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Friday, April 12, 2013

Heibronn: March 25, 2013


Here Andy is with Elder Buck. Andy says " I was walking around for five months with that big guy."

Here is Andy's District! They were really close and all became great friend


Dearest Fam-bam,

Well, winter came back with a fury this week. Fury is relative of course, but I was just cold, I miss California weather! But yeah, the last three days have been below freezing again, which was cold, but if you dress right, it's not terrible. Except on the face, the face is always cold, haha.

Anyway, I should probs tell you who my companion is before you get mad at me. His name is Elder Jason Jerman (pronounced like German. Yes, it's hilarious. The members loved it!), he is from American Fork, which means that I am now working with my first companion from Utah! He is also a little small, about 5' 8'' to 5' 9'', and he has brown hair. Do you really want to know how much he weighs? I don't know that! We haven't gotten around to discussing our weights yet, don't worry though, we'll get there. We get along pretty well, nothing super special. It has also been difficult because his German is essentially non-existent. He wants to speak German, and he wants me to always speak German to him, but I feel bad, because I know he is understanding about 15% of what I say. I've been trying to work on finding the right amount of German to speak, so that he can still learn, but so that we can still get to know each other and develop a relationship. 

Oh, so I have kind of big news. I guess Sven wants to be baptized on the fifth of April. Which is in like a week and a half, pretty crazy. He stopped smoking like 4 or 5 days ago. Just made the decision that he is done, and that he is ready to really make these changes. He has already started reducing the amount of alcohol that he drinks, and will be stopping that sometime this week too. He has been smoking and drinking for 30 years or so, so keep him in your prayers. We have been trying to have contact with him daily, to try and support him, and get him through this process. He got his date for the rehab this week, and that's why we set the date, because he wants to be baptized before he goes in. I think he's treating the therapy as the last step to getting rid of the alcohol. He also asked me to baptize him... So definitely pray for him a lot. He is also planning that when he gets out of this rehab, he will baptize his daughter. So things are going well with him.

Uuuhhhh. I was hoping you would forget to ask for that story, it wasn't as funny as I made it out to be, well, not through email at least, and I didn't want to have to try and explain it. Anyhow, so when we were teaching Philipp the last time, right after we finished, Becky said, "Hey, we need to do a practice of the baptism!" And so her dad and Philipp stood up, and then her dad was demonstrating how Philipp would need to bend his knees, and he held on to Philipp and did it, and it was just hilarious, it looked a little scandalous, like maybe some thing a stripper would do... but it was just hilarious. Her dad is super funny. Philipp is still doing great, he was telling Sven at church yesterday about how praying and going to Church are so much more meaningful now that he is baptized,. it was great to hear, just hearing him list all of the blessings from his baptism was super cool.

This week I got a letter from Alicia Myers, and like 5 cards too. It was on Tuesday or so when I got those, so right before Elder Buck went home, I had to apologize for those cards to him... I am pretty sure he was a little bitter in Christmas time when I got like two or three of those things daily, haha.

But yeah, other than that this week was pretty great, we did a lot of work, found a few potential investigators, and just worked hard. Our branch president also surprised me with a talk on Friday, and so I gave a talk yesterday. I think this is the fourth talk that I have given in this ward, that's how you know that you have been in a ward for a long time, when you've given a ton of talks, haha.

I think that I sub-consciously really don't like change, because after this transfer I was pretty sad for a couple of days. My district, like I said last time, was destroyed, with only me and one other guy staying, and that was also hard, because we were super good friends. Now I have to learn a whole new district, and that makes it hard to plan district meetings. Anywho, I'm getting used to it. Oh, I guess there was something else cool that happened this week, so one of my best friends, Alicia, her roommate just came into my district, and so that was pretty cool, a nice coincidence.

Anywho, I think I'm going to call it here, hopefully that will give you enough information to satisfy you for the next week.

Love,
Elder Merkley


This is the info sheet that was introducing Andy to the missionary he would be training (Elder Jerman). The Mission Secretary filled it in and, in Andy's words, "took a few liberties" with his information. It sounds like that Mission Secretary has a sense of humor!

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