Hallo! Ok that's not too German, but it's commonly said here.
Anyways, first of all thank you so much for the wonderful emails and letters this week. They were truly touching to me. Mom and Dad I got your letter with Elder Davies and Elder Stapleton's blog posts this week and I also got Grandma Bodilys and those were really great to receive. President Miles said there was a package and couple letters for me at the mission home so when we go for interviews in the next week or so I'll be able to pick those up then. Thank you all. Also Sister Bangerter I got your email. Unfortunately I can not send emails to anyone directly but family, but I was able to read what you said and I loved the spiritual thoughts that you included. Thank you. Just so you know, there is unfortunately (ironic, I know) a lot of piano players in my ward so I don't get to play as much as I did in the MTC. But Elder Field and I go to the church on Mondays to write letters for a little bit and during that time I practice.
So first of all-Investigators:
So they are in Serbia for the next two weeks, but we are so excited for when they return. We had an appointment with them last week before they left. After we had given our lesson, the wife, Evisha, told us a story about how she had been walking down the street when a random women, almost yelling, told her she should go back to church. She thought it was weird, but it still played on her mind. She wanted to go to church but by nature Greek Orthodox members didn't really like the catholic church and they weren't fond of the Jehovah witnesses which were really the only two types of churches in the area (besides ours). So that night she prayed for help that she could find a church she could go to that she would like that God would want her to go to. The next morning is when Elder Field and I found her on the street. The weird thing of it all is that we were on our bikes when we street contacted her and normally we don't stop when we are riding. Neither of us can explain why we stopped, but we did and it has been part of an incredible story. Bobi asked us for another BoM so that they could take it to their family in Serbia. I am so excited for them!
Mohammed and Ali:
We received some bad news this week. They may have to move Italy. They moved out of Syria illegally because of all the political and social problems there and the European Union has a rule that if you are leaving in situations like that you can register to become a citizen of a country, but you have to stay in that country. Their family checked in to Italy and then moved to Germany because the conditions for them were really bad in Italy. There is a possibility that they can stay here so we are praying hard. They believe in the BoM, that Christ is our savior, and they've been to church three times in a row now. We are really hoping that all goes well for them. Prayers for them would really be appreciated.
Alex is a new progressing investigator. He met once with the missionaries before, but stopped after the first lesson. Three months later (which was two Sundays ago) he had the impression he should start learning from the missionaries again and go to the church. That's when we found him at general conference. He was deeply impressed with President Monson. During our lessons with him he has been asking a lot of really good questions (he is very smart and has thought over the Bible a lot) and was impressed with what the church believed in. We have high hopes for him. Oh and he is our first native German progressing investigator!
Herr Münzberger and Jacky Dos Santos were both out of the town this week so no new news on them.
The Rosenheim ward is super amazing, the members are really incredible people. The only problem is we have the lowest activity-level ward in our mission. We have 40-50 people come to church each week, but that is only about 20-25% of the members in the area. That has been a huge focus this last week (and will continue to be) for Elder Field and I. We have been visiting a lot of less-active members, doing service for them, and meeting with a lot of them to try and help them start coming more frequently. A few of them came to church this last week so we're going to keep working with them.
OK so I don't have a lot of time so hopefully next week I can explain and say more but for now Mom I'll answer your question about the way my mission is set up and then say more later. In my mission we have President Miles and he has a companionship of Assistants to the Presidents or APs. In the mission we have 7 stakes: Munich (München) and Stuttgart in Germany; Vienna (Wien) and Salzburg in Austria; Bern and St. Gallen in Switzerland; and the the Zurich stake which is mostly Switzerland with a little bit of Germany. These 7 stakes make up the 7 zones in our mission where we have a companionship of zone leaders for each: Elder Tyler Stapleton is a ZL in Vienna and Elder Andrew Terry is a ZL in Bern. In each zone you have 9 to 12 wards or branches (two-thirds are wards). A companionship of Elders serve in each ward, with an extra companionship in a couple of the Vienna and München wards because there are so many people. Because the Sister Missionaries are the better missionaries, they go to the wards where the most people are or where the most work is being done so that we can ensure that there are really good missionaries for all those investigators. The seniors go wherever needed. Every three or four wards make up a district where there is one district leader in each. My district is the Rosenheim ward, München 1st ward (district leader and his companion), München 3rd ward (the ZLs), the Sisters from München 3rd, and Brother and Sister Covertson.
I have to go real quick, so I'll hurry. Connor Pearce, congratulations on making student council, that is so awesome! You'll do fantastic I'm sure! Jake let me know as soon as you get your call as to where you are going, I'm excited for you.
I know this Church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that through him we can all be happy. It's amazing to see the light in our investigators when we or them talk about Christ. I am so grateful for all he has done for me. He is my Lord, my brother, and my friend.
Gott sei mit euch bis auf wiedersehen