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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Passau: September 30, 2013

"Im Dorf" translates to "In the village"

Dearest Fam-bam,

Well, this week has been pretty eventful. The weather has been pretty indecisive, staying in cooler temperatures, which has been really difficult for me, because I don't have a good in-between jacket. I just hope that it either warms up or that it starts snowing. That's not actually true, I'm actually really afraid of the snow. Elder Barker was also feeling pretty sick, and so we had to go a lot slower for a good portion of the week than we would normally go, but things are more or less back to normal now. He even had to go the Doctor's while I was away on an exchange, and they diagnosed him with high blood pressure. I guess in addition to that though he has been feeling pretty dizzy, had shortness of breath, and even some pains in his chest, so he spent a lot more time sleeping this week than he normally does.

This week was pretty good, in spite of Elder Barker's sickness and everything that happened in connection with that. I had an exchange with one of the Zone Leaders (I actually met this guy when he announced his call in our Book of Mormon class. He's like 6'6'', which is a little bit taller than me) in Munich, and we were walking by a park where we saw two men who were playing ping pong. They have these metal tables in essentially every park here in Germany, it is way awesome. I told Elder Root that we should go challenge them to play, and then teach them after. After watching them for a second he said, Can you take them? I'm not that good...  I was super confident when we were far away, because let's be honest. I'm pretty good at ping pong. Especially when we're talking about street ping pong. I can take a couple of ruffians any day. I got a little worried as we got closer, because they looked pretty good, but I challenged the winner.  It was actually a lot easier than I had expected. Even after having not played for around a year and a half I beat him 21-12, and I was wearing a tie. It was so awesome though because they asked me what I was doing here, and I explained about the Church, and that I was a missionary, and then I talked to them about the Plan of Salvation and gave them a pamphlet I had in my side bag.
Later that night, Elder Müller, who is the financial secretary, and I cooked dinner for the whole six man apartment. It was so much fun. Elder Müller is really cool, and we cooked really well together. I think I threw a picture onto  Dropbox. He's the one wearing the Lederhosen with his dress shirt. (See the picture below)

Elder Barker and I are doing really well. We are still getting along really well.
As for transfers, I really have no idea what is going to happen. I would assume that Elder Barker and I won't be staying a fourth together, I imagine that once a mission is probably enough for that sort of thing, but as to who is going to go where I couldn't begin to guess. Up to this point I have been leaning towards the idea that I would be leaving, and yet in some ways I have the feeling that there is still so much that I could do here, and that three transfers isn't enough to get everything done that I need/want to. Transfer calls happen a week from Friday, so I will be able to tell you two weeks from today what is going on. It's actually funny that Dad is coming on that Saturday to Munich, because on that Thursday before he comes we will have transfers, and so if I am transferred he will have to send that gel a little bit farther away. Oh, I will most likely know the missionaries of the ward you go to, you should tell me which ward next week you're thinking about going to (assuming you are able to), and then I can maybe even leave something with them for you.
We still have a great relationship with the branch, in fact, President Heumos gave us the combined class yesterday, and so the four missionaries ran the class. We actually talked about faith, and how to receive faith. It was pretty interesting, especially because it was also Lukas Sagmeister's farewell, he will be leaving on Thursday for his mission. The Sagmeisters and the ward will have two missionaries in the field at the same time. It's great, and yet it also kind of stinks, because our branch shrinks one more person. The Müllers did come back this week, which was awesome. It was really good to see them, and they got really excited when they saw that Elder Barker and I are both still here. It was just a good day at Church.

The ward list here in Passau isn't very long, and because we have to share the less-active work with the Sisters we don't typically spend a ton of time trying to contact less-actives. We have taken time to try and contact a few, and we have had a few lessons with one of them. We have even been able to get a member to come with us to him a couple of times, but working with the less-actives has been kind of difficult in this area.
Anywho, time is short! I love you all!
Elder Merkley

Andy cooking dinner with Elder Mueller

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