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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Heilbronn: New Year's Eve (December 31, 2012)

This is Andy with Anke Lehnart (his German teacher from BYU)



Dearest Fam-Bam,

Well, I really enjoyed talking to you on Christmas, and thankfully, I was able to avoid  trunky feelings for the next couple of days! This whole week was pretty weird though, let me tell you about it...(But I don't have a lot of time, because this member, a guy who actually knew Daniel while he was on his mission, from Ludwigsburg invited us and the Ludwigsburg Elders over for New Year's Eve tonight)

So after I talked to you on Christmas, we had some really great Chicken Enchiladas made by the Costas (they're the Spanish-Brazilian family who studied at BYU). No, that is not normal German Christmas food, but it was my special request. And it was delicious, a little Spanishized, but it was still quite tasty. So our mission president told us that we could watch movies with the members if they wanted too, or if it was a tradition or something like that, and so we ended up watching a couple movies with them before we left, and it was really quite weird. The combination between talking with you guys, and then watching normal movies was just quite strange, haha.

Then the day after Christmas, aka second Christmas here in Germany, we spent some time doing streeting, and then we went to lunch at our Branch President's house, which was pretty fun. Then we visited an investigator who we knew would be alone, and we spent about an hour with him too, which he really appreciated. Yeah, it was a good day too.

So we actually managed to find three investigators during this week. So we actually found this guy through dooring. We had taken the wrong bus (whitewashing still plays a part some time, but we declared the area 'gewhitewashed', which would just be the past tense of whitewashing, about a whole transfer ago. Oh whoops, before I forget, Elder Buck and I will be staying a third transfer together here.), and so we had about 15 minutes or so before the next bus came to take us to the area we had really wanted to go, and so we decided to just knock on some doors for a while, the very last door was this guy, Ralph J├Ąger, who said that we could come back. When we came back on Thursday, he let us in, and then like 30 seconds later his friend came by, and so he let him in too. It was just perfect timing, because if we had come after this friend, he wouldn't have let us at all! But yeah, so we just had an introduction lesson with them, and we should be seeing them both again not this week, but the week after.

Then on Sunday we went by on a former investigator, and while we were walking there we talked to this guy on the street, and it turned out to be this guy we were looking for. He invited us in and we had a little lesson about the Book of Mormon. He believes it is Holy Scripture, but for some reason can't understand why it is important that he changes. Reading the introduction in the Book of Mormon didn't really help, but yeah, we'll see where that goes. His name was Johann Ott, btw.

So one of our investigators is now a progressing investigator. It's always just hard for me to count our investigators as progressing, because sometimes I feel like progressing investigators should already have a baptisimal date and everything. But yeah, his name is Sven Peters, I've already written about him before, I think. He was the guy we visited on 2 Christmas day, and he has been coming to church pretty regularly the last month and a half or so.

There is also this young part member family that we are going to try and start working on this week. They're way cool, and they both are coming pretty regularly in the Church. This guy had these really long dreadlocks, but he was blonde, I mean, he's not an Afrikan, but yeah, it looked so cool, but now he got a hair cut, he's still cool and everything, just not as impressive as with the dreadlocks, haha. But yeah, on the serious side, I think there could be some real potential with this family, we're just trying to handle it well so we don't create an awkward situation.

Haha, yeah, Mom, Dad actually showed me that TV while I was talking with somebody else. He was like a little kid, snuck out of the garage, brought it over and just put it over Katie while she was in the middle of a sentence. Then he just said, 'Shh, Mom doesn't know yet', and snuck it back to the garage. It was hilarious!

Anyway, but another reason that this week was weird was because yesterday, I saw my German teacher, Anke Lehnert, in my ward. I am almost positive that I have already told you that she was baptized in this ward before whe went to BYU. Anyway, it was so weird to see her. We talked a bunch about BYU, and on of my best friends, Alicia, because she was in that same class too. It was way cool, because we were talking mostly in German, and yeah, I could just feel my improvement in that moment. 

But yeah, the German is coming along nicely. I can still hear my American accent pretry easily, and almost everyone on the street can tell that I am American. I have been asked three of four times if I am from Austria, but then again, usually on the same day I'll approach someone in German, and then after I talk to them they say to me, 'Sorry, I can't English', which is how you would literally translate the phrase from German. Yeah, so I am not so certain what my accent is like, I get both extremes!

There still is no snow right now. In fact, on that day where I talked to you, I didn't even where my jacket, because I decided it was warm enough to just wear a long sleeve shirt, and I wanted to enjoy that as long as I had the oppurtunity. But if you could maybe send me a couple pairs of normal drilux garments, that could be nice, I only have six normal drilux ones, and it gets annoying to have to wear one of the other pairs once every week.

That's so sad about Milo!! I definitely said a prayer for him right now, I hope that he is not in too much pain.

Anyway, we have a ton of appointments set up for next week. Actually we have around five in one day! I don't even know how that happened, or if we are going to be able to get to all of them, I hope it happens! I love you, but I need to get moving, my train comes in about ten minutes!

Love,
Elder Merkley

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