Monday, May 27, 2013

Learning Lots!

Hello Familie!
Oh man its been a good week once again here in Germany. We might not have had all of our lessons we wanted because they fell out but none the less we went forward and had a great week. I dont have lots of time today because for P Day today we were with a member the whole day and he took us to some really cool places in our area, it was so cool! We really got a good taste a Deutschland it was sooo schön!! We went to some really old towns that were built in the 1200s and and explored around some old castles. Loved it!
But for this week we had a exchanged and it was my first time staying here in Heilbronn and taking over the area for the exchanged! It was such a good learning experience and an eye opener to eveything! I had to know my place around and know bus\train times. It went pretty great though, we had an less active lesson that night and even though I got the train times wrong and we were a little late it still was great. 
I also yesterday at church gave me first talk in German in Germany! It went pretty good and my grammar might not have been the best but I know theywere receiving what I was trying to get out. What was really cool was after a older Sister in our ward came up to me and thanked me for my talk she especially loved how excited I was. And I have been thinking about that and its really true if you cant speak well as long as you have confidence and show you are trying and are always trying to be in a happy positivie attitude that is what the people will recognize! So no matter my German I just love to be happy with everyone! 
Well got to go, sorry not too long this week. I love you all though! This work is great and can bless everyone! 
Love, Elder Jerman
Stadt Teil Bockingen

We were walking down the road and this little dorf came into view and we had to take a picture!   So pretty!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gotta Love Germany Weather

Munich and Stuttgart Zones during mission tour with Elder Teixeira
Cant believe another week is in the books! It was a great week and a lot of neat experience. Not big and great but many simple little ones that happened everyday. If we are always trying to look on the bright side and notice the little miracles the Lord is giving us I can promise we can feel His Love for us and we will be more happy. Something I have done for the last month or so is everyday I have a spot in my planner where I write 1 through 5 and as we go throughout the day whenever something happens that makes me happy or some little miracle happens I write it down. I really do know the Lord loves me and the people I am surrounding by. He gives us so much everyday and too many times we pass it by. The more grateful we are the more happy we can be! 
Alright, where to start off...yesterday at church was so neat. We probably had a solid 50 or so people there. It was awesome and I thinks that is the most I have ever seen at church here.  A recent convert (he was baptized before I came) got the Priesthood and his wifes family was there. The chapel wasn't completely full but I could till a difference and to me it seemed full and to have a good amount of people there just filled the church with the spirit and love. So great to be able to come together and worship our Lord. My love for church as really grown, at home we have it pretty easy where the church is right up the street but the members here travel from all around. Travel time from 10 to 40 minutes with car. And to have the members come all together and to be apart of it is just so awesome! Yesterday was extra neat because after church the members all stayed and we cooked up a meal and all ate lunch together. Its really just like one big family and I love I can be apart of it!
During the week had a good number of appointments made out and its frustrating sometimes to have them fall out or postponed but it was great to see as we kept moving forward in the work the Lord would bless us in our actions. One day we had a neat experience where an appointment fell out so we took the S-bahn back into Heilbronn and we wanted to catch a bus that was going to another stadt teil (city part) of Heilbronn. Kind of like Salt Lake with all the little cities around it but not really. Its a little different in Germany and more spread out. But anyways we didnt think we were going to catch it because it was suppose to have already left but as we got out of the S-bahn we ran for it and as we ran we prayed. And we made it right before it left!  Elder Merkley says it happens almost every time and its a really good example of pray. As we pray and ask for help the Lord will do his part but we need to still do our part and in this case it is running. But as we went to this Stadt teil we were going to go by on a former investigator but instead met a lady that seemed pretty interested and we read the Introduction of the Book of Mormon with her and then left it with her. We made out an appointment this week and it was just great because I really do believe we were suppose to meet with this lady. The Lord knows who is ready and we need to have faith that he has prepared a way and our part is figuring that way out. He doesnt want us to do it alone. He is there to help us along the way and is always ready to help. As we show our humility and understand that we cant do it alone and go to him in pray we will be blessed with the help we need! 
  A fun adventure we had this week was we went to go visit a less active and he lives in a dorf (little town) which we have never been to before so we had no idea where he lived but as we were getting there it started to rain and earlier that day the weather had be gorgeous with the sun shinny and everything so Elder Merkley had a short sleeve and I a long. But we got there and it started to rain and then it started to poor and then it poored Germany style. We had our umbrellas and it was crazy being under them trying to find this less active in this little dorf not ever being there before. He wasnt home but we left him a note and then did some dooring and then right before we took the train back we talked with someone on the street and they said we could can back! We have some great appointments this week with some people I really hope can become investigators and see the joy this gospel brings. All that needs to happen is them to let us in and the appointments to work out, but they have their agency like we all do to accept it or not. We are just hoping and praying we can share with them this gospel which can change their lives forever! And in the most rewarding way, eternal life. Its great to be a missionary and to be learning so much! As we all be more grateful for what we have and the miracles that happen everyday we will all feel the love that our Savior has for us! 
Till next week,  
Lots of love,
Elder Jerman
Last day of May

Monday, May 13, 2013

Alles Gute zu Mutter Tag!

Liebe Familie,
Ah it was so wonderful to speak and see you yesterday! I loved seeing everyone of your faces and speaking with you. My love for each one of you has grown as I have been away and I am so thankful for you. Mom, Happy Mothers Day and hope you had a wonderful day. I love you so much and thanks for all you do!
It was a great week here in Heilbronn. We foud a new investigator and had a great lesson with him. We were trying to actually meet with him a couple times before but it wasnt working out but then on Saturday we finally got to meet with him. It was actually good because he wanted a Book of Mormon in Turkish and the first time we went by we had forgotten it! We explained the Book of Mormon and he is really excited to read it, he actually wants to read the whole thing in one week! Wow I was surpised, but impressed and hopefully he actually does it. If not the whole thing then at least some of it because that is what is important. That is what is hard with investigator, if they are not keeping their committments it is hard to progress because we can teach them all we want but if they are not doing their part they cant progress. It was great actually because we had an investigator come to church yesterday and it was awesome to have him there. 
Friday we had Mission Tour where Elder Teixia of the Seventy came and spoke to us. It was in München so we had to take a train there but it was great to be there with all the missionaries and fun to see some missonaries that were with me in the MTC! As we got into München and took the S bahn we walked up the stairs and there was a big field and they were already setting up for the Oktober Fest! Ah it was crazy, but anyways on a more Spiritual not to finsih this letter off. (Sorry not much this week, got to go catch a train) But studying this week I realized how important it is to first start with a desire. In everything we do in life we need to start with the desire. As we pray for the desire our faith grows and our desire to reach our goals increase! 
I love all of you and so great to see your lovly faces!
Elder Jerman

Our Mother's Day skype with Elder Jerman!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Elder Merkley's thoughts

Here is what his companion had to say this week.  What a compliment to Jason!

 Things with Elder Jerman are going great. We are pretty good friends. It is a big change from Elder -------, where I could just sometimes feel the negative emotions coming from him. With Elder Jerman we can talk about anything, he doesn't judge me, and he is just always in a good mood, which is great for me. I have felt a huge difference in myself in these last 2 months. I think that I am finally starting to really be myself again. For the first while on my mission, i was super up-tight and really really stressed about a ton of things. But I don't really like being up-tight and stressed, that's not really who I am. I feel like Elder Jerman is helping me to learn to be myself again. I have been realizing more and more that you don't need to be dumb to be a good missionary. The culture of the mission is just sometimes really dumb. Where it gets to the point that a lot of people turn into a little bit of robots, and get way focused on the rules. I don't mean that obedience is not important, but being dumb or ridiculous about it is not needed, and does not help anybody. But yeah, serving each other has actually been happening in this companionship, which is the first time that it has ever really happened on my mission so far. I am just a lot happier in this companionship, and have learned so much from Elder Jerman about how to be a better missionary. His German is getting a lot better too, his sentences are slowly starting to take on German grammar, which is really fun to watch.
Elder Jerman and Elder Merkley in Beilstein

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy May!

Ah family! 
Yet again a time to write to you about my week adventures. I realized this week the importance of telling you about my experiences both fun and spiritual. There is nothing else like a mission and you experience some things only on a mission and lately I have just been telling you about what I have learned so I am more than pumped that I now can share some experiences with you this week! 
I actually have an experience from the week before that I have got to tell because it is so great and fun. It was when we were on our aus tausch (exchange) and I was in Ludwigsburg. That night we had an eating appointment with an Itailian man and youve got to know a little background of this man before we get started. He name is Oslwaldo and he is less active in the church but he is a very friendly and loving small oldish man. He has been coming to church lately and everyone knows him because he really just loves everyone human being! His German is a little Italianized which just makes it fun! So we went over for dinner and right off I felt this mans love for me! He greeted us with hugs and kisses (kisses just for Elder Chapman (the missionary I was on exchange with)) but I could tell it was going to be a good night. To start off with he gave us some German bread kind of roll thing and sliced off some cheese and slapped it on there. It was probably the biggest slice of cheese I have ever ate on a slice of bread. It actually reminded of the RM and the tongan eating the butter slice! After that we were full but then came the pizza he ordered. The pizza man drops it off I for reals it was the biggest box of pizza I have ever seen! There was no way we could eat the whole thing so after we ate what we could he packed it in a bag along with other goodies for the week and after our message sent us off again with hugs and kisses and our arms full of food. He was so giving and loving! I did not even know this man but the love he showed to me was a love I really know he gave and it wanted me to share it with other people. Thats really what love can do as we show our love for others and then they pass it on! The world needs more Oslwaldos! 
This week we have had the opportunity to do some service the last few days. One was with a less active we have just these last two weeks have got in contact with. It was really cool because the first time we met with her at the end of our conversation she told us a experience that she prayed to Heavenly Father asking for some "cool, fun" guys would show up in her life. The next day we called! Good thing we qualify in those two areas. But it has been good meeting with her and doing some service for her. 
Something fun that I have started up again on my mission is playing the piano! Okay well I have only played once but ever since I have got here every week in Priesthood we have no one play the piano for the opening song so this last week I decided it would be fun to learn a simple hymn and play it on Sunday. You might be wondering how I did this so what I did was picked out a hymn and wrote the notes of just the right hand down and then drew a piano and in my personal study I would kind of practice for just a couple minutes and then when Sunday rolled around and since we get there about 15 minutes before everyone else I practiced on the real piano! It was really fun to do and only tho it is the right hand its at least something! So im excited to maybe learn some other songs. Church is great tho, it has been changed from 9 to 930. I got the opportunity to bare my testimony this last week in Fast and Testimony meeting. We dont have a lot of members here but I really can tell they are a family and so it has been fun to be apart of them. 
Yesterday we had an experience a missionary doesnt very often experience so Ive got to share this one. So we were going by on a referral that was given to us and on the way there when we were walking across the street was a "New Apostle Church" the doors was open and there was something going on. There were 2 men greeting the people coming in and they saw us and called us over. They were very impressed with us being so young and our desire to share what we believe and so they invited us to join them! The activity was Küche and Koffee and so when we came in there was tables with cakes of all sorts and lots of people. They were just to begin as we came in so they said prayer and then afterwards introduced us to whole place! They said, "We have some missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints with us today, Elder Merkley and Elder Jerman." We felt very welcome but a little out of place. Once we drove right into the cake all was well. We met some very nice people that were so friendly and it was neat to talk to them a little bit what we were doing as missionaries and why we decided to come on missions. They shared also a little bit about there religion and cool to find out they have Apostles as well but much more than us. Around 260 and we actually got the opportunity to meet one! Didnt quite fell like it would meeting one of the 12 Apostles but still pretty neat. It was a great experience and it really got us thinking about how it is like for our investigators when they come to church and how important it is for the members to make them feel welcomed and start a friendship. We cant of course offer Koffee but I believe we have something to offer that will bless their lives forever. This gospel is something unique and special we all have the opportunity to share and even though the people dont always recognize us, we are a tool in Gods work showing his love for each of his children we talk to and give the opportunity to accept his gospel. 
I love you all and I am glad I could share some experiences of my mission and let you be apart of it. Cant wait for what the future has in store and I know with Faith in Jesus Christ its going to be good. Also cant wait to skyped you on Sunday! Im really excited to see you! Ah you guys are just the best! Love you family! 
Elder Jerman
Train ride near Heilbronn

Heilbronn District