Monthly Archives:April 2016

“It’ll Be Tough, But Life Changing”

25 Apr , 2016,
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Family,

What a fun week! Just happy times here in Nürnberg!

On Tuesday the sisters had a baptism of a girl names Zeynep! She has been wanting to get baptized for the past year, but her parents have always said no. She is just 23 and is seriously one of the coolest people I’ve met on my mission! It was such a special day for everyone.  Watching her finally get baptized was one of the best experiences of my mission! I felt so lucky to have been able to take part in it. She was so nervous before, but she was just glowing afterwards! It made me think a lot about how lucky I am to have grown up in this church. I never really took it seriously but seeing Zeynep so eager to become a member helped me realize how blessed I am to have grown up in the church! Such a good day!   Then on Wednesday we met with Adrian lol and he is just unreal.  Sometimes I feel like it’s all just fake cause he cannot be that good. Like he came to the baptism and then afterwards was just like “hey can you guys come over this weekend so we can plan mine? I am just so excited!” Lolol so we have been waayy nervous to bring up the law of chastity and word of wisdom because he’s had a gf and smokes and drinks a little. So we got there and we sit down and we just start out plain and we’re like “we wanna talk about something called the word of wisdom” and he’s like “ya I was already talking to some of the members and stuff and they explained that I can’t smoke which is fine cause I wanted to quit anyway and I don’t wanna drink anymore either. Oh and don’t worry about that whole sexual contact thing cause my gf broke up with me” our jaws were to the floor! I was just so pumped! He isn’t even sad about his gf cause he is seriously so out of her league. But with the word of wisdom stuff he kept on saying “it’ll be tough, but life changing. And that’s what I want” it was awesome. It felt good to bare my testimony to him that the gospel does change us. That its purpose is to change us into who we are supposed to become!

On Friday we had a huge zone training and it went really well! It always involves a ton of planning and a little stress but it all went way smooth so I was way grateful for that! The training was on “our purpose as a missionary” and there was some really good stuff. I think it’s great for every missionary once in a while to just take a little time and think about why they’re doing what they’re doing. I think a large portion of my reasons for being out here have completely changed over the past year and a half and when I really think about these specific reasons it helps me so much to continue to work hard throughout each day.

Then Saturday president was here doing some interviews and so Elder Clawson and I got to have some lunch with him and his wife which is always such a treat! And we also got to meet with a less active named Chris and he is so cool! He is American but has lived here most of his life and he was just baptized last year! He is such a great guy at heart! He is so nice and he is just returning to activity so we are just pumped for him! He said “it doesn’t matter if my best isn’t as good as someone else’s best. I just gotta give my best.” And that struck so true to me! He doesn’t compare himself to anyone and that is the way I should be. Just give my best and everything will work out!

And yesterday Rick and Thomas received the priesthood! It was so awesome! Now they are officially holders of the priesthood! So so cool.  It is all a dream come true! Life really is so good right now! I can’t think of one thing to complain about! I just feel like a lucky boy to be here right now! I feel like when I’m home these will be “the good ‘ol days” lol

I love you guys so much! Have a safe week!

Loves

Hen

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They Just Love Being Mormon

18 Apr , 2016,
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Monday thru Wednesday was basically just spent organizing stuff for the transfer and we had two missionaries staying the night with us because they we leaving on Wednesday. It was a little stressful just cause we had a lot of new missionaries come to the zone and we were just trying to make sure it all went smoothly. So it was a bummer we didn’t get to do a ton of finding at the beginning of the week but it’s all good! Some stuff just has to get done sometimes.  On Thursday we went over to teach Rick and Thomas and it was so sweet! They always insist on feeding us the most German food lol it’s great! This time they made us baggers. They think they’re like potato pancakes but they’re not at all lol. They’re similar to hash browns but you eat them with apple sauce lol they’re so good! But we were just talking with them and they were like “so…are we still gonna keep contact when you guys go back to America?”  And said how they’re gonna come visit us in SLC when they come and see the temple. Lol it was so sweet! They asked for our social media info lol it was so funny. I love Rick and Thomas.  They are so pumped to get their church ID number so they can start ordering stuff off the church’s website.  lol They just love being Mormon. Rick even asked for a Book of Mormon for his friend! Things are going so well with them!

On Friday we taught a lesson with our investigator Mohannad using a translator from Saudi Arabia over Skype! So the lessons are in Arabic!  It is so crazy to listen to! We just tell the translator a line and he just has this big discussion with Mohannad. It’s amazing though cause none of us can understand a word of what is being said, but as the translator teaches, the spirit is still there! It’s way cool to be a part of. Mohannad is making great progress right now! Because he’s Muslim there are some guidelines we have to follow before he gets baptized, but his goal is definitely for him to get baptized! We know he will eventually we just need a few things to clear up. Like tons of Muslims put their lives at risk when they convert to Christianity cause their friends will often just like murder them or something. So we’re taking it slow but it’s all coming together!

I’ve pondered a lot this week about love! Not like romance love, but just like loving others. It’s been on my mind the past little while and so I’ve just been studying and thinking about it lots! I’ve always struggled in this area and I just really want to improve on it! There’s a great talk from President Monson where he quotes a little poem:

I have wept in the night
For the shortness of sight
That to somebody’s need made me blind;
But I never have yet
Felt a tinge of regret
For being a little too kind.

Lol I just love that! I’ve come to realize in the last little while how important the small acts of kindness are throughout daily life.  Not only big acts of love, but just simply being nice to people. Cause I was just thinking about it and like all of my favorite people in my life are all way nice. And that’s just the way I wanna be! I’ve never regretted just being kind to anyone. And I’m way grateful that the gospel gives me ways and inspiration to be better and be more of the person I’m supposed to be! Sometimes it just feels like the road is forever but I know that change is gradual and if I just keep working and embracing the change the gospel offers me, it’ll all be ok!

Life is good! I’m just rollin along out here! Life is too good to me lol I’m having a blast! Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you!

Loves

Hen

Sickest Experience of My Mission

11 Apr , 2016,
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WOW. This week was so good! Probs one of my fav ever!

Ok I’ll just give a recap of the baptism and how it was the sickest experience of my mission. So Tuesday at 18:00 everybody starts showing up and Rick and Thomas are there and everything is going perfect. We actually had a good turn out from the ward which was really nice! So the program starts and we just had two bomb talks from members on the baptism and the Holy Ghost. Then the time came where we baptized Rick and Thomas! Rick and Elder Clawson went first and everything went great! Then Thomas and I went and I just couldn’t stop smiling! The whole time I was baptizing him I just had such a big smile I couldn’t help it. Then we all got changed while everybody else is just singing songs. Then we come back and it was time for Rick and Thomas to bear their testimonies. I’ll just give summaries of their stories the best I can from memory

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Ricks:
“When I was a kid, my grandma had a friend who was Mormon who gave her a Book of Mormon. She used to read me stories out of the scriptures. I loved them and knew they were true. After a few years passed, my grandma died and life went on for many many years. I read through (literally) 50 different bibles looking for these stories that I had heard from my grandma and not one of them had those stories in it.  Then through my friend I received a Book of Mormon, and as soon as I started reading it I found those stories I had been looking for. The ones my grandma used to read me. I felt the spirit and knew that they were true.” Then he went on to bear testimony of he Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, President Monson, and Jesus Christ. It was so powerful!

Thomas:
“I grew up in the Catholic Church and went to church every Sunday. But as I grew older I felt that the Catholic Church didn’t have the spiritual fulfillment that I was looking for. I was searching for truth in many different churches but nothing felt right. Through Rick I was invited to come to the LDS church. The first time I came to church here, it was as if I had just come home. Through studying the Book of Mormon and the Bible and then praying about it, I know it is true. I know this church is true.” As soon as he said he felt like he had come home everyone just started crying.  LOL it was my first time since skyping mom, LOL but everything was just so powerful.  It was the best experience of my mission!

I feel way lucky to have been a part of all that. It is even cooler cause Ad is the one who taught Rick and Thomas the first two lessons!  We had always talked about teaching the same people who got baptized lol. So cool. I have learned a lot from Rick and Thomas and their testimonies really just changed my life. Just seeing how God had prepared those two for everything that has happened is such a testimony builder to me!

On Wednesday we had a meeting with the stake president at the church and as we showed up our investigator Adrian was just sitting in his car reading the Book of Mormon lol. We talked for a little but then had to go to our meeting. As we met with the stake president he told us he saw Adrian and talked to him and he said he is totally ready for baptism. He was talking to Adrian and said Adrian told him that what really got him going, was in the first lesson he had with the Elders, the testimony I gave simply of Heavenly Father is what really touched him. He said he could feel how sure I was that there is a God that loves us. It was so cool to hear that such simple testimony can impact someone so much! We later set a date for Adrian to be baptized on May 28th!! We are way pumped! He for sure has some obstacles to overcome, but he’ll do it no doubt! Then that night I got to go on a split back to Feucht! I got to see the Cheklystovs (fav Russian family) and it was amazing! I gave them a pic of me and them and we just had the best time together! Mom and dad are for sure gonna meet them when they come get me lol. But ya it was great to be back in Feucht. Such great people! I love Nürnberg a lot and the city is way cool, but idk there’s just something about Feucht is just makes me happy! I love it there. I’m way lucky to be right next to it!

Cheklystovs

Then Saturday came and we got our transfer calls, and elder Clawson and I are staying! So we’re pumped about that! This upcoming transfer should be awesome!

Yesterday Rick and Thomas were confirmed and everything went well! They really just feel part of the ward. They big bought two new suits and they wore their ties that elder Clawson and I bought them. They are so sick! After church yesterday they had a barbecue and invited the ward just to come celebrate their baptism lol. It was so great! Rick’s wife made a cake shaped like a book and on one page it said “a new beginning” and it was so cool. Everything just went so smoothly with them, it was a dream!

Life is so good right now! I’m way happy. Time is just flying by!  Thanks for all the love and support I feel from home! Love you guys!

Loves

Hen

“There is nothing good, unless you do it”

4 Apr , 2016,
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Family,

“Es gibt nichts gutes, außer man tut es” lolol that shout out to Germans from Pres Uchtdorf was so sick! This week was great! Things are going so well!

On Monday and Tuesday night we met with Rick & Thomas! Both lessons were amazing! Watching them just accept the gospel and live it has strengthened my testimony so much! They are just really happy! They both have overcome come really big things to be where they are today and they just are so inspiring to me! I’m way grateful for them!

On Wednesday it was so sick! So 2 1/2 hours before Institute started we were filling out some papers at the church when our investy Adrian shows up! (He’s from Texas but has lived in Germany for 7 years and he’s 19) and so we just met with him right then. And it was an amazing lesson! For the last few weeks he has just come to institute but would quickly leave. We explained the Book of Mormon and how the church came to be and he totally was interested! He just talked about how whenever he comes to institute he just loves it and feels so much happier throughout week. It was so cool to hear him explain his feelings and just watch him glow! Then on Thursday we met with him and we’re just chatting and he said that earlier that day he just we taking the subway and he randomly came to the church because he said he just felt like he was drawn to it lol he said he was just sitting there then the next thing knew he was just at the church! Crazy! And he said on Wednesday night he sat down to read the Book of Mormon and he was reading and looked at the clock and realized he had been reading for TWO hours! Lolol it was insane! My jaw was to the floor the whole time! So we are gonna meet with him this week and try and help him recognize that what he’s feeling is the Holy Ghost and set a baptismal date! I’m so pumped to be teaching him!

Friday we had the baptismal interview for Thomas and Rick and things went SO WELL. The person who did the interview said he could really feel their testimony. They both have turned around their life and it is amazing to witness. I haven’t really seen them at their worst, but they are easily able to testify of the reality of the changing factor of the gospel. They have both had extreme addictions and have chosen to live new lives! Like I said they are such an inspiration to me! I feel their sincere desire to be better people than they have been in the past, and it is encouraging to someone in a similar situation to see the positive effects of the gospel live in action!

Then Saturday and Sunday conference were amazing! There were so many messages that I feel like were intended for me. We had Rick and Thomas show up to every session! On Saturday we just watched the Saturday morning session because that’s night time for us. So on Sunday we watched three sessions and Rick and Thomas came to all of them! It was awesome they just love the church so much I am so pumped. I have yet to watch the Sunday afternoon session but I’m sure it is just as good!  I loved president Monson’s talk on Sunday. It was so short but so sweet. I loved his message just on the importance of making good choices and getting on the right path. It’s so true the fact that the choices we make now, will determine our destiny. And we need to know where we wanna end up, in order to know which path we want to walk down. I just left every session feeling so inspired!

So ya the baptism is tomorrow at 18:00! I feel so lucky to baptize these two! So Elder Clawson is baptizing Rick and I’m baptizing Thomas! I am so pumped! Pics will come next week!

I love you all so much! I hope your week is safe and fun! I would love to hear any of your favorite talks or take aways from conference! Bis nächste Woche!

Loves

Hen