Monday, September 24, 2012

Finally met up with Elder Stapleton - Sept. 24, 2012

Finally met up with Elder Stapleton (friends since third grade) on transfer from Rosenheim to St. Polten.

I also ran into Elder Terry finally on last transfer who is another missionary I knew before I came on my mission.

The "Blue Man Group" in Lederhosens.

Postcard: I've arrived in St. Polten Sept. 24, 2012

I've arrived in St. Polten.  It's about 40 minutes west of Vienna.  Austria is quite different from Germany so far as the stores, shops and train systems.  It doesn't have mountains like the Rosenheim area, but has a lot of rolling hills and forest.  Elder Root will be fun to work with.  I do think we will see miracles here if we are patient and work really hard.

Guitar Birthday card too much fun! Sept 24, 2012

 September 24, 2012

Servus Y'all!  Guitar Birthday card too much fun!

First of all, Mom and Dad thank you for the guitar birthday card. I got that three days ago and had maybe a little too much fun with it. We don't get mail on Sundays or Saturdays here and so anything that would have come then usually comes on Tuesday. If it makes you feel better Mom I have gotten a letter from you and from Madi that both said Trauson strasse (without the t) instead of Trautson strasse so I think anything sent under Trauston strasse should get to me. I am also glad you got the package I sent. I sent that before I left Rosenheim so I figured it should have come soon. As for the CD that you sent back in July it arrived in July but it showed up in this Postzoll (I don't know what it translates to in English) that we had to go to retrieve it from because they had some questions about the contents. It's not a problem, it happened before in Rosenheim, but the difference is last time they sent to a Postzoll in Rosenheim whereas with the CD in July they sent it to this Postzoll in a city we had to ride our bikes an hour to get to and so we had to wait till P-Day, but by that time they said they would already send it back. There shouldn't be any problems here though. I don't think Austrians are as suspicious about other people's mail as Germans are.

Thank you everyone though for the birthday wishes, that means a lot to me. It is really hard to believe I am turning twenty this Friday. I am as old as Brittney when she got married and Amber when she moved out of the house and that's just a strange thought to me. Thinking back on my 19th birthday last year  doesn't seem that long ago at all. The time really does  go by quickly on the mission. I am already over a third of the way done with my mission. My hope is that I can continue to make the rest of the time just as great as it has been so far.

Well at this point I have just about everything taken care of for my Police record and getting me registered legally in Austria. I won't actually get the police record until this transfer is over with because they have to do all of the important business stuff with it before they get to me. Speaking of which there is only this week and next week left in this transfer. That has to be the fastest transfer I've been through yet (well I guess I'll have to wait until it's over to really say that), but it really has gone by way fast.

This last week we had an Austausch with the Zone Leaders and so Elder Root went up a couple of days to Vienna and Elder Cox came back with me to St. Pölten. However, we accidently got on the one train during the day that went in the direction of St. Pölten without stopping there. Instead we went to a city called Linz which was an extra hour and a half pass St. Pölten on the train. Then we had to take a train from there back to St. Pölten for another hour and half. I have just had a lot of train time this transfer. However, after the missed train we did have a fun Austausch. If Elder Stapleton had been a Zone Leader just one more transfer we would have been working in St. Pölten for a couple of days together. But I have been able to see him a couple times since I got to the Vienna Zone.

On Wednesday we had a lot of problems with our shower drain. It was spewing out the food that went down our kitchen sink so we had to go to the store and get some stuff to take care. Let's just say it wasn't one of the most fun things I've ever had to deal with, but we got it taken care of finally. On Thursday Elder Root and I got really sick. We think it had to do with cleaning the shower drain somehow. However, we got better the next day and we're able to work again. On Sunday we had Stake Conference and so the night before Elder Root and I went up to Wien to stay the night with Elder Bassett and Elder Moon so that we could get there on time the next morning. In Austria they have two stakes which are the Wien and the Salzburg stakes. The Wien stake is pretty much all of eastern Austria so all 5 of the Wien wards plus the St. Pölten, Wiener neustadt, Bruck, and Graz wards/branches.

For the most part this week we didn't get a lot of time to actually work, because we were either taking wrong trains, fighting showers, dealing with some ward issues, being in Wien, being sick, etc. So we are really hoping to make this next week one of our most productive weeks yet. Elder Root is doing well. He understands German very well for someone who has been in the mission only as long as he has and he is very easy to work with.

Thanks again for all of the birthday wishes and support this week. There are just a few more things before I need to go:  Elder Braden Nickle you are in my prayers.  I hope doctors figure out soon what's going on so they can take care of it.   Buddy I heard you did really well with fishing. Good job bud and maybe we can go with your Dad sometime when I get back.  Well I should probably get going, but I hope you are all doing well. I love you a lot and I hope that this next week is really good.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mongolian Lady Miracle Sept. 17, 2012

September 17, 2012 Mongolian Lady Miracle

Servus zusammen!

Well first of all, this week we did a lot of work with calling the Elders in the mission office who ended up calling one of the old missionaries who is now back in America (he went home last transfer) to figure out everything with this whole registration issue and we got it just about all figured out. I will actually not have to go back to Rosenheim now, which on one hand is too bad because it would have been great to see it once more, along with Elder Young; but on the other hand it will save a lot of stress, time, and money and we can just concentrate on the mission work in St. Poelten instead of having to worry about all of this transfer deal. I am just about legal in Austria now.

This last week was momentous because we got the apartment completely clean which according to our ward mission leader  is the first time it has been so in a long time. I was able to completely unpack and now I am starting to feel settled in. 

As far as the work goes this week we spent a lot of time tracting and we were able to find a new investigator named Arun Johnson. He is originally from India and speaks English, but not a lot of German. We were able to have a very good first lesson with him and he was really open to the church and excited about the Book of Mormon. The only unfortunate thing is that because of his work he has to travel around a lot and we won't be able to meet with him again for a few weeks. But he was a really nice guy and we are excited for what may come for him. 

This last week I had an austausch with Elder Moon. It was probably the funnest austausch I've had so far and it was really good to catch up on what had happened since junior high. By the way mom, I never knew until now that it was you who told him and Cade Wilkes to steal Mrs. Jensen's stapler so you could put it in green Jello. I guess you can always find out something new about your parents. From last we heard though, Mrs. Jensen still thinks it was just Elder Moon and Cade who were behind it.

Two Sundays ago this Mongolian lady came to our church who we had ran up to us the week before asking for a card to where our church was. The problem was that she could hardly speak German at all and no English, and so it was very difficult to communicate with her. However, when she came, we went to the computer in the church office and pulled up the google translator to communicate. We found out that she was a member from Mongolia and was here working to save money. The only problem is she didn't have a lot of money and needed to find a free German class so she could go to school and get around the country. We were able to tell her about the Young Single Adult German Class in Wien (Vienna) and that it was free. She then also asked for a Book of Mormon because she had lost hers on her way here to Austria. Fortunately, of the 5 different languages of Book of Mormon we had in the office, one of them was Mongolian. She started to get really emotional and was super appreciative during it all. What was also a miracle is that Elder Root had been on an austausch with one of the Wien Elders and during the austausch they had a dinner appointment with possibly the only Mongolian speaking member in the Wien wards, Sister Huy is her name. So we told this Mongolian lady that we would have Sister Huy call her to arrange everything with getting around. We called Sister Huy that night and told her the situation. It turned out to be really good, because Sister Huy then called us back later and told us that apparently this Mongolian lady was here working as a nanny in the St. Poelten area in order for her to get money to go to school at one of the music universities in Wien. However, the family she was nannying for signed her to a contract, but took advantage of her. They started only paying her the equivalent of 450 dollars a month and she had to work from 8 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday and worse they started to get abusive. The Mongolian lady had no way of contacting anyone and didn't know what to do about the language barrier. It just so happens that Sister Huys husband is a lawyer and so they were able to basically rescue her from the mess she was in. The Mongolian lady is now living with them in Wien and finding a new job while learning German from the church. It was a miracle that it all fell in place and that nothing worse happened to her. I guess that was the extent of this week, but it's been great to work with Elder Root here.

Thank you so much for the birthday package you have sent. I really appreciate it a lot. Question, has the package I sent arrived yet? As for mail here, we get letters in a post box and if we get a package we just receive a slip in our mail box saying that a package is waiting for us at the post office to pick up. 

Your question from last week: by the end of my time with Elder Field I had lost 41 pounds. After a transfer with Elder Young I regained 10 back, but it stayed the same through the next transfer.  So I have kept off the 31 pounds I've lost since the beginning of my mission which isn't bad.

Dad, thank you so much for the mission story you sent me. I've heard that one from you in the past, but it was good just to have it in its whole like you sent it to me. Keep those stories coming. Thank you for having served a mission and being such a good example for me. 

Mom, I already have an idea for what I would like for Christmas if you are willing to put the work in. If it's too much don't worry about it, but I figure I could at least give you a notice in advance so you can decide. What I would like is a calendar with pictures of our family in it. Specifically I would like each month dedicated to members and I kind of thought of an order for it:

January: Brittney and Brandon
February: Mom
March: Tyson
April: Amber and Rolf
May: Zach, Emily, Koen (I don't know when Rolf's birthday is.
June: Grandma and Grandpa Crow, Nydeggers, Ricks family
July: Friends
August: Dad
September: Bekah
October: Grandma Bodily, Roberts family
November: DeMilles
December: The family

If you need any help with the friend pictures I am sure Sister Pearce could help you out with that and getting photos from facebook. If you are willing to do that let me know cause I would absolutely love it. 

 I really love you all and I appreciate everything you are all doing for me. Thank you guys so much, love you lots.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Monday, September 10, 2012

No, that was not a mistake Sep.t 10, 2012

 Well it's been a great week this week in Rosenheim...

No, that was not a mistake. I said Rosenheim, not St. Pölten. Just to add more confusion I'm actually in Vienna right now.

Story Time: You have to register and unregister whenever you move cities in Germany and Austria. If you move to Austria you have to have a police record from the last country you lived in. When I unregistered from Germany, the lady in the office was either new or didn't know what she was doing because when we asked how we could get a police record she said I had to get it from a website after the unregistering process went through. Well, I got to Austria and went to the website that the lady gave me on my P day. I got to the website and it said specifically on it, "You cannot get a Police Record from the internet" in German of course. Just to make sure I didn't read anything wrong, my ward mission leader and I went through to find out what we needed to do so that I could get the record in order to legally register in Austria. After searching on the website we found out I needed to go back to Germany in order to get it from the Rosenheim registration place, because that's where I last lived. I talked with President Miles and we received permission to go Thursday back to Rosenheim and stay the night with Elder Young and Elder Gochnour because the register place was only open from 7-10 in the morning. (Just by the way it was incredibly fun to be with Elder Young again and be together as a foursome). Friday morning we went to the register place and talked with a different lady. That lady was not entirely sure as to what I had to do being in my current situation, so she gave me a phone number to call. The problem was that the call center didn't open until 3. So we had to spend a day working in Rosenheim with the Elders there again. I called the place and they referred me to a different website to know what to do. We went to the website and found out that I have to be reregistered in Germany before I can get the police record again, but by this time the place was closed and wouldn't open until Monday morning. Because it takes four hours to ride from Rosenheim to St Pölten, we had to stay the night again, but we talked to President Miles and the Mission secretary as to what we should do. We got it arranged so that Elder Young and I could sign a paper where he would have permission to reregister and unregister me in Rosenheim. So Saturday at noon we headed back to St Pölten and today Elder Young is registering me in Rosenheim so that in 2 weeks (which is the time required for this process) I can come back to Rosenheim and apply for a police record so that I can register in Austria legally. Then after that Elder Young can unregister me after a couple of days. It was a very complicated process, but it was a fun journey nonetheless. The good news is, is that I am registered Germany so if by some chance I do get in trouble with Austria, all they will do is just ship me back to Rosenheim. It was great to see Rosenheim and Elder Young again through all of this. All of this should be taken care of pretty easily now.

Funny side note, I had to ride 5 hours to get from Munich to St Pölten when I first got here; we then had to ride 8 hours from Rosenheim and back last week. I will have to take another 8 hours for the journey in two weeks. Also the week after that I have to take 10 hours to go to Munich and back for a District Leaders counsel that they hold every 4 months (I was lucky enough to go to one of these). Plus we have to spend 2 hours going to Vienna and back every Tuesday, and an additional 2 hours for my austauschs with the rest of my district and the Zone leaders. I am getting a lot of train miles for just one transfer.

As far as the work goes, we were able to find Elder Root his first investigator and he had his first appointment after 7 and a half weeks in St Pölten.

Today we are having a P day in Vienna with Elder Bassett and Moon and then staying the night for a Zone leader training counsel that we have tomorrow here. Which we actually have to go here pretty soon.

Before that I just wanted to say that I am very happy the reception went well for Amber. I am sure it was fantastic. Also, what is my blog address? Another quick question, first of all thank you so much for getting me Bishop Rife's book; I was wondering if when you send it if you could also get me Gordon B Hinckley's book "Stand a Little Taller"? That would be fantastic. I am going to be sending pictures from last transfer home this week. Also Dad, I was wondering if you could send me some information about your mission: for example which cities you served in and how long, what some of your companions were like, some of your interesting experiences and good stories, etc. I wanted to learn even more about your experience. 

Thank you so much for everything you have all done for me. I really appreciate all of your support. I love you all and I'm so grateful for this opportunity I have to be here.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen