Monday, April 29, 2013

It Just Makes Sense!

 Hello my family!
Good week this week, it was the last week of my first transfer here in Germany! Today we start our new transfer. We received a call Saturday morning from the zone leaders saying that we will be staying together here in Heilbronn! This will be Elder Merkleys 6th transfer here in Heilbronn, that is about 8 months! In most cases that is a good thing but there has been a few cases where we have talked to people and they say we have already talked to them, or at least Elder Merkley has. Good thing our area is pretty good size and that doesnt happen too often. But it will be great to serve another 6 weeks with him, I have learned a lot from him and he is a very good at leading by example. He really stresses that we speak German as much as possilbe. Its pretty hard at times and some days are better thans others but I know that is the best way to learn this language! A companionship cannot be prefect and things come up that you dont agree on, it is so important to get them figured out and right away. It is very tough to teach about such a wonderful thing as the gospel when you are not in unity. Its hard to feel the Spirit when you are not and I know that is the only way possible to teach is with the Spirit. You have got to find what works best for both of you and go for it! It just makes sense that you can only see success when you are wanting it as a whole and as one! 
There is a lot of things in this Gospel that just make sense. Thats the beauty of it. And it just makes sense that it does make sense because it is the truth! As we study the scripture and pray to our Heavenly Father we understand the simpleness of what we need to do. As missionaries it is very important to have our study time, it is one of my most favorite times of the day. Its when we can grow and strengthen our faith and so throughout the day we can use it as we testify of the truthfulness of this gospel. I was on an aus tausch (exchange) again this week in Ludwigsburg and we had a very good companion study time. We talked about the parable of the Mediator and it is such a blessing that we have a Mediator in our lives. Jesus Christ was the only one willing and able to take upon him the sins of the world. He lived a prefect life and then took every sin upon himself. He has done his part and now it is up to us to show our thanks, believe in him and always remember him. When we have the faith than and only then is it possible for us to truly repent. Only with real intentions that its possilbe to become clean through Christ. We become clean as we take his name upon ourselves and are baptized. We try are best to be like him and with the gift of the Holy Ghost we are able to endure to the end. It all just fits together and simply makes sense! 
Elder Merkley reminded me this week, its not just about enduring to the end but enjoying the journey. Not just on a misson but throughout life it is so important to enjoy our journey no matter how easy or hard because as we rely on the Lord anything is possible. He plays such a big role in our lives! As Moroni says, I will not deny Christ.
Love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week. 

Elder Jerman

p.s. This weather here reminds me a lot like Utah. One or two days of great weather and then a week of raining cold weather! But its great! Till next week! 

In Ludwigsburg on exchange with Elder Thompson

Ludwigsburg Palace and gardens - a pretty place

His companion's letter says - 

 Yeah, so we found one new investigator this week. It was this Malaysian guy named Syanim. He was pretty cool, but he is Muslim, and he was having a really really difficult time understanding why we would need Jesus Christ to suffer for our sins. I have learned a ton about Muslims on my mission, and about what they believe, but it has just strengthened my testimony that we DID need Jesus Christ. The whole gospel just makes so much sense...unless you're Muslim, then it is apparently inconceivable. We also found a good amount of potential investigators this week, and have three or four appointments made out for next week, hopefully a couple of them will really happen. That is one of the most difficult things, we find a ton of people that give us their information and are willing to make out appointments, the trick is just actually making those appointments happen. I have had so much trouble with that on my mission, haha.
This week was a lot of fun, we worked really hard, and we found a lot of good people. I have hope that we will be able to continue finding new people here. We also have a couple eating appointments this week, which I am way excited about. Eating appointments are so much fun!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Here is a great note from his companion's email  - 

Elder Jerman is making great progress with his German. Still not where I think he would like to have it, but his sentences are starting to have a little bit of German grammer, which is really great. A couple of the members were complimenting him on Sunday, which was great for his confidence. The kid is a great missionary, super humble, and super pure. You know how I just get annoyed sometimes, and that hasn't really changed so far on my mission, probably it takes longer, and I am better at controlling it, but it still happens, anyway, but he has never really become annoyed. He is a really good companion because he is always willing to try new things, never gets discouraged, and is just very Christlike. Like I said, he's just a good missionary.

Elder Jerman and Elder Merkley
exploring castles on Pday with Bruder Lichner

Monday, April 22, 2013

Keep Your Faith


Guten Tag Familie!

Its been a good week here in Heilbronn and I have learned a lot! One of the biggest things I learned this week was moving forward in faith. We had a couple experience this week that goes along with that subject so let me get right into it. One day we were in Weinsberg this week and we had finished visiting some potentials that fell through. We had planned to go to an area in the city to do some dooring but decided to pray to see what we should do. I had the feeling that we should stick around in the area we where at. I dont know why but we did for a little while and then moved on to the other area. I was confused why I got the feeling to stay there because we knock on some doors but had no success. We might have not of seen the success but the Lord now can work with these people in what we left with them and who knows what the future could bring. And maybe I had the feeling because we needed to stay in the area and then later on meet someone on the street that we would not have before. Its all about moving forward with faith and trusting in the Lord. Last night I actually read a really great scripture that goes along with this in Proverbs 3:5 and 6 talking about trusting in the Lord with all our hearts and leaning not on our own understanding. A lot of the times we dont understand why we get a specific feeling or idea but as we go forward with faith trusting in the Lord he will lead us on a path that will bring blessings and success. And sometimes blesssings and success that we dont see with our own eyes. 
The other experience was one day we had two appointments set up for the day and they both fell out. We decided to go visit a new member that had moved into our area and on the way we found some people that were interested! The Lord sure does work in many different wonderful ways, even if plan A doesnt work out as long as we move forward in faith and have trust that we can still find success, it can happen. 
My German is coming along alright. Its easy to just talk English all day with my companion but we really try hard to speak as much as we can. We speak only German when we are outside working and then in our apartment we speak English which can be nice so our relationship can grow. I have learned a lot and I know as I keep speaking the language I will just keep on learning. I was on an exchanged this week with another Elder in my district and he has only 2 months left. So I asked some advice and he said he wished he was himself more with the members and people. Its hard to do that with the language barrier, but when you dont worry about making mistakes and just do it, you can learn so much and become who you really are! 
Last week was fun on p day to go to the Black Forest. One of our areas in our district as a little part of the Schwarzwald so we went there and hiked around. We didnt go too deep into the forest but it was still way fun to go hiking. 
Everyday is a new adventure on a mission and it can be hard but its great to know that we can trust in the Lord and he will show us the way. We dont always understand why but as we show our faith and love he will keep his promises and we will see success. Most of the times its in small and simple things that we dont always recongnize but they are there and he is showing us his love! 
I love all of you very much and hope you have a great week! 
How neat and humbling it is to be apart of this great work at such a time in the world. This work is true and it can help everyone in their life no matter where they are. 
Till next week,
Elder Jerman

Beilsteil (castle at dusk)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Betet Immer (Pray always)

Weinsburg (with church and fort on hill)
Meine Familie!
I am so glad I have the time to write to you, the work is great and I know it is not just because of us that we are seeing success. It is because of the prayers of many to our Lord and as we show our love and ask he does bless us as we pray and go forward in faith. This week I have really grown my testimony in prayer. Betet immer is pray always auf Deutsch. This week has been really cool to really see that put to the work. At the beginning of the week I had been studying about prayer in 3 Nephi 13 and 14 and I just love personal study and I love reading in the Book of Mormon and I get so much out of it every time to help me become a better servant of the Lord. So great! So this week pray was my main topic to study and there is so much I have learned. I have realized how important it is not just as missionaries but as Gods children we should always have a prayer in our heart and that really hasnt really made the best of sense to me until this week. Like in the sacrement prayers we know we should always remember Him. I have found out that as we have a pray in our heart throughout the day it is easier to always remember him and put him first in our lives. We grow closer to both Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father as we keep a prayer in our heart and our love for them grows. As we grow closer to them they can help direct our lives through the Holy Ghost. Not just our lives but the Holy Ghost can help us find other people that we can help thier lives become greater. 
At the beginning of the week we werent having much success in finding people to teach. Since we have just baptized our investigator we are trying to find more people to teach. As I have been here in Heilbronn we have been trying to find people to teach but we havent had no real new investigors. We really wanted that this week and so with my new understanding about prayer on Saturday had a great planning session for the day. We got home late the night before so we planned during comp study and had the night open for finding and we decided to pray for guidance on where to go. We decided Weinsberg and the plan was to first visited some potentials and then go dooring. Dooring is not the best way to find but we decided to go for it. I had a really great feeling as we prayed that Weinsberg really was the right place to go. So that night around 5 we got there and had no luck with the potentials. So we had time now to door. We decided to pray on which way to go and we both felt good about a certan way so off we went. The first hr and half we had no luck and then we came to a house and a 17 boy open the door. We started talking to him about the purpose of the life and then he just asked if we wanted to come in. This rarely happens here! My companion has been out 10 months and maybe 3 times been let in. We had a really good talk and his dad joined us. We set up an appointment for next week to come back! I really do believe we were guided here through pray through the Holy Ghost! God is ready and willing to give us blessings and answers, we just have to ask and then be ready to listen to the soft gentel promptings of the Holy Ghost. Then Sunday we wanted to get one more new investigator for the week and there was this one guy we had meet on the street about a week ago and have tried to go by but nothing has really happened so we were coming back into Heilbronn from Lauffen where we were dooring and actually real quick a older couple let us in for a drink and a snack. We actually had talked to them before and they invited us in, so it was crazy to have them let us in as well! Very nice people here!
So anyways back to our friend from the street. We called him up as we were coming back into Heilbronn and asked if we could come over to give him a Book of Mormon and he said sure. We went over and had a lesson with him and his friend was there too so we taught them both. It was awesome, he is actually from Cameron and so his mother language is french. He has very good german tho. Things are just crazy here, we have had great success in the last too days and I truly know it is because our desire and our faith through pray. When we are ready and willing to ask and have that true desire in our heart then the Lord will bless us. 
German is coming along, still got along way to go. I bore my testimony yesterday and even though I dont know every thing in german I know the simple things. Ich weiß dass diese Kirch wahr ist, ich weiß dass das Buch Mormon wahr ist, ich weiß das Gott liebt uns. (I know that this church is true, I know that the Book of Mormon is true, I know that God loves us.)  It is the simple things but it is the most important things. that is what is so great about this gospel! 
Love you all very much so, 
Elder Jerman
Heilbronn wine gardens - there are so many here.

Life as a Missionary (additional post this week)

Map of missions in Europe
Here is a little bit about missionary life! Sorry I havent really explained much, we dont have much time today. We have a district p day and we are going hiking in the Black Forest! I am so pumped! 

So to answer a couple questions, we are the only missionaries in our area. The closest our about a 20 minute train ride. We have just one branch here in Heilbronn of about 30 to 35 active members. It is a church house tho which is really nice (some areas have an office appartment) 
We ride buses and trains everywhere. Our area is pretty big so we take trains to go visit different smaller areas but we take the bus around Heilbronn. So yes we are on buses and train every day. 
Our days consist of in the morning we have personal and then companion studay and that is actually for 2 hours because I am being trained and there is something farely new called "12 week Training Program" we have that and study that. Then some days not always we have language study if we have the time. Or sometimes we do it at night. Then our day we try and visit potentials or visit less actives. We make out appointments with members to teach them and get them comfortable in missionary work. They are so important! 
Ill explain more next week, got to go,
love you, Elder Jerman

Monday, April 8, 2013

Anything is Possible with the Power of the Lord

In Tubigen - by the riverside and some really pretty instadt homes.


Oh it was a great week this week! It really was so great full of wonderful blessings and miracles! Pretty great to be seeing it so early in the mission, my mind is wide open so I can learn all I can right now and so I can improve everyday. So important always be striving to be more and more humble and thanking the Lord for all we have. None of this would be possible without him so we must remember him when great things happen. And there are those struggles and there always will be to keep us humble and willing to improve. Im glad my german is a weakness of mine right now along with others things and as we recognize what they are and rely on the Lord to make them strong they will through His power! 
We had two exchanges this week which was really fun to visit other areas and be with other missionaries to see how they work. Tuesday I was in Stuttgart working with one of the zone leaders and then Thursday I was in Tübigen with and Elder from Switzerland. We had a really great time together and we had the coolest experience ever! It was like one of those stories you always hear about but this time it actually happened to us! We arrived in Tübigen which is such a pretty area, ah it was just gorgeous. Exactly of what you would imagine Germany! The plan for the night was to go finding. We had about 4 hours to talk to people and try and find people interested about learning more. The day before at District Meeting we learned something cool that when you go finding to call a member in the ward and asked them how many "potentials" we can find in our amount of time and then ask for them to pray for you as you are out finding. So thats what we did and the Sister said we could find 5 potential investigators. Which is cool because that is the number Elder Escher was thinking about the night before when he was planning for the day. So 5 it was. We headed out with Book of Mormons in hand ready to tell the good news to Tübigen. For the first 3 hours we got no one that was really interested and we were feeling pretty discouraged. We only had about 50 minutes left and so we decided to try a different part of town and we knew we had to get 1 every 10 minutes. We never lost faith though and the Lord did bless us. We actually found our first 2 together and they came up to us asking if we needed help in English because I guess two young guys going around talking to people must look like we need help. But we started talking and and they had interest and so we got their information to meet again. That was a great start and it got us pumped to get going. We found our 3rd one and she was simply interested in learning more about the meaning of life. We got to the end of the street and turned back around, we got to a intersection and I had the feeling to go a different way. We looked down the road and there wasnt many people so we questioned it but we finally just to go for it! Right when we crossed we starting to talk to a guy that we noticed and got him interested! We had 4 and one more to go! We knew we could do it! And with about 5 minutes to go we did indeed find the last potential investigator. We were so excited and could not believe we did it. It was such a great feeling that for 3 hours we got nothing but because we didnt loose faith and endured to the end we were blessed in achieving our goal set by the member. We called her back afterwards and told her what had happened and it was great to get the member involved in this work and then tell her about our success. She said that she had prayed with her kids and so neat to know that they believed we could do it, the Lord knew we could do and so then with our prayers and action of faith we did it! 
Another great experience this week was the baptism for our invesitgator! That was Friday night and a really cool thing to be apart of especially so early in my mission it is a blessing to see first hand what a powerful work we are involved in. It was a great service and really neat to notice that when we see people the way God sees them as his children and that their is hope for all of them. We can give his children the hope that God sees in them. I really cant take apart in this baptism, I am just really lucky to see the end result and learn that it is possible for anyone. 
We were also able to watch General Conference this weekend so that was a great blessing as well. We went to Stuttgart along with other missionaries and an even greater blessing was we got to watch it in English. German was of course avaible for the ward and branch members but we watched it in English so we could understand and really just get to listen to the real voices of the Apostels and Prophet. We watched Saturday Morning at 6 pm live on saturday night and then Sunday was just jamed pack of General Conference and I loved that! We had Priesthood Meeting at 11 am in the morning and then Saturday Afternoon at 2 pm and the we had Sunday Morning live at 6 pm Sunday night. Hopefully in the near future we will be able to listen, watch or read the Sunday Afternoon. It was a great conference and I really want to work on my love with my Savior and the best way to do so is to Love the children of God by serving them in all I do. There is not a better opportunity than a mission to do so and to love and serve Gods children. By doing so we draw closer to him and our love for him grows. The work is great and as we our thankful for all we have and strive to be obedient the Lord will pour out his blessings. 
Elder Jerman


Monday, April 1, 2013

Frohe Osten (Happy Easter)

Frohe Osten or Happy Easter! 
City of Sontheim (church in background)
Hallo family!
Had a pretty great week here in Germany, it was awesome to have Easter this week and remember all that our Savior has done for us. It is always a little hard on holidays for missionaries though, because no one really has time and they want to be with their famlies. It was still a great day, We had church in the morning and also actually we had daylight savings this weekend!! Thats always a jolly good time especiallz doing it about a month ago back in America! I will tell za it doesnt get anz easier. Especiallz on a mission when you can get quite tired at times. It has been so fun this week, I have reallz got to know the members better. We have had appointments with different members almost about everzdaz which is so great to strengthen our relationship with the members because thez are kez is this work. and sorrz about the ys and zs. I tried at the beginning to get them right but that takes too long, mazbe in a couple weeks ill get that down. But anzwaz, the members here are so great and strong people in the gospel. Thez are verz loving and even tho I dont understand them completelz I know thez have a love for this work and for the gospel. After church we went home with a familz to eat Easter lunch and visit with them. Zour relationship with the members is so important and when zou have their trust thez will share with zou thier friends who zou can teach. That is how we got our investigator that is getting baptiyed this week! The members know the people here and this guz is Golden! The daz I came he gave up smoking and about a week later drinking alchol. He has been drinking for 30 zears and to see him change is so amaying and his faith in the Lord is so great. He is a great example to me and it is a verz exciting time for him. 
On Saturdaz we had a finding daz in one of our areas in our District in a area called Prozheim. So I got to work with anothe Elder which was prettz fun and cool to see how he works and get different ideas from him. We have found a couple potentials this week and hopefullz thez will realiye how great this message can impact their lives. I have come to understand this week that the Lord reallz has prepared the "elict". There are manz who are not quite readz that we talk to and it can be discoraging not to get anzone that wants to listen but we must relz and the Lord and keep pressing forward. I have also learned that the mission is not going to be easz or get anz easier, zou can onlz get stronger and not just anz strength. Strenth through Christ. We can learn something new everzdaz about Christ and as we trz to be more like him we can be a great help in the world to change other people lives. Not just missionaries but like I said members are just as important as finding people back to Christ. We are all in Gods work together. 
Hope you have a great Spring Break, Love zou all! 
Elder Jerman

sorry I really dont have much time today to respond to anything or send pictures we are in Stuttgart and we are have to go so hopefully i can share more about the mission life next week! Love you all so much
Elder jerman
Heilbronn crest

view of Heilbronn