Search This Blog

Saturday, November 30, 2013

More Pictures

Woche 42- Überraschung! (Surprise)

Oh meine Gute! Grüß Euch!
Well, whos ready to be surprised! because i surely was! Im getting TRANSFERRED. again. Ive only been here in Göppingen for 6 weeks and Ive getting moved again. I guess thats what they do to the trouble missionaries. Ive be going down to Singen, Germany. Its a town on the border of Switzerland, on Lake Constanz. Elder Janis (my trainer) has been serving there for the last 6 months, and now Ill be taking his spot! Crazy stuff if you ask me. And it gets wilder! My new companion is... Elder Steven Chapman! From the Aspen Stake! I will be his last companion because he goes home in January! Ill be serving as the new Zone Leader there, so I will be pretty busy the next few months! Good thing thats just how I like it!
Now for the week at a glance! 
Tuesday we had Distrikt Meeting, like usual, and that afternoon we went to Eislingen (our favorite little dorf next to Göppingen) to go by on some less actives. We managed to talk to all three of them, but no one let us in. The last one talked to us on the door step for forever, so we ended up sprinting down the mountain to catch our bus (which then came 10 minutes late so we sat there panting on the bus stop haha). that evening we taught Fritz again all about how important attending church is. and he agreed to come finally! We had a young man named Piero there, he is 17 and wants to go on a mission, so its way fun to have him as a joint teach! 
Wednesday was a LONG day. We worked hard and we collapsed at the end of the day. 
1 day. 
2 Missionaries
5 cities. 
1 Alpine German Speaking Mission.
It was that epic. We litterally visited 5 cities. Göppingen, Kuchen, Süssen, Eislingen, Gruibingen. We talked to a lot of people, and visited a ton. and it actually was pretty successful! Its funny, on the train line, the cities go Gingen-> Süssen -> Kuchen -> Essen. those are the names of the cities, but if you were to read those words as a sentence, it would mean " We went to eat sweet cakes" silly germans. Gruibingen, the last stop of the day, turned out to be on top of a mountain in a little village covered in snow!!!! It was crazy! So we took tons of pictures haha. We werent just city hopping for fun, i promise. We actually visited a ton of potential investigators or less actives- no worries!
thursday we also visited so more less actives, and ended the day in Stuttgart for a stake priesthood meeting. that morning was the transfer call, so naturally that was the talk of the missionaries. The meeting was AWESOME! all about the joint effort of members and missionaries. I loved it!
Friday, a lot of things went wrong. We missed a bus, got on a wrong bus. Got back on a right bus, just to ride outside of town, to figure out we didnt even need to take a bus in the first place. Walked home in the rain. The moral of the story- even when things go wrong, you still have the choice to be happy. So it wasnt so bad. That evening we ate home made German Pancakes at the Fingerles- holy smokes those things were awesome!
Saturday we were in Heidenheim again doing a lot of service. We helped Bruder Djantar officially get ready to leave. When he said goodbye and drove away for Serbia, we all just stood there and cried. The Djantars arent getting divorced, but Bruder Djantar wanted to die in peace because he has given up with his health problems, and now after 23 years of marriage hes leaving. It was one of the saddest things ive even had to witness. It taught me a lesson though- Things like that depend on our free agency, and I will never let that happen to me in my life!
Sunday I had to say goodbye in the church- it just felt weird after only 6 weeks to say goodbye! But the kids were all really sad... which made me happy. is that messed up? I guess its just nice that someone will miss me haha. In the afternoon we taught Thomas, and we guilt tripped him for not reading the Book of Mormon yet- but hes going to try to get it done before I leave thursday.
And now its monday again! We are going to Stuttgart in about 20 minutes to have...
i miss america. thanksgiving doesnt exist here, so us americans are doing it as a zone. 
At this time of grateful reflection, I want to say im grateful for all of you who support us missionaries. Im grateful for the gospel of Christ, and for the effect it has had in changing my whole life. I love you all and Im grateful for my family and my savior. He is our King.
I love you all! Dont send mail to Göppingen!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

Monday, November 18, 2013

Woche 41- How i miss the Primary Program!

Grüß Euch!
What a busy week it has been! I will try to sum up everything quickly because there is a lot to cover, gel? Last Tuesday was a Zone Training meeting in Stuttgart- and boy was i inspired! We talked about our goal as a mission- 290 baptisms- and how we havent reached it yet, and that we needed to have a special fast to reach this goal! We talked about having the hope and faith to ask Heavenly Father to help us reach the goal- i just felt the spirit so strong testifing to us that if we dedicate ourselves, he will help us achieve his purposes. So pumped for these next few weeks cause I know hes going to be helping us!
that evening we met with a new Investigator of ours- Herr Fischer. He is a Jehovahs Witness who saw us dooring on his street and invited us because he was curious what was driving us young people to do such a thing, in another country. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and had a really intense discussion. He asked me a LOT of hard doctrinal questions, dealing with the old testament and such- i know the spirit helped me because somehow my answers seemed to satisfy him, and he said we could come back in 2 weeks. Cool!
Wednesday morning early we went to help the Rückauer family with some service- they have been renovating the house, and they knocked out a cinder block wall, and we needed to clean up the wreckage. We moved about 1,64 Tons of stone- it was pretty tiring. and the foundation of the wall was still there, because he could get it out. So they gave me a sledge hammer and asked me to try. I actually got about 3/4 of the wall out, when I broke the hammer- the wood snapped!- so i had to use a mini jack hammer to get the rest. ill send some pictures when i get more time because we were COVERED in white dust from head to foot- it was pretty funny looking, and i think my lungs might be permanently coated with brick, but oh well. That night, we went and helped of the young men in the ward with English homework, and then had a lesson with Fritz. the discussion was "Why does god let bad things happen?"- Elder Dickson and I had studied some scriptures and even pulled President Monsons conference talk where he talks about the man who couldnt see or hear, but was still grateful to god. Well, this lesson got interesting. Thomas, our other investigator shows up at the church, and sits in on the lesson, pretty random. So we are teaching BOTH of them, and when we read from the talk about the man still being grateful, although all the bad things happened, Thomas blurts out "Well, clearly hes lying. That guys life is awful!"- so the lesson just fell apart after that haha. Our poor joint teach is a kid preparing to go a mission in a couple weeks, so that must have been a fun thing for him! 
Thursday morning we rode a bus up to a pretty dorf called Rechberghausen- on the way we were talking to some people in the bus- long story short, we were trying to share the gospel, and i told a joke and we got the whole bus (literally, everyone) laughing there heads off. No one was interested, but atleast we brightened their day! we had lunch with Schwester Körner, and her grandson, a less active. When we made it back to Göppingen, we grabbed ANOTHER bus back Ohmden, to the Rückauer family, this time just for dinner. WOW. their house is GORGEOUS. its my dream home. It used to be a barn, but they renovated everything, and it is SO COOL now. the Rückauers live right next to their brother, both are active members, and they have 9 kids between the two families, all under 14. its a party of cousins! and to top off how cool these people are, Sister Rückauer was an Olympic Ice hockey player for Germany, and played in Salt Lake in 2002. So COOL! After that dinner, we had ward council. that was a nightmare. I dont even want to talk about that. 
Friday- we met with our american Investigator, James! He had read in the Book of Mormon, and loved it! We watched the Restoration video, and he said after " a little voice inside tells me that its true- wow" IT WAS SO COOL! So we talked about baptism- and he is seriously going to consider it, and we are going back on wednesday! woot! 
Saturday we were doing service in Heidenheim... again. they need alot of help over there! we painted walls, then we were joint teaches for the other elders investigator Queen- she is so ready for baptism is crazy! 
Sunday was the primary program! It made me miss our ward so much! The kids did such a good job though, and I loved it. 
Essentially, we were SUPER busy. But thats the way we like it! We are expecting miracles, and we hope that you will pray will us as well to see the things the lord has in store for us! 
P.s. Christmas is coming... im STOKED! The german christms markets look so cool!
Well, time is up! I love you all!
Special congrats to Kyle and Victoria getting married! I love you guys!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

Woche 40- well snap. its been 40 weeks

Liebe Familie!
First off, because people maybe occaisionally look at the first lines of my email...
my new address in Göppingen is:

Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Elder Nathan Bartholomew
Garten Straße 15
73033 Göppingen

That is how the mail will come directly to me! But please pay attention to when I leave- we have recieved almost 15 letters for the sisters because they didnt tell people they moved!
I hope that you are all doing great! I am loving life! Let me share a little bit about my week...
Monday night we went to do a family home evening with a member family- on of the kids is leaving on his mission to Scotland in a couple weeks, so we were giving him last minute advice... then we played hide and go seek with the family. they are a goofy bunch!
Tuesday we were the whole day in Stuttgart for Zone Conference! We talked to this guy in the train on the way there who seemed SO INTERESTED! But the number he gave us turned out to be fake :( The conference was so awesome though! I learned so much from President and Sister Miles and the APs- the day was hard though because I have been sick all week and that day i lost my voice! The people we talked to on the train were nice enough to listen even though I could barely whisper!
Wednesday we had interviews first thing in the morning, and it was so good to talk to President one on one! We did an exchange that day and I went down to work in Ulm for the day, and Elder Dickson took Elder Durrant back to Göppingen! He was so nervous for his first Tausch, but im sure he did a great job! Elder Chapman and I were able to meet with some SWEET less active members who were working to get back to church. It was so cool to hear their testimonies, and see the desire to accept the atonement in their lives. Elder Chapman (not the one from Aspen stake) was in St. Pölten right before me, so working with him was fun because we could talk about the members we both knew! He is such a happy missionary- i was able to learn so much from him!
thursday, I came back up to Göppingen to work with Elder Durrant, and Elder Dickson went to Ulm to be with Elder Chapmann. Elder Durrant is a funny guy- hes also a "golden", but hes been out one transfer, so he basically thinks he knows everything. It was fun to work with him though. We baked brownies for our neighbor (who could have huge potential!) and then we prayed about a less active we wanted to go visit! So we hopped on a train to give it a try, and Bruder Schaaf (the man we prayed about) was home and let us right in! We got to know him... super cool miracle! That evening we met with Fritz- hes still being a stubborn old man. He prayed and said he got the answer that he needs to become a pirate. not exactly sure where that came from, but we are working with him.
Friday was AWESOME!!! Elder Dickson came home so the wonder team could start working together again, and we went straight to an appt with a guy from the area book. James Price is an american that LOVE baseball more than anything- but he is also very spiritual and KNOWS that he can recieve answers to prayers. When we asked him to pray about the restoration he agreed and we are way excited about that, because he has the faith to get an answer!
but that evening was the best part. We met a woman in the train a week ago named Stephanie Lehr. we set an appt with her for friday night- and when we got there... the WHOLE FAMILY WAS THERE. Father, mother, and three kids, all waiting to be taught. WHAT?! thats someting people here seriously dream about their whole missions- teaching a whole german family the gospel- together! Needless to say, it was nerve wracking to sit there. But they shared with us their desire to find/make a community that believes in christ and lives according to the bible. WOAH! Unfortuatley they are REALLY busy till the end of December, so we will need to stay tuned to what happens with that! But with the new changes in missionary work, we can email people more frequently, and we will be in contact with the family that way. AH so cool!
Saturday we did lots of service in a town a long ways away... nothing that cool.
Sunday was very nice in the church- we had choir practice after church and we started the christmas stuff! AH! So excited!
Thats was the week. I cant believe 9 months has come and gone, but Im just grateful for the experiences Ive been able to have. its unbelievable- but ive never been so happy on my mission! The gospel is true. Satan is a liar. Thats what we need to understand in order to be happy.
I love you all so much! Thanks for everything!
Adventure is out there!!
Elder Bartholomew

Woche 39- Its beginning to look alot like... freezing.

Grüß euch!
AH! still so little time, ill try to catch up where i left off last week...
REWIND! Saturday- the 26th!
After we did the Area book work, we got a text from THOMAS! we offered to help him do some work at his house, and he totally took us up on the offer! So we caught a bus right when we got home from Ulm, and rode to Schlat to work at his house. We were there for FOREVER. Thomas... very interesting guy. and he LOVES us. like seriously- best friends. He bought us cake, huge chocolate bars, and then, he rode back to Göppingen that night, and bought us CHICKEN! and the whole time he was talking about going to visit the bakery sometime, going bike riding, going to see some watches (hes obsessed with watches)- and we kinda had to burst his bubble- just a little bit- and remind him that we were missionaries and that we have a different purpose. I dont think it dissapointed him that bad.
Sunday though, thomas came to church! He wanted to talk to someone about geneology, but both the women in charge of that were sick. But he LOVED church, he loved that the little kids can run around, that a young women gave a talk, and he really felt peace he said. After church, he wanted to hang out with us again, but we really had other things to do, so we had to say no. man, ive never had an investigator who seriously wants to spend aLL THE TIME with us!
Now, to this week!
Monday we climbed that MONSTER of a church- pictures to come on another day!
Tuesday was our distrikt meetin- and then we were super late coming home from the meeting, but we managed. We went to see Francesco again, but he wasnt home. we wanted to leave a note, but we were out of cards! So we ran back to the church, ran BACK to francesco, and then on the way home- we met these two AWESOME guys- they are jehovas witness, but still way nice. that night, we taught a man named Imad Jud, he was taught by the sisters. There is a serious language barrier, but we had a pamphlet in arabic, and he read it, and he wants to be baptised! Hes going to need a lot of time, so we said April 6th, next year. But if hes ready sooner, we might change the day. yay!
Wednesday morning, we tried to get in contact with some less actives, and we met some really cool people- one guy was sweeping his porch, and we offered to help. we ended up talking for a really long time, and becuase of the testimony we gave, he took a book of mormon and promised to read! He was totally prepared! That evening, we taught Fritz, the old man we found last week, with a member. we watched the restoration video, and talked about finding answers. hes such a funny, stubborn old man. he reminds me so much of Kurt Haidvogel. Then we ate dinner at the Fingerles that night!
Thursday was AWESOME! On Saturday, we had pulled some names of old investigators from the area book, and we went by on the them all afternoon- Some really crazy things happened. First we talked to a lady on the street about family home evening (something ive never really done before!) and she wanted us to come teach her family how to do it! Then we went by a less active- who then claimed to have never heard of the church before, but wanted us to come teach her about it?? no clue. Then we took a train that night to Eislingen, a little town about 5 minutes away- HUGE miracle. a lady standing next to us in the standing space asked us which church we were from! So we talked and both got out in Eislingen, and she was really interested to hear more! Then we went through Eislingen to find an old investigator that the sister taught and lost contact with- James. hes an american. and we found him and he was super excited to invited us back! So it was a happy halloween all in all. Lots of little kids running around- its not as big as america, but it was still fun.
Friday we planned all day, then contacted a few more less actives. it was a national holiday, so the buses were messed up, and we missed one bus we had planned on, and ended up wih about 3 hours of extra time. so we doored a lot. But it wasnt so bad!
Saturday we went to help a sister in our ward move! She lives in Heidenheim (about an hour and a half train ride)- and we spent the day helping her move to her new apartment. In the evening, we planned to study... then we got a text from Thomas! He wanted to meet! Bruder Kindermann, a member, had just showed up at the apartment to help us with our broken oven, and he wanted to come too, so we all went to the church. We taught Thomas for OVER TWO HOURS! Bruder Kindermann- he is an allstar. the best joint teach ive ever had. He told his conversion story- its powerful. It was so cool! Thomas really like it too, and hes really interested to learn if its right for him.
Sunday was super fun in the church, but the best part was in the evening, we had dinner at the kindermanns- they are an allstar bunch! They are both converts that met through the church, and now they have 4 kids- they are AWESOME! Such a good night. I wish i could describe how cool these people are- basically i want to model my family after theirs somday!
Well, Göppingen is coming on! The work is true, the book is blue! I love being a missionary!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew