Monday, March 31, 2014

Biggest Finding Day Ever!

Passing out Book of Mormons with some members
 Guten Morgen Familie!
How are we today? Things have been great here this last week, as much has happened and we are just moving right along. I cant believe we will be moving into April but there is nothing that is stopping it so I guess we will go right along with it. We have had lots of things going on this week so we will get right into the swing of things. We had just one exchange this last week and I was here in Stuttgart. That night we had a meeting with Damaris and we hadnt found of joint teach yet. It is usually not a problem and we usually have one but for some reason we hadnt gotten one yet and so throughout the day I was trying to set up a joint teach to come with us. It was going to be at the YSA center where we usually meet and Institute was going on the same time. The day went along and I couldnt find anyone, we had a meeting an hour before and then she would be there. We go into the meeting with having no one and I was praying hard it would all work out. Well time rolls around and she is here and we hadnt gotten anyone yet, I invited her if she wanted to attend Institute but she would rather have a lesson. At this point I dont know what to do and just hoping for someone to help out. Long story short we found a member who was coming to Institute but said he would come with us. It was so great and I know everything always works out, dont know where I wanted this story to go but I know it will all work out even up to the last few seconds. The lesson was good and Damaris is good, we met again on Saturday morning. We arent seeing much progress sadly as wedoesnt accept the invitation to pray about the Book of Mormon and the things we have taught. She just has many questions and doesnt feel she needs to pray and come to church. We might be done teaching her which saddens me but we will meet one more time this week and see how it goes. I know for sure that if now is not the time for her, once her heart is soften and she accepts it she will be one of the strongest members ever! The time just isnt right quite yet but it will come. 
Ilja is doing great though, we had a perfect lesson with him as we went together with him to a members house for dinner and then had a lesson. He knows the daughter in the family and they work together so it is a great connection and it was awesome to have the members there to testify to him. He was on church on Sunday and seemed to enjoy it really well. We are excited with him and to really progress with him. 
This week we were in Munich Thursday and Friday for our meeting with the President Miles, it was a great spiritual time and it will be great this next week as we give his council and guidance further to the zone here in Stuttgart! Then on Saturday we had the best day ever! We had our big finding day here in Stuttgart, we had over 50 missionaries here from two zones here in Germany and also YSA and members there. We started with a short flash mob where we read the Book of Mormon silently and then came together and sang hymns. Then we went out and found! We gave out balloons and also had poster with different questions of the soul on them. It was a great success! I understand now what a big number can do, the Lord has increased his numbers and the wave of this work is moving forward. What a great time we live in and I am so grateful to be apart of it just like everyone of us is apart of it! Hope you have a great week and I love you all. 
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Jerman
ps. Christoph is coming to Stuttgart today for Pday and we will be spending the day together, I will let you know how it goes next week! Love you much!
Busy Saturday at the Schlossplatz Park in Stuttgart 

The missionaries and some members started singing hymns.

People gathered to listen and many accepted the invitation to learn more.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Do I hear Strike?

Well what a week of events it has been. Its been a good last week and the work is moving forward, there is nothing that can stop us. Even if the buses and trains in Stuttgart go on strike the Lords work moves on. Yep you heard it, this last week the buses and trains went on strike for one day and so it was really hard to get around but it didnt stop us. It might have messed up a few appointments but didnt stop us from finding those that are prepared to accept this wonderful message. We had good time to do some finding here on the streets of Stuttgart as lots of people were on the streets walking from here to there but we can always find those ready as we have the right attitude and drive behind it. If we dont believe it, it wont happen. That is the test of life that we do what we know if right and what has given us and to live daily accordingly. He desires our happiness and joy and he has given us a way to receive that if we follow what he has given us. If that all makes sense...but I was studying today about prayer and how its a commandment that we pray to our Father in Heaven. He wants to hear from us, he wants to help us, and he wants to answer us and that all comes as we obey his commandments and pray to him. 
This week we had two more exchanges with Elders in the zone, and the week always goes quick as we work with other missionaries and are traveling. Its a great time to be with them and help them in their work and also learn from them and their great examples. Things are going well with our investigators we have met with both Damaris and Ilja twice this week. I believe I have spoken about Ilja before, he is a former investigator that we have started teaching again. It was neat as he explained to us that the time before just wasnt the right time and didnt feel right. Its been going really good though as he has met a friend of him at church and we are going over this week to have an appointment at his house. He is making great progress as we talked about prayer, he liked the fact that we can really have a conversation with God. God prepares his children and all has a time when they are ready we must have the faith and patience in his timing. Damaris is also doing well, we had a neat experience with her this last week. She had a really good question (like she always does) and we did our best explaining it do her. She didnt get it fully so we turned to the scriptures and read with her and then she said, oh okay now it makes sense! I love the scriptures and am so grateful we have them to teach the simple and pure truths of the gospel. 
Church was great this week. We had two less actives there, less active work is the best! Brother Blanc hasnt been to church for 10 years and he saw the missionaries twice this week and knew the Lord was telling him something. Also the other one Patrick, we also saw this week at the train station and he said he would come but he has told us that many times but then the day before we saw him again and he knew he needed to come and they were both there. Its neat to be an instrument in the Lords hand, we might be one small part of the orchestra but it wouldnt be the same without us and how he uses us to bring back his lost sheep. Some might need a push or two but they will come back because of the love that God has for them. He doesnt give up with anyone and we shouldnt either! Hope you have a great week and so good to hear from you. I love each one of you, I love my family!
Much love,
Elder Jerman

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Dearest Family!! 
Happy St. Patricks Day! We have had a fun day even though it is not really celebrated over here in Germany we still made the most of it for Pday. Our district came together at the YSA center and had brunch of green eggs and ham and pancakes! It was such a fun time to be together with everyone enjoying the time. It has been a great week as well and things in his work just keep on going, keep on growing. This work will never stop and its neat to see members catching on and being apart of it. We have worked a lot with two young men in the ward who are both preparing to go on missions soon. We have had them come with us to appointments and also do a little contacting together. Their excitement is great and testimonies are wonderful to have. Glad we can help them prepare for their own experiences, being prepared is so key and its something I have learned that is nothing big like preparing for a big test but rather it is doing the small things everyday that really matter to get into the habit and have experiences that will help us in the future when times get hard. Knowledge is also something that fascinates me and that it comes overtime and not all at once. Its good to learn that for ourselves and especially having the opportunity to teach those who dont have such a big knowledge of such things and what patience it takes to receive it. I think we grow and learn the most though in the time that we are waiting patiently but persistently in an answer rather than just receiving the answer right away. As we wait we still need to live the way we need to and by living by faith we learn the most! I know we have a loving God who knows when we need answers and when we need to persistently wait. 
We met with Damaris two times this week and things are going good with her, I think the next step that needs to be taken is to her to come to church because the lessons go well and she has really good questions that are sometimes tough to answer but as she comes to church and see for herself how it can improve her life and bring her closer to Christ not until then will see realize the importance of it and will all her answers be resolved. We also met with a new investigator who is originally from Mexico. He is here going to school and he is open and willing to read and to pray. It has been crazy how many different cultures and people I have met out here in Germany. In one of our classes yesterday at church we had someone from, Peru, Russia, Thailand, and Portugal there participating and progressing in the gospel. Most of them are less actives so it was great to have them there! We picked up Diogo and Brunno for church and it was so great to have Brunno come for the first time in a long time. He said he needed a little time and then he would come back but that is sometime an excuse we all use to put something off and the truth is, it never comes around. Christ invitation is to do it now, to come back now. His arms of mercy are always outstretched and he will always receive us as we accept him. 
This week we did two different exchanges and it was neat to work with other missionaries and learn from them and to also lift them up and help them grow their faith in this work. Sometimes we think it is too hard to find someone, or we are in an area where it is too "difficult" to find anyone. But I know that no matter where we are there is always Gods children there waiting for the gospel if they know it or not. We must have the faith and attitude to know anything is possible no matter where we are, because it doesnt matter where we are but how we do it and the faith we exercise. This work is possible, I know God wouldnt give a commandment that was too hard for us to keep. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! 
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Jerman
Fixing St. Patrick's Day pancakes

 Our district on St. Patricks day at the YSA center.We had a brunch with everyone - so fun!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

His Love is Real

I just love starting my letter with saying family, you guys are the best and I love hearing from you weekly. Now is the time for me to share the things that happen here and the experience we had. It was a great week and we saw many great miracles. To start off we I think it is wonderful that we can meet new people everyday. There are many people around the world and it seems like a big task to reach to them all but it is possible as we do it one by one and sharing with all what we have to share. Everyone has their own story and experiences until the time we meet up the time we do. Meeting Eckart started last week, we were on the bus and there wasnt anyone on the bus but I knew we were coming up to the train station and people would be getting on and so I sat at a 4 person place hoping someone would sit down in the other 3 seats. We arrived and people came in and Eckart came and sat down. The surprising thing is that instead of me starting off and asking how he was, he did the exact same but to me! He was so friendly, he said he actually knows the missionaries in Russia as that is where he works and mentioned he had just visited a baptism there just 2 weeks ago! How golden is he, I thought! He had to get off quick but he gave me his card and said to give him a call and come over, and was I more than happy to do so. So this week we met and he is awesome, he actually has lived in Utah for 5 years going to the U of U and so has had some great contact with the church. He said it would be hard to change his religion but he agreed to reading in the Book of Mormon and praying. That is our invitation we give to all and a big theme of our week.
We also met with two new investigators this week, they are married and he is Atheist. Someone who doesnt even believe there is a God, its interesting the many different beliefs and levels and how everyone is different but our invitation to the world is the same. This week traveling to Munich in the bus I sat by a young guy and he had great questions and we had a good conversation. At the end getting into Munich I invited him to read in the Book of Mormon and pray. No matter where we are, there are people ready. We met also Damaris this week and are seeing some good progress, a problem that is holding her back is keep that commitment to pray about the Book of Mormon. We told her the only way to know spiritual truth is through pray. All we believe in and our understanding of the gospel hangs on the Book of Mormon, without it we would have no church. I am grateful that we all can receive a personal testimony that it is true and that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore his church. That testimony always need to be growing and we cant just leave it alone, we have to keep doing what we know we need to do have the Spirit with us. The Spirit is what brings a change of heart and by the power of the Holy Ghost we may know all things through our feelings and thoughts. I have learned that it is mostly through feelings that we receive the truth and answer. We must always treasure up the feelings we have had and know that our Father in Heaven knows our path and he will give us what we need to be able to endure and succeed. 
A neat experience I had this week was we got on the train and I sat down to a lady and ask her how her day was. She responded well and was very happy to tell me about it. I was a little surprised about how she opened up so quick but I loved it and knew this was going to be a good train ride. It was great to talk about happiness with her and talk about what makes us happy, I shared with her the gospel and what it really does mean for me and the Book of Mormon giving us that guidance on how to live and have that joy. As I testified to her that joy overwhelmed me and I knew that the Spirit was testifying through me to her of the joy and happiness we receive from the gospel. I am so grateful for the Spirit and that it is him that touches the hearts of those we come in contact with even for the first time, they can feel the love of God that he has through them within the first contact. His love is real and we can have it in our lives. 
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! 
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Jerman
Chinese garden in Stuttgart, up the street from the YSA center

Oldest church in the city of Göppingen

Monday, March 3, 2014

Progress in the Field

Hey great to hear from all of you this week, thanks so much for the fun stories and sounds like Kay had a great Bday! Things here have been going great, we had a very good week and its neat to see the work progress overtime and see the growth as we meet with people and see them progress. There was a lot going on this week so lets get right to it. On Monday we met with Andrea. We had a great lesson about baptism as he knows that is what he must do. We extended the invitation to him and he said he is not yet ready. He wants to keep meeting with us and he came to church yesterday so there is no hope lost, I know that he will get baptized, now we can keep meeting and help strengthen his faith and it will click for him. Tuesday 
Tuesday we met with Zedan, he was a referral from an investigator and he is great! He has a desire to do what God wants him to do. He is from Iraq and is studying here, we mentioned baptism and he didnt even know what it was. Great opportunity to share that it is one thing that we can show God our desire to follow him and to serve him. 
Wednesday we had an exchanged with the Assistants and I went to Munich for that, we had a lesson with a new investigator and had a first lesson with him. It was neat to be able to share the 1st vision with him and have him respond and say, "That was powerful." I love how people can recognize the power behind that story. It is the Spirit that gives that witness of the truth and that testifies to me once more of the truthfulness of what happen that day because the Spirit only testifies of the truth and when that is recited and that power is felt I know that it did happen and God did restore his church.
Thursday we met with our new convert, Diogo who is doing well. Its a little tough for him as his mother is a member and doesnt have the desire to come and his uncle has now moved away. So the Bischop is picking him up for church and we are reading with him and helping him get into that good habit at a young age so he can grow and keep that habit going! 
Friday we met with a family in the ward and gave them a family mission plan, something we are trying to do with all the members in the ward so they have their own plan. The great thing about it is that its different for every family as they have different goals and plans to do missionary work from praying for the opportunities as a family to inviting those to an activity. We can all be apart of the work and do our part and it starts with the small and simple things because that is how the Lord works. Prayer is that simple thing and it has so much power behind it! 
Saturday we met with Damaris, she is progressing as we have met with her. She is still having a hard time understanding why we need the Book of Mormon and trying to convince of we dont. I have studied lately lots on the subject and I am so grateful that we do have the Book of Mormon. Another Testament of Christ, a simple but powerful phrase! We study to learn about Christ and his words and we grow faith as we live accordingly. Millions have testified of the truthfulness of it because they have done what is suggested for all of us to do. And thats exactly what we need to get Damaris to do, read and pray about it! We strengthen our faith as we get serious into the book and read and pray and then all conflicts will be resolved. How grateful we are to have both the Bible and the Book of Mormon together so that we can know how to live our lives and receive strength and revelation to make the right choice! I love the gospel and learning about it everyday and having the opportunity to give that Spiritual knowledge to others. What a joy it brings! Our love is our greatest tool in inviting others to come to Christ and receive that joy. 
I love you and hope you have a great week!! 
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Jerman
Outlook of Stuttgart, Oh it is so pretty and I love it!!