"Servus! Wir machen eine Umfrage, kannst du-"
"Yoo are Mormona? Yes?"
"Yes, you speak English? What have you heard about mormons?"
"Da. I spееk aиglish. I have heard говорить человек"
"Where are you from?"
During one of our ausstellungs we met this russian guy, and he spoke with the thickest russian accent ever. I could feel the hammer and sickle rushin' to my ears. But by far the most impressive part about this super nice man was his amazing beer belly. Literally every time this man spoke, his stomach would wiggle slightly upwards and when he stopped speaking, it would drop. It looked like a basketball being dribbled and I'm sorry to say, but I was mesmerized by it.
I think we ended up Putin a Russian book of Mormon in his hands, but I can't remember. He was actually a really nice guy though but it was hard to understand because he would sometimes switch to Russian randomly.
So that's kind of how a lot of random encounters happen.
Every day or 2 you get at least one very strange man talking to you that have some unique qualities, like for instance, we went finding yesterday and stopped this one guy who saw the word church on our name tag and immediately told us "I don't want to live chaste, but I'll talk to you anyways." And we ended up giving him the first lesson on the streets and he talked to us about how he visited some Indian site and now he just lives free and goes with his gut with everything he does. It was very bizarre and he just had that duuuuuude feel to him. We're in contact with him Still though and were going to see if he felt the spirit from praying.
Finding is always an adventure, but appointments are also very strange sometimes. We started this area with like no appointments at all because the previous missionaries never did finding, but now we have appointments every day. Our most recent one was by a less active member
Lemme tell ya about him,
Imagine walking into a members home and seeing crosses everywhere.
"Ok" you might think, "he just likes the cross aesthetic probably"
And then you progress farther into the home and you see Catholic robes and pictures of Mary everywhere and you start thinking he likes the whole Roman Catholic vibe. It's all cool though, you'd probably do the same if you liked that kind of style. Then he sits you down on the couch and tells you to wait while he cooks dinner. You're on a nice comfy couch in a very Roman looking house with Roman Catholic magazines on the table and a big red curtain covering something on the other side of the room. You're companion has been here before and he tells you to go look behind the curtain. You unfold the curtains and its a HOLY MOTHER OF MARY
ITS A SHRINE TO MARY! He really likes the Catholic aesthetic.
Keep in mind he's still a member of the lds church.
You ask your companion about the shrine and he replies
"Yeah he showed it to us once and said he prays to it every now and then"
Well now, that's interesting. My companion later told us he really wants to be a cahholic priest, but he knows this church is true and that God wouldn't want him to be that, so he tries to be as Catholic as possible while going to the lds church from time to time. The conversations with him are also very... interesting. He'll tell some really very interesting stories that I wont repeat and he tries to sneak some Catholic doctrine in there to throw us off.
Going over to him is always an adventure, but he is really nice and we're going to his birthday this thursday.
Missions are full of that kind of stuff, but for the most part, you have more normal and spiritual appointments than weird ones. We went to the bishops house for dinner and we played tag with their children and then we taught a lesson for his child who's getting baptized soon and we did so good that the kid was like, "can you come over next sunday please?" And it totally wowed the bishop because he did not expect that.
And another time we ran into one of our investigators who's been thinking of joining the church for a few years and he saw us and said he feels like he knows our church is true because he's seen the fruits of it. One of our members took him in and gave him a shelter and feed him every day almost. He said he feels like he loves us like brothers and that he wants to have more lessons and he feels so silly for not recogniying our church as true earlier.
That totally floored us because he was someone who does not progress very fast at all. A lot of our lessons involve getting side tracked and talking about frying pans for 30 minutes straight, but this time he was to the point and sweet.
So yeah, we have a ton of cool spiritual things happen to us as well. Like, a lot.
Personal study is one of my favorite times because you really get to dig deep into the doctrine of the church and you just expand your knowledge of christ. And thats what we're all about - Christ.
The whole reason I'm out here talking to strangers on the street and loving the strangers on the street is because I want to be like Christ and give people happiness. You really get so much strength on this mission and if you use it wisely, you'll be able to keep on going and getting stronger.
It's a cool feeling to be able to focus entirely on Christ and be completely exhausted at the end of the day only to wake up and discover you have boundless energy for the day again. I don't think I've ever been happier than now in my life. I'm actually doing something and changing peoples lives and watching them become happier.
Anyways, I'll share some tiny stories:
Ausstellung - An Ausstellung is where you get a stand and place a bunch of book of mormons on it. We had 9 missionaries at our last Ausstellung in Munchen on the street and we also brought Balloons! One of the sisters dropped the helium canister though and the canister opened and started making lots of noise and she hurt her hand trying to stop it. It was a good way to get peoples attention though! Plus we had another canister for backup. We all got some balloons to give out to the people that day and we tried to give them to the scariest looking people. Didn't work out too well.
The Trio Unites
I got to do a skype call with the AP's and the my sister trio! It was so good and totally made my week. I've never seen anyone so happy as Sister Read in that call. She was just a ball of happiness screaming "Elder Mogensen! Sister Grundvig! Mansell!" and it supercharged my happiness and it just spread everywhere. It was a really good energy booster and I totally needed that. I really miss the goofy sister trio.
Kevin - We were heading to the Ausstellung in Munchen when we saw this guy with an american cowboy hat, so I talked to him and complimented his hat and then gave him a card. We saw him later at the Ausstellung area and I yelled KEVIN! And we talked and he asked one of the Munchen missionaries to preach in his church. I hope it went well. Kevin is rad
So yeah! Things are going amazing over here, I'm so glad I could be in this area because I get to see it grow from the beginning pretty much. Its so cool to have appointments with people and see them come in sad, but leave happy. I love it so much here!