Here is Elder Foster reporting to you from a internet cafe in Hannover. The weekly report will now begin. Starting off with my new companion who I met this last tuesday. His name is Elder Johnston and he comes from West Jordan, Utah. That would be my third companion from Utah. Its like my program in Hannover is cursed to be composed of two missionaries from Utah. So of course we are the least exciting to hear from during the Sunday member eating appointments when the other two missionary companionships are there. Haha its fine though, I just find it funny. But this companion thankfully has only been on his mission for just barely a year now and just came from the Bad Bentheim area, which is a driving area in our mission. And for the first week together it has not been so bad. If we can really unite in companionship I know we can really start to see the blessings.
This week actually felt kind of long. Some significant things happened to say the least. One of our investigators is really having a hard time right now. And by that I don't mean with the gospel but with his life in general. I don't really want to go into the specifics because it probably wouldn't be okay to talk about something that personal. But it is really hard to see him struggle so much and I really wouldn't know what I would do either if I was in his position. Doesn't help that we were born on the same day and year, just kind of gives me a trippy feeling. And unfortunately because he is from Syria and he doesn't quite meet the standards for us to teach him unto baptism. We can only do so much too help, and encourage him. Honestly a lot of the people we teach have things in their lives that are really hard to deal with. It really makes me glad that me and all the companions that I have had can be there to help them or at least give them some comfort. I have met a lot of cool people and I hope some day when I am back home in the future that when they visit Utah, they will be able to come see me too. Especially the Tamani family, they are from Fiji and they are so cool. Or Edward Kane and his family who are from Ghana. The have all inspired me to be better in some way. Oh and of course Saud has to come, I mean just to hear him try to do an "American" accent is hilarious. We had fun one night on the train coming back from the Knabe's house while he said a few English lines in his "American" accent.
So actually just last night Elder Johnston and I made out a baptismal date for a lady who is in a part member family and who has been taught for the past six years or so. When stuff like that happens it just makes me happy. I imagine in my head, somewhere where all these past missionaries are going woo! Even though not all is said and done, I have faith that it will happen. Although last night I was thinking what has this lady been taught the past six years?! Why doesn't she know any of this. Haha. For some reason in my mind I had this idea that missionaries were brainwashed by the time they got back home from their missions or that at least other people thought that. Really that is not true at all. You may imagine a mission as being notorious for a lot of rules and a lot of enforcement behind them. That is also not really true. Yes there are a lot of rules and yes there are consequences when you break them. Ultimately all the missionaries here are on there own and have complete control over what they do. It is actually quite mind boggling to me. Because we have such a structured system of missionary leadership that is all being led by a bunch of 18 to 20 something year olds with pretty much little to zero leadership or management skills prior to the mission. If the Lord isn't helping out with that then I don't know who is. It really is amazing the things that can be pulled off by missionaries who are united in one purpose. This whole mission could become a mess in little to no time if missionaries decided to be disobedient. But somehow all of us or at least most of us stay the course and do what needs to be done.
I guess I will end with sharing a little bit about my birthday. First of all thank you to all of those who sent me letters for my birthday or sent me something or other by whatever means. I am really grateful for your support and love, sometimes a little too grateful, like when I am thinking in my head. "Aaaaw I miss you guys!" Though yeah thanks a lot! And on Saturday which was my birthday it just kind of started like any other. Nobody really said anything and nothing really happened. But....when I went to district meeting that day. Suddenly in the middle of district meeting they flipped over the white-board and it had happy birthday stuff written on it and they started singing happy birthday and then Brüder Metzig came out of left field with a cake. So it was safe to say that I was really surprised and really happy about that. And apparently my last companion set that all up too. So that was super nice of him. And even on Sunday, Kim the recent convert that I sent you a picture of gave me a present too! I wish I had the card with me so I could tell you what it said. Basically it was very sweet and she even said I was like a little brother to her. Of course it was companioned with chocolate and even a little book. So I was surprised by her kindness as well. Even though its weird being 21 and still not even close to finishing my mission. A member yesterday already thought that I was pretty close to leaving back home because of it. It is all good though and I am glad that I still have plenty more time. But all in all it was a good week and hopefully only more growth and adventures will be in store for me.Mormon 9:24-28
Elder Foster(With Kim at her baptism)