Monday, June 17, 2013

A Time of Change

What a great time of year! Over here in Germany we have made it out of the cold rainy weather and into summer. Even though I think we havent seen the last of the rain but so nice to be able to wear short sleve shorts! This week has been quite the week! A lot of great things happened and things are looking good for the future! I will start off with our 2 trips to Münich this week. We had one Tuesday and one Thursday. Tuesday the missionaries in Stuttgart, Münich, and Salzburg Zones had to oppourtunity to met and hear from Elder Russell M. Nielson. Id say we are pretty lucky having the mission präsidents wife as the daughter of an Apostle. So neat to be with him and have him talk and answer questions we had. It was a great time and what made it quite the story is that the train we were taking to Münich pretty much died I guess you could say so we had a delay and had to work to be towed and it took over an hour more than we expected but we finally got there and walked in late but luckily he hadnt spoken yet. As he got up to spake he said he was grateful that the missionaries from the wounded train from Stuttgart arrived safely. Then he said that we would need to take another picture as a group again because we missed the one at the beginning before the meeting. So afterwards we took and picture and then the missinoaries from the Stuttgart zone got to shake his hand. (since we hadnt before like the others) We got in a line and he came by and shook our hands, just going from one to the next. He came to me and shook my hand and I felt like I needed to say something so I just said, "Hello!" He stopped and looked at my name tag and asked who my parents were and I told him, then he asked if I was related to the Stringham Family. I said yes and he said that he loved that family, and then he moved right along! So neat to have a little talk with an apostle and talk about family which is so important in this gospel! 
Sister Nelson, Elder Russel M Nelson, Sister Brenda Nelson Miles and Pres. Miles

Missionaries with Elder Russel M. Nelson

Our trip Thursday to Münich was transfer day! Pretty weird Thursday morning packing Elder Merkly up and leaving for the last time after 8 months for him being here. But getting to Münich at the train station was great to see new missionaries fresh from the MTC having no idea whats going on and then also seeing my new companion Elder Lappalainen! And how great it was seeing him again since the MTC! Its pretty rare to work with someone you actually know beforehand! We really we get to use that as a strength as our relationship grows! We rode back into Heilbronn and dropped off his things and then went out to work. We didnt have an appointment and so we just talked to people on the street. Elder Lappalainens german is very similar to mine. We are about the same level but since he has been in Switzerland he knows a little Switzer-Deutsch. It sure is different being here in Europe surrounded by them and now having a European companion. It sure has it ups and downs. One really fun thing about it is when we talk to the people and they say that our church is only a American church Elder Lappalainen perks up and tells them he is from Finland! It is a little different though not being with an American who is many ways are very similar but how great it will be at this time on my mission to learn and to grow from a Finnish. The Lord really does know what companions and what area we need to become who he knows we can become. And who knows I might even become fluent in Finnsih as well! (Dont count on it though Finnish is 10 times harder than Deutsch) 
I do know that the Lord really does have things instore for us to experience. These last few days has been quite a change going from my trainer who knew a lot about missionary work and leading the way and now to having a companion who knows just about the same as you and trying to do what we as missionaries are to do. It is hard work but the Lord really will bless us as we try our best and take on the challenges he gives us. As we use the teaching of Christ when we have trials set in our paths I really believe that is when we become like Him and learn of his love for us. We can change for the better with the trials the Lord gives us. With that in mind I am ready excited and a little scared but I know this is what I need to become the instrument in the Lords work he knows I can become. 
Right now we are trying to find people that are ready to hear this great and wonderful message. Days can get long and seem tough but as we keep going and not give up, I know the Lord will bless us with people to teach! And with the Spirit leading the way I know we will find them. Hope you have a great week and I love you very much. Let us all be part of this great work! 
Liebe Grüße, 
Elder Jerman

Happy Fathers Day Dad! Not sure exactly when it is here in Germany but hope you had a great day yesterday back in the States! 
Munchen, Hauptbahnhof
New companion, Elder Lappalainen from Finland

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