Wednesday, December 16, 2015
This week was mind. blowingly. WONDERFUL.
I don't even know where to begin!
Adil. We'll start with him (this is the guy who walked five hours to get to church last Sunday). We met with him three times last week, and during our appointment on Tuesday, he shared a really incredible experience with us! He said, "I went to church on Sunday, as you know...and that night, I couldn't sleep at all. I finally fell asleep Monday morning sometime. While I was asleep, I had a dream. I was back on that street where we met, and a man appeared and pointed me to the two of you." The dream continued on similarly to what had actually happened (we stopped him, talked about prayer and so on)...cool, nah?! One of the neatest things about serving in such a culturally diverse place is getting to see the different means Heavenly Father uses to communicate with His children hear on earth!! Anyway yeah! At the end of that same lesson, we invited him to pray and he just sat there quietly for a solid minute afterwards. We asked him how he was feeling and he was like "strange...warm...I need to go lay on my bed." Haha. We assured him that the feelings that he was having were assurances from God that that which we'd shared with him was true! He's perfect, y'all. HE TAKES NOTES WHILE WE TEACH. NOTES. And he just wants answers and help and guidance and the truth SO BAD. He walked all the way from rheinhausen AGAIN to meet with us!! The kid is amazing!! I'm blown away with his willingness to do whatever it takes to learn wisdom and understand truth! Love him!!
After our appointment on Saturday, he stayed for the ward Christmas party AKA Christmas miracle night. I'm about to go on a really long rant about the events that took place that evening so take a seat. Sister Roderrer sat by him and basically had a two hour conversation about all sorts of gospel related topics.
I sat by a member's less active daughter, nonmember son-in-law (Christian) and their nonmember friend (Sara)!! She was so cute!! She's going through lots of really hard things right now—separated from her husband, can't see her three little boys too often, doesn't have much contact with her other family members...and she doesn't have a home, either (She's actually living with Christian & his wife at the moment). Despite all the crazy challenges life has thrown her way, she still manages to keep smiling and stay optimistic! I was so impressed by her attitude. To make matters even more exciting, she came to church on Sunday!!! Christian and his wife have been coming for the last month or so...so hopefully she starts joining them regularly! The gospel is JUST what she needs—especially with all the stress and sorrow she's feeling right now!
Sister Johnson sat by Ralph. Oh my gosh. Ralph. He's flawless. Golden. Literally could get baptized like right now if he wanted. We contacted him while waiting for our ubahn in sittardsburg on Tuesday using the Christmas initiative cards!! He was familiar with our church—said that about 20 years ago he visited our building in Düsseldorf upon invitation by missionaries! We asked him what he thought, shared with him the very basics of what we believe, exchanged numbers so we could meet and chat more, and invited him to our Christmas party! AND HE CAME!! Sister Johnson sat by him and had THE NEATEST CONVERSATION. EVER. I got to talk with him for a while afterwards and wow. Just wow. Growing up, his mom was incredibly religious and had more faith than just about anyone. She was constantly battling cancer, and at one point, was told she was going to die for sure. She stayed up all night praying...and woke up the next morning completely healed!! He ended up marrying an alcoholic woman, having two kids with her then getting a divorce. He raised his two kids by himself...and despite this HUGE trial...his faith remained! Largely in part to his incredible mother. He studied with the JWs for a while but just didn't feel right about their church. He realized there HAD to be a church out there with authority from God. On Tuesday morning, he felt prompted to visit the doctor...and on his way home, ran into us!! Though we didn't think too much of him, and at the moment, he didn't think too much about us, he went home and spent hours upon hours researching everything he could about our church. He even chatted with missionaries online (for about 2 hours, might I add)!!
In just a few short days, he's developed an incredible love for the Ensigns (this is literally what he said to me at one point "December’s was good this year, but December 2014’s was better" I was like ARE YOU KIDDING ME I DON’T EVEN READ THOSE THINGS, YOU’RE PERFECT). He's obsessed with the commandments and has resolved to quit smoking, he believes Jospeh Smith is a prophet of God (I asked him if he found Jospeh Smith’s experiences unbelievable or weird at first and he was like no! I didn't! Not at all!). The guy even asked us if he could see the baptismal font during the Christmas party! We had pretty asked him all the baptismal interview questions before the night ended...and he's literally perfect. He came to church on Sunday and LOVED it.
This whole week has been SUCH a testimony strengthener that the hearts of the people here in Germany really are prepared to hear and accept the gospel...it’s just one big treasure hunt to find those humble seekers of truth!!
Zone conference and MLC were amazing. Elder Johnson from the 70 came and spoke at both, which was a super neat experience. He and his wife are not only way sweet, but wonderful speakers and teachers, too!! It's been a great week thus far (:
Hope y’alls has been great, too!! Can't wait to skype with you next week...and then SEE YOU IN PERSON IN ABOUT 11. Keep it real (:
P.S. we had ANOTHER encounter with the police this week!!! They rang our doorbell at about 7:30 a couple mornings ago, and said they needed to be let in the building. Then they knocked on our door, showed us their badges, pulled out a picture and asked "have you seen this man?" Sister Johnson and I recognized him as someone we'd contacted a few days ago. Homegirl gasped really loud and was like "Dennis!" And the cops were like "no...Mike". Hahahahaha we need to get better at working well under pressure...especially when the police are involved.
P.P.S. The drit life is great. An adjustment for sure, but Sister Roderrer is the angel everyone said she was, so things are going well (: