Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Week 33- Investigators Baptism YEAH!!!

Hey Family! 

Man, sometimes, it amazes me how fast we are back to that monday, sitting here, writing emails.  This week has gone by really fast.  And it was a great week.  We were able to see our investigator get baptized!  I am excited for him.  He looks really happy and it is just a great reminder to me how important this really is for us.  All that we call church or the gospel. I mean, it is our salvation.
I am not the one too get sappy but I know that there has to be a God.  And he must love us when He gives us so much.  It was really interesting, just before this, we were able to meet with a man and got to talk alittle bit about the church and the gospel.  And, he has a really interesting story.  He actually randomly called me on tuesday and just said, I want to know more about mormons and what you believe. 
 I was in somewhat in shock, and so just kind of replied with, "yea, I think we can help you with that."  It was just straight forward.  And we were able to meet with him and he is in that part of his life, where he wants to find out if there is a God or not, and as we were talking, he believes that if there is any hope for him, he thinks he will find it here in this church.  And because of that, he just asked us the craziest questions, but it just is great because after doing this for a while, you can tell when someone is trying to find something to not like or to disprove, or when they are curious and really have a desire to know. But just with talking to him, all the random things even have their place.  And I am so grateful for all of it. 
 Oh, yeah, and me and my companion got sick this week.  It was crappy.  We were both sick at the same time and just like helping each other and what not must have been super funny.  Thought I would mention that too, we are starting to get better.  And we are going to be able to go to another missionary leadership training council this weekend.  I am looking forward to that so much.  Leadership is hard.  Its worth it, but hard.  So I am grateful to be able to learn from the best... President Kosak.  He is great.  Sorry, I have to go, but I love you all soo much and I hope everything is going great back at home!  Let me know about everything!

Elder Bretzing

p.s. i have not gotten any packages and the package that i was going to send is still on my desk.  I am so sorry, but I will see to it that it gets done this week!  And no, no more suits, I am ok with one good one.  And tell bishop that I know what ward she is in, but he has to tell her to come to institute! If she comes to institute, then there is a good chance we will cross paths!

Monday, March 16, 2015

week 32- Working hard in Hamburg

Hey Everyone! 

If there are two words that could describe this past week: TIRED but FUFILLING.  The days seem like to fly by and the moment I lay in my bed, I cannot open my eyes for one more second, but I know that Heavenly Father is proud of me and the work that I am able to concencrate to Him. It is a bad repensentation, but it reminds me of that one scene in Saving Private Ryan, where they look at the christian man and they ask how he falls asleep so fast at nights, when others are sometimes too scared to sleep, and their answer is that he has faith.  And so, not trying to compare myself to him, but I know that at the end of my day, I can honestly say that I am trying and giving my all to this work, and with that, I fall asleep so fast that next thing I know, it is the next morning.
 We have had a great week filled with alot of good training from President Kosak.  We were able to come together, the leaders of the west half of our mission, to our stake center and were taught and learned alot with President Kosak.  And I really enjoyed it.  It reminded me of how important it is to accept the callings that the Lord has called us to, and trust in his decisions.  There is a wise purpose that sometimes we do not even know when the Lord asks and calls us to a work.  But I know that we are all called to the callings that we have for a wise purpose.  From Bishop to the Nursery Leader.  And I can testify to that.  I enjoyed the time that I had in the Nursery and even those little guys taught me some very important lessons.
This week, we were also to see alot of tender miracles.  Elder Williams, my companion and I, have talked about it between each other.  We want to find those people that are ready to accept the gospel.  When we get on the buses or trams around the city, we have a goal to find and talk to someone and try to start a conversation about the gospel with them.  And we believe that the Lord has really blessed us with that.  These past two weeks, we have been seen 3 people that have made the decision to be baptized and we have been helping them make the dates that they have set.  We also have an investigator that will be baptized this upcoming weekend.  And he is the greatest man and he has the strongest faith I have ever seen.  His name is Yeboah, and he comes from Africa.  Now, in Hamburg, there are alot of African immigrants.  And they are people of faith.  He has been searching for the truth all his life.  He has studied with a full variety of different faiths and religions, and he tells us that now he feels great to know that this church is on the earth, because what is being taught here is for his salvation.  He is so ready and I am excited to be able to see him get baptized next week.  That has been some of the greatest highlights in the past weeks so far.  We have been having a great time here and I am so happy to be able to be here for the Lord for these two years!!  I know that the Lord has so much in store for us and that He is always very mindful of us! 


I love you all and you are never far from my prayers.  Please do not cease with the prayers, for they truly give me the strength to continue and press forward.  I want to see pictures!!! not just from Hawaii, but from Everyone!! and then maybe I can send some more pictures!  

Love you all,
Elder Bretzing

 P.S.  You might want to ask Sis. Clyde if she she knows a Anes Kwako.  He was a missionary that served in the Rome Italy Mission.  He comes from Africa and got to know the church in Italy.  He is such a stud!  And he is in my ward.  Oh, one of the people that we have on baptismal date is from Italy and does not know any german or english.  Anes has really been helping us with the translation.  But if she ever wants to try to help over skype or anything, we would sure appreciate her help and she could just go ahead and send me an email!
                                                         Zone Leaders Training- Hamburg


Arriving in Hamburg- pictures of the city

Pictures from Hamburg

Week 31- leading the Zone

Guten Abend Leibe Bretzing Familie! 

Man, this week has probably been the fastest week I have had on my mission!!  I cannot believe that it is already gone!  I will just have to give you the rundown of the week so you can see.


That was the day that I was put on the train from Berlin to Hamburg.  It was not too long, but it is always a hassle to get all the luggage together and packing.  I was also able to say goodbye to the two missionaries that have gone home, and personally, the moment they were gone, I started singing.  Haha, that sounds bad.  They are great missionaries, but I am glad that I do not have home in the back of my mind anymore or have to talk about it (sorry family and friends but I got work to do).  And the moment I stepped off the train at Hamburg Main Station, I was able to meet my new companion, Elder Williams.  He is from a small town near San Diego, I cannot remember which one exactly but it is nice to be with another southern californian.  He is a stud.  And we spent the whole day from about 12 to 6 at the train station making sure that all missionaries were getting on their connecting trains and what not.  That is one of our responsibilities, that on transfer day, we spend the most of the day at Main Station and making sure that all missionaries who are going to be passing through Hamburg, get off safely and they are met by us and we get them on their trains safely.  Sometimes, they are only traveling by themselves, so it was a crazy day.


That was the day we were able to visit one of the districts in the zone.  That was really fun because I was able to see some old friends, but it is weird because now they see me as zone leader and not just elder bretzing.  I am still not used to that, where people act a little different around us and they think we are big bad and scary zone leaders.  But that took us a while to get there and then we all went to lunch and then we went to our appointments afterwards.  Hamburg is a huge city.  And it is very different from Berlin.  Especially where we are in. We are in the Hamburg Ward, directly in the middle of the city.  And Hamburg is full of African immigrants.  But they truly are the ones that have been prepared by the Lord and are ready for the message.  Just this Sunday, the other Elders here in our area found a man on the street and he came into church and he just kept telling us, "I feel it.  I feel this feeling in my chest."  Just in a few days, he was so excited to come to church and wanted to learn more.  That was just a great thing to see.


Was quite a normal day for us.  We had some great finding times going to appointments and that is normally how we find people.  Some missionaries call it "Risking the Akward." But it is basically just sitting next to someone on the bus and to just start up a conversation with them, and hopefully being able to then start to talk about the gospel and what not.  I have been able to improve my skills alot.  It is actually really easy because we live in the much nicer part of town, and alot of people wear the coolest things, like really cool shoes and coats and so everytime I see them I just say, "Man! you have great looking shoes!  Wear did you buy them?"  They usually try to tell me but I have no idea where all these stores are in Hamburg, but it is a great way to break the ice!


Friday, we had a Missionary Leadership Council in Berlin.  So we had to get up at 4 in the morning and get on a train for Berlin at 7.  It was a fun ride and I got to get to know some of the other missionaries in my zone, because it is all zone leaders and sister training leaders that are invited.  And that was really cool.  Just 6 hours of straight SPIRIT.  We learned alot from President Kosak and Sister Kosak and what the mission needs and how we can really help them.  We discussed almost everything!  And President Kosak is one of the most inspired men that I know!  It is such a great joy to be able to serve with him.  We then missed our train back to Hamburg, so we spent another hour in Berlin, got some Kentucky Fried Chicken, Germany Style, and got home late.


Yet another normal day or appointments. I cannot really remember what happened, and I am trying to be better at that.  But I also learned alot of the responsibilities of being a zone leader.  And man!  We have so much to do!  I am looking forward to it, but dang!  CRAZY! 


We got to go to church and that was really different.  This ward is the biggest that I have been in, in the biggest ward building I have seen, too.  They are very welcoming and warm people.  There is also alot of different diversity in the ward.  From members who come from Utah, New York, to Ghana, Nigeria, and of course, Germany.  It has been such a crazy expierence and I am soo excited for more!  I am sorry that I have not been able to take pictures that much but I am really trying to improve on that and be better at taking pictures.  We also have alot of missionaries in our ward and just recieved a sisters program so we had some eating appointments that night with all 6 of us!  it was great!  one of the families made us homemade tacos and I wanted to almost cry.  You know for sure that I ate alot.  But we have also been pushing ourselves to work out more.

This upcoming week we have a zone training meeting, and we have to plan this entire meeting for the zone and I feel really great and prepared, but I would ask for your support in prayer.  It is going to be really funny, but also crazy insane because all of it will be in GERMAN!!! 

Anyways, I love you all and you are very close to me in my thoughts and my prayers!  I know that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ that we have on the earth today.  I have gained a testimony that God is the head of this Church.  I know that.  And I am so grateful for all the teachings and the principles that I am learning to apply more in my life.  I know that missionary work is so important.  I know that it will bring happiness.  I am so happy to be able to talk to people on the street, trains, and buses.  It may sound crazy, but I look forward to everytime I step foot into a train or bus because I am looking for that one to invite to come unto Christ.  The courage comes when we allow ourselves to be lead by our Heavenly Father.  When we trust Him and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the courage to invite others or to just open our mouths and share the gospel will be magnified.

Love with all my heart,
Elder Bretzing

Poßmoorweg 21B
Hamburg 22301