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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pictures 1-25-14

Woche 50- Its good to be a Missionary

Liebe Familie! Grüß euch! Servus! Greuzi Wohl! Hoi Zämmä!
Oh how good it is to be a missionary. I just want to say that.
I just want to share some highlights from the week- we had a good one!
Tuesday, during distrikt meeting, ANOTHER investigator just showed up at the church- Frederic Schmid. What is with our people just showing up to missionary meetings?! It was pretty cool. more to come on that story later-
After the meeting, we were supposed to meet with Maria- but she didnt show :( We were so dissapointed and sad, I burst out to Elder Garrett- "Elder. This is rough. Lets just go to switzerland to soothe our sorrows"- it was perfect, because we had a meeting in Winterthur, Switzerland that evening with the stake presidency! The meeting went great, and switzerland is just so unbelievably beautiful and nice. Riding in the bus makes you feel like you are in a first class restraunt!
Wednesday morning we ate lunch with Br. Baier, a member from Kazakstan. He told us his brother was back in town and wanted to meet with missionaries! Woot! After lunch, we were supposed to meet with maria for our rescheduled appt. Once again, she didnt show. This time, i shouted out "Elder. Im upset again. Lets go to Austria this time!"- So we did! We had to do a baptismal interview in a city called Feldkirch, Austria. Google it right now. It must be the worlds most amazing city, im not even joking. It was night time though when we got there, so i dont have any pictures. Just google it. The Kid getting interviewed was Elijah- he is 9 and SO COOL! I asked him how he feels the spirit- he pulled out his kids Book of Mormon, and pointed to the picture of Abinidi teaching Noah- glowing. He said "thats what I feel like when the missionaries teach me!" SO COOL! WE didnt get home from Austria till about midnight... oops. The trains we broked though! Not our fault!
Thursday morning we did an exchange with the APs- i stayed in Singen again. Man, we can learn so much from those guys! Pretty much all our appointments fell through, but it was still a great experience.
Friday we came back together, and taught Frederic- he told us he had gave up smoking, drinking, and was ready to find true happiness. Way cool! He likes to talk.... alot. so we gotta work on that. but he wants to be baptised on the 1st of march!
Saturday we taught Br. Baiers brother, Adolf- he is moving to frankfurt, but wants to meet with missionaries there! We finally taught maria, and also, we taught bright tht evening.
We were SO SURE we were going to have 5 investigators in the church on sunday- they had all committed, we had followed up. And the only person who came was someone we werent expecting. MAN! FRUSTRATING! But we still had a super spiritual experience. Sudays are always the best. We visited a family we met in the train a week ago- they dont speak a ton of german, but they can speak pretty good english. It was fun to try and communicate to them!
Basically its business as usual! I feel at piece knowing ive done all that lies within my power. Naturally, there are always ways to improve, but we really tried SO HARD this last week. I know the lord is blessing us!
I love you all. The gospel brings blessings, and the church is true. Thats the understanding we need to attain eternal life- the church is true, and when we follow what they teach us, the Father has promised us all that he has! What a beautiful promise.
I love you all so much! Ill say it again!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

Woche 49- Engel singen in Singen!

Hoi Zämmä!
Oh liebe Familie- this week has been stellar! I hope its been equally good for yall.
Elder Chapman is HOME! Sending him off was an awful hard experience, but im glad that he can be back with his family now.
Last Tuesday was Zone Training- it was such a spiritual meeting! We were able to give testimony about the goals we set for the coming year, and when the elders who were going home (there were 3) gave there final testimony, it was such a spiritual experience. Right afterwards we we to a member that lives in a small villiage called Tengen- they have 2 awesome kids that are so much fun. We ate lasagna, and it was WAY too much!
Wednesday morning... wait for it... WE WENT TO THE BERN TEMPLE! They changed the rule in the mission, so those missionaries on the border are allowed to go (did i already tell you that?) The temple is actually located in Zollikofen next to Bern, and the Gurneys drove us down for Elder Chapmans last day! its was INCREDIBLE! its right in the middle of the alps. The session was in Italian actually, but we had headphones in German. It was so interesting to hear it in another language! such a wonderful experience! I hope to go back again soon!
After the temple, we had an eating appointment with the Zymla family. Long story short- we ate more than i have eaten in a LONG LONG time. I was so sick, that i called our appointment that evening (also an eating appointment) and begged them not to cook for us. They gladly agreed haha.
Thursday morning it was finished for Elder Chapman! Im so proud of him. He endured right till the very end. That morning was so quiet and sad. I really saw the saddness in his eyes to be done. It inspired me! We left to munich in the morning, and i picked up Elder Garrett!! He is SICK! We have really been tearing it up. Its been a busy last few days, so im going to share just one AWESOME miracle story,
We had a meeting on Saturday with the district leaders, and at the very end of the meeting, Maria (an old investigator of ours) walks into the church building! I step out of the meeting to greet her and ask her why she was there- we had no appointment. She said she just had the strongest feeling she had to be at the church at this day. So we ended the meeting and went to teach her straight away. We had our lesson right next to the baptismal font, and read 2 nephi 31 together. The spirit was so strong as she expressed her feelings about the church, and how she was ready to be baptised! She will be baptised on the 1st of February! Such a miracle! Its a lot to plan in 3 weeks, but its the miracle we have been praying for!
The gospel is true. I love it so much! The lord has his hand in ALL the workings on this earth. Its amazing and humbling to observe.
I love you all! Thanks for all your support!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

Woche 48- And the new companion is...

Frohes Neues! I hope you all had a good slip!
This week has just been a blast. once again, a lot of parties because New Years is HUGE in germany. It was fun though to be with the members. Elder Chapman is now preparing his enter his final moments as a missionary- its pretty sad to see him go. I can see that he truly loves the work of the Lord- and that inspires me so much! He is really working hard until the bitter end!
Just a little run down of our week...
Monday we went to Engen (a little town about 20 min away) and it is AWESOME! Its so pretty and classic old school German. In the evening, we taught a man named Heiko- he is the husband of a member. He is usually really held back and not interested. But we just posed the question if HE wanted to gain faith in Christ as our savior. and he thought about it and i think the Holy Ghost really touched him, and he wants to try. So we are going back tonight! Yahoo!
Tuesday we had a finding day- i working with elder Miller- hes in his first transfer, and hes been struggling with home sickness, so i worked with him to help him find ways to get focused on the work. I think it was really good for him. That evening we had a New Years Eve Party- It was at the church and it was pretty lame honestly. But we made the best out of it.. and the fireworks- WOW. It was like world war 2 all over again! The are essentially no laws in germany against fireworks of anykind, so it was all out chaos from about 12-1 am. It was WILD. i cannot overstate how many fireworks were exploding in all directions. i have never lived through something like it- it was like stadium of fire 5 feet away from your face!
Wednesday we were the Schäfer family all day- playing games and celebrating and such. Brother Schäfer has the coolest convert story ever, and he was basically a pioneer in Berlin was back in the post war days! Hes story was in an ensign once- look up Horst Schäfer- maybe it will come up.
Thursday and Friday we were in Munich for Leadership conference- we talked all about faith and dilligence and finding- plus i found out my new companion! its...
Elder Garrett! Hes from Provo, went to Timpview, and played soccer. Everyone says good things about him, so im pretty pumped!
Friday night, on the way home from Munich, we stopped in Radolfzell and taught Julia- she is just so cool! She makes slow progress, and has SO MANY questions about the gospel. But she believes the church is true. She is so cool, i think its just a hard social transition for her, so i think she wants to be sure and ready.
Saturday, the sisters and sister Gurney went to the temple in Bern, so we had Elder gurney with us for the day! We took him street contacting and contacting in Buses, it was so fun to see him talking with people and having a blast like he was young again!
The week was really good. Its fun to be in the new year, new goals, new focus. Im so excited for this next year! Watching Elder Chapman get ready to go pumps me up for the time I have left!
The church is true. We are truly brothers and sisters- every one of us! That knowledge helps me move on and find and rescue my siblings who are lost. I will be there for them!
I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and your support!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew
P.s. I caught up on previous investigators- Wolfgang is still investigating in St. Pölten. He is working on truly repenting before he comes to the baptism.
P.p.s. In Göppingen, the Lehr family (the miracle family Elder Dickson and I found) finally has time and will be meeting with the missionaries and the Kinderman family again this friday! Pray for them!

Woche 47- Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!

Its funny... the way to say happy new year in german is: Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr- which directly translated means: Good slip into the new year! i dont really think it makes sense, but whatever!
This week was so fun. first off- THANKS THANKS THANKS for the christmas presents! That really made things special :) The holidays were so much fun! Skyping with you guys was the best part though :)
Monday last week we had a christmas party at the Gurneys house! That was our.. christmas kickoff!
tuesday (christmas eve!) we left early in the morning and delivered secret santa gifts to the new convert family in our ward, the Amubekes- i wish you could all see the look of Ivys face when she opened the door. she started jumping around like a 5 year old! I dont think theyve ever really had christmas, so it was really special. Afterwards, in the afternoon, we decorated the Gurneys tree (because in Germany, you have to wait till the 24!) and then we spent the evening at a members home in the middle of nowhere, on a little german farm. it felt SUPER traditional. we ate Rabbit, and sang old german songs with an accordian and a tuba. oh yeah! Then, we went to mid night mass at the Herz Jesu Katholisch Kirche. A really bizarre experience- but something worth seeing!
Christmas day we opened our presents at the Gurneys house (once again, thank you!) and then we went to Benjis house to have traditional, "English" christmas- right proper! The day after, we spent the WHOLE DAY with the Zimmerman family- those little kids never get tired of playing games. We ate some awesome roast duck, and played Just Dance and FIFA for many hours- we only get the exception to the rule one time a year, so we had to play! haha
then it was back to work! I did an exchange in Bad Säckingen with Elder Mongia (fun to work with him again, in germany this time!) and we found some awesome people to teach, including a female evangelical priestess, and this guy named andreas with a sweet mullet.
Now things are starting to get back in the groove. I like it that way. The holidays are fun, but Im ready to get back in gear! Elder Chapman goes home in 10 days.... so we are trying not to get trunky haha. wish us luck!
remember to set good goals! The Gospel is all about change and progression- dont let the chance pass us by to set goals to become more like the Savior!
I love you all! Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

Woche 46- Happy Birthday Joseph, Ron, and Christ :)

Hallo Familie!
Grüß euch!
Wow this week i finally have a bit more time- this was probably the LEAST craziest week so far here in Singen- and thats funny because its still been wild! and Ill just start tellin ya why-
Last week i was writing from Ravensburg- a BEAUTFUL city- built all inside a stone wall with towers and castles and old buildings all over. I didnt take any pictures- what was i think?! But I was there to lead an exchange with Elder George! We worked there until wednesday morning. They didnt have any lessons planned, so we had a chunk of time on our hands! We set the goal to find 8 people to teach- and we found 9!!! It was super miraculous- and really cold haha.
Wednesday Elder Chapman and I passed eachother and worked a few hours together in Singen before switching ONE MORE TIME- this was an exchange with the Assistants! I had to lead Elder Bailey around Singen. Pressure! While Elder Chapman was in the Munich, Elder Bailey and I tore it up in Singen- we found 7 people and set up 4 appointments! I learned so much from elder Bailey and his love of the gospel- He really uses the power of his calling to ask people the hard questions. One kid on the street told us he doesnt believe in God, he believes in money. So Elder Bailey turns to him and asks "What does money really bring you? thats what I thought- NOTHING" This kid was just speechless. It was like Nephi- you couldnt argue with his authority! So the kid agreed to meet and learn more about God. That is my new goal! I want to be able to preach with authority like that!
Friday through Sunday Elder Chapman and I were able work together again- and we were running ALL OVER the place. So many cities- not enough time. Something fun we were able to do though- The Gurneys (our senior couple here in Singen) recieved money from their friends and family back in the states, and we went shopping to do a sub-for-santa for a new convert family that is really struggling. When we wrapped all the gifts it really helped us feel the christmas spirit! Plus we took the time in the evening to bake some cookies and brownies (yes, elders can bake- elder chapman is actually pretty darn good!) and we delivered those to members as well. CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE! Can you believe that?? It snuck up on us so fast! I cant wait to skype with yall on wednesday- ooooh boy!
I hope we have all taken the time to think on the true meaning of christmas. I know I have, and we have had the chance to share that message with many many people. The symbolism of Christmas, is that Christ, our Savior came into the world, the perfect gift from our Heavenly Father to us, his children. We decorate our houses with lights and candles, while Christ was the new light and hope that came into the world. Truly all things point to Christ, and as we take the time to notice, we come closer to him. Truly there is something magical about this time of year- families come back together, people forgive eachother. in a world full of hate, we all TRY to feel love. That is the love and influence Christ has. His love changes hearts- it is that love that changes the world- if only for a short few weeks.
I love you all and can not wait for wednesday!
MERRY CHRISTMAS! and happy birthday dad!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew