Sorry I am on way early this morning. Some missionaries came to Bremerhaven for the baptism and so they are spending the next couple nights with us and we are gonna go out and have some fun:) Including Elder Bodtcher! Ahh man I have missed that kid! Anyways, as you can probably guess this week was the best! Yep, for one reason: Frau Taunts was DUNKED:)
She was crying from beginning to end. Oh man everybody was so happy. We were both so nervous. She was mainly scared because of her ears. She's like 90% deaf so she was scared about going under the water. I was scared I was gonna mess up the words, drop her, etc. But it all went smoothly because we practiced about 34 times before :)
All of the missionaries that came have been people that she has been with ever since she's been found. And nobody told her, so one by one they came as surprises, and she was so ecstatic about it all. It was her birthday too and Elder Bodtcher made this way cool picture collage of all of us and put it in a frame and gave it to her. At the end of the baptism Alex went up and gave her a huge hug. Regardless of all the drama, all the arguments and all the frustration in that relationship, it was way cool to see it all pushed aside for this special day. None of it mattered, it was all irrelevant. Nothing but love and happiness and so much peace because of a special decision that was made to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
I've been thinking a ton about my mission the last few weeks. The hard times, the good times, the relationships I have made, all that I have learned. I am almost to my half way mark and I finally have come up with what I believe to be true. The whole "Your mission will be the best two years of your life" thing is 100% false. For me at least. ...If these 2 years will prove to be the best of my life, I am not a happy guy.
I am 5,000 miles away from my family, I have been spit at, cussed at, countless doors have been slammed in my face and I have seen rejection after rejection after rejection. There have been nights where I have cried myself to sleep. There have been nights where I have come up with the conclusion that I am coming home tomorrow. But a month goes by and somehow, I still find myself here. It's the culture of a mission.. Especially for me in Germany. My testimony has been tried and shaken. It's not easy. It has gotten easier over time, but the mission is still far, far from comfortable.
However, then you catch someone like Frau Tants. German as it gets. Brutally honest, and one who simply would not believe or do something she wouldn't think is right. To have the opportunity to baptize her, and hear her testimony just one time, is worth 1000 rejections. #testimonybuilderfordayz #TheTants
All that being a said I, without a doubt, know with my whole heart, this has the been the best year FOR my life. And I know the next year will be too. Missions create men and when my mission is said and done I'm going to come out a freaking warrior. If it was easy what would I learn? I'm mega grateful for Frau Tants and the example she is for me. People like her make it all worth it.
I love you all and I hope you have the best week!