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Monday, November 18, 2013

Passua: November 18, 2013

Dearest Fam-bam,

Sorry that I am writing a little bit later, but I am actually in Munich right now, and my whole Pday has just been kind of thrown off. We had to come into Munich today, because we have Zone Conference tomorrow, and there is a meeting for the District Leaders that starts at 9.30. In order to get there in time, we would have had to take a train at 6:45 AM, so that wasn't really an option. So I am actually writing in the Mission Office right now, which is kind of distracting me, because I am really good friends with the Mission Secretary, and so we keep taking breaks at intervals to talk with each other. It doesn't help that I know that he found out today what is going on with transfers, and that is what he is working on right now. I tried to get him to give me a hint, but he has a really good poker face, so I've got no hints for you guys, sorry!

This week has been pretty fun. I think the coolest thing that happened was a meeting we had in the Church on Thursday night. Bruder Sagmeister participates in some sort of Religious group which meets every five months or so, and this time they met in our church. It was really good that we had taken the day on Saturday to clean, because the Church really needed it. Anyway, so there were 23 people that came to this event, 8 of those people were members of our Church, and it was really great. There were people from the New Apostolic Church, the Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, Catholics, the Muslims, and Protestants. Brother Sagmeister gave an hour long presentation about our Church and our basic beliefs, and then there was an hour where people just asked questions about our Church. After this meeting everyone was invited to look around our Church and just kind of explore. It was so awesome! We had a ton of really nice conversations with people, and Brother Sagmeister actually gave everyone who came a CD from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I saw at least three people walk away with copies of the Book of Mormon in their hand, and a ton asked if they were allowed to come to our meetings. It was a really nice event, and I was really grateful to be able to be a part of it.

We didn't really use our emailing time this week. I think it is a great idea, but we are going to need some time in order to get it rolling. We first need to get some people to give us their emails, and I think that is just going to be a big attitude change. I think there will be a ton of people who are willing to give us emails, we just need to make this change and ask. I'll let you know if we start seeing success with it in the future. Also, just a side-note, the spell-check on this computer is in German, so if I am misspelling a ton of words, that's my excuse. Every word right now is coming up in red.

The drama in the branch has not improved at all. This sister has still not come to church, and some of the other members in the branch have been doing a lot of back-biting recently. I'm a little bit worried. I hope it will all straighten itself out, but I don't think I will be here to see it. I'll let you know if anything changes. I really love this branch, and I know they love me too. A couple of the members came up and were asking me about transfer calls, and they were getting scared when I told them that they are happening this week. If I do get transferred, I really will miss this branch, with all their funny idiosyncrasies (Did I spell that word right? Without spell check I am lost).

Now onto business. Yeah, we get 188 Euros every single month for food and all that kind of stuff. Normally people in Bayern just get 150, but we need to buy bus passes for Passau every month, and that costs 38 Euros. From that money we should buy our groceries, hair cuts, and that kind of stuff. We are actually allowed to order at least three tickets through the office every single week, and those cost a lot of money. Luckily the office pays for that, but I really do believe that we are one of the most expensive missions in the world, because there are some weeks, like this week, where we are probably using at least 70 Euro of traveling costs. Probably more actually. If we buy a ticket ourselves we can send it into the office to get it reimbursed so that we don't starve, haha.

We met with the Nigerians again this week, which was pretty good. The best lesson was actually when we met with this one guy, Vincent, alone. When a big group of people were there it was hard to concentrate and address the concerns of every individual person, but when Elder Nicoll and I were able to concentrate on just Vincent the lesson went really well. We taught him about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. We wanted to help him understand the importance of going to Church. He said that he will go to Church this next week, and I feel like he is really planning on going, we already looked up all the Bus times and what not, so I hope that he will come.

Elder Nicoll is doing better again. We have been able to really work full-time again this week, which has been nice. We actually had a finding day this last Saturday, which was actually super exhausting. We doored for around 5 hours or something, and it was just a really long day. Elder Nicoll and I were both super tired and sore after it. I was on an exchange during it, and we hiked up this mountain to go visit some former investigators, and I am still feeling it in my calfs (PLEASE HELP ME, is that how you spell it when you are talking about your leg?). I was really walking around in pain today, not fun at all. We did find some potential investigators, but I don't know how much real potential they have, they were a little sketch when I tried to get a specific time we could come back on.

Other then that, there is not too much new... except that this guy whom we taught together with the Sisters one time came to Family Night on Monday, which was awesome, and then he called the Sisters on Tuesday and told one of them that he was in love with them, which wasn't as much fun. Yeah, the Sisters went and met him the next day, and had a DTR with him essentially, where they pulled the nun card, and he respected that, but said he can still love her in his heart. It was kind of creepy. Don't worry, he is still going to keep coming to Family Night though, and he is even going to bring dessert next week!

I can't believe that Christmas is coming already. It's been coming really fast. All the stores are starting to sell the traditional Christmas treats, whcih is awesome, because Christmas treats in Germany are so tasty!

I don't know what else to tell you, and like I mentioned earlier, I'm kind of distracted right now, so I think I will close this email here, sorry that it is a little bit shorter than normal, but I love you guys!

Elder Merkley

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