Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week -26


Hello Loving Family,                                                                                          1/26/15
This week has been alot better than the last.  Berlin is still very crazy and I have no idea in which direction to take any of the buses or trains, but I have been getting better.  Some Highlights of the week.
We are teaching a few people and they come from all walks of life.  And so we have 3 people right now who are on a baptismal date, and we are teaching a man named James, where he comes from Nigeria, and he is doing great.  It is awesome to see that he really wants to change his life and that he knows that this church is true and that all that he has been taught is true.  We have really been working with him to help him  to encourage him to find a new apartment because at the moment he is living with his girlfriend, but he really wants to follow all the commandments and is doing his best to live the commandments.  We have also be able to teach a woman named Minjie, who comes from China, and she owns her own little shop somewhere in our area.  I have no idea of what part of Berlin her work is in, but I know that it is in our area.  But she has been doing great as well and we have really been helping her to come to church.  She believes and wants to learn alot more about Jesus Christ, she has a hard time coming to church and so we are trying to help her with that.  We also have been teaching a man named Roberto, who comes from Brazil.  He actually speaks really good german, and he knew the Church while he was back in Brazil.  We are really trying to focus with him about really keeping commitments because that is how we can progress in this life.  And that we can be joyful when we keep the commandments.   We also go by on ALOT  of people and see if they want to meet with us. 
This week, I was able to go on an exchange with our zone leader, and we had the greatest opportunity ever.  He recieved a call the night before from President Kosak, and he wanted to join us for our companionship study, and that was a great expierence.  I love seeing President Kosak and I always learn so much from him.  He really taught us about helping the missionaries to remember the basics.  Like how we should have a effective study time, and how we really can be effective when it comes to finding people on the street and talking to people.  I really enjoyed my time with him and I learned so much from him. 
I am glad to hear that the family is doing good back at home, and that everyone is taking their part to help.  How is everyone doing in the ward?  So, who are all these new people in the ward?  Anyone deciding to go on missions or what not?  It is really weird, but it is hard for me to think back on what it is like to be home.  I know that sounds really weird, but it just like I sit here and I try to imagine the streets or the high school, and it is really hard to think about it.  So how is everything going on at home? 
 
I love you all and my prayers have been with you back at home.  And I will start taking more pictures, because I know I can get better at doing that.  Love you all!

Elder Bretzing
This picture is all the youth from Meissen and we were all saying goodbye to each other.
 

Week 25- My first week in a big city again


Hello Family,                                                                                           1/19/2015

This week has been a different week, that is for sure.  I am not used to big cities anymore.  It is a major shift coming from a place where the city we were in had about 20000 people and now the area of one city that we live in has about 3 million people.  I have never seen soo many people, and some of them are soo young too.  And the weirdest of it all, is I hear english alot.  Like alot alot, from random people on the street. I am not used to that, and sometimes I have to stop myself from staring.  So it has definately been different.  I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me here, and I trust Him with this plan.  I was able to meet my companion on tuesday, Elder Stringham, who is actually from Fresno.  And I got to meet also the two other missionaries in our apartment, and this is actually their last transfer and they go home.  So they are trying to help us out alot because they might close their program here in Marzahn, but not us.  We will stay.  And then we also had a alot of appointments with investigators, whose names I really do not know right now, but I will be able to talk about them more as the weeks progress. 
 It has also been very different to be district leader.  It is just really weird being the youngest one on the mission and I am the district leader.  I still have no idea how to be a district leader, how not to step on toes, how to really help them.  So that is something I am currently handling and how to handle certain situations.  I also got to meet the ward here in Marzahn, and it is definately different as well.  I really grown attached to the other one, and because there was so few of them, I knew them personally, and it was weird to see about 100 new faces.  But at the same time, I always have the same expierence, everytime I enter into a new ward or branch as a missionary, I just get this feeling that everyone looks so familiar.  That I know them somehow. I have had this happen to me as I sat in church and some of the members looked so familiar that I felt I could just walk up to them and ask them how they have been since the last time I saw them.  So that was a cool expierence, to be able to expierence that again with some of the members here. 
 But other than that, I am still pressing forward.  I know that it has also only been one week, and as time progresses, things get easier.  If I could, I would recede back to my comfort hole of Meißen. But Heavenly Father does not want that for me.  He knows that this is a time I have to progress and to continue.  So I am sorry that this letter this week is pretty crappy, but I as I get a better hold of the city and as I get my bearings so to speak, then I will be able to write more, and take more pictures too.  But I would want to leave my testimony that I know how much God really cares for us.  He planned it all out, and He promises us a way and help throughout everything, if we follow His Son, His Example, and do the things that He has commanded us.  All of it is prepared for us, I believe firmly that it lies in how much we really want His help.  I know that when we line our wants and desires with what God wants and desires from us, that is when we can reach our fullest potential.  And I know that even I have so much progression to make.  But we have the best promises that can ever be promised to us, if we only follow Jesus Christ.  And that is something that I strive to do every day.  I love you all and you are never far from my prayers. 

With all the Love I possess,
Elder Bretzing

And my new address here in Berlin is Irenen Strasse 1, Berlin, Germany, 103713 (the area code I do not know if it is right, but we are living somewhere called Lichtenberg, in East Berlin.  So I will check the zip code next time.)

Week-24- Transfers came and I'm going to Berlin to be a district leader


Dearest Loving Family,

Well, this week has definately been a differnet one.  But I can go through my days and let you know what has happened in the Life of Elder Bretzing.

On Tuesday,  We were able to meet with Raju again and teach his son some more.  I do not know if I told you, but now his son is starting to have a lot of questions, and questions that can only come when he is searching on lds.org or in the Book of Mormon.  That was really great to see that and see his desire to come closer with his father.  We were not able to get our translator back for this week, so starting next week and the week after, the translator will be back and there can be some great progress seen there.  We also had a lesson scheduled for Rene and Uwe, however, due to Uwes health we were not able to meet.  But we still picked up rene and were able to have a great game of volleyball with him, and he absolutely loves the ward and the ward just takes him in and loves him.  But they are awesome.  

On Wednesday, It was filled with alot of time devoted to our English Class.  We were supposed to have a lesson with a new investigator, however, she forgot about our appointment.  We had the impression that we should call her and our member that we were going to meet at their house wíth, and when we did that, we found out that they were not able to meet that week and so we were able to reschedule for something next week.  So, we have decided that the English Class that we teach (which had a pause during Christmas time), that we really wanted to get the word out.  And so we went to all the stores and we hung up flyers anywhere that we could.  And we have already recieved a phone call from a lady that she wants to come to our English Class.  

On Thursday, we were able to switch some of our P-day time, and we were able to go to the Temple.  That was a great expierence, because the Temple in Freiberg will be closed for a year and a half while the add some more endowment rooms and make the celestial room bigger.  Alot of people here are very sad for its closing but excited for the reason why.  It will actually open back up in June of 2016, so that will be a great thing to be able to go see in that time when my mission will be over (lets just hope time doesnt go too fast between that).  And that was a great expierence.  I was able to also be able to go through and expierence it in German and wow that was cool.  It was something really well needed and I enjoyed the moment.  

On Friday, we were also able to have our Zone Conference and hear from Elder Kopischke, a general authority.  And that was great.  The way he taught us was incredible.  He really got me focused back on the basics and he all asked us if we had a question at the beginning of the meeting and to write it down.  And so I had a question that I really wanted answered and something that was on my mind for a while, and man he answered it GOOD.  It was really great and I know that my answer will help me be a better missionary and to help others come closer to Jesus Christ.  And I was able to recieve dads and grandmas paper.  And that was a great expierence, and I wanted to share it with President Kosak, and I am so happy to have it.  It raises my spirit to see them both smiling.

On Saturday, we had transfer calls.  Ok, are you ready..... I am being transferred to Berlin!  I will be working in Marzahn, the northeast part of Berlin.  I am so excited.  And I have also been called to be the District Leader there too.  That, I am a little nervous, but I do not let the nerves get to me.  There is about 10 missionaries in our district and just the difference between Meißen and Marzahn had me completely suprised.  But I am so excited to be able to serve in the big city and to be able to have that opportunity.  That has had me in a daze this entire time, I am so not used to such the change, but I am ready for it.  So tomorrow, I will be on the train going to Berlin.  I will also know my new address next week.  I am so excited.  Oh yea, and my new companions name is Elder Stringham and his family is from Fresno.  We also had the opportunity to go and teach an investigator named Herr Wihsfeld.  And with what we learned from Elder Kopsichke, we were able to apply that and man what a change we had.  

 

On Sunday, it was filled with all the goodbyes from the branch. I will miss them, and they are all really great.  We were just filled with member appointments on sunday when everyone found out that I was leaving.  They are a branch that without a doubt in my mind, I will see them all again.  

 

And that is my week.  And I really do not want to know about the lawsuit, only if I need to sign things.  I have sent an email to my mission president, but he probably wont read it until thursday or friday, but I have not told him anything other than there is a lawsuit and that my bishop will contact him.  I appreciate you wanting me to stay focused on the work here, and that is something that I want to do.  However, I will help in all things that I need to do.  I do not seem it to be hard to do the scans and what not with the mission presidents office about a 10 minute train ride away.  And I am glad that you are paying attention to what your body is telling you.  Please take it careful and be careful!  And here in Germany is all walking and riding buses, but mostly walking.  So start preparing now.  

 

I love you all with all my heart and you are never far from my prayers.  I know I say the same thing everytime, but I really mean it!  It puts a new view when Heavenly Father and Christ keep repeating things to us, or when we hear about the same things from the prophets and apostles, it is because they really mean it and they never want those to forget.  So I never want you to forget that you all are never far from my thoughts and are always in my prayers.  

 

Love,

Elder Bretzing

 

P.s. we will see how things go because I have become used to a small little town, and now I am going to the biggest city in all of Germany.  

Week 23- Sharing the Gospel with a Capri-sun


Hallo Loving Family,                                                                       1/5/15


I cannot believe that another week has come and gone.  Wow.  Time goes by really fast.  We have not had our transfer call yet.  We will recieve that this Saturday or Friday evening.  I am not certain what is going to happen, it is a good possibility that I leave and go somewhere else, however, we will see.  So if you send anything to me, please please please send it to the Mission Home and next week, I will let you know if I stay or go.  

 But there has alot that has happened this week.  Where to start off.... 

So, this week we were able to celebrate the New Year with a family in the branch, called the Berge's.  They invited us over, and we were able to eat some really good german food, and they come from south Germany, and alot of southern Germans know alot of english, so the entire time we were helping them practicing their german.  And it is really crazy here in Germany when it comes to fireworks, especially here in the East.  Because, everyone is able to go over and buy really cheap, but really loud fireworks from the Czech and from Poland to, so it was really loud.  No matter what time it was, even at 4 o clock to 4 o clock on January 2!  there was still fireworks going off.  It was pretty crazy.  And what alot of people or should I said teenage punks, is that they buy these fireworks that look like grenades, and they set them off and they throw them into parking lots, or sometimes when it gets crazy, they will throw them into the street.  So we made sure we stayed in our apartment during that time. 

There was also a really funny expierence and great one that happened to us this week.  So, normally, how we get around all the little villages that we go to, is by train.  We use the train almost every day.  And they are smart.  They put vending machines here and those things are like my kryptonite.  So we were at a train station, and I was really thirsty.  P.S. Capri-suns are like a big thing over here.  And I looked into the vending machine and this little girl next to me pointed out that there was a capri sun stuck in the machine.  And so I decided to try to loosen it by buying another capri sun.  So i got two capri suns for the price of one!  That is not the miracle, the miracle is that I decided that I did not need two, just one, and I asked the little girl if she would like the other one.  She looked very happy and said Yeah!  And the mother was standing there the whole time, and when she saw that we were nice, she started to talk to us.  We then brought up what we do and why we are here.  We came to find out that she actually met other missionaries, and that for some reason they lost contact.  But she was really interested and so we were able to give her our number with our address to our ward building and a book of mormon.  It was a great expierence, and it shows me how a little act of kindness can open doors and new opportunities.  We know a little bit about where she lives, but no where exactly, so this week I think we are going to go and try and find her.  I am pretty confident that we will either find her or she will call us back.  

Also, something great this week, is that we were able to find another translator for our investigator, Raju.  He was our Hindi investigator, and we met with him this last week and he made the decision that he wants to get baptized.  We were able to set him a date next month, and we will be working with him to help prepare him so he will be ready to make this commitment with Heavenly Father.  He is so excited and we have been teaching him how to pray properly and he says that he feels God whenever he prays now and he has a desire to return back to heavenly father.  So we will be working with him close this next week.  

The firsts have been tough for me here too.  And I truly understand when you have people that do not know what to say.  I still know that they love me and sometimes I have to be patient with them when they are trying to help me, but I know how that feels.  The best way that I have faced with it, is to just keep going forward, and to know that soon the firsts will get easier and easier to handle. 

But things have been going good here, tell me all about how people are doing back at home.  Kristina told me she was trying to come and see you, has she come yet?  Let me know about everything!

I love you all and I am grateful for all your prayers and you are never to far from my mind.

With all my love,
Elder Bretzing

Week -23 A letter from one of Pop's companion

Hello Robbin,
Thank you for your email.
I am intensely saddened at the news of Matt's accident and his passing. I am
so very sorry for your loss. Matthew was my friend, my brother, and my
beloved companion, the thought of him being gone breaks my heart. You should
know, that of all the companions I served with, Elder Bretzing was the best
and I loved him the very most. His service as a missionary was exemplary! He
loved the people and the Lord and he had a powerful testimony. Serving
together as Zone Leaders he saw to it that we worked hard, he loved the
Elders and Sisters in our zone and did all he could to help them be
successful missionaries. He was a dedicated missionary who loved to teach
others about the Gospel - he walked 50 mph and since we spent most of our
time proselyting door to door he literally wore me out trying to keep up! I
can't believe it has been almost 36 years since we served together.

Obviously, by choosing to stay, Drew is following in his father's missionary
footsteps, you be sure and tell him that I said his dad was the best of the
best. As a District Leader, Zone Leader and Assistant to the Mission
President, at one time or another, I worked with all the missionaries; so I
am not just saying that, I know it.

I have thought of him often and am grateful for the evening we enjoyed
dinner together at PF Chang's 15 or so years ago when I was in Newport for
some meetings. Regrettably, I have been traveling to Orange county
frequently these past few years and have often thought of Matt yet failed to
reach out to him again. Interesting how looking forward we always have
plenty of time to do things and then before we realize it the time is past.

Robbin, I remember you approaching me at the fund raiser for his brother a
few years ago at the Harley Dealership in Orem, I was grateful to make your
acquaintance and to talk to you briefly about Matt. Perhaps on one of my
next trips we could meet somewhere and you could tell me all about your
family. I searched for his obituary but only found a few references to the
accident. Would you be so kind and forward one to me.

Again, my heart breaks and I feel a profound personal loss knowing he is
gone. However, I know that God loves each of us and that He is kind and just
and merciful. I know that He has prepared a path for the salvation of all
His children and take great comfort in the knowledge that one day I will
enjoy Matt's company again.

Love to you and your family,

Tracy

Week-22


Guten Tag Liebe Familie,                                                                     12/29/2014
It is yet again another monday.  Haha there is not really that much to talk about because I already explained everything on Friday.  But I am grateful for everyones love and support to help me.  I do not worry for any of you back at home.  I know that you are being watched over.  I know that because not once have I worried about anyone back at home, and you can go on and on and on about how much I worry.  But none of that has been happening.  And there are some miracles happening on this side.  I just think the biggest thing I can think of, is my determination to stay out here.  I often think that with all that has happened, someone wants me to quit.  And I might have a long time ago.  But I found recieved so much strength that I do not even know where it is all coming from.  I know the only thing is that it is coming from all your prayers for me.  But the weeks have been getting better with time.  I have been able to refocus a little bit and get my head on straight. 

We also recieved alot of snow! so there is snow here now in Meißen, which is really funny because that is always for debate is how much snow we get.  We probably have about a good foot or 2.  And it is nothing like idaho snow.  It is soft and nice, but cold on my toes.  So this week I am going to buy some more thicker socks. 
And this week we will be able to spend our New Years Eve with a great family from Stuttgart.  And Stuttgart was part of the American Sector so we think they will be celebrating a little american style.  I say that because they are the only family that when we come over, they have american stuff.  For Example, Germany (prepare yourself)  DOES NOT believe in peanut butter M&Ms.  I know, Shock!  But they always have a bowl of those ready for us.  And I usually gorge them down. 
We also recieved a little more news about our new mission president, not from our mission president.  Someone in our branch just started talking to us about him and they know who he is. I will disclose more information when President Kosak announces it.  But we will find out more about him this week. 
Well, I love you all with my whole heart and before I know it, the next monday will be here and we will be emailing again.  But! LOVE YOU

Liebe Grüß
Elder Bretzing

Week 21- What I learned this Christmas


Guten Morgen Liebe Familie,


Well, it has been another great and wonderful week here in Meißen.  And it was a wonderful christmas week as well.  As I sit here writing you, it turns out, that Christmas came just a little late, and we have a think layer of snow on the ground.  But it has been a great time this past christmas week, with some great expierences.  
 
Due to the Christmas time, and Germans love to just celebrate whenever they can, procelyting was really hard this week.  Whenever we saw people on the street, it was them getting out of their car or the bus and walking 10 feet to the house next to them, full of food in their hands.  So they were not too excited to sit and talk to us for a while.  But were able to get some things done this week.
 
On Tuesday, the night before Heilige Abend, we were able to spend that time with our two investigators, Rene and Uwe.  You probably hear about them the most, because I have been teaching them ever since I came here in Meißen.  Uwe has expressed his desire that we would like to be baptized again, but finds reasons not too.  I feel that he is alittle scared of this change in his life and I feel that he feels we wont be able to do it.  So we have been working with him as hard as we can, and this week, we decided to focus alittle more about the Birth of Christ.  We were able to read with him the story of the Birth of Christ and we were also able to watch Joy to the World with him and Rene.  And while I was sitting there, watching Joy to the World on probably one of the most smallest colorless tv's with only a candlelight to shine in the room at the time, and the tiny little christmas tree in the corner, I felt the most calming Spirit.  I was so grateful at that moment that I am here, able to serve these people.  I could easily be home right now and celebrate christmas with you, but to be here and help those and love them that are learning more and more about their Savior and how they can better have Him in their lives, has been such a great blessing.  You could tell that the Spirit was there.  I know that Uwe has a long way to go with his conversion process, but I know that the Spirit testified to him that night, as it did I, that the Savior knows him.  That He loves him and is willing to be patient with him.  
 
We were then invited over by my branch president, President Vogler, to his house for Heilige Abend.  But first, we were able to go and sing at a retirement home with the whole Ortlieb/Vogler family.  That was great and it was great to see the branch giving back to their community there.  The thoughts were a little overwhelming because all I could think then was about Grandma.  I know that she is with me now and she is not too far from me.  We then were able to go back to their house and celebrate Christmas German style.  In Germany, they open all their presents the night before on Christmas Eve and then they gather around as a family, and certain family members have things or stories prepared to share with the family.  And we had a very German meal with Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, and Kartoffeln.  Very German.  But delicious.  And we were able to spend time and get to know their family alot better and enjoy the time with each other.  
 

On Christmas Day, we were invited over to have christmas with the Williams Family.  And so we also were able to expierence a British Christmas Dinner.  We were all given a big giant chicken, with vegtables, potatoes, bacon wrapped sausages, and so on.  And British people go all out.  They have confetti, little table presents, and they have witzcakes (joke cookies, not fortune cookies).  We were also able to spend time with them and went on a very German tradtion, go on walk around the city.  They were a great family to spend christmas day with.  We had a lot of fun and were able to share with them a great message about Christmas.  And then we had skype, but you already know that, and that was a blast.  I had alot of fun getting to see everyone and see the smiles on all their faces.  

 And now we come to today, were we are again invited over to an Ortlieb house to spend the second day of Christmas with them.  So we will have fun their tonight.

I love you all.  I am so happy that I was able to see you and I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas.  If there is one thing that I have learned during this Christmas season, is that Jesus Christ is truly our Peace on Earth.  I know that through Him, and through our faith on Him, can we find and feel peace and joy during this time, no matter what the circumstance can be (trust me when I say that).  And that this wonderful time we expierence during Christmas, can be ours throughout the rest of the year.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior.  I know that he expierenced everyone of my pains and afflictions.  He expierenced everyones pains and afflictions, even those who at the moment may reject Him.  Becuase He loves us.  All of us.  And with this great and wonderful plan of salvation that we have, we may find joy and peace that our goal on this earth is to expierence joy, obtain exhaltaion and return to our father in Heaven.  

 I wish you all a wonderful christmas time, and my prayers are for you.  Thank you so much for your prayers, they give me strength during each and every hour that I am here.


With all my Love,
Elder Bretzing

Market place at Christmas


 

Week 20- Christmas in Meissen




Caroling in the town square of Messien


Listening to long ago Christmas (DDR times)

Best Christmas Sweater EVER!!!

Caroling at a Retirement home in Messien

Oh the beauty of the castles and the snow

Street corner by our apartment

looking out our apartment window


Branch president's family

Merry Christmas everyone (2014)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 19- Blog from his companion to home


This came from Elder Schmalz letter home to his family, he writes:

So this week I turned 19 but that wasn't the biggest thing that happened this week. On the 13th we woke up to a phone call from our mission president and we were told to be in Berlin by 3:00pm. It took five hours of train rides and walking through cities we didn't know why but we made it to Berlin. The whole reason for the call and the rush to get to the city was some sad new, Elder Bretzing found out that his dad had passed away in a car accident on the 12th.. my birthday.
He was able to skype his family for a few hours and that helped him to decide to stay on his mission. Elder Bretzing is a stud. Can you all keep him in your prayers this week? You can also shoot him an email and tell him how awesome he is!
While my companion was skyping with his family the office Elders gave me a tour of Berlin and I got to see all of the sights. Loved it!!! When we returned President asked me to help give Elder Bretzing a blessing. the spirit was soooo strong. yesterday we go driven back to Meissen and President Kosak attended church with us.


My sister found this blog and shared it for me. upon returning home from the funeral she felt compelled to send a note to his blog site, here is what was said:

You don't know me and I hope commenting on this blog site is not inappropriate. My Name is Denise Newhouse and I am Elder Bretzing's Aunt. I live in a different state than my sister and her family. I went looking the other day on the internet about my brother in laws accident and Google brought me to this site. I cried as I read it and knew instantly that i had to share it with my sister and my nephews.
It brings them such comfort to know that Elder Bretzing is with such a caring and amazing companion during this difficult time.
We just wanted to say thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. Merry Christmas to your family.


This is so sweet to hear Denise. I just want to scoop your entire family into a big hug. I am so sorry. Just know that you have been in our thoughts and in every prayers, especially that sweet Elder that is so far away from home and his family. I am so proud that my son could have such an awesome trainer and companion. WOW! what an example to all of us. Merry Christmas. so proud of that young man.

Week 19- Pops passing

Elder Bretzing recieved word on Saturday 12/13/2014 that his father was killed in a car accident. Our prayers 24 hour prior would be that Drew would remain steadfast to the calling to be a missionary for that was what we told him. "Should anything happen to us while you are gone, where you are is where we want you" Never in my wildest dream did I ever think I would have to back those words.
 
 
Hello Loving Mother, 

Well there is nothing new that you do not know.  It was great to skype with everyone and to be able to talk and relax for a bit.  We were able afterwards to walk around Berlin and see some of the sights.  Berlin is crazy huge.  I do not particularly like it since I am so used to Meißen and the size of it.  And then my mission president picked us up and we drove all the way back to Meißen, for our Sacrament meeting.  I was trying to prepare myself the entire time to see them again.  They are my family here.  And I am so grateful to be there with them.  I will be honest, there were times where I just cried with them too.  But it has been going as good as it can right now.  I do not know how to explain it but somewhere I am recieving strength.  It never once crossed my mind that I would be going home, or that was even an option.  And I feel that it is still not an option.  (Funny story to that, after we had skyped, I was able to sit with President and Sister Kosak and eat some waffles with ice cream, the best by the way, and President Kosak asked me if we need to discuss me staying in the mission.  And without hesitation, after he asked me if I want to stay, and I replied, OH HECK YEA.  President Kosak did not know how to translate that into German, and so when he realized what it meant, he just started laughing.) There is work to be done here.  Sometimes, I do not know how I am going to do it, but I think once I start throwing myself back into the work that I will be able to do it.

So what did president kosak say to Bishop?  I knew he called him because he asked about his imformation, and in that President Kosak way, he turned and said, Good.  I will call him.  So I would be very curious to know what he said.  And if you feel that I should not know, then that is ok too.  President Kosak has been really good for me now.  He was able to give me a blessing and in that blessing, I was able to find some direction for right now.
 

On Thursday, we had a zone conference.  As we were sitting there, before the testimony portion started and we even knew that there was going to be a testimony meeting, I felt this impression to share my testimony about families and seeing them after this life.  That I would talk about losing my grandmother and uncle in the past 6 months.  And then when the time came to have a testimony meeting, I felt that same feeling again, almost coupled with the racing heart beating, and I knew that I had to give my testimony, but I did not know why.  I did not know who was it for, and it wasnt until I started to think about it, that that was for me.  That I would be able to remember that words and testimony I bore for this time now.  Because I still believe it.  I still believe that those who have crossed the veil are still helping me and us now.  That they are not to far away.  I feel that as I have been all the way across the world, they are still in my thoughts more.  And sometimes, this peace enters my mind and for a small moment, I feel a warm, homelike feeling.  And I believe that is them.  I know that they are also listening to us and, from what bishop spoke about, learning from us too.  For that reason, I cannot give up yet.  
 

I really cannot pick out only one memory from dad.  There are many that come back to me that I would love to share.  If anything that I really could share, is what I learned watching him so many years.  Something that I always can remember is the feeling I had when either my mom or dad were not home.  As I was younger, I would be scared out of my mind when they were not home.  Sometimes, I would pace around all the rooms, and look out the same window about 30 times in 5 minutes to see when their car would pull up.  And when it was my dad who came home, there was not to much said at the front door, or too many feelings shared, but I was able to relax and calm down.  We would be able to sit in the same room and watch a movie that we may have watched 30 times over, but it was always this feeling of warmth or safety that I enjoyed the most.  Being able to be calm and relax with my parents.  And I can say that I still have that feeling.  Sometimes, that is how I know that he is close to me.  When appointments fall out, or when I accidentally book two appointments at the same time, or anything that makes me stress.  But I feel a sense of peace and calm and strength to go throughout my days.

 I love you all and I am so grateful for all those who are supporting my family right now and being able to hug and crack the stupid jokes that I cannot do right now.  Well, I could crack the stupid jokes, but I do not know how people would like my sense of German humor.

 I love you and you are all in my prayers.  I am grateful for those who I am in their prayers.  I cannot wait for our time to skype on Christmas and get to see everyone again.

With all my love,
Elder Bretzing

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Week 18


Hello Loving Family, 

I dont not understand why but the weeks just keep on going faster and faster.  I cannot believe that christmas is only two weeks away!   

But anyways, alot happened this week and alot didnt, but let me explain.  On friday, I woke up about 2:30 in the morning with a crazy weird back pain (it was not a growth spurt or anything).  When 6:30 rolled around, I couldnt even get out of bed.  I come to find out from one of our members that it is something, I do not know the word in English, but something to do with your muscle or nerve tightening due to the cold.  So I was on bedrest for the whole day.  I AM DOING BETTER NOW. DO NOT WORRY.  Some of our members were great!  They were able to go to the store for me and buy all the medicine I needed.  And they found this creme that is about 100x hotter than icyhot.  I thought someone was standing behind me the whole day with a torch against my back!  And the worst of it all was that we had alot to do on Friday.  But, I do not focus on the negative but only the positive.  We were able to make out some appointments for the upcoming week and reschedule what we needed to.   

One really good lesson that we had was with one of our new investigators, Herr Wihsfeld.  He used to be an oldinvestigator, but we went through our area book about last week, and found him and asked him if he wanted to meet with us again, and he said yes.  We then scheduled out an appointment with him and asked a member to come with us as a joint teach.  Man that will be a lesson I cannot forget.  It was such a testimony builder for me that the Lord even helps prepare our members that come with us!  Elder Schmalz and I were discussing before the lesson if we should invite him to be baptized, for we read his record, and it looks like he believes in the Book of Mormon and that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  So we started to throw back and forth this idea of inviting him to be baptized.  We came to the conclusion that if the Spirit guided us to do so, that we would.  And at the beginning of our lesson with him, he started going off on the random tangent about evolution.  And I have no idea how to talk about that in German!  But, our member that was there was able to pull the attention back to what we were talking about.  And she gave a wonderful testimony, and it was like she was going to almost invite him to be baptized!! Elder Schmalz and I were so convinced that she was going to invite him, (and I am sitting there the whole time just thinking, what is going on?  How is it that our member is going to invite him and not us???)  and Elder Schmalz kneed me pretty good in the leg and that is when I got the loudest thought in my head, invite him!  It is really hard to explain how the lesson went.  We left with him to pray and ask Heavenly Father if baptism is something that he needs to do for him.  But that entire lesson was completely led by the Spirit.  I am really excited to meet with him again this week.

We have also been trying to find other ideas how to find people during the Christmas time.  It has become somewhat harder, during the Christmas time to find people on the street.  Almost everyday is a holiday here and they go to all the Weihnachtsmarkt and just sit and talk and drink coffee.  So it has been hard to stop people on the street and talk to them.  But I try to keep my hopes high.  This week is going to be a great week and I am looking forward to it.   

I recieved a package with two things from Jeff, and Jon Wans picture.  The kid is a stud.  Also, we have a zone conference this week on thursday so I will find out if the package arrived or not.  

The money, I usually withdraw money on Mondays, but to be honest, sometimes it is hard for me to remember when I pull it out. I will make sure to only pull out money on mondays.  It is always from ATMs too, so it is never a credit or debit transaction.  

Anyways, I love you all and I make sure you all stay close to me in my prayers. 

With all my love,
Elder Bretzing

Week 17- learning I cannot keep myself down, must push forward


Hello Beloved Family, 12/1/2014
We have learned today from our mission president that there is no weeks of "ups and downs," just "forward or backward."  So in that, I will say that this week was at a standstill.  It has been tough to teach people and help them make these big steps in their lives.  But I will go over my week.
This week about 80% of our appointments all fell out.  Either people were sick, not home, or because of the holidays.  And now, with the time change and the winter season, nightfall comes around 4 o'clock at it is really hard to talk to people on the streets at night.  We actually get semi yelled at because we were talking to someone too late at night (it was 4:30).  So I am still trying to find out how to really make good use of my time at night when that happens.  I am looking forward to this week with all the hope I have, and the rest I get from the Lord.  We were also able to get back into contact with old investigators that I have not even been able to meet with, and so we actually were able to make out alot of those appointments through that as well.  So this week helped us go forward as well. 
We had a lovely church service this Sunday, and President Kosak was there because Sister Kosak is childhood friends with members of our branch, so that was really fun.  I love him, but sometimes they intimidate me.  And during his talk in Sacrament meeting, he basically told everyone that after christmas, I am being transferred.  So everyone started to laugh and now people come up to me and are saying things like, "well, now you really need to come over to our house before you leave."  or they all said goodbye to me.  It will be hard for me to leave Meißen, but I know there are places out there that I need to be.  But my work is not yet done in Meißen and I will make sure that I am working up until that moment I get on the train to go somewhere else. 
We had to say goodbye to one of our investigators this week.  He is this really nice old man, but his family got really upset at us and it was hard to say goodbye to him.  He has not really been progressing with the gospel, because of his age, but it always made his day when we saw him and met with him. 
If there is anything I learned from this week, is that I cannot keep myself down.  I cannot afford to let my mind go to that place of dissappointment.  This week was really tough, and I really have not yet figured out how to make it better, but I learned that no matter what, I need to keep pushing forward.  I cannot give up.  There are people out there that are searching for this gospel.  I probably will not be the one that baptizes them, but it is not about me.  It is about them.  And if I am not doing my best, making sure that I am obedient and diligent in all that I am doing, then I will not find them.  And that has been something that I learned.  And that prayer always help.  But not to just pray in my time of need, but in my time of joy and in my time of comfort and stillness.  And to smile.  To find something that I am joyful about and keep that in the back of my mind. 

I am glad to hear the story about Scott. I remembered you telling me that he was inactive and I do not want to tell Brother Williams and I feel it will be better if Scott tells him.  If you want to tell him anymore, tell him that Phill and Silka are still married and they have 3 children.  Two sons and a daughter.  They are the best family.  We are actually going over to their house for christmas and so we will be able to skype from their house.  But Brother Williams is really looking forward to getting back into contact with him and when it is ok with Scott, if you can send me his information or anything that they could get into contact with each other.  And it was really a great feeling to be able to sit in his house and see the happiness that this family has, and to think that someone I was related too was able to help in that.  That was great. 
The crematorium was by far super fun, if that doesnt sound weird.  I have no idea how he got the job, but I do not think I would be able to do that. 
Well, I love you all and I will definately keep a look out for the mail.  I have a present for Dad for his birthday and when you recieve it, you will have to ask everyone if they want something like that.  I cannot say too much but you will see when it gets there.  And please let him know that he has not emailed me for a while and I am waiting for his email.
I love you all with all my heart, and you are always in my prayers

Love,
Elder Bretzing

 

Week 16- Is Elder Sanders related to us?


Hello Loving Family,  11/24/2014

This week has been going by super fast, I am trying my best to hold onto the coat-tails of time.  This week has had its ups and downs.  So I will start with some of the ups. 

We had an appointment with one of our investigators who lives about 2 hours away (still in our area) by train.  His family is from Africa, and he met the missionaries before me and now we have been able to be teaching him.  We invited him to baptism last week, well to pray about it to see if that is something that he wants to do.  And when we arrived this week, he started to tell us that he did not pray about it, that he thought it through and it is something that he does not want to do.  As I sat there, feeling a little discouraged, I knew that this lesson would have to be all by the spirit and that I would have to join in the conversation at one point, because my companion started to reteach him the first lesson and why it is important for us to be baptized.  Almost at that moment, it was as if the Spirit took hold of the entire lesson and we were able to talk to them about their concerns and their misunderstandings that were not clarified earlier.  At the end of the lesson, he said that he would pray again and that this next week, he will tell us his answer.  And I feel completely confident that I am doing what the Lord wants me to do.  If he still chooses not to be baptized, I know that it is his decision and that I have done my best.  So it was a down-then-uper. 

We have been struggling with some of our investigators and really figuring out what their needs are.  Most of our investigators will not come to church.  That is our biggest struggle.  It seems like we talk about that almost every visit that we have with them, and when sunday rolls around, they decide not to come.  I have not been able to figure that out, but I am not discouraged.  I know that I can be able to find it, I just really need to excersise patience with myself and with my investigators.   

Elder Schmalz and I are getting better. my main focus to let him know that I love him and that I am here for him.  I have been learning alot about patience and to stick in there.  However, we have been setting some really good goals, and have been opening up more to each other and really accepting each other.  So I do not want you to worry about me.  I work on it every day.   

The language has still been going good.  I think right now I am in that phase where I am starting to think in German, and sometimes it frustrates me.  I am grateful that I am starting to progress and that the Lord has blessed me with the language, but it makes my mind run 100x faster trying to think of the words in ENGLISH.  It is a really hard thing to explain.  I am grateful for all the help I recieve, but I am so happy when bedtime comes that I can just sleep and not have to think.  Even though some of my dreams are now in German too.   

We also had a great dinner with the Williams family.  They are a great and interesting family.  Brother Williams is an Englishmen, and his wife is a native German.  His kids know both English and German, and he speaks fluent German as well.  P.S. Englishmen are hilarious.  I absolutely love this branch!  It is going to be really hard to leave them.  They are all like family.    

I have another homework assignment for you!!!! Did your cousin, Gregs brother serve a mission in Germany? I thought you told me that one of your cousins were in Germany.  If so, ask him about if he served in Bielefeld, in West Germany.  And ask him if he baptized a man named Phil Williams?  That is our 2nd counselor in the branch presidency.  We had dinner with him and he told us his story and he said that an Elder Sanders baptized him.  He thinks his name is Scott .  He came from California.  If so, Brother Williams would love to get back in contact with him. 

And today, was probably a great day to unwind.  Our branch president, a really funny guy named Präsident Vogler, invited us over to his work to see what he does.  He works at the Meißen Creamatorium.  IT WAS SO COOL!!!  He works with all these really burly just you would think they are striaght up German men, and there is our happy, little president with them.  And he showed us all the ovens where they cook the dead bodies (we actually saw one being cooked)  and showed us how they work with the bodies and what not.  I do not know why, but non of it creeped me out.  It was pretty cool.  I felt like I needed to bathe my hands in sanitizer the entire day, but it was really fun.  I will not go into anymore details (for this is much more) but it was really fun.  

For Thanksgiving, there is a family that is inviting us over for dinner next sunday, but that is about it.  If anything, everyone has just gone straight to christmas.  Oh, you would love it.  Germany during christmas is herrlich (glorious).  Everyone is busy getting all their shops and christmas decorations up and getting ready for that holiday.  BUT, it makes me appreciate thanksgiving more and I keep telling Elder Schmalz that we are not listening to Christmas music until AFTER thanksgiving is past.   

And yes, I was able to buy a jacket.  I am slowly adding more and more to my winter collection.  Which by the way, how is my bank account looking?  do i need to stop spending money?  I have no idea where i stand there and I feel that I have spent alot.   

I want you all to know that I am really happy right now.  Even through trials.  It is my happiness in this work and that I am able to take this time and be here in Germany, that helps me tackle one day at a time.  And I know that Heavenly Father is watching over me.  He does not give any commandments without preparing a way for those to keep them.  And when we keep those commandments, is when we find our true joy and happiness.  I know that I have such a great support from back at home.  I feel the strength of your prayers and they help each and every day. 

I love you all, and I am excited for this upcoming month and week, because there are great times ahead for Germany, and I am honored and humbled to know that I can take part of that.    

With all my love,
Elder Bretzing

Week 15


Hello Loving Mother and Family, 

The weeks do go by way to fast and I do not like it.  It feels like I am running to catch my time and I have no idea where it is all going.  This week has been another good week full of learning, patience, and prayer. 

On tuesday, we were able to go on an exchange, and I went with a new elder in our district, named Elder Schouten.  He is a pretty cool guy.  He goes back home to utah on December 6, so it was nice to spend time with him.  He is a great cook and a really nice guy.  The thing that I really liked about him, was how focused he was.  He leaves for home in nearly three weeks, yet he was still focused.  He was the one talking to everyone and making sure we were getting to all our things on time.  I was very impressed with him and it left me with a good impression for when I am that old on my mission, even though that is two lifetimes away.  We were also able to meet with Rene and Uwe and they have told us in the past interview that they can see themselves being baptized, which is great! They are very hesitant to set a baptismal date, so we are still working with them on that.  They have the hardest time coming to church and we keep talking about church attendance with them, and I just havent been able to see yet what is keeping them back or why they do not want to come.  We also had a great lesson with a Frau Meiwald and we spoke to her about baptism too.  She is the sweetest lady and she does not know yet how she fits in with the church and so we have been working with her to help her.  We also have been teaching an English Class, and unfortunately, we only have 2 people that are attending.  If we do not find more people, we will have to close it down for a while and open it back up next year.  We also were able to get back into contact with alot of our old investigators and we have been able to get more appointments with them, so we have been keeping ourselves really busy here.   

I am still getting use to being the one using my German.  I have definately seen a change in how much german I am able to speak with people and especially with members.  Which is great because I absolutely love the people here in our branch. They have been like family to me, and are all great.  WHICH REMINDS ME:  My branch has been getting on my case about not having family photos!! So if you could send me family photos ASAP, that would be great!  We were promised another eating appointment with our branch president if I bring pictures.  They were all shocked to hear that I did not bring any. (Pictures with the whole family, and anything else you decide too, and maybe the dog) 

The only place here that I have been struggling with is the training. My main concern, is I hope that he can trust me as his trainor and that he knows that I am here for him and that I love him.  My prayers always include that I may be more patient with myself and just express more love.  We have really been able to express our feelings in companionship inventory, and I hope that we grow together and stronger as a companionship.  I really do love him.  Elder Schmalz is a great missionary and I hope that we can both appreciate each other and want to help each other. 

Ok so down to other business.  I have no idea the exact amount of weight I have lost, due to the kilogram thing, but it is probably around 40 pounds.  And I have been told by Elder Schouten, that it will only get higher in winter, when my body is producing more heat.  I am eating!! I promise!  It is just all this madness with walking and Sachsen is known for its hills.  I have been looking for a new suit, the problem is in the European sizes, it is really hard to find a suit for me.  But I am looking and I am trying to find one for cheap.  I will let you know if anything comes up.  And is the hair really that long?  Apparently that is the whole style here and I have gotten used to it, I might get some more cut off this week. I tell everyone in my branch that all my brothers lost their hair on their missions, and then they always look at me and I tell them everytime, Dont worry, I checked this morning, everything is still there.  Everyone in Germany is just fascinated with all the hair I have and I have no idea why.  It is kinda creepy sometimes.  Guarenteed in a lesson, they will mention something about it. 

And the train strikes are such a pain.  The last the weekend every now and again.  And I hope that they do not happen any more.  We are really dependant on our trains and when they go out, most of our appointments fall out and we are stranded in Meißen. 

Well, everything is going good here, and I am so grateful for all your prayers and support back from home.  I know that I recieve strength from your prayers.  I want to let you all know that I am praying for everyone back at home and I have felt assured that everything will be ok.  

With all my love,
Elder Bretzing

Week 14


Hey Mom, 

Another fast week.  I cannot believe how the time goes by.  And this week has been even crazier now that I am the trainer.  It has been a long week getting over my insecurites about the language.  I almost dreaded every moment using our phone and having to talk to people.  But I know for me personally, I came to the conclusion that if I do not talk to them, then no one will.  So it was one of those moments that you have to take a deep breath and just do it.  And I have found confidence in my speaking abilities.  I am still no where near proficient, however, I am able to ask people questions to figure out what they are trying to say and what not.  So that has been a major hurtle this week.   

It was also a week of alot of street contacting.  Because of a massive train strike that Germany had in the past few days, we were left stuck in Meißen, and alot of our important appointments fell out.  So, we hit the streets.  We tried talking to people with the German that we have, and no luck.  We came to realize that we are not using our full finding potential.  We were just going around day after day and asking the same question to every person, and we came to a conclusion that we were laking some variety.  We were given by our mission president, a whole list of ways to find people on the street, and that is going to be a more major focus on this upcoming next week.   

As for the training, it is going.  I think I am learning just as much as Elder Schmalz is.  It has been getting some used to, while I am very normal to a companion that is outgoing and laughing and always have a joke to tell, and Elder Schmalz is a quite, reserved person.  But as we come to get to know each other during the coming days, we are able to open up more to each other and are able to be a better companionship.   

Something that was really fun, was a dinner appointment that we had a few days ago.  We had dinner with an old couple called the Ortliebs, and they are just wonderful.  It was funny to see how they try to relate or speak with Elder Schmalz and then look to me for translation. But they are a bunch of fun.  When we come back to visit, that is a family that you have to meet.  They are by far a great family.   

Well that was my week, I love you all and you are all not far from my prayers.  Tell dad to watch out for the mail from now till two weeks.  I have no idea when mail and packages come from. 

Love,
Elder Bretzing

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Week 13- Becoming a Trainer not a Trainee anymore


Hello Loving Family,

 This week has by far been one of the craziest weeks I have had!  I have no idea where to begin:  Might as well start from the beginning

 Elder Larsen was transferred to Pinneberg, on Tuesday morning.  It was tough to say goodbye.  He has been the missionary I could count on almost every day that I have been out on my mission (you know, besides the best, Father in Heaven and His Son and the family back at home of course).  But it will be really weird not having him around anymore.  When I put him on the train, we had a bunch of missionaries with us so I was goofying off and putting my hand on the window, saying goodbye, and fogging up the window and making hearts, you know, the usual.  He even wanted me to run after the train, but that did not happen.  Then  after he left, I got a big surprise... since the new missionaries do not come until thursday, I got to spend two days again with Elder Wirthlin!! That by far was super fun and I had a blast.  It was really weird to have him again as a companion and to be teaching with him.  Then the day came: Thursday.  Man was that really weird.  We all met in Berlin where we were in July when we came.  Talk about memory lane.  And it was great to see all the progress since.  I was able to see most of my old district in the MTC and that was great too.  It was just really weird moment being in the shoes of the trainer instead of the trainee.  His name is Elder Schmalz.  He is from Saratoga Springs, Utah, and is 18 years old.  He is a pretty bold guy and I am not quite used to that yet, but he is great.  It has been really funny to see him looking to me when someone speaks to us.  And to just imagine that I was in his shoes not too long ago.  He is a really nice guy and I hope that I am helping him enjoy his time here.  He is really not used to just two missionaries in one area so that has been a challenge for him to know that it is just me and him in our area.  But he has a strong testimony and is really determined.  I think our time here is going to be great and I know that with prayer, it is all possible.  The language is not too scary for me anymore.  I have gotten to the point that I can follow a steady conversation.  It is just when people go into their hobbies they lose me.  so I will be in Meißen for christmas.  It is also weird to think for 1/4 of my mission, will be spent in east germany.  But I love meißen.  The members here are great.  And the work is going well.  We as a mission have a goal to have 125 baptisms by the end of the year.  That means about 1 baptism per compaionship.  So that has been a major focus.  We have some people here that I know they are ready.  We are going to invite some of them this week.  One is Rene and Uwe.  About two weeks ago, they shared with us that baptism is a goal for them, that they can see themselves there.  So, this week we are going to try to set a goal and a date to be able to achieve that vision.  We also have a wonderful African family in our area, that I have come to find out that the husband actually preaches the Book of Mormon to all his friends and tries to show them the similarities between the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  So we are also hoping to be able to extend the invitation this week as well.  I really believe in our mission goal.  And I want to be able to do all my part to help with it.  And Elder Schmalz will help me with it as well.  We are also been able to get back into contact with alot of old investigators, and finding new ones during the week.  So I am very hopeful for the people of Meißen.  I have grown to love them. 

 I am glad to hear that everyone is doing good back at home.  I was able to bear my testimony this week in our branch and it was a great feeling to tell them that I know that I will be with her again and that this life is not the end.  And I truly believe that.  And I almost feel that this is giving me strength.  It has been such a wonder to witness how much people can relate.  I have already had many members in the ward shower me with love and support.  And we were able to speak with a man on saturday on the street and he began to tell us that he lost his family as well.  And I feel like that I can be able to help him.  That we can help and support each other.  And I know that she is with me now.  She is the one that gives me strength and helps me pressing forward. 

Pictures are on the way! I am sorry that it keeps taking me so long to send them but I will make sure to get them out this week.  And so apparently that is the style in Germany.  It is hard when you cannot communicate with the hair style lady, when she is talking about centimeters and what not with a different measuring system and what not, so I just kind of let them do what they want with my hair. (the funny part about that is all the 80 year old ladies in Meißen like to stop me and compliment me on it, so....) 
 
I love you all back at home and you are all in my prayers and thoughts,


With all the love that I have,

Elder Bretzing





 

Week 12- Zone Temple Trip





Week 11-Grandma's Passing


Hey Everybody,
 

I recieved a phone call from my mission president yesterday about the news.  It was pretty hard to hear, and after a long time of praying, I know that she is at peace.  Something that my mission president said is that she is probably more closer to me now than when she was back at home.  And I believe that.  I do not know where it came from, but I have been recieving alot of strength this last day.  I believe in this church.  I know that it is true.  Heavenly Father has laid out such a great plan for us to return back to Him, and after this life, I just know that we will see our loved ones. I feel it.  I pray now that everyone back at home is recieveing the same strength that I have recieved.  I will miss her alot, but I know that she will be helping me from the other side.

 
So tell me about Kevins surpirse party?  How was it, was he really surprised?  Tell him that I have a little souviner that I bought for his birthday that I think he will really like but I am a little worried sending it, while I have been sending letters to people and no one has recieved them yet.  
 

As of news this week, so we got our transfer calls and my mission president said that I will be a trainer.  It is a little nerve racking to think that he wants me to train someone, when I do not even have the language completely mastered.  But I have been trying my hardest not to worry about it.  When the Lord wants us to do something, he prepares us a way to accomplish it.  

 
I hope everyone recieves the strength they need this week.  I love you all and I am praying for everyone of you while I am here.  I love you all with all my heart, and I know that even though I cannot be there with you right now, my heart is not to far from home.  

 I love you all,

Love,

Elder Bretzing

Week 10


Hello Family,


Yup, another week. It is always weird to sit here and write letters because that is me admitting the fact of how fast the time flies. 


This week has gone by really fast.  And what makes our week go by super fast is exchanges.  I went on exchange this week with our District Leader, and he recieved his birthday presents that day so it was fun to watch him open his package.  For exchanges, I was able to stay in Freiberg.  It is always great to go to the Temple's area.  So the Freiberg missionaries have a few investigators and they usually play basketball with them, and so the best part about the exchange was we were going to go and play with them, and they didnt show up.  So, instead, I ended up shooting some hoops and this little boy rides up on his bike and just sits and watches me play basketball.  It is great to know that I can understand about 80% of what he was saying. And out of know where, he would ride away, cuz his dad told him too, and then ride back and just sit and talk to me.  I do not know how to truly explain it, but it was just a sweet moment to know that this little kid wasnt intimidated to talk to me. 

This week, we were also able to get into contact with a former investigator, a family from Africa that have been in Germany for about 15 years.  The best part about it, is that WE CAN SPEAK IN ENGLISH WITH EACH OTHER!!!!! It was great, the first time we called them, the first words out of his mouth were, "Hey, how are you doing."  Germans do not say that.  And so we have an appointment with them this week and I am pretty excited for that. 

Also, a milestone, is that I am no longer a trainee. This is the last week of the transfer, and we are assuming that Elder Larsen is being transferred, but we have no idea yet.  For all we know, he can stay.  It has been a milestone for me to look back and to see the progress.  Now, it is much easier for me to understand what people are saying.  And it is really funny to think that certain people I had no idea what they said, when I first got here, that I can understand them alot better now.  It is a little scary to think that I may not have my trainer anymore, in fact, I could be a trainer, but I do not let it get to myself. 

 
I am sorry to hear about Grandma and it is great to hear that Jeff is really stepping in and helping her out.  Definately, you all are in my prayers and you are not far from my heart. 

 
Until Next Time,
Love always,
Elder Bretzing

P.S. - I have pictures to send, but I have not recieved emails from everyone for a while (I.E. Dad, Jeff, Kevin, Chad)  So I do not know if I could send them out until I recieve some emails.

Week 9


Hey Mom,
Another fast week has gone by.  It is crazy to think that I have been on my mission for almost 4 months.  I have no idea where this time is all going.  I think I will start with the blessings from this week this time.

We went finding on Tuesday, and because of our schedule, we only had time to go finding for about 30 mins, and then we had an appointment afterwards.  We were just walking out of our apartment and I was thinking, should we start talking to people now, or wait till we get closer to the middle of the city.  As what the heck.... lets start now.  That is what we were thinking at the time and we decided to talk to this one lady, one of our neighbors, and she just talked our heads off!!! She used all 30 mins that we had to go finding.  I was trying to interrupt her and at least ask if we could set up an apointment or what not, but she just kept talking.  Eventually, she ran out of things to say and so we were able to give her our card and then we had to run to our next appointment.  Well, the best part, was that she called us back on Sunday.  We had no idea who she was when she called us, and she asked if we could meet up that day.  So we had a good meeting with her on Sunday, able to leave a Book of Mormon with her, and we are hoping to meet up with her this week. 

We also had an appointment with this wonderful lady, Frau Meiwald.  She is the kindest lady to the missionaries, and she knows her stuff when it comes to the Book of Mormon.  She has been investigating the church for almost 3 years, and so we had some success with her husband.  For the first time, he stayed in the room to listen to our message.  She was so excited to see that and she told us that she would make sure that they both did what we asked them to do.  That was really great to see.  We believe that if we get to meet with Herr Meiwald some more, then we might be able to make some good progress with the both of them.  

 This week has also been met with some hardships.  So on Friday, we had an appointment with an potential investigator and her daughter.  Her daughter seems really interested in the church, but we havent been able to set up a meeting because there is no man present.  And so this time, our joint teach fell out, and we called them and asked if their would be a man there.  They must of misunderstood us because they said yea and not to worry.  So, we arrive and there was no man present.  We unfortunately could not come in and teach them.  And the mom was a little upset about that and basically said that we would see each other in November.  That was the hardest part.  And she told her son to shake our hands, because he might not see us again.  It was tough to see that happen, but I also am faithful that there will be blessings that come forth from this trial.  There are always blessings when we keep and obey commandments.  I believe that.  
 
Our mission has set a goal to have 125 baptisms by the end of the year.  And I look forward to that trying not to fear or to be afraid.  I just need to put all my hope and trust in the Lords hands in order to accomplish this goal.  I want to do my best and be here and serve with all my might that we can accomplish this goal.  And I feel that Elder Larsen and I have set some really good goals to help us accomplish that.  

Favorite Food so far?... I would have to say schoko musli.  The best breakfast cereal I have ever eaten. 
 
Have I tried the chocolate?... Mother... Please.... this is your son your speaking too.  Actually, with some of our older investigators, they usually give us cakes and chocolates after our visits with them.  Best chocolate, now that would be a much harder question to answer.
 
Monday's we really try to get out and see the sights, but it gets tough with cleaning the apartment, and our email time takes a while since there is only one computer in the ward building in Meißen.  But we try the most we can.  We are going to go see the dedicatory sight either next week or the week after.  Today, we are visitng a little fall market in the middle of town and they have a little swap meet, so that will be fun.

And yes I know you love me.  I hope you all know that I love you too.  Your all in my prayers

Love,
Elder Bretzing

P.s. can you ask aunt judy a little more about our indian line and if we know our tribes and what not?  we have a few investigators that are just completely fancinated that I am of Native American decent.