Monday, October 20, 2014
I am so grateful for the love that I have back home and for all the letters I have received. You guys are honestly the best. I honestly love being a missionary!! Forgetting about myself and just serving others is great! I believe this week I finally realized how powerful our callings are as missionaries and the authority that we hold. This week was a great one and I am so grateful for all the things that I learned.
First off, this next week is the last week of the transfer and so this past week we were Transfer Planning and making changes to companionships. It's amazing how much thought and prayer go into planning and how inspired President Stoddard is. I am so grateful that I was able to be apart of it. We have 250 missionaries and its cool to be able to serve every single one of them. It keeps us super busy but it's opening my eyes up a lot. This week we also had a lot of lessons and I swear I learned more from the lessons then our Members and our investigators. I was taking notes in the middle of the lesson. Again, just understanding how powerful it is to be a missionary. I almost forgot about it when I came home but it's been so cool to see missionary work from a different angle this time. As missionaries we get into habits and I am getting into those habits again but just from a different perspective now which has been cool.
We are working with a lot of members and new converts. We have 3 investigators right now and they are all progressing. We work with a lot of families who have been struggling as well which has been cool. Being a missionary just helps you understand about relationships and how they should be. It's so sad to see how many relationships break up because they forget all the positive things and only think on the negative! On Saturday night we met with Thomas and Shirley out in Köppern and it was amazing. We talked about their conversion and all the little things that went into it. Shirley started talking about when she was learning about Jesus Christ and didn't understand why he loved us so much to give his life up for us. She began to explain her experience of when Elder Smith and I went over to teach them and how she was getting Ice Cream for us and she went to give David more ice cream and she hit the bowl and it fell off the table and shattered. It was one of David's favorite bowls and David heard it and ran into the room that shirley was in.. He saw it was shattered and started screaming and crying and ran into his room. Shirley felt super sad about it and started crying as well and was heart broken. But it was that experience that helped her understand her relationship with Jesus Christ. She started talking about when you really do truly love someone that you would do absolutely anything in the world for them. When that bowl broke she knew that it would hurt David and break his heart. She felt the pain of David and related that to Jesus Christ and the pain he goes through when he loses one of his children or when one of his children makes a mistake. It was that experience that helped her understand Christ's love for his children. I have grown to love my savior. I have needed to repent in my life for many different things and I am grateful that he brought forward the atonement to help me overcome my habits and to be able to forgive me.. But our perfect example is our savior Jesus Christ. He loves us to give his life so why can't we learn from his example and love those around us just like Jesus Christ loves us. I am still weak but I am happy and continuing making steps forward and thats all that matters is that we are continuing to refine our lives every single day.
This Letter is long but I will leave you with a spiritual thought that has helped me so much. Going along about Jesus Christ and the example he is. He taught it so purely and clearly. Even though we are going through tough times in our life and how the world is getting crazier and crazier by the day. I believe this illustrates it perfectly.
A scripture that we find in John 16:33 says: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
This is my goal. Even when I was home I felt like I was drifting away from my normal Scripture study and prayer. Getting to caught up in Social Media or other things that were holding me back. But we can overcome the world. The Gospel brings true and everlasting happiness. I love this Gospel and I am so grateful for all the trials I have gone through in my life. Coming home was tough and coming back out was even tougher. But again I am so grateful that I made this decision because I have learned so much, even in the past couple weeks. I know that everything will work out if we just trust. The Lord gives us no commandments without a way that is prepared to help us. All we have to do is serve the Lord with everything we have and put the Gospel first in our lives.
I am so happy, I don't think I have ever been this happy. Things at home are going great and I am super happy being a missionary again. Of course I miss being home and being with my friends and family but I finally feel like I understand what it means to be a missionary. I am grateful for my family and friends for supporting and helping me make this decision to come back. I would do anything for the Lord and my testimony has just sky rocketed in the past couple weeks. I love you all. Have a great week.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Well I guess you could say this was my first week down.. ha honestly was a great week though! I feel like I received a ton of answers on what I need to do and things in my life.. I have finally understood why I needed to come home and why I am back here.. It was super tough being home and I have never felt that lost and desperate in my life! But I am glad that the Lord put me through that because it only helped me grow that much more.
This week was full of everything that could ever possibly happen to a missionary.. ha we stayed super busy and were all over the place and mission! I've got two of the greatest guys as companions and I love these guys. They have already helped me so much with decisions and Elder McGinn and Elder Lindsey are great! This past week I have received a lot of answers to prayers and unknown questions I have had. The Lord works in mysterious ways and sometimes we are so confused why we have to go through things or what the purpose of those things are.. But the Lord has a plan for each and every one of us. We just have to have an open heart and continue to push forward.
We went on a few splits this week. We drove over to Kaiserlautern to go on a split with a couple Elders there who are working in the American Area. That was great because I got to work with Elder Rogers who is such a great Elder but just hasn't seen a whole lot on his mission.. We had a very successful day and we just went and talked with so many people. We ended up setting 5 potential investigator lessons up and both the Elders there were super happy. It was good for me to experience because I love talking to people and contacting and it was great to get to do that again and see some success out of it. The next day we then drove over to Nürmberg which is about a 3 hr drive. And we had yet another great split there and has a street display. Saw a couple really bad incidences tho.. I was driving down there in Nürmberg with Elder McGinn and Elder Ward and I wanted to turn left.. as we were turning a train hit a dude and killed him! Yet again seeing everything as missionaries.. Super shocking and nothing that no one ever wants to see.. But it showed me how delicate our lives are and how careful we need to be in this world. Just be careful and know that I will be careful here as well! But I got to see President and Sister Schwartz again!! That was awesome, Elder Lindsey is leaving in a couple weeks so we dropped by their house and had lunch and stuff with them. He is a patriarch and said some very cool things to me that I will never forget and have written down for sure. They are amazing people and they live over in Feucht down by Nürmberg. we stayed super busy this week so that was good.
I love serving the German people and now get to serve Missionaries through out the mission. I have to be honest it is very difficult re adjusting back to missionary life.. But we sometimes have to do hard things in life. I am grateful for the experiences and the rollercoaster life I have had in the past 18 months but I am super excited to serve the Lord with everything I have these next 6 months.. The Lord is Good as I always say because he is. I love this Church and this Gospel. I have so much more to learn but I am excited what these next 6 months have in store for me. I love you guys, Happy to hear you are doing well!
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Elder Emery has recently been dealing with worsening conditions of thoracic outlet syndrome. He has undergone testing and examinations and several doctors and specialists have been consulted about his condition. His mission president, President Stoddard (a medical doctor) and area church medical doctors concluded that he needs to have treatment sooner than later to correct these issues or they will continue to worsen. Elder Emery has been given a medical release and will be returning home on Wednesday, August 6 for treatment which may possibly include surgery. He should make a full recovery and we ask that you remember him in your prayers.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Wow, makes me happy that you all had a great week! I would say the same thing that it was a really good week here in Germany. I would say for me it was one of the slowest weeks on my mission by far because I was not able to do anything. But what was cool is that I got to study quite a lot and really just find out who I really am. I loved it anyways. But that makes me happy that you are doing good.
First off, like I said before, this whole week my foot was actually really swollen for some reason and the doctors kept telling me to stay down. And you all know me, I can’t sit in the same place for a long time or else I go crazy. But I would say I did pretty good for the most part. But the times I did get up was when my foot would swell up and get all big and disgusting. haha funny story… One day after zone training some missionaries were going to go eat. And here is the funny but sad thing. Elder Lovelace (My old Comp) last Monday was playing volleyball with the Elders and Sisters. He jumped up to hit the ball and came down and messed up his knee, so him and I were actually together the whole week. My companion just went with his two companions. It was actually really good because we had a lot of really good talks about Gospel Doctrine and just about life in general. It was actually really solid. But by the weekend him we were back up and good to go. I will mainly tell you about what happened this weekend in my email.
Saturday I was able to go on a split with one of our district leaders. What is funny is that he speaks absolutely no English. He is from Switzerland and was born here in Germany. So during language study I actually helped him with his English. That day we had 3 different lessons planned. I was so stoked because I had just been sitting and doing nothing the whole week before. Each lesson was very special and so spiritual for some reason. I also loved being out because I could talk to people on the streets. I don’t know what it was but we were going on this stretch of about 100 yards and I contacted about 10 people in 5 minutes and gave out 2 Book of Mormons. I missed that feeling the whole week! Ha, but we taught about some solid truths about the Gospel. It is sad because each lesson we had was with inactive people. They have problems with people in the Church but they know the Church to be true. Sounds really dumb but that’s just how it is. They take everything really serious and they honestly are not fully converted to the gospel. IF we are converted to the Gospel we will go to church no matter the circumstances. The people of the Church are not perfect but the Gospel is perfect. It brings happiness when we live it. I know that to be true. All three lessons were really good and we were just bold with them. It was cool to get out of the apartment and office for a while. By the end of the day though I was absolutely dead. It’s one thing speaking German with your companion because we sound a lot alike when we talk. But being with a German that speaks as fast as he does really just drains the energy right out of you. It was really good and I really enjoyed that split.
Yesterday we were able to go to church and teach the primary class. That was a lot of fun! The kids are so funny and some of the things they say are really funny. We talked about the Holy Ghost and did a little activity with it. We asked the question, "What do we learn from this activity"? and one kid screamed, "Nothing"! haha I laughed, straight comedy! So that was good. Another really cool thing that happened was that a recent convert today was able to come to church and brought his wife and daughter. But what was really special is that he actually received the Priesthood. He absolutely loved it. He got a certificate and he was showing all the members and just smiling.
I know this Gospel brings happiness. Sometimes I don’t understand everything right there and then. But through time the Lord really does bless us. He helps us understand through time what we need to do in order to receive the full blessings of the Gospel! I have really learned in the past few weeks to just to trust in the Lord’s plan for me. Even when I don’t understand why things happen. But the trust that I have in the Lord and in missionary work is continuing to go up and I love it. I love this work. I know that we are all children of God. I have a strong testimony about our attitudes of life. When we decide to be happy and look at all the positive things of life, that’s when the Lord can bless us! Thanks for everything. I wish you guys a blessed week.