Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 15: Love Your Neighbor, Even as You Love Me

Woche 15: Love your neighbor, even as you love me
Opening his package from us
This week was a little better concerning the work. We still didn't have a lot of time to do certain things though.

Monday was really relaxed. The week before, we had to cut our P-Day short because we were helping someone move. So we took the time we didn't get and added it to this Monday. We were able to send out letters, take time at our shopping, and go look at winter clothing. I bought a nice pea coat that day. The rest of the day was taken to prepare for the week.

So, you might have noticed, but every Tuesday we have District meeting. We usually can only get in Personal and Companionship study before we have to leave. Our train takes roughly 50 minutes to Singen and we eat there. We then catch a 20 minute train to Schaffhausen. We walk to the church building from the train station. And then we start at 12:30. We start with a song and then an opening prayer. All of our meetings start and end in Deutsch. We cite our purpose, 3 Nephi 5:13(our mission scripture), and D&C 4. We talk about our prayer list, for investigators in the district. And then any business, like exchanges and such. We then have a German and English tip. Afterwards we usually have a role play. It will be centered on something specific. This week, we role played not keeping commitments. Role plays really do help. I don't always like them, but they help you clear your head and begin to focus so that when the time comes, you already have an idea of how to help them. After the role play, we have a lesson or a discussion. This weeks was on Obedience. Sister Cherrington was in charge. She related obedience to Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory. We are the children in the story. The children begin to disobey what Willy Wonka says and are eventually stopped from progressing. Finally, Charlie is the only one. Willy Wonka looks at him and tells him that he will be the heir to this factory or kingdom. God knows what is best for us, that is why we are given commandments. We eventually sin and are stopped from progression. However,when we are obedient we will become heirs to God's kingdom. Luckily we have the Atonement because if we didn't, no one would make it. It was really good. Oh, and our meetings are all in Deutsch, 100%. Because one missionary is from Germany and can barely speak English. So the goldens speak English and then it gets translated. Afterwards I headed out on an exchange to Bad Säckingen. We took our train and then headed to one of their members houses. We did our Deutsch study there. She helped me with pronunciation by reading out of the Preach My Gospel. It was quite helpful. She then served us dinner. She cooked some fish and some rice with a cucumber tomato salad. It was really good. Unfortunately, the investigator never showed up. So we shared a different message with the members. We watched a Mormon video. It was about how we need to clean our own windows(take the beam out of our eye) before we begin to judge others. Afterwards, we went home and ate and then went to bed.

Mittwoch didn't contain very much. We studied, ate, and then went to exchange back in Singen. But our train came 15 minutes late in Bad Säckingen. And then our train ended in Schaffhausen instead of Singen that day. And then we had to wait 15 minutes more. And then we eventually showed up in Singen. We then had to take another train back to Villingen. But that wasn't the end of our travels. We had to drive to Königsfeld.  When we were there, we gave out fliers to a blood drive. One of the members here developed Blood Cancer and is dying because of it. So, there was some blood drive to support patients like him. So they can have blood transfusions. It felt good to help out in some way. That took up the rest of our day.

Thursday, we had an appointment with Sister B. It was nice. She is a new convert for Schwenningen 1. But we help them out with appointments since we can't meet with single women. Anyway, she made us breakfast and then gave us some eggs and bean paste. We headed straight over to Family Ziegner. She made us Curry with rice. It was pretty good. Man oh man. She is so awesome. We talked a lot about marriage and the bond for eternity. As well as families and the blessings of them. It was a really good conversation. We headed straight over to Sister B's house. We helped her store all of her wood for the winter. Meine güte, she had a lot of wood. We filled up her shed and then had to pile it under some extra space near her porch. But we finished it all. She then fed us Wursts, and some potato salad. It was really good. And then she gave some homemade cake. It was delicous. We talked for a bit and then she sent us on our way with some butter and bread.

Friday was like a regular missionary day. We did our studies, ate, had weekly planning and then went out to contact people. I got to see some guy explain why Muslim was the best religion and it contained everything Christianity did. It was quite interesting. But he did make quite a few good points. It was all about love. And we also got to hand out a Book of Mormon. It was really cool. She asked if it could help her with all of her problems. We testified to her that it could if she had faith, read and prayed. We didn't get her number but I have faith she will call us one day. After we tracted for a bit, we went back to our apartment to change. The Young Men invited us to their activty. It is always nice to get to know the youth better.

Saturday was such an intersting day to start off. We had personal and companionship study. And then as we were about to begin 12 week, our doorbell rang. I was so excited because I thought that package thingy finally came. We rang them in. The other Elders left and we found two Jehovah Witnesses in front of our door. We were really confused. suddenly, they started to bible bash. Asking us all sorts of ridiculous questions. The man was pulling out his Bible and whipping out scriptures and stuff. The woman came out of no where and started to bash us as well. And their questions were deep doctrinal questions. We were answering there questions without anything. We didn't have a Book of Mormon or our Bibles with us. It was pretty interesting. But we held our own. We even taught them the Plan of Salvation. They took so much of our time. We had to finish our studies and eat still. And afterwards, we got a call from a member asking if we could help their neighbors. They were repaving their driveway soon so we had to remove the cobblestone that was currently there. It took us roughly 3 hours. But they said it would have taken them 3 times as much time if it was only them. It was really nice to serve them. After we finished, we washed up and they made us Pretzels and such. They were so good.  Yes, we thanked them for the food and went back home.
Oh Sunday, how I love them. Church was fantastic. Our stake president was there. He spoke on our thoughts.

Need to run mom. Ich habe dich Lieb. Tschüß!

The pictures below are from when Michael got my package.  Fun stuff.  Love the smiles

Monday, September 22, 2014

Woche 14: 3 Months...

Woche 14: 3 Months...

 I didn't get two packages but I did get one. And the other Elders loved it. It was way awesome.  I really love the coin. It reminds me of home!  The others loved it as well, we started to challenge each other. I accidentally, left my camera at home. So next week I will have to send you the photos of the package and such. Sorry. ):

My picture of what I filled the Pringles cans with.
This is about as creative as I get haha
This past week I hit my three month mark. It's weird. I feel like I just left for my mission, but then again I feel like it has been ages since I left the MTC and then since I left home. Time is so weird. Anyway, sorry about the weekly letter last week. I let the time slip from me, so this week I get to write about two full weeks. Yay!

Woche 13
So Monday was kind of busy. We had to take the car into the shop. We left before studies and sent the car away. We left the car there and went back home. We started our studies and then went to go do emails. After I finished, we received a call from the auto place telling us our car was finished. The only part they didn't tell us was that it would cost 130€. We went back home to get some cash. But it turns none of us had a lot of money. And our ATM by us was broken so that didn't help. Luckily Elder Ridd had money. But unfortunately it was personal. So we went there and paid for the inspection and went back home with the car. Lucky for us, reimbursements exist. So Elder Ridd will hopefully get his money soon.After that mess, we drove to a member's house for dinner. The Schwarzwälder Family. We went over and played some Fußball. Found out I sucked as a goalie. Luckily I'm not over here to be a goalie or else I would be in some major trouble. And we went back to their  house to eat. The food wasn't all the way done so one the boys, Aaron, showed us his Harp and Piano and played them for us. Man oh man he is way good. He is one talented 12 year old. He said he can also play the harmonica but not so much, haha. He then gave us a homemade glow-in-the-dark bracelet. It was pretty cool. You learn to appreciate much more on a mission. So we went back downstairs and ate outside. They made us Bratwursts,  pasta salad, chicken, and some potato salad. It was way good. Afterwards, we took part in their Family Home Evening. We sang a Child's Hymn, I was fortunate enough to play the piano, and then prayed. Elder Cavin then shared a scripture and then explained the Atonement through an object lesson. I brought a couple of the airheads you sent as part of the lesson. So we asked everyone if they wanted an airhead, and for everyone who wanted one, Elder Ridd had to five push ups each. So Elder Ridd had to do a bunch a push ups because they have 7 kids plus us and the parents. So they ate the airheads and we explained to them how sweet the Atonement is. Jesus Christ suffered for us and he helps us overcome sin. How sweet it is. But unlike the airheads, we need to do more than just ask. We have to change our lives in accordance with His will. It was really cool. Following the lesson, we headed home and planned for our next day.

Sorry... I don't have any time to write for these days. I will try to send a letter with those days.

Woche 14:
So this last Monday, we went and helped an investigator move. It was pretty crazy.  We drove north about 30 minutes and arrived at her old house. I never met her so we greeted each other and said hi's and stuff. She tells us that she is our second mother in Deutschland.  She is so sweet. She kept telling us that we need to come visit her when we come back or if we are in Hawaii. Yes, but we helped her pack up a storage closet. And we only had 3 hours to do it. We eventually left and went to her new house. She is trying to buy it still and then fix it up. But she fed us Lumpia rolls and fries. It was so sweet of her. She then told us to keep in touch and visit before we leave the area. Afterwards, we emailed and then went to the store. I finally bought a tschüß book. Haha, but that was our day(:

Tuesday we went to our District meeting. We got three new missionaries in our District. One is a golden. Her name is Sister Cherrington. She is an American citizen but lived in Saudi Arabia for 14 years. Elder Acuno Mareno is one of the new missionaries as well. He was born in Columbia but lived most of his life in the French speaking part of Belgium. And the final new missionary is Elder Schiffer. He is from Northern Germany and speaks very little English. And I will being doing an exchange with him in his area in two and half weeks. So it will be only us. So I have been cracking down on my Deutsch study. So we talked about investigators for a little bit and then about the Restoration. Elder Cavin asked me a couple days before hand to take the lead in the discussion. I didn't really talk about the Restoration itself. I talked about the importance of it as well as the simplicity of it. I studied a lot about it and came to this conclusion: we must look at teaching from the investigators side. They know close to nothing when it comes to this topic. They don't even know why a restoration was necessary. This is why we need to be simple but powerful. This message alone can change someone's life. Actually change entire generations. The Restoration as a whole is the single most important and amazing event in all of human history besides the Atonement and Resurrection. Nothing compares to it. This is why we must help others understand the impact and importance of our message. Because we have the Full gospel on the earth today. Well, afterwards we held a small testimony meeting about the Restoration. It was really amazing. The Spirit was definitely there and bore witness of the truthfulness of the message once again in our life. We then closed the meeting and just chatted afterwards.  We the headed home, had studies, and rested.

On Wednesday evening, after an exchange, we went back to the apartment. We ate dinner and all was well. We laughed and had a good time. But afterwards, I felt horrible. My head felt like it was on fire. I had a massive headache. And I just felt extremely tired. I laid by the fan for a while and then went to bed a little early. In the morning I felt even worse. I woke up sweating all over. My head still felt as if it were on fire. But my body felt so cold. I just felt horrible. I fell asleep, but eventually got the impression to ask for a Priesthood blessing. I didn't really want to get up but I did. I caught the other two Elders right before they left and they helped with the blessing. During the blessing, I felt God's love for me. It was such a beautiful blessing and was guided by the Spirit. I felt at peace, knowing that I would be better soon. I went back to bed after the blessing was administered. As I was falling asleep, I could feel my headache leave. Before I even fell in a deep sleep, my sickness was gone. It was truly miraculous to see it leave my body in such a short period of time. I woke up later and felt amazing. God's hand is truly in our lives. I know that He cares for us and that He loves us. 

Well, as you can probably tell, we stayed inside the rest of the week. Elder Cavin wanted to be sure I was actually feeling better and not pushing myself too hard. So I studied more about the Restoration. Fun fact: Did you know that in 1943, the only areas missionaries were in was North America and Hawaii. Because of WWII, missionary work seemed to come to a stop. Or very close to. But yet the church survived in every country that it was in.

Sunday was just like any normal Sunday. We went to church. Had the amazing opportunity to partake of the Sacrament and became more united as saints and disciples of Christ. Afterwards, we ate and then drove up to Königsfeld. We handed out fliers there for 3 hours. It was for a blood drive for patients with blood cancer. One of our members unfortunately is going through that. It was a neat experience to help out. A lot of people there actually already knew about the event and were already going. And they were also going to the benefit concert that day. It was really cool.

Well, I love all of you. Hope all is well. Tschüß!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 13: Just Working...

Woche 13: Just working...
     I am getting all of your emails. But I didn't get all of the photos this week for some reason. I really like the letters. To be completely honest, I actually like letters a lot more than emails. We do our emails at a cyber cafe. I love my teachers! It would be way cool if they wrote me! I would definitely send a postcard or something back(: Vielen vielen dank for the package. I will make sure we snap some pics for you. I am so ecstatic for Cedara. She is going to love her mission. I can't believe that she is finally  leaving.  Ahhh, so exciting. And I will also take some pictures of my name tag(: It is not getting that cold here. However the people say that soon it will get cold. A year ago, apparently the first day of snow was Oktober 1st and it snowed until März 23rd I believe. So who knows right? I will need to start buying some stuff. It makes me so happy that Neil is doing well, especially in Seminary. I loved that time so much. It truly does prepare you for the day. Hopefully Ryan will get better,  I will keep him in my prayers.

So, yes we did indeed get 30 new "Goldens". We only have two in our Zone, and one in our Distrikt. If you put my full name on my letters, I will always get them. So, we do have a microwave. We have pretty much your basic appliances: blender, toaster, stove, microwave, that's about it... And yes, I help cook quite frequently. My allergies are doing fine. I haven't been taking my medicine because I felt like they weren't needed. The acne medicine is alright. I need to get into a better habit of using it though. I don't think I need a new SD card just quite yet. So, I would love a CD with that on it. Is there some way I could also get some more music? I don't know if I could download it off of Gmail or what. But yeah. Oh, can you also send a video of the marching band on gmail. That would be way cool.The Sisters are so cool. I really liked that example. It makes so much sense!
So I will start off with what I didn't get to finish.

Freitag was final day of our super tausch. I was lucky enough to be paired with Elder Requillart. He is so awesome. He is from France and has a really thick French accent. It is so awesome. Yes, so we went to Donaueschingen and doored and contacted. We didn't get much tangible success. However we tried our best and we got to know each real well. That was Freitag...

Well, Samstag was a pretty normal day. We had our studies and such. But then we needed to go clean our car. We had to clean out the inside and vacuum. We then had to wash the car. It took a good portion of time. We had to do that though because we were going to send our car to the shop. And so we had Lunch after that and it was pretty good. Nothing special though. After that, we found out we couldn't send the car in because we had a lesson with a new convert preparing to go to the Temple. And we needed a car to get to her house. So we just finished weekly planning instead. We planned for the week, which included lessons, meetings and where we would find. It was pretty good. Afterwards, we drove to Sister Mohammad's house. I honestly have no idea what she fed us. but it was with apple sauce. It was pretty good though. And then she gave us ice cream. Let me tell you, she is one crazy lady. But we love her anyway. She has so many crazy stories from when she was younger. Apparently she is a black belt in judo or something like that.  I would not mess with her. Anyway, we left her house and went home.
I don't have a lot of time this week, so I will send a letter with the rest of this week. And can you type it up and post it?

Quickly answering some of your questions:

Does your companion like candy as much as you do?  Of course he does!
How has your week been and how is Elder Cavin?  My week has been really good. It has been nice going back to work. And Elder Cavin is doing 100 times better. He is feeling really good and is just ready to start rolling. 
Ich liebe dich so viel. Mach gut! Tschüß!
Mit Lieb,

My Distrikt before transfers.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 12: A New Transfer

Woche 12: A New Transfer
Well, we were able to get out more this past week. Elder Cavin has been doing a lot better so we having been getting back into the work.

Everyone in our apartment is staying!

After emails, we headed down to Triberg on a train. The train took approximately 15 minutes, so we weren't on the train too long. Right in front of the Bahnhof in Triberg, there is a large train. I took my photo there. It was pretty cool. After that we headed to some nature reserve there. We walked around and it was so pretty. Triberg is in the heart of the Black Forest so it is an amazing sight. The place we visited also has the largest waterfalls in all of Deutschland. They super pretty and quite magnificent. We went and visited some of the local shops there in Triberg. One of the places we went to sold the original Cuckoo Clocks. Oh man they were expensive. The clocks that were 40€ were pretty small. And the nice ones were roughly 140€. And we saw this huge grandfather cuckoo clock that was 12.000€ I believe... They also had these metal mugs, way decorated, that were like 100-130€. Yeah, that shop was expensive. And unfortunately, they don't have nutcrackers out yet. But they told me if you want a nice one, it will probably be 140€ starting at the end of November.  So, we went back and headed home. We got into Villingen and then drove to Jagadish's home. He again fed us an amazing curry. Meine Güte, it was so good.

(Update continues after lots of pictures!)

On Dienstag we went to Schaffhausen for our District meeting. It was the first one we had in two weeks. Well, the meeting was pretty good. We talked about love and charity and patience. It was pretty good. We can only find pure love through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And Patience is what helpsus have a greater love for our investigators. It was pretty good. After that, I headed home with Elder Allan, one of our Zone Leaders. So it was pretty much the only time I have ever been fully in charge of our area. I had to make all the plans and take over studies. We got home pretty late so we only had studies and dinner.

So Mittwoch, we went out finding. We doored quite a few people and streeted a good portion of Schwenningen. We handed out one Book of Mormon and got one potential investigator. However, the potential we found is leaving to the UK for three or four years. So we will have to refer him there. After our three hours of missionary work, we went to Villingen and ate at this Chinese restaurant. It was actually pretty good. Their Lumpia rolls were really good as well. After we finished eating, we headed over to Bahnhof. We exchanged back with our companions and headed home. After we made a stop home, we headed over to Bruder Ulfik's. We talked about genealogy work with him. He has quite a bit of history with him. After we visited with him, we went and picked the other Elders from Bahnhof for our Super Tausch.

So Donnerstag was day one of our super Tausch. We had such a Tausch because we were running behind on exchanges and the other Elders offered come to our area since our area was really struggling with the illness. So we head eight Elders in Schwenningen.
-Elder Ridd with Elder Requillart working in Rottweil and Hoenwiel
-Elder Wilkins with Elder Dooreman working in Donaueschingen
-Elder Albrecht with Elder Pyle working in Schwenningen and Villingen
-Elder Cavin with Elder Naegli working in Villingen and Schwenningen

We usually have 4 Elders sleeping in Schwenningen. 2 in Bad Säckingen. 2 in Schaffhausen. We were behind on exchanges and the other elders suggested they come us out since our area has been struggling.  We had 8 elders sleeping in the living room. So two slept in the beds, 4 slept on matresses on the floor, 1 slept on the couch, and one slept on the floor.

We had apartment inspection that morning so we were late getting into the missionary work. But we passed our inspection. We just have a lot of junk that needs to get tossed. We just don't know where to toss it, oh well. After our inspection was over, we went to work. We found two people while we were in Schwenningen. We were trying to find one of our potentials to make out an appointment but we kept taking wrong turns. We were on some random street but ran into some guy that was interested in our church. It was pretty crazy to see wrong turns turn into something fruitful. We kept trying to find the street but we got lost and was on the other side of Schwenningen. I didn't even know that place existed. We then headed over to Villingen and found one person. We started talking to her while she was on the bench. She had so many questions. I truly feel like I experienced the gift of tongues while we talked to her. She was asking about the Second Coming and why we had the current name of our church and about the history of the Book of Mormon. They were pretty deep questions. But we were able to both testify and answer her questions though the Book of Mormon. It was really cool.

Tips for studying Preach Gospel. I personally believe that when we study Preach My Gospel, we get the most effective study when we seek help and knowledge. Just like the scriptures. However, with Preach My Gospel, we must study in such a way that we can apply it to those around us. That is why it is basic doctrines, so we can study in the shoes of non members and investigators. What do others need and how can I help them using the gospel?

Ich habe euch Lieb. Tschüß!