So I’ve given myself a little more time this week to compose a proper letter, since the letter that I wrote last week was pretty much “Quatsch”, which basically means “nonsense, baloney, crap, etc.” So hopefully I’ll get some better stuff in this letter.
I guess the first thing I’ll do is talk about this last week. That way I’ll get through with the boring stuff quick. Not really – my week really wasn’t that boring. So I guess one of the interesting things that has happened this week is the fact that Saarbrücken’s Oktoberfest started this Friday. It’s not all that exciting really. Just a bunch of people getting slightly more drunk than they usually do. Supposedly they’re having some cool parties and events somewhere in the city, but I haven’t seen anything yet. Oktoberfest really isn’t as big of a deal in most parts of Germany. It’s mainly just a big thing in Bayern, which is one of the German Bundesländer (regions/states). Bayern is basically the part of Germany that people think of when they think of Germany. It’s where they wear the Lederhosen, and where the cool castles are and what not. They’re also very proud of themselves and classify themselves as their own country. It’s basically the German form of Texas.
Last Monday the four of us all went to go visit a young newly married couple in our ward. They just got married in the UK, she’s Scottish and they met while he was on his mission there. Anyways we went and visited them for dinner, which was awesome because the food was good, but more importantly we got to speak English the entire time! It feels good to speak English with people that aren’t missionaries! The weird thing though, that I realized, is that I can no longer pray out loud in English. They asked me to say the prayer, and it was hard! It doesn’t feel right anymore! My whole prayer ended up being in total Denglisch! It was a weird feeling. We stayed there a little too late, so we ended up having to sprint all the way from their house to the train station, which was about a 30 minute walk, so that we could catch the last train that was running for the night! We did it! And then we all died on the train ride back! Let me think of other things we did this week…
We spent a lot of time just trying to talk to people, and that hasn’t gone very well. Such is the way of Germans. Germans don’t like to talk to other people. It’s perfectly normal for you to sit right next to someone on a train ride or at a restaurant for an hour or so, and never say a word to them. Germans keep to themselves. Unless they’re mocking or insulting someone else, which reminds me of something else that happened this week. So on Tuesday we were taking the Straßenbahn back to our apartment, when some foreign girl got on after yelling at her boyfriend very loudly for about five minutes or so. Well she and her friend continued yelling very loudly on the train, so this elderly German woman next to them asked them to be quiet. They did not respond well. They started yelling at her to mind her own business and whatever nonsense she was babbling about. Well then all of the other Germans on the train all got mad at them and started yelling at them very angrily in German and telling her that she was crazy, that she needed to get out now, or they’ll make them get out. She did get out and continued to yell at them and use some rude hand and body gestures as the train pulled away. Then all of the Germans talked amongst themselves about how stupid, crazy, and dangerous she was. There may have been some racist comments in there too, I’m not entirely sure.
I also had some very good splits this week. One was here in Saarbrücken with Elder Ruff, one of my Zone leaders, and the other was in Idar Oberstein with Elder Givens. They were fun, I like splits! Other things we did were meetings, making and delivering cookies to members and less active members, and just trying to contact people. That’s about all of the interesting things that happened to me, personally, this week. While I was in Idar Oberstein, however, the other Saarbrücken elders got threatened with a bomb (kinda). They apparently were stopped by a drunk guy on the street who stopped them and told them to give him some money. They were confused and asked what he was talking about. He told them that they were American government workers sent to give people some of Obama’s money. When they told them that they were just missionaries from the church and that they didn’t have any money from Obama to give him, though, he got angry. He told them that if they weren’t going to give him some of Obama’s money, then they’re useless and need to get out of his country or else he would make a bomb, find them, and blow them up. Then he stumbled away drunkenly. I doubt he remembers the event. I’m sad that I wasn’t there for it. It sounds awesome.
But yeah, Germany is still pretty cool. I really like the language. I have some new favorite German words. Like “doch” that’s a great word! There’s not really a good way to translate it because you use it differently each time you use it. Basically you use it as a contradictory statement in the form of a yes. For example, someone might say “I’ve never eaten a grape” then you would say “doch” which means “Yes you have”. Or someone would say “We’re not gonna go to the party” then you’d say “doch” meaning “yes we are”. It’s a great word! I also like the word “Schadenfreude” which means taking joy in another’s misfortune. It’s pretty great.
Well that’ll do it for today, I think. I’ve gotta go!
Elder Austin Cassell