Wednesday, April 20, 2016



13 April 2016   

Dear Brother and Sister Bretzing, 

We are grateful to have had Elder Matthew Drew Bretzing serving in our mission. I’m sure his letters have shown the excitement he has experienced while serving the people here. As we approach the end of his mission it is time for us to prepare for his release.  

Elder Bretzing   will be released and fly home on 08 Jul 2016.*  Until that time, we feel it is very important for him to continue to serve to the end with all his heart, might, mind, and strength. We will try to make the planning process as little of a distraction as possible and we encourage you to help him to focus on his missionary efforts as well.  Nevertheless, Elder Bretzing will be informed  about the details of his release  and trip home. In order for us to prepare for his release with as little distraction to him as possible, we ask you to please email the following information to us at as soon as possible: 

 1. Name and location of the nearest major airport to the missionary's home.  (This is the airport where you would like your missionary to arrive.) 
2. Any change in your address or telephone number since your missionary's mission call. 
3. The E-mail address to which you would like your missionary's return travel itinerary sent. 

4. If you desire to come to Germany to pick up your missionary, please let us know and also ask your stake president to contact me regarding the request. The Church currently "discourages parents from picking up missionaries." (Handbook 1 Section 4.10) Exceptions are possible, however, under the right circumstances. If approved, further instructions and a release form will be sent to you. 

*If you have already made arrangements to pick up missionary at the conclusion of his mission, please disregard the above return flight date. 

I hope that the last months of Elder Bretzing's mission will be among the most treasured. We are thankful for the efforts and dedication that he has given in service of the Lord. We are also thankful for the support you have given him in this work.

May the Lord continue to bless you.

Christian H. Fingerle, President Germany Berlin Mission

WEEK 4-18-2016

Hey-o Family!  

Well this week has been interesting. I got some good stories this time.  

Well it started off well with two new friends that we have been teaching.  They are both 18 and we talked to them on the street about 2 weeks ago.  Well, we talked to one of them on the street and the other was invited to our appointment.  When we had our first appointment, it was a great time.  These kids actually have a lot of interest.  They have asked some of the greatest questions.  They have already read a few chapters in the book of Mormon, and they mentioned to us that every time they read in the book, they feel compelled to keep reading.  They have a good feeling that comes from what they think is God.  They really have no religious background, except for what they learned in school about religion.  It has been really fun teaching them and we hope that they really want to keep learning more.  I just have to pace myself, so I don't throw up everything on them at once with the gospel.  But they seem to understand what we are teaching.  

We also had an interesting event.  We went dooring to find some less active members and we came across this crazy family who are Gypsies and also are members of another faith.  They allowed us in so that they can bash with us for a little bit, but they were surprised with how much we know the bible and their faith as well.  So they invited us over to their church meetings during the week.  I agreed on one condition.  If we went with them to their church meeting, they will come to ours.  And they agreed.  (unfortunately the agreement was not kept on their side.  But that is ok, we love all of Gods children.)  But we decided to go!  And it sure was an interesting experience.  I have to admit, they were very friendly with us and the moment we entered their building, someone was there to greet us and take us to our seats.  We were seated with our friends.  I remember the experience, because as I was there, I felt comfortable.  I felt really comfortable because everyone who was present was really nice and friendly and trying to help us understand what was going on.  But I remember vividly, that as I was there, I didn't feel the Spirit.  Elder Vasai and I talked about it afterwards and we just felt that something was missing, and it was the Spirit. 

 And for me, it was just a spiritual confirmation that this other church we visited on the weekend is not Gods church.  God has worked the same way ever since the beginning.  He calls prophets to teach his people the gospel.  These prophets hold his sacred Priesthood.  And through my experiences, I have come to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  I believe, just as taught in the bible, that He came to die for us so that we may one day return again to our Eternal Father.  I do believe that these prophets of old testified and prophesied that one day would come, where there would be a falling away from the truth of God.  They even explain it as a hunger in the land, but not a hunger after food or water, but after the truth from God (Amos 811). And it came.  But they also preached about in the last days, that the gospel would be restored.  And I truly feel that that has happened and that our church really is that church that Jesus Christ established, but now restored and will bless the lives of many.  It blesses my life.  Everyday.  I remember sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday, and even with noisy children, the spirit confirmed to me like it did a long time ago that this is where I need to be.  This is where God wants me to be.  So that was a interesting experience this week, and I was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about myself and the things that God wants me to do.

So that was basically our week.  This week we will be spending the beginning of it back in Kiel as we are having an exchange.  I don't see anything really in the next few weeks were Elder Vasai and I have to do a lot of traveling, so that will be fun and we will be able to get a lot here done. 

I love you all and I hope all is going well back at home. I miss you so much but I know that we will see each other soon! I love you!

Elder Bretzing

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

WEEK 4-11-2016

Hey Everyone,

Well, as you can tell from the title, this last weekend was transfer weekend.  I am still staying here with Elder Vasai and this next transfer is for 7 weeks.  Which really was not a shocker because I am training him.  So by the end of this transfer, I would have been in Flensburg for 6 months, almost 7.  I cant believe that I have been here for so long.  It feels really short, and yet, really long.  But we do the best we can and make the most out of it.  I am happy to stay with Elder Vasai and I know that we will have a good time. 

This last week we went to the Freiberg Temple with our new convert in our branch.  And that was really fun.  The 16 hours that we were on trains was not really the best, but we got to get to know each other more and most the time I was out like a light bulb.  But the time at the temple was the best.  We had a tour from the temple sisters and then got to enjoy the time and the spirit that was there.  One of the temple sisters is a good friend of mine as well so I got to say goodbye to her before she went home.  But the best part was when we watching together a small little video about the temple.  And boy do I sure miss that place.  I just wanted to cry the whole time and I was just imagining myself getting to go there soon.  I really miss the calmness and the stillness one feels as they are there. 

I was also on exchange with a missionary in Neumunster and so I got to spend some of the time there.  But other than that, the weeks are still a blur.  I have to really concentrate to think what I did this last week.

I am so grateful that I have a journal.  Its not the best and I am a few days behind, but it is just so nice and it is just nice to know that it is not all just one big day, but multiple little moments compiled in one big adventure.  But saying this, it is sad because the middle part of my mission I was terrible at writing in my journal.  So I will have to make contact with some of the old missionaries to get these memories back.  But I guess as well I have the weekly emails, so that is good too.  But I have heard that alot of my missionary friends and old companions are getting engaged and or married or seriously dating people.  I find that so weird.  It is a little scary to go home and to be kinda that odd ball out but I still have time not to worry about that.  

And tell bishop that he needs to stay bishop until I get home.  In august, he can get released. I just had to laugh when I heard that the elders and sisters get fed every night.  I know that there are differences in missions and cultures and what not, and so its not like I am mad or anything, but here in our branch, no one really signs up for us except for on Sunday, and usually it is the same family each week.  But this week, we had a miracle and another family invited us over to lunch during the week.  That never happens here.  But, I mean i still love the members and I know they are great.  I don't understand how it can be hard on the ward back at home, but I will be able to get to know that when I get home.  I think a good idea would to have the missionaries scheduled on a night and then right after, go home teaching or something with them.  They would be able to go on splits then with the ward members and help with the home teaching, but I don't know I am not there yet.  

Well, I love you all and I hope you have a great week.  You are all in my prayers!


Elder Bretzing  


Hey-o Family!
Well, General Conference has come and gone.  That was awesome! I loved them all that I was able to see.  We still have not seen the sunday afternoon session because of the time change, but I hope soon that I can read the talks on the gospel library app.  For most of it, we were alone at the church building to watch it.  We were asked to come to the church building to keep it open for those who wanted to come and only a few came now and again.  For most of conference, it was Elder Vasai and I watching Conference in the nursery room because there it was being played in English and so that it would be better to understand for Elder Vasai.  For one of the sessions, however, we were able to watch it in the celestial language with our branch president at his home.  (I got a good laugh from that too and I thought in that moment all the Germans were laughing as well) It was really funny because since Elder Vasai cant grasp all of what is being said (even though his german is so much better in the beginning as mine at that time)  He was having a hard time staying awake during it.  And it did not help because our branch president was kind enough to feed us before, so we helped each other stay awake.  Unfortunately, none of our investigators wanted to come and watch it with us.  We have been struggling really hard to meet with people lately or find people who really want to learn more.  Just today, I was calling people to see if they wanted to meet with us and no one was really interested anymore.  Even as much as it trys to slow us down, there are still lots of opportunities to do good. 
This past week was one really to remember, and it was because we were not at all in our own area.  We had to do an exchange, the both of us, in Kiel and so that was always good to go back into the old area and see everyone again.  Afterwards, we had to go to Berlin for another conference with new missionaries.  We had some good times and I even got to spend the night in Hamburg again.  It just all seems like the areas tend to blend together and that I never left.  But it was good to be there.  I was even able to talk to a few of the members there and that was just great.  The pictures from the new missionary conference should be on the blog soon.  Lets just say though that I am really happy to be back in my area.  But I wont be staying for long. Tonight, I leave for another exchange with some Elders that are serving in the city of Neumunster.  (Fortunately, Elder Vasai will be able to stay in our area and so meet with some of our investigators.)  And then this coming Friday, we are traveling once again down to Freiberg.  This time, for a different reason.  We have a new convert in our branch and last week we found out that he wanted to go and visit the temple in Freiberg.  It is a 8-9 hour trip down there, but that did not seem to bother him, for he wants to truly prepare himself for the day he recieves the Melchesidek Preisthood and is able to go into the Temple.  So its something new in our mission, and we are able to join him and bring him down and spend the time with him.  That will be just a treat and I will let you know how that goes.  It has been such a treat to work with this new convert and see his progress.  He will trully be a instrument in the hands of the lord.  I am excited for him!
That is all the news and updates I got for this week.
Well, I love you and your all in my prayers

Elder Bretzing