Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Purple Swag

Probably one of my favorite things about the West would be the word "Moin".

Rumor had it that nobody here in Brandenburg (or East Germany in general) said, "Moin," to each other (Moin is a friendly greeting for the cooler Germans). Elder Noland had never heard of it before, and assured me that nobody here says it. So far, I have successfully got: 2 people in Berlin, 1 man in Potsdam, and a lady in Brandenburg to say, "Moin," back to me.

A letter that I read last week told about a good friend of mine, namely Elder Mehr, witnessed a real live moose. Annaberg is truly an odd place. He wrote about it in his previous weekly letter, but I found it especially ironic/funny though, because some people at home called me moose.

You know, I'd say Brandenburg is pretty awesome. The time goes by really fast here and we're always busy with something. I like it. The branch is quite small but I like it, and they are all super friendly and loving. I guess I could compare it to an average Mormon family in Utah or Gilbert. I recently was asked to be the branch pianist, because they had heard about me from the Oldenburg branch and how soothing I played, and because nobody else in the branch plays.

Four different times this week, we were mistaken for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Two in particular were quite humorous. The first time was when we went by a contact in a city called Rathenow. When we were leaving his house, there was a dude going in who saw us and mumbled to himself something like, "That’s right, Jehovah’s Witnesses, get out of this building." I had to stop him in his tracks, and assure him that we weren't from that church, but that we are Mormons. And he said no (for my friends who speak German, he used the word, "doch" about 7-8 times). He promised us that we are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I then again explained that we are different religions . He wouldn't accept the fact that we weren't Jehovah’s Witnesses, so I threw a Book of Mormon at him. Unfortunately I didn't actually throw a Book of Mormon at him, because that's not respectful. 

My Legend and Me

That same day we heard some guys, in the street train we were on, talking in English about us. One said to stay away from us because the Jehovah’s Witnesses are bad. I also heard one of them talking about someone having their birthday party on the beach in California, but turns out he was just talking about some guy named Mickey. But anyways when we got out at the same stop I used my fluency in English to ask them where they were from. One was from Sweden and the rest were Germans speaking English. Then they asked us what we were doing here. I explained about the Church and missionaries, and he apologized for calling us Jehovah’s Witnesses.

On Saturday evening as we were heading back to our house, a group of drunk young women/men passed by and they started furiously complimenting us--it was wonderful. They kept screaming that we were beautiful in our ties and shirts, it was quite the experience.

Really though, Brandenburg is great. It has been going well with Andreas, our friend getting prepared for baptism. He will have his baptismal interview this Friday, and when he passes, we will have his baptism on Sunday! I'm really excited to get to experience this and see him make this covenant of baptism! He has really changed his life because of this Gospel, and you can really notice the change the Gospel has brought to his life.

But other than that, our week was just filled with appointments and service and being missionaries. Life is great as a missionary, and we get to go to Berlin on Friday for our own interviews with my boy, President Fingerle.

On two separate occasions this week, we woke up to find our apartment door was completely wide open. I'm not sure if someone's messing with us or if this place is haunted, or maybe we just have a bunch of homeless people who sleep over every now and then. In that case it's legal. We've decided to keep one person up to take "shifts" so that one of us is always watching—we'll see how well it works.

Oh yes, last Saturday as we were walking home, we walked by a big huge Catholic Church called St. Catherine's, I believe. It was dark, and as we walked by this church, we could hear the organ being played in there. The organist was playing some great classical music and we decided just to stand next to it and just listen for a little while. It was quite the experience. It's not very often where you can be walking in the middle of Germany and just stop next to a huge church and listen to some beautiful organ music. I will try to get a picture of this church next week for you all—my deepest condolences.

To end, I'd like to just say how much I love this Gospel! It's seriously such a blessing, to be able to give up 2 full years of my life just to serve the Lord. Tomorrow (Tuesday, the 2nd) is my 6 month mark already. That's crazy, I feel like just yesterday. I was with Elder Mehr when he hit his 6 months. It's seriously so great to be able to see all the blessings that come from missionary work and being able to study from and teach from the scriptures so often! I hope you are all heeding to the words of President Monson and reading in the Book of Mormon every day—it works.

Old Town Hall By Our House
Russian Memorial in Rathenow
Is there a more pure picture on the planet? (Besides the picture of the corgi and a rainbow behind it)

You are all wonderful and I wish you all the best in your endeavors this coming week. We will talk next week.

Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Stra├če 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770

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