Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thought I would model my lederhosen outfit.

Elder Fields and myself with Familie Bobi. 

Farewell dinner with Elder Fields.  I might have lost almost 40 pounds, but I still know how to eat!

Saying farewell to my first companion in Germany, Elder Fields.  He will return home to England on June 10 and then will be visiting and staying with my parents on June 26 through June 28. 

June 25, 2012 
Germany European Soccer Tournaments
So unfortunately, we have very little time at all for emails. I promise I will send a postcard home explaining more of what's been going on but I only have about ten minutes right now before we have to take a train and go.

This week we meet with Familie Bobi and talked about rescheduling their baptisimal date because we all felt  that we should wait a while longer. Next time we meet with them we will be able to plan out a date. They are however, still really excited about their baptisms and you can really see how the gospel has already made a huge influence in their lives. They miss Elder Field but they really like Elder Young a lot too and for them it was a confirmation that no matter who the missionaries are, that they all bring with them the spirit of the Lord (if they are doing what they are supposed to) and know that what we have is the most important message they can receive.

Last week we went to the Dachau concentration camp and that was a very sobering experience. This week we went as a district to Chiemsee which is a giant lake with an island in the middle where King Ludwig II (the guy who built Neuschwanstein) built another one of his many castles. It was a very good day for wearing Lederhosen.

There has only been three days in June so far where it hasn't rained here in Rosenheim, but when it doesn't you can really notice how humid and hot it is.

We got permission from Elder Miles this last week to watch the Germany Soccer games whenever they play during this European tournament going on right now. President Miles really likes sports, this tournament only happens every 4 years, and hardly any mission work can be done while its going on because everybody is watching it so that's why he said we could too. Germany is doing well, their next game is against Italy in the semi-finals. It's hard to sleep at night here because there are a lot of parties in the streets at night after they win the games.

Well I've got to go, I will talk to you all later.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24, 2012 Munchen Postcard!           

I figured I'd send you a postcard of Munchen since I go there every Tuesday for District Meetings and I've had 3 austausch there.  It is where my companion or I would go to Munich and one of the Munich Elders would come to Rosenheim for 2 days and a night so that the district leader can work with all the Elders in his district at some point. A few cool facts- the middle picture with the statue is where Oktoberfest is held; we walk past it from the train station to get to District Meeting. The Olympia Stadion (second down from top right) is where the Olympics were held right before WWII.  The Ubersicht picture (top-middle) has two things wrong with it.  First, the mountains aren't that close to Munich.  Two, the mountains are on the wrong side of that building.  Can you say photoshop? Well, Elder Young and I found out today we are the youngest companionship in the mission as far as total tranfers, and only 5 months total time in Germany between the two of us.  However, we are having  a lot of fun and somehow getting everything managed.  Love you guys a lot.  Elder Houston

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012
Servus Zusammen!

            Well there is not a whole a lot of time for E-mails today because we are going in a little while up to the Dachau Nazi concentration camp for our P-Day and our train leaves relatively soon. It should be really interesting.

            So as far as the work this week we had quite a number of people who were out of town, unreachable, or the appointment fell out. However, this next week looks really promising because we are almost completely filled up on time in our planner with appointments. We did have a few good lessons with Familie Bobi this week though. They are really excited for their baptismal dates. We are going to have to push their dates into July because there are still a few things we need to teach them and they need to be living the Word of Wisdom before, but they are always seeming to make progress each week. We had a dinner appointment with them at one of the members house (the Lederers) where we were going to start on the stop-smoking program, but because of time constraints, Bruder Lederer said it was probably best just to have a nice evening with them that night and then do the program next week. Familie Bobi is quite excited for the program though as they want to give up smoking as soon as possible. There is a lot that goes into preparing this program that Elder Young and I had to study over and although we haven't been able to teach it yet we're very excited to start using it as a finding tool since so many people in Germany smoke, but most of them want to quit.

            I can tell that this transfer with Elder Young will be really fun. That's now 3 for 3 on having companions that exceed expectations. We are both very young in field experience, but we're learning a lot from each other and having a lot of fun in the meantime. Our German is not stellar, but it seems that when one of us doesn't understand something or can't say something the other one can, so we are working very well as a team in that aspect. We are both learning how to cook together, but it's actually coming along quite well. Which leads me to the next point, Mom if you have any easy recipies I would love them. You can just email them to me if that's easier. Also, Elder Young asked me if you could ask the Stapleton's for their Crepe recipe. When Elder Young and Elder Stapleton were together E. Stapleton apparently made a lot of Crepes that were remarkable, so we wanted to try and make them. Elder Young is planning on getting his own Lederhosen here soon so I'll send you pictures when we are both decked out in our Bayrisch attire. Also, Mom and Dad you should ask Brother Dowdle if he knows a David Young. He should because he lived with Brother Dowdle and his family for a long time after his parents deaths when he was young. This is Elder Young's dad.

            A funny story that happened this week before I go. We were going door to door at this one apartment complex when we came to this house where a middle-aged lady lived. We started explaining ourselves and our message. She said she was too busy to have us come by at anytime, but she was interested in reading the Book of Mormon. She said she would only take it from us though if we took something from her. She went and brought out this huge bag of radishes that she didn't want and told us to take them home and cook something with them. It's very rare that we ever barter a Book of Mormon for old vegetables.

            It's time that we be on our way. Thank you all so much for everything you do for me and all your support. I wish you could all be here and have these cool experiences that we have. I love you all.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012
Servus Zusammen! 

 First of all, Mom and Dad I hope you are enjoying your Anniversary back east. It sounds like you are having a lot of fun visiting all the different places. I think you both really deserve this vacation. Dad a couple of weeks ago Elder Field, two members, and I went to go help a single sister paint the frames of her doors and windows as she gets ready to sell her house. I got designated as the official painter and they asked me to come fix most of what they did. I've learned a lot from you in that aspect.

Well, as of now, Sebastian Field is back in England. It was really, really sad to say bye to him at the train station. I think it is safe to say that he might be the most important companion I ever have. I learned a lot from him, had so much fun everyday, made sure to work as hard as we could all the time, and overall, he put me on the right track for the rest of my mission. He has definitely been an incredible influence and a friend I'll keep in touch with forever. We ended our time in Rosenheim on a fantastic note: Monday we went to Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler's summer house) with our district -or we tried to anyway, we didnt have enough time to hike all the way and there was quite a bit of snow- and then had Fondue that evening, we had a great district meeting on Tuesday where we cooked curry and then had to stay up till about 2 in the morning to help him pack and do Tschüß Bücher (Farewell books), Wednesday we took care all other things we needed to do and had his last appointment with Familie Bobi and Bruder Hunger as a joint-teach. Thursday morning was a mix of wierd feelings as we went to Munich to have our last meal at Pizza Hut with Gregor and Debbie Jentzsch from our ward (Mom and Dad they are the ones who let me use skype at their house). It definitely felt like a definite end to one chapter of my mission when he headed to the mission home.   I thought it was hard to say bye to Elder Davies (don't get me wrong I still think Elder Davies is an incredible person and I would love to serve with him again), but it was really hard to say bye to Elder Field. I can already tell I will look back on him as one of, if not my favorite companion. He did a lot for me and we were really good friends. He told me that I was one of his companions that he wants to keep in touch with all the time after the mission. He already sent me a letter in the mail. He also told me that I was the only companion he never had an arguement with during their companionship. You guys will really like him when he comes to visit. After our appointment with Familie Bobi on Wednesday, Bruder Hunger told us that we were one of the best missionary teams he has ever seen. Whether that,s true or not it was still really nice coming from a guy who returned from a mission with his wife two years ago, and has served as a bishop and stake president. All of it came from Elder Field's influence though.

Before he left though, a train from Stuttgart came in with my companion. Elder Young is from O'Fallon, Illinois which is right next to St Louis, Missouri. He is very energetic and friendly. Once again, I'm the shorter companion (this time by a lot). He is very big into acting and singing (his brother is in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir). He has been in Germany one transfer longer than me and so our experience level is about the same. He has already had Elder Stapleton as a companion and so had heard a good deal about me before we met. Our German is about on par with one another; we decided he is better at understanding people, but I'm better at speaking. He is a very good missionary and I think we will get along very well (he went to BYU, so getting along well is a given). It is very different to have another American accent in the apartment instead of Elder Field's British one.   It is definitely weird taking over the area and introducing it to someone new. I took Elder Field's bed, desk, and bike when he left to kind of make it a change for me and because they are all better. The area might have to be patient as we figure everything out being as young as we are, but it will fun and a great learning experience.   As far as the work goes, this week was a little slower because of the transfer. We had a lot to do between Elder Field leaving and Elder Young coming, but this next week should be really good.

I am in luck. Bruder Hunger had some old shirts he wanted to get rid of and asked Elder Field and I if we needed any. They fit me well.  So yesterday in church something really cool happened. Mom you taught Natalie Motto and all her sisters at Oak Canyon so you know them. Her and her family happened to be in the Rosenheim ward. Apparently, her Mom served in Frankfurt and her Dad in Hamburg for their missions and so they wanted to come back and visit Germany. They live down the road from the Pearces so we were able to talk about Sean and how he was doing in New York. It was really great to see someone from back home. Sister Holmstead is the one who came in my group from the MTC and had her picture taken at our dinner with the Mission President. Elder Ronna (the grandson of Grandma Bodily's friend) is one of the APs here in the mission. He picked me up from the airport. He is going home after this transfer.

Well that's about it on time for today. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Being on a Mission has been such a great blessing in my life and I haven't even seen all there is yet. I have had so many great influences in my life who have helped me reach this point and I'm so greatful for all of them. Love you all.   Elder Bodily Gott sei mit euch bis auf wiedersehen

Monday, June 4, 2012

On our way to Family Home Evening with Familie Dzierson in Fischbachea.
Looking down on the town of Fischbachea, Germany. 
Ice Cream Cookie Cake I learned to make. YUM!

June 3, 2012
Servus Zusammen!
So we got transfer calls this week. First of all Elder Field is being transferred to Ashford, England (home). What's actually cool is in his home ward the missionaries brought an investigator family to church who hardly speaks English, but they can speak German and Swiss German. Elder Field served 14 months in Switzerland so he can understand the dialect very well. He will be able to continue missionary work as soon as he gets back. I will definitely miss him though, it has been a great 12 weeks with him.

As for the part relating to me, I will be the senior companion here in Rosenheim and my next companion is Elder Young. Elder Young came into the MTC on the same day as me but knew good enough German before so he was only there for 3 weeks instead of 9 so one more transfer out in the field than me. He has served in Ludwigsburg up until now which is right next to Stuttgart. Elder Stapleton trained him for his first training transfer before Tyler transfered from Ludwigsburg to Vienna as Zone Leader. As President Miles told me on the phone, we are both really young field experience wise so it will be a hard working transfer where we will have to really work together to figure things out, but he believes we can do it. I will meet him on Thursday in Munich train station and then we will get straight to work.

As for the mission work, things are going really well. Familie Bobi has made leaps and bounds with cutting off smoking. We are going to start the non smoking program next week at Familie Lederers house with them but it's so great to see how much progress they've made already just on their own. They continue to take the discussion very well and you can really see how much joy they find in the gospel. The Lord has prepared them to hear his word and it's so amazing to see how much peace and happiness the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring to people such as their family as they change and live a life with Christ in the center. We had 8 investigators and 6 less active members come to church yesterday. We were so blessed to have so many people come. Our mission was fasting this Sunday to find people to bring to church this month and we saw our prayers really answered. Elder Field had never had such high numbers for both categories on any given Sunday in his mission until now. A great way to have his last Sunday in Germany. The Lord is really leading the work here in Rosenheim and it's a wonderful privilege to be a part of it.

This last week a lady in our ward was really sick and asked if we could come give her a priesthood blessing. When she heard I had never given one in German she said that I could give it. I was really nervous at first, but as is every priesthood blessing, it was led by Heavenly Father and I was simple the mouth piece. It taught me something. Although I do not know a lot of German the Lord was able to give the blessing he wanted to give Sister Damm and tell her what he wanted to say, but fit it to as much as I knew with the language. I didn't use any words I didn't know but rather I was able to remember words that I had learned previously and be able to use the principles of grammar I had learned perfectly. It goes back to the parable of the talents. The Lord gave his servants talents and asked him to go multiply them and bring back more. The Lord will be able to use all the talents that we have in order to bring forth his righteous works, and for that, especially as a Missionary, I am so grateful. It also means though they have the assignment to always increase our talents. Besides being a spiritual experience in which we were able to serve Heavenly Father to help Sister Damm, it also gave me a renewed motivation to work even harder with my German so that I could develop my talents as much I could so that the Lord would be able to use me more freely for as many great miracles as he pleases.

I am running out of time before we need to take our train, but I just thought I'd also tell you before I go that for P-Day today we are going to Kehlsteinhaus with our district which was Hitler's summer home on top of a mountain in the south-east corner of Germany. It should be a lot of fun. Thank you all for all of you support. I could not do this work without all of your prayers to the Lord. I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and by him we can have everlasting joy.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen