Greetings from the Fatherland

Greetings again from the Fatherland,
Well, simply put I cannot write everything in an email. If I had all-day I might be able to but there’s just so much I learn and do everyday that it’s impossible to explain everything. It’s amazing. I’ll write as much as I can.
Hokay, I’ll talk about the baptism first. Seems like a great place to start. Sieglinda Jacob was baptized yesterday by her son, Christopher, who has been baptized for only a month and a half!  The room was full and I was priviliged to play the piano, say the opening prayer and participate in the confirmation during Sacrament meeting.  Elder Anderson was the one who did the confirmation and he did a great job. Sieglinda was so excited and the support she received from the ward and her family was wonderful. I don’t think we have to worry about less-actives in that family. We’ll continue meeting with her and teach her other lessons that are meant for those who just got baptized because it seems silly to teach her lessons for people who haven’t been baptized. We went over to the Jacob’s house for lunch yesterday and I was stuffed.  Which is saying something.  Gulash and noodles, bread, and amazing cake really hit the spot. Yet again, I will emphasize this…FEED THE MISSIONARIES!!!!!!!  That’s all I’ll say about that.
Anyway, the baptism was only the beginning to a great day. I believe I told you about Simone, the African at the refugee camp? Yeah, he’s so excited about everything we tell him. We gave him a Book of Mormon two weeks ago, and he’s already in Alma. He loves the stories and he knows it’s true because it talks of Jesus Christ and gives him so much joy he can’t express it.  Those were his words by the way.  “I can’t express it.”  We went to Mosiah 18 and spoke about baptism and the importance.  We then asked him if he had the desire to be baptized. Again, here’s the words right out of his mouth. “Yes, very much. No problem.” Woo-hoooooooooo!!!!!  We set a date for December 5th because he smokes and we knew it.  However, later on in the appointment he said, “I smoke, but I hate it. I wish I never started and I want to stop really bad.” …Woo-hoooooo!!!!  We told him that we would help him overcome it but the best person to ask for help was Heavenly Father.  He knows that, and I told him that everytime he had a craving to smok, he needed to leave the building and go read his Book of Mormon at the soccer field.  If he did this he would stop smoking and he could be baptized.  He got the biggest grin on his face and shook my hand and said, “Thank you very much!” in his awesome African accent.  Elder Anderson and I both agree that he could be baptized by the end of October.  We are really excited.  To use Elder Anderson’s words, “This guy is a spiritual monster!  A beast!  He’s huge!”
Those are the two success stories of the week. Let’s see, what else…oh yeah.  I had an adventure on Thursday.  Elder Jorgenson, our district leader, exchanged with Elder Anderson so that he could come up to Coburg so that he could do the baptismal interview with Sieglinda.  We were on the train from Bamberg and we were supposed to change trains in Lichtenfels to get back here.  Notice that I used the word “supposed.”  Yup, we didn’t get off.  We continued going north, and north, and north…finally we realized that something was not right so we asked the ticket-guy what to do.  When we told him that we wanted to go to Coburg he looked at us like we were stupid and asked, “Why are you on this train?” Long story short, we had to get off at the next stop, otherwise we would no longer be in Bavaria and our train ticket wouldn’t be valid. W e’d have to pay 40€ to get back there.  So we got off in this little village, called Ludwigstadt.  It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  Elder Jorgenson said it reminded him of the area he served in in Austria.  Big rolling hills, trees, a little stream going through the village and beautiful architecture.  Amazing.  We hung out there until the next train, which was an hour later, and went back to Coburg.  It was awesome.
I’m running out of time so I’ll just quickly list some other stuff that’s happened…we doored some areas on Saturday, found a couple people that I feel really good about, talked to a crazy drunk guy that yelled profanities at us from across the street and then said that we could teach him if we could list the 10 commandments in order, met some other people who were flakey but interested, got a flat tire a couple times, because the repairman didn’t fix it, played vollyball, went to zone conference, and made a big mistake. I was doing my laundry, and I somehow missed a black sock when taking it out of the washing machine, and then put my white shirts in. Well, formerly-white shirts. They are now a beautiful shade of blue. I have three white shirts, and all the rest are…different. I’m going to buy some of the powerful color-remover and wash them a few times. Otherwise, I’ll have to buy some new shirts.  My German’s doing fairly well.  I’m starting to be more comfortable teaching in lessons and speaking to people on the street.  I still have a little trouble of course, but I’m doing great in communicating what I want. Okay, that’s the week. We’ll see what happens this week.
Elder Mayle.

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