Monday, August 31, 2015


Hey Family,

So I heard that some missionaries count the number of weeks that they are on their mission.  To be honest, I have no idea how many weeks it has been. Maybe mom knows and has it on the wall somewhere in the house, but I really dont want to know.  I think that would be weird.  So it is week # I have no idea this week.  But this week has been a crazy week.
Our friend named Foster made the decision to be bapitzed!  That was such a great baptismal service.  We have been teaching him for almost 4 weeks now and it was such a great blessing to able to be along for the ride.  He was such a prepared man and ready for baptism.  For the baptismal service, he even brought a really good friend who has been to this church a long time ago.  He is a funny guy.  He just keep screaming, "Foster, you are going to be born again!  No drinking! No smoking! No women!"  It was hilarious.
Foster did not pay much too attention to him.  And the baptism part came and that was really cool.  Afterwards as we were changing and I think the best part was we were changing in the bathroom and everyone outside started to play prelude music and so the first song they played was Isreal God is Calling and Foster stops for a second, he looked up, and smiled, and turned to me and said, "Elder Bretzing, this is my absolute favorite song.  Whenever I am riding around on my bike, I love to sing this song."  He just loved it.  At the very end of the Baptismal Service we even invited his friend to be baptized!  He kept saying he would think about it and I kept telling him well if you meet with us and pray about it then we are on for a good start.  Things are looking up good for his friend.  We should start to be working with him soon. Even Foster pulled us to the side at the end and said that we had to baptize his friend!  Already doing Member Missionary Work!

 We also had the opportunity to have first interviews with President Fingerle.  That was for sure something new. For starters, my whole interview was in German!  That was crazy!  But I am pretty proud that I was able to have the whole thing in German.  And we had to stay the whole day to help him with all the missionaries that were coming from the west part of the mission, so we basically stayed in the same room for about 14 hours.  I do not know if you know, but I have restless leg syndrome and it got to the point where I was pacing from wall to wall.  But nonetheless, it was great and I am glad that we had a good start to our relationship.

I was also able to go on an exchange this week with a great missionary named Elder Smith.  He is brand new on the mission and is just a ball of fun.  He has so much energy I do not even know where it came from.  But the reason why I bring him up is because he is from Orem, Utah and he said that he knows Bretzings in Utah so that was interesting.  

Well this week was really fun and there is some pictures and some videos of us on our pday going to a really cool museum here in Hamburg called the Meritime Musuem.  It was cool and it is all about boats and maybe that is what I will do for the rest of my life.  I think my new life goal is to grow out my beard and hair and then sail the seas.  I could work on a boat for the summer when I get back.  That sounds like fun. O well, it is all up in the air. Gotta get back to Hamburg!

I love you all and I hope everyone is doing great at home and having fun and what not!  
Love, Elder Bretzing

P.S. ok it is my turn to follow up on you.  

Mother, how is the work going with the family names and pictures?  Has there been any success there?  When you find out, please let us know! Thanks!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 8-24-15

Hey Family, 

I'm glad to see that life back at home is still the same, all coming together to watch a movie and no one paying attention.  P.s. The dog looks super old and the living room is obviously different but no worries. 

We had actually a pretty crazy week.  Something that I truly saw this week is a fulfillment of 1 Nephi 3:7.  So about 4 months back, Elder Adler, a member of the area seventy here in Euorpe encouraged all the wards to change the times for their Sacrament to be the first block of the church meeting and not the last block, like we normally have here in Germany.  And that was a trial for some people. I'm remember this entire time it has been a struggle to get this into action.  I love my ward and just like all ideas and suggestions, there are those who are for change and there are others who are not so receptive to change. So let's say that it took about 4 months to get this into action. And as we discussed this for the last months, I always had 1 Nephi 3:7 pop into my head.  We know that when the Lord gives us commandments and ask things for us to do, He will always prepare a way for His purposes.  And so I was really excited when they announced the change of times in the church here in Hamburg.  However, some where not so excited and told us that we would not have that much success with friends coming to church.  But miracles happened and this week we had the most people that came to church!!! It was so cool to see the blessings that come from following the direction from Gods appointed servants! It was really cool.

But with that being said, I do not know if I will be transferred.  I really try not to think about it but I know that my time is coming up here in beautiful Hamburg. If I could get the chance, I would love to go back to the east, to Freiberg where the temple is (but there are only zone leaders there and I do not know if I will stay a zone leader) or I would love to stay in the west and go to a city like Hannover.  But we will see.  Wherever the Lord needs me.  And I know that these transfers are inspired and come from God. And yes I got the package! Thanks for all the sweets!

 Well, I love you all and I hope everything is going good back at home!

Elder Bretzing
Morning emails to the families

Monday, August 17, 2015


Hey Family,

Well, this week went by super fast.  I dont like it but that is what I have heard is that the last half of your mission just flies by.  I am already halfway through this transfer!  I cannot believe it!  But anyways, I guess I can talk about what happened in these past few days. 

I will tell you what, Elder Silver and I have been hitting the pavement.  Well, more like the buses.  We have been having a lot of appointments, and so we are always in the Buses and Trains wherever we go!  And we always have a goal for the week to find a certain amount of new people that we would like to teach.  And so we wanted to find 5 new people this last week and we talked about it with each other and knew that we would have almost no time on the street to talk to people because we were always going from appointment to appointment.  And so I know I have told you about this earlier but what we decide to do then, is make sure that whenever we are in the bus, we try to find people who we can teach by starting a conversation with them as we are in the Bus and then lead it to the gospel, because technically we cannot preach in buses.  And that is somewhat hard, but fun.  We call it "Risk the Akward."  And Elder Silver and I have really pushed ourselves to talk with at least one person in each bus we enter.  And that is hard, and tires you out!  But, with help from the Lord, we were able to keep on going.  And we were able to find some new people to teach so it was great!  The Lord helps when you really put your mind to it and want to get it done!

Want to hear something random?
We had some interesting conversations lately with people too.  This sounds completely random, but we are calling everyone in our phone, because we have a lot of numbers from people, and so Elder Silver decided to call one of them as we were waiting for a friend of ours to come to the church building.  And he talks to this lady, and looks at me really akward and then hung up the phone.  I was starting to laugh and ask what was wrong, and he told me (no joke she kept saying this) "I have no time, no time, I am giving birth!"  So that was a first. I never thought anyone who was giving birth would want to talk to missionaries on the phone.

We have also been working more closely with our friend named Foster.  He is a friend from a member here in Hamburg named Brother Stephens (the coolest man alive!) and he is going great.  Foster is excited to learn more about this gospel and everytime he comes with questions and you can really see that as he is learning more about the gospel, that it is affecting him.  He is a great man and we are so excited for him.  He is from Ghana and he said that if I ever wanted to go to Ghana that he would let me stay at his place.

Well, tell everyone back at home thank you for your prayers, I truly appreciate them.  Some days are harder than others and sometimes we never know how you are going to get through, but something that I learned lately is that it is all about your perspective.  I know that heaven is supporting me.  I cannot explain it but I just know.  There are days, and especially when I interact with the zone, that I find myself with energy that I cannot describe.  It reminds me of one time in a General Conference talk that President Eyring gave.  He was thinking about his mom, who passed away and trying to tell the story about her and I remember that he was getting really choked up and then out of no where, he was able to finish his talk and I have always thought that someone helped him there or he received added strength to keep pressing forward.  But that is the best way I could explain it.  Bottom Line... I am doing good.  I have a great companion and I get to serve with great missionaries!  

Love you all and I will talk to you next week!

Elder Bretzing

President Kosak returned to the mission for a visit


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 8-10-15

This week has been full of good times!  So like I mentioned before in my letter last week my new companions name is Elder sSilver.  He came In with me into this area when we first got here in March.  And he left 6 weeks ago to serve somewhere else and now he is back as my companion!  So we didn't have to go through getting to know you weird week.  It was great we got straight to work.
 We have been seeing so much success and I think it truly comes from the small steps.  We made the goal as we had our first work day with each other, that by the end of August, we would like to see one person being baptized.  Now the most important thing is to always have a name behind a goal.  And at that point, we had no idea who we could help.  The next day, we met for the first time a man named Foster.  He was a great guy and from the beginning, we knew that we wanted to invite him to baptism before he left.  He was so excited when we talked about baptism and about the temple as well! That is something that we really want to help our friends with, is to truly go to the temple.  I know that the temple is a house of God.  I know that it is needed today! We have the temple, because it is a place where we can go to receive further help and communication from God. So that was our week. 

We have been learning twi as we have been here and that is super fun. I know that I told you that there are a lot of Africans in Hamburg? Well, when you speak their language they go crazy.  We probably butcher the language, but it is sometimes fun to go and to talk with them in their language.  We can say only basic things like what is your name, my name is, where are you from, how are you doing, I speak about Jesus Christ, I will call you, have a nice day, and stuff like that.  But it is super fun and those people are soooo cool.

We are hunting for a shop here in Hamburg that I can buy African clothing, so when I find that I will let you know. The work is great, and it is going on faster than ever.  It's crazy to think that time is flying but it is such a great experience.

I love you all and I hope that your having a fun time back at home!
Elder Bretzing


Monday, August 3, 2015


Hey Mom, 

So yea she wrote that.  She is cool and she is a good missionary.  (See Below) 

Well, this transfer will be super funny. My new companion is a missionary named Elder Silver!  Recognize that name?  Because he served in this area last transfer but he was in the other program, so now he is coming to my program and I will help him and train him to be a Zone Leader.  I am excited he is a great guy and I know that we will get lots of work done! 

Well, I love you and I will see you next week!
Elder Bretzing


hallo Robbin! 

Its sister Bell. I have been serving with Elder Bretzing for the past 3 transfers in Hamburg and it has been so wonderful! I have just finished my mission and will be heading home to Salt Lake City tomorrow.

 I just wanted to express to you how grateful I am for your son, and his service. Thank you for the sacrifrices you and your family are making to allow him to be here serving the Lord. He is an amazing missionary and has helped so many people learn about the gospel, feel loved, and come closer to Chrsit. He is such a wonderful example of selfless service, and has taught me so much. We have had the opportunity to work a lot with each other because of the callings that we have and I am so grateful to have had the chance to work with him. You raised him well!

I have heard a lot about you and your family. You sound like such an amazing family! I hope that all is well with you, and that you are enjoying the heat of the california summer!  

I noticed that Elder Bretzing is sometimes a BIG bum and isnt very good at emailing you, so I thought I would just send you a nice hello and tell you that he is doing great and is fulfilling his purpose as a disciple of Christ!

lots of love from Hamburg!
Love Sister Haylie Bell