Saturday, February 28, 2015

10/27/14 Elder Standring Training for 4th time now, and his companion, too--plus fried variety treats

The transfer call came this Saturday. The Lord has called both me and my companion to train! My companion is pretty young on the mission, only 4 transfers, (I trained his trainer) and I'm going to be training yet again, for the fourth time, so it was surprises all around! I'll really miss Elder Kitchen. Working with him's been great and he only got to serve in Dortmund for one transfer. They call that getting "ghosted" here in the mission. Not really sure why. The day before the call, the mission president called us and asked if we'd accept the Lord's call to train. Since there's 6 missionaries in Dortmund, and two of them are zone leaders (so that wouldn't change) we hoped that the other two elders would get transferred out and we'd get to both train here, but the Lord has better things in mind and Elder Kitchen will be heading down to Nürnberg. (Not to shabby either, by anyone's opinion I've ever talked to. Nürnberg is beautiful and is supposed to have the best Christmas Market in all of Germany)

With this new development in my mission, I've noticed a pattern: With every city I served in, I come in, get used to the area, train a new missionary, then he takes over, and I move on to the next city. It's interesting to think that I've trained in everyone of my areas. Many missionaries don't get the privilege to welcome a newcomer into the mission, so I'm grateful I've gotten to so often.

As for how the work went this week, we met a new friend who wants to meet with us and come closer to Christ. He's a student from Cameroon, so he's still new and settling in, here in Germany. He's very grateful for the french Book of Mormon and Bible we have for him and said he really wants to read and start praying every day. I was impressed because he understood why it was important when we told he could pray to get an answer from God about what is true. It's always great to meet new people like him. I also did a split in Siegen for the first time. It felt like I imagine being a missionary back home in Crescent City would since the Elders in Siegen have a car. Both of our appointments fell out that day, so we drove around to people we knew and ended up teaching 3 lessons anyway. Cars are a lot faster than public transportation. It's things like that, that remind me I couldn't trade in my American Driver's License for a German one, since I'm from California. I'd have to go through the whole process again from square zero and plus pay some 2.000 € (Ya, it's super expensive here). Anyway, it was a good split, and we got good work done.

We have a Muslim friend from Turkmenistan who we've been teaching English since our first week here! We met him while we were emailing because we saw he was googling English courses and stuff. He knows we're not professional and sometimes I wonder what my mom would think about the sentences I've started saying (I feel like my English has slipped so much over these two years, and even common words now I can only think of the German word), but he's been making great progress and he enjoys seeing us a lot.

Also, during our weekly district meetings (when the missionaries in a couple neighboring cities get together to practice teaching and learn from each other about the gospel of Jesus Christ) we've been taking a few minutes aside to eat a quick snack, to help people refocus and really make the time effective. This week for "district snack", one of the missionary pairs noticed they had a deep-fryer laying around in their apartment that they weren't using, so we decided to try bringing it with and have everyone bring something to fry. Haha, what we saw going in the fryer ranged from french fries and attempted funnel cakes to twinkies, gummy bears, and twix candy bars. It took more time than the normal, already-baked cookies/brownies we've done before, so we probably won't be doing it again, but it was definitely a new experience that was also fun. Right up there with stuffing G.I. Joes inside the model rockets I used to shoot off with my brothers back home, which we'd later find in a burnt-up wreck in a field somewhere. :)

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