I am finally in the wunderbar country of Deutschland! I honestly don't even know where to start. It's so beautiful here. Beyond beautiful. The trees, the houses, the ports. everything. I absolutely love it. This week has been nuts so I'm just going to fast forward to Tuesday when we left the MTC.
Sooo we left at 6 in the morning blah blah blah, 3 flights and 20 hours later we arrive in Berlin. We get to baggage claim and I wait a while and only one of my bags comes through. Suddenly the conveyer belt shuts off. I turn around and I notice 6 other missionaries hadn't yet got their bags either. To make a long story short I guess AirFrance didn't feel like putting 12 of our bags on the flight with us. Some got no bags, I was lucky to get one. Unfortunately, it was my winter suitcase they decided to send so... Heavy coats and thermals aren't really my choice clothing for the summer. Needless to say, I've been wearing the same sweaty white shirt, socks and suit the past 4 days, EWWW! Luckily that suitcase had a couple extra pairs of garments so its bearable. Anyway, for the fun part, Präsident Fingerle picked us up in a Mercedes bus and took us to a town called Radeberg. He took us to the exact spot where Thomas S. Monson dedicated the land of East Germany during the division in 1985. It was way cool. After that he surprised us and took us to the Freiburg Temple! It's under Renovation and they are expanding it but it was still so amazing. We even got to go inside. Since the Freiburg temple was one of the only temples in Eastern Europe, they have a hotel right on the temple grounds owned by the church so that people who came from far away had a place to stay. So we literally got to spend the night at the temple! Like I said, it's normally closed but they opened it up specially just for us:)
Thursday: We got assigned our new companions! Mine is Elder Hein from Cedar City Utah. He's a stud. He just got released as a zone leader before being assigned to be my trainer. He's been out for a year and a half. I'm serving with him in a town kinda way up north called Schwerin. It takes 6 hours by train to get there from where we were previously in Freiburg and one of our trains was late. If we took it we wouldn't have gotten back to our apartment until at least midnight so we stopped half way and spent the night in Berlin with the AP's. This was way fun because they have a car and a really nice big apartment:)
Friday: We all woke up at 6 and went to play soccer at a nearby field. It was great - the field was so nice! Except I was sucking wind and about a measly five minutes in I was dying. After that we went back, showered and Elder Hein and I got on the train to Schwerin for real this time. We got there about 12:30, went grocery shopping and planned. Elder Hein gave me a rundown of all the investigators. I'm walking into an area where they have FIVE baptismal dates. 4 are strong! We are unsure about the commitment of one but we still expect to baptize all 5:) That just means I gotta step my game up a bit:) Germany Berlin Mission ---> GBM ---> Greatest baptizing mission. It's true. Later we went and street contacted but nobody was really feelin' us.
Saturday: There's a park right next to our apartment and Elder Hein took me through one of his work outs. It was a lil rough but all good. After that we headed out for my first real appointment ever! His name is Jannick and he's the coolest dude. He's 25 and he believes everything in the Book of Mormon and he believes all of the principles of the church except baptism. He says he's just interested in following Christ and doesn't know why he needs to do the action of being baptized. We tried explaining the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it is making a special covenant when you are baptized but we weren't getting through to him so we need to figure something out. We will keep working:) After that we had dinner at a members home and I would be lying if I told you I had a clue of what happened or what was said. They all spoke SO fast so I just ate my chicken and nodded and smiled at everything.. And last but not least I met my favorite people so far. Josh and Lee. They are the funniest college guys you will ever meet. They are from China and speak English but with a very heavy accent and mix up their words sometimes. They are reading the Book of Mormon and Lee believes it but Josh says he is still asking God to know if it's true!
Sunday: I had to introduce myself to the ward. They were all laughing at one point so I must have said something wrong because I didn't have any funny lines in my talk... But everyone is so nice. We have about 50 members in the ward and they are all really strong. The next closest meeting building is in a town called Rostock which is an hour away so many of these people travel a long way to come to church.
Russell M. Nelson of the 12 spoke at the MTC the day we left. I was there for 6 weeks and didn't get to hear one apostle speak - July is apostle vacation month I guess.
I don't get my bag until Thursday. Kinda need that now. It will be 9 days.
Got a haircut the day before I left for Germany. I asked for just a light trim and the next thing I know she's buzzin it all off. I blame myself for that one....
Monday: First P-day!
Our apartment is totes rad and clean!
My first week here has been great. I am so blessed to have been called to this beautiful country. The people are so great. I can't understand or speak very well in German, but when you have the language of the spirit down that's all you need:) Sorry this email is so long. I'm done! Oh but one more thing I got my new address and I love to receive letters:) Soo..
Elder Noah William Miller
Müller Straße #30
Schwerin, Germany 19053
No that is not a B in "Straße" write it like it looks!
The church is true! Auf Wiedersehen!