Search This Blog

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 10th Pictures


Grüezi Wohl!
Liebe Familie-
What a week. Things are really climbing in an upward direction- thats for sure. The Lord has really blessed us over this last week! We have had a big focus on working in the area book recently- finding the previous investigators there in the book and contacting them- and that starts with cleaning the book out and organizing it! So we TORE IT UP on monday- seriously. we really cleaned that thing up and found some WAY cool people inside! Tuesday was the zone training meeting- where we trained the elders and sisters all about the area book- and we also learned about Virtue and the Spirit- such a powerful meeting! We had to RUN from that meeting to catch a train down to switzerland to meet with the stake president- those meetings are always fun.
Wednesday we did the first service project of spring! We helped our branch president clean up his yard and bring away some HUGE trees- they were so muddy and wet- we got REEAL muddy haha. In the evening, we visited Frederic again (he came home early from vacation ahaha)- he was pretty sad he couldnt make it to church last week.
Thursday was SUPPOSED to be a way sweet day- but it turned out to be pretty rough! I was on exchanges with Elder Mongia here in singen, and almost ALL of our appointments fell through- except for one right at the end ofthe day! Her name was Athena- she is from a distant part of china- there she was studying the bible secretly, and has lived here for 10 years now. she is REALLY sensitive for the spirit- and is so excited to read the book of mormon! so that was good.
Friday we taught Julia- she has SUCH DEEP QUESTIONS. we were going into some serious space doctrine with her- we try to keep it under control but she is such a deep thinker, and just is so curious! Then, we took a train out to this little tiny village called Anselfingen to meet one of our investigators- Donat. He is twenty, has a long ponytail down to his feet and wears no shoes. He believes in the best of all religions- well we ended up climbing this miny mountain to reach his meditation spot where we read together from the book of mormon! We read the vision of the tree of life (not sure why...) but he LOVED it. he got really excited about the restoration and is set on recieving an answer from God. way sincere- looks like the hike was worth it!
Saturday we took a train out early to a neat little city called Stockach and met a man named Markus. He walked into the church a few weeks ago and requested a Book of Mormon- so we went and taught him about the gospel of christ! He got so excited he just asked us right there when he could be baptised! we set up the date for the 3 of may :) hopefully im still in Singen!
Sunday IN church, we had SUCH a cool experience- we were able to do a musical number with Julia! Elder Garrett played violin, Julia played the flute, and i accompanied on the piano. We did an AMAZING arrangement of Joseph Smiths First Prayer- the spirit was SO STRONG. it really just filled the room. Not only was it an honor to play with a professional like Julia, but the spirit really was present and the members all were in tears. After Church, we went to the Trenchs home (or wardmission leader) and had this vegetarian lunch that was actually really really tasty! And TWO miracles happened! In themiddle of the meal- my phone started ringing- it was MARIA. she called us! She asked us to meet again next week! YAHOO! We knew she would come back when she was ready! So cool! THEN- as i was saying the closing prayer before we left, there was a knock on the door. and a man named Richard walked in. He is Benjis old friend from England, who has been gone for months in Thailand, but is interested in the church! He is possibly the funniest person i have ever met- i couldnt stop laughing everything he said was so funny- and hes comingto church next week! SWEET!
Ah life is so sweet. The gospel is sweet. We are simply so blessed.
Oh and we finally climbed Hohentwiel today! Thats why im writing late! Ill send the pictures next week!
I love you all!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

Woche 57- When everything falls apart....

Liebe Familie!
Ok, i know that title was really depressing, but actually, this last week was actually great! We did honestly, lose contact with many/most of our investigators... but we had the chance to meet many new people!
We met many times with Frederic this last week- and we were able to give his girlfriend a portugese book of mormon (thats her mother language) and she isgoing to start reading it! Bad news is- he went on vacation for a couple weeks- so he didnt make it to church on sunday :( The ward was pretty sad not to see him, but he called to apologize and promised to be back in two weeks or so!
We did a lot of finding this last week... because we werent able to make any appointments, we just went out to do some good old fashion, dan jones missionary work! At it was miraculous! we found 25 potential investigators this last week! It was sweet!
We were also able to attend Mission Leadership Council this last week- we talked all about the area book- we talked about how god gives us all 2nd chances, so we need to pray over the area book, and contact those who need a 2nd chance at the gospel! We also talked about Virtue, and having the Holy Ghost in our lives- probably one of the most spiritual meetings of my mission!
Church this week was the biggest miracle of them all- we had 92 people there! I know that doesnt sound like a lot, but i have never attended a sacrament meeting in germany with that many people! I was trying to find a seat for me and our investigator Henry, but we couldnt even find two next to eachother, so we had to split up! I was so full! Full from members, less active families, and investigators- and just visitors! I almost cried as i looked around and felt that the lord was pouring his spirit out on this ward. Singen is a very special place :)
Plus- Julia came to church! 2 weeks in a row! OH MEINE GUTE she is so close, its unbelievable! Its just hard because she doesnt relate to anybody in the ward really, so she doesnt have many close friends.  But we are working on that.
I know i dont have much to report- it was a slower week honestly! But I am still content. I love missionary work! and I know the gospel is true :)
I love you!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

Monday, March 3, 2014

Baptism of Frederic Schmid

Woche 56- Baptism!

Sali Zämä!
Oh my wonderful family. thank you for your prayers in our behalf. I know they helped as part of this miracle!
FREDERIC GOT BAPTISED! Oh it was so amazing. that morning was way stressful though. We had planned with him to meet him at 10 at his house, and walk to church together. So we get there at 10- no one home. we call his phone. no answer. We are POUNDING on his door, trying to get in to see if he was sleeping- when some elders call us from our district. They had come for the baptism and were waiting at the church- they told us frederic was at the church waiting for us! Haha he had it mixed up. So it all went well. it was very well attended- Elder Garrett baptised him, and i was able to confirm him on sunday. Speaking of church- there was SO MANY people there! Between us and the sisters- we had 8 investigators in the church! plus many other visitors! The confirmtion was so sweet- and frederic just seems so happy. the ward really welcomed him with open arms, and he feels at home. AND THE COOLEST PART! His girlfriend used to be way against the church. But she came to the baptism, and to church the next day- and LOVED IT. she said shes coming next week too- and we are meeting with them both this week! Soon they will get married i think- then we are talking eternal family! Boom! Missionary work rocks!
Another huge miracle- Julia (the flute player) came to church! I have never seen her there- she always says shes too busy, but she came! And she told us she doesnt have time to meet this week, because she is doing girls night with a couple members. So i guess thats ok!
Maria is still progressing towards the 22nd as her date. But she didnt make it to church, or the baptism :(
Wolfgang got sick right before church started, so he didnt make it... but he REALLY wants to get baptised as soon as possible! We just need to explain to him that its takes a while!
those are the people we are working with very closely...
the week was crazy- ill be honest. I went to Munich to work with APs on exchange! It was way fun. I chased down this chinese boy in a park because i just felt like i had too- and he was SO interested in the book of mormon. hes moving to north germany this week- but he wanted many copies to take with him so he could give them to his friends! Maybe james will meet him when he gets there...!
Oh yeah- culturally speaking- this week was Fasching. Its also called Carnival- or basically German Mardi Gras. IT WAS SO INSANE. I have never lived through something so wild- except new years. This was just wild because it was like Halloween- so EVERYONE is dressed up like a freak- like the weirdest costumes ever. But the weirdest part- it wasnt just the young people. The 80-90 year old people were walking around in the weirdest costumes, with purple hair, and just... so strange. and WILD. Its basically a week long party where everyone is allowed to do whatever they want, and just get away with it. Crazy.
That was my week!
I love you guys!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew

Woche 55- Frederic Schmid!

Liebe Familie!
Lots happened this last week- but im going to dedicate this email to the story of Frederic Schmid.
Frederic is 36- typical german guy. Elder Garretts first week, he just walked into the building and requested to be taught by the elders. He had been an investigator of the elders before, but it was common knowledge that he was just crazy- like literally insane- and never made progress. Well, we decided to give it a chance! Our first lesson was a disaster- he talked the whole time, couldnt stay focused. He had an accident about 10 years ago, when he was hit by a car on the sidewalk, and suffered serious skull damage. when he woke up, he had to re learn everything. He is totally functioning now- he rents his own apartment, goes shopping, pays taxes- but he can only work simple jobs because he loses focus easy- so 2 times a week he delivers newspapers in switzerland. That first lesson he was so... crazy, but very obviously unhappy. when he finally let us talk, we talked about the gospel changing lives, and how baptism is the gate. He committed to work towards the 1st of march. Over the last 8 weeks, we have met 2-3 times a week, and it is miraculous to see the changes in his life. He has quick smoking  and drinking for good- his girlfriend moved into her own apartment, he has been to church the past 4 sundays in a row- he is HAPPY. Each time we met, it was such small progress, but he seemed a little bit more "there"- and over the course of 8 weeks its a drastic difference. the members who knew him before cant even recognize him now- he is still very distracted, but he is cleary happy and ready for baptism! the ward has really rallied around him to help him feel welcome. He will  be baptised this saturday :)
Just a few other points from the week- Stake Conference yesterday was a broadcast from SLC. Elder Bednar spoke- IN GERMAN! He didnt use a translator, because he served his mission in München 40 years ago! He spoke very slowly, but his accent wasnt even that bad! It was so cool to hear an apostel speak German! his talk was also incredible!
We said goodbye to sister allman this week- she got transfered to Graz! We got Sister Hammock.
ALSO! Maria called us again this week, and when we  met, she told us she was reading in the book of mormon about baptism, and she felt a fire inside. so she called and wants to be baptised on march 22! Wow! So cool! This ward is blowing up!
We are very excited for Frederics baptism! Pray for us that it all goes through!
I love you all! thanks for the support!
Adventure is out there!
Elder Bartholomew