This past week there was a lot that happened. We've started teaching three new people since last time I emailed. 2 are a family from Togo, and they love hearing the word of God. 1 is a 20 year old girl who is the friend of one of the families here. The family called us up themselves and asked if we could start meeting, which was great! We've now been meeting twice a week, and they really enjoy it. They had a friend who used to live in Wuppertal and come to the LDS church here, but he's since moved to Paris. While he was here he never mentioned religion to them once, but called them up one day and said they should get in contact with us, so they did. They keep saying over and over again that they can't figure out why he never mentioned anything about the church to them before. They're Catholic, so they pray a lot and read the Bible and go to church every week, but when we first met they'd never heard anything about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith or the Church of Jesus Christ or Mormons or anything about us, so they've been really excited to learn more.
On Tuesday we went to Dortmund for Zone Conference. I really enjoyed that. Elder Timothy Dyches of the European Area Presidency came and talked to us along with our mission president, President Lehi Schwartz, and a counselor of the Dortmund Stake Presidency. There were a lot of great things I learned from that, but the best one was how President Schwartz talked about how missionaries came to his door once while he was alone and said they came because they felt they should ask him if he wanted a priesthood blessing. He grew up without a Dad, so he'd never had the opportunity before to get a priesthood blessing. He told us what a great influence that had had on him and how grateful he was for those two missionaries. It's humbling to me to think that little things I do that I think aren't that meaningful may mean the world to somebody else.
don't forget to smile,
~Elder Mark Standring
ps. Mom, this is Elder Oberhansley, the one you said is related to your cousin or something, I found him at Zone Conference to take this picture for you :)