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 Eichh√∂rchen and Streicholteszsch√§chtelchen. 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