Hey friends and fam!
Guys it’s so darn cold outside. And we never see the sun anymore.
Also we played soccer today for pday with a bunch of guys from the Berlin stake. You can probably imagine…when you’re the only American there you kinda get your butt kicked, but it’s ok. Maybe someday we can play baseball?
My week was solid! Why not start off with something exciting and that is that Ali should be getting baptized this upcoming week. Ali is from Iran and he’s been coming to church every week for many many months. Due to the fact that he’s from Iran (a Muslim county) it would be extremely dangerous for him to go back to his county. He would get killed. Anyway, we’ve been working hard to help him out…he got German citizenship as well as a nice apartment it it looks like we will be able to baptize him this upcoming week. Finally. Ali is just the best. He speaks Persian, Turkish, English and German and once he’s baptized he will likely starting teaching and translating for Persian investigators across the mission. And you know what he does in his free time? He translates for people in hospitals. The guy is just a stud. We are thrilled.
Other good news, I had the opportunity to go on exchanges this past week with one of my best friends Elder Ausobsky who is serving in East Berlin (where I served for 10 months). We visited the Collewe family, who we baptized several months ago. The mom, dad and three kids (with a forth on the way). They are doing well. It brought me back on all of the good times we had during the whole stinking teaching process, the good and the bad. I recall many priceless lessons with them! Definitely some of my favorite people in the world. We are preparing for them all to go to the temple and hope that they can be sealed in the temple this upcoming summer when I will return with my family.
Speaking of the temple, it looks like we will be taking Rose and Silvester to the temple this week for them to do baptisms for the first time!
Aside from Berlin we did some traveling. We went out to the Hannover region of the mission to visit some investigators and support our missionaries out there. I always enjoy being in the western side of the mission. It has a really nice feel. We even got to pass through Göttingen, the city I was trained in!
As for new people on the teaching pool. We are working with a man named Hugo who spoke to us as we were eating lunch in a restaurant. Really nice, cool, successful guy. Born and raised in Berlin also speaks Spanish and English. We are very optimistic–the guy has a lot of potential and we can’t wait to see what comes from it!
Here in closing… the mission is cool, man. I realize that this past week I have been in the city of Berlin for 18 months. That’s a long time in one city. Every day you run into crazy things. Funky situations, and a whole lot of “life” is just thrown at you. And it’s just totally unpredictable. As I’ve done my best to help others, I’ve been pretty observant of these “life” things. I have watched strong people become weak, but I’ve watched really a lot of people go from weak to very, very strong. I’ve had the chance to work with people, with converts who have had to go against the dominant thinking of best friends, families, loved ones, etc. Perhaps the most difficult act of courage I have ever seen. I learned that it’s really a faith thing. We learn in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon that we should become as a kid. And in a lot of new converts, that’s what I notice. You see, it is these converts that get so stoked on the smallest of things. And they have the new knowledge that God really truly is there. And that Christ is with us step by step helping us along every day. Together we are strong!!
I love you all, have a great week!
Pics pics pics
1) the crew
2-5) Quedlinburg sights and sounds
6-7) a couple of my favorite Collewe kids 🙂