Tuesday, February 17, 2015

5/13/13--Me, my companion, and my twin?

Ah! It was a very, very eventful week here even without it being Mother's Day, so I'll have to type very quickly. This Tuesday (usually day for District Meetings) was in Bonn, and we've started having District Finding Activities after everyone, like a Street Preach, or organized group/simultaneous go-by's. That morning was pretty overcast, but it was super warm, so my companion and I went to District Meeting in short sleeve shirts. We forgot Elder Missionaries are supposed to always wear coats to District Meeting, but we were super glad we didn't at the end of the day. After we got done with the meeting and went out side to start missionarying it up, it started to sprinkle a litt bit, and by the time we'd walked to the bus/train station to split up our go-by's, it was hauling down rhino's and hippo's!!! Out of nowhere! So you see, if we had been wearing a whole suit, it basically would have been destroyed by the rain (not actually destroyed, but you know what I mean). We started out with some directions written on a piece of paper too, to get to the house of the less-actives we were supposed to visit. The message was destroyed. It was folded up in my pocket and when we crammed in a dry phone booth to council and confer over where we were supposed to be going, I felt like we were spies trying to decipher a super secret document that we had to be super super careful with, because of how easily wet paper sticks to itself and tears. Hah, it was fun. Eventually we did reach the address we were searching for, but the family we did not. Turns out the Sisters either wrote down the instructions for several of the go-by's wrong or wrote down the wrong address entirely. However, it was warm rain, so it wasn't bad at all. It actually reminded me a lot of how it must be for Elder Stacey in the Philippines, Elder Carver in Brazil, and anybody else who's serving in somewhere at all tropical/in a rain forest. Except it would be like this everyday, hahaha... It was the best.

Later that week was a big day for the whole zone because there was this big Concert that the Church was putting on. The Concert was for a chamber choir of member YSA's from all over Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, called der Vocalis Chor. Before I got to Germany there had been Street Displays every month in the city where the concert would be and it was all building up to this Saturday. That day, almost the whole zone, or 16 missionaries, helped with one more street display, and then running the concert. It was cool too, because the Choir sang Hymns at the last Street Display, so it helped to attract people and then we just had to go up to them. It was funny however, that some people were so onry/opposed to everything that I would go up to them and ask them if they liked listening to musik and the would still angrily say NO, and walk away sourly. One time someone even said to me, "Braucht man das nicht!" or roughly " Nobody needs that!". Ha, it was still fun though, because there was a missionary with me who had just come out of the MTC and was super super nervous about everything, so we just walked and joked about how many people supposedly don't like music. That night at the concert too totally made the day, the singing was SO beautiful and I knew most of the songs, so it seemed kind of like a European Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Best night ever. ALSO there was a guy in the Choir who acted just like me, and looked like me too! He's from Switzerland and his name's David (Dah-veed). I didn't get much of a chance to talk with him, but I got a picture with him, so you all can see for yourself. We could definitely be brothers.
After the "twin photo"--Below is another companion photo...

 I remember Mom asked about the most German meal I'd had, so I took a picture of one appointment recently that was especially meaty, and sometime this week we ran into some people from Washington state who were really anti-Mormon and tried to convert us haha. Also this week I asked the Bishop of the ward what would have to happen in order for a Spanish Sunday School class to be organized. Surprisingly, he said there used to be one, but most the people who went to it went inactive, so all that would be needed would be a teacher. We've been running into a lot of people lately who speak Spanish either as a first language or just better than German, so if we can get them to come to church, that would be really cool, and I could practice my spanish a lot. Maybe I'll come home speaking two more fluent languages than when I left!

Alles Gute und komm gut nach Hause!
~Elder Mark Standring

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