Well, what a week. We served a LOT! The flood was tragic and has disrupted the lives of many, but at the same time, we have also seen so many come to the aid of others. Truly impressive! If you think about it, not many missionaries get to see a community come together like this and have this kind of experience. From this perspective, it has been a way cool week! We weren’t able to teach much, but we served in other ways.
So last Monday was straight up hectic. After emails, we had to move. This consisted of throwing EVERYTHING into suitcases and in the pouring raining trekking it across town. 4 times..... It took all Pday. We didn't even get any Missionary work in... sad. But in the new apartment we had electricity! Plus it is SUPER SUPER nice. Probably the best missionary apartment out of every mission in the world. I will have to show a video. So we didn´t have water for a day. It was quite an adventure. Luckily we have the best branch pres. & wife and they brought us a ton of water that we could boil and drink or use for such purposes such as washing inch thick mud out of our hair ;) it was quite an interesting, wet, dirty experience. But what hasn't been this week? We were not the typical skirt-wearing, rainbowlike-smelling missionaries. We have been told to boil the water (for the next 3 weeks) from our tap for food and drink but I have actually been able to shower everyday.
Our district meeting was canceled this week, so we took the opportunity to find some kellers (cellars) and scoop out water and mud! We have helped many people, but surprisingly, the first 2 days were actually hard to help people. Weird right? We would walk around and just ask and 9/10 times the people would say no. So it was A LOT OF WALKING. And, no buses were running. Let me tell you, the cheapest rain boots we could find, were NOT nice to our feet. I have never been so tired those 2 nights, I slept like a baby. We even decided to make dinner in our rollychairs (we have wood floors and brand new desk chairs! What else is expected??)
Okay, so Wednesday afternoon, we found out about this "service center." It is so cool! You go and they have assignments for you. So no wasting time looking! It was so awesome and they provided tools. I have never seen such a well-ran program. Everyone was just working together, and it really was just such a happy thing. People that couldn't manually work made food for everyone! It was such a team effort. People going around handing out food and everyone just working together and doing whatever they could. (Plus I got to try some German snacks I probably would have never got the opportunity to, cool ja? My favorite ended up being called an "americaner," haha who would have guessed) So needless to say, we have basically used the center ever since, except unplanned service opportunities. We even saw the Sagmeisters there. We did a project with them cleaning out a keller, but I am actually pretty sure it was a night club. How many missionaries can say they have worked at a nightclub and a bar while on their mission.... hahaha.
I will talk about some of my favorites this week. So we had a finding day in Passau this week, but we turned it to a service day. So the elders in our district came and we did some work. As we were walking to an assignment, we came across an old man pushing a wheelbarrow from his keller. We asked him if he would like some help and he said yes. I am SO glad we were able to help them. They are two elderly people with a keller FULL of tools (the reason why there are tools in my pictures), in high, unsafe places. The Elders were even having a hard time with some stuff. What took us 2 hours, would have taken them weeks. I have never been so grateful to help. They were so, so cute. They spoke in thick Bayerisch ( I REALLY want to learn bayerisch, but I figure I should learn German first :) ) We even got a picture with them. We are planning to print it out and give it to them next week. They were just ADORABLE.
Another cool opportunity was working side by side with the German Army (they were EVERYWHERE). This was also an unplanned service. It was really fun and we got REALLY dirty. Sister G has a picture of us after that, Ill have to get it from her. It was the biggest assembly line I have ever seen. Passing buckets of mud back and forth. It was REALLY fun. We also saw one of our Investigators there-So that was cool.
My 3rd favorite was this morning. There is this hotel on the Donau that looks really cool. This week when we saw it, 2 floors were underwater. I thought it would be an awesome place to help. Today we got to! ( the water level is CRAZY low today, almost back to normal!) We worked there with people that worked at the hotel, mainly a girl from Brazil (San Paulo), a lady from Spain, and a lady from Hungary. I've decided people NOT from Germany speak better German, because I can understand them better ;) We got to talk a lot and really get the place cleaned up. It was a really cool hotel. Kind of like a high quality hostel, and you know I have always wanted to stay in one of those! haha. I think the girl from Brazil may be interested in hearing about the gospel. We are going back Thursday to help some more.
Sunday, our stake had a "special stake conference" where Elder Nelson, his wife, President Miles, his wife, the Swiss temple president, and the stake president spoke. It was awesome! Elder Nelson really focused on children and what to teach your children. He had all the primary kids stand on their chairs and sing I am a child of God. SO cute. I miss my primary class! I really enjoyed everything he focused on. But the crazy thing is this. He said missionary work is going to change how it is done. The announcement will be made on June 23. Holy Cow. I am so nervous, excited, everything! I AM DYING TO KNOW. My companion and I have pretty much guessed everything it could be, now we just wait. AH! It is KILLING me. I hope we get to watch the broadcast. Of course, the Nelson's talks were auf English. However, he closed with his testimony, auf flawless Deutsch... it was so awesome. Apostles and Prophets are seriously the coolest.
Funny story, on the way to our 6 o’clock train Sunday morning, we figured out we forgot our nametags.... (they were caked with dirt waiting in the bathroom to be cleaned off....) It felt SO WEIRD. I can’t even imagine what it will feel like when I am no longer a missionary. I felt different. We called the München sisters, who let us borrow theirs for the meeting, but the train ride was just weird. I love being a missionary way too much :)
Our untersucher mit ein Taufttermine (investigator planning to be baptized) is doing GREAT! We hadn't met with him at all for 2 weeks ago and he hasn’t been to church in 2 weeks. I did wonder if he was OK, however, we finally met with him. He is so excited about the Gospel and his baptism! I am so excited for him I have never met someone so new to the Book of Mormon and who just absorbs it like he does. He loves it, we barely get any lessons in because he just wants to read it with us and get our interpretations. It is so fun. We had 2 lessons with him this week (hence the 2 sonstige haha). During the first one we had quite a weird experience. A guy came up to us and asked what we were reading. We told him, then he asked if we were God. After saying no, he went on to tell us he was God. He was obviously not all there mentally, but it was definitely a Spirit killer. Teaching outside in public is difficult, but at least this week, it was sunny!!
Also, we stopped by on Maria (the lady who was so excited we were giving her the Book Of Mormon for free and asked us to stop by the next week). It was interesting because her son answered the door. He said that she is too old and that she doesn't need it. He shut the door but we heard her arguing that she wants to listen to us. After the flood issues calm down, there will be opportunities to see her. Patience. I think we will teach her! I am so excited for that! I am also excited to that we will now get Elders in Passau! It will be nice because we can use them to be able to teach inside if we have a single male investigator! I am also excited for Tuesday, Elder Nelson is specifically talking to the missionaries!
Anyway, I just have really been impressed by how all of Passau and neighboring cities have come together to help complete strangers. It has been an awesome experience. It has also been cool talking to people who wouldn’t show much interest in us when we wore our missionary clothes. We actually had a lady pass us on the street and exclaim, HEY YOU ARE AMERICAN. We stopped and talked and she said, " It's nice to see you get out of your suits and ties and get dirty at a time like this." I think it really opened a lot of people’s eyes to what we are about. toll.
Well that is enough rambling for now.
Bis spatter (until later)
|Serving others with the Sagmeister Family|