February 18, 2013
First up, Happy Birthday Mom! Thanks for being such an amazing example and help to me throughout my life. I hope your Birthday is great and that things go well. I love you lots.
It's great to be working with Elder Davies again. There wasn't that awkward stage at the beginning of getting to know your companion at all. We are already having so much fun and we can't help but feel that there are going to be some great things happening here in Stuttgart in our time together. It just feels like some big things are meant to happen and it's possible this is the most excited and motivated I have been on my mission yet.
Some important news is that this week we are going to be switching apartments. Elder Davies won't have even been in our current one for a week before he has to pack again. We thought it wouldn't be happening until the end of the transfer, but apparently they have things ready in the International Elders apartment and they want to do some remodeling in our apartment before they send Sister missionaries in it next transfer. If you send anything in the mail though, it will be ok because it's only two tram stations away from our new one. I don't have the new address yet so I will get that next week for you. We will be moving in with Elder Armstrong and Elder Fiedler who are from Idaho and central Germany respectively. It should be a lot of fun.
I had the great experience this last week to conduct a baptismal interview. It's for a girl who is dating a member in the Esslingen ward. It was such an amazing experience because you could see how grateful she was for the gospel and feel the strength of her testimony and that she knew that everything she was taught was true. I couldn't help but get really excited afterwards for the other people that the missionaries here might find.
Right now we have two really amazing investigators. One is Gabriella from Ecuador who had been busy for a few weeks, but now that she is not so busy we have been able to meet with her more often. She is loving the gospel and has been coming to church every week as well as institute for the young single adults. She has a couple of challenges that she is working to overcome, but she is making lots of progress right now and you can tell the gospel is making a change in her. The other is Luis from Columbia (yes, we are teaching South Americans in Germany. But it's ok because a third of our ward is Latin American. Not sure what it is about Stuttgart, but there are a lot of people from the western hemisphere living here). He was an old investigator that the missionaries in the past met with a couple times before he disappeared. However, a few weeks ago we decided to call him and before I could say anything he said he was planning on coming to church with a member that Sunday and since then he has come every Sunday to church and to institute during the week. We are super excited for him and we are planning on setting a specific baptismal date with him tonight.
We had a cool experience in our investigator class yesterday during church. Normally the ward mission leader teaches the class, but he didn't show up for some reason so we had to take over the lesson. However, two girls that were 18 or so showed up saying that they had heard about the church and decided to come check it out and see if they could learn more about the Book of Mormon and get another since they already had just one between them. People just coming to our church like that on their own without an invitation (and especially if they are young like them) just doesn't happen unless they really have some sort of deep interest. Anyways they came and we ended up just teaching the restoration since they were both new and we thought it would be a great review for the others anyway. It turned into a great spiritual lesson and the girls told us they would try coming to church next week as well. What was really good is they went to the Young Women's class and they invited them to a Young Women activity this Wednesday and they told them they would come and they were super excited.
Well I hope all is going well. I love y'all a lot!
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen