This week was quite an adventure!
On Monday we had a pretty uneventful day up until the evening. We had four elders overnight at our place for the zone conference taking place the next day. We stayed up rather late and then had to get up way early and be on the bus the next morning by 730. The thing that made my pday, was that we went and visited the Solingen apartment with the elders. Sounds lame, unless you watch the video I took! They have a fan that they call "The lawn mower" because it spins so fast and because the blades are made of metal. There actually is a sign that someone put on the switch saying it will cut off your fingers yikes! So there is a second label on the highest speed called "Potato Cutting Speed". So, what did we do for part of pday? We threw potatoes into the fan and dove for cover when we started throwing more solid objects. Boys will be boys!
The conference that we went to was pretty exciting, and I got to see a lot of really good friends. We talked mainly about obedience and the blessings it brings. It is something that is a process but that all of us are working on. We had a 1.5 hour bus ride and I was passed out for the whole thing after the long night. Everyone got their Christmas gifts too, and there was just such a fun exciting feeling of Christmas in the air! Everyone is very excited to skype and to open presents!
Wednesday we started handing out He is the Gift cards at the Christmas markets, but we got stopped by the guy who is renting the space and told us we couldn’t do it. The sisters were there too but we split up. We called them 3 or 4 times, but they are notorious for never answering, so it wasn’t surprising when they told us the next day that the cops had told them to stop haha. I also had a split that night. Holy cow did everything go crazy! Elder Dean and I went to go deliver some BoM´s in Urdu to a member, but the streetcars were down for about 30 minutes because of a car crash on the tracks. We then got there and waited for another half hour, and by the time he showed up we had cancelled our plans and rescheduled to do our split early. Ready to go, we hopped on a regional train but two stops away from our destination we stopped because there were power lines down all over the area for some reason. All of the trains began getting 30 minute delays or falling out. Because of that, we had 2 really awesome contacts and the spirit was there.
We ended up getting on a smaller train that pulled right up next to us and it took us the rest of the way. We then had to wait for the other elders to come so we could split, but all the trains fell out on their end too. Finally we got together! I pulled in to Wuppertal around 9 thinking we were going to get home on time, but that was for naught haha. Elder Tischner saw a man in a wheelchair across the track and so we went over and took him down to the bus stop he needed to go to. We actually went all the way to his house to help him get in since he needed someone to carry his wheelchair up the stairs while he hobbled. We took him on the bus and met two really cool people, and ended up having really good conversations with them. As for the guy we were helping....he smelled really bad haha. The whole bus smelled, and when we picked up the chair we found out why. Use your imagination! As he climbed the stairs and walked to his apartment, I got mooned for a solid 3 minutes! Then, thinking that it was all over, Elder T asked him if we could come by the next day and teach him. My thoughts were something along the lines of "Are you crazy? This guy is one of the worst smells I have ever experienced!". As bad as he did smell, Elder T taught me that everyone is deserving of a chance to hear the gospel. We are taught that growing up in the church, but it is a little different when you experience or learn something. It’s like having a pilot who has had years of experience landing planes Vs. someone who has only read about how to do it haha. Hope that made sense!
Last thing for that night! On the other side back in Köln, Elder Dean and Nelson were going through the main station when they heard someone yell, "Elders! I need your help!". The guy was baptized a few years back, but is now homeless and an alcoholic and wanted our number and help. I haven’t heard anything from him yet, but if all of the train junk didnt happen, nothing would have!
This week the sisters had a baptism! His name is Eric, and he is 11 years old. His mom is a convert from Brazil, but his Dad is not. He gets along great with the kids in the ward, and the service was great! We brought John too, and he really liked that. We ended up moving his date to sometime in early January because he wants his good friend to be there at his baptism. Hey I cant complain with that! Ill stay updated with that
Today is long, so buckle up! The other day we had dinner at a Chinese members house with the sisters as well. The member had the sisters serve us up even when we wanted seconds, and wouldn’t let us do it at all! I laughed and said "Merry Christmas Kevin", but the sister didn’t think that was so funny and piled me up an absolute mountain of fried rice for seconds. I ate it. All of it. And continued eating and ate everything else they threw at me to the point where the sister called me an eating machine. I thought about swallowing my pride, but I was having too much fun thwarting her efforts so I just kept eating what was in front of me haha. Victory!
Well there was a little more but we have stuff to do today like get haircuts...hopefully this time I come out with hair. We are also going to the markets and buying stuff one last time! Have a good week everyone, and Merry Christmas from Germany!