Saturday, February 28, 2015

2/2/15--Er ist das Geschenk, Mormons or Baptists, roleplaying & joint teaching

This week we had our first return appointment with a German family we met around Christmas through "Er ist das Geschenk". Elder Awerkamp worked well together as a team and the wife really felt and recognized the Spirit. The husband is atheist, and we went in planning to focus the lesson on him and see if he's at all willing to act to find out that God really is there. He is respectful during prayers, but he doesn't say amen. Frau Christman has read, we'd assigned her 3 Nephi 11 to read, and it surprised me how when we asked her what stuck out to her that she didn't say that Christ had appeared to the people, but rather she talked about a lot about baptism and how it seemed pretty serious. That appointment was also to set expectations, we talked about our purpose and said we'd like to meet weekly. They're pretty busy though, so our next meeting will be at the end of February. 

We also had a first return appointment with a women who talked to Elder Awerkamp on a train. It's funny because she thought a relative of hers was Mormon, but at the return appointment she remembered that he's actually Baptist, but she and her boyfriend are still interested and they want to get married. They said the biggest thing that's holding them back is that they'd need a space to rent out and that it's a lot to plan and a big to-do. Their names are Manuelle and Andi. She called us just a minute ago to ask if we can meet again sooner than our Friday appointment because a friend of her just died and she's very sad about it. We'll bring her cookies.
In the past couple weeks I've really started to see our roleplaying has paid off in our teamwork! I really have a strong testimony off roleplays now and I've been trying to do more and more for months now, but I've really started to enjoy them a lot lot more too since the beginning of my mission. When I was new I often thought they were cliche or hokey. It helps me to understand the thoughts and feelings of missionaries who don't yet have a testimony of roleplays and I can tell them how much my view of roleplays has changed.

One last quick thing, I forgot, we had a first appointment with a woman we found in our old phone contacts and it went great! We've been going forward with the mission president's suggestion to drop those who art making progress and the Lord is showing us new ones we can teach! It's great! The only thing is it's pretty hard because of the people we teach, 10 are single women, so we struggle to find enough joint-teach men and if we don't we just talk at the door or the appointments fall out (we don't visit single women alone). During my time in Dortmund I've often thought about how President Thomas S. Monson said he used to visit all the widows in a ward where he was bishop, and there were about 80 of them! (I think it was 80). However, for him, he didn't neccesarily need a joint teach, but he's definitely our example in that sense!
~Elder Standring

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