Monday, March 30, 2015

I am not in charge...


I am pleased to say that I can now enjoy life even more now that we have finally moved forward an hour. It is sooo nice having it light at night when we proselyte! I wont lie that I was kind of a mess when I lost an hour of sleep, but it was worth it seeing it light at 7! Hope you all are doing well and had a good week. 

We got to start the week off on Tuesday with our Zone conference with the N├╝rnberg and Erfurt zones. I saw a few of my friends from the MTC and it was fantastic. One said to me he felt I would be the right person to talk to if he were to get a motorcycle. We pretty much talked the whole free time just about it and we are now convinced we will move in together as roommates haha. One thing I love about the mission is how many people you meet. There are so many wonderful people out there in the world. During zone conference, we had some awesome awesome talks. At the very end we had the opportunity to watch Meet the Mormons, and it was sooo awesome. Of course, I am a little biased and to the fact I haven’t seen a movie that was played in a theatre in 11 months. But! I can officially say I have watched South Park on my mission! Thank you Meet the Mormons! Haha. If you haven’t seen it, do it. It’s awesome and really informative.

The weather this week was both heavenly and awful. Yesterday we rode in the windy rain, and Wednesday we studied in a park without our jackets.

I finally applied for my German license! Took me long enough. Its kind of a bummer for Germans because it costs about 2000€ for them to get theirs and then I just hop off the plane and say, "ohhh Ill take one of those!". I’m not complaining though! 

We had a handful of really awesome lessons this week, which was really encouraging. It’s just the coolest thing when people ask legitimate questions and have genuine interest in the things we have to say. 

I won’t lie, a lot of people have a hard time understanding Elder Andrus. Not because his German is bad, because its actually really good, but its because his voice is so deep! Haha. We visited an older gentleman this week and we talked a little and set up a return time. Well, every time Elder Andrus said something, the old man would then look at me as soon as he had finished speaking. Funniest thing ever! Its not just the old guy though haha. 

We had a few miracles this week as well I’d like to share. We ran into old investigators all over the place! It was just the most perfect timing too! The Lords timing is just simply amazing. Small things for him sure seem crazy to us. We ran into an old investigator that had just returned from Africa, and that was after we had been buzzed in after pushing his name on the name board. Well, he wasn’t home. We talked to his neighbor and he said he had been gone for a while, and then on the way out we ran into another one of his neighbors. As we were talking, he said, "Oh here comes Emmanuel now" which was just so crazy! We got stalled out just long enough for him to show up.

We ended up having a fantastic lesson with him a few days later. He had met with missionaries before and we explained some things that made him put all the information together and he had some pretty big "Aha" moments where it all clicked. 

This week was fantastic, and the miracles showed me once again that I am not in charge no matter how hard I may try. I know that this gospel is true, and I love doing the Lords work. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and that all the sad things happening in the world won’t drag you down. Love you all!

Kevin



Monday, March 23, 2015

Long week!


Hey everyone, I hope everyone had a good week!

I won’t lie, this wasn’t one of my better ones. Despite all of the awesome lessons and people we met last week, everyone was busy this week. The flu is also making its way around again, and so a few of the people we teach got sick too. Because we didn’t have a ton of lessons, we worked a lot on a specific lesson that we had to prepare. The church has a program for quitting smoking, and we were able to get a hold of it after somebody asked us to teach it to them. We spent quite a few hours preparing that, and once we met to actually teach it, it went well! A little different than planned but well. That was on Saturday and only like the second lesson of the whole week. 

Earlier times we had met with AJ and another guy, and those lessons were good. 

Friday was kind of a joke. Everything kind of just fell out one thing after another. Even finding our way around in a small city! How does that happen! Apparently our card doesn’t work for that specific bus haha. 

The next day we visited Bad Berneck and went by a guy that was on our less active list. Turns out he hasn’t been to church since he was a boy! We talked and he and his wife really liked us so I asked if we could come by sometime and "Practice" the lessons on them. Haha, they wont know what hit 'em. That same day we went by the international student housing to go and see if an old investigator had returned. He was there! We had a great discussion and he invited us back. The highlight of the week were his words, "My life is great, but I just feel like something’s missing. A connection to up there or something". That made us so happy and kind of redeemed the other days. 

Sunday was also good as we had our third member meal lesson in a row! The food tasted so good and we had a fun time with them and playing with their little kids. Afterwards we visited Erik and then did some reading. For whatever reason we were dead tired after that, so we went home and we did our daily studies. 

Sorry there is not more to write, not a very exciting week. Hope you all did though! Take care and have a good one.

Kevin


Monday, March 16, 2015

Best week yet?

This week was full of miracles and was possibly the best one yet. It was just so exciting!

On Tuesday we decided to go to Bad Berneck to visit a bunch of members that don’t come anymore. We only ran into one and then almost all of the others had moved away or had bad addresses. The only one we ran into took quite the work! The gps told us to go in the wrong direction, but by so doing we found this super cool empty apartment complex that is just laid to waste. It is like some sort of apocalyptic looking building now. Its sweet!! We walked around and there are just so many cool things to see. I’ll send some photos of the inside and maybe the outside if I have time. On the way home we also ran into an old member. Too bad he doesn’t want to be a member again! Oh well, his loss I guess. Can’t force a horse to drink! 

Our district meeting was also very good this week. We talked about goals and how destructive doubt can be. We set district goals and really raised our sights and got me pumped up. It was what I needed because I won’t lie, doubt eats at me quite a bit sometimes. After we had this meeting though the week just got even better. Right after we went on a split and so I went with Elder Coombs to Rainers house and had a great lesson about the restoration. He was silent and listened the whole time just nodding his head and agreeing the whole time, which is totally unlike him according to his record. I really think he will become a member. He is such a good soul.

On Thursday we taught one of AJs friends, Lukas. Lukas was really quiet but loved speaking English with us. We taught him the first lesson and at the end offered him a BoM and asked him to pray about it but he told us he knew he wouldn’t do that, and that it wasn’t for him. I challenged him instead that night just to pray to god and even see if he was there. He said he would think about it, so we just said our goodbyes. Well, apparently he called AJ the next morning telling him he wants to meet with us! How sweet is that! He must have gotten an answer! We are so excited to meet with him! 

This week has been amazing for many reasons. Elder Andrus and I got comp ties this week from a guy that we met. They are Deutsche Post ties! They are pretty homely I won’t lie, but they are so sweet at the same time! That next day we met with Erik and baked him cookies because he asked for some. He devoured them even though he is diabetic haha. That same day we met with Frau Brown and she had so many questions about the church just because she hasn’t gone in such a long time. It was really good though.

Here is the highlight of the week! We were starting our studies as normal and we got a call from a guy named Richard, and he said he wanted to meet with us! What!!! He asked if we could meet that same day and I just about passed out! Well, not really, but you can imagine how excited I was, and how normal I was trying to act on the phone. It was sweet! He had actually met with the Elders quite a long time ago, but he called us because Elder Andrus saw him on a record and called him a few weeks ago. Once we got over, we had about a 2 hour discussion and they were asking us the best but some of the hardest questions. When we would answer or make certain comments, they would get really excited and make connections as to why it would make sense. Oh by the way, he had a friend there too who was equally as excited as he was. They absolutely loved it and invited us back again. They said how they were looking for the truth, and how every church has a little bit of it, but how they want the whole thing. Well...come on over buddy and lets have a good talk! Haha it was so awesome! Elder Andrus and I were just glowing the rest of the day.

Well that’s the news that I have for now, or rather have time to write. I hope you all have a good week and had a good spring break! Love you guys and take care!

Kevin








Monday, March 9, 2015

Dead body and miracles!


Hey everyone! I hope its getting warmer for you all, because this week we had to switch to short sleeve shirts. Its about 58 degrees right now, and I’m feeling great! 

Because things have warmed up so quickly, everyone has been out on their motorcycle this week! It was killing me hearing them every few seconds. To make it worse I saw a kid unloading his just bought motorcycle with his parents there with him. I saw him take his first ride too and I thought to myself "I want that bike too!”

This week as well as last week we went to the gym with our friend AJ and let me just say that I feel like my body partially died.  We got permission from president to keep going and AJ has already gone to all of the gyms to get us trial memberships so we can keep going with him haha. I hope that’s not what we do EVERY Pday. I don’t know that I want to be sore more than half the week! 

This week we had a complete miracle happen! We always go by this one guy and he is honestly never home. We no longer had a good number for him and so it was impossible to reach him by phone. After a rough day, I decided we should go by, and then after we rang his doorbell I heard a voice coming from the other end of the box!! He let us in and was super happy to see us! He invited us over the next day and we met him and his girlfriend who has known members and the missionaries since the 80s. It was awesome! They want to learn more and invited us again for this Wednesday and also invited us to their church. We went yesterday and I must say it was interesting. A lot different than what I am used to, but at least I know how the people I invite to church feel.

We also made contact last week with another old investigator who actually is quite, well, old. In fact he invited us to come back but said he had to talk with his daughter about meeting with us since he can’t really make his own decisions on his own anymore. Sad! We went by when he told us, but he wasn’t home. I hope he didn’t just forget...but with him I think that’s a real excuse and what actually happened!! 

On Wednesday at our district meeting we learned a lot. One of the things I liked was that, if we want to change, we have to change our nature, and not just our behavior, otherwise we are just the same person. We discussed how if we just change our behavior our whole mission we go home the same person really. I also learned how in order to become better we can do this. 1. Desire the change or action 2. Seek for answers 3. Ask God and act 4. Receive blessings. We were showed how that is exactly what happens in most cases in the Book of Mormon stories, and so I thought that was pretty neat. 

On Friday we finally met Frau Brown at her house. We had stopped by a few times, but were never allowed in because we needed another guy. We found out she was a member but is now either less active or just had the church delete her records. Really a bummer but she loves us and knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet. She just has a hard time because some people weren’t very good to her as a very new member of the church. She’s so funny though! And possibly one of my favorite people I have met on my mission. She trained her dog to give high fives whenever she says, "Blackie (the dog), heil Hitler!". Its so dang funny. We are going by this week to watch the Prophet of the Restoration with her.  She also taught me my new favorite phrase in German, although its something I’ll say after my mission. Its not a curse word, but I wont be saying to members, "What are you stupid?". Not very missionary like haha. Good thing I’ll have mission buds afterwards!

On Saturday we met AJs mom. Man is she a saint! She gave up drinking and smoking in the 80s to follow God. Deeply religious. Very wonderful woman. On Sunday we had over 40 people crammed into our small little branch. We had ward conference, which only happens once. It was awesome! And a lot of the people came from English speaking areas, so it was fun just messing around. That day we also had our first member appointment in Bayreuth. Kind of messed up haha. We have been over a few other times, but we were never able to share anything with anyone. 

The last event is kind of funny. I was riding my bike and the kickstand kept rubbing against my rear tire. Quite annoyed I tried to move it and bend it away but it ended up just snapping off. I chucked the piece in the garbage and was just glad I could continue riding. Well, now the wheel has warped to the point of rubbing against the frame. Guess it wasn’t the kickstand!! Oh well. 

I hope all of you have great weeks, and that it starts warming up! The first flowers are already all over the place here. Take care!

Kevin

Monday, March 2, 2015

I GOT INTO BYU!!!!!


I would first like to start out by saying...I got into BYU!! 

Pretty exciting news to get on a mission, but at the same time it’s hard to imagine it since it is over a year and a half away haha. This week was good with some interesting experiences.

This week I have been studying what I need to do to have the Spirit direct me and help me, and I have come to the conclusion that it is pride holding me back. Simple as that! I got a really awesome talk by Kim B Clark called Are Ye Stripped of Pride. Well, I can tell you that I’m not! Haha. So that is going to be my project for the months if not years to come. 

I won’t lie; I had one of my more interesting experiences on my mission this week. One of my investigators drank a little before we met up, and it was really hard to understand what he was saying, because he was slurring his words a lot and because they made no sense! The lesson went virtually nowhere, so we will have to re-teach that one. I’ll share some of his thoughts that contradicted each other every two or so sentences. "Jesus was only a guy who did good things, there are plenty of people who play his role", "God gave us everything; The earth, air, food, water, drugs!", "If I had the power to be Jesus, I would be the Devil". Haha, once we got home we just kept saying those things over and over. It was really too bad to see him like that and not be able to teach. 

We met with our whole district for one last time. This week we had a leaver and also we had our district leader get transferred to Frankfurt. I hope the newbies are fun! I already really get along with the new District leader and we hang out most Pdays. Today was a little different. Today we did a little shopping and then we went to a gym with our good friend AJ. And it was fun!  I certainly haven’t been in a long time though. I am so sore! 

Teaching was a little slower this week, but we visited our good friend Erik and we helped him with some chores he can’t do since his health is only getting worse and worse. To show his appreciation, he gave us each a tie! They are awesome too! He came to church, which was awesome too. We also got to help him this morning walk to his insurance company. He is too frail to go alone, and is scared to death that he will fall. 

Because teaching was weak, we did a lot of going by on people on previous records. We handed out a few cards, and then after a struggle to find a less active member we met a really great guy from Ethiopia and he wants to meet with us on Wednesday next week

That’s mostly it for this week and I almost have to go. I love hearing from you all, and I hope you all have wonderful weeks!

Kevin