Elder Aaron Baxter
Germany Frankfurt Mission
Kirche Jesu Christi
Corneliusstrasse 18
60325 Frankfurt am Main

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mission Adventures

Due to Deutsche Bahn strikes, my companion and I were not able to get back to Paderborn until Tuesday afternoon this past week, so we kind of had a slow start to the week.  Immediately when we got back we had to go grocery shopping in the rain, and then cleaning up our apartment for apartment checks the following morning.  Fun times!

We spent a lot of time in a town called Lippstadt, working with members.  On one instance, we were doing service by moving a wall, and my companion ended up breaking into a dentists office (which is a long story), startling all of the young, attractive dental assistants.  We bought a box of chocolates to say sorry, and later in the day, when we were leaving, two of the dental assistants were waiting for us to say thank you and asked if we would go to the movies with them.  Naturally, we refused their offer, but now I can say I have been asked out to a date by a dental assistant!  Haha!

There was a fall carnival in Lippstadt also, so I made sure to get a picture of that.  We also met with a part member, less active family, and they asked us to meet with them every week so their son could become better acquainted with the Church.  We are really excited to be working with this family!

With our transfer calls we learned that my companion and I would continue to work together in Paderborn, so no drastic changes there.

To end the week, we had our stake president and a member from the area seventy of the Church, Elder Leimer, come to Paderborn.  That was pretty cool to have in our small branch, and afterwards, we were able to meet with our homeless investigator together with Elder Leimer and his wife.  Most of the time our investigator just kind of talked (he likes to do that), but it was good.

As always, the work carries on, and will continue to to be a great adventure!

Aaron at the fall carnival

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week of Trains on Strike!

This week was hectic, because of a WWII bomb being deactivated, causing trains to not run, and then later in the week, Deutsche Bahn workers going on strike, causing even more trains to not run!
Why was this so bad?  Because it happened when we had to travel.  As I am writing this letter, I am  currently in the area of Hagen, because we couldn´t get back to our area.  Fun stuff!

Other than frustrating travel by train, my district came to our area for district meeting and then a day of finding.  It was great to have everyone in our area, even though finding turned out to be difficult.  After that I had a split with an Elder from Unna, together we helped a member with his home teaching assignments, and then the next day we met a man in a town called Lippstadt, who gave us a tour of the town, that was fun!  He had met missionaries before, but he was on vacation.  When he got back, there were new missionaries, so he showed us around town, and we got to know him better.  He was a really friendly guy, something that honestly is kind of hard to find in Germany.

After the split, my companion and I were stuck in the town of Soest for an hour waiting for trains, so we walked around at night, and got some cool pictures, one of them is included with this update, along with evidence of the WWII bomb being deactivated.  We also were able to meet with our homeless investigator again, and we got to teach him the first lesson, which he already knew, but we hadn´t taught it to him yet, so that was fun.  Later that evening he even called us up to bear testimony, which was pretty cool.  He even came to stake conference by getting a ride with members, which I am sure helped him to develop relationships further with the branch members.

Because of the Stake Conference being when the strikes were taking place, after interviews with the mission president, we couldn´t get back to our area.  So  Elders in our district, from Hagen, said we could overnight with them.  It has been a fast week, with so much happening, and we are now fast approaching the end of the transfer.  I will of course update what will be happening for the next transfer by next week.  Until then!

 Aaron in Soest at Night

Trains won't be running

Monday, October 13, 2014

So close!

What a week!  We did a few things this week like knocking on doors at the University in Paderborn, but the main focus was on our homeless investigator.

We had been dying to invite him to baptism for a while now.  He already had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and loves to come to church, so we were pretty excited.  When we asked early in the week, we didn´t get a direct answer right then, but he did recognize the need to pray for an answer concerning baptism.  We continued to meet with him throughout the week, and talk about it, and he was excited about it.  He told us the idea came to him that I baptize him this month in a lake in Paderborn, and when we proposed the idea of doing it on the 25 and confirming him on the 26, he really liked the idea.  However, it came up that he also believed in the Scientology church, and was a little torn between that church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He told us he would have an answer concerning baptism on Sunday.

After church (which he attended) we met with him to talk about the decision.  Ultimately, it came down to choosing between the two churches, and I committed him to pray right then and there to know what was right for him.  So we knelt in prayer, and he prayed.  It lasted a while, but at the end of the prayer he indicated that he had received an answer.  After it was done he said his prayer was answered and that Scientology was the right church for him.  I was heartbroken, of course, but testified to him that I knew that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was true, but we would respect his decision.  He is still completely open and happy to meet with us and come to church every week still, but as of right now, he has made the decision, and only the Spirit can work on him now.

What a roller coaster this experience and week was!

Aaron in front of the Paderborn City Hall

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference Week

In this weekly email update, I have finally added a new addition to my Ultron pics.  Feels like it had been a while.  So, here he is with me in a train.

This week my companion and I did not get to work with any of our investigators, but we did meet some people who have potential of becoming investigators.  One man from the Phillipines approached us while we were shopping on Pday and just started to talk to us (likely because he heard us speaking English)  and apparently he had encountered missionaries in the past and he gave us his information, which was cool.  We also met a man on a train who is a student in Paderborn, he has traveled to Germany for his education.  He too speaks English, and we got to talk as we were all traveling, he was going to pick up his wife, who will also be a student in Paderborn.  He was a very friendly man and wanted to stay in contact also.

Outside of meeting new people, we were able to meet with a less active member whom we home teach, and help out another member with his home teaching.  During the end of the week we had Zone Training in Dortmund, and afterwards our district got together to find people in the area of Hagen.  During that time my District Leader and I met a man who was suicidal and thinking about killing himself that night.  He said he was without hope, and we did our best to help him out and support him.  We invited him to General Conference, and while I don´t know what happened to him (other than he did not show up to conference), I know we helped this man out during a difficult time for him.

For conference we traveled to Hagen to watch it, while our branch traveled outside of the mission boundaries to watch conference.  We spent the weekend with the Hagen Elders, which was fun.  They were also doing a "mini-mission" at the time with someone who will be receiving his mission call in the coming weeks.  General Conference was great, unfortunately we still have yet to see the final session of conference.

The week flew by fast, and I am half way done with General Conference on my mission now,  all I have left are the two conferences next year, crazy!  Anyways, the work continues on!  Until next week!

Aaron and Ultron on the Train