Thank you so much for all the wonderful e-mails. I really do appreciate all the time you take out of your busy, crazy, stressful lives to write me words of encouragement and to let me know what's been happening in your own personal lives. It helps me feel a part of your life, even when I'm on the other side of the world! So thanks!
I wish I had time to write you all back individually. It takes me close to an hour to read all your letters, and then I need about 20 minutess to write Pres. and report on how the Zone is doing with its respective Districts. So I usually have only about 40 minutess to write friends and family. I try to reply and wish I could write more than a few lines but it just doesn't work lol. I love you so much and yes...I'm starting to get a bit excited about see you all again, skyping on Christmas! Kass and Scott, I won't be able to see you but I guess it's only like 2 months after Christmas when I'm home again so no big deal lol. I've been a Zone Leader in this mission since January 1st. The Assistent to the President just told me on Monday that I'm the longest serving Zone Leader in the mission. I'm wondering if I'm going to finish my mission here in Hamburg or not. I really hope so, but at the same time I would love to train again before coming home. We'll see what happens. Our Mission President is awesome, and receives revelation from the Lord for each of us.
I'm really excited that Elder McK. and I are staying 3 transfers together. We get along really well and love working together. We're both hard workers and our Zone is so awesome. We really focus a lot on obedience and striving for exact obedience with everything. Success of a missionary is not based on how many baptisms he gets, but how obedient and faithful he was as a servant of the Lord. It's so important to always have the spirit with you.
This last week was great. It was the worst week we had number wise because we didn't find a single new investigator and we couln’t meet with the 2 investigators we have. We had a lot of member visits to involve them in the work of salvation, and also a lot of finding time. We're really focusing on using all our time to talk with people wherever we are like Elder Ballard said in General.Conference - that means wherever we are and whatever we're doing. We're risking the awkward and talking with people in the trains and buses! Sometimes they completely reject you and act like they didn't hear what you said to them and then it's really awkward for the next 5-10minutes, ha-ha, but other times you can get some pretty good conversations. Our name tag is a magnet too. We talk to someone about the weather and all of a sudden they're asking us why we're here and why we're wearing a name tag... “Well, let me tell you...” BAM, restoration! We don't see many new inv. from it but the point is to always be engaged in talking. Of course you gotta have a balance. Sometimes you need those train rides or short bus rides to get a chance to cool down and like Kass said, 'Meditate'. But when we're fit we use the time, we as the Zone Leaders, are doing it so that our zone does it too. Lead by example. We also had a man stop us because he saw “Jesu Christi” on our nametag and wanted to know who we were. Don't see that happen too often in Hamburg.
I have to agree with you Dad, the fall is beautiful. Hamburg is so pretty in the fall, too, because of how many trees there are. Everything green is turning colours. I'll have to take more pictures and send some. M., Brother Stephens son will be able to meet next week. He's finally gets a break from his 200 kids that he teaches French to. We're excited to be meeting him! He's got a desire to learn and be baptized. I think even when we work super hard and don't see the success we want, it’s comforting to know that we're working with the Lord, and that he's always with us.
Something I've started doing for about 2 weeks now is just taking the last 15minutres of the day (10:15pm) to lie in my bed and read. It really helps me get that quiet time I need so that I never feel I don't have time for me. I can feel the effects from it and I don't burn out so fast.
Thanks again to all of you for writing me. I'm doing great and so is my companion. I hope you all have a great week, and know that you're always in my prayers.