Hallo, Moin, und Janz Jut!
Welcome welcome to the Neubrandenburg/Prenzlau Experience! Unfortunately the one ticket for the show has been already bought and is now in use. Anyways let’s get right to it shall we? So...each week has slowly and slowly been more and more successful as time goes by in this area. Hopefully this coming week will prove to follow the same pattern.
Well if the mission’s job is to make you morph into some unidentifiable creature then the mission is sure doing its job. I mean not to sound self-absorbed or anything. But looking into the mirror in the apartment right before we head out the door, I say to myself sometimes, "That is a pretty handsome guy right there." And then we go down a couple steps and get into the elevator and there happens also to be another mirror. Then I say to myself, "oooh not one of the better days." And then we get to the bottom floor and we go outside and get in the car. And then what do you know there is the rear-view mirror and when I look at myself at that point, I end up screaming to myself, "Who are you?! I am not a monster!" So in other words the metamorphosis is almost complete. It is quite weird looking at Elders and Sisters pictures when they first got on the mission and then how they are in the present or towards the end of their missions. I am not excited to see my final transformation but unfortunately I am thinking it is going to be a thicker transformation. Eeegad!
So we teach this family that comes out of Iraq but they are actually Kurdish. And really why I am bringing them up is because the Kurdish people don't really have a written language or at least none of them can actually read it. So basically it makes it that much harder to learn a new language. Fortunately we met the oldest son of the family who is 21, and he can speak enough German that there is no barrier between us. The father on the other hand has some pretty interesting German. For example things like, Gott helfen, aber was machen, ich haben, amongst many other things. And maybe you have to know a little bit of German to understand exactly why what I wrote is so bad. But really we are just lucky his son is there to translate. While we are on the topic of foreigners, let us talk about the woes of foreigners in this country. Or the woes of our African investigators. So for the longest time while I have been here, I have always noticed that barely any Africans can actually speak German. And I always thought why are they so lazy?! But what I found out is that they aren't even allowed to take German courses! Because unless you are a refuge from some dangerous country, you are not allowed to take a German course until you have your papers which is really hard unless you are under the above stated circumstances. And two of the Africans that we teach, when they were crossing the sea in the big boat full of people...their boats sank! And they were one of the few survivors on the entire ship. It was kind of an eye opening experience for me. Because they went on to talk about their experiences in Africa and how maybe there father died or their father left when they were little and they didn't grow up in the best of circumstances and weren't around the best sort of people and that Europe was literally like a sort of saving land. Where they could get away from it all and get jobs and then either have a better life here or like some of them to be able to send some money back to Africa to help their families or their younger siblings. And I am not saying all of this to defend Africans in Germany now. But really I understand a little bit more of where they are coming from and how life isn't so grand for them in Germany either and that is why a lot of them turn to drinking in order to forget about some of their troubles. It is very interesting indeed the troubles they have had. I am just grateful to be able to meet and teach some of the more noble ones, who truly did have sincere intents and submit themselves fully to the law. There really is just a lot of great people all over the world, you just have to sit down and take the time to get to know them.
Don't worry though we still teach plenty of other Germans, although they are a little bit more closed off and sometimes have very interesting and deep rooted feelings and thoughts. It was actually kind of interesting because this week we met with a German man. And we had set out this appointment like 3 weeks or so in advance and we finally meet him and he lets us into his very nice house or at least one of the nicer ones I have been in on my mission. And we sit down with him at the table and I literally say one comment about how he has a nice house and then it all started. Haha for the next hour and a half he just talked our ears off. We had little to no room to talk because we would say something or ask a question and then would have a whole life story to answer a simple question with the expected answer at the end that he could have said from the beginning and saved all that effort. However by the end he had showed some very big promise and actually apologized for doing just about all of the talking because it was important that we got to know him a little bit. Oh yeah I remembered what I wanted to say. He did say something interesting though and that was that everyone in Germany gets taught in the school that Mormons or that our Church is a cult. That is just utterly infuriating. Don't worry he is on our side and said that we should really do something about that and have the government change that. And just to see if he was really telling the truth. A day later when we were dooring a neighborhood, a very nice 20 year girl answered and talked with us for a bit. And during said conversation I said that is sad or that I had heard that people are taught in school that we are a cult. And then she said yes that she remembers at some point in school they had some topic about cults and that they ended up saying something about Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses being a cult. And I don't like the Jehovah's Witnesses very much, but they aren't a cult either. I can say that much about them. Some of the troubles we have here as missionaries in Germany are quite ridiculous.
One last piece of news before I leave you to your everyday lives. Next week because we will be in Prenzlau on Sunday and because the Branch President is going to be out of town for a baptism of one of his grand kids. My companion and I are basically left in charge next Sunday. So not only do we get to give talks as we always do but we also get to preside over the entire branch. Well haha didn't think I would be doing anything like that while on the mission but na ja. Haha not so scary now as it would have been a year ago and probably completely unimaginable any time before that. But just thought I would let you all know, seeing as I found it interesting. But that is all for this week, I hope you all have a great week ahead of you and I keep you all within my prayers.