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Monday, June 17, 2013

Heilbronn: June 3, 2013

Dearest Fam-bam,

I apologize for that letter last week, I know it was terrible, but I literally had about 20 minutes, and I wanted to read the emails I had gotten rather than write a long email... so sorry.

Anywho, this week was a lot of fun. We found three new investigators, which was pretty great. Elder Jerman and I have actually been finding a lot of investigators, but the for some reason, almost every single time the second appointment has fallen out, which has been super frustrating for us. 

So Marcel and Nancy. I actually know very little about them, Marcel was a former investigator, and we had planned to go by on them, and then it ended up happening on an exchange. So Elder Jerman and somebody else from our district actually found them.

Then we have Tobias, whom I am pretty excited about. He's about 30 years old, yes, he's German, and we had talked to him on the street last week, and made out an appointment with him later for this last Thursday. We had a pretty good intro lesson with him, and gave him the introduction and a few other things to read in the Book of Mormon. He's actually been meeting with the JWs for like 10 years, but has never been baptized. Then we met with him again on Sunday, and brought a member with us to that appointment. He had done the reading, but he explained how he thought that the whole Joseph Smith story sounded like 'Science Fiction' (He actually used those exact words. Even though we were speaking German. Denglish happens a lot in the German language.), and he was just having a hard time believing that. He hasn't been to church in about 10 years or so, but he is super religious, and really enjoys talking about God. We tried to help him understand that God has always called prophets, and that sending an angel is nothing out of the ordinary for God. It was a decent lesson, but I think it will be a long road with him. He already says that he has received an answer that it's not true, but we'll see what happens.

Yeah, so about transfers.. I would say that I am about 85% sure that I am going to get transferred. 6 transfers is already a ridiculously long time to stay in an area. I have never heard of seven in a row. So I think I'm gone, but I won't know until Friday morning. The waiting is killing me. I actually had this really random dream this week that I was transferred to Hawaii, to start some weird German program there... I have been having some crazy dreams recently.

Philipp is doing really well, he brought a tie to church yesterday, and he made me tie it for him, which I did happily. Also, Sven is still in his rehab program, but he came to church yesterday!! I don't know how he worked it out, but he came, and he brought his new girlfriend, and her two sons. It was really great to see him, and he stood up and bore his testimony during sacrament meeting. The ward members are really supportive of the both of them, which is really great.

Father, we are seeing SOOO many new missionaries coming in! They have been putting a second set of missionaries into a ton of areas to accommodate the new missionaries, and there have been a ton of people training. A normal group of new missionaries is probably about 7 or 8, and the last two have been around 30. They used to have the trainers come to Munich to have a dinner and stuff, but with these huge groups the goldens have just been meeting their trainers at their resepective Bahnhofs (Train stations).

Elder Jerman is doing great, just like always. We still have a really good relationship, we are both really enjoying this time together. The last few days I started explaining the Harry Potter story to him in great detail. I have only gotten to the Troll incident in the first book. I have been telling it in a crazy amount of detail. I'm lucky that we used to listen to those books so often, or I wouldn't be able to help him remedy his lack of knowledge in this area. I think I've had a good influence on him. It's been a lot of fun because I have the feeling that we have been learning a lot of stuff together. I don't have the feeling that I've really been teaching, rather that we are trying to do it together, which has been really good. I've also been making him do a lot more this last week or so, to try to prepare him for when I'm gone, because next transfer he'll probably be the person that will have to lead his comp around.

Finding ideas? Hmm, I would say that it is super nice, as a missionary at least, to have regular activities. In Germany it is kind of difficult, because the members live so far apart and only really see each other on Sundays, but it would be super nice so that you could get investigators to come to activities and get to know the ward in a more normal way. It's just a great way to get the members and investigators talking to each other. I can't really help you too much in this aspect of finding, Dad... The finding that I know pretty well is streeting or dooring. If you have questions about that I would be happy to help.

Wow, Kevin's coming back already? That's kind of crazy. Am I really the next person to come home? I still have a year though! That's ridiculous. How many missionaries do we have out from our ward right now?

Wait. And what's this new dog thing?! You can't drop a sentence, Oh yeah, nbd, but we have a new dog, and expect that to be enough. I expect an explanation, a picture, preferably with both this new dog and lil Gideon boy together so that I can see if they're a good fit for each other.

Also Mom, your letter was nothing to write home about either. I only had 20 minutes, and had to read 30 minutes of email and write you. You had a whole week, what's your excuse?

Anna's coming to Germany tomorrow?? What, that's so crazy! Wow wow wow, she's all finished with high school and what not. I can't believe that she will be going to BYU soon. Just ridiculous. I would really love some pictures of you guys too, I only get them very sporadically, but I love it every time I get them, so just keep that in mind. 

While I'm thinking about it, the next time you send me a package, could you maybe send me socks? All the ones I stole from Dad before I left are starting to get holes in the toes. Oh, Dad, did I tell you that I stole a bunch of socks from you? Because I did, I hope you forgive me. But those socks are kind of cruddy, they always slide all the way down to my ankles...

Love,
Elder Merkley

PS Also, I may have bought glasses today.  I had asked you if that was something I should wait to do, or how to go about doing that, and then you guys never answered me, so I went today, and they tested me, and said I could definitely use them, and one thing led to another... so if that's bad, you should probably write me a letter, because I will have to pay for the rest of it in like a week when I pick them up.

PPS CAN YOU GIVE ME AN UPDATE ON TANNER? OR MAYBE HIS EMAIL? Taste of your own medicine.

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