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Friday, April 12, 2013

Heilbronn: April 8, 2013

Dearest Fam-bam,

Hello. We had a super great week! Well first off, I had my birthday on Tuesday, so I guess I'm 20 and all that now, it's not really a big deal. In fact, I would say it feels very similar to being 19. Anywho, on this day we had an exchange with the Zone Leaders, which was super cool. I worked with this guy named Elder Davies in Heilbronn, and it was a ton of fun, because he can speak near flawless German, and it was fun to concentrate on my accent for the day, and try to pronounce words a little bit better. We were also invited by our branch president, and we had a great time there too.

I forgot to tell you last week, but there was another big meeting for all the District Leaders and Zone Leaders this week. I guess they do it every six months, and it was kind of crazy, because I was there at the last one too, and the face of the leadership of our mission has completely changed during this time.  Anywho, so I spent Thursday and Friday in Munich, and then we came back just in time for Sven's baptism. I have some pictures of us, all dressed up in white and what not, but because of various reasons which will be explained later, I wasn't able to bring my cord with me today; so I can't send them, sorry! But yeah, the baptism was great, a lot of the ward members showed up, and Sven said that he felt really really clean afterwards.

Then on Saturday we went to Stuttgart to watch General Conference, then we stayed with some missionaries in our district, and were able to watch conference again on Sunday. The only meeting that we are not able to see is the Sunday afternoon one, so other than that I have been able to see them all.(And that's why I don't have my cord, we also spent the night last night...) Conference was super great, I really enjoyed listening to the Prophet. Talking about it after, one of the biggest messages I got out of it was about love. I think that it is important that I learn to love God and Jesus Christ more, but not only them, also my companion, my ward members, and just all the people that I meet as I am going about my day. There were a lot of other things I learned too, but that was the biggest thing I took away. Anyway, can you send me a copy of the conference edition of the Ensign? The last time we got it like 5 months after conference, which is really frustrating.

So I'm not going to be able to write a lot today because we have a Zone Pday, and so I am actually writing this email in some cruddy email place in Stuttgart. These places always smell really strongly of smoke, and there are always some pretty sketchy people here.

Your Birkentstock story was way cool, Mom! I was telling Elder Jerman about it just this morning during Comp study. (From Robin (Mom): A couple of weeks ago, the girls and I went to a thrift store to get some more stuff for our pioneer trek.  On the way, I said a little prayer that I would find a pair of brand new Birkenstocks.  Well, I found TWO pair in my size!!  Brand new! Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers!! rgm)

Also, no, it doesn't bug me that you don't often quote scriptures or anything. I study the scriptures every single morning for over an hour. I want to hear about your lives, I don't need my emailing time to be just an extension of my personal study. I mean, if you notice that I'm developing a bad attitude, or getting prideful, or something like that, feel free to give me some advice, but you don't necessarily need to always be quoting scriptures. It's not a bad thing, I enjoy it when people do that, but I guess just don't make your entire email a record from your personal study.  (From Robin (Mom): I asked Andy if it bugged him that I didn't often quote scriptures in my email, but tell him what's going on in our lives.  I do tell my inspirational Birkenstock stories!)

Yes, I got the second package! Thank you so much for those butterfingers! I gave some of them to Sven at his baptism, because he loves them, but you can't buy them here in Germany. I ended up getting like 10-15 cards maybe? I have no idea, really no idea.

Ok, I should go, but thanks for being a great family!!

Elder Merkley

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