Monday, October 31, 2011

Week of October 31 from Dresden

Liebe Familie!

Hey fam and friends, another week come and gone in the mission field. We got to do a lot of work in Dresden this week, so that makes me super happy, and it was obvious by the success that we saw. Put 2 more new people on baptismal date this week and taught lots of cool lessons with new people. We found a really cool new family from Mongolia the other day that has a lot of potential, so we´re super excited to see where that leads.
Well I´m sitting here trying to think about something cool that happened this week aside from commiting 2 people to baptism... it was pretty run of the mill missionary work basically. We did have a really cool day in a little town outside of Dresden called Pirna however. We drove out there in the car, and called the Stake President´s family to see if they´d pray for us while we were out there. We made out 3 new appointments, one of which was with another really cool young family.  We´ll find out what comes of it next week i suppose. It´s always awesome though to use the faith of the members to see success in the field.  It´s really weird.  You know when members take your invitations seriously, and when they do, something cool always seems to happen. So don't hesitate to pray for the missionaries every once in a while. ;)
Oh ya, and i almost forgot, i did have another cool thing happen this week... TEMPLE TRIP!!! I LOVE TO SEE THE TEMPLE! Wow, i thought that was last week, but it was this week... huh almost forgot. Totally met up with my missionary mom in Prenzlau there who was sealed to her deceased non-member husband! What an awesome experience! Awh, i just LOVE the peace you feel in the temple. It´s really just my favorite place on earth!
Well let´s see, that was the highlight of my week for sure, so now i suppose i should talk about the hardest part of my week... cheese. Ya, that´s right, cheese. I love cheese to death, but this swiss cheese stuff is ridiculous! I don't know how many of you have had Raclette cheese before, but that stuff is TOXIC. Our entire kitchen smells like gym socks.  Like bad bad bad gym socks. (sigh) It´s just not always easy having a swiss companion i guess. Haha, I´ve tried everything-incense sticks, cleaner, everything. EVERYTHING SMELLS LIKE RICLETTE. It tastes great, but i could go another lifetime without ever having to see it again.
Well not much else. Happy Halloween i suppose? It´s not really celebrated here in Germany, but i hear it´s starting to catch on a little bit. Today is Reformation Day here, so we are going to go over to some members house after this and enjoy a nice relaxing p-day... awh I´m soooo excited for some quality relaxation!!! But ya, we´re definitely going to do some mean door to door tonight! And if we can't get an appointment, I´m going in for some candy!:) Have a happy halloween back home! So great to hear from all of you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week of October 24 from Dresden

Moin moin again ya´ll!

Well this week was definitely one of the tougher ones in Dresden i´m not going to lie! We were on the road a lot again and were just having problems getting back in the groove of things. Tuesday we got to drive down to a BEAUTIFUL little town called Schwarzenberg where we had our winter tire rotation. It was great as well because we have 2 Elders down there who we needed to tausch with, so it all worked our well. I stayed in Schwarzenberg and my comp headed back up the road to Dresden. It was actually quite funny, one of the first questions i asked the young missionary i was with was "so where are ya from?" and he was like "St.George Utah" Haha i had no clue. He totally went to Dixie High School though and we know a lot of the same people. Had a good Tausch there though. Next day we headed to a district meeting in a town a little ways aways called Annaberg where we tausched back and i got to see my long lost MTC companion who i haven't seen since Kiel, so that was really awesome. Got back on the train up to Dresden and had about a 4 hour train ride home... bleh. I love trains, haha but it´s been ridiculous lately haha. Thursday we had a normal missionary day, then Friday we headed to Leipzig for Leadership Training... where i was united with my other MTC companion.:) So it was an awesome week in that regard. This week will be a little less traveling though i hope... we are going to the temple tomorrow, and to Chemnitz the next day for a Tausch, and luckily our ZL council Friday is via conference call.

So there´s a little record from the day to day stuff about last week, but that´s not really what made the week hard... So we met with our most promising investigator this week. When he walked in , you could just tell that something was wrong. He literally looked almost possessed. He basically accused our church of having secret combinations and that we were designed to hurt people, it was really hard to hear, but we came back with the Atonement of Christ and tried to get him to release that he needs to be converted to the Gospel of the Church (which he knows is true) and not the Society. Tears filled my companion´s eyes and mine as we saw a burdened soul sitting in front of us who wasn't willing to give his burdens to Christ. No matter how powerful of testimony we bore, he refused to be comforted and there is NOTHING as a missionary more painful than that. We agreed on another appointment however and a fast together on Saturday... Saturday during the fast he called and said he won´t be having anything to do with us anymore. It was pretty sad. Satan won a battle. And thus we see how little perversions of truths, refusing to pray in the name of Christ, or be baptised because "you´re not clean enough yet" or clinging to many other books as holy scripture, eventually leads a soul from the path of righteousness... it was devastating.

Aside from that, we just had trouble getting in contact with people, and finding new people this week. Something just isn't clicking yet, and this area needs to grow more than it has been. I have no idea what it is yet, but really want to find it. I´ve learned a lot in my life about the blessing of having righteous desires, and how the Lord sees fit to give tender mercies to those who truly, and purely desire to do His will. So as long as the desire is there, and the effort follows, i know it will improve somehow.

On a happier note... our ward mission leader got married this week. And my favorite old missionary from Kiel, the Swiss ZL, came up to visit us real quick, and brought a huge package from my comps parents from Switzerland... i love Switzerland.:) It makes it easier to cope with a tough week when you´re swimming in Swiss Chocolate and Cheese. Awe man, i love the two C´s.:) It´s weird when i look back on this week how many little tender mercies found their way to me.  It´s weeks like this that make the good weeks seem better in the future.:) I hope you all have a wonderful week back home... i wouldn't mind a few more prayers to help find new people here in Dresden who are prepared to recieve the gospel.;) Love you guys lots!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week of October 17 from Dresden

Hallo ya´ll!
Well the leaves are changing colors and falling to the ground here in the heart of Saxony. It´s weird doing missionary work with a coat on again.. I feel just like a golden again doing missionary work in the cold, except for now i can speak german AND i have a car.:) But ya, it´s been super pretty lately, easily my favorite time of the year! I can´t think of a prettier city to be in either for my favorite season, so i cant complain at all.
Well LOTS happened this week, for example, i was in Poland.:) And no i´m not a rogue missionary, i´ll tell you the story of how it happened. So i got to go on Tausch (exchange) with a companionship this week in the city of Görlitz. It was really cool because i got to serve again with none other than my first companion in Prenzlau! That was really weird tausching with someone who you´ve already served with before, especially because of how much things have changed in the time between. Complete change of roles as well, which was funny, but it was SUPER awesome to see each other again and talk about those old Prenzlau times.:) But ya, on our way up to tausch with them, we missed a spot to change trains and ended up taking a MASSIVE detour (no not into poland yet) and saw lots of really cool cities way up in the top of our zone haha. We got turned around though and made it to Görlitz a couple hours later than planned. So Görlitz is a unique city, half of it is in Germany, the other half is in Poland, and both sides at once had elders from each mission. Now the polish elders have been pulled out though, so they gave all their area book and stuff to us (which is pointless because it´s in polish) and we now have the freedom to work in both sides of the city. So yes, on our Tausch we went to poland together.:) The McDonalds is way way cheaper there too we found out. Kinda a weird situation, but not many people can say they´ve been in Poland. I got to use my rusty polish as well.:)

The next day we had district meeting in Görlitz and it was kinda a special one. President came to it, which is definitely special because he seldom travels to District Meetings, and we were there as well, and it was the poor DL´s like first real district meeting haha. It was a great meeting though and it´s ALWAYS awesome to see President and get to talk with him a bit more..

The next day, Thursday, we went all the way up to Berlin so my companion couple baptise someone there. It was great to see a baptism... it´s been WAY WAY WAY too long since i´ve seen one, but the trip up there took FOREVER because we had to travel with the cheap trains. We left at 11:45 and got there at 5pm, bleh. The worst part though, was on the way back our train connection got messed up and we got caught in a sister city 2 hours away from Dresden at 10:00 at night haha. Luckily there was and Elders city 20 minutes away so we called and had an emergency sleep over with them, which stunk because it was WAY cold and all they had were bath towels to sleep with haha, but it was memorable i suppose. Got back to Dresden at 9 in the morning and FINALLY had a day of work in Dresden. Friday was literally my first full day of work in Dresden in the entire week, crazy, i love to travel, but that was a lot haha. This week shouldn´t be much better either, have to go down to Schwarzenberg for a couple days to work some stuff out down there, and then Leipzig this weeked for Leadership training. Someday we´ll get a full week of work though in Dresden, i know it haha.

Last night we had an awesome experience. We went to the church to meet with a new investigator, she didnt show up, but there was a man standing outside the church. We talked to him and invited him in for a tour, he accepted and it quickly turned into an awesome first lesson. He wouldnt make out another appointment, but i´ve learned to take joy in those moments where you help bring someone closer to the truth than they have ever been before. It also shows me, that sometimes there´s deeper reasons for being in certain places than we may sense, i´ve seen that over and over again on my mission.

Hmm, well aside from that, we had a rough week this week overall with investigators though. New ones just arent sticking and old ones arent making progress. Our main one who´s on baptisimal date has officially been so offended by the ward he refuses to go back now... most of it is from him though i think. So that really stinks. MEMBERS! PLEASE DONT TAKE OFFENSE. I swear, that is Satan's number 1 tool for drawing people away from the church. It´s all either false assumptions or pride, no in between, and it KILLS the missionaries and their work. So ya, that´s super super super frustrating, but oh well, we´ll just keep working as much as we can.

Hope you all have a great week back home, love you all so much!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Week of October 10 from Dresden

Guets Mörgeli!

That´s swiss-german for guten morgen... swiss german is pretty much the coolest dialect i´ve ever heard.

So anyways, hi. Hope you are all doing well! First p-day of the new transfer. It feels so nice to have some peace and relaxation and to be back on schedule. I´ve decided that there´s a reason that the missionaries have the schedule which they have, and it makes them the most effective that they can be.

So the new comp is amazing, way smart and way awesome and i think we get along pretty well. Our district leader is also swiss, so i enjoy listening to them speak swiss german with each other.  I understand it sometimes, but other times it´s just so weird i have no idea. That´s one of the coolest things about german though, there are just so many different dialects, and some of them are way way cool. But ya, the next couple weeks have a big task ahead of them though. We basically have a MASSIVE list of people we found last transfer, with absolutely no structure or order or appointments made out, so somehow we have to pick up all the pieces and organize them. I loved my lost companion to death, and it´s hard to keep things going after he left. We´re super excited though to see what we can do!

So this week we had a ZL council in Hannover. That´s a really cool city. I just love taking those bullet trains through germany... but waking up at 3:30am isnt necessarily my cup of tea. Got to stay in Leipzig for about an hour though on the trip, and that´s a really cool city as well. It´s so much fun just to travel across germany and see all the different cities! We had a great meeting as well and learned a lot from each other.  We have a lot of great ideas to bring back to the zone this transfer. There´s so much to do in these big zones it seems like, 32 missionaries, 4 different districts, all pretty spread apart, sometimes it just doesnt seem like you have any time for yourself, but if i´ve learned anything over the past year it´s that the time you sacrifice to serve others always seems to get paid back to you in some way.

Not too many stories to tell from the past week.  It was a pretty normal week of missionary work. Hours of talking to everyone, calling tons of people you dont know trying to get to meet with them again, and teaching a handful of people... basically just expanding your comfort zone as normal. Usually in meetings when someone asks you what kind of sacrifices you bring to your mission, i think your comfort zone is always a good answer and it´s very true as well. I dont always know sometimes how it helps to stop a big group of cute college girls who you know will laugh at your accent and probably walk away (you almost never find appointments when people are in groups) i just know that Preach my Gospel says talk to everyone, so i just do it. I´m pretty sure my comfort zone has expanded greatly from doing so as well.

Hmm... well i guess in closing i could share a really cool quote from Elder Ballard that i really like. He said simply "count sacrifice a bargain" Ya it´s hard sometimes all the things that you sacrifice to do the Lord´s will, but when you think of the blessings you get in return, even without factoring in the eternities to come, i´m pretty sure the the sacrifice is quite a bargain.

Love you all so much! Share the gospel through your countenance with everyone you see this week! Have an awesome week!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week of October 3 from Dresden

Hey family and friends!

So another week has come and gone in just a blur.  As normal, i have no idea what even happened this week when i sit down to write about it. I suppose i can start with the one thing i remember though, transfer calls yesterday!
So it´s a bit different being a Zone Leader because president usually calls you before to tell you what´s up, and because there´s only a handful of you, you can kinda pick who your next companion will be. But ya, so just like i predicted i got a way awesome missionary from Berlin coming to me in Dresden! He´s a really cool Swiss guy who was in my Golden Group when i got to Germany.  I always had the feeling our paths would cross somehow, and well, we´re in the position to be together for a long time now. It will be awesome to have a native german speaker for the first time, and best of all he´s swiss, and the people here LOVE swiss people.:) It was cool enough having an Italian when people asked if you were from America, since they think ALL mormons come from America, and now a swiss native german speaker... and swiss have the coolest accent as well.:) He´s a super obedient, super diligent guy too, so we should have a pretty crazy awesome time together. Also something cool about transfers- my MTC comp will be coming to the zone to serve with another MTC friend, and also an old companion from Prenzlau, so i´ll get to see them all  again.

Last P-day- yes we actually finally took a p-day this transfer- we got to go to a super cool place called the Säschische Schweiz. It´s like Germany´s version of the Grand Canynon. It was super super pretty and we could see the border of the Czech Republic standing on it. That means that in my three areas i have seen Dänemark, Polen, und auch the Czech Republic... how weird is that? Now i just have to go back over to the west and see Holland and it it will all be complete haha. We had lots of fun hiking and climbing though, and i totally felt like i was back in Zions again!

This week consisted of a lot of just talking to people. We find so many people here in Dresden, the problem is that they just don't seem to "stick." We´ve found 20 new investigators and have the contact information of over 40 people, which is insane for a 5 week transfer´s work. This next transfer i think will consist of a lot of sifting out for the people who are ready, and naturally of finding more new people. I hope it all goes well though. Another one of our baptismal dates fell back a bit this week and dropped contact with us for a bit.  I really hope he pulls out of everything okay.  We think his family might be pressuring him a bit. The other two are right on track.  The problem is that one of them just needs to get married! That´s the most frustrating problem, and Germany´s government doesn't seem to like to make marriage easy or encouragable. But oh well, we´ll see how everything goes.

Well other than that, there´s not much else. Had a lot of really really late nights this week staying out talking to people, so i´m pretty tired. Lots of crazy drunk people have been out this weekend because it was a holiday weekend, which always provides for some interesting stories. My companion made the mistake of giving cards to them, so we were getting phone calls all hours of the night from people who "wanted to just talk about the purpose of life" or people who were "standing on a bridge and were going to jump if we didn't talk them out of it" haha, it was entertaining at first, but got really tiring after a while.

This week should be a good one.  Lots to do and Friday i finally get to see the beautiful city of Hannover for a ZL conference.  Should be sick!

Have a wonderful week back home, love ya´ll so much!