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Monday, June 17, 2013

Heilbronn April 29, 2013

Dearest Fam-bam,

In trying to better follow the ten commandments, I will again respect your wishes, Mother, and write this large family letter first. You're welcome.  First off, what? You got released?! Oh my word, I don't know what to say. I would assume you're having a lot of mixed feelings about it. I think I can relate.  It sounded like you guys had a super busy week! A lot of things are happening right now!

Well, transfer calls came this week...and I'm staying in Heilbronn! It will be my sixth transfer here, which is pretty ridiculous. When they called, they also told me that I was going to be staying District Leader, which really really surprised me. So there was this hour where I thought I was going to have to do it for a sixth transfer. But then the APs called, and told me that I wasn't actually going to be District Leader anymore. This is where the relating comes in. I really enjoyed being District Leader, but I've been doing it for over six and a half months, and it was really stressful and time consuming. I had to give so much of my study time to planning those meetings, and I was always calling people, and it was just a very involved thing. So I had very mixed emotions about it, too. 

The members were really excited that I'm able to stay though. So there is the one guy, Brother Schneider, who is the nicest person in the world. I mean, he is really incredibly nice, and just a super cute old man. When I told him that we had transfer calls this week, he put down his briefcase, and was looking at me really worried-like, because all the members know I've been here for a really long time. Then I told him that I was staying, and he kind of jumped up and down, and gave me a really big hug, and said that we had to go out to eat to celebrate. It was hilarious. But yeah, they were just super surprised though. I was a little bit too. I had hoped, but I wasn't sure this time that I would be staying. I assume, though, that next time I will be going, but I guess you can never be sure...

Anywho, YES. I got a letter or two in the mail this week.

So, with Mother's Day. I haven't quite worked out everything with the ward yet, but I thought I could maybe call around 5 or 6 my time, which would put it around 8 or 9 your time. I am pretty sure that I will be able to work it all out. I guess I can let you know all the details next week.

We haven't seen Xenia this week, she can only come to church every second week. I have tried to call Sven a couple of times this week, but I haven't been able to get in connection with him, and so I don't know how he's doing. Some members will be going to visit him on Wednesday, so hopefully they'll be able to give me an update. Philipp is doing super great, too. We talked to the Bishop about trying to include the members, and he said that the only real possibility is to have their home teachers help out when they do their home teaching once a month. That means we're just going to try and coordinate with them and have them teach whatever lesson we are on at the time. We were also not able to meet with Dennis and Tisha. We had tried, but it didn't work. We are planning on trying again on Saturday night, so some prayers for that would be great.

In response to Dad's question about the weather...well, things cooled off again this week, still not really cold, but not great spring temperature either. The temperature was hovering in the 50s I would guess, with raining the last few days.

4) Yeah, so we found one new investigator this week. It was this Malaysian guy named Syanim. He was pretty cool, but he is Muslim, and he was having a really really difficult time understanding why we would need Jesus Christ to suffer for our sins. I have learned a ton about Muslims on my mission, and about what they believe, but it has just strengthened my testimony that we DID need Jesus Christ. The whole gospel just makes so much sense...unless you're Muslim, then it is apparently inconceivable. We also found a good amount of potential investigators this week, and have three or four appointments made out for next week, hopefully a couple of them will really happen. That is one of the most difficult things, we find a ton of people that give us their information and are willing to make out appointments, the trick is just actually making those appointments happen. I have had so much trouble with that on my mission, haha.

5) For the record, Dad, I'm actually unsure what the question should be here. Maybe I'm missing it, or maybe I was supposed to read in between the lines?

6) I have the same answer to this 'question'.

Before I forget, I guess I'll answer the unasked question, Mom. Who the letters were from. I got a card from the Morans, I got a letter from my friend from the MTC, Elder Norman, and I think that was it.

Anywho, this week was a lot of fun, we worked really hard, and we found a lot of good people. I have hope that we will be able to continue finding new people here. We also have a couple eating appointments this week, which I am way excited about. Eating appointments are so much fun!

Well, being a missionary is great. Sometimes it is less great, but sometimes it is super great. it is always a really good thing though, and I am really grateful that I have the oppurtunity to serve, especially that I am able to serve in Germany, and even more that I can serve in Heilbronn.

Have a great week! 

Love,
Elder Merkley

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