Monday, February 25, 2013

Investigator set a baptismal date.

February 25, 2013

I've got some exciting news, we set a baptismal date with our investigator Luis! This week we had planned to set it with him on Monday, but that appointment fell out. We tried to reschedule about 3 different times, but something kept happening where his bus got delayed or the U-bahn he needed to take wasn't running for some reason and we just kept getting held up. Finally on Friday out of the blue we decided to call him up and see if he could make it to the baptism that was in Esslingen that week (the girl I got to inteview) and he said he could work it out and make it. We all made it there and the baptism went really well. Our ward mission leader who is really good friends with him was there, so after the baptism we asked if we could all just meet together in a room in the Esslingen church. He told us about how good he felt during the baptism and before we could even invite him he talked about how he wanted to learn what changes he would have to make and how he could strengthen his testimony so that he could be become a member of the church. We talked with him and worked out a date based off his busy schedule for May 25th. We think a lot of good things will be coming his way here.

We got to emails a lot later than we had hoped so I have to keep this rather short, but just a few things first. We got moved into our new apartment with the International Elders. In answer to your question mom there are two wards in Stuttgart; the Stuttgart ward which is the one I am serving in and the Stuttgart International ward. There are a lot of American military bases in this area and so they made a ward for English speakers since there are so many of them and because Stuttgart is a big city where there are immigrants who feel more comfortable speaking English than German since it's easier to learn. I just call them the International Elders because that is the name of the ward, but you could also call them the Stuttgart English speaking ward Elders if you wanted. 

Question: What is the name of Michael and Jakell's new baby?

Also my new address is
Immenhoferstr. 39
70180 Stuttgart
Deutschland    (Germany)

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

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Monday, February 18, 2013

Postcard from Stuttgart Germany.

Elder Young, E. Brose, E. Bodily and E. Eaker's at a Zone Conference.  (Posted on Alpine Site by Sister Miles.)

Conducted a Baptisimal Interview

February 18, 2013
Servus Zusammen!

First up, Happy Birthday Mom! Thanks for being such an amazing example and help to me throughout my life. I hope your Birthday is great and that things go well. I love you lots.

It's great to be working with Elder Davies again. There wasn't that awkward stage at the beginning of getting to know your companion at all. We are already having so much fun and we can't help but feel that there are going to be some great things happening here in Stuttgart in our time together. It just feels like some big things are meant to happen and it's possible this is the most excited and motivated I have been on my mission yet. 

Some important news is that this week we are going to be switching apartments. Elder Davies won't have even been in our current one for a week before he has to pack again. We thought it wouldn't be happening until the end of the transfer, but apparently they have things ready in the International Elders apartment and they want to do some remodeling in our apartment before they send Sister missionaries in it next transfer. If you send anything in the mail though, it will be ok because it's only two tram stations away from our new one. I don't have the new address yet so I will get that next week for you. We will be moving in with Elder Armstrong and Elder Fiedler who are from Idaho and central Germany respectively. It should be a lot of fun.

I had the great experience this last week to conduct a baptismal interview. It's for a girl who is dating a member in the Esslingen ward. It was such an amazing experience because you could see how grateful she was for the gospel and feel the strength of her testimony and that she knew that everything she was taught was true. I couldn't help but get really excited afterwards for the other people that the missionaries here might find. 

Right now we have two really amazing investigators. One is Gabriella from Ecuador who had been busy for a few weeks, but now that she is not so busy we have been able to meet with her more often. She is loving the gospel and has been coming to church every week as well as institute for the young single adults. She has a couple of challenges that she is working to overcome, but she is making lots of progress right now and you can tell the gospel is making a change in her. The other is Luis from Columbia (yes, we are teaching South Americans in Germany. But it's ok because a third of our ward is Latin American. Not sure what it is about Stuttgart, but there are a lot of people from the western hemisphere living here). He was an old investigator that the missionaries in the past met with a couple times before he disappeared. However, a few weeks ago we decided to call him and before I could say anything he said he was planning on coming to church with a member that Sunday and since then he has come every Sunday to church and to institute during the week. We are super excited for him and we are planning on setting a specific baptismal date with him tonight.

We had a cool experience in our investigator class yesterday during church. Normally the ward mission leader teaches the class, but he didn't show up for some reason so we had to take over the lesson. However, two girls that were 18 or so showed up saying that they had heard about the church and decided to come check it out and see if they could learn more about the Book of Mormon and get another since they already had just one between them. People just coming to our church like that on their own without an invitation (and especially if they are young like them) just doesn't happen unless they really have some sort of deep interest. Anyways they came and we ended up just teaching the restoration since they were both new and we thought it would be a great review for the others anyway. It turned into a great spiritual lesson and the girls told us they would try coming to church next week as well. What was really good is they went to the Young Women's class and they invited them to a Young Women activity this Wednesday and they told them they would come and they were super excited.

Well I hope all is going well. I love y'all a lot!

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wien (Vienna) Zone Conference: Elders Kinghorn, Gubler, Bodily, *Davies  and Stilger.  (Posted on Mission site by Sister Miles). Elder Davies is his new Zone Leader companion and previous MTC companion.

Visited an American Military Base

February 11, 2013
Servus Zusammen!

First of all shout out to Alyssa Hehl for her awesome mission call to the Seattle Washington mission! Not going to lie, if I went state side instead of to Germany that would have been the call I would have wanted (after Houston, Texas of course). I am Super excited for you. And also shout out to Cade Parker for his call to Xalupa, Mexico! I meant to type that last week but I am super happy that you are going to Mexico like you wanted. You, Cameron, and I seem to have been lucky for getting our first choice in mission calls, go 9th ward (or former anyways).

Ok, now I have some crazy news with transfers. First of all whats happening to Elder Zimmerman. He is going to a city called Schwenningen which is in south west Germany but in one of the Switzerland stakes. Him and his companion are going to work together for about 5 days and then they will be training the two fast tracked missionaries from the MTC that are coming 5 days after the rest of the new missionaries and all four will be working in Schwenningen. It's great for him because he is almost as close he can get to the area in Switzerland where his ancestors are from so he can visit the area on P-Day even though he doesn't have a Swiss visa.

As for me though I will of course be staying in Stuttgart. Although I will miss E. Zimmerman a lot, I am SUPER excited for my next companion...

I am going to be working with Elder Davies again! Just a year ago we were together in the MTC and now we get to actually work in the mission field together. Because of the way President Miles usually does things with Zone Leaders we will probably be staying together until mid June which means between the two months in the MTC together and the fourish months ahead Elder Davies will easily be my longest companion. I am really excited and I think we will be having a lot of fun together. President Miles didn't know we had been companions before, but he is excited that we will know how to work well together already.

Also in my Zone Elder Root was made district leader so I will get to do austausches with him and work with him for a little bit again which will be great.

As for this last week we had interviews with President Miles which went really well. During interviews he meets with everyone in the zone but he divides it by districts. While he meets with someone from a district the rest essentially have a district meeting that Sister Miles and the Zone Leaders lead so we repeated that about 4 times that day which lasted about 9 hours. Poor President and Sister Miles have to repeat that in every zone, but fortunately ours was the last.

We had an austausch with the International Ward Elders this week. Unlike most austausches it's not as big of a deal because their apartment is only two stops away on the subway from ours. But I got to work with Elder Armstrong and we had quite an adventure. That day he went to go take care of his German visa but there were some issues and they told him he had to wait on a certain paper, but in the mean time he was not allowed to wear his name tag and do missionary work so we had to come up with a new plan of things to do. We ended up going by on some less active members since we could disguise that as something other than missionary work and later we went and visited some new members that had moved in to their ward. We got to go on one of the American military bases which was quite the experience. It felt like I was back home hearing American accents every where and seeing places like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. That was quite the treat for me. Surprisingly about 2 in every 10 members on this base were members and apparently that's not uncommon. I didn't realize how many members of the church were involved with the military.

After doing a lot of finding we were able to find three people that actually wanted to come church and instead just having an empty promise, they actually showed up for all three hours and loved participating in our investigator class. I also got to give one of the talks in sacrament meeting yesterday.

Well I will let you know what happens next week. Today we are going with the International Elders to go bowling and then to lunch. Love you lots.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Our district in St. Polten: E. Moon, E. Bassett, E. Bodily, E. Chapman and the Strongs.

Last day in St. Polten, with Brother Bauer.

Zone Leader Council with E. Hemsley (he was trained by E. Field as well before me).

Stupendous Senior Couple!

February 4, 2013
Servus Zusammen!

Well this week was a pretty busy week, but first of all transfer calls are this Friday, so I can't tell you till next email who my next companion will be (if E. Zimmerman gets transferred), but I am not going anywhere. I'll be staying in Stuttgart for a little while because with only a few exceptions President Miles leaves Zone Leaders in their area for at least 6 months. Elder Zimmerman is coming up to the end of his 6 so it is possible that he stays, but likely that he goes. I'll let you know next week.

This last week we did an austausch with the district leader and his companion in Tübingen. I was with the DL's companion in Tübingen, which is a really pretty city, from Tuesday to Wednesday. This particular missionary is one that you hear a lot of crazy weird stories about from other missionaries, but I ended up learning a lot from him. We were in his area, but he wasn't ready to lead out so he would ask me what we should do. We went by on a couple of potential investigators, who ended up not being home, and then when we got to this one city that was on the boundaries between Tübingen and Stuttgart ward boundaries I simple told him to pick a street that he had a good feeling about and we would go dooring. After three houses we found some people who told us to come by again in two days at a certain time. After I told him to pick another street on the map, we went there and within four houses found another potential investigator family. This happened about 4 more times in a half hour (which is so good with finding since it rarely ever happens). Eventually we got let into a house of a young married couple who were super excited to meet us and we had an awesome lesson with them that lead them to want to meet with us two to three times a week once they get back from their trip in England. This missionary I worked with was not necessarily the most skilled   missionary, but when it came to listening to the Holy ghost as to where to go he was the master of that. It was a great lesson for me.

Later that week we went up to Munich for our monthly Zone Leader council with President Miles. Again it was really good and spiritual, but we also got a lot more specifics on the logistics of all the new missionaries coming in. All I can say is that mission presidents around the world are going to be super busy with a lot of stuff to take care of for the next few months. After that I had an austausch in Munich with one of the APs, Elder Sullivan (we do austauschs with the APs once a transfer). I also learned a ton from that experience with him, specifically how to keep yourself being a diligent missionary. It was a lot of fun with him and gained a lot of respect for how much he does. APs really have no time, and they do a lot more than I would be capable of. Because the APs apartment is in the mission office we got to do some of our studies in the offices. One of them being the office that President Miles had his transfer chart in and so I got to have a sneak peak at that (I wasn't breaking any rules), but Elder Zimmerman was in the undecided zone so I still have no idea what will happen come Friday. Anyways after our austausch I took a train back to Stuttgart. Because of how much the APs have to do, on austausches with them zone leaders are allowed to ride the trains back to their areas without a companion to save travel time. All I can say is that it was really weird waiting at the Munich train station for an hour and half (because the train was delayed) and two hours in the train alone. I don't know what I will do when I get back home!

Today for P-Day we had a zone p-day here in Stuttgart. We had a surprise party for Sister Benson's birthday, who her and Elder Benson are a senior couple that work as well here in Stuttgart in the German ward with us. Stuttgart zone is the only zone that has only one senior couple so that not only do they do their own missionary work, but they have to inspect and issue repairs for all missionary apartments in the zone as well as a lot of other stuff. On top of that they both do a ton for Elder Zimmerman and I and the International Elders as well. They deserved something big so we made a huge lunch (or rather the sister missionaries in our zone did) and then we had a talent show afterwards and then just played games all in our church house.It was a lot of fun and I think they enjoyed it. 

There is a lot happening this week. There should be a lot to tell about next email. I hope all is well and that everything is going fine. Love you lots.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen