Monday, November 30, 2015

WEEK-11-30-2015





Hello Family-
Well another week has come and gone and I just remembered right after I sent my letter last week, that I did not even share with what I am grateful for.  I guess I can do that now and share them with some experiences that we had this week.

I am grateful for the friends that I have.  Unfortunately, I am not really in a lot of connection with all my friends back at home, but I am grateful for the friends that I have made on my mission.  This week I was able to go out on exchange with two missionaries.  One of them is really new on his mission.  His name is Elder Halbleib.  This is only his second transfer, so he has been here in Germany for almost three months.  It was fun to go out and work with him.  It reminded me a lot about the beginning of my mission.  We had a lot of appointments during our time together and were always traveling one appointment to the next.  And we met some really interesting people.  One guy that we met with, came to know the church through a very old western movie which sort of, from how he described it, makes fun of our religion, and all of his friends used to be members of our church, but they have long since left.  (That and much much more) But as Elder Halbleib and I had the chance to meet with him, we realized that he really has interested in learning more about this church.  And he even came to church with us too.  And he lives in a very small village outside of Kiel.  And then I was able to go to a small suburb outside of Hamburg called Delingsdorf (but we mostly stayed in a place called Ahrensburg) with another missionary named Elder Hein.  It was fun to go with him.  He is actually going home in one more month, so we went from a really young missionary to a really old missionary.  But we had some good times.  It has been a while since I rode a bicycle.  I felt like we were doing classic missionary work, of going from door to door of people that we knew and see if we could make out a time to meet with them.  
I am grateful for what I have learned as being a member in this church.  It is just great to see all the wonderful blessings.  Sometimes, they can be hard for us to see.  I can see that from people that we have met on the street this past week.  This week was really hard when it came to talking to people.  We talked with a lot of people, but they all did not have interest.  And one lady we met on the street even explained to us that she has been to Salt Lake City (Which happens a lot here in Germany) and that she thought it was lovely and beautiful, but from what she has "heard" from either the internet or her friends, she did not want to meet with us or even talk to us about these things.  And I find that really disappointing.  I would of hoped that she would of given us the chance to talk to her about the Book of Mormon and more about our goal here on earth and where we will be going afterwards.  But sometimes, we allow these small things to get in our way from finding out something wonderful or great.   

I am also very grateful for my family.  It is always great to here more about what is going on through the emails!  I am trying to get better at writing my emails because I know there was a time that it was just a few short sentences.  But I am very grateful to hear all that is going on back at home and to read what is going on.  I hope that you are also able to get something from these emails.  Probably 90% of the time it is just me rambling on about my week.

Well, I love you all and thanks for being awesome and doing what you do.  I hope that this week will be great for you and I cant wait to come back and here all that is happening!

Love,
Elder Bretzing

Monday, November 23, 2015

11-23-15



Howdy Everyone!

First of all, is it really thanksgiving? Man that is crazy.  I guess it's time to start cracking out the Christmas music soon.  Everyone here has been trying to listen to Christmas music and I keep telling the missionaries that we wait for the 1st of December.  I just think it is fun so I keep telling them that we have to wait for the December.  But its true... But anyways... That is a different subject.

This week has been really fun and somewhat stressful.  We have been seeing some really cool miracles.  This last Wednesday, we went to visit a district in Gl├╝ckstadt, which is about an hour away with the train.  And we decided that we will take  some time and work with the missionaries there because they have been struggling to find people to teach more about the Gospel.  And so we split with the missionaries and my companion and a missionary stayed in Gl├╝ckstadt and me and another missionary went to a small city called Itzehoe. And as we were getting on the train going to Itzehoe, we noticed a really nice guy waiting too.  So we just sat there and started to talk with him and later in the conversation he showed a lot of interest in what we have to tell him.  It was super cool because it was the very first person that we talked to and we were able to schedule out a time where we could meet again and talk with him.  The missionary with me was like, "wow. There really are people here who are interested in the gospel." I told him to remember this moment when it gets tough or people tell you that you can't find anyone with interest.  It was super cool and we both had a good time. Their appointment with him is this Wednesday so I hope all goes well.

We also have been teaching this really cool student who moved here from China and she is super cool.  She came to church this week and she wants to get baptized.  She is planning on being baptized in two weeks and we still have a lot to teach her.  But she is doing great.
She taught me how to count to 10 in Chinese and to say some very fundamental things.  Chinese has 4 different tones for one letter and they all mean very different things.

We have also been super busy with the Christmas party here in our ward.  So we the missionaries are  planning the ward Christmas party this year because there was no one in charge of it.  Man is that stressful.  It takes up a lot of our time but from what we have planned already, the ward really likes it so I am hoping that all will go well.

Hey, OK so I have some questions.  I have been talking with the Sisters here in Kiel.  And they told me about college applications.
That is super weird that it is already coming up, and when I say coming up, I mean by the 1 of December, the application needs to be turned in.  I don't know where I want to go for school, but I know I just want to start the moment I get home.  Should I start applying for that now? Have I missed most of deadlines for colleges.  I feel like my grades are not good enough for most colleges so I don't know if I will just have to go back to Fullerton community college.  I really wouldn't want to. But maybe if you have time mom, could you check the application process for a few schools like byu or csuf or something? I don't know.  I have completely kept this blocked from my mind.  But that would be great if you could do that for me. And then We will report back next Monday.

And for Christmas, I would just be happy with a card from everyone or something.  I am starting to notice the sun bleach in my pants and my collars getting worn out. But on the bright side I have good pair of shoes! So maybe for Christmas, since our pday is right after Christmas, we can go clearance shopping for some new clothes. When do I need to write the Christmas card letter?

Well I think that is everything on my side.  I love you all and I miss ya but at this rate of time, we will see each other in 4 weeks or so... I think.

Love you!
Elder Bretzing
Kiel Germany 2015

Dinner at a members with a snowball fight..Who won???
video

Monday, November 16, 2015

WEEK 11-16-15



Hey Everyone,

I hope that everything is going on good back at home.  It is week two and no letter.  I know that there will come one soon so I am not too worried, but I do hope that everything back at home is going on ok.

I guess I can tell you how my week has been going.  It was sure an interesting week.  It started off very busy.  We had a lot of meetings that we had to go to with our zone here in Schleswig-Holstein.  They were all really good because we were able to come together and help the zone a lot.  If anyone is preparing to go on a mission, my extra advice that I would tell them is get used to a lot of meetings.  You are not always on the street or the typical imagined two missionaries going door to door in the middle of no where.  There are a lot of meetings that missionaries will attend, to discuss the welfare of the missionaries and what we can do or focus on as a mission/zone/district.  And so I really enjoy these meetings because I feel that a lot can be done and help and support can be found there.

This week was just hard as well when it came to our proselyting because whenever we thought that we had time to go and talk to people, our time was occupied by something else.  Which is quite interesting what one of the things that occupied our time was.  So we receive a text message from our mission on Friday morning, that we were going to have a mission wide conference call.  During the conference call, we learned that Elder Ballard would be stopping by to visit our mission and he wanted us all to gather in Berlin, so that we could see him and talk with him.  That was really fun.  So for two days, we were running around like headless chickens making sure everyone in our zone had tickets to get to Berlin and that everyone was doing all the things they could to be prepared.

And that was a fun meeting.  It was just great.  All of it.  Watching him enter the room, and the Spirit confirming to you that that man is one of His chosen servants.  It was just great, and the humor and laughter that he brought just felt homely.  It is hard to explain it but he taught us simple doctrine but in a way that we all left leaving that room with more insight on the simple things.  What he really did was remind us of what we already know.  And that is the beauty of it.
He taught us solid basics.  The importance of talking to people, of being good and powerful teachers and always remembering the importance of asking for understanding.  It was great.  I loved my time with it.
And he just taught us and created an environment that everyone was comfortable in that room and that we were truly being retaught.

What I learned from that meeting is the importance of improvement.  As I got to shake his hand, he told me to enjoy my mission.  And everyone says that.  But what it this time different than all other times? And at the end of the meeting, he is talking about that we just do not have time for a lot of things. He was talking a lot about getting along with your companion and your attitude towards the work and what not, and he just kept repeating, "you just don't have the time for it!"

So that was a cool experience.  Other than that, everything is going well here in Kiel.  It has been a weird time here in Kiel, because it is just been a weird transition.  My mind likes to wonder and play the guessing game of how long I will stay here, but I try not to.  Or I just have to keep telling myself that whatever happens, happens.  And the Lord knows I can handle it.  I love Kiel.  The people and the place here is beautiful.  It is just sometimes hard to be the leadership role.  Sometimes it wears on you.  But I do have to say that I love working with missionaries.  I love getting to go and visit their district meetings and getting to talk with them weekly on the phone.  But there are times, that the leadership role takes a toll on you.

Hey but i hope everything is going well on back at home.  It really is ok about the letter I know that one will come soon so do not worry, if you are, about the letter.  I love you and I know that I will hear from you soon.

Hey, a really interesting thing happened this week.  So it was dads birthday, and I was a little down for a while.  And I did not know how to get out of this funk.  I was trying my hardest to not think about it and keep going and it wasn't working.  Well, at the very end of the night, I remember just sitting there, staring at the ceiling, and our neighbors are all college students, well, the first time I have heard this since being here, but the neighbors just decided to crank up some music and it was Led Zeppelin and it just reminded me of dad.  Just for clarification, I did not turn on music, but our neighbors cranked it so high, that we heard it through the walls.  But I smiled and knew that he is still there and with me. And I fell asleep like a baby.  So everything is going good!

Love,
Elder Bretzing          November 2015 Leadership Training- Hamburg Zone


Monday, November 9, 2015

WEEK 11-9-15

Hey Family,

I hope everything is going good back home.  I didn't receive a letter
but I know I will probably get one later.  This week has been long.

Man, I am really tired.  We have been non stop this last week.  We
were either at appointments with members or some of our friends and we
were always going.  There has not been any down time.  We are never at
home, but when we are, it's always cleaning or trying to update papers
and writing or planning for meetings.  It's sometimes stressful,
especially whenever there is something new.  It has been a struggle
just to stay one day ahead of all the planned activities but before we
know it, the next day comes and there is so much we have to plan for
that day. I feel like sometimes it's necessary to stop and take a
breath sometimes.

On an update on our area:
We had a leadership training meeting this last week in Hamburg.  It
was so much fun to be there and to enjoy the time in Hamburg again.
We were walking through the main train station and I saw two people
that I knew back from those days.  It was really funny.  We talked a
lot about mission stuff this last conference. The mission is a very
interesting place right now.  I bet Kevin understands seeing a new
mission president when they split his mission.  And so it's like that
and just trying to keep everyone together in unity.
We also got a new bishop in our ward this last week.  It was crazy and
completely not seen, at least I did not expect it and sometimes the
missionaries are the last ones to know about things.  But I am excited
to really get a side view of changes in the church because I always
thought these events were interesting.

We have had also a lot of cool experiences here in Kiel.  And I am
very grateful for them. I always used to take it lightly when people
said count your blessings, but it's those small blessings that get you
through the day and knowing that we will be able to get through the
tomorrow as well.  For example, my companion and I came together two
weeks ago and made a plan of how we want to see our area by the end of
the month.  And we felt strongly that we could find two people who are
ready in their lives to accept the gospel. The next day we found a
student in the bus and now she wants to get baptized.  And through all
this, you have to try to keep your head calm and thinking about them.
We are trying to help her all we can to come to know more.  I am
grateful to be able to count my blessings and see the hand of the lord
in my life.

Well I love you all and I will be waiting for the news update from home!
Love, Elder Bretzing

Even the missionaries are involved with THE FORCE

Monday, November 2, 2015

WEEK 11-2-15



Well, it's another new week here in Kiel. And there was a lot that got done.

My new companions name is Elder Lauder.  He is s great.  A very good missionary.  It was really funny because our apartment is really dirty.  And I never saw it. With my last companion, we were always out the apartment and we did not even notice it.  But with elder Lauder, he saw it instantly.  And no other missionaries ever really cleaned the apartment so intense.  So now we have been cleaning like crazy.
It reminds me a lot like Disneyland for some odd reason for all the deep cleaning.  During the time of deep cleaning, we have also been on the streets and we met one of the coolest students by the university last week.  She moved here from China and she is studying at the university.  She has one of the greatest stories and so we are teaching here.

The time has also been a little stressful because Elder Lauder and I are trying to change the opinion of our zone.  So where we are, here in the north of the mission, it is sort of seen as the lost zone.  And it's really sad because here there is a lot of potential if we know how to find.  There really isn't a lot of big cities or towns here in Schleswig - Holstein.  And so all the missionaries think all they are going to do here when they get transferred here is go door to door and be invisible to the rest of the mission.  So we are trying to help with the mind set of the missionaries here in this area.  I feel really confident with what we have planned will help and this weekend we are having a leadership training meeting so I am hoping to find the help we need.

Well I love you all and thanks for the update on the friends back at home.
I love you all,
Elder Bretzing