Monday, April 29, 2013

Weichelt's baptism:  Sisters Bice, Jencks, Lena Weichelt, StefanBullinger, Elders Bodily and Davies.

Lena Weichelt's baptism April 27, 2013 with Elder Bodily and Elder Davies.

It was Super Spiritual and Simply Wonderful.

April 29, 2013

            We had a wonderful week this week. The baptism for Lena Weichelt went very well. It was super spiritual and simply wonderful. Stefan Bullinger who has been a new convert since last October in the ward had the chance to perform the baptism, and then on Sunday I was able to give the blessing to confirm the Holy Ghost to her. She was very spiritually in tune throughout it all. The bishop asked her to bear her testimony in church on Sunday after she received the Holy Ghost. It was one of the more powerful testimonies I have heard. She doesn't express emotions very much like most eastern Europeans do, but you could tell she meant everything that she said by the spirit it brought. She talked about how it took her a little longer to realize the church is what she needed; her mother was baptized in 2000, her one sister a year after and then her two daughters were baptized two years ago and now she was finally baptized. She talked about how when she realized that the church was true and that she had experienced feeling the Holy Ghost, she couldn't help, but act and work towards being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I think she went up to almost every member in our ward that she knew at the end of sacrament meeting and told them thanks for helping her through all of this time. It was a cool experience to be a part of and to see the Lord bless her.
            For the baptism, Lena's daughter was supposed to perform a musical number, but right before Elder Davies and I left the apartment to go fill up the baptismal font she called and said that she hadn't had the opportunity to practice this week, and so she wouldn't be able to perform the piano piece. So, I called Sister Bice, since she was a vocal major at Snow College and asked if we could put something together for the baptism. So while we let the baptismal font fill up, we put together an arrangement of "Come Thou Font" and performed it an hour later for the baptism. It was really fun to do and it seemed to go well.
            We had transfer calls this week. It's hard to believe that 6 weeks have already gone by since the last ones. Anyways, Elder Davies and I are staying together. This will be our third transfer together which is the longest companion I will have had (all the others have been 1 or 2 transfers) in the field, plus if you add the MTC that's another transfer and a half. It's been great working with him and we are really good friends. It will be weird getting a new companion later since Elder Davies and I know how to teach and work with each other so well. Our whole district is staying the same, too, which I am glad for because it is one of my favorite districts ever. When all 8 of you work in the same city and see each other so often and 2 of them live with you in your apartment you bond pretty tight. 
            As for the work: We are still trying to figure out what happened to Lxxx. His friend who is a member of the church hasn't heard from him in about 3 weeks. So we are not sure exactly what happened, but we are on a search and rescue mission to figure out where he is at. On the flip side we had a really good appointment with our new investigator named Kxx. He was the one Elder Davies taught on the austausch last week without me, but he is super chill and absolutely loves the Book of Mormon. He listens to what we have to say and always makes a remark after he thinks about it for a second, like about how much sense the gospel makes and that it all just sounds like wisdom from above. Before we met him he said he had been really trying to build a spiritual connection with God, and that was why he let us come back and teach him. He hasn't been a big fan of going to churches in the past and so getting him to church will take a little work, but other than that he is golden. We challenged him to baptism and he said he wants to study and hear more about the gospel before he commits to anything, but he understands the importance from what it sounds like and has nothing against it. 
            We had an austausch with the Tubingen Elders this week and during the austausch Elder Stricklin and I went by on an old investigator. His name is Jxxx and he had won the Mr. Universe competition earlier in his life. He is now 64, so not in the crazy body building shape that he was in before, but I still wouldn't want to get in a fight with him. He had trained with Arnold Schwartzenegger. He took steroids earlier in his life and it fried his brain a little bit, but he was super excited to see us when we showed up at the door. He really loves missionaries and was so happy that he hadn't been forgotten by the church. We are not sure how much we can do, but we told him we might come by every third week or so and invited him to come to church.
            This week the International Elders have a baptism. The guys name is Ralf. He is being taught by the International Elders even though he is German, because Ralf had lived in the US for about 15 years and is going back in a few months, so it made more since for them to work with him and they were the ones who found him anyways. There is the possibility that he might end up coming to the German Ward just because he is German. He hasn't quite decided yet, though he is leaning towards the International Ward. Either way there will be another baptism in the city of Stuttgart. 
            So each week on Tuesday we have dinner with the Wells family, which is the family from Orem who lives here in Stuttgart. Because of his job as an author, he can pick and choose where they live and they decided to come live here for a couple years since she speaks German and his books have been selling really well here. He also really likes playing board games, and has been working on his own that will get published here at the end of the summer. So the company told him to test play the game a lot, so this week we came on Monday for family home evening and he played the game with us and the sisters so we could work out any flaws. It was great and he said he would get  us all a free copy of the finished product that he would ship to us once he was back in Utah next March. We don't know what the game is called yet, but when it comes out in stores I will be able to say that I was one of the very first people to play it. Also the Wells family asked if we needed to call home on Mother's day so we officially have connections for the Mothers Day call. I will get more of the details to you next week.
            That is the main extent of what happened this week. I hope you all have a great week, I sure love you all.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sebastian's baptism on April 19, 2013 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Elder Bodily, Elder Davies, Sebastian and fiancee Jen,  Sister Jencks, and Sister Bice.

I can cook! Made German Schnitzel to celebrate Sebastian's baptism.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Baptism and German Young Adult MoTab.

April 22, 2013

            The baptism went really well this week. It was a very spiritual experience. We had planned it on Friday at 2 because that was the only time his parents could come to it. We knew there wasn't going to be a whole lot of people who could make it because of work or other arrangements, but we actually had a decent number show up. What was really cool was the support of the missionaries in our zone who came to it. Besides all of that though the baptism went very well. It was really spiritual for me because it was the first baptism I have been a part of on my mission, besides being a part of the actual process. Sebastian kept talking about how good he felt and how excited he was. Last Monday the family that he had lived with while he was in Utah called us and told us that they would like to be a part of the baptism and so they wrote the two talks for his baptism. Then Elder Davies and I translated them into German and had one of the members read them. He was then confirmed on Sunday by Elder Davies. I know he is going to be a great influence on a lot of people's lives. I am really happy to see the happiness that has come into his life because of his desire to follow Christ. 
            On Saturday this week we will have the baptism for Lena Weichelt. We are so happy for her and her family; her and her daughters will now all be members and be able to go to the temple together. We helped her and the member who is baptizing her get their baptismal clothes yesterday and she started to tear up a little bit. You can tell how much this means to her. She asked if I could confirm the Holy Ghost upon her the Sunday after which will be a great opportunity.
            As for the rest of the work things are going very well. We have been having difficulties trying to get back in contact with Luis, but we are sure we will be able to find him here soon. We found a new investigator this week. He was someone we actually found when Elder Davies and I were walking down the street a couple weeks ago and we randomly buzzed a doorbell. We hadn't really planned on dooring the building, but then the buzzer let us in. The lady, whose apartment we had door belled, didnt have any interest but we decided to door the rest of the house since we were all ready in. We met this guy named Kai who seemed very casual at first and we didn't think he had a whole lot of interes,t but he told us he would like to meet with us and to come by in two weeks. The time he had us come by again was when we were having the baptismal interview for Sebastian. So we did splits with the international Elders. I went with Elder Armstrong to the interview, since he is our district leader and does the interviews of our investigators, and Elder Davies and Elder Tauche went to meet with Kai. I wasn't there, but they said that he was very open and spiritual and really had a lot of interest in the Book of Mormon. We are meeting with him on Thursday and we are hoping to commit him to baptism. He seems like someone who would be a very strong and helpful member. 
            We also had interviews with President Miles this week. He came to Stuttgart and I got to be the first one he interviewed that day again. It was probably the first interview I have had where none of the interview was focused on me, rather he just talked completely about our zone. As always though it was very good and edifying.
            Another cool experience we had this week is the Vocalis Chamber Choir came to Stuttgart this weekend. This choir is essentially a German Young Adult MoTab. This is possibly their last year, so they are doing a tour through Germany to a few of the stakes. Stuttgart happened to be one of the lucky stakes, but I guess it also helps when the bishop of our ward brother is in the choir and has connections. Anyways, our ward has been planning this for awhile and so they came on Saturday and for about an hour they got permission to sing in the city center. While they were singing the sisters, the international elders, Davies and I and a few of the ward members came and helped pass out flyers to their concert for the night in the Stake House. Later in the day some of the choir members went on splits with us missionaries to go hand out more flyers to people and houses around the neighborhood of our church. I had the opportunity to work with a guy named Aaron Jentzsch, who is cousins with Gregor Jentzsch, who was in my Rosenheim Ward and one of my favorite members. He had served in Stuttgart five years ago on his mission, so he was happy to be back and working in the city. The concert was very good. It was a great performance and they did a number of very good pieces. Germans love listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but it's a big treat for them when they get to listen to a Mormon Chamber Choir that sings in German. The next Sunday they came to our ward and they were part of the sacrament meeting program. They would sing a couple of songs with short talks from some of the choir members in between. It was a great program for Sebastian's confirmation day.
            It was overall a very good week. In addition to the cool experiences with the work, I also made Schnitzel for the first time and it turned out so good. I made them for our apartment in celebration of Sebastian's baptism. I also have a new camera like you suggested mom, where the cord and everything works. I hope all is well back home.  Love you lots.

Elder Bodily 
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen

Monday, April 15, 2013

Excited and Very Honored for the Opportunity

April 15, 2013
Servus Zusammen!
                First of all, Happy Birthday Amber! Hope you have a great day tomorrow, love you lots.
                I am really excited for this upcoming week. Sebastian's baptism is this Friday. Everything has been going so well and you can tell how excited he is. Yesterday, he bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting about how he had come to know that the church was true and it was really spiritual. The ward loves him and he fits in well with his personality and the fact that our ward is really musically talented and his piano skills just add to it. But in addition to that things are just going really well for him. This will be the first baptism that I will have been a part of personally on my mission. Last week he asked if I would perform the baptism and Elder Davies would confer the Holy Ghost upon him. I am very excited and very honored for that opportunity.
                Today I am going to get a new camera because my old camera has been having problems, but I will make sure to get pictures and then hopefully I won't have any problems with posting pictures on emails and I will get them to you next week.
                Things are still going very well for Frau Weichelt as well. Her daughters have been such good influences for her and you can tell she is truly happy about the gospel.
                We finally were able to make out an appointment with Luis on Thursday now that he is back and finished with medical school tests,  but three hours before he called and said his work is making him come in now and he has to go in order to keep up with his bills. So we had to make out another appointment for this week.  However, it turned out really good on the flip side. From Thursday to Friday I had an austausch here in Stuttgart with Elder Hemsley one of the APs. He was also trained by Elder Field. That was our only appointment for the day because everything seemed to fall out so we just went and contacted for the whole day (Thursday). It was one of the best finding days I have ever had. We found 11 potential investigators (average on days where it is just finding is about 4 or 5) all within a short time of each other. One of them turned out to be from Australia who is studying here to be an architect. He was really impressed with our willingness to do missionary work and he decided to treat us to hot chocolate and talk with us for a little bit. He wanted mostly to hear  some of our mission stories but he was impressed with our beliefs and asked if we could bring him a Book of Mormon tomorrow, Tuesday. We found out that he lives two buildings away from us. We're excited to see what comes from him.
                We finished the Sister's apartment last week and it is completely different than what Elder Davies and I lived in originally. It is possibly the nicest apartment in the mission. I guess that's what happens when the senior couple gets permission from the mission president to do what they feel is necessary.
                Last week we had a zone p-day that Elder Armstrong and I put together. It was based off the Amazing Race and we had the different districts in our zone compete against each other as they raced to different parts of Stuttgart, the church, institute center, etc. to complete different assignments. Our district (us, the international elders, the sisters, and the Bensons) just kind of ran the event since we had to plan it all and we know the city so well, but they seemed to enjoy it. We had prizes at the end for everyone, but additional prizes for the winners. The day after we had a zone training meeting and it was one of the best of those that I had been a part of. The idea of the zone training meeting is to take what we get from zone leader council and talk and work with our zones about it. Since we had the district leaders at our last zone leader council, we decided to talk with them and figure out which parts were most needed in our zone and in individual districts. Then also we had other things we felt we needed to include that weren't mentioned and based our meeting off that. It turned out to be a really good meeting and we had lots of participation with everyone getting really excited.

                That's about the extent of this week. Things are going really well here in Stuttgart. I really love the city and the members and people we are working with. Elder Davies and I are doing great together and we are having a lot of fun with our roommates and district. Love ya'll lots.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

We Are So Excited For Them!

April 8, 2013
Servus Zusammen!

            Well I have an amazing experience to share. Like I said last week we had met with Sxxx and he told us about how he had planned to move in with his girlfriend, but live in separate rooms. We explained how important it was to try to find another apartment so that they could work it out and we could only hope and pray that everything would work out. Last Sunday he had told us that he had some exciting news, but wanted to wait until we met on Wednesday. He showed up at the institute center with his girlfriend because he needed to pick her up from work and when we met with him he began to tell us what had happened this last week. He started off by saying that she was no longer his girlfriend, and we were a little puzzled at first and then after a moment he explained that she was now his fiance. It blew our minds. Apparently they had been planning marriage for quite some time, but they were thinking of doing it in 8-12 months from now. Now they will be getting married towards the end of May or in June. They have been dating for 3 years already and though he is 19 and she is 20 they are still both mature for their age. Until they are married Sxxx will keep living with his parents and Jen, the girlfriend, will live in the apartment alone. They had both discussed it and prayed and felt completely right about it. Jen's parents will fly in for the wedding and they will have a civil wedding here soon and after Sxxx has been a member for a year they can get sealed in the Frankfurt temple which is their main goal right now. You could tell they were super happy and Elder Davies could feel from the spirit that this was what God had meant for them. We are so excited for them and hope everything continues to go well. We will be going to their wedding once they get it planned and I should (hopefully) still be here. On top of that instead of pushing his baptismal date later, he figured he could do it the day before it was originally planned. He will be getting baptized on the 19th of this month. That's coming up pretty quick.
            To answer your questions mom, 1) the apartment that we have been working on, that is now finished, is for Sister Bice and Sister Jencks. They were living in a hotel until then. 2) President Miles will be serving until June or July of 2014.
            We had to do a bunch of stuff today for getting things put together for the zone p-day, but once we get it done and after we're finished with the event I should be able to send another quick email. I just figured I would get this much just in case it doesn't work out. I love you guys a lot. 

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Ok I have a little more time.
            A little bit more of what happened this week is we went to Munich for the Zone Leader/District Leader council. The zone leaders came about one o'clock on Thursday so that we could do some business alone with President Miles then the District leaders came around 6. We all spent the night at either the mission home or the mission office which was a little crowded, but a lot of fun to see so many missionaries there and to spend time with them. I was asked a couple of weeks ago to do a musical number with Sister Miles and her daughter who got back recently from the Italy, Rome mission. I played the piano while they played their flutes and Elder Davies and I were asked to come at 12 instead of 1 so that I could run through the music with them, and then we played it that night to go along with the spiritual thought. The meeting itself was really good. We covered a lot of different subjects about missionary work and then left at three on Friday with our district leaders, Elders Armstrong in the Stuttgart International ward, Merkley in Heilbronn, Kinghorn in Ulm, and Stricklin in Tubingen, back to Stuttgart where they went home from there. 

            As soon as we got back to the train station we switched over to another train and headed to Singen to spend the night for a baptism in the morning of someone Elder Davies taught while he was there. There was a train delayed from the ZL/DL council and so there were some Elders who had to stop and stay in Singen until the morning when they could take another train further. Anyways we had 10 people in the same apartment which is meant for just two. Again really crowded, but a lot of fun. The baptism was really good the next day and the spirit was strong. Afterwards we took a train back to Stuttgart so that we could go watch General Conference. I could go for a while about that, but I figured I would just cover at least the basics of this week. Simply put I learned a lot. Anyways that's the extent of this week, sorry I couldn't say too much this time, I will try to write more next time. I love you all, sorry the emails were so rushed.

Elder Bodily