Week #4: Neukölln

Hallo meine Familie und Freunde!
 
I am in Germany now!
 
Quick: my trainer is Elder Fuller. He is from Seattle and we are getting a lot done! My first area is a section of the city of Berlin called Neukölln (noy-koolln). There are a lot of immigrants in this area. But it is full of good people. This area has the highest concentration of Turks outside of Turkey, actually. Therefore, we have about 4 or 5 African immigrants that we are teaching. No. We don’t teach any Turks. They are all Muslim and they try to convert us when we talk to them.
 
Hmmmm….. We have one baptism already planned for the 22nd. He is from Ghana and was already in the works. But I am excited for him. He is here playing soccer; his team is like three brackets down from the national team. He’s great. But we have several others that we are teaching. We mostly get referrals from the investigators that we are teaching, Gemeinde (Ward) members, or from other missionaries outside our area. That keeps us busy. Haven’t knocked any doors yet! Or…. klingled any apartment buildings here really….
 
Meeting President Kosak was great! I really like him! I pretty much guessed what he was like when I saw his picture. I was pretty right. Funny, soft, and takes command of the room. He was an institute Presdent in Russia and Eastern Europe for seven years. Now he has been here for a while. He said that “this is a baptizing mission.” And it is for sure! Between the other two Elders and two Sisters in Neukölln, we will have about  5 (maybe?) baptisms this transfer.
 
The Gemeinde here is great! There are about 50 people. We has Priesthood Meeting first at 9-ish. Then Sunday School. And then Sacrament Meeting at about 11/12-ish. It was a great meeting.
 
First, I sat next to this older lady on purpose. I asked if the two chairs next to her were taken and she didn’t hear me. So I had to yell “Kann ich hier sitzen?!” And she then proceeded to talk to me in THE SLOWEST German I have ever heard. It was laughing the whole time. She just thought I was smiling and she liked that. “OOOOOOOO. JAAAAAAAA: DU. Kannst. daaa sitzen.” She then proceeded to tell me how good my German was: “Aber…. deine. ar-tik-u-let-ion ist SEEEEHHHHHR schönnnnnn.” and how one sister missionary here grew up in Germany, went back to the states, and speaks great German, which she does. Beautiful accent. But the other… well she corrects her a lot. HAHA!! Too good! Long story short, Schwester Schmidt is my new home girl in the Neukölln Ward. I’ll send a picture next week of us when i get one.
 
But the Ward is so great. I expected less because… dare I say it… I am in Europe and thought it wouldn’t be as united. But they are very loving and welcoming and ready to serve. I hope to take advantage of that in getting their help with our work. They even take such good care of their Church buildings. The First Counselor stayed late on Sunday synchronizing all the clocks in the building and putting hymnals back where they belong. I think it’s funny just how German some of these people are though. Sacrament Meeting starts RIGHT on time and they all sush each other 10 minutes before to listen to the prelude music. Cracks me up on the inside.
 
And today was P-day!! I had my first Dönner and Elder Fuller and I went to the Berliner Dom. He kept making comments about the Catholic Church and making me laugh. Attached are some pictures.
 
I can’t think of anything else really. I feel like their is more. But I am working hard to get used to all this German. Just when I think I am getting the hang of it, GUESS WHAT?! There are more words!!
 
But I am doing well. Elder Fuller had a small cold before I came and I ended up getting a bit of it. But I am healthy and eating and able to walk around: it’s a walking area. I haven’t been here a week and I already have all the U-Bahn Haltestelles memorized.
 
Tschau!
 
Elder Hoffman
 
PS: The Y and Z are switched on these keyboards :/ I did my best.

 

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