I didn’t update Sydnees blog as usual on Thursday due to me being out of town and busy. Below is her email from this week as well as some pictures.
In total this week I got food poisoning, mowed a lawn, ate vegan food, met a spy, found some faith, Joy, and new investigators. It was pretty solid as far as missionary work goes. This week in particular I felt like I grew not just as a missionary but as a person. I learned a lot of valuable lessons and met some very special people. To begin, surprisingly the vegan food was good and was not directly related to the food poisoning. We had an appointment with a family in the ward and they fed us actually really well. Member appointments are always something I look forward to. The people here are great and have such big hearts and love for missionary service. A really special blessing here in Germany is that here most of the members are converts and worked with missionaries for quite some time. They love the work that we do and have such amazing insights to the gospel.
On Saturday we did service at another members house and they allowed Sister Case and I to handle heavy duty farm equipment, i.e. a lawn mower and weed hacker. It was really fun and it was nice to help out a great family and feel useful mowing a lawn. Before we did service we went dooring and met some really cool people. Sunday proved to be a really good day full of miracles. On our way to church Sister Case pointed to a guy sitting on a park bench and asked me if she should invite him to church. I said of course and so we went and started talking to him. Unfortunately he couldn’t come to church but we set up an appointment to meet with him this week and he was very excited. We ended up meeting with him and he is very very cool. His name is Nasi and he really loves Christ. He is excited to learn more about Christ and about the Book of Mormon. We had a very spiritual lesson with him yesterday and we are meeting with him again on Saturday!!
On Monday we had a district meeting and street display in Bamberg. It was a long day to say the least. On the way to the train to return to Coburg, we stopped and got Chinese food. We took it with us on the train. Sister Case and I and the two elders in our area were sitting on the train praying over our food when we hear “Zeugnis Jehovahs!!” Which means Jehovah’s witnesses… Elder McClellan finishes the prayer and we look up to see this guy that is VERY excited to see us. He introduces himself as Professor Doctor Captain Private Conrad Schock. He said this was not his real name as he was in hiding and was a spy sent by the US government to stop terrorism. The man was very clearly drunk but was very eager to talk to us. He asked us how old we thought he was. I made a mistake guys. I was just trying to be funny but uh, I messed up. I said I thought he was 25. The man was clearly over 25 and I just thought we were all on a good level as he just told us he was a double agent. He got very upset and told me I was a very mean German. Also, this conversation was all in English except for the opening line… The conversation was very strange and he told us his life story on this little 30 minute train ride. Very, uh, interesting guy. But I met a spy so who is the real winner.
On Tuesday we had an “Adventure Finding” day planned. Basically we had a member give us a name of a little dorf that we should go and find people. When all was said and done we only had an hour to find people in this little city before our bus came. We tried our little hearts out but did not find a soul. Discouraged that we didn’t find anyone we went back to Coburg. Sister Case and I were very frustrated that we had talked to so many people and no one really wanted to talk to us. We were on our way back to the church for a meeting we had with our Ward Mission Leader. We had a mini meltdown and sat down on a bench to talk. I said a silent prayer that I would know what to do and how to help our companionship continue on. A scripture in the Book of Mormon came to my mind. In Alma 31, Alma and some other missionaries are on a mission to help a group of people that definitely don’t want their help. These missionaries are some of the most righteous possible who are working diligently to help these precious children of God. At the end of the chapter, Alma offers up a prayer to ask for comfort and help that these missionaries may have success. Sister Case and I read these scriptures and talked about what it meant. We came to the conclusion this, there is no algorithm for missionary work. Plain and simple. Outward success is only the beginning. Just because one is obedient to the mission rules does not mean that one will baptise a whole nation. Granted if that is the will of the Lord, trust me it will happen. Obedience is so important because it puts one in a better position to receive Heavenly Father’s choice blessings.
Sister Case and I quickly got our act together and stopped feeling sorry for ourselves. We were on the Lord’s errand! We are doing what he asks. Let’s do this!
We walked over to these two ladies who had watched us have our mini meltdown and we started talking. I was showing them the Easter initiative video and Sister Case tells me she will be right back. She walks over to this other lady and starts talking to her. After the two ladies I was talking to told me off in very loud Turkish, I walked to Sister Case and our new friend Joy. We are meeting with her later this week.
This week was all in all really fun and had exciting bits. I invite you all to read that chapter in Alma. I hope you have a good week and that all is good in your part of the world.