Monday, June 24, 2013

Elder Bodily and Elder Davies visiting the Mercedes-Benz Museum on P-day.

One of the many pictures taken in the museum.

Welcoming Elder Jake Covey's (from Heatheridge Stake) cousin, Sister Allman, to the Alpine German mission.

From rainy Stuttgart to smoldering Wien!

June 24, 2013

First of all, I forgot to say Happy Father's Day to you Dad last week! I am sorry about that. Father's day is the day after Mother's day here in Germany so I completely spaced on it last week. I hope it went well though.

First of all, I know Mom might be upset with me if I don't give her this update at the beginning so here it goes; Wien is probably the hottest and most humid spot in our mission and on top of that this week we had a huge heat wave come through. It was a huge adjustment trying to go from rainy Stuttgart to smoldering Wien and I didn't react or treat myself very well. On top of that at night it is still super humid and we found out that the way my bunk bed is built and positioned (I sleep on the bottom bed) it turns the area where I sleep into a hot box in a sense. Needless to say it made it very hard to sleep at night and I had gone about 3 nights this week with only 4 hours of sleep. With lack of sleep and the heat problems, I started having some pretty bad migraines this week. BUT! Everything is ok now. I got in touch with the mission nurse and President Miles and we got things taken care of. The nurse had me stay inside and rest for a couple of days and told me what I could do to take care of the heat problems. I have also pulled my mattress out of my bunk bed and I just sleep on it on the floor and that has helped me a lot at night. Today, I am back to perfect health, the heat wave has died out, and it is actually raining today so everything is good. The other Elder Smith who is my roommate, was also having some cold and allergy problems and so we stayed home together for a couple of days while my companion, Elder Smith and Elder Martin went out to the various appointments we had.  Again everything is well now. Since there is only so much resting or cleaning or additional study you can do when you have been confined by the nurse to stay in the apartment, and so roommate Elder Smith and I also found another way to help us recover like arranging a couple of songs on the guitar since he is a bass player for the jazz band at BYU and we have two guitars in our apartment, among other things. However, things are back in order, all of us are healthy and I am excited to be back out working again.

However, we do have some great investigators that we are working with. There are three in particular that are making a lot of progress. The first is Rebecca. She is Austrian and about 21 years old. She was referred by a friend of hers who is on a mission. Rebecca is accepting everything very well. She was originally taught by the Wien 2 Elders but she moved into our area about 4 days before I got to Wien. She has a baptismal date for August 11 and as far as I am concerned she is perfectly ready for it. I have not been able to actually have a lesson with her yet, but Elder Smith and Martin said their appointment this week went great. I have met her at church and she is very nice and humble. The second is Jan. He is from Poland but has been living in Wien for the last 23 years. We met with him last Tuesday and the appointment went really good. We found him our second day as a companionship and so that was our first appointment and he seemed really opened to everything and excited about the church. He went and started reading the Book of Mormon in the park right after our appointment with him and says it's brilliant. Our third investigator with progress is Thomas. He was a former investigator that Elder Smith and his last companion got in contact with again. He said he had been really trying to find the missionaries again, but didn't have the right number. He currently has a baptismal date in July but it will probably need to be pushed back because he can't meet with us to regularly and there is still a lot we need to cover as well as help him overcome smoking, but we have high hopes for him. 

I am really excited to work with this ward. They seem very motivated about missionary work and very willing to help out and invite their own friends frequently to church. Our ward mission leader was actually the Branch President in St. Pölten about 5 or 6 years ago as I found out yesterday. This week we had an eating appointment at a members named Sister Jelinek and she had gone through and invited about 6 of her neighbors to come and listen to our message about the restoration before we all ate and played games and it went over very well. They all enjoyed what we had to say; none of them have time at the moment to spend to learn more, but they all happily took a Book of Mormon for themselves. It was a really good example of working well with the members.

We also had a fireside last night for the stake missionaries, mission leaders (bishop, ward mission leader, ward missionaries, etc) and anyone else who was interested where they unveiled the new stake mission plan. The concept was actually very interesting; instead of making some grand majestic plan with specific points, the main theme of the plan was to invite, encourage, and remind members to pray every day for more charity for mission work as well as for more opportunities. It was an idea that President Miles had really been pushing for and the Wien stake decided to adopt it. The theory is that if members are praying each day for these two things then they will start making their own mission plans like taking their own initiative to work with the missionaries. I think it iss simpl, but brilliant. 

I think that will be it for this week. I hope all goes well. I love you all.

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen

Monday, June 17, 2013

Stuttgart, Germany: showing upper center is the Schlossplatz and lower right is the Mercedes-Benz Museum.  Postcard sent to his mom for Mother's Day.  "I hope you know how much I appreciate all that you do for me.  Especially since being on my mission I've really recognized just how vitally important your role in my life has been . . . As a gift I thought I'd let you know that I have made my bed 485 days in a row.  Love you lots."

I am here in Wien now!

June 17, 2013

Well I am here in Wien now! There is a lot to say and I am not sure where to begin. I guess I'll start with my companion. So as I said last week, I am working with an Elder Cody Smith, one of three Elder Smiths in our mission (another is also living in our apartment, but I will get back to that later). He is a big friendly guy from Idaho and fits the Idaho work ethic; he is really motivated and not scared to do what needs be done. We had our small world moment on the first day when I found out he was in Elder Cameron McGinn's district in the MTC and they were gym buddies. He took state in Saxophone and wants to be a doctor. It's weird though because I reached the point where my length of being on a mission and the age change in new missionaries has come in contact because I am almost 2 whole years older than him and I am not at the end of my mission yet. However, we get along well and we are having a lot of fun.

In our apartment we have the Wien 4 Elders (English speaking ward, living with the International Elders again) who are Elder Preston Smith and Elder Martin. This Elder Smith is on his last transfer before he heads home back to Kansas. Elder Martin has only been out as long as my companion Elder Smith and he is from Peterborough, England which is in the boundaries of Dad's old mission. They are both really funny and the apartment gets along well together. Our apartment is easily the biggest I have had on my mission. It is also brand new because they bought it about 2 months ago because the whole building was being sold in their old one. It is really close to the Schönbrunn Palace so we can go running there in the mornings if we want.

This part of Wien that we are in is really nice. It is not too busy and not a tight fit like a lot of other areas in Wien. There are a lot of parks and nice living areas and our church is in a nice residential neighborhood whereas the other Wien wards have their church right in the city. The ward here is really nice and friendly too (typically all wards are, but I just wanted to confirm that). It is about the size of my Rosenheim ward which is around 75 active members. There are a couple of members here that are related to members in my old St. Pölten branch. I can't explain but there is a difference between the Austrian wards I have had and the German ones, but both still have that warm welcoming feeling. 

I am really excited about the work that will come here. I don't know if it is because this will probably be my last area or what, but since I have been here I have just had this strong motivation  to take everything I have learned so far and just do the absolute best work I can. My desire to teach people and help them seems to be growing a lot and I can't wait to see what miracles will happen here. I have really been focusing these last few days on really changing myself to the missionary the Lord wants me to be and develop Christ like attributes to help me progress and make the most of my time here while converting me for after my mission. I am really curious as to how much I have changed in these last few 17 months and I'm curious as to how much more progress I can make. It sounds like we have a lot of potential investigators that we can work with as well as a few current investigators. These last couple of days we have been going by and having some great lessons with them and I really feel like this next week there will be some serious progress as they start coming to church. There are two things that I have really noticed  that have changed a lot since how I taught at the beginning of my mission and how I am now, and that is the ability to recognize and act on spiritual promptings as well as teaching with love. They are attributes that can really only come from the Lord and something that comes from constant prayer. I hope I can keep developing these attributes. 

What is really exciting is that yesterday the Bobi's were finally baptized back in Rosenheim! I wish I could have been there to see them, but I am just happy that they have finally been able to reach this point in their life. It was March 2012 when Elder Field and I first found them and it has been a long journey for them, but it has finally been accomplished. The next step is the temple. I remember back when I taught them with Elder Young that they had mentioned that going through the Salt Lake Temple would be their dream. I am super happy for them.

I forgot to tell you last week and I almost forgot again today, but this last Tuesday Elder Russell M. Nelson came to Munich and we had the chance to hear from him. We almost missed it because our train from Stuttgart to Munich broke down, but everything was taken care of in time so that we could be there for him. It was simply amazing just to be in his presence. I learned a lot about spiritual gifts from the meeting which has been my new focus in my studies.

So we already have plans for today for P-Day to play soccer with some other missionaries in Wien so I have to go, but I hope all goes well this week. It was really hard for me to leave Stuttgart, but I have a good feeling about things happening here. I will inform you more next week about some of our investigators. I love ya'll.

Elder Bodily 
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen

Monday, June 10, 2013

Going to Vienna this Thursday and working in the Wien 3rd Ward.

June 10, 2013

                Well it sounds like mom already heard, (from email through the xxx family), but I will just confirm it; we had transfer calls and I will be going to Vienna this Thursday for my next area. More specifically I am going to be working in the Wien 3rd ward which is the south/south west area of the city plus a tiny bit of area outside the city. There are five wards in Wien and it is the third biggest in member size of them, but it is a ward and not a branch which means this is my third ward and out of my four areas (which is very nice when it comes to member help). It has more of the city itself than any of the other Wien areas (besides the 4th ward which is the English speaking ward so it covers the whole city), but it is still my smallest area size wise so far. Aren't Kristy and Tristan coming to Wien this year? Well if they are they will most likely be in my area of the city because I have a lot of the cool sites like the Schönnbrunn Palace for example.
                The call was actually quite a surprise for me because for whatever reason I didn't think I would be going back to this part of the mission seeing as I was in St. Pölten and had worked a lot in Wien on austausches. I also thought I would be going to another small city like Rosenheim or St. Pölten after working in Stuttgart; instead I went to the biggest city in the mission. However, I am really excited. I think it is going to be a really good experience and that I will have a good time. What I am particularly excited for is that Wien is a missionary's paradise. There are so many people that there is always someone to talk to, all of the wards there are pretty strong compared to our mission as a whole, and there is an excited feeling to the city that just makes you want to go out and work. I have 5 transfers left which means this could be my last area (since 3-5 transfers in an area is typically in our mission) and I feel like this is a great place where I can take everything I've learned from my mission so far, all the various missionary skills and qualities I've learned, and just put them to use in an area where missionary work can be ideal while learning more and more to rely on the Lord. Whatever happens, I feel like I will take a lot out of my experiences here.
                As for my companion, I will be working with Elder Cody Smith from Idaho Falls. He is a pretty new missionary who just finished his training so he is in his 3rd transfer (where I was when I started working with Elder Young) and so I will be "Greenie busting" him so to say. I haven't met him yet and I don't know anyone who knows him yet, but I have the feeling he will be a good guy.
                 The cool part is this will be my first in 8 transfers without a responsibility other than being a missionary since I am not training, district leader, and I am no longer Zone Leader. I think it will be fun just to have at least one transfer to focus on the area alone like I did back with Elder Young. Another cool feature is that I will be in a 4 man apartment again. We share an apartment with the Wien 4 Elders. Also I am going to be in a district with 10 Elders and no senior couple or sisters. Will it be fun? Oh yeah. Will we be productive? Hard to say.
                In our apartment, Elder Davies will be working with Elder Gibbons. Before transfer calls we discussed possiblities of who could replace me as Zone Leader and we came up with a few possibilities and of those there were 2 or 3 in particular that I really would have liked to be my replacement and he was one of them. Stuttgart will be in great hands between the two. Elder Armstrong is going to be white washing Rosenheim while training a new missionary. I was super excited for him and have told him pretty much everything I can about the area and what to look forward to. Speaking of Rosenheim, I got news this week that the Bobi family has finally been able to overcome smoking so they are getting baptized this Saturday. I am so happy for them. Its been about a year and two months since Elder Field and I found them and though it has been hard they are finally able to receive this great blessing. Elder Armstrong will be there for that and hopefully he will send me some pictures.
                Although there are a lot of great things happening, it is still really sad to leave behind Stuttgart. It is a place very special to me. There have been amazing things that have happened in both Rosenheim and St. Pölten, and reasons why I needed to be there; however, not to take anything from the significance of those two areas, Stuttgart has been an area that I know completely I was meant to go to. There has been so much I have learned, so many incredible experiences, so many people I have met, and an overall change in me that has happened that I don't know if it could have happened anywhere else at this time. I love Stuttgart and everything that has come with my time here and it will definitely be a highlight in my life to look back on. I am going to miss working with Elder Davies a lot too. He is going to be a lifelong friend of mine. We could have easily worked another few transfers together (even though between 3 transfers in Stuttgart and our time in the MTC that has covered a fourth of our mission). I can definitely call him what you might say is the "companion of my mission" because of how much time we have been together and the cool experiences we have had in Stuttgart and serving as zone leaders and the fact that we came into the mission and will be leaving together.
                Now, some exciting news about the work (yes it doesn't just all revolve around transfers). We set a baptismal date this week! Our investigators name is Eray Atai-Catalope. His 23 years old and he was born and raised in Germany but comes from Turkish and Romanian parents. The story with him, we were  doing a district finding day and we were in a plaza and we did sight and sound splits with the sisters. I was working with Sister Bice for a few minutes and we were having a great discussion with a guy when right in the middle of the conversation, Eray came up and asked if he could give us his number and then we could call him to meet. We did and made out the appointment and our first visit went really well, but at first we weren't entirely sure how willing he was to keep some commitments. We made another appointment, but because of his work he had to cancel and wasn't sure when we could remeet. On Thursday he called us and asked if we could meet the next day. We did and the appointment went really well. Towards the end the spirit prompted me to invite him to be baptized (I've come to realize that the spirit works with me in peculiar ways sometimes because he knows I will pay attention to him in that way- ("listen buddy, this is your last week in Stuttgart. You have to go out with a bang. Invite him to be baptized, now."). It actually went incredibly well. We set a goal for July 20th and since he accepted the baptismal invitation he has been incredibly excited about the gospel. He came to church and went around introducing himself to the members and telling them how he wanted to be baptized, he explained how he wanted to be in the ward choir, and he told us he would make it work with his work schedule so he could meet with us more frequently during the week . I feel like things will go very well for him.
                This week we went to Munich for Zone Leader council. It was my last one and it went really well. Because it was the day before transfer calls, President Miles decided to surprise us all and announce where we would be going for those of us who were getting transferred at the very end of the meeting. That's when I first found out I was going to Wien.
                Also, this last week the ward asked if the Sisters and I could do a musical number in sacrament meeting so Sister Bice and Sister Jencks sang as I played the piano. Good way, to end my last sacrament meeting in Stuttgart.
                I am glad you are all excited about the invitation to read the Book of Mormon before I get home. I will be doing it with ya'll and I am excited for it. I hope it goes well and that you really enjoy it. I love you all and I hope you have a great week. I will let you know how Vienna is. Take care.
Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen

*Attached is an email Elder Bodily's mom received from a family member  in Stuttgart, Germany.
June 2, 2013
Dear Elder Bodily's mother (he didn't write down your name),
            This is xxxx, I'm a member of the Stuttgart Ward where your son served for the past six months.  We don't speak German at all, but still, we decided to attend the German Ward instead of the international one and though it was quite hard at the beginning due to the different of our cultures, I'm loving it now. Elder Bodily is going to move to Vienna next week and we are so sad about it. We got to know him quite well during these months and fell in love with him. He was such a great example to our kids, thanks so much for supporting him on his decision to serve a Mission. He is a great Missionary, hopefully we'll keep in contact with him. My husband was called recently as Missionary Ward Leader and this gives me even more reasons to have the Elders and the Sisters over for dinner or talk to them. They always bring such a nice spirit at home.
I have sent pictures we took on Friday after dinner. 
Thanks for raising such a good man.We appreciated all he has done for our family (he will have to bake bread for you when he comes home, soooooo good).

Monday, June 3, 2013

Book of Mormon commitment challenge for family.

June 3, 2013

Well this week, we have bad news. Transfer calls are going to be on Friday and it's very likely that I will be getting transferred since I have been here over 5 months and President Miles usually keeps the zone leaders where they are for about a 6 month basis. It will be sad to leave if that is what happens, but you never know what will be the case. Whether I stay or go to a new area I will love it either way. I will update you next week. 

This week was kind of a crazier week. We had a lot of austausches and just a bunch of random events come up where the ward needs our help with various assignments. We unfortunately had about 7 appointments fall out this week too, but not on anyone´s fault just stuff that came up for our investigators. We are hoping that appointments we remade will go well in the coming weeks. We were still able to meet with Kai who is making the most progress of our investigators right now. We were able to bring along a member who became instant friends with him and invited him to church and institute at the end of our lesson. He agreed to institute, but he is still nervous about church because of his past experiences in the Protestant Church. We feel though that as we continue to teach him the spirit will help encourage him. Its great though how in tune he is with the spirit. He understands the gospel so clearly and understands why it is so meaningful. It´s like teaching a seminary class because his thoughts in questions extend beyond the standard teaching principles and questions that most investigators don't bring up. He would be a great help to the ward here.

This week I was in both Waiblingen and then Munich on austausches, back to back. First I was with Elder Moon in Waiblingen because he is one of the district leaders. It was really cool to work with him again like we used to back in St. Pölten and Wien on austausches there. We got to celebrate his birthday on Wednesday together and we had an awesome lesson with one of their investigators that is progressing and is a lot like Kai in that he understands every aspect of the gospel. After that I took a train straight to work with Elder Hemsley one of the APs. He was also trained by Elder Field and so he is what you would call my mission brother. Elder Davies worked with Elder Harris the other AP who trained him so he worked with his mission dad. It was just a mission family reunion all around. In Munich they had a bunch of appointments outside the city out in the country side of Bayern. All but one fell out, but the one went really well, and it was just a treat to ride around in their car through the hills of Bayern because it reminded me of being back in Rosenheim. 

So xxxx, because he has perfect English and its easier for his fiance to go to an English speaking ward instead of German speaking, the two of them will start going to the International ward. We think ultimately they are going to move to Utah in a few years, so it makes more sense anyways. However, we are still doing the after baptism lessons with him and we still stay in close contact nonetheless. It's pretty set that the wedding will be in July.

Well I am going to leave it at that, but I do have a commitment for our family. Next week on Monday I will have exactly 7 months left until I come home. I have figured it out and if you read one chapter in the Book of Mormon every day plus fit 3 additional chapters in each month you will finish the Book of Mormon the day before I get home. It's something that I think will bless us all to do it together. I am going to do it and I encourage mom, dad, Brittney, Brandon, Amber, Bekah, and Buddy to do it as well. I haven´t personally met Ralf or Amber´s kids yet, so I can´t commit you to do it, but you are more than free to join as well. Also any other family members or friends that would like to do it are more than welcome. I hope we can all continue to learn something from it and let our testimonies grow even stronger.

Well I hope ya´ll have a great week. I love you lots!

Elder Bodily
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen