Monday, February 29, 2016


Hey Family!

Well, this week has been different.  I guess that is where I will start off.  So this last weekend was transfer calls.  Like I said before, I usually had an idea where I was going or if I was going to stay in an area or be transferred, until this transfer call. I had no idea what was going to happen.  So we get our phone call, and our assistant calls me and tells us that my companion, Elder Ausobksy, got transferred.  He is going to serve on the Polish border in Frankfurt Oder.  And so I was like, wow ok, I guess I am not staying.  Not too much of a shocker, I mean that is like a 50/50 chance. You either stay or go.  There really is not any other options.  But then he preceded to tell me that I have been chosen to train again.  Haha, that was the crazy part for me!  Train!? Again!? I guess the Lord has been trying to teach me a lesson and it takes about 3 times before it finally sticks in my brain.  Haha, but that was new for me.  So I will be here in Flensburg probably for 3 more months.  But we will see.  I am ready.  So that means that this whole week I will be gone and back in good old Sachsen again.  I will be traveling the whole day tomorrow and arriving in Dresden around 8:30p.m. (and we will leave our apartment at 7:00a.m.).  But that is not all just traveling. Mostly stops here and there and waiting for trains.  So that will be another adventure.  To be honest, it was not what I was expecting. But I know and I trust in the Lord that it is what He wants me to do.  I have the faith that the Lord has great things in store for all of us, we just have to make the step to trust Him.  Especially, when we think it is not going our way, but I feel I will look back and be grateful for what He has planned for me.

Lets see... Other than that, this week was actually pretty normal.  We were able to stay in Flensburg most of the week.  We got to say goodbye to some missionaries in our district.  One of them is going home.  It is weird, because I was there for the beginning of her mission as well in Marzahn, so it will be sad to see some of the group going.

We also had one crazy travel day.  It was our district meeting day, and we said, well we are gone from Flensburg most of the day, might as well use this day to travel around and meet with other people in other cities.  So we traveled to Kiel for our district meeting, and traveled to Schleswig to meet with a less active member, who was a miracle that we found her on the street. Literally the first person we talked to and she was a member praying to find the missionaries again.  I will have to tell the whole story later, but so we traveled to her and then we had to take a train to the "west coast" of Germany, to a small city called Husum. But then we had an appointment with a really funny man who lives in Niebull, and so he picked us up from Husum and he decided to drive us through the whole west coast of Germany. I just remember going crazy because we planned all of our time exactly and I just remember him getting really excited and telling us things like "Oh, there is a great beach you have to see. It is only ten minutes away from here. " And then he would drive in that direction.  But it was great and it ended up being a great lesson with him afterwards.  And then we took the 1 hour bus ride from Niebull to Flensburg.  Haha yeah sorry that most of my describing my weeks include all my travel details, but I just find it so fascinating. It is definitely different that how things are back at home.  But anyways, that was our crazy travel day.

The time seems to be winding down and that is somewhat scary.  I am grateful for the training opportunity because it will keep me busy.  This transfer is general conference. The next transfer I have my phone call back at home. And the next is my birthday and then home.  Ugh!  It is just a weird feeling.  But usually when these thoughts that come into my head, i just have to talk to someone on the street and they start to go away.  I find that every finding opportunity is unique and that it never gets boring.  It always stays hard, but there is always something new in every moment that we encounter.  I always have finding encounters because that is what we are doing most of the time.  Even when we don't think we are.  For instance, we walked into an old antique shop today and just looking around because Elder Ausobksy wants a trinket from Flensburg, and the owner of the shop just starts talking to me asking questions about our church.  At first, it was awkward, because their were alot of people in the shop and they all just starting staring as if they all heard their name being called.  But it was great and we were able to talk to this man and he has sincere interest in learning more about the gospel.  That was a great opportunity.

Well, I love you all and i am grateful that everything is doing ok back at home. I will keep Geoff Johnson in my prayers and their little baby as well.  

Love you all!
Elder Bretzing

P.S. Welcome to the club, Mom!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hey Family,

First of all... Happy Birthday Mom!  I hope everything was really fun!? Was there a huge giant party? Did you at least stay up late to celebrate? I hope so. Sorry about your present, but it seems like it will be arriving home sometime around July, so I guess you will have to wait for it. 

Our week was also really good.  We had a lot that happened and a lot of funny expierences as well. Where to begin....  We started the week off with a zone conference that we had in Kiel.  Which that is never normal, because we usually hold them in Hamburg, and the whole north of the mission meets in Hamburg.  But this time it was different. I was super stoked to go to Hamburg, but it didnt turn out so. But at least to get to Kiel it was only 1½ hours and not 2½ to Hamburg.  It seems like every missionary that I meet now, their first question is almost, when are you going home? and then I usually reply with July and they are all suprised because they think I am older on my mission.  But after this transfer, most of the missionaries that I know will be going home.  Its a strange new frontier.  But I promise that I did learn something out of Zone Conference.  We talked alot about the big things of the mission. Which of late has been the topic of repentance because of the worldwide broadcast for missionaries.  

This week we have been finding some crazy and funny people.  We found a little family from Syria who lived before in Dubai.  They were very interesting and very nice to us.  We found them because they were one of the names on our phone (there is like 200 names on our phone, but we decided to go through them finally and most of them were either wrong numbers or do not exsist. One person who we called cant even speak german or english, and so he called a translator to call us to just tell us that he was not interested.  I laughed about that.  And some people live now in southern germany.) but ANYWAYS, we called them and they invited us over right away.  We are going back this wednesday because they were very interested about a living prophet today, but they seem open.  
Haha, ok we found a really funny guy.  We met him at a little ATM shop because there was a ATM shop and we found a place where you can get A&W rootbeer (which is impossible to find by the way) and so I had to buy one.  And we walked in and there was this guy from Guatemala, speaking very decent German with us.  Anyways we get talking and just having a fun time, and then he continues to show us that he is like a karate master and is showing us all these karate moves and throwing fake punches and what not.  He was really funny.  When he finally understood that we were missionaries, he invited us right away to come with us to his friends and to "help" them.  So we walk into his friends house and he looks over at us and just says "ok... tell them...." I had no idea what to say, but we just started talking about our purpose here and we made out another appointment.  It was hilarious.  We had no idea what happened, but we were ok with another appointment.

And that was mostly our week, just talking to alot of people whenever we can.  Sunday we had an eating appointment with a really cool member family in our branch.  They live on the west side of our area and so it takes them about 1 hour every week to get to church.  So we decided to eat at the church building and it was really fun.  They actually come from Berlin and were from Marzahn so that was fun to talk about.  I forgot about Berlinish, a little dialect they have in Berlin.  Basically everyone speaks super super fast and like chop off all the endings of the words.  But they are trying to get rid of their accents, so they told us.  He is also our Sunday School teacher, and so he sounds like an auction man, thats how fast he talks.  But really funny. I forgot how crazy German Sarcasm can be like. 

But to answer your question:  I cannot tell you which one exactly I am learning because I am learning both Brasilien portuguese and Portugal portuguese. From what I have gathered, its basically just an accent thing.  And the brasilians use a formal language and the portuguese use a very personal language. like in German. There is a Sie language and a Du language.  But the missionary who is helping me is either from Brasil or lived there for a while.  Anyways, he is fluent in the language. But all my books are teaching me portuguese from Portugal.  And then we have a member in our branch from Angola, and that has also its own little dialect of portuguese.  So its just really everywhere.  But I can say a basic prayer and a little small talk.  I have started to memorize 10 new words a day, so i keep the words in my shirt pocket and everytime i get into a bus, I go over the words again.  This week, I asked my mission president if it would be possible that Elder from Brasil and I could be companions, so I will let you know how that goes.  

So how is the missionary work at home? I saw that there is a dritt in our ward? (three elders) and sisters? how long do they think they will be there? I have already started to make some plans to make sure I go out with them and help them with the work. that is something that I really saw from this branch is their willingness to be there and to help. And I would like to do something when I get home. 

Keep me posted on all the baby information.  I hope that everything goes will for Nadine and last month of pregnancy.  Is there a name? A gender? Hey! where is the gender from Kevin and Hanas? He told me he would send  me an email........

Well, love you!
Elder Bretzing
And as for this week....

Ok well this will be a super long email because I will just add to that for what we did but it will actually be pretty short.  But this week went good. Probably one of the hardest that Elder Ausobsky and I had during our time in Flensburg.  Almost every single appointment that we had with our friends fell out. Everyone was sick or just were not home when we planned it for.  That was really tough, but on a brighter side, we have been able to work more closely this week with some newly converted members.  It was really fun because one of the new converts is from Angola and he speaks Portuguese, and so we set it up that the Elder who speaks Portuguese was able to have a skype meeting with him and that went pretty well.  It was cool because I was able to understand like 20 percent.  But i thought that was fun.
Because all of our appointments fell out, we decided that we were going to go to a city that we have not gone to before and just hit the streets with finding.  So we went to this small city called Schleswig.  And it was also tough.  We ran into about 5 people who were either pastors or their parents where pastors of another faith. And that was not the hard part, it was that they really didnt show some christlike love.  One was really nice, though, and he was even in Utah and was at BYU for a little bit.  Its crazy to hear all the stories of people we meet on the street and usually everyday we find someone who has been to Utah. But that was our time in Schleswig. I think I was mostly enjoying to see the sun for the whole day, so that made it a bright day.
Then we were in Kiel for two days.  So we have a new thing in our mission where we want to focus on the missionary exchange.  So that meant that we both had to spend two days in Kiel and that was a little tough because we could not schedule any other appointments for these two days.  But i was with Elder Lauder again and it sure did feel like the old days.  It is interesting to think that I have already been gone from Kiel for about 3 months and when I came back for the exchange, I still knew my way around.  I just forgot all the bus numbers and their times, but it was really fun to be back. We ran into alot of people that we use to teach together, who unfortunately have not been taught lately.  So I dont think that was a coincidence and I hope that they might be able to meet with them again.
This weekend will be transfer calls, so I will let you know what happens. I have no idea what will happen, but it will definately be something new. Its been weird because usually most of my mission I kind of new what was going to happen in terms of being transferred, but this one I am not to entirely sure about.  But I gues there are only two options anyway.  Well, I love you all and I will talk to you next week! 
Love again,

Elder Bretzing

Smiles to my heart when I see him.. he looks so happy
Zone Conference February 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

WEEK 2-8-2016

Haha Hey family!

Well, as you can tell by the title, this week has been mostly spent in trains and buses.  But I will give you the rundown of how the week went... it was a pretty funny one. Most of our appointments by the way fell out this week.

So on Tuesday, most of our appointments fell out and we met an interesting man at a donershop who wanted to tell us the mysteries of religion and all he learned on TV, which just had to be true. But then we headed out Tuesday night to travel to a small town called Neumunster.  So on Wednesday, we had a meeting in Hamburg. And we could of left on Wednesday, but that meant that we would of had to get up around 4 to get dressed, travel from our apartment to the train station and then take a almost 2 1/2 hour train ride to Hamburg. And we had to be there at 9:30 in the morning. So we decided to overnight in the small city and we know the missionaries because they are in our district.  And then we made the travel over to Hamburg on Wedensday and we had a meeting there til 6:00p.m. It was a good meeting and I was reminded again the importance of practice and truly doing all we can in our power to prepare ourselves for our lessons.  Then we traveled back to Flensburg after the meeting and got into Flensburg at 7 in the evening.  Thursday we had to travel back to Kiel for our districts meeting.  So the beginning of our week was traveling and meetings.  And the at the end of our week, we had a few service projects with members in the ward.  We have one family who bought a house and in their description "was built before the restoration of the church" and they are remolding it.  So it was fun to work on a house again and it felt alittle bit like home. We also were able to work in a soup kitchen this week, because that is what the Sisters always did before us, and that was also very interesting. Fun, because it reminds me a little bit like Bishops Storehouse, but with some really crazy people.  So that was what we did.  We were able to meet with a member of ours here in Flensburg who speaks portuguese and so we are starting to have little study sessions with each other.  I have gotten to the point where I can pray in Portuguese and that is really fun, and this week I will be working on how to testify in portuguese.  

But that was mostly our week.  We are still going forward, even when it gets tough. We havent really seem to find a normal pattern yet, for we have alot of appointments that fall out and so we are trying our best to keep ourselves busy.  But we dont get discouraged by it.  We just then have to find more creative ways, or sometimes go back to basics, in order to find some interested people.  

Well, love you all and I hope everything is doing good back at home.  I miss ya and I will talk to you next week!


Elder Bretzing

Monday, February 1, 2016


Hey Family!

Well, I finally got smart.  I always have my planner on me but this time I decided to go through it to see what I did this week to tell you what happened.  It helps with the fine details.  I don't know why I never thought of it before!

So this week we started to have a family home evening here in Flensburg with some of the members.  There is our ward missionary and her husband is away in Bayern for about 3 months, so she asked if we could start a family home evening thing there and so we started inviting some of our friends.  It was really nice.  One family in the ward came and our ward missionary who hosted the family home evening told us that she had the feeling that it was really good for the other family.  They felt special that someone invited them.  It was cool to see that just as small as inviting someone to a family home evening, they felt a little almost as if people cared for them.  They came and had a good time.  We are happy too because it helps us to have a better relationship with the branch.

We also have made some hedway in the work here in Flensburg.  One of our friends that the sisters use to meet with decided that she wants to get baptized!  She is a great person and she is really funny.  Sometimes she scares me, because she has some crazy humor.  But she is never crude, and always starts laughing after she cracks a joke.  But it was great to see that.  We will need to help her quit smoking.  That will be her biggest hurtle, but if she can do that than all will be great.  I have faith in her that she can do it.  She had a bad accident in the last few months, and so I think that is her major driving force to quit smoking.

We have also been finding some new people that are intrested in hearing more about the gospel.  A small and young Albanian family, where the mom speaks almost perfect English and Italian, and the husband who can speak German and Italian.  And their mothertongue of Albanish.  But it is really funny because the lessons have been half English and half German to help each other understand.  We also found a young guy in his early 20s and we have an appointment set out for this week.  It was a funny situation, because usually when we talk to people on the street, we like to take turns, and I try to help Elder Ausobsky get use to talking to people on the street.  He has made some great progress and is doing good.  But this one, he must of not seen him or somthing because right as the young man walked past us is when I jumped and said MOIN! (Which just means hi up here) and so he stopped and Elder Ausobksy finished the conversation with him.  It was super funny.

We also had an unexpected Baptism that we saw this weekend.  Well, the baptism itself was not unexpected.  It has been planned for quite some time.  But us going in there was unexpected.  We had originally planned to do a street display in Flensburg about family history, but because of the rain, we were not able to do that, and then we get a phone call from the missionaries in another city (the ones planning the baptism) and we found out that one of the missionaries poped his shoulder out of his socket, and so they asked if we could come as fast as we could.  That was a miracle within itself.  So we got to go see a baptism this weekend and it was rahter nice.  The missionary who popped his shoulder is also doing good, by the way.

Well, that is all of the highlights that we saw this last week.  The time keeps on going.  Life is doing good.  The sun was seen maybe for a total of 30 minutes this whole week.  I am getting really white.  Like I am not so used to that, I think this summer Ill spend alot of time at the beach.  Its really the small things that matter most when you cannot see the sun for a whole week. Not the whole because I dont have a tan, but you have to stay happy because it just looks dreary out there.  So its nice to try to laugh every now and again and just remember that one day soon the sun will come back.  Until then, just keep pressing on!

Well, that is what is going on in our neighborhood!  I love you all and I hope all the best for you in this upcoming week.  Mom... get better and rest! I know you like working and what not but get better! I could reccomend 2 days of sleep.  That helped me when I lost my voice and it works wonders.

Love You!

Elder Bretzing