Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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

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