Tuesday, February 24, 2015

9/2/2013--Transfer to Darmstadt in Heidelberg zone--as District Leader! (Return to a beautiful place from the past!) & 20th Birthday coming up!

Don't send me any more mail in Koln!!!---
Sorry I haven't sent any pictures lately, last P-day was a little crazy because of the first picture down there. A bunch of Elders were playing basketball in the Düsseldorf Stake Center for Pday and I guess one of those Elders sharpens his Elbow every morning. Funny thing is I was under the hoop when he clipped me, and it didn't hurt at all, but my reflex was to put my hand up to it. And I didn't want to look weird so I just kept it up there anyway. So I was walking out with my hand to my face thinking, oh wait now I'm being a sissy because they're going to think I'm really injured, but it doesn't hurt at all. And the Zone Leader comes up and says "Hey Elder Standring, you alright?" and I'm like "Ya, it's actually not that bad" and put my hand down, and  he was like OHHHHHH!!!!. Then I looked at my hand and saw all the blood and thought Oh great, and started walking to the Kitchen. It didn't hurt at all, and it's healed up really nicely. It's going to turn into a pretty sweet scar, or as they call it in German, "Eine schöne Narbe."...And the cut didn't need stiches, it's fine! [Note from Mom:  Love you, too--but I think that cut would have needed stitches from the looks of it!  Maybe it would have less of a scar!!  --Mom] 
The first picture is obviously of my scar... 

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes. I think that this birthday is going to be a bit different. It's weird, I didn't realize my birthday is in 2 days until I read my email. I haven't thought about it at all. However, that doesn't mean it's not going to be really awesome. :) I'm being transferred, and so I announced it at church, and a ton of members came up to me afterwards and now our schedule is completely booked for the rest of my time in Köln. That's not even the good part though, check this out:
This awesome family in the ward who would invite us over every Monday night has been on vacation in Brazil for the last eternity and they just got back this week, and when they found out I'm getting transferred and my birthday is the day before I leave, they invited us over for a second time this week to have a bit of a birthday party. Double dip :) And I love this family so much because I met their missionary son on my first day in Germany (he's serving in Portugal, but he did a short mini mission here before he left) and we were instant friends. I soon found out his family was going to be in my ward. They're part Brazilian so they understand and speak a little Spanish, plus they invite the Mexican YSA in our ward over as well who doesn't speak English or German, and the Japanese YSA who lived in Redding for two years and loves soccer. They're my dream member-family. And I get to go over to their place twice this week.

OH yea, and transfers. So this has been my first area. I was a greenie here and then I trained right after that, so 4 transfers, and now MY greenie is also going to be training there as well! I'm kind of getting kicked out, but it's okay because I'm heading down to the Heidelberg zone, possibly one of the most beautiful places in the mission. At least I think so, because I've been there once before too! [With high school choir on tour in Europe!] The ward is actually the Darmstadt ward and it's definitely one of the biggest wards in the mission. President Uchtdorf is from Darmstadt. There's two sets of Elders there, sisters, a senior couple, and a YSA Center.

It also turns out I'm the District Leader...
which is kind of scary. 5th transfer. Wow. President Schwarz called me up and told Elder Hawker that he's training and then wanted to talk to me. He said "Elder Standring, are you ready for another adventure?" Hah, turns out I'm having quite a few of those. Was completely overwhelmed to hear that. I almost had to sit down.

I'm really really excited for these new changes, and especially to meet my new companion, Elder Parkinson. Elder Hawker's a little worried about training, just because he realized I won't be there to help him with his German any more, but he has pretty good German already. He'll be a really good Trainer. And I'm a Grandpa! Already in my 5th transfer, oh meine Güte [oh my goodness].
I'm not really sure what pictures I haven't sent to you yet, so I'll try and catch up on that. I bought another memory card, so I'll be taking plenty of pictures.
Ummm.... I'll end my writing here so that way there will be more time for pictures.
                                                                    love, love, love,
                                                             ~Elder Mark Standring

The next picture I took while Elder Hawker was on a split with the district leader. That Elder's name is Elder Sandbakken. It's Norwegian.

That's my companion in front of the Bayer Leverkusen stadium.

This is a sign of a guy that looks like Brother Sorenson, from Crescent City.

This is a picture that may have already sent once.

And this is a street that just struck me as really German looking.

We were looking for a less active member and ended up right on the river Rhein, it was quite nice.

And this is a homeless guy we met two or three weeks ago and we've been teaching him and helping him out.

love you bye!

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