Thursday, February 26, 2015

2/6/2014: Year 2, Week 1 Past the "hump" halfway day!

I entered the Missionary Training Center on February 6th, 2013! So on Thursday I will have been a missionary for a whole year. Wow, it is super fast. I haven't really figured out how or if at all I'm going to celebrate, but maybe I'll burn a tie just to say I did it.

My companion and I were headed to a member's house yesterday, and we were waiting on the platform for our train. This girl walked by and then turned around and walked up to me and asked if I had a ticket that can take a second person on it, and I said ja (Ours can on the weekends). So she rode with us for a stop or two and our conversation turned to what we were doing here and what the church is, and it was the most interesting thing how she reacted: She didn't. She just kept asking more questions because I think she didn't have any idea about God at all. She showed me a pamphlet she'd gotten from some other people and asked me if that came from God too, and I told her that we can ask God Himself what comes from Him. She said "How?" -- I don't think I've ever heard anybody ask that on my mission -- I told her through prayer, and she said "But He doesn't answer does He?", and I told her that I've gotten many answers to prayers like when I've lost something, pray, and find it, or when I need special help to get through something and it works out. She didn't know how, so I taught her how to pray. She was listening so intently it was crazy, like she had never heard anything like it before. But that wasn't even the best part. After I'd given her our card and she'd gotten off the train, she said the most sincere thank you I've heard in a long time, and I noticed a feeling of fire within my soul that I hadn't noticed while we were talking. The Holy Ghost. Maybe she'd didn't recognize the feeling like I did, but if she felt it, that is the best feeling ever. That's what it's all about. Not to help people feel good, but to help them develop a closer, stronger relationship with Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father because that will make them the happiest in the long run. That's why I'm on a mission.
~Elder Mark Standring

 A Camel Photo for Missionary "Hump" Halfway Day!

[Photo sent instead of actual stuffed animal due to likely space limitations: Comment about that:]
"Haha, thanks a lot, it's the thought that counts.
You're actually right, my bags were so packed when got to Köln, so I bought another suitcase when I left. I think when I came up to Wuppertal one was almost completely full of just books, since most books I have, I have in English and German."

During Language study one day I was reading in the dictionary (yes I know how that sounds, but it's super helpful) and I found this entry where there's one phrase in German that means three different things based on how you say it, or when!

With the work, we've been looking for more opportunities to do service. One family has a garten allotment that they're working to fix up, but we haven't gotten to help with it yet, so maybe that will happen this week. There was a different family where the father had a bunch of wood in the yard he didn't want and his neighbor agreed to take it, so he asked us if we could help move it. 

I really really wish I had taken a picture of this, but I was busy moving wood, which is good too, but their yard was basically a hill itself, and most of the wood was at the bottom of it. There was a wheel barrow, but because of something we couldn't use it until we got to the street, so we lugged about a small car size amount of logs up this hill, and it took us like an hour and a half. We were only half was done though! So we ate some hot dogs and then lugged the logs across down the street a ways and into the neighbor's yard, summing up 4 and a half hours of man work! Haha! It was great! (I was a little sore the next day)

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