Monday, April 27, 2015

Hit by a car.....but protected by the Lord

This sure was a week to remember you guys, just so much happened. For those of you that thought that last weeks was too long, then good for you, this one is much shorter because of time, but also just because I’m tired of typing. 

Two very large events happened this week that I want to tell you all about, and then the rest you will just have to assume was good and happy and full of appointments haha. 

On Wednesday I had just gotten my bike back from the shop, and we were on our way to an appointment with our good friend Marco. As we were on our way I called him telling him we were going to be a little late. About a minute or two after I hung up, I was crossing the bike path across the entrance to a side street. Since traffic was more than usual, I think I slowed down a little and looked both ways even though I had the right away. Well, the guy pulling out onto the main street did not see me, and ended up pulling out, luckily from a stop. I just kind of remember falling and thinking that what had just happened couldn’t have, and as I laid on the ground I wanted to move but something told me I should still be riding my bike! When I started to come to a little more, I saw some bird poop on the car that had hit me, and wondered if the guy had hit a bird. It obviously hadn’t really clicked 100% that I just got hit. It was weird. I’m so glad I wore my helmet! As I got up about 3 people came to me and checked to see if I was ok. By the end, I was joking with them all and we all exchanged numbers and names. I was just pretty happy because I gave out 3 cards with the church info on it!! Lucky for me the only thing was a few scrapes on my left knee and my brand new pants wrecked...and of course the bike. 

We still went to our appointment that night, and got home around 10 or so, but I am just so shocked that I came out with almost nothing. If I had ridden the bike just a little bit further, I am certain my leg and foot would have been pinned between the bike and the car, and that an accident like that would have sent me home. But, the Lord needs me here for something. I don’t know what, but there’s something and someone here in Germany. So that was kind of crazy! 

The second thing was on Friday. On Friday we were all supposed to drive down to Frankfurt for our massive conference. Most missionaries were taking the ICE Bullet trains, but because we had two cars within our district we drove. Problem was, the brakes in my car were shot, and would grind metal against metal when we would try to stop. The brakes were almost completely gone. Not only that, but because the car had been in an accident a few months ago, whenever it would carry a full load of people it would sink really low and grind the metal of the car frame against the rear tire. Not exactly safe...but we made it and then were able to get a new car for the way back thank goodness. The conference itself was amazing. It was so much fun, and President Bednar was just so cool. Short version, the whole conference was a discussion, and I got to stand and ask him a question. I asked him about Alma 5:28 which says we need to be stripped of pride, and how we as missionaries can best strip ourselves of our pride, meaning wanting to do our will before the Lords. He spent about 10 minutes on it and so I wrote down a few points. 1. His words, "The antidote to pride is constant prayer" 2. When you feel you are qualified to do what you are doing and know what you are doing, the greater need you have to repent 3. Rely on Him. Those are some of the things he mentioned, and it was super cool. He told me it was a, "Magnificent question" Which of course didn’t help my ego haha. That guy sure knows how to communicate with young people though, Ill tell ya. He was funny, energetic, spoke German, spoke young people, and his presence is just so commanding.

It has really been a fantastic week here in Germany. Such a beautiful country, such a wonderful place to be. My hope for you all is that you can see the Lords hand in your life, because every now and then I can see it in mine. Some are obvious, and most are subtle. Have a great week everyone!


Monday, April 20, 2015

What an amazing week!

I got so excited to write you all this week that I used my media hour on the computer to write part of this letter! This week was so amazing, I mean I can’t even explain how awesome it was...but I mean I will try!

For Pday we went to this really cool carnival called the Nürnberg Volksfest. It had all sorts of rides and games and prizes and activities, but nobody wanted to do anything! I actually got kind of frustrated haha. Eventually Elder Arts and I went through some science tower thing that we thought looked cool, but in reality was a major let down haha. While we were there, our evening appointment texted us telling us that he got called into work. On our way home we tried calling several people to try and get something useful to do with our time, but either they didn’t answer, or the phone just kept ringing. When we hung up from one of the calls, we saw that we had a voice message. We listened to it and it was Richard, the guy that we met with for like 3 hours! We had gone by the week before and left a note in his mailbox during our dry spell and he called back wanting to meet..that night! 

Needless to say, Elder Andrus and I were quite glad everything else had fallen out, and had made room for the best possibility ever. We went over and we began once again answering questions here and there, and then we directed the conversation to exactly what we wanted to talk about. We began talking about how over time the Bible had lost truths and meaning through the hundreds and hundreds of translations it has been though, and that pieces of the original doctrine were no longer practiced or known for that matter. They couldn’t agree more, and began listing off things that most saints didn’t even do anymore such as fasting and observing the Sabbath day. We showed them 1 Cor. 15 where it talks about baptisms for the dead, and we got into a very deep discussion and began talking about the Plan of Salvation. Richard brought up a point and I wasn’t entirely sure what his question was, but I whipped out a scripture from The Book of Mormon. I read it and asked if it had answered his question, and he said that it had perfectly. 

As the time rolled on, we realized we had better get going, but then he offered to make us food. I’m a missionary, better yet a sucker for free food, so we stayed! We continued going deeper and deeper answering more and more questions, connecting more and more dots, and then we began to bare testimony of the church and Joseph Smith. We then read how he can know the truth in Moroni 10:3-5 and he just paused for a moment, opened the Bible to a certain scripture and read it, and proceeded to tell us of a very special spiritual experience where he learned that the verse (almost the same meaning as the one in the BoM) was true. I won’t share his experience because its his, but when he shared it there was a wonderful feeling in the room. I told Richard that I wanted him to read the Joseph Smith history because he and Joseph had so many similarities in their quests for truth. I lent him my personal canon of scripture, which contains all that we believe minus the old and new testament, telling him it would help him. He was very thankful, and seeing that we were leaving at 10 after another 3 hour visit, he lent me his bike light and Elder Andrus his jacket. Needless to say, we raved about it the rest of the day, and you can clearly see that I still am!!

On Tuesday we went to go to Fichtelberg to do some service for one of the member families here in Bayreuth. We moved a granite table, which had fallen over, and was quite frankly a beast and a back breaker. They then had us cut up a bunch of tree branches that they had because of a tree they had to cut down. We worked really fast because for whatever reason it was fun for me. Before we began we had an awesome lunch that they prepared for us, and after we had finished and cleaned the mess up, they gave us our own heaping bowl of ice cream. Because they live so far out there, the train only comes every now and then, so they took us to this beautiful lake that is brownish red because of all the iron and acidity in the water. It was just stunning, and the pictures I send really won’t do it any justice. 
On Wednesday we had it confirmed to us that we are indeed getting our own facebooks. After an exciting meeting with the group, we went back to our area and visited Bad Berneck, where we visited a member that hasn’t come since he was a boy. His wife gave me the tastiest Nutella filled Crescent I have ever had. We talked for a bit and I don’t think they are interested in our practicing the lessons with them, but we did get onto the topic of religion and we were able to read a scripture, to which the member dug out his old BoM and put a book mark in it which made us feel good. 
Thursday was awesome! We had two really great less active lessons and walked around a park with one of them. We installed the LDS Gospel app on their phone, and they loved it! They told us that they hate reading because their eyes are really bad, so we showed them the feature of the audio book, and they really liked that. Finding ourselves with some extra time, we went by an old investigator that Elder Andrus found in the area book. As I was introducing us, she interrupted saying she knew exactly who we were, and that she was so glad we came by. We had a good 30 minute talk in front of her door and she invited us back again, telling us she still had a lot of interest and even asked about a few name! We told her we had to go so that we could catch the next bus, and so we said goodbye, and set up a time for tomorrow. On the bus ride home, we got contacted by a guy in a wheel chair. He asked us a question and then recognized our accents. We ended up having another 20-30 min discussion and he told us he knew who we were, and that when he got home he would check out the ward that he already knew was in his home area. Cool!! 
Friday was the end of our incredible day streak, but we had a cool experience with AJ and his friend. His friend is way into science, and so I pulled up a video explaining that science and religion go together, and how they are like 2 eyes that see different things, but combine to see one full image. 
Saturday and Sunday was when a lot of our appointments fell out, but we still managed to get some things done. We called Richard to set up an appointment but he didn’t answer, so we called Marco. Instead of us setting something up for Richard, we set something up with Marco, and he told us how Richard had been reading The Pearl of Great Price, which is one of the books that comprises the book I gave him. Rather than read what I gave him (I mean he might have), he began to read the whole book! He was astounded at the knowledge that it contains, and mentioned how it must be further revelation because it contains more detail than what is said about certain things in the Bible. It got us wigging out the whole weekend haha. As for right now we don’t have anything with Richard specifically, but we are hoping for it! 
This week has been fantastic, and if you read all the way to here, then I tip my imaginary hat to you. Know that I know that what I am doing is right. I feel it and I know it. I see blessings and joy come from what I get to do here, and I love it so much! I hope you all had a wonderful week too! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A few pictures of our bike ride into the country.  Germany is so beautiful!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Answers to prayers!

Hey guys! Another week done with. After the announcement of iPads the days have been going very very slow! There are even rumors of us getting missionary facebooks, which would be so so cool.  This weekI had some pretty rough days, but I also had a few really good experiences I want to share.
We had gotten an online referral a few weeks ago, but because the guy lived so out there, we couldn’t go most days. Time and time again we tried to make the bus, but it just never showed up where it was supposed to! Finally we just decided we would bike the 10km round trip. I am so glad we did. I got to enjoy the scenery so much. This country is just so beautiful, and taking a good hour to ride through it on my bike was way better than a 15-minute bus ride. I would have missed everything! And it really did me good too. It lowered my stress. I guess the Lord knew I could use a good bike ride to settle down. To make things better though, we showed up to this farm where the referral was supposed to be. Problem is, he wasn’t there. Oh it was his house all right! But, we talked to an old man, and he told us the guy we were looking for would be in jail for the next 6 months! Haha! I have no idea how we got a referral from him, because the guy that answered certainly didn’t want to be bothered. It was a really fun journey, and an even funnier story at the end. 
On Wednesday or Thursday we had a pretty white day, or a missionaries way of saying we have a day with nothing solid planned. We got thrown around doing all sorts of small things that kind of annoyed us. I mean having a plan beforehand is so much better! Anyway, we helped a less active and as we were about to go do a go-by, we got called to do something else at the church right as we were passing. We went and did it, and then afterwards we did our go-by. They were not home, so we sat down to right them a note and drop it in their mailbox. Halfway or so through, they walked up! They were happy and surprised to see us, but we were able to set up a time to come by the next week and make it to the next bus fast enough to catch a ride home in enough time to get one last thing done. The Lords timing is sweet! 
At the conclusion of one day, I was writing in my journal as usual and kept hearing this thudding noise outside. I looked around the corner and could barely see a firework show. For those of you that have been reading since December, you know I missed the Köln new years fireworks because I was trapped in an elevator. Really excited, I grabbed Elder Andrus and went outside to get a better view. Not only was the show now over, but we had also forgotten our keys. We were locked out. My third time on my mission! Haha, you would think I would have learned something by now! With it being about 10, we really started to panic. We forgot our phone inside too, making our chances of getting to sleep in an apartment even slimmer. Normally your leaders will come down and help you out. Having no way to get in contact with anyone, we prayed. We were totally helpless. After a very worried and sincere prayer, Elder Andrus continued looking for a key, and I grabbed a wire to fish through the keyhole since it is pretty big. Twisting and turning having no idea what was happening on the other side, it finally jammed and wouldn’t move any more. Frustrated I tugged the wire, and to my surprise I heard a click from inside. With a little hesitation I pushed open the door and walked back in to see the wire. It had wrapped around in such a way that when I pulled, it pulled the handle down. I knew it was nothing short of a miracle and an answer to our prayers. I later tried to do it again out of fun, and couldn’t get it, which furthered my belief that it was God watching out for us. It was a useful lesson that when we really pray hard for something and then do all we can to make it happen, God will help us reach that goal and do what we can’t. My bed that night felt extra soft compared to the hard cold floor I would have had to sleep on.
Finally we came to Sunday! Church was really good and I won’t lie I got a little trunky for kids. The Bishops little girls made me their jungle gym and started laughing and screaming as I lifted them with one arm. Gosh I miss kids! Later on we met with our friend Erick, and talked about doing his genealogy. After explaining in depth why we do it, he finally understood, and no longer saw it as a chore. He got really excited, and started calling his family in America while we were there. It was awesome to see someone get excited about the things we do.
This week really had its ups and downs, but at the core it was really good, just like every week has the potential to be. I hope you all had a wonderful week and are enjoying the spring weather! Love from Germany,

Monday, April 6, 2015


I can’t believe Easter has already come and gone!! Its crazy! Hopefully everyone was able to relax, enjoy some chocolate, and spend some time with their families eating tons and tons of food! 

Monday Elder Andrus and I decided to go on an adventure in Bayreuth and go to the famous opera house before we went to Nürnberg to go on a split. We went, paid the money, and started walking around only finding a very few things to read. Getting kind of frustrated we went out the door that led to the auditorium and everything was covered in sheets and scaffolding. We were pretty mad, and asked the guy for our money back since we clearly had only been inside for 5 or so minutes. Well, the guy wasn’t very nice and told us to read the sign outside so we left haha. But, because we were in such a foul mood, we left for Nürnberg early, which ended up being a super awesome blessing! We were about 5 minutes away and the leader tried to cancel the split because of complications. We showed up only a few minutes later, and because we did we ended up going still! As the split went farther everything worked out perfectly and all the stress was gone. 

The split itself was so much fun! The area I went to was an American Army area, so I saw Ford Mustangs everywhere! I had American Soda, chocolate, chips, and I even got to set foot on American soil. We tried to get on base with a member to race and get Taco Bell before it closed, but it ended up not working out. Oh well! Oh! I also saw some soldiers, a convoy, and some Black Hawk helicopters. 

Had some awesome visits and great teaching opportunities.

That was the highlight of my week as well as spending all of Sunday in Graf to watch General Conference. We ended up getting permission from President to spend the night, so we had a pretty good time with the Graf Elders and had a pretty tasty American meal made by the bishop of that ward and is Danish wife. The whole time the guys played guitar and chess all while screaming in Batman voices haha. 

Lastly, we found out this week that every one of us are getting iPads on the 24th of April! Can’t say I’m not excited for that! We also found out that we are losing an entire zone to the Berlin mission after this transfer. Kind of a bummer, but I guess that stuff happens. Well I wish I could write more but I gotta go! Love you all! Hope this email made sense because I wrote super fast! Have a wonderful week!