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

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