Monday, February 23, 2015

Cool experience.

Boy was I tempted last week to hop on and start emailing again. The coolest thing ever happened this week! We had just finished emails and we realized how fast we would have to run if we wanted to take the only train of the hour. We were so out of breath after multiple setbacks but I opened the door and held up the train for Elder Andrus. We got on and realized that it probably should have already left .We were on our way down to Nürnberg and then all of a sudden I was being asked if I spoke English! The guy introduced himself as Rayan and said he saw our nametags and recognized the church name from when he was in England. He invited us over to go and sit with him and his father and teach him more about our church! If we hadn’t made that train, we wouldn’t have met him at all. After a mini lesson and getting to know each other, we exchanged numbers and then ended up meeting at his house another day.

Excited as ever, we went in and began teaching him but unfortunately his parents only spoke Arabic. Oh yeah that reminds me, Rayans family is from Iran, and are refugees here because they are Christian. Where they lived was not tolerant and I think people tried to hurt them. What incredible sacrifices this family has made just to believe in Christ. As we were teaching, his mother brought us out black tea, and for those of you who aren’t members of the church, we believe that just as the Israelites had commandments not to eat certain things, God has given us certain commandments to keep our bodies healthy, and we are told not to drink black tea. I felt so bad telling them no, but I wasn’t about to break what I believe to be a commandment, only to teach him that very commandment later on. They were very understanding and I actually explained it exactly the same way to them. They thought it was interesting and cool. It was a very good lesson and we gave him a Book of Mormon in English and Arabic for his parents. He didn’t show up to church like he said he thought he might do, but we aren’t giving up on a guy whose family has searched and sacrificed for the truth. 

Last week we got a referral from online, but the weird thing was that it was from like 2013 so we decided to check it out and see if the guy was still interested. We took the most random bus out to this village, and eventually we found his house. I’m glad he was home because it took so long to get there!! He said he wasn’t interested anymore, so we headed home only to find that the last bus of the night wasn’t coming because you have to call 60 min in advanced for it to come. Well, it took about an hour bus ride to get out there and it was nearing the end of the night. Desperate, we called President Stoddard and he advised us to call our bishop. Amazingly he only lived 15 minutes away and there was a train leaving in the area where he lived. Cold and tired, we were so happy to see him pull up in his Ford. To try and express our gratitude, we baked him cookies haha. 

This whole week we had been preparing for a cleaning check, and the checkers are notorious for picking up on the slightest smidges. Luckily we passed, but apparently our organization of things isn’t good enough. Ha, who cares! I spend a few conscious hours in my apartment. We also just started another transfer (My 7th), and it was no shock that I will be staying here in Bayreuth. Jake is actually not to far from me. He is two areas away from me in the berlin mission. I looked and it’s less than a 2 hour drive! 

This week has been really good. It hasn’t been the most productive, but it has been a really good week. I’ve been trying to learn a few things and at the very end we met up with Chris and finished the first lesson with him. He agreed to pray to get an answer from God if He is actually there, and whether he hears his prayers or not. Hope we get a good follow up! Well that’s about all the news I have for now. I hope you all have good weeks!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Karneval in Germany...and answers to prayers.

This week Karneval hit Bayreuth....

I am pleased to say that there weren’t any girls that attempted to cut off my tie. Thank goodness! I was wearing my good ties and was completely unaware that the whole thing was going on around me. Well, I was when yesterday I walked through the main square and people were dressed up as clowns and dinos and all sorts of crazy. I called Elder Dean in Köln where the true party was, and he said that things were pretty hectic. The craziest things got here was a few hundred people in costumes dancing to Cotton Eye Joe. Sadly, that was the best beat I have heard in months. Haha! 

Ok, Actually I heard a really good song in Köln because here in Germany everyone does everything in public. There were just a bunch of guys walking around the Bahnhof drinking and carrying a gigantic speaker. Nothing like that has happened here, but I did dream up that same song and it was stuck in my head when I woke up. This week we got a new investigator named Chris. I think you could say he was last week, but it happened more so this week. Sorry if I repeat anything, time is kind of a blur at this point in my life. Anyway, his favorite thing in the world is the Dodge Viper, and we just clicked when we shared stories about vipers. It helps that I have driven one too. I just wont tell him I didn’t go faster than 35 haha.  

We had a few service opportunities and we helped a friend’s friend move a piece of furniture. The guy is an Aerospace Engineer. You know, I think God put me in the right place haha. He is really really cool and maybe he will share with us some of the projects he’s working on. 

I have always believed that God has answered my prayers. I have never heard a voice, I have never felt some ground shaking experience, but every week we have a meeting in Nürnberg with other missionaries, and I swear the topics assigned to talk about are always exactly what I need to hear. I mean it would be nice to get an answer directly from God, but I’m pretty certain he gives me all of mine through other people. He kind of makes me look for an answer or pay attention. 

I was also given the privilege to go on a split to Erlangen. I was actually there twice this week. Anyway, we had a few really good contacts, and it felt really good doing the thing I knew was uncomfortable but really the right thing to do. We didn’t have incredible success, but that doesn’t happen every time.  The second time I was in Erlangen was on Saturday. We had a really really fun street display with 4 other elders. Although it was kind of embarrassing and certainly uncomfortable, I talked with people in the street as four others sang. It was really strange to me but I talked to a ton of people while they did. I ended up talking to about 6 or 7 people for more than 5 minutes. After each one it just pushed me more and more making the smile on my face larger and larger. It was impossible to wipe it off my face, and if you walked past me you could expect to be asked about the Book of Mormon. I even ran into a few Americans! That was way fun, and although none of them were interested, we talked about our work and also just had a fun time. Highlight of the week. That’s actually one of the weird things in German. People will just say, Oh ja das war ein echt Highlight....ok? Are you speaking English or German? 

After our street display we went to the Erlangen church and feasted on the Valentines dance leftovers. Members just know we eat like garbage disposals (Well I do) and so they just give us food whenever they have extra. No complaints here! 

Pretty good week, we had a few lessons with less actives as well as with my man Chris! Things are starting to pick up here, and I am starting to really enjoy my area. Today we are going to Nürnberg to go through the Nazi Museum again. I got only half or so way through, and the other elders we are meeting want to go too. I hope all of you have a great week. If you have questions or problems then pray about them. I know you will get an answer. Maybe you will hear a voice maybe you wont. I never have but I get them through Gods other Children. Love you all! `murica!


Monday, February 9, 2015

I'm a Senior Companion!

This week Elder Carson and I parted ways. He is now home for his foot surgery. Keep him in your prayers! My new companion is.......Elder Andrus! It’s the funniest thing ever. Germans have such a hard time getting both of our names right, but hey, they say my last name without a S now!! Because if they did there would be no difference in how they say our names. 

These last few days have been a little tougher, and I am also a little sick. Luckily I don’t really have many symptoms minus the coughing and the lovely chest congestion. I was pretty tired for two days, and for whatever reason it made me really down. It actually got me really down. I can’t explain why, but I thought about home more then than my whole mission. It wasn’t even a bad sickness! Good thing it is over now though. 

It was kind of scary already being senior companion the first 3 weeks of being here, but now that I have taken over too, it’s been even weirder. I will say that as soon as I got to Bayreuth I started remembering things and knowing where I was going really early on, but its just weird still. It’s finally starting to feel like home, which brings me to a sad thought. The oldest apartment in the mission, the Köln Elders apartment, which stood for 30 years just, got sold! NO!!! Haha. Doesn’t really affect me, but I have 8 months of memories there, so its sad knowing I cant go back.

I really don’t have much to report on since the work is going real slow as of right now. Most of our days are spent doing small things and we try to find, but for me it’s really hard. Getting no after no can be a little discouraging. I always heard stories from my Dad and others and I thought that would be easy to get past, but the truth is, it is hard keeping up a good attitude and wanting to do that. AJ the new convert to the ward said he would help us set up something with the Uni and maybe help us with a street display, so that would be way cooler instead of just walking up and down streets being called a Jehovah Witness! 

The Good news this week is that AJ introduced us to his good friend and we get along great. He’s had a tough life from the sounds of it, but I know the gospel can help him out. I’m hoping he wants to meet more than just last night. We hit it off well though because his favorite car is the Dodge Viper. Well, just so happens I have photos around them, have driven one, and had a brother on the Viper team. Hey who knows, he might be why I am here in Bayreuth. That’s always the question; Why am I here? 

Not much else happened, but we did get to meet up a lot with AJ as well as a real special guy that doesn’t come to church anymore. He’s got a real sweet soul and a lot of good stories. He’s got a good testimony, and good heart but the poor guy only has a few months to live. His stomach fills up with water and they pulled out 9 liters from his stomach cavity 4 weeks ago. Wow. Sure grateful for my healthy functioning body. Anyway, we go about 2 or three times a week and read to him from the scriptures and he just loves it! His eyes are too bad to read and he loves when we come over. 

Well that’s all I have for you all this week, I hope you all have a fabulous valentines day and a great week. I will be attached to the hip with my companion for yet another week haha. Take care!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hitler's Podium - Nurnberg
Elder Andrew
3 apartment pics
Elder Andrew & Elder Roberts

Monday, February 2, 2015

Just a quickie this week!

Hello all,
As some of you know, Elder Carson has been having a few problems with his foot, and will be going home for surgery, and I will be getting my new companion tomorrow. His name is Elder Andrus and lives just the area next to me. Im really excited to get together because people will just call one of our names and both of us will probably turn and respond at the same time. Its going to be awesome!
Nothing too spectacular happened this week but we visited a member in the hospital a few times and the helicopter landed right in front of us and it was awesome!! We took a member with us yesterday and things went really well. He also brought us Elder Carsons requested final meal, and it was one of the best things I have ever eaten!
We also had a few really really good lessons with an ivestigator from Nigeria and also with AJ the recent convert. Both are really beginning to understand, and it makes me so happy to see improvement!
I am really nervous to let Elder Carson go because he knows the scriptures super awesome, but I will try to manage. Well I am off to go visit Hitlers podium in Nürnberg, I hope you all have a great week!