firework. Elder Allen, on the other hand, was exhausted because he couldn't sleep from the ruckus that was going on outside our window. Best night of sleep I've had my whole mission!

 It's official, Elder Emery is out of the country. Elder Allen and I dropped him off this morning at President's so that they could drive to the airport, and it was sad to see him go.  It wasn't too hard saying goodbye though, knowing that I'm just over a week behind him and I'll see him soon! Right now it's just chaos getting Elder Allen up to speed! Okay, it's not chaos, but it is a lot. Haha he's definitely the man for the job though, I like him a lot! He's as obedient and diligent as they come, and picks things up really fast. He is already doing and will continue to do an awesome job, I'm excited for him, and pumped that he is my last and 13th companion for the last two weeks that I have!

 There we go, now I feel like I'm in the loop! Sounds like a good Christmas after all. :) Haha I'm excited to see what you all have got waiting for me when I'm back! We had dinner at President's last night, and he was telling me that Geneva Steel has been completely taken down and that now there's some kind of UVU practice facility out there and new housing! That's crazy, if so! He also said that a lot of stakes might be being reorganized to cover those areas down to the lake! Will that call for any changes in our stake?

 Ah, you lucky punks, you've seen Ben already! I'm so happy that he's doing well! I can't wait to see him and the other guys. Uh oh, you're scaring me, Mom! I wanna know what my calling is! I'll co-teach the 11 year olds with you. :) C'mon, you know that'd be fun!

 This last week went well! It flew. Elder Allen came on Monday and we got right away breaking him in. On Tuesday we had Zone Training and a bunch of appointments, and the Dortmund Zone Leaders came down that afternoon for a split! I was with Elder James, who is in my group, and we had a blast. They took off on Wednesday afternoon in order to get back in time because we had to be in doors pretty early! On New Year’s day we had a bunch of appointments, many of which were goodbye appointments for Elder Emery! And then Friday and Saturday Elder Allen and I took off for Düsseldorf to split with the Zone Leaders there and to be at their Zone Training meeting! Everything went really well, including setting a baptismal date with one of their investigators! His name is Joseph, and he was really hesitant in accepting a baptismal date, so we took time to explain to him that setting a baptismal date does not mean that we are ready at that moment for baptism. Goals or dates are things that we work towards! I explained it in how I learned how to mow lawns from you, Mom! When I would get frustrated because I couldn't go in straight lines, and you told me that instead of looking right in front of the mower I should look down at the end of the yard, and walk towards that point. When I did that, my lines were straighter, the lawn looked better, and I got there quicker because I wasn't going back and forth! I tried to explain that that is how goals should be in our lives, and that is what setting a baptismal date will help him do with his progression in the gospel. He seemed to accept that idea, and then committed to setting a date for the 31st of January for his baptism. So let's hope he pulls through!

 This next week is the classic transfer planning week! And this transfer is going to be reaaaaaaally big, so we're going to be spending a lot of time in the mission home with President Stoddard! That's basically going to suck up most of our time this week except for a few appointments that we can squeeze in here and there! It's going to be good. Unfortunately, Jessica's nephew, Gabriel, wasn't at church this week, but Jessica's inactive sister, Brenda, was! Daniel was the one who let me know and made sure that I found and talked to her. Haha he's awesome. We were able to establish a really good relationship, and hopefully she'll keep coming! We're going over sometime this week to teach them. It will be good though, and before we know it it will be next week already! Shoot, don't wanna think about that.

 Well, I love you all! I have a testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only constant in our lives. Everything else will change. That's one of the biggest lessons I've learned on my mission, everything will change. Family, kids, friends, school, work, where you live, your favorite milkshake at Iceberg, literally everything! Everything EXCEPT the gospel. That will never change. No matter where you are, what situation, how old, the gospel will be the same. And that's why we need it so much, so that we have an anchor to hold on to, that will never budge. I love the gospel, and am grateful for that strong role it plays in my life. Build upon that foundation, and you will never be able to fall! I love the Lord and His work, which I'm blessed enough to be able to participate in.

 Bis nächste Woche!

 -- Elder McGinn