Monday, March 26, 2012

 Elder Bodily arrived at Mission Home in Munich. 
Companion is Elder Field from Ashford, England and assigned to Rosenheim, Germany.   
Elder Bodily with President and Sister Miles - March 21, 2012 at Mission Home.

March 26, 2012

     Were you expecting GutenTag as normal? I decided to throw in some Bayerish Deutsch. Why?
My first assignment as a Missionary for Die Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage is in Rosenheim, Deutschland!
     If you take the shape of Austria, my area is the part of Germany that fits in the bosom of the big clump and the long stretch of land that make up Austria. It's deep south in the heart of the great state of Bayern. You can see the Alps decently well from the city itself, it's not like Orem with our mountains, but they are still close. However, there are parts in the area that are right at the base of our mountains. Where we are located we are close enough to both Schloss Neuschwanstein and Salzburg that we could visit both on P-days. The ward here has about 50-60 members. It's mostly catholic, but from everyone we've talked to no one really practices. There are a lot of Jehova Witnesses (so far we haven't had to run into them). The city itself actually looks more Italian (at least based off what I've seen in movies). The train system here is not very good, so we are one of the few areas that get to bike a lot, yay!
     My trainer is Elder Field. Dad I think you'd love him. He is from Ashford, England (south of London), but his dad grew up in Birmingham and was baptized shortly after you were there on your mission. His dad is Terry Field just in case you might know him. He has a great English accent. He only has two more transfers left til he goes home, so in 5 weeks he'll have as much time left in his mission as I have served. More than likely I will stick with him for two transfers because of the training program and then I will see him off. He is super great and a super hard worker. His first area was Vienna and then he has pretty much served in Switzerland since then. His German is super good and he is very knowledgeable about the scriptures.
     So, German people are kind of hard to understand. I can understand Elder Fields and everyone else who speaks German if their native language wasn't German. But it's taking a lot of work to understand the Germans themselves. The Bayern accent is kind of hard to understand and the dialect blows my mind. Apparently Bayerish is the hardest type of German to understand after Swiss German, at least that's what President Miles said (by the way President Miles and his wife are the coolest people you would ever meet and yes Sister Miles is the daughter of Elder Russel M Nielson). But like all good things, it just takes work and I'm better at understanding today than I was when I first got here; things will continue to pick up. When we bore our testimonies to the ward on Sunday, a number of the members told me that they were really impressed because I had a really good hold on speaking the language for a new missionary. At least I think they said that. I might be able to speak German a tiny, little bit, but I can't understand very well. That's one of my goals for the next few weeks (and I guess the whole mission). Since we got off the train from the Mission home to Rosenheim, Elder Fields and I have only spoken German to each other to try and help me master the language. The only things he has said are the meaning of words when I don't know them, but he tries to explain their meaning in German first. I am really glad we're doing this so that I can become more fluent.
     As far as Investigators, or Untersuchers, we don't have any progressing right now, but we are hoping to change that this week. We've made a lot of appointments and we're really going to push inviting them to Church, Read the Book of Mormon, pray, and and other goals that are specific to the time. We had a really cool story this week though. We went to visit this guy named Mohammed. We couldn't find his house exactly so we asked his nieghbor Huseyn (yes we were in the Little-Middle-East part of the town) where he lived. We explained the Book of Mormon to him and asked Huseyn if he would like one. He doesn't speak German and only a little bit of English, so he asked for Russian first and then said he wanted a Turkish one too. On the way back Elder Field's bike broke and we couldn't get it fixed really for a long time (still broken, he'll need to get a new one). But the next day when we went back to take the book to Huseyn he said he didn't want the Russian one anymore and just the Turkish. On our way back from talking with him we did some street contacting and came up to this lady at the bus stop. We began explaining our message and she seemed intrigued. We asked her if she would like to read something from the Book of Mormon and she said she couldn't read German very well, but if we had a Russian book she could do that. Well, we just had the thing she needed. She seemed thrilled. She read a little and then agreed to meet with us on Wednesday. Had we not asked Huseyn if he wanted to learn more, hadn't grabbed the Russian BoM for him, and had Elder Fields bike been working we wouldn't have had a such a cool experience as that. I don't know what will happen with this lady (her name is Ulga) but we'll just have to find out.
     Mom and Dad, yes emailing me this way is the best, thank you. I am so glad Tyson had a good baptism day, I am super excited for him. Dad it sounds like there have been a number of interesting things in the sporting world. Thank you for keeping me updated. It sounds like the ward is doing really well; I am excited for Brother Parker and his new job, congratulations! Let Bishop and Sister Rife know that they're in my prayers. I hope all goes well for them and let them know that they have been amazing examples to me and have done so much for me. Mom I hope the surgery goes well. It may be considered minor, but that's still nicht spaß. Let me know if everything goes ok. Thank you two so much for your great examples to me. I have really come to realize more than ever how much you two have done for me and I know I wouldn't be here without you. You mean so much to me and have been such a crucial part of my life.
Tell the Grandmas and Grandpa that I hope all is going well for them. I have really enjoyed their letters. I haven't been able to write too much in the last few weeks so I haven't been able to get very many letters out. I hope their health is good and that they are having fun.  Amber thank you for all of your letters. After Mom and Dad you've been my number one support as far as Dear Elders go. Like I said above I haven't had a lot of time to write so sorry I couldn't get back to you. I hope everything is going well for you. I am sorry about the roommate deal not going through and I hope it all works out. Just tell Sadie that she needs to get a job and start paying some of the rent.
     I have an address for my place in Rosenheim, (funny enough we live on Heilig Geist Straße or translated Holy Ghost Street), but I think it's still best to send the letters or packages to the Mission home just because I am not sure I trust our mail system with our apartment. I'll pick up the letters when I go to Munich every other week.  Well for now I have to go. I hope all continues to go well and that you're having fun in America. I love you all.
Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis auf wiedersehen

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fellow Timpanogos High School missionaries:  left to right - Pasquale (Texas), Bostrom (Ventura, Calif.), Henrie (Chile), Hutchinson (Colombia), Brown (Paraguay), Chapman and Bodily (Alpine-German Speaking).

Elder Bodily and Elder Davies parents meet each other on March 18, 2012.  What a great experience.
Alpine-German Speaking District at Provo Temple.
 Last email from MTC!  Leaves Tuesday morning for Germany!
Guten Morgan! 
     Mom, the Pizza Factory breadsticks were a huge hit! I get packages right before dinner, and I didn't open it until we got back to class. They we're all gone within the hour. Bruder Hill, our teacher, I think had like three of them. It was really enjoyable.
     This last week we got our New German Missionaries. They came three weeks later then they were originally scheduled because they are on the new pilot program where they are only here for 6 weeks instead of 9. This means that we won't get to know them as well as we knew the German Missionaries before us, but it was still great to see them come in before we leave. In this new batch there are 9 Elders and 3 Sisters going to Berlin, 4 Elders and 4 Sisters going to Frankfurt, and 1 Elder going to Alpine. Ya just 1. The Alpine Mission wasn't represented very well in this new group. Hopefully, there will be a lot more in the next group. They called Elder Miles and Elder Gibson (Frankfurt) to replace Elder Davies and I as Zone Leaders and Elder Leuning (Berlin) and Elder Helbig (Alpine) to replace Elder Divver and Elder Guiccione as the 2 District Leaders. Pictures are hopefully coming.
     On Sunday I got to give my first Priesthood blessing. Sister Holmstead and Sister Sprouse wanted to have a comfort blessing from some of the Elders in our district before we went to Germany. Sister Holmstead asked Elder Divver and Sister Sprouse asked me. It was an incredible experience for me. I had no idea what I should say, but fortunately as is the way with Priesthood blessings, The Holy Ghost prompted me what to say. A lot of the things I said at the time were ideas I would have never thought of. It just goes to show that it's not a blessing from man, but from God and that he will direct his servants as to what to say and do. I know that the blessing I gave was what Heavenly Father wanted for her, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to use the Priesthood and be an instrument for God.
     Well, before I go I just want to say how excited I am for Germany and Austria (and maybe eventually, though probably not, Switzerland). I know that I am about to embark on the Lord's great work for man. I've really enjoyed my stay here in the MTC. I know it has a bad reputation sometimes, but I can honestly say it was such a great experience. I had so much fun making new friends, learning more about the Gospel, having incredible experiences, and I have a lot of great memories to take with me from here. However, I know that the MTC is nothing compared to the field. I am so excited to go out and help people come unto Christ and bring them eternal joy. I know that this Church is true. I know that we are children of God, our Heavenly Father. That he sent his Son, our Brother, Jesus Christ into the world that he might sacrifice himself for our sins, sufferings, pains, sicknesses, and all other afflictions that we might repent and through his grace, live in exaltation. I know He died for us and then rose to live again; that we too can all live again in immortality and that we can live together with our family and friends in everlasting joy. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis auf wiedersehen

Breaking News! We just found out today that my mission is being expanded. It is now going to include the German speaking part of northern Italy. I do not know how much of Italy we have but it sounds at least like a good part. It's taking away some of the Italy, Milan mission but that's ok for them because it was an area that Italian speakers weren't really proselyting in. That means I now have 5 countries in my mission (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Italy).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Guten Morgan! Leave for Germany March 20!
I got my flight plans this week! So they ended up delaying us a day so I will be leaving on the morning of the 20th. My plane from Salt Lake leaves at 8:30AM. I will arrive in New York JFK airport sometime around 3 local time 1 Utah time. I have a layover in New York for about two hours so depending on whether I have more time there or at the Salt Lake Airport I can call. So just to clarify, Mom and Dad, I'll be calling you either around 6-6:30AM on Tuesday the 20th or around 1 PM that same day. After New York I have 6 and a half hour flight to Amsterdam, Netherlands. I have a layover there for 4 hours (unfortunately I can't call then because it's international). Then I will fly from there to Munich, Germany and arrive sometime during the day of the 21st.
This week my district got to host new missionaries coming into the MTC. Our district was assigned to help the international missionaries. I was only able to host one guy, but he was from Chile. His mom is the interpreter for the Apostels whenever they visit Chile. Fortunately, this meant that she taught him English so it wasn't as hard to help him find everything as it was for some of the other international missionaries.
I got cut short on my email time today so I'll just say this: our investigators are doing well. Michael is going to be baptized (hypothetically of course) and Patrik wants to now, he just doesn't know how to bring it up with his Mom who is staunch catholic. Jim and Jordan (played by Elder Collins and Elder McLaws) are doing well. Jordan was very skeptical of the Book of Mormon at first, but he has begun reading it and likes it. We're just trying to get him to pray about it so he can receive an answer. Jim has been very accepting of what we're teaching, but he has a lot to overcome with the Word of Wisdom so we are working on that a lot with him.
Also, Elder Davies broke the gym record for most three-point basketball shots made in row. He'll have his name on the wall until someone else beats the record.
Well that is all the time I have today, see you later!
Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis auf wiedersehen
-Mom I took care of emailing Dr. Hunsaker at BYU and took care of my credit card international use notification.

Monday, March 5, 2012

 As far as devotionals go!
Guten Morgan!
I just have to say that I don't think it gets better than this week as far as devotionals go. So, we have two devotionals every week; one on Sunday night and one on Tuesday night. Usually how it works is Tuesday night you'll have those who have are in the MTC choir give a musical number and then you hear from a member of the Seventy. On Sunday, you'll have a musical number by one or more people that can be piano, violin, singing, etc then you hear from, usually, an old Mission President or someone who is just a good speaker who they asked to come speak to the Missionaries, then you watch a video for an hour or so that's church related.
Well this week for the devotionals, the speakers were both  better than your average speaker.
First, on Tuesday night, our district had gone to dinner early and we got done rather quickly so we just decided to go to the devotional early. We got on the front row. Normally, on the video screens they give the name of whoever is coming; this week they didn't but we didn't think anything of it until 5 minutes before the devotional started, lo and behold, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland walked in. I don't think I need to say more because I know you all know how great of an experience hearing from Elder Holland is. Anyways, we were about 15 feet away from the podium. He often times just stare at some of the missionaries when he talked and it looked like he was staring into your soul. He basically talked about the obligations we have as missionaries and by the end of the talk I don't think anyone doubted that they were supposed to be on a mission and furthermore, we all knew that this was not something to take lightly. As he put it, he might be an Apostel with an upper case A but we're apostels with a lower case a and have the full responsibility to treat our work exactly how it is. He said the one thing that upsets him more than anything about missionaries is when they come back and take up the way they we're before the mission. We are supposed to come back greater than before, the mission is too incredible of an experience to come back unchanged. Even if you were great before your mission, you should still come back better. You know that when Elder Holland is passionate about something he let's you know and I think he might have made a couple missionaries wet their pants. He also told us about how the mission is our reality, it's more a reality than what we would be doing at home right now and that never doubt that power of God which comes from the fear that many missionaries have on their mission in order to act. Man's extremeties is God's opportunities.
Well, if it couldn't get better than just having Elder Holland, it did. Learning from last time, our district decided to eat quickly so that we could get front row again. Quick story first: this last week I did go and try out on Thursday for the Sunday musical number but they said they already had selected someone. Well, when we got to the devotional we found out who the speaker was, which also explained the musical number: Alex Boye. If you don't know who he is, he is a singer from London, England who records a lot of gospel related songs. I would suggest if you haven't heard him that you look him up on youtube; my personal favorite is when he worked with Jon Schmidt on his new song called "Peponi" -he is the guy singing in Swahili during the video. Anyways, he gave an opening (Primary song melody) and closing performance (How great thou Art). Even better though was his talk. I promise you, I have never laughed so hard in a period of 30 minutes. I really wish I had it recorded. I don't think there is anyway I could make you comprehend how funny it was. He told about his conversion story and the events leading up to it but the mixture of his mannerisms, his British accent mixed with his own African style, the fact that his pianist would play background music to fit to certain situations in the story, and the hilariousness of the story itself just made it so great. The President of the MTC, who is a really serious guy, almost had a heart attack from laughing so hard even when though he was making some race jokes (e.g. "oh, it's ok. I just walked away from the fight with two black eyes, not that you could tell a difference" "It's always extremely weird when a black brother talks like the Queen" you would have thought he might have been more reserved in the MTC, nope.) But after the story he gave the most inspiring talk ever. The main message came down to how we become what we think about, and what we talk about and how that in our life as we spend it thinking and talking about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that's how we become more like them. He used an analogy of how a farmer plants a seed, walks away, and later returns to see a tree; he does not plant the seed, sit there, and then get frustrated that he can't make the seed grow. This often symbolizes how we are with the power of God. We start to doubt our ability to do things when in reality there is a certain measure that we have to rely on God and his power after we've done all we can. We need to be patient with ourselves and allow the Holy Ghost to work through us to shape us. As we turn to thoughts saying I can't do this, I can't learn this language, I can't teach this Gospel, I can't become better we are in reality becoming selfish because all I, I, I. Turn outwards and trust the Lord's power, allow it to reside in you and all things are possible. He also just reemphasized many of the points Elder Holland made that we shouldn't take the mission lightly and that we were going to mean the world to people, as a convert he knew.
Well I'm over my time so I've got to go but I love you all
Gott sei mit euch bis auf wiedersehen
Elder Bodily