Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Week 39- Mission Training with the Digital Age

Singing Cresendo
visit the mission blog site, Berlin Germany Mission to
see a great video and see Drew (Elder Bretzing)

Crescendo is a passage of music during which the volume gradually increases. Usually we start with one voice, joined by another one soon to symbolize that each one of us has to make his/her own decisions and that power lies in a companionship.
But there is more, there is the power of Crescendo of increasing every day and step by step to fulfill the purpose to help and to invite others to come unto Christ. At the end, the Mission family with more than 240 missionaries shows that we help each other, pray for each other, and are there for each other if needed.
Kindly forced by beloved missionaries, Sister Kosak and I were asked to start this time. Usually a Sister or an Elder begin... To feel the strength of unity is the goal. This movie is just a little glimpse of what we all experienced.
As Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught in GC 10-1985, "In case you hadn't noticed it, in the last days, discipleship is to be lived in crescendo", let us start today!

The entire Germany Berlin Mission with Elder Patrick Kearon and Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventies with his wife

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 37- This one is for my History Books

Hello Loving Family,                                                                     Monday April 21, 2015 

The focus of my letter this week will be on one incident that will never be forgotten.  It was stake conference that we had this last week.  Well, I might as well tell it... 

So we had stake conference this week here in Hamburg.  It was really crazy, because we had to make sure all our investigators were there and all the missionaries came to the meetings early (because our President was attending), and we also had the Area Seventy coming, Elder Adler, who gave the stake a talk.  We were able to meet him Friday night as he was talking to the young adults in Hamburg and that was really cool.  He is a very nice man and a passionate man when it comes to the gospel.  And so, I do not remember how stake conference goes on back at home, but we had our Saturday evening session.  And it started great, all the counselors of the stake presidency got up and spoke about the Area Goal of Europe.  And that we all invite a friend, become self reliant, and work on our ancestry.  It was great.  And then Elder Adler gave his talk. 
 At this point, I am sitting in the back of the chapel, making sure that no investigators were alone and all missionaries were present, when I see my beloved President make eye contact with me in the stand.  It sort of freaked me out.  I did not know why he was doing this.  And he points his finger at Elder Adler.  I had no idea what it mean, so I started to pay attention a little more. 
 Lo and Behold, Elder Adler starts off his talk by, "I would first like to start my talk today by inviting someone to come up to the stand.  Because we have President Kosak here, I asked him if he would pick a missionary for me to come up and join me on the stand..... ELDER BRETZING, are you out there?  Can you join me on the stand please?".... My heart sank.  At first, I did not respond  because I thought I translated it wrong in my head.  I keep thinking, no! there is no way he just said my name!  But he did.  After the 30 second shock wore off, I got up and walked to join him on the stand.  I cannot remember what he read but he read something from Elder Benson.  Then, looking towards me, he said, "Now, we will be privileged to hear a 2 minute testimony from Elder Bretzing about Jesus Christ."  And then he sat down... All I remember my first word was, Wow... Ok.  I cannot remember what was said during my testimony.  But I remember what I felt and a powerful lesson I learned that day.  I learned how important it is that we are prepared.  I gave my testimony, and Elder Adler thanked me for my preparation and willingness (because I had no clue that was going to happen).  But I remember what I felt the moment that I sat back down.  I remember feeling at peace and calm knowing that I was ready to bear testimony of Jesus Christ.  I know that He lives.  I am grateful to wear His name on my shield.   

I do not say this to be proud or to boast, but it was a great moment for me to learn something very special.  At the end of the stake conference, Elder Adler came and gave me a big hug and said that he did not know why that I should have been the one to bear my testimony, but he thanked me for my preparedness to give it.  

We need to always be prepared to give our testimony about Jesus Christ.  We may not know when we have too, but when we are prepared, we will not be left unsupported.  Even when a Area Seventy is calling your name!  

I love you all and you are all in my prayers!  


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week 36- Transfers,Trains and a new companion

Hello Family, 

If there is any other questions that I seemed to miss, then please do that again because that was actually really helpful.  But this was another crazy week.  On Tuesday, we had transfer day.  And transfer day is done a little different here in Germany.  So all the missionaries are able to ride across country alone on the trains, as long as there is a missionary who puts them on the train, and one who is waiting for them to get off the train.  And so Hamburg Hauptbahnhof is the craziest train station besides probably Berlin or Leipzig when it comes to missionaries.  We stayed up pretty late making all the plans and schedules of what times the missionaries would come into the train station and where to pick them up and if they had to switch trains, where their next train would be.  It is even more fun because alot of the trains will get switched to different tracks because of the train traffic in the main train station.  So we did alot of running that day.  And I had to put my companion, elder Williams, on the train really early in the morning, and then my next companion did not get in until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  It was pretty intense.  I am just excited because next transfer I am hoping that I will be doing all of that with my companion.  

 This week, we started in our ward a 40 day fast, and that was really cool.  We have already seen the blessings of the fast.  We met this one man, name Kobena, and he comes from Ghana.  He is a great guy.  He just had surgery or something on his leg, and so he is always in pain.  But when we found him, he was so excited to hear about the church and the only words he kept repeating is "im coming!"  it was really funny.  And so we waiting at the subway for him on sunday for church, and we see this little man step off the train, and he explained that he had to come to church today and see what we were talking about.  Even if that meant he had to walk through the pain, that he would do it.  And he did it!  It was really amazing.  And he loved church so much that he said he would talk to all his friends about the church because he talks to them about Jesus Christ alot.  So we are really excited for him and we are meeting with him again on this saturday.  

And Sunday was really great and crazy.  We have a new member, name Yeboah.  He also comes from Ghana.  He was baptized about two weeks ago and he recieved the Priesthood on Sunday.  It was great!  

Oh my new companion is Elder Weakley. He cames from Elk Ridge or something.  In the area from Payson, I already asked him if he knows our family, but he didnt.  Which by the way, how are they all doing?  Man, I cannot believe that this is the transfer for Mothers Day.  Time.... that is all I have to say. 

Oh yeah, so the greatest thing happened this week.  President and Sister Kosak came out to Hamburg for the weekend to see a returned missionary, and so they stopped by on saturday and took me and Elder Weakley out to McDonalds! It was such a cool expierence!!  I wish it happened more often.  They are the best!  I absolutely love them!  And we were talking and so in two weeks, our whole mission is having a missionwide conference, and so we are all recieveing Ipads!  It is crazy!  I am not really looking forward to it but I will accept it.  I just feel that it is an added temptation to the missionaries here. But I will do my best to help them with it.

Well, I gotta go, I am sorry for all the spelling errors and what not.  I love you all, .  I am trying to be better at taking more picturest.  My camera actually i think it is broken.   

Love you!
Elder Bretzing!
Part of the branch in Hamburg

Elder Weakley, Brother Stephens, me
 with newly baptized member of the church Yeboah

Part of the branch in Hamburg

Elders on the GO!

Elder Bretzing won the bet!
 Elder Weakley said they could not fit together in one of his shirts

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 35- First Easter in Germany

Hey Mom,                                                                                    April 6, 2015
Happy Easter!   

Easter here in Germany is spent a little different, because all the stores and shops are closed for three days!  So, it was a really dead weekend, but General Conference made up for it.  It was a really great general conference, even though we have not yet seen the last session and it was all about families.  I just kinda laughed and wrote in my notes, "Read this talk in about 2 years."  But other than that, it was good.  I really enjoyed President Eyrings talk about Fasting.  It was good. 

So Hamburg is doing great.  We really do not have much time to get out and see the city, but the people are really great.  The work is going steady.  We have been having the hardest time making appointments with some of our investigators, but I am not letting it get me discouraged.  We have a great group of people to teaching, mostly people from Ghana, but they are great people.  I will keep you updated on how they are doing as time progresses.

This week is also been a crazy week.  My great companion, Elder Williams, will be transferred to be the zone leader in Berlin.  SO, that means that it is back to the training seat!  I will have a new companion, Elder Weakly, and I have to train him to be a zone leader.  Nerves are high, since only because I have been one for one transfer, but I am still doing good.  

The weeks get hard and tough, but we find ways to get through them.  My number one priority that I have is the missionaries in my zone.  I really want them to know that they are great missionaries.  They all are.  I love them, and I am excited to work with them for another transfer. 

Alright, I love you, and I hope all is doing well back at home.  I miss you all and I hope all is doing great!

Elder Bretzing,

P.S. the Sisters in Hamburg say hi (we have 6 missionaries and we all do our emails on 2 computers.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Week 34

Hey Family!                                                                                            March 30, 2015

This week was good.  We were able to have another missionary leadership council in Berlin and that was super fun.  I always learn so much from those meetings.  President Kosak was getting on my case for not really talking too much so he made me participate.  It was great though.  It just goes to show you  that every day we face fears and struggles, but with the support from our loved ones we can get through them.  And you come to know yourself each and every time. 

The work has been harder.  We have a lot of great people that we have been meeting with and I am always super happy to meet with them, they just never show up to their appointments.  We always find alot of African people who want to meet with us and are super excited to talk more about Jesus Christ, but they all seem to be busy and when the tell you that they are going to meet with you, they never tell you when because they are all super busy or popular. 
We have a great new convert in our ward named George.  He is what they mean a member missionary.  He will meet people at bus stations or in the trains, and just bring them to church with him.  That is how we found Yeboah, the man that was baptized last week and was just confirmed yesterday.  And so we talk to him about bringing his friend on tuesday (for example) and he is super excited and says yes.  And then we ask what time, and he starts going off about how they all have busy schedules and that he does not know.  (this whole scenario I give it no justice, but it is super hilarious).  So it has been a struggle to make out appointments with them.  Sometimes they come, sometimes they dont answer their phones.

But I am happy.  It gets stressful over here, but we manage.  The worst is really trying to plan and do your best with missionaries.  That is something that I have been reminded.  We, as missionaries, are not perfect.  I am not perfect.  But, the focus of the mission this past few months is really going back to our basics.  Back to the standards of the Church.  Because that is where we find our power.

 Sorry, I didnt really have that much time today to write you, but I love you all and your always in my prayers!

Elder Bretzing

P.S. yes I was able to say hi to the girl that Bishop knows.  Unfortunately, I was not able to stay long because we are usually teaching lessons during the time of institute.  


Missionary Training in Berlin 3/2015