Monday, October 26, 2015

WEEK 10-26-15


Hey Family, 

This week has sure been an interesting one, one that I do not think I will forget.  But there is a little background story that needs to be added first. 

So about two weeks ago, Elder Morton and I received a phone call from one of the Assistants in the mission and he was calling us to tell us that we were going to receive a mini missionary for one week!  Do you know what that is?  It is ok, I have learned that here on my mission.  A mini missionary is one of the members, usually a youth, that will come and serve with us for a short amount of time.  Usually, it is to fill a spot of a missing missionary, but this time, we were told that we would be in a 3 way companionship.  So we had a mini missionary with us the whole time.  His name is Elder Schl├╝ter and he lives in Hamburg!  It was really fun because I knew him from serving in our Hamburg days and I got really excited when I heard that he was coming with us for a week.  Unfortunately, he leaves back for Hamburg tonight, but I wish he could stay longer.  He is a great missionary.  He has been by far one of my favorite mission companions.  He taught me so much about being more personal and sincere with missionaries.  It was amazing to see him just open up with members and friends of ours, and even during our studies, he had the greatest ideas.  I feel like this week has been such a blessing that I needed.  It was great to have him with us and I was very grateful for what he has taught me.  And another side note to add, it was really fun to speak German for most of the time.  I would say, that we spoke German almost 85-90% of the time.  He wanted to speak English and practice it a little bit, but mostly it was all in German.  Its crazy to think that I am a year and a half out on my mission, and I still get excited to speak German when I have the opportunity to.  And it goes to show that my German is a lot better than I thought.

 
But this week we spent most of our time on the street or going to meeting to meeting.  Either it was a Ward meeting like Ward Council or we had Missionary meetings, we kept ourselves busy. Transfer calls came along this week too.  Elder Morton has been transferred.  I am staying here for another 6 weeks in Kiel.  My new companion will be Elder Lauder.  I do not know if that is how I spell his name right or not but all I have heard from Elder Lauder is that he is always happy and that is nice to know that.  I am excited to work with him and it will be fun to take over the area again.  I still do not know my way around and in Kiel it is all buses so I am still trying to get used to the bus times, but it will be fun.  We had alot of changes in our mission this last week too, so I am somewhat excited.  I feel old, but in a good way. If that even makes sense.  I feel like I have had alot of companions so far.  Most of my companions, I have only stayed with them for about one transfer.  Well, I just counted and Elder Lauder is my 8th companion so I do not know if that is alot or not.   

Yea, when I read that today is the one year anniversary of Grandma's passing, I was really shocked to hear that.  I cannot believe that time is really been so fast.  But mom, the best medicine and advice I could ever give is that she is not gone.  I have thought about it alot.  And maybe that can help Aunt Denise to know that there is no end.  There are little breaks and waiting rooms in life, but no end. And that helps me to know.  It was like whenever we went to the doctors when I was little.  I was terrified whenever you did not come into the room with me with the doctor.  And when it came to that time that I had to go in by myself, I had to think about that you were just waiting in the waiting room for me to come back.  I dont know but that is how I see it. We celebrate what she did and we remember the good things.  And when it is the communication we are missing, then that will only be enhanced with the communication with our Father in Heaven.  That is something that I have to work on better too is my prayers.  Sometimes I am just tired and (sometimes I start off badly by praying on my bed) I just want to sleep.  But by working on my prayers, I have thought only on the good things.  

thank you for the photos and the video.  Who is the kid on the left next to you?  I did not recognize him.  Well, I got to get going, but I know that everything will be ok.  It has been so far, so it will only continue to be ok.  But stay active and I hope you all are going to start having family home evening soon.  I will be following up on that.

 Love you!
Elder Bretzing

 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

WEEK 10-19-15


Hello loving family, 

Well I guess I could start off with a weather report, because it sounds really weird back at home.  You said that it's really hot back at home?  Well, it has rained almost everyday here for the past week.
I saw sunlight this morning but it's already gone again.  And I am not a weatherman, but it's crazy up here because it feels like there is soo much moisture in the air, that it's like your walking through mist the whole day.  It's cool and I am not complaining, but I will be happy to see the sun again one of these days. I have also been informed by several locals that this is how the north part of Germany is like till February or March.  But we will see. 

We had a zone training meeting this last week and that was always fun. We were able to have the president at this one.  Afterwards, Elder Morton (my companion) and I were able to go on exchange with our AP's.

That was fun especially because we were in a car.  It is a rarity to be in a car and it not be a members car.  We keep petitioning to try and get a car for our area,  since we saw that we were able to get so much done in that time.  We were even able to contact some members that have not been able to be at church for a while, so we are glad that we can work with them.  They were just happy that we came by and that we didn't forget about them.  So please family, do your home and visiting teaching.  It really helps and those that may be going through a hard time can receive comfort knowing that someone is thinking about them. 

But this week seemed to fly by.  We have been hitting the pavement a little more and found some success.  It is interesting to think that time goes by faster when you keep yourself busy. We have been finding people that are interested to here more about the gospel.  We hope that those appointments that we made out with them end up sticking and we are able to do all we can to meet with them.

Thank you for the money for the shoes, I already bought a new pair and I am hoping that these will last me for the rest of my time.  I will make sure to take good care of them, but I really do not have a good track record when it comes to shoes. 

We were also able to see a tender mercy this last week.  After church, we had a random lady show up at church.  And now I have it programmed in me that if I see an unfamiliar face at church, that I need to introduce myself. It was a great experience because she just moved into Kiel and she wants to go to a church that is close to her at home and we were it. I'm not complaining.  We told her that she can come whenever she wants! So we gave her a tour of the church and then a Book of Mormon. She said she will come next week, so that was a great experience.


That gives me shivers to think Christmas is around the corner.  I try not to think about it.  But my "Christmas list" I have no idea what I could ask for.  I think I could just get things here.  Apparently from what my companion said is that we can get things super cheap right after Christmas.  So... Yeah we can talk about it more as time comes close.

Oh hey, tell Kevin I said happy early birthday!! How old is he now? His present from last year is still sitting on my desk. I think I will just send him a picture of what I got him so he knows what he gets when I get home.  I know I am horrible at these things but I'm trying to get better! 

If you want to ask about the iPad you can always call the mission office, because they would know how to do it. Ask for Elder Curtis. From what they have told me, they are just going to take it out of my account for my mission money. I don't know, here we call it MSF but I don't know if there was another word for it. 

That is cool that we have sisters now, and yes I do know elder peacock. He goes home soon but I served with him in the same zone back in Hamburg.  How is the mission work going at home? What do the new sisters think? When I come home, I just want to be a home teacher.  And I want wherever I am living to give me all the people that have a hard time coming to church and I will go out there and visit them.

 Hey so this sounds weird, but do I need to start thinking about school? I have not put one ounce of thought into this field, but I heard from a missionary that deadlines for fall semester are coming up soon. Or can I just go home and be a bum for the first semester? Anyways, I have no idea what to do there. Help would be nice.


I love you all and I hope all is going well. We will talk next week!

Auf Wiedersehen!
Elder Bretzing

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

MISSION LEADERSHIP 10-13-15

LOVE FINDING THAT ELDER OF MINE AND HIS SMILE

Monday, October 12, 2015

WEEK 10-12-15


Hey Family,

Here is the weekly update!

So I am sitting here and trying to think about my week.  It has gone by super fast. If anything that is crazy that is happening, is that it is getting cold.  Like really cold.  And its not even the end of October yet.  Everyone that I talk to on the street says that it really does not snow here in Kiel, but then members tell me that it does and missionaries say that it does, so it will be a surprise if it snows or not.  And this week I got a cold, so I am trying to stay warm as much as possible.  It is really funny, because I just throw myself under two comforters with my sweatshirt on and my thick socks.  So I am hoping that soon it will pass.  We have a Zone Training Meeting tomorrow and so I am hoping that I can survive it and not sound like a sick wreck.   

We had some success with some of our friends and some not so much success with others.  We were able to have some good appointments and I will keep you updated on the progress of them.  We shared a cool experience with one of them as we were teaching him more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was such a great time and you could really notice that this is something that he wants.  And he was super excited to know that through following the Gospel and its teachings, we can have a new start in our lives.  And so I feel that as we meet with him further, we will start to see his progress and that will be great.  Some of our other friends have been hard to contact but this week looks like it will be a busy one for us.  We actually have such a big area because one of the programs got closed down and so we have the area now and it takes us so much time and money to get out to this little city called Rendsburg, we are hoping and pleading that we can have a car.  We will see more about this plea as the time comes up, but that is really the update here in Kiel. 

Well, I love ya family and I hope everything is going well back at home!

Love, Elder Bretzing

Monday, October 5, 2015

WEEK 10-5-15 IPAD WENT MISSING


Hey Family, 

Well as the title suggests, this week was sure interesting.  I guess I will start off with the interesting part.

So this week, we had our Missionary Leadership Council in Berlin.  It was actually really interesting because this time we had it at our Mission Home.  Usually it is held at the stake center in Berlin.  However, this is not the interesting part.  So, because now that I am in Kiel, we live a little farther away from Berlin than we did in Hamburg, so that meant that we had to spend the night in Berlin so that we could make it on time for the meeting Friday morning. 
 
We had the opportunity to actually stay in the Marzahn apartment.  That was fun and memories just raced across my mind.  It looks completely different and it was nice to stay there for a day.  So here is where the interesting part comes into play.  As we were on our way to our meeting on Friday morning, something very interesting happened.  We were looking at the times and the map on my iPad on how to get to the Mission Home in Berlin.  As we were trying to buy a ticket for the Train, the machine would not take our money.  It was quite frustrating and so we were pulling out all different type of bills in our wallet to see if we could finally get it to work and get onto a train that was coming in like 5 minutes.  We figured that we could try to use coins instead and so we saw a little shop behind us and to see if we could exchange the bills for coins. 
 
As we started to walk to the little shop (I am not exaggerating, this happened in all about 30 second time span) I received that little thought to check my bag and my iPad was not there.  I remembered setting it on top of this ticket machine and so right as I turned around to look for it, it was gone.  In about this 30 second time span, someone came and took my iPad and walked off with it.

But what did I learn from this?  Even in the smallest amount of time, the worst things could happened.  And that if I do get another iPad, because now I have to pay for the last one, that I will NEVER let it out of my sight.  And so all my pictures from the last 6 months were on that machine.  And it was not backed up because we do not have the internet to do it, so everything is gone.  I am going to call Berlin services today to see if by chance the one who stole it had a change of heart.  I think the most saddened part about this experience is that I was entrusted with this great and wonderful tool and I lost it.  I could care less if i had all my pictures, I just really wish I had the iPad back.  But its too late and I cannot dwell on the past.  I know how that turns out and its not pretty.

Well, besides that, this week has been jammed-pack with activities.  We had a Zone Training Meeting that we had to plan for, and there is a picture on the blog, I do not know if you knew there is a new blog website (   http://germanyberlinmission2015-18.blogspot.de/ ) but that was our first meeting as a zone here up here in the cold north.

General Conference was good and I enjoyed it.  I am willing to start this scripture ponderizing and because we have a added focus in the mission to memorize certain scriptures and I need to be better at that, I will start there.  I am just wondering where I can put these scriptures where I see them everyday because we are hardly if at all at our apartment.  I think I might keep some in the institute center because we are there alot for teaching German or for Institute when our friends come.

Well, if there is anything encouraging I could leave with you is how I felt on the return trip home from Berlin.  I remember playing the scenario over and over in my mind and finally I stopped and I heard something tell me, "This event is insignificant in the scheme of what God has planned for you.  Stop beating yourself up about it and just make it right with God." I think that sometimes that applies to almost all the things that happen to us.  

Well, I love you and I hope all is going well back at home.  Keep me updated about the family and the ward and maybe even the dog and cats (oddly enough they are family too).  


Oh yes, please send Dudley Leavitts patriarichal blessing my way.  Did it come to you in the mail?  I requested his patriarichal blessing because I thought it would be great to have the chance to read it and come to know him a little more.  I would like to start doing that with more of our ancestors. And tell the young women thanks for the card I was able to get it!

  

My love to you from Germany,

Elder Bretzing
 8-15 Zone Conference with Elder Johnson

 
10-15 Zone Conference