Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28 from Kiel

Hallo everyone wie gehts wie stehts?
Had another fun and eventful week here in the good ole 24118. We found, we tought, we worked hard and it´s paying off.
So first off, we were supposed to have a baptism this week... however after having talked with Salt Lake, it looks like we´re going to have to push the baptism back a couple months due to circumstances beyond our control. So ya, i probably wont get to see Sarah get baptised, but as long as it happens i dont really care. Ya it´d be nice to see, but all that matters is that it happens. J is close to being baptised as well... just gotta get him to give up his wine darn it. I hate alcohol and cigarettes. EVERYONE has a problem with one or the other here it seems like... but ya, it´ll happen.
In other news, my workshop at Zone Conference, haha, man it was rough. I got to give it twice to both halves of the Conference, and the first one didnt go how i had hoped at all. The second one though ended up going really really well, and that´s the one president was at haha so it helped the first attempt not sting as much.  Now that i´m thinking about it, i dont think i wrote about my having to do a 40 minute workshop at our Multi ZoCo last week. But now ya know. The ZL´s had me give a workshop on "Starting Right" because they said they´ve been impressed watching me start my mission. I suppose that should have been flattering, haha but it just made me a nervous wreck leading up to the conference. It was a really cool oppurtunity though to get to do something like that not even half way through your 3rd transfer, but hopefully i dont ever have to do it again.:)
So another cool story, we have a way way solid new Investigator named Josef. Found him as we were walking to an eating appointment while he was walking his dog. We decided we´d walk around the block once and see if we could talk to some people because we were a couple minutes early and when i saw him i ran across the street and bam, way awesome guy, way way solid. 21 years old too. I love working with the college kids here because with the large number of LDS students at the college here and the Youth Outreach center and all, it all works together very smoothly.
So we met with the B family again this week because the husband ran into us while we were doing some work out in the Ghetto´s here and he saw us standing at a bus stop haha. Way solid appointment though and they are getting back on track. We also had a couple of the P kids at church and that was cool. The kids dont like church at all because they say it´s super boring, but i try to make it somewhat fun. They just need to understand it´s not just always a party and not everything has got to be a rush of fun. So we´re focusing a lot on the Sacrament and Baptism now, and these next couple appointments will really be critical.
Other than that, cant think of a whole lot else. Had a pretty crazy experience with on a joint teach this week where the investigator said some pretty perverted things and tried to get up on me, it was way weird. She calls and stuff now too, asking us if we can make some guy who owes her money pay up and stuff... pretty messy situation. But we´re doint everything carefully with her and hopefully she starts showing interest in the right things.
Well have an awesome week everyone back home. To bad Morgan had to be at the State Tournament again, but good year boys! Love ya all so much and thanks for everything ya do!
Herzliche Grüße,
Elder Ott

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 21 from Kiel

Liebe Freunde,
Well another week has come and gone, and although it seemed like a long cold one, i appreciated it though because i really feel like i made a big change in myself.  We had 7 appointments that were pretty solid fall out, we lost quite a few invesitgators, and we werent finding many solid new people, but something in me just kept wanting to go and go. It was the weirdest thing. It was just like getting in "the zone" and i just kept going.  The transition from golden to junior comp has been one of the hardest most frustrating things i´ve ever had to do. My new comp is very "hands off" you could say, so i definitely share a lot more of the load of responsibility. But i really feel like i´m starting to catch my stride now. The language comes when i need it, my minds clear when i need it, and i dont know, it´s just a weird phenomenon... no idea how to spell that word.
Well anyways, i´ll start off with how things have progressed last week. Bishop just barely annuled J´s membership record out of the blue, so although he told him he´s a member and welcome to the ward, haha well now it´s as if he was never baptized. So even though J was not happy at all when he heard what happened, he´s letting us teach him again. Which has actually unearthed a few brand new problems we didnt know about, with the word of wisdom. So it´s going to actually take a while now, but hopefully we´ll see him re-baptized soon. I just wanted to re-baptize him in the first place, but when we talked to pres he just said to get the record and change it, because we baptize people not names. Now my personal opinion was ya that´s true, but in the temple everything has to be done perfect right? Well anyways, you could argue over it forever, and i wouldn´t ever argue with president, so we left it at that. but apparently now we just going to do it again anyways haha.:)
The member who asked for her name to be removed is also making lots of progress and we hoping to get her baptized on March 6th. There´s just a few minor details with paperwork and stuff that need to be taken care of, but hopefully we can get her in the font then.  She is absolutely eating it up though, working through all the lesson pamphlets, flying through the BOM, really cool to see. I also got to annoint her for a sick blessing in German, which was a really special experience.
Yesterday we had 4 investigators at church too. One of them, Jerzy, completely surprised us by coming and it was a really good meeting. Dont know what will come of it, we have to visit him again, but hopefully it will make him think. Haha he still calls us drunk all the time though, i love it... not that he´s drunk... just that he calls us and is hilarious.
We also met with the PhD muslim man again in the University lecture hall again, and that was interesting. It´s becoming more of a theological debate now, so we´ll probably have to stop going. But hey, i got a really really nice Koran out of the whole ordeal, so that was cool.
Other than that, most all of our appointments fell out. The P family doesnt want to come to church again, so we´re hoping they have a change of heart somehow. The past two times we were there, they hadnt read or prayed, so this next one is kinda a do or die appointment. I really hope something gives.. it´s going to break my heart to have to say goodbye. And oh, ha, ya the B family, well we met with them twice, and the first time it went pretty good actually. They invited a friend whose mother was very sick, and he had lots of good questions. His mother ended up dying the next day actually, it is a devestatingly sad story. He needs a lot of time he says, so we havent been able to meet with him, but hopefully our message will help him somehow. The next time we went over though... not good at all. Turns out the mother did lots of stuff in the circus they traveled in with tarot cards and wigi boards and stuff... not good stuff at all. She was telling some stories and it was obvious we needed to leave. We´re still scrambling to decide what to do. The husband was gone all last week dealing with some family problems... but hopefully when he´s back, it will all go better. So ya, it´s looking like the end could be near with our too favorite families... i really really hope it isnt.
Other than that though, all is well here. Just got done playing squash and pulled like every muscle in my leg it feels like. Haha always fun though. Europeans are stinking good at squash, i got my butt kicked pretty hard. But ya, hopefully we find some solid new people this week. I really hope we can. Time to refresh the teaching pool. Have a great week back home, love and miss you all
-elder ott

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14 from Kiel

Moin moin liebe Familie und Freunde,
Man, ha, so pretty much i´m just going to cut to the chase... you do NOT realize everything that a trainer does until he is gone. This week has been probably one of the most stressful, hard weeks of my life. It´s like i just reached a new high in almost every one of my emotional levels. But nevertheless, despite my complete inadequacy, we fulfilled our purpose this week i would see, so you just have to keep moving on and try to keep fulfilling it better.
So monday i said goodbye to Elder B and sent him off on his train to Berlin, and man, that was actually a lot harder than i thought it would be. I kept myself together though haha. But then Elder P and i headed back to the ZL´s apartment and i got to be ZL for a morning haha. It was way cool actually though, we had a way awesome long conversation and it i really learned a lot from him, and about perspective on a mission, it was actually really fun. It was really cool to have a way awesome comp study and stuff too in German with someone who cant speak any English at all. But ya, it was a way cool little morning, haha and it was just preparing me for what was coming next.  
So we picked up the new ZL, he is a way cool missionary from Austria.  He is way solid and he´s gonna rock it here with Elder P here in Kiel. Then next we got Elder H, haha and he wasnt quite what i expected at all. He´s a big guy from Mission Viejo California.  He´s an artist and he´s actually way good, really quiet guy, but really cool too. He´s been on his mission for 10 months now, so he´s a lot older than i thought, but at the same time he´s a lot younger than i though too. It´s really really really hard being a junior comp and training a young senior comp into a new city. Finding your way around, which i´ve actually done good at, but just taking all the phone calls and making all the appointments and trying to adjust to a new teaching style with somebody who is also struggling to learn the language like you are. Man, it´s hard. We´ve have barely clawed our way through so many lessons this week, but a lot of that i think is because we have had some VERY difficult lessons haha. But the spirit is still there, and like i said, we´ve brought people closer to Christ this week i feel like. So ya, that´s what´s been kinda messing with my mind lately, just trying to get everything under control here in Kiel and make the adjusment. I haven´t been able to sleep at night it´s been weighing on me so hard, haha, and our investigator are all saying i look like i´ve aged a couple years, but things have been going a bit better lately, so i cant complain.
Speaking of these tough lessons though, we have 4 new investigators this week. 2 of which are ex members we somehow found and we have them coming back to church and stuff which is cool. We also have a baptismal date cleared with one and it´s been really sweet to see her come back. The other two are two way cool muslim guys. One is from Shri Lanka and says he´s willing to make the search to find out if the BOM is true, he´s way cool and we have a cool joint teach lined up with him, so we´re excited. The other is just finishing up his Phd in Geo science something, and he really just wants to learn more about our religion and teach us about his. It´s cool, we meet in like a massive lecture hall at the university, and i really learned a TON from him, but i dont know how much he learned from us while we tried to answer his really really complex questions in terrible german haha. But we are meeting again, and we are just tying everything back into whether the BOM is true or not. He gave me a way nice leather bound german Koran though haha, it´s way sick. But ya, we´ll see with him.
Our other investigators are kinda struggling. The P familie didnt like church at all and said they havent been getting answers to their prayers, and the B familie is having some family problems. And both of the families dont seem to really like Elder H too much yet. But we are still meeting this week and we got a few good joint teaches for them, so i really really i´m praying it turns around.
Well anyway, it was another really hard week, but one with success.:) Thanks so much for all your thoughts and prayers! Love you all the mostest!
-Elder Ott

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7 from Kiel

Liebe Freunde,
    So i just finished the most emotional, tiring, satisfying, wonderful, dope week of my missions ever!  I dont know where exactly to start, so i´ll just go ahead and puke it all out on the keyboard.:)
    So transfer calls were on Saturday, and wow that was a fiasco. Transfer Conference Call is probably one of my favorite things on my mission. First because you all have to check in with a 3 second long name, and i love to say "Kiel 2 standing by" (Star Wars style) :) But also because it´s way fun to here where all your buddies are going and see how everything shakes out. It is also completely nerve racking when you know you might be leaving, which there was a high possiblity of me going, so yes it´s basically an awesome way to take about 5 years off your life span. This time was a wreck though, the conference call network crashed and everybody went into confusion. It was like the Great Apostacy or something. Haha, we had already moved the call from comp study in the morning to 930 at night, so people were already a bit anxious, haha but at about 1045 after calling every one and trying to work thing out, we finally got the text from mission office that the AP´s would be calling us all individually. So yes, they called at 1130 at night haha. But i´m absolutely thrilled to say that i will be staying in Kiel... absolutely thrilled! And my new companion will be Elder H, he´s from the USA somwhere and will be coming up from Braunschweig. He is actually the son from my "godfather" Elder J (really really good friend of Elder B) and he is way way cool. He called me last night and we talked for a bit, and i´m way stoked to work with him. It´s gonna be fun to because he is really young as well, he´s been here 4 or 5 transfers i think, so he´s only a bit older than me, so it will be way fun to work our tails off and grow a ton together. It´s sad to say goodbye to Elder B, i learned so much from him and am going to miss him dearly, but that´s how it is on the mission and i´m excited for a new chapter to open.
     So as exciting as that is, i still have one more thing i think i´m even more stoked about. This last Sunday!  We KNEW something had to give, and the dam finally broke! We had 7 investigators there in fast and testimony meeting and we reactivated a sister from Portugal. She hadnt been to church in over 6 and a half years, and after meeting with her just 3 times, we finally got her back. I cant tell you the joy you feel to see someone like that come back, and smile at you and thank you for "finding" them. She loved the meeting. It was way solid. There was not a second where there wasnt somebody at the pulpit. It was big time.  That´s are third reactivation, and man, it´s a wonderful sight to see. We also had the 3 of the P familie children there, one of them was sick along with the mother, but they liked it for the most part. And then, haha, the B familie came in with style! 15 mins late, haha all wearing leather jackets, with the girls in fur. Haha a member leaned over and said "are you guys teaching the mafia here or something" Haha it was so epic. They absolutely loved it though and want to come every week. The problem with them though is now the concept of priesthood authority. He still thinks if your baptised for Christ it´s all good no matter what, but as soon as we can help him with that, i think we have at least 4 new members.:) We also got J back, and he is very happy now. We got him in with bishop, and things are rolling with him again. Haha he also has a close friend from Ghana who he said wants to be baptised in our church with all of his family. So , Elder H, and I will all be over there on Saturday and we´ll see whats up with that referal.:) It was really a blessed Sunday though. It was awesome.
     After church we got to go over with the Familie H aka the most solid family in all of Germany. Brüder H is honestly like Superman, and is the best joint teach ever. He has a massive family too, and they are all just awesome! Haha oh and he´s also a former World Champion in Tai ?.Kuan... Dough.. fighting. So basically we dont tell Chuck Norris jokes, we tell brother H jokes. He is soooooo solid. It was a great last eating appointment for Elder B and it was a nice rest from a very frantic Sunday. 7 investigator and a reactivation requires quite a bit of running around on a Sunday. The food there is totally hammer too, so it was just super nice.
     Also, our money finally came in, so we are back to eating normally! Haha. I didnt ever think i´d be so thankful for CornFlakes, but it´s really nice to feel more secure again.:)  Haha it wasnt bad actually, it was always more fun than anything, but ya, its nice to be back on top of things again.
     Well anyways my dear friends, ich muss los. But i would first like to thank you for all the fasting and prayers this week, from my family at least, they were absolutley answered. I am soo stoked for a new transfer. It´s going to be a white and wet one. It has to be! Love you all, thanks for everything!
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Ott