Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The list of missionaries that have been in St. Polten since 1985 and in the middle is Elder Harmer (Jake Harmer's dad).

Making Swiss Bread with Elder Moon.

All of my companions (except Elder Field) happened to be at Munich Trainstation.  It was great to have us all there together.

Rather Just Really Happy

Rather Just Really Happy
October 29, 2012
Servus Zusammen!

This week we really worked hard and tried to give our all to find new investigators. On Tuesday to Wednesday I had an austausch with Elder Bassett here in St. Pölten and we really cracked down on trying to find people. During our austausch we had felt it was a good idea to go by on some of the less active members of the ward and it turned out to be a very interesting experience. Whatever it was that caused it, these members really opened up and explained some of their concerns for not coming to church. We gave our best to work with them. None of them came this Sunday, but we have brighter hopes for the future now. This whole week we did a whole lot of finding but on Friday Elder Chapman and I decided to really give one big push at the work. We pulled a twenty four hour fast, went through everything that needed to be done for this last weeks section of Elder Chapman's training quickly on Thursday and Friday so we could have an extra hour of work on Saturday, and then we walked through an area of town talking with absolutely everyone and dooring every single house on this road that went through a large portion of the city. Unfortunately we did not find any one to teach at the end of the day, but I also felt really good about our efforts. Even though it was raining pretty hard and I was starving by the time we were done I seemed to not be bothered at all, rather just really happy. 

I have a lot more I need to explain from this week, but because of some scheduling conflicts we weren't able to do emails until rather late and we have to grocery shop now before we get back to working. I promise to have a better email next week. 

Welcome home Kaitlin! I know you have really enjoyed your mission. I hope all is well.

I love you all, hope all goes well.

Elder Bodily

Monday, October 22, 2012

Munich Zone Conference:  President and Sister Miles front center. Elder Bodily back center - face centered in back brown door.

"Preach the Gospel and... Oct 21, 2012

"Preach the Gospel and if Necessary Use Words"   October 21, 2012
Servus Zusammen!

Well there was a lot of interesting things that went on this week. We actually spent a lot of time in Wien (Vienna). On Wednesday we went up to Wien for what was basically a mini Zone Conference. At the beginning of each month all the Zone Leaders go to Munich to meet with President Miles and talk about needs of the Mission or various topics they want to discuss. The area presidency about two months ago asked that after these meetings that the Zone Leaders meet with their Zones and discuss what was presented there so that all missionaries can get a hold of what has been discussed to help improve the work. Wednesday was when they had that and its called Zone Leader Training Meeting. On Thursday we went back to Wien where we had a district meeting as well as interviews with President Miles. On Saturday evening we went back up to Wien to stay the night with Elders Bassett and Moon so that we could go the next morning to the stake center and watch a broadcast from President Monson.

This last week President Monson had visited Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich to visit the members in Germany. Then on Sunday he was in Frankfurt where they had a broadcast  that was played for all German speaking wards and branches. He spoke a lot about applying the love of Christ in our lives and living by example. Something he mentioned that I thought was really interesting was he talked about how Jesus never wrote any of the scriptures we read, rather he lived by example and taught in such a way that he wrote his commandments and his love and his thoughts on the hearts of those who listened who then in turn wrote them for us later to read. It really demonstrated the principle of actions speak louder than words. As President Uchtdorf said "Preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words". It also went in hand with what Mom always tells me, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." I think it's so important to remember that as we made those covenants to follow the Lord we promised to be a witness to him in all that we do. Unless you live what you preach it won't have an impact. I found it a really good talk and very encouraging in that we don't need to worry about what we necessarily say or know to make an impact on others, but rather when we simply choose to act in a loving manner it will mean the world to someone.

I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with President Miles. It was so to say spiritually rejuvenating and it helped me figure out a lot of things that have been pressing my mind for awhile. One it helped me confirm that even though we haven't been having a whole lot of success here in St. Pölten that I am still doing that which I need to be doing and that the Lord is pleased with what I've been giving so far. The other thing it helped me with is to understand more or less of what we need to do to help the ward. We recognized that if you keep doing the same thing over and over with no success it is going to stay that way. Really what we need to do is think outside the box and try new approaches to finding people to teach. For example, Elder Chapman and I are planning on going through a neighborhood this week and offer to rake leaves for those who would need it. We are hoping to live by example in what we are doing and then hope that through our actions it will lead to possible interest on the part of those we serve. Whether they find interest or not at least we will be able to serve and help out around the community. This week will probably be a lot different than former weeks here and I am way excited.

While Elder Chapman was being interviewed I got to talk with Sister Miles about how things were going among other things such as how our apartment was doing, health wise, etc. She prepared to share her thoughts with the Missionaries about President Uchtdorfs talk about how we should enjoy life and allow ourselves to be happy. It is one that I particularly enjoyed and have been thinking about a lot lately. That is something I really learned well with Elder Root; even though the conditions might not have been the best while we were working here in St. Pölten we still managed to have a lot of fun and really be happy throughout it all. The main thing is that we can choose to be happy with the way things are. Some mornings these last few weeks I woke up rather deprived of energy just from being sick or from not being particularly excited for another day of just straight finding when we had no idea as to what or where we were supposed to go, but it always turned out really good by the end of the day because Elder Root and I had always chosen just to enjoy our time and chosen to be happy. It's that choice that has really helped me have the greatest experience with my mission so far. Most days it goes really well where we can feel the spirit and see great work happening before our eyes. But even on those days where it might not be so fortunate the Lord is still waiting to bless us and make us happy as long as we decide we want to have the right attitude. The gospel is about joy and if you allow it to be, you will be filled with joy. The Lord also gives us many things which we can be happy with. On Saturday I had caught a cold somewhat and it was one of those days where I seemed a little more stressed than normal about the work and stressed that I had been getting sick so often that when I we got to the Wien 1 Elders apartments after we ate dinner with them I just went with a prompting I had been having to get a priesthood blessing at some point and asked Elder Bassett if he could help me out. The blessing was very heart warming and since then I've just been very excited and energetic about everything. I am really grateful for all the times the Lord has blessed me and that I can help others understand these blessings that are in store for them.

Something that has been amazing to see since I've gotten here is the change we have seen in the ward towards the missionaries. For the first little while when I was here it seemed like the relationship between the members and us was that of indifference. However, now when we see the ward members they get really excited and happy. I think it came through simple things for example such as showing interest and following up on things, and trying to be active in the ward through lessons or bearing testimony on Fast Sunday.  Also, taking some members cookies or Swiss bread with a spiritual thought never hurts either. These things have helped.

Ok, now a few questions or matters I want to address. First of all, Happy Birthday Grandma Crow, from last Saturday. I hope you had a great day. I think this is the point where you start going down in age so you just get younger from here. 

To answer some of your questions mom: I got the SD card this last week. I will be sending another home that has the pictures from this last transfer with Elder Root. As far as Christmas I am planning to give a copy of Bishop Rife's book to President and Sister Miles. As far as for other ward members or investigators (future ones any way) I think it would be best if I just got the stuff or made the stuff here either because it is in German or I think it would work easier. As for my package I did think of a few more things since President and Sister Miles suggested  you should have Christmas packages sent by the 1st of November. I would like some measuring cups because we don't have any in our apartment and I've searched at stores and just can't find any. Elder Root had to have some sent here from home, but he is gone now. Also some ideas would be Jon Schmidts sheet music. I'd love the hymn ones that I have at home, but also if you could get maybe one of his other books (particularly Volume 3 piano sheet music- the green one) that would be great. On the matter of Jon Schmidt if he by chance has released a new album (it will probably be something to the extent of the Piano Guys Volume 2) that would be awesome. And Poptarts -Smores flavor. You don't have to get all of those things but those are just some ideas. Thank you so much and thank you also for putting together the calendar, I really appreciate it a ton. 

Other Mom questions: Our branch has about 20 active members. My other comparison is Rosenheim which had 60-70 active and was the smallest ward in our mission (there were some branches bigger than it). We don't have a ward building here so we rent out a floor in a building in the southeast part of the inner city. Our Branch President is actually from Wien who was called to serve here, otherwise they would keep having the same people as the branch president. We are one of two branches in our stake, the other being the Bruck an der Mur branch where Elder Stapleton is serving. The active members here are really strong and good faithful people. They have very funny personalities, but it keeps things interesting. As for piano, I play every week in Priesthood and every other week in sacrament. 

Well I should wrap up here. Before I go I just wanted to say that I finished reading Jesus the Christ this week. It is a book I would suggest for everyone. It is very good about really explaining how important Jesus Christ really is for all of us. I know that he is our Savior and that he loves us and helps us when we have faith in him. I am so glad I have this opportunity to represent him and help others through the direction of the spirit come unto him.

I love you all and I'm so grateful for everything you do for me.

Elder Bodily
Gott Sei Mit Euch Bis Aufs Wiedersehen 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wien or better known to Americans as Vienna - Top left: Palace spirals have life of Christ around them. Top center:  Riesernrad, The Ferris Wheel in Prater. Center right: Stephansdom or St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna (was able to go down to the catacombs and see the skeletons). Center left: Imperial Apartment of the Habsburgs - courts dictated each member of the Habsburgs family have their own apartment or suite. Bottom: Palace and Gardens of Schloss Schonbrunn.  I have been able to go to Vienna each Tuesday for District Meetings plus on P-days sometimes. 

New companion Elder Chapman from San Diego CA area.

Servus Zusammen!  October 15, 2012

This Wednesday we went to Munich and got to meet my new companion. His name is Elder Chapman and he is from San Diego, California; well more specifically Valley Center, CA but it's not too far from San Diego. When we went into the trainer trainee dinner I had a really strong feeling that I would probably be companions with him before President Miles announced where everyone was going so that was a confirmation for me that we were supposed to be companions. He comes from a family of 12 siblings, no joke. He didn't have any German experience before the mission so it's all pretty new to him, but he is going to get along just fine. I can tell he is a hard worker. 

So the night before transfers Elder Root and I got the call that because of some visa difficulties in Ravensburg, Elder Root was going to go to Ellwangen instead which is right outside of Stuttgart. He is going to be working ironically enough with the Elder Chapman who came with my group into the mission field and went to Timpanogos with me. Even though I was only one transfer with Elder Root we became really good friends and I am going to miss him a lot, but I also know he is going to have a lot of fun with the other Elder Chapman. 

Before we took the train back from Munich to St. Pölten there was a group of missionaries on the train station at Munich and all of my companions that I have had so far were there, except Elder Field. It was really cool to see them all together.

As for the work this week there was not too much new, but I think Elder Chapman is what the ward needs so we will start seeing some great things take place here soon. 

Madi, Anneliese, Amanda, Cameron, and Bryson, you are the only ones I've heard of so far with turning in (or close to) your mission papers. I am really excited for you all and I hope everything goes well. 

Mom and Dad, tell Brother Olsen thank you so much for the picture of Neuschwanstein for me, but I will also try to get a letter to through to him.

I am sorry I kind of have to hurry because we have a lot to do for Elder Chapman today where he is new and we were running late on getting to emails anyway, but I am going to try to send a couple pictures here off my camera and then send my memory card home for the rest. Quick question mom, I got the new memory card you sent me but did you also send the one with my pictures on it back to me? Just curious, it might come today however.

I love you all and I appreciate everything so much that you do for me. I hope all is well.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Monday, October 8, 2012

Swiss bread -  made it myself!
Elder Bodily, Elder Hyatt and Elder Young.

New companion Elder ? still in Provo, Utah.

Oct. 8, 2012  My new companion straight from MTC - Elder ? don't know the name yet - he's still in Provo! 

Well I guess I should start off with letting you know Mom that I am completely ok. I am not sure what caused the stomach sickness, but it's gone now. And you would be proud of me because when I said that I cleaned our apartment when I arrived in St. Pölten, I really meant it. That included checking under and behind furniture for everything and had there been mold or anything we would have seen it. However, it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace some of the wash cloths and or other things just because of the fact of how sick the Elder here before me was. I will get that taken care of.

However, there is some big news this week. We had transfer calls this last Friday. As guessed I am going to be staying in St. Pölten, but Elder Root is going to a place called Ravensburg in middle southern Germany. It's close to the intersection between Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and is apparently really beautiful so he will enjoy it a lot. We were thinking that we would be staying one more transfer but I guess not. Even though he has been the companion that I've spent the least amount of time with so far I still had a lot of fun with him and we became great friends. I hope all goes well for him there. As for my new companion... well I don't know who it is yet because he is still in Provo right now. President Miles is having me train again and so I am going to Munich this Wednesday for the trainer/trainee dinner where I will get assigned my new companion there. I am very excited to train again and this time it will be more exciting and interesting because instead of just finishing the training like I did with Elder Root, I will actually get to work with them straight out of the MTC. I will let you know next week who my companion is.

As for other transfer information:
Elder Young is going to go be one of the Zone Leaders for Munich zone. I think he will be perfect for the job. The funny thing is he is replacing my old zone leader Elder Melville and Elder Melville is going to Rosenheim. They just switched places which doesn't happen all too often.
Elder Davies is coming to Vienna so he will be in my zone and he is also going to be training so I'll get to see him at the dinner and then we will be riding the train back together afterwards. I am very excited to see him again.
The rest of my district is staying the same.

This week was a rather interesting week. A lot of it we spent in Vienna. On Monday morning we came up for a zone p-day together, because St. Pölten only has 6 priesthood holders, we usually have to pull someone from another ward in the stake to take the branch president spot. Our branch president, President Sztrazcany lives in Vienna and he wanted us to come visit him and his wife sometime so after P-day we went that night.  He lives on the complete other side of Vienna so it took a while to get there, so by the time we were done we decided to stay the night with Elder Bassett and Elder Moon.  We went to District meeting the next morning and right after I did an austausch to work with Elder Bassett in Vienna and stayed Tuesday night there. The next day when we went to exchange back Elder Root and Elder Moon took the wrong train back to Vienna so it took a little longer before we austausched back. I got back to St. Pölten on Wednesday at 5. Thursday and Friday we worked in St. Pölten and then Saturday we had to take a train back to Vienna to watch the Saturday morning session of general conference (at 6 at night) in the stake center. For convenience we stayed the night with the Zone Leaders, Elder Cox and Elder Sievers, and then watched recordings of the Priesthood and Saturday afternoon sessions and then watched the Sunday morning session live (by the way we will not be able to see the Sunday Afternoon session so I would love a copy of the ensign if you send a package around Christmas). After getting out of conference we missed the train that we needed to take so we ended up overnighting with Elder Bassett and Elder Moon. Which leads us to today. We decided to do our P-day here in Vienna so hence I am sending this from an internet cafe from downtown and then after we plan on going and getting those giant Cordon Blues that I sent you pictures of before.

I absolutely loved conference this weekend. I've never enjoyed in the past as much as I have now; I find it one of the most refreshing experiences to hear from the general authorities. The thing that really stuck out to me is with President Monson announcing the lowered age limit for missionaries, and then Elder Nelsen and Elder Holland's talks I really feel like they are putting more trust and responsibility in the missionaries. There is so much that goes into becoming a good missionary, but what it really boils down to is how great is your desire to serve the Lord and how much are you willing to give to him as his disciple. The mission has been something that I have been looking forward to my whole life. Now that I am here I've found it the greatest, most enlightening time of my life. But I know there is always a little more I can do and that I can always improve. My hope is that I can continue to work and grow so that I can be one of those missionaries that the Lord truly trusts. I want to be the kind that can take on Elder Nelsen's challenge and address all those concerns that the people would have, whether by the knowledge I have already been giving or more importantly by learning to humble and hearken unto those bits of insight manifested by the Holy Ghost. Most of all I want to show the Lord that I truly love him by giving my whole might, mind, and strength to this work.

I know that those men who spoke on Saturday and Sunday are called of God. I know that they are disciples of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

I hope all is going well for everyone.  I am excited to see what new mission calls may come here soon because of President Monson's mission age declaration. I love you all and wish for the best for you.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen