Monday, May 27, 2013

This upcoming week filled with austausches!

May 27, 2013

            I am glad the funeral went well this week for Grandma Crow. It was good that the spirit was strong and made the event special.
            This week went rather well. We seemed to jump from appointment to appointment and had our days usually already planned out in advance because there wasn't much we could add to our schedule. It's cool to see all the people who are feeling the spirit of the gospel. 
            There is one investigator that is making a lot of progress and that is Kxx. We have a really good feeling about him and his spiritual progression. The one thing that we are really trying to work with is getting him to church. He didn't have good experiences in the past in his Protestant Church and doesn't want to be pushed into coming. In such a situation its best to have a member invite them because it comes off less as a commitment, but we have been having troubles these last few weeks aligning our appointments with times that a member who would work well with him could come so it has just been Elder Davies and I working with him and he hasn't met any members yet. We knew we had to change that so we tried to figure out how we could work his schedule with someone elses. There is a man named Mxxxx in our ward who comes every week to church, knows the gospel really well, his wife is a strong active member, and he has a calling (ward music arranger-chorister), but is not yet baptized because he was taught by the missionaries a year ago and he felt he was being pushed too much towards a goal that he just wasn't quite sure yet if it is what he should do. A thought came during sacrament that we needed to ask him to come along as a joint teach to our lesson with Kxx. I went up to him right after and when I asked him it didn't even phase him at all and he said he would love to come along. We are hoping it will be a really good experience this Wednesday for both Kxx and Mxxxx and that they will both be touched by the spirit and understand what is going to help them. 
            This last week and this upcoming week have and are going to be filled with austausches. For whatever reason a lot of our austausches got pushed to these two weeks. Last week I stayed in Stuttgart for both of them, but we did  autausches with the Ulm and Ellwangen elders. This next week I am going to be gone from Stuttgart a lot. We are doing austausches with the Waiblingen elders, APs in Munich, and the Tübingen elders and for all three I won't be in my area. Elder Davies and I wanted to work with a lot of missionaries in our zone personally this transfer so we are having more than our typical 5 austausches this transfer. After this week we will be at 8. The good thing is that the work is going well here in Suttgart, so we don't have to worry about needing to concentrate on only our area to help build up the work.
            I will update you more on some of our investigators after this next week because we are working to see who is really ready to want to make progress towards coming unto the Lord. And because I don't have a whole lot of time today, we have to go here in a few minutes. We are going to the Ludwigsburg Palace just north of Stuttgart with the Ludwigsburg elders and our district. Last week we went to the Merecedes Benz museum with them as well which was really cool. 
            By the way, Elder Field (my first companion here in Germany) is engaged. I guess I have been out in the field for awhile now. I hope you all have a great week. I love you all. 

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Monday, May 20, 2013

Picture from Alpine Mission site: Mission Leadership Training (formerly known as Zone Leader Council) Elders Christensen, Bodily and Bailey.
Picture from Alpine Mission site:  Mission Leadership Council after mission tour. Zone conference at the church with Elder and Sister Teixeira. (Elder Bodily front- right table side).

My prayers are with you, especially you Grandpa.

May 20, 2013

Hey, I hope everyone is doing well. That was not the news I was expecting to receive this morning with Grandma Crow passing away, but I hope everyone is doing well. It will be sad to come back and not see Grandma Crow there when I come home, but the great part is we do have the gospel and a Saviour Jesus Christ who made it possible that this isn’t the end. Grandpa I hope you are doing well. There are definitely a lot of people praying for you at this time. Grandma Crow was a great example for us and I know she is doing well now where she is. I am glad I did get to see a couple of days before I went on my mission. I hope the spirit is there during the viewing and the funeral and that everything goes ok. I love you all and my prayers are with you, especially you Grandpa. I am glad we do have the knowledge of the gospel with the firm foundation of the resurrection. I would like a copy of the obituary when it comes out, thank you. 

As for what happened this week, yesterday Sebastian and Ralf received the priesthood. The unfortunate thing is that we weren’t able to be there because the bishop asked us to be at a special young single adult sacrament meeting for a YSA convention that had been going on this week. There were about 200 young adults there from south Germany and Austria and they asked for the missionaries support with helping at it. Anyways, we talked to Sebastian and Ralf afterwards and sounded like everything went really well. We had met with Ralf this last week at our bishops house to talk about the priesthood in depth, and with Sebastian he understands everything about it already, but he wanted to take us to dinner this week and we figured we could brush up on it with him there. With Sebastian the paper work for his fiance is coming together. It sounds like the wedding will most likely be in mid July. They are actually going to be going to Utah in the next few weeks here to visit Jenis’s family. It’s possible he might stop by and say hi to both Elder Davies family and you guys, but I can’t promise that yet. Hopefully it works out though. Lena is doing good as well; she has been out of town this last week, but will be getting back next Monday.

This week went really well as far as teaching opportunities went. As mentioned we got to meet with all of our new converts, but on top of that we met with our investigator Kxx. He is making a lot of progress. He is reading the Book of Mormon quite a lot and he decided to take notes during our lessons, since he feels like he is getting a lot of answers. We wanted to talk about the second half of the plan of salvation with him this week since we didn’t finish that last time with him, but it ended up being one of those lessons that the spirit completely took over and we focused a lot on prayer. It ended up being exactly what he needed since he had some many questions that he hadn’t asked beforehand. He had been big into meditation before we started meeting with him and thought that was a form of prayer. We told him about how meditating and pondering over things was a good way to feel the spirit and receive insight and then taught him how to truly pray. He was happy with that because he thought how we prayed was only what we do with a group of people. Now he is going to pray morning and nights and I think that will be what puts him exactly where he needs to be going.

We had a meeting with a college student named Jxxx. We found him while trying to search for Luis and we had an amazing appointment with him. However, this is where agency takes a role. He said he believed everything we said, but he just didn’t think he could come away from his family’s religion. That tends to be one of the biggest difficulties we have with teaching here is getting over family traditions, but typically they just tell us right off the bat that they won’t change and so they don’t want to meet with us. Nonetheless, we still have a really good feeling about Julian and although he may not be ready to start progressing, I think the Lord will be working with him through time and something good will come for him. He did say at the end of our visit that he had friends that would be really interested in meeting with us. Hopefully we will hear back from him this week on those and who knows if the Lord meant for us to meet with Julian now to find his friends.
 We found a man named Lxxxx a week ago and had an amazing appointment with him on Thursday. He is from Nigeria and is the manager of a shop that ships car parts to African countries. The two nationalities you will find most in Germany that aren’t Germans are people from Turkey and Nigeria and with teaching Nigerians there is kind of a stereotype. They are usually very religious, but because of their culture, or what they have been taught as they were young, there are a couple of points with the gospel that are usually hard for them to fully understand. The two main ones are prophets’ roles and their priesthood authority and the other is the great apostasy. The definition of prophets is taught that if you follow Christ and you want to share the gospel, that qualifies you as a prophet. You don’t need to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost or the priesthood. Everyone can be a prophet and receive these great revelations from God. The other is they stereotypically can’t accept that the apostasy happened. However, when we meet with Lewis at these two points he said something that gave us a lot of hope. He reads his bible everyday and he told us how he was always trying to tell his friends that there was something special about the prophets and apostles that they had that others didn’t and he wanted to find it. When we talked about the great apostasy he opened up his Bible and said "You know I was thinking about this for quite a while," then he read the scripture where it said Jesus wept and said, "I asked myself, why is he weeping". The answer is that he was weeping for Lazareth before he went to raise him from the dead, but he replied instead, "It’s because I see all the people these days tearing apart the church. Of course that makes Jesus sad. We can’t be tearing apart his church. We need his church. The one he leads." However he decided to interpret that scripture, he nonetheless understood that there had been an apostasy. At the end he kept talking about how the spirit was working in him and making him feel great and excited. He wants to be baptized too. Because he is English speaking we are turning him over to the international elders, but it will be cool to see him get baptized in a few weeks when they make an official date.
We actually got let in by about three different people just from dooring this week. We will see how much progress they will want to make, but they at least let us in and lets us share our message with them. This upcoming week though is packed with appointments so we should be pretty busy running from one appointment to the other. And people say that you hardly ever teach in Germany....

We need to get going here but I hope you have a great week. We will keep Grandpa Crow in our prayers. Love you all lots.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs wiedersehen

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stuttgart District:  Brother and Sister Benson, Sisters Jencks and Bice, and Elders Bodily,  Davies, Tauche, and Armstrong.
Postcard sent home of Stuttgart's Scholssplatz.

We had another baptism in our ward this week!

May 6, 2013
Servus Zusammen!

            Well we had another baptism in our ward this week! The International Elders had an investigator named Ralf who was to get baptized on Thursday. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but lived a long time in New Mexico and was planning on returning there in a few months so that's why the International Elders were in charge of the teaching because they figured he would be in the American ward until he moved back. It was originally planned this way for awhile, but then two days before his baptism Ralf decided it might be better that he should be in the German ward until he moves back to America so that he could help his own people who he could relate to better for the time being. We were kind of surprised by the announcement, but we were deeply impressed by his commitment to serve the Lord as best as he could and the ward was excited to have another new member. The international elders still went through with finishing all the teaching and performing the baptism, and will continue to meet with him with us as well. Ralf is a very spiritual in tune man who has been searching for the true church for a long time. He found the International Elders on the street one day and somehow just knew he had to talk with them. Since then he has been making quick progress. We weren't able to see his baptism because of some unexpected events which I will explain later, but it apparently went really well and he was confirmed on Sunday. They were originally going to have the Stake President confirm him with the Holy Ghost, but the International elders had not been able to get a hold of him so about five minutes before sacrament meeting started they asked if I could do the confirming. I was really glad to do it and it was a really spiritual experience. After the ward confirmed him he teared up and said how he felt like part of a big family. He had grown up as an orphan not knowing his family and so such an experience for him was something really touching to see.
            You couldn't help but feel the spirit through it all. The ward has been really excited about missionary work as of late. They have been able to see three baptisms back to back these last three weeks, when they normally see two a year or so. You can't help but feel the spirit of the Lord touching the people in Stuttgart. Great miracles have been happening here.
            This Thursday was transfer day. There weren't a whole lot of changes in our zone, but we had to be at the main train station to help send people off and help people get coordinated to their next destination. However, there were some unexpected problems with the mission secretary's computers and the train time schedule wasn't given to us until the morning of travel, so we didn't know what to plan for. Also in the rush of everything it was hard to proofread so we had a few wrong train times. Also a number of trains got delayed. It was little confusing and stressful, but it worked out in the end. However, we had to miss Ralf's baptism because of it since it takes awhile to get from the train station to the church and we never knew what to expect, and when the final people came in the baptism was over. But the sisters from our ward were there as well as a few members, and of course the international elders were in charge of the baptism. The important thing was that Ralf got baptized.
            This week we had a really cool experience. We went on kind of a search and rescue mission to figure out where Luis had gone. No one had had contact with him, but we had his address. The directions to his house though were terribly confusing and we spent about an hour and half walking all around to figure out how to get to his apartment. It had been a little difficult because I had eaten something wrong that day and was feeling really sick. We called Luis's friend to get reclarification on the directions, but we ended up more lost than before. Finally, I had the feeling we should say a prayer to find him. I offered the prayer and after I closed Elder Davies said he had the feeling we needed to talk to the first person we saw no matter what. I thought he meant for directions, but he had meant about the gospel. Thirty seconds later a young man was walking down the street. We went up to him and as soon we said something, there was a huge smile on his face. I can't remember everything that we discussed, but he ended up being one of the most amazing people I have met. He was a college student at the local university, named Julian, studying architecture, but swalloped up everything we talked about. We even got to read a lot of the Book of Mormon right there on the street with him. I can't really put it into words, but after we finished talking with him Elder Davies and I knew that that was the whole reason why we had been there that night. It was Heavenly Father's plan that we would run into him. We also had a strong feeling that the perfect member to bring on a joint teach, who would be a really good friend for him in the church was Sebastian. He has only been a member for two weeks, but he is already going to play a big role in missionary work. We have an appointment with Julian this week. We are still looking for Luis, but we have hope for him and in the mean time we found another person ready for the gospel.
            On Friday we had our transfer meeting with the district leaders. We have two new district leaders in our zone now. One of them being Elder Moon, and the other being Elder Chapman's companion which means I will get to work with both of them on austausches (since we get to choose who works where for the austausches). I am excited and this week I will be going on Tuesday to Ludwigsburg to work with Elder Chapman - so it will be like old times in St. Pölten.
            On Saturday we had a stake youth activity that many of the stake missionaries were invited to since it was based on missionary work. Half of the youth in our stake is from the International ward so they needed us to translate from English to German or vice versa. We also got to teach the youth how to do various missionary tasks such as teaching lessons and contacting. They called the youth to mini missions in various countries and they would go to classes where they would learn about the country from members who had served in those countries (mostly international ward members since most German members tend to serve in either Germany or England). Elder Davies and I got to translate for Brother Wells from our ward who had served in Mexico. I learned from it that Cinco de Mayo is only celebrated in America, so in honor of a Mexican-American holiday yesterday we went to Taco Bell on the American base today. Anyways, it was a really fun activity to do with the youth that I hope they enjoyed as much as we did.
            Speaking of the Wells. . . I will be calling home from their house on Sunday at 8:00 Utah time. Just thought you'd like to know. I think we will be skyping, but if not I will call from their Utah line number. I love you both. I hope you never worry about how much you did for me as parents, because you have both done more than enough
            I hope you have a great week. I am excited to see some of you on Sunday.  Hope you have a great Mother's Day Mom! Love ya'll.
Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen