Monday, June 23, 2014
Kevin's first letter from Germany:
I arrived in the Frankfurt airport on Wednesday morning, and it was huge! Never have I been to such a huge airport in my life. The 9 plus hour flight was actually really fun. Rather than try and sleep and study, I talked with some native Germans that hardly spoke any English. They had visited the states in a couple of different places, and we spent 2 or 3 hours just talking about Germany, the food, the festivals, and then probably another hour and a half of them showing me all of their pictures from their trips. Never have I met anyone who took so many photos. They handed me their tablet, and they would let me look. Finally I thought I was done, so I handed the tablet back and told them how cool I thought that was. Then they opened two more albums and handed it back. Haha, it was fun, but a lot of the photos were also personal or repeats. Such nice people though! We talked a little about how I am a missionary, and how I will be here for two years. They live in Heidelberg, and actually told me that if I am in the area, I should stop by. They even gave me their number and then wished me well. They also expressed to me many times how much they love beer. How German of them! haha.
The first day was awesome since I had slept four or five hours on the plane. We were all tired, but I was still perky and in some aspects kind of hyper. The older Elders and Sisters thought it was pretty funny since just about every other Elder or Sister in my group had fallen asleep or tried to fall asleep during orientation. Here I was, smilling and asking questions with my squinty eyes as open as they go. We then went out street contacting, and I saw a guy with a "Made in Detroit" T-shirt on, so I went over and talked to him. Unfortunately he wanted no part. Oh well. Most people will shew you away like a fly, but that's why we like to talk to people on trains and the bus!
I got my first real companion, Elder Arts, and we had a 2.5 hour ride on a bus from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof to Cologne. Rather than sleep on the bus, we talked a lot and shared stories. We eventually got back to our appartment and I will admit. It is prettty sketchy! My desk drawers are falling apart, and my bathroom is bigger than my kitchen! My stove/oven and fridge are basically fun size, which is pretty funny. Here's the good part. Our washing machine is also small, but it connects with a tube to the shower, and then has hoses that dump the water back into the tub when it's finished. I haven't gotten to try it yet, but I think it will be quite amusing getting a load done.
The people and the cars here are awesome! There is graffiti or however you spell it everywhere! We also had a quick visit to the Cologne Cathedral called the Dom. We got some pretty dang good eis/ice cream and a mango currywurst sausage with fries. Even Fanta tastes different here, but I actually like it better! I also see a bunch of really cool cars too, and they are sooo expensive sometimes. One thing that's odd to me, is that people take their dogs literally everywhere.
We had an investigator this week that said goodbye. I didn't really know him, and I couldn't really understand him. I actually think he was a little mentally handicapped, but it was still sad to see him go. It was harder for my companion because he knew him a lot better. Other than that, things couldn't be better! The only things are that it smells a little, and we can't find disinfectant to clean our aromatic bathroom. That's right mom, I want to clean my bathroom now! Haha.
The city is gorgeous, and the trains are awesome! Cologne is where I wanted to go, and is the biggest city in our mission. We and two sisters are responsible for the 2 million plus people living here. We too just had a massive storm in Cologne just before I came, and trees were knocked over everywhere, insomuch that some trains were shut down.
We live on the ninth floor and have a way awesome view of the city! Unfortunately we are on the opposite side from the Dom/Cologne Church. We actually went up to the 43 floor in our building, and we saw it from way far away. It's such a cool building, but unfortunately that's all that it really is seen as now. For hundreds of years people slaved away to build it, and the whole city is built around it, yet now nobody cares about religion. We were walking to get onto a Bahn, and this guy just totally stops us, asks us where we are from, and tells us that Germany doesn't like us. He was telling us that nobody is important, and that we shouldn't go around telling kids that God created the Earth. Basically telling us to go home.
Just want to thank everyone for the letters, and thank my aunt Cherill for the awesome letter and travel money! It totally saved me at the airport! Stay happy and be thankful for what you have, a lot of people here have a lot less than you. Love you all!