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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Heilbronn: February 11, 2013

I have posted TWO emails from Andy! Don't miss the post below this!

Hello family! Well I will start off with the news that you have all been waiting for, transfer calls did come this week...and they also went this week. Elder Buck and I will be staying a fourth transfer together. And I will be killing him (Explanation from Daniel: This is mission slang, which means that Andy will be Elder Buck's last mission companion. When a missionary finishes his missionary, he "dies" and his companion "kills" him. It sounds brutal, but it not that gruesome). So that happened. Not entirely unexpected, both of us had the feeling that we would be staying.
Our ward was so happy when we told them, our branch president just yelled, 'cool!' and our two great investigators really were pleased too. In fact, Phillip's wife, Becky, who is a member, said to us, 'my prayers were heard', and  Í kind of laughed and said, 'exactly!', and then she was kind of serious and said, 'but really'. So that was fun, it's just great to see that our ward really likes us. This also means that I will be staying in Heilbronn for the next 3 months (probably), because it wouldn't make sense to whitewash it again, so I will probably stay at least 5 transfers here. Which is actually great, because I love this ward. We are still getting a lot of eating appointments right now. Usually about 2 or three a week. But eating appoitments are a lot different here, because of the culture, they haven't given us a definite amount of time at members, but we should try and push about an hour and a half or two hours.
2. Yeah, I bought a couple of new white shirts, a cheap new suit (which actually looks really good), and then I had to buy those boots so my feetsies wouldn't freeze. I brought some stuff back, but I think that that number is about right. Also ties, I definitely have bought ties, haha.
3. Sven and his daughters are doing great, he is really stressed these last couple of weeks because he has a ton of appointments that have to do with his therapy program, but he said that he will get it without question. However he will be in the program for a couple of months. We actually have two appointments with him this week. There is this young guy in the ward who is turning 18 in a couple of weeks, and the ward is worried that he will go inactive, and so we are going to bring him with us as a joint teach this week, and try to pump him up about missionary work. The ward may have also asked me to give a 20 minute talk to try and get him a little bit more excited about missionary work. That talk n was given yssterday,it was my third talk in this ward, and my fourth on my mission.
3. Our lesson with Phillip this week was good, it wasn't great though. I kind of noticed that just trying to teach the lessons with him wasn't really working. The Spirit is really there when it is a more of a discussion. I guess I haven't had a lot of practice with normal lessons though, I won't lie, I don't think that I am a very good teacher, I just don't have enough practice. Speaking of which, we taught 7 lessons this week! The most of my entire mission! So that was really great. Also, Phillip couldn't come to church this week because he had to work, but we should be meeting with him again on Tuesday, and I hope that we can have another good lesson.
4. Yesterday our investigator from Iraq, Sargon, showed up to church, and since Elder Buck doesn't like translating, I was priviliged to try and communicate with him. He could only stay the first hour though, which is priesthood, and I don't think he really enjoyed it. We are thinking that we will have to drop him, because his English just isn't good enough to really communicate with us.
I got a letter from my trainer this week, from my friend Chistopher Crandall, who is serving in Japan, from Kristin Mauger, and from Amy Forbush, who actually just got called to the Los Angeles Temple Visitor  Center Mission, or something like that. So starting sometime in August, when you go to the temple, you can go swing by the visitor's center and say hi to Sister Forbush!
Well, it is still cold here, not terribly so, but still colder than I want, haha. I always complain to people about it, haha. The German is coming along great, a member told me yesterday that with most of the Americans they have a super strong accent where you can just know that they are American, but with me it wasn't super strong, and since Germans are way honest I was very pleased with that.

Anyway, that's enough for this week. I spoil you with these emails, you know that, right?

Elder Merkley

Heilbronn: February 4, 2013

Fam Bam,
Ok, I have like zero time again. I have to take a train in like 15 minutes to go back to Heilbronn. I am in Stuttgart right now, because we had a Zone Pday today and my district came early to help buy and make the food. It was a ton of fun, this district is my favorite of my entire mission. It's also great because I feel like I really know every member of the District really well, partly because of the Exchanges we get to do, and partly because I get to call them like every night. It's really great.
Anyway, this week was pretty good. You know how I told you how we were invited by this part member family? Well. guess who became an investigator! That's right, Phillip. This guy is so cool! He said that there was a time where he wanted to be baptized, but then he didn't do it, and somehow he has forgotten a lot of the spiritual experiences that he had eariler- But he said that he is ready to try and study it a little more, I guess he has just been liking Church. He was also there on Sunday, and it was so great! I was really nervous for this appointment, and so Elder Buck and I had been doing role plays for two days to prepare it. And it worked so well! Right when we got there I went into the bathroom and got down on my knees, and just asked heavenly father to help us so that it wouldn't be awkward, and so that we could help him come closer to Christ. Then we had a really good spiritual thought, which turned into a lesson, which turned into a new appointment.
Other than that the week was pretty average.
Anyway, no time! Love you guys!
Elder Merkley