May 20, 2013
Hey, I hope everyone is doing well. That was not the news I was expecting to receive this morning with Grandma Crow passing away, but I hope everyone is doing well. It will be sad to come back and not see Grandma Crow there when I come home, but the great part is we do have the gospel and a Saviour Jesus Christ who made it possible that this isn’t the end. Grandpa I hope you are doing well. There are definitely a lot of people praying for you at this time. Grandma Crow was a great example for us and I know she is doing well now where she is. I am glad I did get to see a couple of days before I went on my mission. I hope the spirit is there during the viewing and the funeral and that everything goes ok. I love you all and my prayers are with you, especially you Grandpa. I am glad we do have the knowledge of the gospel with the firm foundation of the resurrection. I would like a copy of the obituary when it comes out, thank you.
As for what happened this week, yesterday Sebastian and Ralf received the priesthood. The unfortunate thing is that we weren’t able to be there because the bishop asked us to be at a special young single adult sacrament meeting for a YSA convention that had been going on this week. There were about 200 young adults there from south Germany and Austria and they asked for the missionaries support with helping at it. Anyways, we talked to Sebastian and Ralf afterwards and sounded like everything went really well. We had met with Ralf this last week at our bishops house to talk about the priesthood in depth, and with Sebastian he understands everything about it already, but he wanted to take us to dinner this week and we figured we could brush up on it with him there. With Sebastian the paper work for his fiance is coming together. It sounds like the wedding will most likely be in mid July. They are actually going to be going to Utah in the next few weeks here to visit Jenis’s family. It’s possible he might stop by and say hi to both Elder Davies family and you guys, but I can’t promise that yet. Hopefully it works out though. Lena is doing good as well; she has been out of town this last week, but will be getting back next Monday.
This week went really well as far as teaching opportunities went. As mentioned we got to meet with all of our new converts, but on top of that we met with our investigator Kxx. He is making a lot of progress. He is reading the Book of Mormon quite a lot and he decided to take notes during our lessons, since he feels like he is getting a lot of answers. We wanted to talk about the second half of the plan of salvation with him this week since we didn’t finish that last time with him, but it ended up being one of those lessons that the spirit completely took over and we focused a lot on prayer. It ended up being exactly what he needed since he had some many questions that he hadn’t asked beforehand. He had been big into meditation before we started meeting with him and thought that was a form of prayer. We told him about how meditating and pondering over things was a good way to feel the spirit and receive insight and then taught him how to truly pray. He was happy with that because he thought how we prayed was only what we do with a group of people. Now he is going to pray morning and nights and I think that will be what puts him exactly where he needs to be going.
We had a meeting with a college student named Jxxx. We found him while trying to search for Luis and we had an amazing appointment with him. However, this is where agency takes a role. He said he believed everything we said, but he just didn’t think he could come away from his family’s religion. That tends to be one of the biggest difficulties we have with teaching here is getting over family traditions, but typically they just tell us right off the bat that they won’t change and so they don’t want to meet with us. Nonetheless, we still have a really good feeling about Julian and although he may not be ready to start progressing, I think the Lord will be working with him through time and something good will come for him. He did say at the end of our visit that he had friends that would be really interested in meeting with us. Hopefully we will hear back from him this week on those and who knows if the Lord meant for us to meet with Julian now to find his friends.
We found a man named Lxxxx a week ago and had an amazing appointment with him on Thursday. He is from Nigeria and is the manager of a shop that ships car parts to African countries. The two nationalities you will find most in Germany that aren’t Germans are people from Turkey and Nigeria and with teaching Nigerians there is kind of a stereotype. They are usually very religious, but because of their culture, or what they have been taught as they were young, there are a couple of points with the gospel that are usually hard for them to fully understand. The two main ones are prophets’ roles and their priesthood authority and the other is the great apostasy. The definition of prophets is taught that if you follow Christ and you want to share the gospel, that qualifies you as a prophet. You don’t need to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost or the priesthood. Everyone can be a prophet and receive these great revelations from God. The other is they stereotypically can’t accept that the apostasy happened. However, when we meet with Lewis at these two points he said something that gave us a lot of hope. He reads his bible everyday and he told us how he was always trying to tell his friends that there was something special about the prophets and apostles that they had that others didn’t and he wanted to find it. When we talked about the great apostasy he opened up his Bible and said "You know I was thinking about this for quite a while," then he read the scripture where it said Jesus wept and said, "I asked myself, why is he weeping". The answer is that he was weeping for Lazareth before he went to raise him from the dead, but he replied instead, "It’s because I see all the people these days tearing apart the church. Of course that makes Jesus sad. We can’t be tearing apart his church. We need his church. The one he leads." However he decided to interpret that scripture, he nonetheless understood that there had been an apostasy. At the end he kept talking about how the spirit was working in him and making him feel great and excited. He wants to be baptized too. Because he is English speaking we are turning him over to the international elders, but it will be cool to see him get baptized in a few weeks when they make an official date.
We actually got let in by about three different people just from dooring this week. We will see how much progress they will want to make, but they at least let us in and lets us share our message with them. This upcoming week though is packed with appointments so we should be pretty busy running from one appointment to the other. And people say that you hardly ever teach in Germany....
We need to get going here but I hope you have a great week. We will keep Grandpa Crow in our prayers. Love you all lots.
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen