Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Week

Fresh Snow Right Outside my Apartment
Today it snowed a good 5 inches, I couldn't believe it.  Yesterday was probably the coldest day I have ever witnessed in my life, everything was frozen.  Today for Pday we are visiting the city and seeing the Holocaust Memorial for all the murdered jews. So that should be interesting.  We are also going inside the Berliner Dom, which is a huge church looking building.  Then to the Rittersport Factory and getting a ton of chocolate.  They sell 6 pounds for 6 Euros, which is a great deal.  Look for chocolate in the mail!

This past Christmas week we didn't find and talk to people because there was no one to talk to because they were all inside.  Christmas Eve was great.  We went to a members house and played the game, Settlers of Catan, which  I have played with my family in Utah.  It was fun to play that game again.  I ended up winning of course.  Then on Christmas day we went to the Doudous'.  He is our Ward Mission Leader.  He is fairly young, about 23, and just returned from his mission to England in like April, so he is awesome.  We went over to his Mom and his house.  They cooked Turkey Routcol and Knodel(dumplings).  It was really good.  After that I talked to my family for 40 minutes. It felt very short but it was good.  So good to see your faces and hear your voices on Skype!  I had a wonderful Christmas and it was so great to see everyone in my family.  Everyone looks great and healthy.  I'll see you again in 5 months!

The 26th was our Pday, but a member signed up to have us for lunch.  We went over to the Richters and it was good.  They are an older couple and that invites us over often.  We have been going over there every other week.  We usually sit at the table for an hour just talking.  This time they cooked pizza.  One pizza they cooked had ketchup, Rotcoul, Wurst, and Cheese.  It actually tasted pretty good.  After that we were so tired, my companion and I went back to the apartment to take a 30 min nap and  then go out and go shopping for the rest of Pday.  But we were so exhausted from the week, it ended up being a 3 hour nap.

We did teach a couple of lessons this week! One of our investigators Brother R. was a referral from the church office.  We met with him and he came and said, "I already know everything about your church, that's not why I came".  He said he believes and knows our church is true, however he has strong opposition from his family.  His friends and family are Muslim and they think he is going crazy and will not accept him.  He has to hide his Book of Mormon from his family, and he has no friends in the church.  He asked us what he should do, and we asked if he prays.  He said he does when he can come to church.  He then asked if he could come on the 26th and pray in this church.  We then said, "You don't have to be in a church to pray."  At that point he was surprised, he didn't know that!  We gave a lesson about prayer.  At one point there was a good silence for about a minute and you could feel the spirit so strong in that lesson.  He said he wants to be baptized and he would try praying everyday, now that he knew he could.

Our second new investigator, Brother A was the older man we found on the street.  He forgot our first appointment but we called him and he showed up right on time to this one.  He has golden written all over him!  Golden means "ready" in missionary language.  So yeah, he is in his 60s and was a Protestant and is way cool.  He talked about how he believes it was no coincidence we found him.  He said the day we found him he had a voice say to him, "Hey those 2 nicely dressed young men are going to talk to you, pay attention to what they say to you."  He described the voice as a whisper and then said that he thinks it was God saying that to him.  SO that was amazing.  We know that it was definately the voice of the Holy Ghost.

We didn't teach him too much doctrine because it was the first lesson.  He complimented us on our dress and said we always look so nice.  He even saw our watches and my companion's watch is a square touch screen ipod nano.  He was like,"Wow, the missionaries even have ipods for their watches, Wow what a church!"   He is an architect and he builds American Houses in Germany.  The houses here are so different and small compared to the U.S..  He showed us some pictures of the houses he built that would be huge compared to German houses but normal compared to U.S. houses.  He also gave us a cookie mix.  We are now pretty good friends.  He told us some good places to eat at and to go see.  He even said that one Pday he is going to take us and show us some places in Berlin.  So hopefully he thinks we are normal people like him, and we will stay in contact.

On Sunday we had church.  A cool story is that one of the sisters investigator's Mom came to church.  She drinks, smokes, and uses drugs.  She had her kids taken from her because she isn't able to care for them.  So she came to church for the first time and nobody knew who she was.  The spirit touched her so strong you could tell.  She would always nod and be like, "Oh veah um hum, yes" to the talks that were given.  After that the sisters got her number and now she is an investigator.  The sister that sat next to her said that she smelled so bad and smelled like smoke, but she still came.  So that was a cool story worth sharing.
After church we had a dinner appt at a members house.  Br. Silva picked on me so much because my German isn't that good.  His German isn't that good either, it's just that he likes picking on people who don't speak German as well as he does.  He is from Brazil.  But he is awesome and really funny.  Then we had a meeting with the mission leader.  Just before the meeting started we got a call from the zone leaders saying that a dad of one of the investigators in the different area called the missionaries and said he is committing suicide.  He lives in our area.  The Zone Leaders told us to go to the man's house and see if we could help him.  Then the AP's called and said NOT to go, that the Mission President doesn't want the missionaries involved, so we didn't go. The man called the missionaries again asking if they were coming over and instead, the police went over.  Hopefully everything went good.
Elder Spangenberg

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