Monday, January 28, 2013

Christmas time with Familie Hirschman and his parents.

This cheerful miner (nutcracker) greeting "Gluck Auf" means Good Luck!

Christmas at Schonbrunn with E. Bassett, Moon, and E. Bodily.

Christmas tree with sparklers.

Checking out old cell phone numbers!

January 28, 2013
Servus Zusammen!

Sorry this email is going to have to be really fast because we have to go pick people up from the main train station for a zone p-day that we are having today. I haven't been able to read any emails so if you had questions I will have to answer them in a letter or email next week, but I will print them out to read later today.

First though Happy Birthday Brittney! I hope you had a great day on Friday. I love you lots and I hope you know you are one of my two favorite sisters.

Last week President Miles ended up telling all of the missionaries to go through their cell phones and clean them out like Elder Zimmerman and I did and it was amazing how many people our mission found that said they would like to meet. It was cool to be a part of something that made a huge impact on others. We still have appointments lined up to meet with these people that we found. One of these numbers that we called ended up being a less active member that we didn't know about and hadn't been to church in 7 years. He came this last Sunday just because we had called him and asked if we could meet (us thinking that he was an investigator) and he took that as we could meet in the church. He said he was glad he came to church and hopes to come more frequently.

Another bit of interesting news is that come March whoever my companion will be at that time and I will be changing apartments. We will be moving into the International ward Elders apartment and living with them so that some sister missionaries can move into ours. The sisters will be serving in the German speaking ward with us and we will be living in a four man apartment. It will be like the MTC again where it was always 4-6 in a room. The good thing is that the Int. Elders apartment with us in it is probably still more roomy than our current apartment.  Don't worry, I'll let you know what my new address is when it gets closer to that time.

Well I have to go but I hope all is well. Love you lots.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Monday, January 21, 2013

Elder Root and Bodily at Munich Bahnhof.

My mission son and stepson.

Trainer day with Elder Chapman.

The field is white in more ways than one!

January 21, 2013
Well everyone can you believe it? I have been out over a year now.

It's crazy to think that a year ago I was entering the MTC. There has been so much that has happened both here and at home. From here things are on the downhill and it already seems like it's going a little too quickly. I can tell I have been out a year though because I ran a hole into one of my shoes. I'll probably get an extra pair here soon since walking around in the snow with a hole in the bottom of your shoe isn't the best. Thank goodness for the shoe coverings that mom sent.

Well this was an eventful week. On Tuesday we had a Zone training meeting. This is where we meet with our zone and talk to them about the business that President Miles speaks to us about at zone leader council. It was quite fun and I got to lead the meeting. I got to see Elder Root again since he is in my zone. He is already training; he is in the same transfer that I was in when I trained him but I feel like that went by way to fast. It just means that I already have a mission grandson.

The day after we had an austausch with the elders in Ulm. Elder Buntain is the district leader of that district and I got to work with him in Stuttgart. He was really good friends with Elder Field back home in England and so that's how I got to know him and we've been friends throughout our missions but it was fun to actually work with him. It was one of the funnest austausches I had had so far. Afterwards we took a train back to Ulm to switch back but mine and Elder Zimmerman's train back was delayed for about an hour and a half so we decided to go eat and then go look at the worlds tallest cathedral (the Münster cathedral) which was a 5 minute walk from the Ulm Bahnhof.

Our mission was getting new sim cards for the phones of all of the Germany missionaries because of problems in the past. Because of this we had to write down all of our contact list numbers and then transfer them over when we got the new cards. Elder Zimmerman and I decided to make the most of it and we called all the numbers in our phone of people who we didn't recognize. Through it we made out 4 appointments for this week and found about 11 others who said they would love to meet we just needed to call next week when they figure out their schedule. It's not too often that you find 15 potential investigators in one week let alone one day so the next day when we were supposed to make our weekly call to President Miles we told him about the success that we saw and told us that we should tell the rest of our zone to do the same and that he would call the Munich zone leaders to tell their zone to do the same. We already had an appointment with one of these people who it turned out happened to have a baptisimal date about 3 years ago and then moved and things got busy and lost contact with the missionaries. He is going to Hamburg for about 3 weeks to 3 months next week so we might not have contact with him for awhile but we at least had a good lesson and we reestablished that contact between the missionaries and him.

I have some really cool news. Liz, the lady who moved from Vienna to St. Pölten with the Hirschman family for about two and a half weeks then back to Vienna on her own who I got to teach for a little bit in that time is getting baptized in two weeks in Vienna. In Rosenheim there was a family from Nigeria that Elder Field and I found who had 5 kids named Familie Ojo. We taught them twice but then they kind of disappeared and we weren't able to find them again. Well now they are also getting baptized in the coming weeks. They had moved back to Rosenheim and found the missionaries and worked out a baptisimal date. Also, a girl named Tatijana who Elder Young and I found in my last week in Rosenheim is getting baptized this week. I didn't do that much with these people but it is so cool to see the blessings that are coming their way. It's a really happy feeling. The last I heard Familie Bobi in Rosenheim is still working as hard as ever to overcome word of wisdom challenges so that they can get baptized. Because of some health issues that she has it is hard for her to overcome addictions, but it was great to hear that they hadn't given up.

I am glad you got the package as well as the letters. Let Amber know that I will try and find her something that is unbreakable and send it to her later. Thanks for scheduling the appointment for BYU mom.  Well that's probably about it for this week. This was the first week that I missed church since they cancelled it because the roads here were too icy. They don't have that many snow plows here so if it snows a lot then it is a little more difficult to travel around. I hope you are all doing well.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stuttgart is a very clean San Francisco without a bay!

January 14, 2013
Servus zusammen!

I hope all is well back in Utah where it's 15 degrees average. Don't worry dad, it was averaging 0 in St. Pölten when I left, but Stuttgart has been about the same as there it sounds like. I hope you are doing well though.

This week we had zone leader council in Munich. Elder Zimmerman and I left Thursday afternoon and got back Friday evening. Because of our train times the Stuttgart Elders always have to get there about and hour and a half earlier, but it just meant we got to help set up and talk with President and Sister Miles for a little while. The council was cool for a number of reasons. First of all it was great to see Elder Young again and Elder Gubler from my MTC group who was made a zone leader in Wien this transfer with me as well. Most importantly it was a great spiritual discussion. For the most part the council is designed as President Miles' time to talk with us about some things he wants to focus on in the mission and then having a big discussion about it and work on implementing the ideas and then we are supposed to take them back and talk to our zone about them. It was one of the more spiritually uplifting meetings I've had on my mission so far. I have always loved President Miles but that's been growing even more and more. During the council we also talk about a bunch of mission business or technicalities. Among the things we talked about were some of the issues we will be facing with all of the new missionaries coming in. When a new group of missionaries comes in it is normal about 10 people. In the groups that are coming to Germany in March, May, and June there will about 30 in each with a little more than half being sister missionaries. This is going to mean that every sister missionary that is not a new missionary will be training and some will even have to train two new missionaries at the same time. There are going to be a lot of new apartments that will need to be found as well. One of the cool changes involved with this is because of how many new missionaries there will be, President Miles won't be able to have all the trainers and goldens together for the dinner and trainer/golden training meeting. So instead they are going to assign the goldens to their companions and areas and send them to the different zones where the zone leaders will be holding the training meetings. One zone leader will work with trainers while the other works with the goldens until they come together. It will be a fun experience.

Ok, so more about Stuttgart now. I've decided the best way to describe Stuttgart is a very clean San Francisco without a bay, but with snow and some old European architecture all over. There are a lot of forests and a couple of lakes on the outside edges. 

Right now we have one investigator that we are working with named Gabriela. She is from south America but has lived here most of her life. She fits in well with the ward because for some reason Stuttgart seems to be where all of the South Americans flock to in Germany and so a third of our ward is Latin American. She comes to church every week, but she hasn't been reading in the Book of Mormon so that has been our focus with her. We are also working with a new convert named Stephan. He was baptized back in October by Elder Zimmerman and his companion at the time. We are finishing the new convert lessons with him, but we are almost done. He is really cool. My first impression of him was that he was someone who had grown up in the church his whole life because he knows a whole lot about the doctrines and the scriptures. He is loved by the ward and is probably going to be a bishop some day.

We have a  family from Orem in my ward as well. Brother and Sister Wels lived with their kids in south Orem most of their life, but they decided to move here because his job allows him a spot here.  The wife had German parents so she knows the language and taught the kids it as well, they wanted to work on genealogy here, and help with missionary work which helps us a lot. We became great friends immediately and it was great to see someone from back home. They've been here since the summer and will stay here until the summer of 2014.

This last week we got to go help the international ward Elders with service. They had a member who had a friend who was changing furniture in her house and couldn't find anyone who was free to help that day, so the member suggested the missionaries. She is from Minnesota and was super grateful for the help. Afterwards she took us all to lunch and got talking to us and one thing after another she eventually said that she would like to hear more about the church because all the Mormons she knew were always super friendly.  So now the international elders will get to meet with her. She seemed like she would be a golden investigator.

Well those are the main things that happened this week. I hope all is going well. I hope it warms up for dad. Love you lots.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Years here is crazy!

January 7, 2013
Guten Morgen!

Well, first, that's really interesting with the ward changes this last week. It will be good to have some of these people from the 3rd ward back in our ward, but I will definitely miss a lot of people. It's sad they won't be in our ward after this. I plan on visiting a lot of them after my mission. It's so weird to think that my ward will have different people when I get back. It still hasn't registered to me that I have a new bishopric or anything.

In other news Stuttgart is great! I had no idea how cool and pretty the city was. It's probably already my favorite big city I've seen in my mission so far. The city itself is built on just lots of hills with one really huge hill at the southern end where our apartment is. There is a really cool overview about 6 minutes walk from our apartment where you can overlook the whole city. My new address is:

Kirche Jesu Christi, HLT
Elder Bodily
Weidachstr. 19

I loved Austria, but it was really great to get back in Germany because that's where I started in my mission so everything felt familiar and felt like going home in a sense. Our ward is by far the biggest I've served in so far. In Rosenheim we had about 65 active members, in St. Pölten we had 25, and here in Stuttgart we have 170. There are two wards in Stuttgart: one is the German speaking ward and the other is the English speaking ward because there are a ton of US military bases in the area and so the members there plus the immigrants who speak English better than German go there. However, E. Zimmerman and I are the missionaries for the German speaking ward. Ironically, native Germans are the missionaries for the English ward. Working with E. Zimmerman is great. He is a hard worker but really good at staying relaxed and calm and gets along well with others. His Texas accent comes out every now and again which is great. I am still getting to know the members and people we are working with. 

It's already been really fun being a Zone Leader. We get to work with other missionaries a lot more often and have various events to plan for and we get to work more with President Miles. This week we are going to Munich on Thursday until Friday for a meeting for all of the Zone Leaders (14 of us, companionships in Vienna 2nd ward, Munich 3rd ward, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Zürich, Bern, and St. Gallen) that takes place at the beginning of each month. I'll get to see Elder Young again since he is the Zone Leader in Munich. We also meet every third week with the Stake President to discuss missionary work in the zone. We get to do austausches with all of the district leaders and trainers in our zone as well, so I will get to work with Elder Root again for a little bit.

Before I reached Stuttgart I had a great week in St. Pölten. The members invited us to dinner basically every night. We spent New Years with the Brunnsteiners. New Years here is crazy, it feels like the city is getting bombed when they get fireworks going. I will miss the ward members there a lot.

We have to get me registered today so I have to go now, but I'll make sure to explain more of what is going on next week. I love you all and Happy New Year!

Elder Bodily