March 11, 2013
Well I better address the natural mother concerns. I am doing all right now with my health. With getting a prescription you don't have to worry about sending it over; that's why I got to go on the American base so I could get some drugs from the US. I had permission from the mission nurse who is an actual doctor and I have been doing fine. All that is left is a sore throat, but otherwise I am completely recovered.
Well I've got some rather exciting news. We had Zone Leader council in Munich this week and while there President Miles told us about a new email policy that we have. All missionaries around the world are allowed to email essentially anyone now. The only exception is people of the opposite gender who live within your mission boundaries. Other than that though emailing is free game. This came from the first presidency and we are not entirely sure yet as to why, but as of last Monday this was the policy. However, with our mission rules we still have just a limited time on emails, so I will probably stick to letters in a large part, but it's still very convenient with the new rules. An interesting story, I do not know if I told you already, but my old companion Elder XXXX, his girlfriend is coming to our mission in June. He told President Miles who said they probably won't see each other at all during their time here.
Like I said previously, we had Zone Leader council this week along with Zone conference last Tuesday. The basic theme from Zone conference was working with Members and how to be more effective in this area. We had our Stake President come and talk to us for a while and he talked about a number of things relating to the stake and ward mission plans, but he also took a little bit of time to discuss the best way of how to work with Germans based off their culture. He gave us tips on what is the best way to get the German members excited and motivated for missionary work while not being over bearing and annoying to them. It was a very interesting discussion, but very helpful I thought.
Our three main investigators have all been out of the town this last week because apparently this is their spring break time before they have their finals in school; but we had quite a miracle at Zone conference last week. During lunch an unknown number called Elder Davies and I and told us that he had been in Utah a number of times for schooling and that he had been going to church there a lot and wants to get baptized. Stuff like that is just amazing here and we were almost wondering if it was a joke, but we made out an appointment for when he gets back in Stuttgart which will be tomorrow. Hopefully everything goes well.
One of the things that really hit me this time at Zone conference was the testimony meeting at the end. Every Zone conference they have all of the missionaries, who this is either their first or last Zone Conference in the mission, give their testimonies. There were two people in our zone who are going home in the next couple of weeks, one of them being a really good friend of mine since I have been out here. When they bore their testimonies it really impacted me a lot; this is the first zone conference I've had since I have been past my year mark and it made it feel like the time is flying by so quick. I thought about how much the mission has meant to me and how much I will miss the spirit of it when I leave. When these two missionaries bore their testimonies you could tell how much it meant to them and that it had played a huge impact on who they were now. I start feeling that for myself and how much my time here has helped me and allowed me to become happier and set me on the best course I could be on. I am very grateful for the chance to be a missionary and have the gospel in my life.
Last Saturday we spent time with the Bensons (the senior couple in Stuttgart) and the international Elders to start preparing our old apartment for the Sister missionaries that will be coming in next transfer. There is still a lot to do, but we fortunately have a member in our ward who does remodeling for his job who is getting paid by the church to take care of the rest of the apartment. It should be ready within a week and a half. By the way this transfer for some reason is only five weeks instead of the normal six weeks. We have transfer calls this Friday, but I would be quite shocked if Elder Davies or I go already. Since my time with Elder Davies in the MTC was equivalent to a transfer and a half, by the end of this transfer he will have been my longest companion and we should still have about two more transfers together after this one. All my companions have been with me only one or two transfers so far.
There was another baptism in our zone this week. It was in a branch called Heilbronn which has not had a baptism of any sort in the last 7 years. Elder Davies did the Baptismal interview for the man and then two days later we went to see him get baptized. It was an awesome experience for the branch.
Well that's probably it for this week. I love you lots!
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen