Tuesday, July 31, 2012
July 30, 2012
Well it sounds like life in the US has been very eventful this week.
First of all, Brittney and family, I am really sorry to hear about Bo. He was a really good dog; I had a lot of fun with him and will definitely miss not seeing him. I am excited to hear that you have another dog. If possible I'd love to see pictures and what's its name?
Mom and Dad that's way awesome that you got to meet Sister Behrndt. She was a really good missionary and very nice. There are a number of German sister missionaries who get called to the Temple Square mission, but there are usually some visa issues they have to go through before they go and so instead of postponing their mission they usually send them to our mission to work until their visa comes. Because we have sister missionaries in Munich, they usually put the German sister missionaries with them as a third companion. The Munich sisters are in my district so that's how I got to meet Sister Behrndt for the 6 weeks she was here before she went to Utah. Actually we have another sister from our district from Switzerland who got her visa last week and is going tomorrow to Utah. Sister Roffler will be in Temple Square too in a few weeks after the MTC.
Mom, if you could send me the original SD card for now that would be great, thank you.
So this week was a bit slower because I got a really bad cold and Elder Young was having stomach problems (it may have been from the cookie cake we made a week earlier when we accidently put an extra cup of sugar into something already filled with too much sugar, oops). We called Sister Covertson, the mission nurse, and got everything taken care of so now we are back to working really hard. Before we got sick though we had a really good lesson with Familie Bobi before they left to Serbia, one of the most spiritual I've had with them. They are basically what you might call dehydrated members; they are totally converted, just add baptisimal water. After the lesson they expressed their concerns about Serbia and how bad and dangerous the area around their town is and so they asked if Elder Young and I would give them priesthood blessings before they left. Elder Young did the kids and I did Bobi and Vesna and the spirit was very powerful there.
Also, before we got sick, we had a Leadership Training meeting in Munich. It wasn't really a leadership training meeting rather a Zone Conference because everyone was invited in the zone and President Miles didn't speak on anything relating to leadership positions, but I love zone conferences so I'm not complaining at all. More than half of the Munich zone was changed after this last transfer which is strange because in this mission, missionaries don't get transferred from their areas to often. I did get to meet Elder Stapleton's last companion Elder Hyatt, who was really cool and we had a lot to talk about. I still have not seen Elder Stapleton yet.
Because Sister Pingree and I are the only remaining members of our original district, most of them haven't done the fun things we have such as Dachau, Neuschwanstein, Eagle's Nest, etc. and they all want to do that, so the next few P-Days are going to be us going back to some these places. Today is Dachau and we have take a train in a few minutes so I have to go but I love you all and I appreciate everything you do for me. I am grateful for all of your prayers. I know that this is the Lord's work, great miracles happen every day.
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen
Monday, July 23, 2012
July 23, 2012
A Dear Friend
Well, I don't know how to begin other than I'd like to ask all of you if you could keep the Cook family in your prayers. Their son Brian just passed away and he was a friend of mine. He didn't wake up from his sleep and they can't find anything from the autopsy that would suggest why he died. He was getting ready to go on a mission here soon. I want his family to know that I care for them and hope that they are all right. I know that because of Jesus Christ, he is only in a place better than this, serving a mission in the spirit world so that the people there may be able to obtain the same everlasting joy that he will have. I know that he is watching over us and I know that we will be able to see him again and he will be filled with happiness because of his diligence to keep the commandments and his desire to follow the path of our Lord and Savior.
Brian was an incredible person and a good friend and I hope the best for all who were close to him.
I don't mean to make light of the situation, but I probably should explain what has happened this week since I only get to email once a week. Yes, we had a great P-Day with Elder Field and his dad when they came back to visit the mission. We spent the whole day in Salzburg; it sky was a lot clearer this time than last which made it a great day. Elder Young and I wore our Lederhosen and got asked by a couple tourists if they could take their pictures with us. It was probably the first day in Austria for them and we were the first set of LH wearers that they had seen because in Southern Germany/Austria Lederhosen isn't uncommon at all. We went to the Jentzsch's for dinner afterward and then had to say goodbye again. It was super great to see Elder Field again.
I told Mom and Dad in a letter already, but Elder Young and I are staying in Rosenheim for another transfer. I was very happy to hear this because we have had a lot of fun together so far and Rosenheim is just an incredible place. Elder Young was also made District Leader. Half our District was transferred so we have a lot of new missionaries in it. I will have spent at least a fourth of my field experience in Rosenheim by the end of this transfer. It's definitely one of the greatest places in the mission to spend so much time in. Our new Assistant President is Elder Sanderson who graduated from Timpanogos High School the year before I got there. He is replacing Elder Ronna, who is heading home, who lives in Grandma Bodily's ward.
We taught Familie Bobi tithing this last week. We had been a little nervous for a while with them about teaching it, but it was just another example of how prepared they are to hear the word and how strong their faith is. They understood completely why we have the commandment and were not worried about keeping it. They will be going to Serbia on vacation this next week. They may end up spending 4-6 weeks there. If so, this Tuesday will be the last time I see them if I get transferred at the end of this one. That will be really sad because they have been an incredible family that I've been so blessed to get to know. Mom, thanks again for the Twinkies package, they absolutely loved them.
We found three investigators this week that have a lot of potential to make progress. The first is named Herr Hamburger (funny I know, right). He met with the missionaries 10 years ago and at the time didn't feel ready, but he was excited that we found him and wants to start coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. The other two are an elder couple named Herr and Frau Schoburn. They are two of the nicest people you would ever meet. They have visited Utah a couple of times and love the Mormons. They know almost everything about our church already. They met with the missionaries a few years ago, but stopped after they went to Africa to do some humanitarian service. We were so blessed to find them and I am excited to see what comes.
I need to go now, but I hope you are all ok. Mom and Dad I have another postcard coming so I can explain more of what has been going on. Thank you again so much for everything you have sent me. I have still not received the advil/etc. package you sent right after I was hit by the car on my bicycle (back in May), so hopefully that will come, but the rest I have. Brandon I hope you had a lot of fun on the scout trip. I imagine the young men loved having your boat there. Amber thank you for telling me about Rolf (I actually got your email before Mom's so you were the one who spilled the news). The question is whether his dad from Germany, taught him German. I hope so because then I put huge approval stamp on you dating him.
I love you all and I hope all is well,
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen
Monday, July 9, 2012
Rosenheim, an amazing ward!
First of all I better warn you all for next week; my P-Day is going to be on Wednesday instead of Monday next week so that's when I'll email home. The reason why is Elder Field (Seb) is coming back to visit Germany and he will be in the Rosenheim area on that day so we wanted to have P-day to do something with him. We are planning on going to Salzburg for the day and then we will have a dinner appointment with a family in our ward that night which he will be there for as well. Also this week is transfer calls. It is about 50-50 as to whether I stay in Rosenheim or go somewhere else. If I go, that Wednesday P-Day will be my last full day in Rosenheim. Elder Young and I are both really hoping that I will stay though. I really love the area here, the ward is amazing, and I want to stay another transfer at least with Elder Young. What will happen is if I'm staying I will send home my memory card with pictures from this last transfer. If not I'll send a letter explaining where I'm going and send the pictures a week later (I'll need them this week to print off for Tchüß -farewell- books with mine and Elder Young's).
We had a lot of people who were gone this week including Familie Bobi who was in Munich most of the week. We did meet with them once though and had a really good lesson. Also, Bobi said he would pay you guys if you sent some more Twinkies here to Germany. I told him he didn't have to pay but if you want the money back I'll pay you. We did spend most of the week tracting. We found a lot of areas on the map that we can cross off as having no interest, but we did find a few good potential investigators and made appointments out with them for this week. Elder Young and I are hoping to make this last week of the transfer our hardest working yet and hopefully see a lot of miracles take place.
The Rosenheim ward has to be one of the most amazing wards out there. They are always so nice and helping us out. They are some of the friendliest people you'd ever met. For example, this week we had Gregor and Debbie Jentzsch show up at our apartment with a cake and fresh strawberries. Debbie had told me she wanted to sew up my slacks after I got hit by the car a few weeks earlier. Apparently, there was something in the pants that she couldn't fix and so her and Gregor went and bought me a new set of pants and again surprised me with them. Also we have a family named Familie Dzierzon who invites us to dinner about once every two weeks. Bruder Dzierzon was the one who had invited us to come to Neüotting for the musical activity there. On the way there he found out I played the guitar. Well yesterday, we were at their house for dinner and he brought down an old 12 string guitar and said that he was going to get rid of it, but if I could replace the strings, I could have it. It's hard to believe how nice the people in the ward are here. The greatest thing about all of them is just there genuine love for other people.
Yesterday, I gave my first Sacrament talk in Germany. The first counselor in the Bishopric asked me last Wednesday to pick a subject to speak about for 20 minutes. I had to just read a lot from the paper that my talk was on, but I think it went pretty well.
Now for the crazy experience of the week: we went to go door these apartments and the second door we rang was this angry fat French guy. He told us that nobody (of the 35 apartments in the building) had any interest and that we were to leave the building immediately. Well we brushed him off and went to the next door. Nobody was home but he came out his door again and started to yell at us and say nobody wanted to hear about Christ and that we need to go away or he would come and hit us. He went back inside and we went to the next door. Again nobody was home but he came out again and said he was going to call the Police. We then explained that we had permission from the German government to be doing what we were doing. He then replied I'm going to call them anyway if you don't go away. We knocked on the next door and the people inside answered but he came out again and started yelling and scared them off. After that we went down to the lower levels. We ended up finding two potential investigators there. We went to the next building and after we came out of that one, we saw Mr. Jean-Baptise putting a lock on the chain of my bike. When he saw us he hurried and ran inside as fast as his 280 lbs would let him. The thing is he wasn't very smart about it and he left the combo on the right numbers so it came off very quickly. Hopefully we don't have to deal with him again though.
Well we have to go but hope you all have a great week. Love you all.
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen
Monday, July 2, 2012
July 1, 2012
Faith Experience Week
Faith Experience Week
So we had a really incredible experience with faith this last week. The week before this last week we had had 10 fallen out appointments and the week before that we had had 8. Some of these appointments were ones that hardly ever fall out let alone twice. Needless to say Elder Young and I had to work hard to keep motivated. This last week we knew that having so many appointments fall out was not what the Lord wanted and it wasn't a good use of our time. The only thing is, is that there is not much you can do to prevent this. The only thing we could think of was put our faith to the test and pray every day often that we wouldn't have so many fallen out appointments and then work even harder in hopes that it would somehow help the situation. Well, this last week we had 12 appointments with only one that fell out and during the time that we would have had this appointment we found a new investigator who we had a really good appointment with the next day. For me it was a huge faith building moment where I was really able to see how blessed I was by the Lord. We gave our all and through the spirit we were able to see some great wonders.
Among these appointments we had a couple with Familie Bobi and we had all prayed for when we should reset their baptisimal date. Elder Young and I went into the appointment thinking that Sept 22 seemed to be a good day for it. They then told us that that's what they were thinking too because it was a couple days after Bobi's birthday and it just seemed right to them. Every lesson we have them is just so spiritually uplifting and it's amazing to see how much the Lord has prepared them to here this message.
We have this one investigator named Bruno. He is a very outspoken guy who considers himself an American and so he always speaks in English and refers to Germany and Europeans and a foreign people. He is really funny though and our appointments with him lately have been going very good. He has read to near the end of Mosiah in just a few weeks which for an investigator is fantastic. He has been slowly building more and more interest with each lesson and we have really good hopes for him in the near future. He said he is going to start coming to church and will consider praying which are two things that he would have never said when we first started teaching him. We can really start to feel the spirit while teaching him because he has a genuine interest to learn even if he doesn't give us much time to speak because he's always breaking off into random tangents.
Mom and Dad I am glad you had a lot of fun with Elder Field and his friend Lucas when they stayed overnight. He said it was really great to meet you guys and had a lot of fun. I got a short email from him just saying how grateful he was for all of it. I am glad you both really liked him too because he really is an awesome person.
This last week we went to Neuötting, which is another ward area next to ours, to help out those Elders and their district with a street presentation and later a musical program. Elder Young and I did a singing/piano arrangement of Come Thou Fount mixed with Oh How Lovely was the Morning. We are planning on a doing it for one of our district meetings so I will record on my camera and send it home.
Mom, since Elder Field left I have actually not gained weight. Elder Young and I still run every other morning, though slowly because he has some back problems so we shouldn't push it too hard, and Elder Young wanted to take on some of mine and Elder Field's eating habits so we are not eating too unhealthily either. However, we are having fun learning how to cook together. I apparently have not lost enough weight though because the other night I collapsed my bed as I went to lay down. I fixed it but we will see what happens in the future.
I need to go but I will just wrap up on a few things: Brittney, I am really glad your house didn't catch fire. It sounds like Utah needs some Rosenheim rain because we have plenty of it. Also, Brittney I don't know if you are still doing the July 4th race, but if so have fun and good luck. For 4th of July here we are having dinner at our ward mission leader's house because he is the American in our ward. Dad I hope all is going well with work. I am sure you did a great job with unraveling this new call center. Mom the Washington picture would be great and also if it's possible to send in that package A1 and or Tabasco sauce? If it's not possible don't worry about it. Thank you for everything and I love you guys so much.
Just by the way, based off our scheduled dates to come home, Elder Young and I will have completed one fourth of our missions by the end of this week.
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen