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