Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My First Commitment for Baptism!

  We only had 1 teaching appointment this week because everyone else was busy.  However, that teaching appt was great!  It was with Brother G.  We committed him to baptism in 3 weeks!!!!  It was amazing, our lesson was perfect, we helped him make a plan to prepare for baptism.  He came to church this week and the Bishop gave him a calling that day to be the usher at the door.  You could tell he enjoyed doing that.  After church he stayed and talked with some of the members.  Usually he just hurries and leaves.  So we are very excited for his Baptism on the 24th of January!!  We text him a good scripture everyday and talk to him every week, he has really progressed.  Our lessons went from 1 hour and 30 min  for the first lesson, then 1 hour, then the last lesson was 45 minutes.  It was better than any of the other lessons that we have had! (Editors note: Grant has said this about him in other letters: He is a really nice man in his late 50's and he has a wife and kid.  He is the school master, so his job is to take care of the school and his house is actually on the school grounds.  He loves to serve people and has been an investigator for 10 years so he knows literally everything.  He said he feels the Holy Ghost when the missionaries meet with him.  At first he talked the whole time in the lesson and you'd have to interrupt him to say something.  Now he listens to what we say and the lessons are shorter.)

This week was New Years.  The Germans really celebrate it!  We had a rule that we had to be home by 6:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve because everyone drinks and lights off fireworks, so it's not safe to be out on the street after 6.  They have this firework which is 1/8 the power of dynamite.  That's totally illegal in America, anyways they just buy those things and throw them and they sound like a bomb, it's so intense.  The first one I heard I dropped to the ground because I thought it was a bomb, NO JOKE THAT IS TRUE!  We had a normal day of tracting, then the fireworks started around 4:00 p.m. so we decided it would be best if we went to our apartment.  It was so loud.  I took a great video of the fireworks.  It literally sounded like World War 3 was happening!  All you heard was: Boom, Boom,Boom all night long! Some people were still lighting them off in the morning.  The next day when we went out, the streets and the sidewalks were covered with fireworks and gravel.  Germans don't use rock salt for snow, they just pour gravel on the streets, yeah it's good cause you don't slip, but then the snow melts and there is a ton of gravel on the sidewalks that get in your shoe and they don't clean it up.  At the end of the day I have to empty my shoes cause there is so much gravel in them.

This week was my one month mark in Germany, and man, time has flown by!   Last week for Pday, we went to see the city and boy that was a mistake!  There were so many tourists from all over.  I have never seen so many people in my life at something.  There was literally a line to get a picture by the Brandenburg Gate.  We went to the Berliner Dom.  It was so huge, we got in free because we were missionaries!

This week for Pday we went with a member and an investigator to the Sachenhosen Concentration Camp.  That was amazing.  The feeling you get there is indescribable.  It was huge, I don't know what to compare it to besides more than 3 or 4 football fields.  Most of the buildings got demolished but the foundations are still there.  They still had some ovens where they would burn the bodies. There is a sign by the camp that tells about the death march.  After that we went to a Thai Restaurant with the Sister's Investigator (the Sister Missionaries came with us).  It was way good, everyone knows him because he used to be a monk for Buddhism.  But anyways, he is quite possibly the nicest man I have ever met in my life.

It turns out mushrooms are very good and I like them a lot! Just like I like veggies!  It truly is a miracle.
I miss everyone!  I'm still loving Germany.  My German keeps getting better and better each day!
Elder Spangenberg
 This is just outside of the Concentration Camp, it translates to "Memorial"
 This is the star that a Jewish prisoner would wear on their clothes, this is an actual one that was used.
 Bottle found with a message inside.
 What the message said
 The gate to enter the camp.  It translates to "Work makes Free""
 Poster about the Assassination attempt of Hitler by the Camp
 A poster outside of the camp
 Model of the camp.  It is huge, bigger than anything I've ever seen before.  We saw less than a quarter of it because the rest of it was demolished or it was mostly housing for guards.
 Memorial for the different groups who were persecuted at the camp.  Each triangle is a different group.
 The ovens where the dead prisoners would be cremated.
 This is the neutral zone. The sign says you will be shot without warning if you are here.
 Sign for the memorial of the Death March
 This is where they would take prisoners (mostly Dutch) and shoot them in that room.
 Where the Prisoner Ashes are buried
This is one of the work sites.  There were 50 of these.

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