Tuesday, December 15, 2015

TRAINING A NEW ELDER

Joy comes to my heart when I see this smile and know that he is truly happy serving his Father in Heaven.
 

Monday, December 14, 2015

WEEK 12-14-15



Hello Family!

 Man, this week has gone by fast, and there is a good reason for that too.  It is mostly because we have only been here in Flensburg for only 3 days, but that is a story that I will be more than happy to share.

Well, I guess I could start off with all the goodbyes from Kiel.  I think more of the youth and our investigators said goodbye than the members.  I wish I would of gotten to get them know more, but we were rarely invited or they lived very far away.  But I was able to say goodbye to my friends that I made there.  It was sad but at the same time, I only live one and a half hours away so that will not be too bad.

 And then the adventure began!  Tuesday morning, I started the whole trip down to Freiberg!  There was a lot of us that went down and most of them were good friends of mine.  So we left around 7 in the morning and did not get into to Dresden until about 6:00 p.m. Lets just say at the end of the day, we were tired of sitting down.  But that was really cool to be able to see Dresden again.  It really does not look any different than I left it.  I left it in some cold weather too so it looked just the same.  We were able to walk around and see the Christmas Markets again in Dresden and that was really cool.  I was praying really hard that I would happen to run into members from Meissen but unfortunately, that was not the case.  And then that night  we stayed over in Dresden.  It is really interesting to see how our mission is changing.  I was able to hear that we now will have Turkish missionaries!  Well, I know one of them comes from California (we dont know them) because he is training and learning Turkish but the other lived there for about 7 or 8 years.  And to add that, I have heard of missionaries learning French, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, etc.  I would of never thought that that would happen.  But who knows, maybe I will ask President Fingerle if I could learn one too.  My companion has
been helping me a lot with my German because he is German. (But I will get to that later.)

 And then for Wednesday, I was able to go for the day and go back to Meissen with the missionary that is serving there.  A lot has changed since the days I was there, because now what has happened is they turned the branch into a ward and they meet in Dresden now.  It is somewhat hard for them because all the members of Meissen now have a pretty big commute.  And I got to go by on some of the members and they said that it has been hard for them to go to church.  I also wanted to meet up with Steffi, but that did not ending up working out.  Lets just say that was weird too to be back there.  Once again, it just felt as if the year away was gone for three hours and I was back in the days of Meissen.

 Thursday was the day of meeting our new companions.  There were a lot of missionaries there.  It was real interesting to see how it would turn out. I remember that we were all suppose to introduce our areas and because I have not even seen our area yet, I just told people that its really cold, that we have about an 8 hour train ride to get there, and that its by the danish border.  And that is pretty much all I knew.  I came to find out my new companion is Elder Ausobsky, who comes from the stake of Friederichsdorf here in Germany.  So that has been really fun.  He is a pretty funny Elder and he knows why he is here and that is the best part.  Its weird not to really help a trainee with the language.  And then we were able to also go into the temple while it was under construction, and that was pretty cool as well.  Then we made the 8 hour trip back, but it got too late, so we had to stay the night in Kiel.  That was fun, and weird.

Friday came rolling along and we had district meeting and because the trains don't come til every hour to get to Flensburg, we did not even end up getting there until 6p.m. on Friday.  And so we were able to get settled in and make sure we had food for the week.

Saturday was hit the pavement day.  That is how it will be here in Flensburg for a few weeks, because the sisters who were here last had only really one person that we can teach. All the others either don't want contact or have moved.  So I truly feel like a pioneer missionary because we have to find all the people we want to teach.  I'm not used to that because the last two areas, we had people to teach when I came there.  But we have already have seen some success as well. We were able to find two people from walking around. One of them was actually a really cool story.  So elder Ausobsky and I were practicing how we could talk to people on the street.  And during this practice, I remember I was playing the missionary and elder Ausobsky the guy in the street. I remember asking for his name and he said oh, my name is ... Then I asked for his phone number (during this practice) and he told me and said that his phone is off and he left it at home.  And so when we were on the street, we stopped to talk with this man and we were talking about the family and I asked him what his name was and he said the exact same name that elder Ausobsky said during the practice. (My eyes got super wide at this point) and I asked for his number and he then gave it to us but said that it is off and that he left it at home. At that point, my jaw was on the floor.  That was a super cool experience and we have an appointment with him this Saturday.  So that has been the work for us here lately.  It is also really cool to be back in a branch.  We got to meet the branch and I am excited to work with them.

And don't worry about me with the one year mark of dads passing,  I am doing fine.  It's weird to think how fast the time goes, but I don't allow myself to think that. I am keeping myself busy and I have lots to do here.  That's my new motto. Always keep yourself busy, or always have a goal in mind.

I hope all is going well back at home and you are all in my prayers. I will let you know how the weeks progresses in the coming week.

I love you!
Elder Bretzing
                                   There's that smile I love!!! Market place in Dresden


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Week 12-7-15 THE END OF A SISTER'S MISSION

Hey Family!

Well this week has gone by super fast, with new surprises and twists along the way.  It was also transfer week this past week and I got transferred.  I will be going to Flensburg, which is a small city on the very north part of our mission.  So, I will still be staying in the same district, but just in a different area.  It is super funny, because the entire time of my mission, I have gone from south to north, and now I have hit the point, that I cannot go any farther north, otherwise I will be going into Denmark.

And I was there in Flensburg to visit a baptism once and it just looks gorgeous up there.
It is a branch again, so I get to go back and get to know the members super well.  There was a sister program that was there and so they were closed because both of them were going home and so I will go in there and open a Elder program.  It sounds all technical and stuff.

I also found out that I will be training someone new again.  So that will be fun.  That means now that I have to go to the Freiberg Temple to pick up my new companion.  And we have a few meetings down there for trainers and stuff so I will be leaving tomorrow.  It will be fun to be back down there and I really hope I run into someone I know.

Oh, yeah, there is another point that was weird about this week.  I have just finish my Sister Mission! Haha, ok mission lingo, let me explain.  So the Sisters that all are going home this week are from my MTC group.  So that has been weird to watch them leave.  That means that I have been out on my mission for 1 1/2 years!  That sure sounds crazy to me.  And the two that went home in my district kept telling me that I am finishing my Sister Mission.  So now I only have 6 months to go.  I still have no idea when I will be released.  That sounds weird.  I feel old on my mission.

This next transfer will be a relief and weird.  No more going to meetings anymore.  Or doing anything for a whole group of missionaries.  But I still have an assignment.  President Fingerle told me that now my focus has gone from missionaries to one missionary who will need my help.  So I hope to make it fun, but that we get some work done.  There is a lot to do.

Well, that was my week.  But I hope all is going good back at home.
Have fun in New York! Love you all!
Love,

Elder Bretzing

HE FINALLY MADE FRONT AND CENTER
ZONE LEADERS AND TRAINERS MEETING
DECEMBER 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

WEEK-11-30-2015





Hello Family-
Well another week has come and gone and I just remembered right after I sent my letter last week, that I did not even share with what I am grateful for.  I guess I can do that now and share them with some experiences that we had this week.

I am grateful for the friends that I have.  Unfortunately, I am not really in a lot of connection with all my friends back at home, but I am grateful for the friends that I have made on my mission.  This week I was able to go out on exchange with two missionaries.  One of them is really new on his mission.  His name is Elder Halbleib.  This is only his second transfer, so he has been here in Germany for almost three months.  It was fun to go out and work with him.  It reminded me a lot about the beginning of my mission.  We had a lot of appointments during our time together and were always traveling one appointment to the next.  And we met some really interesting people.  One guy that we met with, came to know the church through a very old western movie which sort of, from how he described it, makes fun of our religion, and all of his friends used to be members of our church, but they have long since left.  (That and much much more) But as Elder Halbleib and I had the chance to meet with him, we realized that he really has interested in learning more about this church.  And he even came to church with us too.  And he lives in a very small village outside of Kiel.  And then I was able to go to a small suburb outside of Hamburg called Delingsdorf (but we mostly stayed in a place called Ahrensburg) with another missionary named Elder Hein.  It was fun to go with him.  He is actually going home in one more month, so we went from a really young missionary to a really old missionary.  But we had some good times.  It has been a while since I rode a bicycle.  I felt like we were doing classic missionary work, of going from door to door of people that we knew and see if we could make out a time to meet with them.  
I am grateful for what I have learned as being a member in this church.  It is just great to see all the wonderful blessings.  Sometimes, they can be hard for us to see.  I can see that from people that we have met on the street this past week.  This week was really hard when it came to talking to people.  We talked with a lot of people, but they all did not have interest.  And one lady we met on the street even explained to us that she has been to Salt Lake City (Which happens a lot here in Germany) and that she thought it was lovely and beautiful, but from what she has "heard" from either the internet or her friends, she did not want to meet with us or even talk to us about these things.  And I find that really disappointing.  I would of hoped that she would of given us the chance to talk to her about the Book of Mormon and more about our goal here on earth and where we will be going afterwards.  But sometimes, we allow these small things to get in our way from finding out something wonderful or great.   

I am also very grateful for my family.  It is always great to here more about what is going on through the emails!  I am trying to get better at writing my emails because I know there was a time that it was just a few short sentences.  But I am very grateful to hear all that is going on back at home and to read what is going on.  I hope that you are also able to get something from these emails.  Probably 90% of the time it is just me rambling on about my week.

Well, I love you all and thanks for being awesome and doing what you do.  I hope that this week will be great for you and I cant wait to come back and here all that is happening!

Love,
Elder Bretzing

Monday, November 23, 2015

11-23-15



Howdy Everyone!

First of all, is it really thanksgiving? Man that is crazy.  I guess it's time to start cracking out the Christmas music soon.  Everyone here has been trying to listen to Christmas music and I keep telling the missionaries that we wait for the 1st of December.  I just think it is fun so I keep telling them that we have to wait for the December.  But its true... But anyways... That is a different subject.

This week has been really fun and somewhat stressful.  We have been seeing some really cool miracles.  This last Wednesday, we went to visit a district in Gl├╝ckstadt, which is about an hour away with the train.  And we decided that we will take  some time and work with the missionaries there because they have been struggling to find people to teach more about the Gospel.  And so we split with the missionaries and my companion and a missionary stayed in Gl├╝ckstadt and me and another missionary went to a small city called Itzehoe. And as we were getting on the train going to Itzehoe, we noticed a really nice guy waiting too.  So we just sat there and started to talk with him and later in the conversation he showed a lot of interest in what we have to tell him.  It was super cool because it was the very first person that we talked to and we were able to schedule out a time where we could meet again and talk with him.  The missionary with me was like, "wow. There really are people here who are interested in the gospel." I told him to remember this moment when it gets tough or people tell you that you can't find anyone with interest.  It was super cool and we both had a good time. Their appointment with him is this Wednesday so I hope all goes well.

We also have been teaching this really cool student who moved here from China and she is super cool.  She came to church this week and she wants to get baptized.  She is planning on being baptized in two weeks and we still have a lot to teach her.  But she is doing great.
She taught me how to count to 10 in Chinese and to say some very fundamental things.  Chinese has 4 different tones for one letter and they all mean very different things.

We have also been super busy with the Christmas party here in our ward.  So we the missionaries are  planning the ward Christmas party this year because there was no one in charge of it.  Man is that stressful.  It takes up a lot of our time but from what we have planned already, the ward really likes it so I am hoping that all will go well.

Hey, OK so I have some questions.  I have been talking with the Sisters here in Kiel.  And they told me about college applications.
That is super weird that it is already coming up, and when I say coming up, I mean by the 1 of December, the application needs to be turned in.  I don't know where I want to go for school, but I know I just want to start the moment I get home.  Should I start applying for that now? Have I missed most of deadlines for colleges.  I feel like my grades are not good enough for most colleges so I don't know if I will just have to go back to Fullerton community college.  I really wouldn't want to. But maybe if you have time mom, could you check the application process for a few schools like byu or csuf or something? I don't know.  I have completely kept this blocked from my mind.  But that would be great if you could do that for me. And then We will report back next Monday.

And for Christmas, I would just be happy with a card from everyone or something.  I am starting to notice the sun bleach in my pants and my collars getting worn out. But on the bright side I have good pair of shoes! So maybe for Christmas, since our pday is right after Christmas, we can go clearance shopping for some new clothes. When do I need to write the Christmas card letter?

Well I think that is everything on my side.  I love you all and I miss ya but at this rate of time, we will see each other in 4 weeks or so... I think.

Love you!
Elder Bretzing
Kiel Germany 2015

Dinner at a members with a snowball fight..Who won???

Monday, November 16, 2015

WEEK 11-16-15



Hey Everyone,

I hope that everything is going on good back at home.  It is week two and no letter.  I know that there will come one soon so I am not too worried, but I do hope that everything back at home is going on ok.

I guess I can tell you how my week has been going.  It was sure an interesting week.  It started off very busy.  We had a lot of meetings that we had to go to with our zone here in Schleswig-Holstein.  They were all really good because we were able to come together and help the zone a lot.  If anyone is preparing to go on a mission, my extra advice that I would tell them is get used to a lot of meetings.  You are not always on the street or the typical imagined two missionaries going door to door in the middle of no where.  There are a lot of meetings that missionaries will attend, to discuss the welfare of the missionaries and what we can do or focus on as a mission/zone/district.  And so I really enjoy these meetings because I feel that a lot can be done and help and support can be found there.

This week was just hard as well when it came to our proselyting because whenever we thought that we had time to go and talk to people, our time was occupied by something else.  Which is quite interesting what one of the things that occupied our time was.  So we receive a text message from our mission on Friday morning, that we were going to have a mission wide conference call.  During the conference call, we learned that Elder Ballard would be stopping by to visit our mission and he wanted us all to gather in Berlin, so that we could see him and talk with him.  That was really fun.  So for two days, we were running around like headless chickens making sure everyone in our zone had tickets to get to Berlin and that everyone was doing all the things they could to be prepared.

And that was a fun meeting.  It was just great.  All of it.  Watching him enter the room, and the Spirit confirming to you that that man is one of His chosen servants.  It was just great, and the humor and laughter that he brought just felt homely.  It is hard to explain it but he taught us simple doctrine but in a way that we all left leaving that room with more insight on the simple things.  What he really did was remind us of what we already know.  And that is the beauty of it.
He taught us solid basics.  The importance of talking to people, of being good and powerful teachers and always remembering the importance of asking for understanding.  It was great.  I loved my time with it.
And he just taught us and created an environment that everyone was comfortable in that room and that we were truly being retaught.

What I learned from that meeting is the importance of improvement.  As I got to shake his hand, he told me to enjoy my mission.  And everyone says that.  But what it this time different than all other times? And at the end of the meeting, he is talking about that we just do not have time for a lot of things. He was talking a lot about getting along with your companion and your attitude towards the work and what not, and he just kept repeating, "you just don't have the time for it!"

So that was a cool experience.  Other than that, everything is going well here in Kiel.  It has been a weird time here in Kiel, because it is just been a weird transition.  My mind likes to wonder and play the guessing game of how long I will stay here, but I try not to.  Or I just have to keep telling myself that whatever happens, happens.  And the Lord knows I can handle it.  I love Kiel.  The people and the place here is beautiful.  It is just sometimes hard to be the leadership role.  Sometimes it wears on you.  But I do have to say that I love working with missionaries.  I love getting to go and visit their district meetings and getting to talk with them weekly on the phone.  But there are times, that the leadership role takes a toll on you.

Hey but i hope everything is going well on back at home.  It really is ok about the letter I know that one will come soon so do not worry, if you are, about the letter.  I love you and I know that I will hear from you soon.

Hey, a really interesting thing happened this week.  So it was dads birthday, and I was a little down for a while.  And I did not know how to get out of this funk.  I was trying my hardest to not think about it and keep going and it wasn't working.  Well, at the very end of the night, I remember just sitting there, staring at the ceiling, and our neighbors are all college students, well, the first time I have heard this since being here, but the neighbors just decided to crank up some music and it was Led Zeppelin and it just reminded me of dad.  Just for clarification, I did not turn on music, but our neighbors cranked it so high, that we heard it through the walls.  But I smiled and knew that he is still there and with me. And I fell asleep like a baby.  So everything is going good!

Love,
Elder Bretzing          November 2015 Leadership Training- Hamburg Zone