Elder Foster reporting from the cold northern coast of Germany or in other words Bremerhaven. And once again I am at a standstill because I am never sure where to start. I feel like I need to look at my daily planner just to know what I even did this week. What I do know is that we are still plagued with many fallen out appointments. It seems we find them and then lose them the next week. However, however we are still finding one or two people here and there who are worth keeping and unfortunately losing others. For instance the Bulgarian family haha, just this week we visited them again, and after making so much progress and showing so much interest. Suddenly they come out of their shells or something! And then said that they were Muslim and therefore cannot be baptized and do not want to talk about conversion whatsoever. So if you were imagining in your mind a confused somewhat annoyed face on me then you would be correct. haha.
Okay and now another wacky story. So apparently I have some kind of thing about finding people who are trying to be killed by their family members. Okay so one of our investigators is from Syria and he came here with some of his family members. At some point in his life he converted to Christianity and didn't ever tell his family so he was still living with his brother in a foreigner’s home. However we didn't know that his brother was Muslim and didn't know that he was Christian. So one day we came over and kind of blew his cover. Not on purpose though. So he has kicked out by his brother and then our investigator ended up staying at one of his friend's place. So we actually were able to meet with him at his friend's house which was awesome because his friends who ended up being a small Serbian family became our new investigators. We actual just put the wife and the daughter on baptismal date this week so that is pretty cool. But okay so here is where the real story is at, so Ziad is with this Serbian family right? Okay so one day while we were sitting in our apartment doing some area book work because we were really behind. We get a call from Ziad and because he doesn't have very good German or English he is speaking so hardcore Danglish so I really couldn’t understand him entirely. Other than, “we have a big problem" and come down there, not sure where and "talk to the police." So I replied with "we will call you back in a sec." So I explained what little I understood to my companion and we decided to call him back and see if we could get a little bit more information. So we called him again in an attempt to find out more about what is going on. Fortunately we were able to talk to Diana the daughter of the Serbian family. And she told us that apparently Ziad's brother came and try and get money from him but he obviously didn't have any. So Ziad's brother said that he was gonna get some people and come back and kill him. So they wanted us to come down and call the police for them because they can't speak that great of German. Obviously we were not going to go down there and get ourselves involved with the police or worse get killed by Ziad's brother. So we said we would call them back. And then we called the Elders in Bremen, to see if they knew what the number was for the police because we did not know it. So we got the number and gave it to the family and told them to just say that you can't speak very good German and if you could speak with someone who could speak English, because the daughter can speak pretty good English for some strange reason. Haha but all and all things came out alright and no one got hurt.
Remember how I told you all that we live in an interesting part of the city? Well on the outskirts of it at least. Well haha they really should have told us what streets not to go down. Because just the other day as we were walking and not paying attention to where exactly we were going other than the direction back to the apartment. We were just looking at the ground and talking to each other. And then I look up for a second and boom! haha I ausgeflippt! Whoa! And immediately began walking in the other direction and urging my companion to follow me. My companion was confused at first and even said, "What...What's wrong?!" Until he looked where he was and quickly understood where we were. There was even some guy laughing when he saw my reaction. Haha this street is right off of a busy street that we are always on so I never expected it to happen. So this week was filled with a lot of weird instances like that. haha
Okay now to something a lot cooler! So this week we found a man named Ball who is from India and getting a masters in some complicated engineering degree that I can't remember. I talked to him shortly after he got out of a bus and with his headphones in. So not the most opportune of moments but when they say talk to everyone in the MTC they mean talk to everyone. Despite it being such a random moment, we quickly set out an appointment. We met with him a couple days after and I am doing a horrible job of explaining, but it just went great. He said that he really has been looking to come back to God and strengthen his relationship with him. We showed him the restoration video and right after it was over and the church logo name showed up, he stops and says..."That church is in India! It is like 5 minutes from my house." I don't know really what else to say other than he is a really cool young guy and hopefully we will get him on a baptismal date the next time we meet with him.
The mission it seems to be an ever evolving experience. The general view of it in my mind is quite interesting. Usually when the mission is frustrating it is because something is distracting you or you or something with you is breaking the established rules. It takes away from your purpose, your focus, and your spirit as a missionary. It is sometimes saddening to see how many missionaries fail to understand obedience and the blessings that come from it. One of many hopes of mine is to live in crescendo. Bit by bit, day by day, it is folly to think that you can put on a suit and tie and come out on a mission and you will suddenly change into another person. D&C 58:26-28 "For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward."
We cannot expect to change without putting our own faith and efforts into work. I pray that I can take advantage of the enabling sacrifice of the Atonement and do what is beyond my own capability and please my Heavenly Father each and every day.