Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Almost done being Trained!

This week was good. On Monday, we went to Potsdam which is palace grounds.  It was huge.  The palaces are like a 10 minute walk from each other and there are 5.  It felt like we were walking the whole day.  It wasn't as cool as going in the summer because all of the statues were boxed up and lots of the trees and vines were dead.  But I still got a lot of cool photos.  Then we went to Freidens Kirche and saw the Christus statue and original one.  It is one of 3 in the World.  One in Denmark, Germany.  It's like the one at Temple square but it is made out of copper so it kind of turned a little green.  It was really cool.  Then we went to a coin shop and I got some 3rd Reichs Gold!

Tuesday, we had service at the creative center.  We mostly just got hammers and broke all these wooden things and then carried them to the trash.  Then we had studies.  Then we went to the Dentist.  They accepted the card this time with the paper the church provides that says that the church will pay for the bill if they send it to the office in Berlin.  So the lady called the office and everything worked out.  A cool thing is that her last name is also Spangenberg!  So I'm sure we are related somehow.  Then they looked at my teeth and they couldn't find anything wrong with them.  I had no cavities or anything so that was interesting.  They still hurt.  Then we bought stuff to make cookies and we had an exchange that night with the Glienicke Elders.

Wednesday, I woke up in Glienicke.  I was companions with Elder Smith.  He is on his last transfer.  He is a really good missionary.  I got a lot of helpful advice from him.  He also taught me how to cook this German food, so now we don't just eat pasta!haha  Then we had an appointment with a Jehovah's Witness Family. They are an older family and if I were to describe them it would be wolves in sheep's clothing. We just tried to teach the first lesson but periodically they would search through their scriptures and say something to combat what we were saying.  Essentially, they were bashing us.  They kept saying all these scriptures about their religion.  It is a very weird religion.

They believe God is a spirit.  Jesus was crucified on a pole, not a cross.  Adam is like the most wicked man on the earth because he partook of the fruit.  They think they won't remember anything after they are resurrected.  They can't talk to anyone who isn't a j-dub unless it is for missionary purposes.  They believe people who aren't their religion are of the devil.  And each member has to do a certain amount of hours of missionary work.  The government doesn't allow them to go up to people and talk to them like we can.  So they just stand there and try to give people a pamphlet.  They have their own version of the bible too, where everything is changed in it.  

So back to the appointment.  We said we aren't going to prove your religion wrong.  Then they were like, "No you have to, if our religion isn't right then tell us. If you keep the truth from us then you are like satan."  Then they scheduled an appointment with us to go back and bash.  But they said,"You can't use your book, you have to use our book".  So now we are looking for a j dub shuffle,  Which is a paper that proves the j dubs wrong with their own Bible.  A former j dub made it who is now a member of our church.  We left that house not feeling good.  You could tell something was wrong about that house even from the moment we walked inside.  It was weird.

Then we had another appointment with a lady named Frau Link.  She was late to pick us up so we went inside a store because there was a demonstration for Neo Nazis and NPDA  and all those groups about having no foreigners in Germany. So we decided to not get involved in that.
They finally came to pick us up.  We drove past the concentration camp and he told us the story of that.  That field is where from 1945-1950 the Russian's shot everybody in a uniform that wasn't theirs.  Quite a bit of people died there.  It didn't matter if it matter if it was a Nazi Uniform or not.  They shot guys who served in WW1 for the Germans.  They just found people who had a German Service Uniform and shot them, it's pretty sad.  Then we had our appointment . it was good we didn't have much time so we didn't stay for long, then it was time to exchange back.  My companion was Elder Frost in Spandau.  They couldn't exchange  that night because all the trains got cancelled.  It turned out a wild pig was hit by one of the trains.  So I ended up staying the night in Spandau.

Thursday, we had to stay in our apartment for some of the day because the landlord was coming by to check our window.  Then we went home teaching with a member.  We went to the one sister's house.  She gave us root beer floats, which is unheard of in Germany!  They hate root beer and think it tastes like medicine.  That being said, they think cough drops taste like candy.  You can't buy root beer in many stores and it's expensive.  So it was nice to enjoy that.  Then she talked on and on.  She is definitely a feminist.  She kept talking about how women aren't equal in the church and how women need this and women need that and women need the priesthood.  Then she talked about Gay rights and stuff and how she supports it and pretty much everything she said I didn't agree with, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to argue.  So yeah then she asked for a blessing and my companion gave it and we went home.

Friday, we made cookies because we had a Ward party that night.  It was a good party.  Everything was centered around Berlin... Berliner food, Berliner music.  It was really great.  We got to meet with a lot of members during that.
Saturday we were in Tiergarten the whole day.  We had Zone Training and it was really good.  Then Presdient Kosak spoke.  He talked about Auschwitz and showed us a video about it. 1.1 million people died there.  He said everyone should go to a concentration camp and experience the feeling.  He talked about focusing on the one.  It was very powerful.  Then we had interviews.  My companion and I were the last ones to be interviewed.  I got to talk to Sister Kosak while we were waiting.  She is really nice and she told me about Russia, which was interesting.  The we had interviews.  President told my companion he is leaving this transfer.  So I am getting a new companion this transfer.  I think I will be staying here in Spandau.

Then Sunday we had Ward Conference.  A member from the stake came and scolded all of the men for not doing their home teaching.  It's so true though only like 2 members do their home teaching.  As a result of that more than half of the ward is inactive.  Then we ate at the Richter's home.  We had my favorite German food: Rotkol and Knodel.  Then we had studies and went finding but no luck.

There's my week. Sorry it's so long.  A lot of stuff happened that wasn't normal.. This is my last week in the transfer before I am done being trained.  German is coming.  President Kosak scolded all of us for not doing German from 9-9.  He also committed me and my companion to run a 5k every other day for morning exercise.  He felt my arms and was like,"You are like pudding!, I need strong elders! 5k every other day!"  We did that today, wow my legs are sore, haha.  I'm excited and sad for this last week.  Me and Elder Fowler have really got along lately, we are like the exact same with how we think about things.  We both love sports and the same movies and music.  But I'm also excited to get to know a new companion.

Elder Spangenberg

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