Wednesday, December 22, 2010

From Kiel- December 21

Moin moin,
Well hello again, i cant believe i´m already sitting back at this computer typing another email, i cant even think about what happened in between haha, everything is just so mushed together here.  We just got back from playing indoor soccer though, we played at a really really nice facility with the other Kiel elders and some of the way cool members. It was really really fun. Trying to learn the German soccer slang is pretty cool too, i usually just reverted back to my old spanish words i learned playing in peru and they all thought it was pretty funny, especially the guy who just got back from the Barcelona mission. Man it was so fun to get out and moving though, it´s weird how much i miss sports now that they´re so few and far betweeen, i just love that feeling of air moving past you´re ears. I was also the clown as it turns out because i wore my Hertha Berlin jersey, haha like one of the worst teams in Germany as it turns out, so ya, it was all good fun though. I actually held my own pretty well though, it was just an all around good time. I´d still like to get my hand on a basketball here though, it´s  still funny seeing the church courts with the euro keys for me.
Well it definetly wont be a good week to have to recover from complete muscle dystrophy however. This week was really really rough as it turns out. We got tchuss´d by a couple investigators and have over TEN fallen out appointments! It´s one thing when someone tells you to come by and they arent there, but it´s another thing when you have a set appointment and time and they have a card with the time on it and your number. I dont like that feeling waiting at the quatchbox hoping it will buzz only to have to turn around and work the streets for another hour after having planned out a lesson and everything. But nah ja what are you going to do? Just find more people i guess. :)  This was kinda supposed to be our ´harvest´ week we thought, which was good because it is incredibly hard to set things up this time of year, but looks like we are going to have to have the faith to change that now. Which isnt a bad thing at all, challenges like that are fun i think.
So our bright spot in the week was our friend JZ coming to the christmas social concert thing. (I dont even know what to call half these things in English anymore) but ya, it was a way good concert and he seemed to enjoy it. One of our really money inverstigators cancelled coming the last minute, so we were excited to see him. Haha he´s a character. While he was younger he was deamed "unfit to live in society" or something like that, so it was fun to take him out.:) He is like taller than me and wheres long leather skirts and a big Ushenka, haha it was funny to see the members reactions as they walked thru the door. They were warm and friendly though, we truly have an awesome Gemeinde!  He made one decently good friend. Haha we´ve been hinting baptism lately, so we asked this friend if and when he´s been baptised, and he was like "Of course! once when i was eight and then when i was 22!" Haha it wasnt good at all. It´s never good to have to explain excommunication to an investigator this early haha. But ya it was a really nice little concert, and it really lifted my spirits anyway. Most of the songs were sung in English oddly enough, which was weird cuz i though like the English songs came from lots of german ones, but it was beautiful none the less and i understood most all of it!:) Everybody speaks english here oddly enough it seems like though...
Had my first zone conference this week too. It was really neat. It was fun to hop on a double decker train and take it down thru the pure white german countryside to Hamburg. Hamburg is a really cool city as well. But got all my christmas stuff... which consisted of one package and a box of german copies of the Book of Mormon.:)  But ya it was really nice. I gave my golden testimony and a bunch of the German elders came up afterwards and told me they were really impressed with my german, which really made me feel good, i needed a confidence booster in that regard. It seems like the more i learn, they deeper holes i find myself getting into. But ya, i still love the language and it´s all good.  We did a big white elephant gift thing too, haha i bought a little pink hello kitty journal with a padlock on it, and the senior couple elder here in Kiel ended up with it haha, it was a good time. I got a lego set. We have Zone conferences every other transfer now, and my zone, the Neumünster zone, is always combined witht the Hamburg zone.  Oh and i got selected to be in the bell choir too, i picked a money bell too, A sharp, haha i had to ring it like once.:) But anyways, it was overall a really fun meeting.
So other mission news, one of my trainers good friends, who is actually my god father as it turns out with his companion just got made AP. It was a big shocker i guess, most people thought our swiss ZL here in Kiel was going, but nope it´s Elder H from Hannover. We talked to him and he said he´s "look out for me,"  whatever that means here.:) But ya i met him at mission conference and he´s way cool, so it´s cool to know an AP already. Both of our AP´s were from Luxenburg, but one just went home. Funny story actually, when i first got here i was riding with them and they were speaking french really fast together, and i was really tired, but i just remembered hearing them and having one of those Elder Calhoun moments. "that´s not the language they tought me in the MTC" haha it was scary. But ya anyway, this mission leadership stuff is weird, really doesnt look like a fun job. I thought people always wanted to be AP, haha but leadership is like the plague out here.
Well not really much else to say from this end, i wish i had more stuff about my week, but like i said we really werent able to teach much and we´ve mostly just been talking to people. We´ve had some harsh rejections, ha but i´d rather not write about them right now. Anywho, hope you all have a merry christmas back home! Dont loose it´s true meaning. The message of the holiday is the best gift you could give. Love ya all!
-Elder Ott

Monday, December 13, 2010

From Kiel- December 13

Howdy ya´ll, how´s it going? Well just had another amazing week here in Kiel! Really though, it´s like every week has so much in it i cant even begin to describe it. I´m going to try day by day this week, probably won´t help, but here we go anyway... :)
Monday- Had a really chill p-day, didnt do a whole lot, just cleaned and went shopping mostly. Every Monday we hav our weekly teaching appointment with UB though, the ex JW russian lady. She is super nice, and really wants to understand the Gospel, but she keeps getting held up on dumb little things. She still cant understand for the life of her why Jesus Christ had to die, she thinks that it´s ´thou shalt not kill..... PERIOD´ She just cant believe that! It´s really bizarre, she just doesnt think God would deliver his son here to be killed, and that he would never kill anyone. We have been going about it so clearly and simply and nicely, i dont know what more we can do, it´s hard not to just pull out all the OT scriptures about God killing hundreds of people, and threatening to kill people. I mean Moses killed somebody, and Paul too. Ya that´s probably not the best way to go about it, but i mean ha, people die all the time, God just works like that. Last time i tried explaining how death is really just a short thing that can lead to an eternity of glory and happiness, it´s really just perspective to me, but until she understands the atonement better i dont know how she´ll progress. Christ had to die to loosen the bands of death! I dont know, we gave her Alma 7 to read, so we´ll just keep working.
Okay this day by day thing isnt going to work, that was like the most uneventful day of the week ha and it took forever. Well anyway, so Tuesday was awesome. There´s a member who is good friends with my trainer named Luckie. He´s like a millionare from Jamaica... hands down one of the coolest people i ever met. Haha he got on a train and came all the way up to Kiel to see his ´grandson´ for three days. Haha he´s such a dork. So quirky and hilarious, and so generous and nice. We still did missionary work of course all those days, but he´s help us get around and eat with us and stuff. He is really the bomb. I´ll have to scrounge up some pictures of him, but ya we had a LOT of fun.  It was kinda frustrating this week though, we had a LOT of appointments fall through, so it was tough, but we´ve talked to a TON of people this week. Thursday we had Mission Conference which was amazing. Haha got the full story from Elder VM. He was at a members house talking about his GF and the member wanted to see her so they got on Facebook and bam, haha her profile pick was her and this guy. Haha so funny. Next letter of course was the dear john, they are getting married this month. But it was WAY cool to see some old MTC friends. There was only 4 there, but it was way cool. Got to talk to Sister W again, my good volleyball friend, and it was just really nice. Mission conference was off the chain too. Elder Texiera from the 70 straight up challenged our mission to lead Europe even further into the fight. Our mission is the biggest in Europe and is just behind England in Baptisms. But we are doing a lot better than the other Germany missions, and he told us to blow our own numbers and standards of excellence out of the water until the ´dont even matter at all´  It was pretty cool. Midway into his lecture he straight up stopped and said ´do you want to see what im talking about´ and sent out 2 companionships and the AP´s to go pray and contact for 30 mins and come back and report. Ha 30 mins is like way hard to get anything in. They came back though and had made 10 APPOINTMENTS placed 2 BOM´s and committed 2 People to come to church!!! Those are like weekly numbers for Germany. It was simply amazing. He said that was all by the spirit too, he hadnt planned it, he just felt to do it and that he would ´be sharing that and talking about it for a long time´ While they were gone we all stayed and prayed for them. It showed us the power of prayer, faith, and specific goals.  Yesterday at our eating appointment we invited the family to pray for us throughout the day to find success, we had made the Specific goal to make 5 Appointments with people with our finding time. We made 6! It just always works! Specific goals, with specific prayers, that´s the secret. :) Oh and to be held accountable, we had to report back to them of course.  But ya it was pretty cool. 
 So the senior couple that works at our outreach center here went home today, we just got a new couple, havent met them yet but they sound really cool. I really like the C´s. They spoke 0 German, but they really loved the people here. Ha we took them out to eat with the ZL´s before they left, but the dumb ZL´s planned it right after one of our eating appointments... oh my gosh... worst essen termin ever! Haha we had rice covered in mustard with Sardines and Kod nuggets in it... it was like fear factor status. Haha it was just this way way old lady, Frau B, haha it was soooooooooooo bad. I ate it all though. Haha and when we left she gave us both chocolate bars, which we of course totally broke into as soon as the door shut, but haha they tasted really funny and as it turns out they were loaded with alcohol! Ya they have alcohol filled chocolate bars all over here. We just assumed she was a member and wouldnt give us them though, so ya we repented. It tasted nasty though. But ya, not the best day for food. But the rest of the weekend was pretty slow as it turns out. We did a LOT of contacting. We kept track and walked 25 kilometers saturday, it´s crazy. I really like talking to people on the street now though. Ha, i whipped out the digital recorder too, so i´ll try sending that today, cought a street conversation or two. I´m not sure how legal that is, but hey im just making some voice journals.:) so ya i´ll try to send those.
Well what else can i say? Another great week up here in Kiel, i just love it to death up here. i could serve my whole mission here i feel like sometimes! But ya, time to go limp out onto the street (we´ve already been walking a lot, and we played squash for a couple hours this morning, which is like my first athletic activity since the MTC, haha i think i sprained my anke and pulled my groin, it was way way fun though, it´s like the handicapped cousin of racquitball, i really like it) but ya. Onward, ever Onward! Love ya all and have a good week! Hoorah für Israels
-Elder Ott
p.s. I´m making a list of all those who write me here, and im checking it twice... lots of people on the naughty list. :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

From Kiel- December 6

Guten Morgen von Kiel!
Hallo. Well i cant believe it, but this transfer is already more than half over! Crazy. I´m already feeling sad about having to say goodbye to Elder B, and we probably still have one more transfer together! That´s gonna be weird saying goodbye to him and having him go home... kinda like in the Berlin airport when we first got there and we met the missionaries going home, that was way way weird. Anyway ya things are really going good here. We had a lot of appointments fall through this last week, but hey they were all right addresses so we´ll keep on him. We picked up 4 new investigators this week too. Man can i just say how diverse this place is. Already i have tought in an actual lesson, a Muslim, an ex Jehovahs witness, a couple Rasta Farians, a Buhdist, a Scientologist and who knows how many catholics or prostestants. Well i take that back, we didnt actually teach the Scientologist, we more or less just talked about it because he lives next to us and we´ve been at the same bus stop a couple times. Haha, but man Rasta Farians are the cooooolest people ever! I cant remember if i said last week or not, but we made friends with a way cool one from a tiny store that sells African stuff from ghana, he gave us some way cool bracelets and invited us over Christmas day to eat Fufu, it´s like some food from Ghana, like this mush everyone eats with there hands. Ha i dont know if we´re actually going to do it Christmas day, we´ll have to talk to him this week when we go back by, but he´s really the coolest guy ever. Oh ha, and one of our new investigators we found is an old guy that´s been a butler like all his life, and he is soooooo crazy awesome. He is like a old creepy guy who wears butler clothes and like talks like a legit butler guy, is name is JZ, i´m way excited to teach him. Then one of our new investigators is a 40 year old Buhdist lady. We were contacting on the street and while we were making an appointment with an african guy, she just made eye contact with me and smiled really big, after we made the appointment i went and talked to her, we found our she had just moved in and when we offered to help she hesitantly accepted our offer, so we cleaned windows and talked about the BOM. After we were done she said she really wants to learn more, and she actually took us to the Buhdist Zentrum here in Kiel and we got to see how they meditate and where they do it and stuff. It was pretty cool, not many non budhists get to go in there, so that was neat, i´m excited to teach her. Throw that all on top of the Dönner man and we´ve really made some sweet connections here! Get to learn see and do lots of cool things. We´ve been teaching lots of Africans too, so far we´ve talked with lots from Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria, with some from Togo, Cameroon, South Africa, and i cant remember all the others, haha i love the black community here. So also this week i went on a brief exchange with another new Elder while our comps had to go to a leadership training meeting, he actualll spoke less German than i do haha, it was way scary, but really cool to go do missionary book without a fluent speaker to rely on. I made two appointments tho all by myself! And tought most all of a lesson! It was cool, scary. but fun. We were down in Neu Münster so it was also fun to see another city, we actually toured 2 churches kind of on accident haha, long story, but it was really neat. The churches here are soooo amazing, HUGE. Oh ya, which reminds me... so the next day i was on exchange with the DL and we were working down by the harbor, i had never been down there and he was really quiet and didnt care what we did hehe, so we just did SK (straße kontaktieren) down there. We got into a little discussion with some Zeugen Jehovahs and then we kept walking til we got to a peer... suddenly i saw a Santa Claus guy walking down the pier, it was really suspecious so we stopped to watch. Suddenly he jumped up on a support thing and started to walk accross the water on a tight rope!!! haha it was the most random/coolest thing ever. He almost fell in this one time and i got it all on video with a bunch of pictures, he would have like died the water was so cold... but here´s the most tragic thing ever, i dont know if it was because it was so cold out or what, but while i had my camera out, the screen just went blue and it said memory erased! ALL MY PICTURES ARE GONE! Except for a few random ones from before my mission. But the MTC ones i took to make up for the other SD card and everything are gone! EVERYTHING! I really almost started to cry. The memory card was like full, and now it´s all gone. I snapped one more of the Santa, so i still have that, but the sweet videos and everything are gone. And i had some amazing stuff on there i wanted to send for Christmas... ugh it´s sickening. I should have printed them off i knew it! Ya, so anyway, i dont know what to do now. Just take more i guess. i hope that letter with the SD card gets here too cuz i really need it... dont have it yet. Anyway, that was a long tragic tangent. Santa was way cool tho! I found the red light district accidently on that exchange to haha, that´s another story, good to know now though where to stay away from. These exchanges tho have really made me appreciate my awesome companion much more though, for sure. He´s so awesome. The others were just way awkward and in your face, ive never been beraded or sworn at so much as when i was with them, Elder B´s approach seems to be much more effective and.. nice? Haha i dont know. Anyway, i´m about out of time, but ya things are going great in Kiel. Ha oh ya, my trainer talked with Elder VM´s trainer at the training meeting... Elder VM just got Dear Johned haha, i shouldn´t laugh, but it´s just so weird to me. He´s doing alright though, he got over it in about a week it sounds like, so good for him. But ya anyways, mission´s are really something special, it´s still the weirdest feeling for me to be here in Germany as a missionary, love it though. It´s super hard sometimes, when that freezing wind is coming in off the Baltic and it´s snowing and 2 of your appointments just fell thru and no one´s listnening to you, but there´s just always a flame of comfort somewhere, a tender mercy, a little miracle, it´s really really sweet. Hope everyone back there has a good week, you should alll give the missionaries a referal.:) Haha seriously tho, do it! Love you all, Tchüss!
-Elder Ött <---- (i really want an ümlauted O name tag, but pres isnt going to let me it looks like, oh well) :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

From Kiel- November 29

    Pretty amazing week in Kiel... pretty cold too haha. I´ve always loved the cold weather, but i dont think i ever factored humidity in to the equation and being on the coasts of the Baltic Sea. Out on the outskirt of town where we´ve done most of our work it was getting to be around -12 degrees. Celsius that is, i dont know exactly how to equate that quite yet. That´s pretty cold to street contact in 6 hours a day! But it´s been good, i cant complain. Tons of snow has been fun. The people here get so mad when it snows, it´s so funny. It makes driving a bit more interesting too. Ya and im speaking from personal experience! First week here and i accomplished one of my mission goals, i totally drove on the Autobahn!!! It was so sick. Driving was way scary at first but i got it down. it was so much fun! We drive Opals here, they´re actually pretty nice little cars. Most all of them are red, it´s pretty cool.  The german countryside was just hills and forests covered in snow, i definitely need to get some pictures. I´ve been terrrible with pictures.
     The work has been rolling forward here tho! We have 4 investigators already! We are actually posting some pretty good numbers, i think we tought 14 lessons last week or something? We´ve being seeing the fruits of street contacting all day long that first week. Are goal is to pick up 7 more investigators this week, that would be intense and amazing. We have like 30 something contacts we´ve been working through, but we had a lot of appointments fall out this week. I guess that´s normal, in fact we´ve been doing better than normal i guess. Ha i dont know im just a Golden! But that´s a good kind of ignorance.:) So our first investigator is named UB, she´s a russian lady, like 53 or something we found doing Area book work with the ghetto half of the area book the zone leaders gave us. We teach her tonight actually. She´s an ex jw and man they really messed her up, She´s got a lot of stuff to work through, and she´s a tought project, but she LOVES meeting with us and we can do work with her. Next is Frau S. She´s an Elderly lady who had brain clots and actually had to learn everything she´s ever learned over again. She openly acknowledges God in her life, and she was fascinated by our message,  we meet her again tomorrow and it should be a solid lesson. Then we have the miracle investigator, this is one of the dearest stories to me. Typing wont do it justice and i have to condensce it, but i´ll try. One of our first days here we made an appointment with a young man named Antoine to meet at the church. We didnt know where the church was at the time and we didnt know it was a bit of a journey to get there. Basically it didnt look promising at all. But we have to keep all our appointments, even though it seemed like a waste of time to go all the way out there during prime Tur zu Tur time. But anyways we had faith we´d see a miracle and we left anyways. On the bus trip out there a girl sat across the aisle from me. Elder B and I where speaking a little English with eachother and i felt like she was watching us and trying to listen in a bit. I felt like i should talk to her. We finished our conversation and then we came to the stop. I turned to look at her and she was already right next to me. She looked at my tag and said "i know your church" in perfect english. We started talking and she said she walked by our church to her house almost every day. She´s a student here living with her aunt and uncle.  We saide we were actually going to the church right now and Elder B asked if she´s like to come inside and have a look. She was a bit scared at first, she said she´s heard lots of weird things about Mormons, but she came in and we had a great tour and visit. We asked if she´s like to come to church tomorrow and she said why not. We were going to go get döners because we had a great day contacting, but we decided to fast and pray that night that she´d come to church. The next day came and sure enought she walked in the door 5 minutes early! It was amazing. (Sundays are game days here in the field. We had 3 people supposidly coming and your nerves are just shot waiting.) She really enjoyed sacrament meeting and she said she´d like to go to Sunday school. Ha which was funny because when we saw the topic for the new investigato class we saw Keuschheit... or chastity. But she ended up liking it fine. She had to go somewhere so she couldnt stay for the last meeting but she´s excited to start coming to institute and we´re going to start meeting with her! She´s so solid! We´re hoping for great things with her. It´s funny how to Lord works sometimes... antoine of course never showed up, but if we hadn´t made that appt and been on that bus (another story and miracle) sitting in those seats, we would never have found her. It was such an amazing experience. Ah i cant even describe it! So cool. But yes that´s are money 3rd investigator. And we picked up Herr B last night, he´s an older man who really has a tough life, we had an awesome first lesson and we´re excited to see where he goes! It´s so cool bringing the gospel into these people´s lives, in a different language, i cant even describe the feeling! So pray for them, they are all going to be amazing. And the 7 solid appointments these next few days should bring more miracles hopefully! It´s funny though, most all of our appointments are with girls, and the majority of those are with younger ones. We already starting to be the joke of the zone. Elder B´s so funny with that. He´s always saying how he´s always had that problem and that i´m going to inherit it from the family genes.But this is the age the Brethren want us to work on here, the young single adults. We´re super excited though, we live right next to the University so we´re going to really be trying to do work with the youth.  It´s exciting, we´ve had lot´s of awesome discussions witht he students here. Oh and we´re tight with The Döner Man.  Haha we contacted him the other day on the street and it turns out he owns the Döner shop like right under our Wohnung. If you dont know what döners are, they are just the most amaying sandwiches ever! So ya we´re getting a lot of Books of Mormon placed down there in his shop and hopelfully we´ll start getting some sweet deals on döners!
Well anyways, it´s just been a solid week here. So pretty, so busy, so many eating appointments. (the ward is money here) but ya,anywhos, we´re going to go to the Christmas market now, look at some stuff. But hope everyone back home has a great week. Love to here from anyone back home! Take care!
   -Elder Ott

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kiel- Part 2

So my address here is:
Schweffel Strasse 22
24118 Kiel
You can post that for letters and stuff. And it looks like ill have time to read emails more, but its still a bit more expensive so keep writing, we´ll see hos it all works out. Any packages tho by the way have to be sent to the Mission Office in Berlin, that´s the Zerbster Strasse address.
I´m really doing super good tho. This is the coolest city ever and is just such an adventure! Couldnt be happier. Ya it´s frustrating as heck sometimes, but hey, i´m on a mission!
Oh man the food is good here. They never drink water tho, theres no such things as drinking fountains and public restrooms are super rare and cost money so those things have been the biggest change really. But for the most part things are pretty similar to america, only cooler cuz they´re german haha. Had mzy first dönner the other day. SOOO amazing. Dad would LOVE them. The just spin meat on a spick and shave of the seasoned crispy outside into pita bread with all sorts of good sauce. Oh i´ll send pics. Every missionary has to have pics of their first dönner. Ha man it´s so good. The cheese and bread here is to die for too! Which by the way, ive decided if you, mom and dad, want to pick me up im totally game with that now. All i think of sometimes is how much i want my family to experience these things, europe really is cool. Berlin was pretty epic. The churches here are pretty cool too. And it´s sooo diverse. We got into an argument with a muslim the other day, ha and by we i mean i started talking to him and Elder B finished the conversation after i started an argument haha. It was like a good 10 mins long. But ya, lots of blacks, black german is so so cool, and we´ve talked to a Budhist, baptist, and some other religions other than protestant and cotholics which are big here. The Jehova´s witnesses do a lot of work over here too as it turns out. Elder B is like a pro basher tho, so money. He admits it´s fruitless, and i dont plan on ever doing it, but he has a great knowledge of the scriptures that i hope to learn from. Im already sad he´s going home in 2 transfers, i just want to stay my whole mission with him. But ya, i´m his last comp. He seems to like me too which is really cool.
So the big mission thing right now is having a ´white christmas´ or in other words, having a baptism before christmas.  Obviously we´ve been put in a less than desirable position to do that, but we have the faith, really help us with prayers tho. It´s seemingly impossible, but we know we can and will get it done. I really hope things work out with this Polish girl personally. So ya anyways, prayers would help.
So hopefully i´ll be able to get you some pictures here soon, i have no idea how im going to do that, but we´ll see i guess, i´ll try. I dont have a whole lot, but i´ll try to get some done.
Oh ya, the trains here are so cool, we took a bullet one up here to Kiel, it was the coolest thing ever. Apparentlz it´s rare that we get to take one, but the AP´s got permission to splerge on us because we were leaving the Mission home late and it´s a bit longer of a way to kiel.
Oh kiel actually has the best american football and the best handball team in all of europe. I thought that was pretty cool.
Ha so one of the teachers i knew really well in the MTC was one of the last people to live in our wohnung (appartment) before the area closed. It´s been about 4 and half months since someone´s lived there. It´s weird doing area book work on investigators she was the last person to teach. Ha, ya we just got an area book two days ago, it´s like way old. The ZL´s inherited all the investigators from before, so we starting fresh. Oh and Elder B knew Brother W really well, in fact Brother W said to watch out for Elder B before we left the MTC, haha cool or what?
President Pimental is totally awesome. Completely loving and kind. And the ap´s likewise. HA they have the worst job in the world tho i´ve decided.
Well anyway, i gotta run here, Elder Schär invited us over to have some swiss cheese fondeau? dont know how to spell it. And the DL is just getting here from Neumünster to visit, so should be a nice day.
Love you all, hope all is well, have an awesome week and i´ll do the same ja?
Proverbs 25:25 ja?
Love you so much, take care!
Bis nächste monntag, machts gut! Tchüss!
-Elder Ott

Assignment: Kiel!

Oh... hello
This is Elder Ott writing from a little country called Germany (that´s in Europe) and as it turns out i´m in europe also. Sitting in a little internet cafe, Californiw Gurls playing on the radio, it´s supre weird. I havent heard this kind of blaspheme for weeks. This keyboard is super weird too, so if i replace a few of my y´s with z´s bare with me. They´re reversed. Well anzwho, so i bet you´re wondering where in the world i am, in Germany, well that´s way cool they didnt tell you, haha i could totally keep this a secret like my whole mission haha. Well i´m actually in the most amazing city ever. When i was in the MTC one of my teachers actuallz talked about it and i decided i wanted to go there, and just like with my mission call, when i read my golden letter that´s where i got called to. And with the exact trainer i wanted to, we actually talked and sat next to eachother at dinner before i read my call. So i´m in a beautiful town called Kiel, it´s up by the Baltic Sea. It´s an awesome, gorgeous harbor town with about 250000 people. And here´s the coolest part, ha we´re opening up a new area! And my trainer was only here for 5 mins before he came to get me. Ya we´re doubled in to a new area ha. No teaching pool, no knowledge of the lay out of the city, ya it´s an adventure and a half! But i wouldnt trade it for the world. Its the coolest this ever. My trainer has been out 21 months and his name is Elder Badger, he´s pretty much the cooles guy ever. We´re having such a good time. I´m just so blessed. And then our city actually has the Zone Leaders in it. Elder Schär from Switzerland and Elder Chimpf from Washington. They are the stinking coolest elders ever. They have a money car too, so it´s nice when the make it down to take us places. Ha actually we might be taking this car this week to do some stuff and since my comp doesnt have a German license and you can drive on a utah one for 6 months here, ha guess who might be driving this week? Ya, crazy. So the language is super hard as it turns out. Apparently the speak better German here in Germany than they do in America. Like faster and with slang and what not. So i´ve gotten good with my Golden (we dont us greeny in this mission) 'hi im just happy to be here smile`'  ha works like a charm. It hasnt really stopped me from talking to people tho. Naturally these last 3 days have been ALL contacting, but Elder Badger always has my back if i talk myself into a hole. Í actuallz made mz first teaching appointment the other day. Ha it was with a like drop dead gorgeous polish girl, she has the cutest little polish accent ever, it was really cool. So im really excited for that, not because she´s absolutely beautiful, that´s not why im here, but because she is super nice and i know the gospel can bless her life. Ha the girls here are really really really pretty tho. But anyways, the ward here is one of the most studly in Germany. We´ve had 4 eating appointments already! German food is sooooooooooooooooooooooo bomb. Ugh i love it! Not so much the cabbage, but i´ll get used to it.  Anyway, we made 7 or so teaching appointments this last week, which i guess is super good, ha i have no idea i´m so wide eyed and golden, but that´s really cool. We´ve already dropped by on a few members, ha oh my gosh there´s this one member named ushi, she is the most CRAZY lady ever. She´s like 75 and super huge. So we went by on her, i think it was a joke by the zl´s, and we buzzed her and all the sudden we here this big yell out the window in her wohnung in the slums, and when we get up there she answered the door completelz naked! Ugh i almost puked. The place smelled so bad! Ugh it´s sad. But she got some clothes on and we tought her, i didnt understand a word she said, but she was the funniest person i´ve talked to ever in spite of that. The zls and mz comp were crying they were laughing so hard. So it was the most scarring but funnest experience ever. All the other members are a bit more sane luckily. I lucked out on Sunday big time too, i guess it was the primarz program, my comp says he hasnt ever even seenn one here. So that was reallly cool. Little kid German is the best thing EVER! It´s so cool. Ha it´s funnz too, babies like understand more than i can sometimes, it´s reallz cool.  My comp likes to give kids warheads here because they dont reallz have sour candy, so their reactions are priceless! So if you ever want to send warheads, please do! I´ll bring back some good videos in return haha. Even the adults cant handle it. We made on of the danish missionaries in the MTC promise he wouldnt spit one out, and he cried! So it´s funny.  Well anyway, so ya the language is a lot harder than i had hoped. It´s weird, like all the missionaries, even the natives, speak English wish each other, so im not always as emersed as i would even like to be, but Elder Badger assures me my German is excellent for a Golden and it will get better, so i trust him completely, he´s trained before. I just CANNOT WAIT until i feel completely fluent. I´s über frustrating sometimes, but it´s nice and humbling and it gives me drive to do better. I thrive off that Humble feeling at this point ha. Well anyway, i could talk for hours i feel like, but that would be expensive so ill just wrap it up with this last little thought.  When we got here we were able to got to a special grove of trees where the Berlin Wall once stood, where we read some of the prophesies of Präsident Monson and Elder Uchtdorf for this land, we then where able to find space alone to dedicate our missions to the <Lord. I could never begin to describe the feeling i felt there. It had been raining the past few days and we had prayed for it to clear up so we could make it there (it´´s a bit out in the mud) and sure enough the next morning it did. And i do not lie when i tell you that as soon as the last amen was said there that day the rain began again. I cannot talk about all my feelings that day i felt as i prayed standing in the no mans land where that great wall once stood, but i can tell you this, the tender mercies of the ´Lord will touch EVERYONE who seeks to serve him. I will not ever deny that now. I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life more in the past few weeks that ever before, and i openly acknowledge i do not deserve most of what i have been given, but that´s what makes God so great. From my call, to the people i met on the plan i prayed for, to my first area, to my trainer, i know that God knows me. This is his Church. It´s the true church. Great things will happen here shortly, and i´m here to help prepare for and participate in them, i see that more clearly than ever. To whoever may read this, know that i have a firm testimony of these things. Find ways to serve the Kingdom. Member refferals are 100x´s more effective than street contacting, do whatever you can. You will be blessed. I hope the Lord blesses your lives this next week as he has mine. Take care, i love you all! Hoorah for Israel!
-Elder Ott
p.s. Shout out/congrats to Rachel Thorley! First person to write me in Deutschland
p.p.s Go DHHS BBALL! (to bad so sad Hurricane)
p.p.p.s The church is true!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Week 9 from Germany!

Wow, so i'm finally here in Germany. Ha. It's like the coolest place on earth.  The mission office on Zerbster Strasse is soo cool. The whole street is just total legit Germany. Ugh it's just so awesome.:) The mission home from where i'm writing this email is pretty awesome too.  I'm so tired tho, i probably got about only 45 mins of sleep total combined between both flights, so i'm really feeling the jet lag.  I just woke up from a nap to go into my interview with President Pimentel, he's the coolest man ever! It was so cool seeing his brother in NYC, but ya he's awesome.
So after i got off the phone in NYC i turned around and saw my companion arguing with a Baptist family. They were talking about baptisms for the dead and were pulling out all sorts of scriptures and deep doctrine stuff. I could feel contention. So i walked over and said hello to them, they quickly told me i was naiive and waisting my time out here. I just bore my testimony and told them i knew these things and no one could take that away from me. She paused for a moment, told me i was well "trained" and told me we'd just have to agree to disagree. It was pretty sad seeing a heartfelt testimony written off, but you know all you can do is be nice, remember God loves every one equally.:)
So i placed another Book of Mormon on my flight, only this time in German. I placed one on my first flight to an Englishmen named Paul. But this German one was special, we talked mostly in German about religion for 3 straight hours non stop. She was a gorgeous 26 year old woman named Caroline. She was really a special spirit and was very interested in the message. She doesnt really believe in God but said she would like too, we talked over a lot. Basically i went thru the first 2 lessons in German. Then i gave her a Das Buch Mormon and she said she'd read it and then i gave her a passalong card with my address so she could write when she had questions. She's going to get baptized in this life, i just feel it. :)
Well thus we see Heavenly Father answeres prayers, i prayed to these oppurtunities long before i left the MTC and prepared for them. It was SO cool. Nerve racking and scary, but soooo cool!
Well nothing much else to say, i'm here, i'm lovin it, and i'm feeling great! Can't wait to get my assignment tomorrow and find out where i'm going! So many possibilities! So exciting.
So P-days are monday i guess, so i'll let you know then?
Love ya all, thanks for the letters and prayers. Take care!  Machts gut!
-Elder Ott

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Week 8

Hallo! Wie gehts wie stehts?
Wow, so here're my last e-mail from the MTC, Coolo. Wow i have a lot to talk about...
Well so first off, for all of you who dont know, Elder Bednar came to the MTC on Tuesday. HA. 4 straight apostles! Maybe it's like a new thing. But it was an amazing way to end my stay here. He spent 45 mins just chucking mind grenades of pure knowledge at us. He really tought some amazing things, and invoked amazing apostelic blessings.  He tought us the difference between doctrines, principles, and applications. He said he could "care less" about our numbers on our mission. It's non important whether or not you teach, what is important is that you HELP people to UNDERSTAND true doctrine every day.  Doctrines are true teachings revealed by God pertaining to our eternal welfare. Principles are guidlines based from those doctrines. And applications are ways we apply principles. He changed the way i'll study and teach forever. He said 90% of the time we focus on applications to teach, and use them to solve problems. True doctrine understood however, changes people forever. If we understand the doctrine, that's what will help us BECOME what we know we should become. Teaching purely applications is really useless. Ya... he was pretty bold at times... haha but it was awesome. He's such a prophet. :)
Well we had another fun meeting too the other day. Foreign Missionary Health LGM! That was so fun! It was so fun to here about all the diseases all the other missionaries will have to deal with.:) Haha truly horrific stories. It was funny to watch there faces as he told them. Haha, it was so fun. Glad i'm going to Germany :)
Oh ya, guess who was Elder Hatch's host Missionary!? Ya, me. :) I weasled my way into it. It was sooooo good to see him. He looks great and really was handling everything very well. I won't really see him around much, he's not anywhere close to where i live, learn, or really do anything. Schedules are totally different. But still it was awesome to see him and help him get settled in.  Brought back memories for me seeing the little orange dot on his name tag and looking at mine i wear on the back of my name tag now. It's such a vast experience here, i just dont know how to describe it, but it was so weird having been here for 8 weeks and then see your best bud just get started down the same path. Really cool. :) 
Speaking of which i've seen Elder Mike Sharp a couple times too. It's crazy how different you see people out here. It's been cool to talk to him a bit.
So i'm at an extrememly awkward time in my life right now. I'm at the point where i speak German and English so interchangably and often that i really cant speak either well. Ha my English has just plummited as you can probably tell by my awkward phrases when writing. It's like i just wish i could speak one language decently! Is that so much to ask! Ha bleh. Oh well, it's fun speaking Danglish with all the other German missionaries. Conjegating english verbs to the German past tense is probably one of my favorite past times.:) I hadreally really awesome teaching appointment in the TRC Tuesday tho. We tought the 2nd lesson in German and it went really really well. Haha and i have my first German Joke!!! Ok, so when you teach the 3 kingdoms, the last one is called the 3rd Kingdom ya know? Which in German is Reich. So the 3rd reich? Get it? With Hitler? Tee hee.Cever. A bit blasphemous tho... so i probably wont use it. But still, it's my first German joke! And it's really hard to make new jokes in another language.:)
Oh ya, so pretty much i fly out Tuesday Morning by the way, i forgot to bring my darn plans, so i'll throw the exact times in a letter. I leave the MTC 5am and fly out of SLC to JFK where i'll have a 4 hour layover. So that's probably where i'll call from. around 3 in the afternoon or so? I'll try to work out when. Let me know what time is best. But hey NYC! Always wanted to go there so i'm super super stoked for that.
As far as other things i need packages... not really much. Just as many pictures as you can find. Family, Friends, Basketball. I'd love more pictures. Most everything else i can do without or find somewhere for myself.
So what else to say? Well i learned this week to really take more responsibilty for myself. That was something i took out of Elder Bednar's ansprache. When things go really good it's easy to take credit and be ungrateful. When things go not so good it's easy to say "well the companion though gavest me.." But all in all, all success comes from the Lord. It's all a gift like Elder Bednar said. The rest is just for us to be teachable and correct ourselves to become better.:)
How lucky are we to have the Gospel in our lives!!! Think of that this week! We are so fortunate. Let's all share it better. We should be missionaries for life
Love everyone, have a wonderful week here in America :)
-Elder Adam Ott
P.S Have fun a Sadies Ler :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Week 7

Hola! Guten Tag
That's MTC German.
Well another week has passed. 12 days till Germany, wow. Should be getting our flight plans today, so can't wait for that. Last week i was über excited to get out of here, and now im super nervous to leave. Well we'll see how it all goes this week i guess.
So first off, i dont know if you all will believe this, but Elder Ballard came and spoke to us this last week. :) It has been 14 years since back to back apostles came, and i dont think they've ever had an apostle 3 times in a row! It's UNHEARD of! Super crazy awesome. Haha, it's actually kinda sad, we're already getting spoiled. We figured someone big was coming and when Elder Ballard walked thru the door we were like "Aw man... couldnt they at least send a 1st presidency member down here, do they even care?" Haha not really, but you could definitely feel that we were getting "used" to it. He tought how to become a "master communicator" it was pretty awesome. All the teachers here at the MTC are fuming with jealousy.:) It's so crazy, 6/24's of ALL the apostles have spoken to us!
So i have another wonderful teaching appointment story about my companion. So we were teaching a progressive investigator in the T.E the other day (in English) and were preparing her for baptism. We've tought her for like 6 weeks. So anyway, we were talking about obedience and somehow we got to where she staged the question "so why can't Elder's swim?" I figured this would be an easy answer because we had just talked about the blessings that come from being obedient even when we may not fully understand why. So right before i was about to answer haha my companion jumps in and says, in all seriousness "well you see we believe Satan controls the water... Elder Ott tell them about your ancestor who died in the water on his mission...(refering to Alma Ott who died on his mission after catching pneumonia from falling of a boat ramp)" haha i had no idea what to say. I'd heard that theory before, i never thought much of it. Well we got the lesson back on course somehow, and now my invesitgator knows my my ancestors story. I'll never forget the look on her face tho, "Satan controls the water." haha. Good stuff
So i dont know who all may ever read this, but if anyone has Julia Chipman's or Ashley Wade's address i could use it, one of Dixie State's soccer players is here going to my mission. Her name is like Tawnya Smith i think? She's really awesome. So i'm curious to know if either of them know her, she didnt play this last year of course, so she doesnt know them, but she wants to tell the soccer team hi. :)
So another fun experience i had yesterday, I got to be a HOST ELDER! It was pretty stinkin fun. It brought back memories of my first day. Just a total dear in the headlights glazed over look, haha love it.  My first Elder was from St. George believe it or not! He graduated from Dixie High in '09. He knew Kaitlyn Davies and Catherine Dodart and all those people. Really awesome guy, going to Mexico, named Elder Crowell or something? Croweth? Cant remember.:)  My second Elder, Elder Redford is going to Charleston South Carolina where dad went. He was really nervous, but they'll both be great. They are both in my residence hall so i took em some jerky last night and they're doing well. Funny story tho, i picked up a sister and when she got out of the car i thought she was a mom dropping off a missionary, ha so i was like looking through the car for him and stuff, but nope, she was the missionary.:) Very embarrassing, she's 26 tho, crazy! Good for her! We always need more sisters. And i may have wormed my way in to doing it next week, so Butch, i'm looking for ya. ;)
So heard from Elder Spilker yesterday, he's doing very well. Went contacting the other day and got 8 referals and placed a book of Mormon! He was way excited, that's pretty cool. He's so money.  Elder Emett's Visa didnt go through yet so i get another week seeing him around here. Oh and i've seen Elder Kaden Leavitt a lot around to. He got here a week ago, he leaves the same day i do. He looks great! His first day he didnt seem to be doing too hot, but then again neither was i haha, so i talked to him and he seems to really be doing well. He just looks and feels like an awesome Elder. Heard from Elder Georgia too last week, he's doing well down in Guatemala, it was fun to hear from him. So many good people doing so many good things.
Well other than that, not much else happenin. MTC Volleyball ist am Besten! We got to go off campus to walk to a pharmacy the other day and that was cool. Got to see a child for the first time in who knows how long, his mom came and introduced him to "the missionary" haha it's so weird going out into "the world" from here in the MTC. But it makes you so excited to get out and going.
Well hope everything keeps going well for everyone. Love you all!
-Elder Ott
p.s. Write if ya wanna :)
pps thanks d rock :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 6

Guten Tag meine freunde!
First off, sorry about last week, the timer tottally ran our probably like .0001 seconds before i hit senden. Haha, talk about devastation. That could be one of the worst feelings for a missionary... my district all gave me candy our of sympathy. I was actually going to just write witha foreign stamp home and say "sorry i couldnt email, but they've sent me to Germany early," but then realizing the havoc that could potentially bring and decided i better not.:)
Well first off, that Elder i mentioned last week ended up going home, so my drit was split up and i was left with Elder Van M. It actually has been really really good. It's soooo much easier with just one companion. I appreciate all the lessons i've learned with the drit, but this has been really nice.  It means a lot lot lot more conversation in the lesson, which is good, it's hard because Elder Van M's german is a work in progress, but it really pushes me and accelerates my growth as well. haha last week in the TRC we were having this amazing discussion over the book of Mormon.. i was having like an out of body experience and just sitting there listening to myself speak German... anyway... so the question comes up "what language was the book of mormon translated in?" so figuring that would be an easy question i looked to Elder Van M, who then proceeded to bear testimony that God was our loving heavenly father of our Spirits, and then pulled out Bread-Stone parable in 3 Nephi 14. haha it was epic.  I love that parable. But anyways it was all good, I tied it back in to the parable and testified how God loves all his Children and will give them what they need, in their language. I love teaching in German.
Speaking of German, i shouldnt dwell on this so much... but George Lucas... come on. It clicked this week, Yoda uses like totally German sentence structure sometimes! And Darth Vader's helmet i guess was based off a Nazi design. Anyway, i could go on forever about it, but won't :)
I talked to a German elder who speaks Berlin style german, holy cow, ha he talked sooooooo fast. I was super excited with how much i understood tho, the answers on the other hand, welll let's just say i'm sure the gift of tongues will come here in a bit. :)  Oh, especially because this week Richard G Scott pretty much came to the MTC and INVOKED APOSTELIC BLESSINGS ON ALL OF US. Ya. He "excersied the office of the apostleship" and invoked a few very special blessings on us, it was pretty amazing. TWO APOSTLES IN TWO WEEKS. That's a special thing. He gave an amazing talk on following the spirit, and gave us all copies of his talk with about 30 paragraphs of revelelation he's received about following the spirit "over a lifetime of experience." So basically we all just got new scripture:) It's pretty amazing stuff. It is just so neat to see an apostle 30 feet in front of you. It just boggles my mind how one man can have lived that type of life for that long to eminate that kind of power. Really really neat. I'm not going to lie, these past couple weeks have been super super tough at times, but experiences like that, and one's like i had in the temple today just fuse your soul with so much hope and joy. Not to mention after his talk when we came outside it was totally snowing! We woke up to a snow covered MTC Wednesday morning. Haha Elder walker was running around like a little kid, he even pegged me with a snowball in the thigh when i wasnt looking. Ah, but just walking back form that devotional in the beautiful snow in my coat, scarf, and gloves, with a bunch of Elder's i love, pondering what an apostle had just told me, those are nights you wont soon forget.
So another cool thing i've learned this week from various MTC people. I guess 20 years ago, they refered to Brazil as the 'sleeping giant'. Pop quiz.... do you know what country they refer to as the 'sleeping giant' today. Bingo, Germany. I just cant wait to get over there. The MTC is a special place, and i appreciate it, and i know i'll miss it, but put me on a plane to GERMANY? haha i just want to go soooo bad. I'm getting there tho, we're the oldest district, we actually just got 32! new missionaries yesterday! We have 60 in our zone now! That's pretty huge for a German branch. The stone is really starting to role
I'm still a DL, i was sure i'd be done, but President Curtis kept me around a bit longer to help the new district DL's apparently. But im sure i'll be done this next week. That'll really be nice. I just want to focus all my efforts on teaching and preparing for Germany.
Well other than that, all is well here i suppose. Just trying to focus day by dad. Like dad said, Germany is just around the corner!
Best of luck to Butch at his Farewell this week, it'll be awesome. Cant wait to see you up here.
Thanks grandpa for the Haloween card!
Feel free to write! I get the least mail in the district now haha, but it's all good i suppose. But i'd luv to hear from everyone.
God bless
Hoorah for Israel
-Elder Ott

Week 5

Well hallo!
26 more days left in the MTC, ugh i cant wait to go to Germany! I feel so unprepared but so ready... just another one of those unique missionary feelings i suppose.
Well first to get all the Babylonish that's been bottling up this week out... ya that's right, we dont talk about outside things here. Ahem :) First, and this has been killing me not to talk about, I AM THOROUGHLY CONVINCED GEORGE LUCAS SERVED AND LDS MISSION TO GERMANY. I dont have much time to dive in to my thesis but here's my three quick facts. 1- Yoda was inspired by Spencer W. Kimball, that's something almost accepted by everyone at this point. 2- Vater is father auf deutsch... Darth Vader... come on, blatantly obvious. 3- Cafeteria auf deutsch ist Kantine, pronounced Kantina... yep... that's the truth. :)
Just had to get that off my chest. 
Had some good food experiences this week. First off, Elder VM got like enough Candy to build a house out of. (Hanzel und Gretel sind deutsch) lame joke. Well anyways, he gave me some of his Wonka candy, now i dont know if any of you have had a Kazoozle before, but they taste 1 batrillion times better than they are fun to say. Wow. Haha i was in love. Now on the opposite end of the spectrum i would like to address vegimite, dont know how to spell it. :) But whoever thought up that must have been a criminal banished from England to some big island/continent. It's like someone mixed pastey yiest with a pound of Salt to make this black gew.  It's interesting, it make toast look AND tast burnt. And salty. And nasty. Anyway... bleh\
So my new slogan every time i wake up in the morning is, "what can i do to offend Satan today" and can i just say, it has been so fun to offend Satan this past week, it's just a wholesome fun activity.  It's been hard teaching exclusively in German, i feel like i have the Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues, just not the speaking part. It get's frustrating understanding 90-95% of what's said to you and then trying to think up a grammatically correct response. Haha speaking of grammar.. it's hard. It's funny tho, after i've been speaking German for a long time when i come back to English not only is my vocab and spelling cut in half, but i use german Grammar sometimes. the other day i was saying a prayer to open and interview and is said "please bless us that we open with each other be can" haha it's pretty funny. But it's been honestly amazing to see what you can do when you just open your mouth and talk, it's been an amazing experience. The words are just there when you're humble and lean on the lord. Now usually they arent conjugated correctly, or in the right order, but it comes. :) Speaking of teaching. Out of my 6 mock investigators we have 5 coming to church and 1 with a baptisimal date, it's been fun to work with them, even tho they're just characters. I'm confident we'll get one comitted to baptism here soon. Herr Menzel, our german investigator, i hope will start progressing more here, we had a powerful lesson last time. He's a member of the New Apostelic Church, so i got to teach him about Dispensations, or Evangeliumzeiten. Litterally translated Evangelium-gospel Zeit-time. Love German.:) I could go thru words like that all day. totally gonna be that guy when i get home who says "now in German the word _____ is" haha so happenin.
So Jordan Abel came in yesterday, good to see an old cooworker. He's adjusting. Kolby Emett is doing well too. And me and Jake Bradford are always around each other.
Oh by the way, last tuesday devotional, i was siting there and all the sudden we all stood up and BANG, in walked Elder Russell M. Nelson. WOW. I've never seen such dignity and power in someone as when observing him. He just got up there with just his scriptures, went off the spirit, and managed to i think answer every question any missionary had here. Inspired. He talked a lot about contacting principles which i was trying to improve and seek inspiration on. Soooooooo coool. I was just like beaming the whole time. :)
Temple today was awesome, had some amazing experiences.
Out district is doing well. Elder VM's CT scans came back, nothing showing, but he's still convinced he has something so we'll keep trying i guess? Another Elder in our district is going thru some mental problems rifht now and has been having a bunch of interviews, so we'll keep praying for and working for him. I dont know if i mentioned Elder Gygi who was rooming with me because he couldnt go to Germany yet based on some accusations back home, but he had to go home and work them out, so best of luck to him, hopefully he'll get back out here soon. Other than that though we're hangin in there. I feel like i might be at the end of my DL tenor, so i'm excited to be finishing up there right now. Just wanna keep studying so i can hit the ground running, i cant wait to serve the Gemans... love them already:)
Well i'm sure there's more but i cant think of it... writers block on your monthly email is the worst... this timer is just mocking me. Well i'm sure i'd be able to tell you more if you write,:)
Kudos to Ler for some good recruiting trips, so proud of ya, my district is already your number 1 fan, keep it up. Have fun at Sadies! ;)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week 4

Well another week past in the MTC. It was a harder one for some reason, but it's in the books. I cant believe tommorrow we'lll have been here for one month, crazy, then again not crazy. It's like a mission is a new life, and if you dont reflect on your life before it seems like you've been doing this forever, on the other hand, it has only been 4 weeks. I think i know also why the weeks fly by so quickly here too... every day is like groundhogs day... it's like when you get up it's like, "i wonder what im going to do today?" hmm, ya probably study the gospel all day and work your tail off. :) Which is fabulous dont get me wrong, it's just funny how all the days run together sometimes.
Well anyways, we will not dive deeper into my mind than that last confusing paragraph did hopefully the rest of this email...
So i shall now convey what i'm dealing with here at the moment that has been a bit of a struggle the past few days. Trying to live the German Culture and speak the language. (oh and on a side not... if you're a prospective missionary... DONT ONLY SPEAK YOU MISSION LANGUAGE WHEN SPEAKING WITH OTHER MISSIONARIES) A word of caution. Because honestly, i might punch the next person who tries to speak spanish with me in the face. Wow, that was harsh. But rreally tho, my goodness, we understand you can speak spanish! Woo hoo. But i cant and i dont like it. There's my vent for the week:) Oh and allso portuguese too, because they're all waiting for visas so they're still here. But anyway, back to my original thought. It's weird trying to abide by a foreign culture. Probably the hardest on for me has been always keeping my hands in sight. Supposidly you never should have you hands in your pockets or under the table while eating in Germany, they should always have your hands in  their view, otherwise you appear shifty.  Also, you never shake hands when you first meet or ask how it's going. It's very impolite and rude. You really have to be friends before you ever do that. The idiums are crazy too, i'll share my favorite real quick. English: Pushing up daisys German: Looking at the raddishes below. Hahaha so awesome. One more Enlglish: Beat around the bush German:Frolick in the flowers.  So those have been fun. Oh and here's a couple words to show you how hard ausprache, or pronounciation is. I will do so with this german keyboard i am using which is also weird. ( the z and the u are switched) Two really hard words are Eichhörchen and Streicholteszschächtelchen. The first means squirrel and the other means matchbox. The first is pronounced liek eyen-shkeur-shen... haha i dont even know and the second is strike-hole-shay-shueel-hyen. They are quite difficult among other ones. It's fun tho, i'm really trying to form a legit accent. Oh another cool thing is Germans in the north where i will be say ja when they agree, but they do it while you're speaking and as they take a breath, it's really fun and addicting to do, it's very subtle, try it sometime.
Well on the other side of the spectrum gospel study has been awesome too. Oh and we also committed on of our T.E investigators to be bapstised on November 15th, it's fake, but still cool. I've been studying Alma and Amulek and the Sons of Mosiah a lot lately. They are so cool. It's amazing how much more you get out of scripture when you're really emerssed in it. Ammon might just be my favorite BOM character. Haha who cuts off arms and then faints when they get happy, (i;m not implying the first time he faints but the second time when bumps in to alma) I love how it specifically points out that no one else faints in the next verse haha. I like to picture him going for a handshake with king Lamoni's father after they come back to teach him... awkward.  But seriously tho, i've learned so much from those men.  I love in alma 26 when Ammon reports his mission, he finds so much joy in it, and he loves the people so much. I hope my report will be the exact same. I love verses 26:11-14 also, that's how i feel. Things are so humbling out here, but it's good, because this work is so much above us, the sooner we realize we cant do it on our own the better. I loved a qoute the other night Bishop Eckersely, i think, said in a devotional by James E. Faust about missionary work, "Faith is the power, Obedience is the price, Love is the Motive, and Christ is the reason" Love it. Love is what keeps us going, and i want to form that with the German people so so bad. When Jesus died on the cross, and had all the reason in the world to rest, what did he do? He went and preached in the Spirit world. Our leaders in the church do the same, they never rest, and it all comes from love. I hope that i can get to that point where it drives me, lifts me, and sustains me like that.
Well other than that, not much is knew. This new diet im trying stinks, booo for salad and water, but i feel better than ever. P90x with Elder Anderson also stinks, haha my abs are so sore, i look like a senior missionary from behind, all bent over and what not, but it's great. No news on Elder VM yet, we'll know for sure next Tuesday. Love you all, vielen dank und Alles Gute! :)
p.s. write. :)
p.p.s Hoorah for Israel!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Week 3

Hola Familie!
Well we officially have 40 days and 40 nights left in the MTC!  Whoop whoop.  I can/cant believe it's been 3 weeks, it's a weird feeling.  Well let's see, what to update on...
The oldest district left for Germany last monday, which was really cool. However Elder Gygi, the one i met doing work in the temple, wasnt able to go. Something about false accusations back home, idk, all i know is he has to stay here till they're all cleared up, and guess who has an extra bed? Ya me, so i get to room with him.:) I know i'd get to know him better. 
A couple hilarious things happened this week, i'll begin with my favorite.:) So it's no secret that the cafeteria food here does amazing things to ones body. Like seriously, if you could harness the methane we'd have something here. Well it's an unspoken rule that if you have to you know what while in class you go stand in the doorway... well Elder Baker's biggest pet peeve and greatest emphasis is politeness. But unfortunately Elder Baker isnt immune from the effects of the food, so during MDT he quietly stoood up and moved to the doorway, haha, i think i was the only one who saw, and then he letter rip. Haha well immediately after we heard a "NOT COOL ELDER" from the doorway, haha apparently someone was sitting right outside the doorway waiting for there companion in the bath room and Elder Baker fufued right on him! haha oh he was so embarassed, but we had a good laugh.  Also, well this one is more sad, but somewhat awesome... yesterday playing volleyball (which we do for like an hour every day haha) i totally spiked a ball that bounced off an elders face and broke anothers glasses. It was incredible, i felt really bad tho. Haha but a sister blocked one of my spikes a bit later so of course the humble pie had to be served.
We've been having such a good time here and learning so much. We got some new missionaries yesterday in our zone which is exciting! Whenever someone comes or goes in the German zone we sing the coooooolllllleeessst german hymn. 'Lobe den Herrn" aka "Praise to the Lord" You may recognize because they TOTALLY sang it in Music and the Spoken Word Sunday before conference! That was the coolest thing ever! Also, Come Thou Fount is totally in the German Hymnbook and AMAZING! I LOVE SINGING HERE, it's really weird. We had a devotional all on music last Sunday, it was so cool, the MTC presidency sang a little trio for us and it was cool, and Elders from the audience got pick their favorite hymns for everyone to sing, it was sweet.  We closed with How Firm a FOundation and i was EXTREMELY impressed by the last verse. "The soul who on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I WILL not, I CANNOT, desert to his foes, that soul who all hell should endeavor to shake, i'll never, no never, NO NEVER forsake!" What an anthem, i absolutely loved that. Which brings me to a still sore topic amongst our companionship, the Priesthood Choir in conference. Haha Elder Baker literally openely wept next to me as they sang. We missed getting here in time to sign up by a few days. But they did amazing, and although i would have gladly auditioned to go and would have loved to have, they did amazing and it was so uplifting and cool to see all those familiar faces. Anyways, ive recorded us singing Lobe den Herrn and will haveto send it to you sometime. We cant hook anything up to these computers so vieliecht first thing when i get to germany.
Conference overall was amazing. I loved loved loved all of President Uchtdorfs talks, at this point i am COMPLETELY partial and biased towards him.:) And president Monson was on one in Priesthood, haha i bet dad loved that.;) I really liked it tho. Other notable ones i learned heaps from were Elder Holland's talk on gratitude (love you soooooo much for everything mom and dad), Elder eyrings talk on the companionship with the H.G, elder Christophersons talk on living a consecrated life, and David Mckonkie's on being a good teacher. All were sooo applicable and tought so much.
There was one ill effect of conference tho... every Tuesday night we have a devotional featuring a GA, or basically a 70 haha. But there was a huge rumor founded on supposidly credible sources that the Prophet was coming this tuesday, so our zone skipped dinner and waited for over an hour to get in first and get front row seats. So when the Emiritus member of the Seventy came haha it was somewhat dissapointing.:) But he gave a great talk none the less.
The district is doing great! Well Elder Van M may have cancer in his neck, but we can say that for sure when we go to the ENS next week. So keep him in your prayers. We'll hope for the best. Thanks again fam for all the letters, shout out to Tyler my main man, love ya bro! I'd love to hear from some more friends, but nonetheless my focus is on the work! I'm so grateful to be here, i have learned sooooo much and my life is already different because of being here. I read a great scripture in Alma 39:16 this week, oh how true it is! I testify that Jesus is the Christ, and that this is his gospel and his plan. Hope all is well with everyone! Take care, Gott segnen, Alles Gute, und Hoorah for Israel!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Week 2

Guten Tage meine Familie!
Cant believe another week has passed here.  It's the weirdest things, the days are like an eternity but the weeks fly by.  Got the second new batch of missionaries in this week, and so our confidence grows... Last week i think i forgot to mention my friend James Millward got here, and i see him every time we eat which is totally rad.  But anyways, cant wait for Butch and D-rock (Drock being the only one of my guy friends to write me) to get here in November.  Which reminds me, i fly out on the 16th November supposidely.  We'll get our flight plans a week or so before we leave. 
But on this subject of writing... ahem... and you can put this on facebook or wherever... PEOPLE, IT'S SUNDAY, WRITE A MISSIONARY!!! Especially fast sunday. Here in the MTC we have the "mail fast" which begins every Saturday and may i just say, monday's and tuesday's are kinda a big deal around here. Haha missionary's get so into the whole mail thing.  But i offer that word of advice because i dont think people realize how much missionaries look forward to mail, and when you have to hand everyone mail but a couple elders it's really quite sad. Now being selfish for a moment i would like to chastise a person or two in regards to my mail... eh let's not beat around the bush. TYLER!!! WHAT'S UP BUDDY!? I know you arent too cool yet to write your brother.:) Maybe when you sign with the Y i would admit you're that cool, but until then i dont see any reason why you shouldn't be writing. Step it up brotha. Now there's a few other key names i wont mention now, but be assured they're on a list. I will not ever forget you people who promised to write, so know that you're burned into my mind. But thanks all ya'll who do write.:) And send some pictures! I would love some pictures!
Well from a news stand point, not much has happened besides the mind boggling hours of study time and vast stores of knowledge we take in every week. Elder Walker and his companion are the new Zone Leaders, haha 10 days in to their missions! That was cool, they're both awesome. And with Elder Walker gone now they made me the new district leader. Now this might surprise some of you, but in all honesty haha i soooo did not want to have a leadership position right now. I guess i was selfish and just wanted to focus on me and my companionships progression so the Lord saw fit make me have to focus more on others. That's the only logical explanation i can think of, because for one of the first times in my life i really didnt feel like i wanted a leadership role. But nevertheless, i'm going to work my tail off and do the best i can to develop this amazing district. We really are amazing in my mind. And in the branch presidents mind too apparently haha. But really tho, i love the heck out of these guys and we are seriously like a family.
(FYI the DL has to get all the mail, so that's what i mean when i say it stinks having none to give elders after the mail fast)
German is amazing. I can qoute the first vision and my purpose all auf Deustch. Not to mention read the scriptures and understand the main idea of verses, all i have to do is have my scriptures there as a crutch sometimes. But really, the gift of tongues is totally at the MTC. Our language task at the TRC this week is to pick up an investigator on our way to church on a bus, and have a conversation with them for like 9 mins i think. So sometimes we practice walking around the MTC like we're in a bus talking to each other. And it's amazing how good of a conversation we can hold now. I LOVE DEUSTCH, it is so great!
My companionship is amazing. After making it over that week hump where it seems like everything gets on you nerves, things are AMAZING. I love this guys. Me and Elder BAker sing constantly in the showers and do yoga together every day. And then me and Elder Van M find ways to have fun with Elder Baker, (appropriately of course). But they really are awesome guys and we bring so many differences together to do great things teaching. We get extremely high marks form our TE and TRC investigators, but it's really because we are so receptive to the Spirit. And that's the secret, we may seem so different, but when everyone teaches by the spirit we will ALWAYS accomplish our purpose, and whoever we are teaching WILL come closer to Christ. One of my favorite things to do when teaching is when i get to recite the First Vision to the investigator and watch their eyes and see the Spirit touch their heart. Me and Elder Baker switch off who does it because we bothc like it so much. The TRC is a special place, we just found out that one of the volunteers just got baptised because of a lesson there, i guess they usually slip non members in. That'd be cool to get your first baptism in the MTC.
Well times up, but i want you all to know that i know now as assuredly as ever the Christ lives. That by him, thru him, and of him we are saved. God is a literal father in heaven and gives us everything we have. I know that this work is the work spoken of in Daniel 2, the stone cut out of the mountatin, and although it may seem small, just like it says in D&C 1, the weak things of the world will overcome the seemingly big. The stone is larger than ever, but it WILL get bigger. LOVE YA BUNCHES

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week 1

Well if this isnt hint enough, today is my P-day, we just got out of the Provo Temple, what an AWESOME experience! I love it there, there are circles everywhere and it just struck me how centered on eternity that temple is, it was truly amazing. So hopefully i can address all your questions here, if not i'll have to just try next week.:)
So if you're wondering what my average day like is here... here it is. We wake up at 6:25 every morning to beat the rush to the showers. (you see we have mass bathrooms in the dorms) After we shower we have companionship prayer, oh and make our beds, they randomly inspect our rooms and it's kinda a big deal that they're clean, fyi they did that to day and we got excellent marks.;) You guys would not believe how i am here haha, i absolutely fill up my planner and use it constanly, and believe it or not i'm usually the organized one, which is weird because elder Baker is a clean NAZI, no pun intended. Like seriously we have to use another restroom if someone has been in it before he goes in, so we usually go down stairs and use the Russians haha. Which brings me to a confession... we share a dorm floor with the French elders, and between you and me, haha i ALWAYS use their side when i have to go to the bathroom. Also in our classroom floor we have a few Portuguese elder's waiting for their visa's to head out, those darn portuguese always trying to expand and conquer! But it's cool, i love to talk to the elder's headed to other country's. So now that that tangents over i can finish what i was trying to say, after we;re ready we head to our classrom and have 1hr 15mins of personal studay, then we go to breakfast, and then we come back and have and hour of companion study. After that we either have one of our two lovely teachers there but almost alwasy we have MDT or Missionary Directed Time until 1pm which is when we have lunch, that's a lot of time to fill haha, but we do all sorts of fun stuff. Then after lunch we'll have gym usually, we usually play volleyball as a district which is super fun. Then we return and have instruction or MDT. Dinner's at six and after that we have classroom instruction til 9. Then we plan in the classroom (if you cant tell, we're very familiar with our classroom) and then we return to our dorms, write in our journals, study, and lights out at 1030.
That's basically it, there's no way i could describe every little thing we do, but you get the point. Tuesday's we go to a really cool place called the TRC. That's where people come in and volunteer to be tought, it's actually extremely serious. Role playing here is huge, in fact we all have to have one or two characters formed from people we knew so that people can teach us at a moments notice. Haha i actually compare the TRC to monster's INC. YOu get a door assigment, do a door approach, and then teach the first lesson. Meanwhile instructers watch you and evaluated through Video cameras, microphones, or one way mirrors hidden throughout the room, haha it's pretty crazy. You can also make appointments to teach people here during MDT at a place we call the TE which is fun. It's good practice. Once you teach someone at the TE tho they become your investigator, and you have to do teaching records and lesson palns and prayers for them and the whole nine yards. Even if you see them around campus you have to treat them like the real investigator they are acting as... like i said it's really serious. Every week too we have to do a task in German at the TRC, last weeeks scenario was us having to contact someone in a Park and set up and appoitment in German. I'm actually getting really good at it. The gift of tongue's is sooooo here. I can pray, contact, bear testimony, and introduce my family and all those things in pretty decent german. It's coming and i'm speaking it correctly and relatively quickly, but i still have SOOOOO far to go. I actually got to go on an exchange to practice contacting with Elder Gygi (the elder i met in the temple doing work) it was really cool.
Well i'm almost out of time, but everything is FABULOUS here, i know it's where i need to be and i feel my testimony and abilities grow each and every day. I cant believe i've been here a week already! It's difficult to learn not only to feel the spirit but to listen to it and teach by it's promptings, but every day our companionship gets better. Elder Van Miltenburg is doing muc better which is great and an answer to prayers... plus i'd hate to be down 2 companions 1 week into my mission. Ya elder Hundley never came.:( But even tho it's been hard at time being in a threesome with two VERY VERY different people thant me, i am thankful for all i've been able to learn from them. Thanks for all your prayers, i feel them every day. Love you all the mostest. Hoorah for Israel!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


 Well just had the farewell today, what a special day. So many good friends and family came to visit, I couldn't believe that many people came to support me. It was a great meeting, the youth speakers gave such great talks and my dear friend and home teaching companion, Nate Andrus, delivered a great message. He basically announced to the congregation that I've never kissed a girl haha, but i forgive him, love that man!  My days are numbered, only three left, and I still feel like there's so much to do! It's somewhat overwhelming at times, but I'm just doing the best i can to be prepared. This last week was special, i got to visit an old good friend, Jake Bradford and go through the Manti temple with him and my best bud Butch Hatch. Both of our parents were sealed there so it was special to visit those grounds where our families began. Everything is surreal right now, i cant believe the end is so close. Well until the MTC, thanks again for all the support. Love every one of you. Love you family. Time to get to work!
-Elder Ott
p.s. Hoorah for Israel!