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Monday, February 17, 2014

Woche 54- Zone Conference=Stress=Prays=Good.

Schönen guten Morgen!!
Grüß euch!
Wow, this week was one of the more stressful ones of my mission. But through many prayers and much focus, we made it through. So- lets recap how it all went down, shall we!
Tuesday, we had a meeting once again in Winterthur, Switzerland. We decided to defy all rules of society and wear our "Frump" suits to the meeting- quick explanation: In Europe (especially switzerland), any and all cloths that are not tight and fitted are immediatley deemed culturally unacceptable- hence our made up missionary term: Frumpy. That essentially means all missionaries from America are frumpy- seeing as this principle is not so strictly observed in the states, and missions are not a fashion show anyways! Well, we do our best to oblige the cultures demands (i.e. skinny ties, tighter slacks, fitted shirts)- while still maintaining missionary standards. BUT Elder Garrett and I both own suits that are deemed ultimate Frump status (my brown one)- he has a matching black one. Well, in our defiance of the swiss culture, we wore these suits, combo'd with ties so fat, i believe they could serve a dual purpose as a sleeping bag. Needless to say- the europeans were speechless at our downright "Americaness". It was quite the meeting.
Thursday was a MIRACULOUS day- Holy smokes. In the morning, we invited a man named Henry to come have a church tour (he had previously approached us on the street and given us his card)- he walked through and absolutely LOVED the church. He got hung up on the geneology room and demanded an explanation of why we do family work. We finally explained baptisms for the dead, and after a thought pause he says "ok... ich bin dabei"- translated: im on board. We showed him the baptismal font- and before we could even invite him he says "ich bin SOFORT dabei!" translated: Im IMMEDIATELY on board! He has the goal of being baptised on the 15th of march! We are way excited for him and will be meeting with him again this afternoon!
Later that day, we had an appointment with an italian family that we met on the street- the Lomanacos! When i spoke with them, i used the limited italian i learned from elder mongia (i can say: hello! Im a missionary of the church of jesus christ. Im sorry, but i only speak german and english, im from america. I have a friend you can speak with!) Thats when i call elder mongia on the phone and hand the phone to the person. It works suprising well! They invited us over- the husband actually speaks great german, but the wife has only been here for 3 weeks, so she speaks none. They live about 10 minutes from the church, and on the walk over, all the powers of satan combined against us. Out of nowhere- the HUGEST rain storm came out and winds were blowing so hard, and then it randomly started hailing like crazy! we almost turned back it was so bad, but we just buckled our heads and ran- and the appointment was AMAZING! They had so many questions about our church and the book of mormon- and they really were excited to start reading the book of mormon! It was a super miracle. To top off the day- we met with Frederic in the evening, and he committed to live the word of wisdom, and tithing- and before he was living with his girlfriend- but we had taught the law of chastity, and he kicked her out! Yahoo! What a great day. We had to take a train to spend the night in Offenburg for zone conference the next day, but it was such a super day.
Friday was Zone Conference. Lots of administrational things needed to take place, so that was stressful, but overall it was a really spiritual day. Oh yeah- elder garrett and i also performed the musical number! He played an amazing arangement of "i need thee every hour" and i accompanied on the piano. The piece was pretty difficult, but i shook off my rust and it sounded amazing. The Lord works miracles sometimes! I think ive somehow gotten better on the piano on my mission- hmmm. blessings come in mysterious ways!
Saturday was also WAY stressful. We made transfer call (im staying here :) ) and then we met with this man, Wolfgang. Lets just say he is just as cool as Wolfgang in Sankt Pölten. I had met him right in front of the church about a week previous- and he told me he lived right across the street, and had always been curious, but had never had the courage to come inside. We met on saturday, and gave him the church tour too. He realized half way through the tour that he had met mormons before 30 YEARS AGO and had gone to church every sunday for two years, before losing contact with the church. He never knew that same church was built across the street from him 30 years later. He doesnt really remember any of the doctrine of the church, he just remembers "the blue book" and the it felt good. We confirmed the address of the old church, and it was the same! We watched the joseph smith movie, and he told us "i just feel like that boy- ive been searching for the truth!" WOW. It was mind blowing how prepared this man was. He wants to be baptised on the 29th of march. Wolfgang Maxel is his name. he is 57, and within the last two years he has given up drinking and smoking, become vegitarian, and has been actively searching answers for a long time. It is humbling to teach him.
Also on saturday we had a finding day and a talent show in the evening- it was very well attended and Julia even performed with her flute- she stole the show she was so good!
Well, another transfer down! im entering my 9th of 16 transfers- crazy! i will likey stay zone leader the next two- (so the next 12 weeks) before moving on to the next adventure. Oh how time flies!
Well, I love you all. thanks for all your letters and support. Life is good! Church is true!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

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