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.
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).