Monday, April 28, 2014

The Solution!

 Mercedes Benz Soccer Area here in Stuttgart. Its really big here and on the weekends when they have games, everyone is crazy with their scarfs and beer!

 Dinner at the Gierschkes
Well hello today! Hope all is well with you, it sure sounded like it for hearing from you and your many activities going on this past week. Our weather was also up and down with rain and sun shine but none the less it was a good week! We actually had a very good week and I enjoyed it very much so. There was a lot of crazy things going on and sometimes times of stress just with everything going on but looking back at the week, you feel a peace at heart and know you have done what the Lord wants. Success can be looked at in many different ways and I am glad that we can feel in our heart after all we have done in our diligence that the Lord is pleased with what we have done. But that doesnt mean, the fight is over. Today is a new day with new challenges and opportunities and how great it is to live today! 
At the beginning of the week we had two different exchanges one right after another and I was both here in Stuttgart and so that is what I was talking about when crazy things going on just having to be in charge of the area for a few days but at the end it was worth it because of the feeling I felt. We had an exchange with the Assistants and the day went differently as planned. We got an unexpected call from a member from Utah (a return missionary) who was coming into Stuttgart to work on his family history. He needed help getting in contact with a member to work on that and also find the city where his ancestors where from. We did our best helping him and then went off to a lesson with Ilja who is doing pretty well. We hope he can get serious in the Book of Mormon and read daily to strengthen his faith because he has had doubts in the past and we know reading daily can give him the strength. And then coming back from that we meet another member who is less active and living in another area but we talked to him on the train back home and encourage him to make the changes he needs to, to come back. Kind of a lot going on and that is it in a nut shell but at the end of the day climbing into bed, I felt this feeling I cant explain of happiness. I believe it was and feeling of peace because of the service we had offered that day to others no matter who it was. Member or not, as disciple of Christ we are to serve everyone no matter who they are as we all struggle and need help one time or another. It was a neat experience. 
Miracle story for the week is so great and the solution and answer to many of our prayers! So about a week before I got here, Diogo was baptized. He is a 9 year old convert and we have been working with him for the past few months and I might have mentioned him before. He is living with his mom and uncle and the situation is not the best so this past week when we were there, we knew he had been going to his dads house the past couple weeks and we wanted to see if we could visit him to just as good missionaries would do. We got the address from his mom and we went over and the dads girlfriend (Liliana) was there but he wasnt. We talked with her shortly and made out an appointment to come back and she was very interested. We gave her a Book of Mormon and told her to read the intro. When we came back and met with both of them she had read and she is just so open and ready for the gospel. She had many good questions and Filipe (Diogos Dad) also knew quite a bit about the church. The circumstances there are much better and we are so excited to work with this family and have the gospel bless their family. I am so grateful for the gospel and that we can live it daily within the family and grow love and experience joy and true happiness together. I am grateful for my family and that we can know that we are an eternal family! 
I love you all for now and for eternity, hope you have a great week! 
Alles gute! 
Elder Jerman

We had a "grill" with some members and investigators

It was great!

The District, also with one of the Sister's investigators. 

It was fun to be with all of them!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Frohe Ostern

Happy Easter!
Happy Easter! I hope you all had a wonderful day as we celebrated the Resurrection of our Savior and Redeemer. I know he lives and his Atonement is real. It is for all of us no matter who we are or what we have done. True joy and happiness comes through him and what he has done for us. I am so grateful for him and this great message that we have to share to the world, all because of Him. It has been a great week with lots happening. We had a great Easter Sunday yesterday. We woke up to great weather with birds singing and it felt great as the last few days the weather had been dark and cloudy but it was a nice start to a new day! We had a lesson in the morning with a less active we have been working with and we had a member come with us. It was great to have him there and be bold to invite him to join us on this day to celebrate what Christ has done for us. It was very bold and powerful and there was a wonderful Spirit there. Unfortunately he didnt join us but still a great lesson and to have a member there! Then we took the street train further to church and in the train was Imanuel! You dont now Imanuel but let me tell you about this great Easter Sunday miracle story that has developed over time. So about a month ago we visited the Schaal family in the ward and the dad has a brother who is on a mission right now in Berlin. This Elder had found someone who actually lived in Stuttgart so got his information and emailed it to his brother. When we were over there he gave us this number and told us to get in contact with him. We tried but couldnt ever get a hold of him. I finally got a hold of him one day and invited him to General Conference. We later found out that the International Elders here had received his information in the mail and had just started contacting him and he had actually came to church last week to the International Ward and wanted to meet me as I was the one that spoke with him on the phone, so they introduced me to him and that was that. Then yesterday I saw him in the train and went to sit with him. He said he was coming to church to the German ward. He is here in Germany and wants to learn German so thats what is best for him. At church we introduced him to the Schaal family and it was such a neat connection to make! We had a great Easter service and then afterwards we went to an older single Sister in the ward for Easter dinner. We had the great treat of having the Bensons there (missionary couple in Stuttgart) And also President and Sister Miles!!! They have been in Stuttgart this weekend for Interviews and was going to stay for Sunday so we had the great opportunity to have an eating appointment with them. It was such a great time as we ate some traditional Schw√§bisch Food and as we also sang hymns together and shared our testimonies. It was a great Easter Sunday!
As for the rest of the week, it was also good. I was a few days because of exchanges in other areas but things here in Stuttgart are moving along. Its great also to see the work moving along in the areas I go and visit and work in. The Elders here are great and good to be there and help them out. For one of them I was in G√∂ppingen with two other Elders. They have 3 Elders in their companionship so I worked with two of them there. We experienced something way neat that has been taught to me over and over again on my mission that as we give our best and go out and do his work he will look after us. We had just taken a bus and we got off and a little down the road one Elder realized he had left his wallet in the bus. It had already left and it would be an hour till it came back. We said a prayer that it would still be there when it came back and then we went out and contacted. Its a little tricky to figure it out with 3 but we did it none the less, sometimes staying as 3 or 2 going and talking with someone. We werent seeing much success at all but we were determined to work and so we kept going and we came up to someone and I told the other two they were up. They had a great contact as they spoke with him for a good 20 minutes and received his information. We were blessed from that and then the bus arrived back and the bus driver had the Elders wallet! What a miracle that someone had turned it in because that never happens here. We were so happy and we prayed again a pray of gratitude and I truly do know as we serve others the Lord will look out for us in all we need. What a great promise that has been given to all of us, as we love one another and God we will be blessed with what he knows we need best. I love how we are here on this earth learning these things and will one day know it really is for the best of it because God knows who we can really become! I love God, my fellowmen and my family! 
Hope you have a great week! 
Alles gute!
Much love,
Elder Jerman
District Picnic with YSL on her way to BYU

Monday, April 14, 2014

Work both Small and Big matters to Him

Our district on P-day at the Kellesberg above Stuttgart
Good morning from Stuttgart! Glad to hear all is going well and you had a great Spring Break week! Sounds like lots of family time which I love to hear because there is nothing better we could be doing in this life, learning together and especially learning to love. Its been a good week here in Stuttgart! Its great to be in the Lords work at this time of growth and new beginnings all around the world. We have been blessed to be working with some new people this week and hope to make some good progress with them. One was just last night! After church and after we came home and broke our fast with cooking up a good meal of Schnitzel we headed out to our appointment that we had made out with him just earlier this week. We get there and go in and see plates set out before us. He fed us as well and by the end of the night we were quite full! But gladly full because not just of food but also of the Spirit. It was a great lesson and he is very open to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, he is already religious and it was neat to talk about its true that we are all Christan's and believe in Christ but how whats is special about us is that we have the fullness of the gospel and authority of God which has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and in order to that to know is exactly do that what he accepted, reading and praying. In my study just this morning I studied about the importance of having those we teach receive that witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. Our role is essential to guide them and help recognize their answer but they must be the one with the desire and be willing to ask God. He will always answers if we ask sincerely and having the faith on his Son Jesus Christ. 
Our others investigators are doing well. Unfortunately we didnt meet with Ilja this week. He seems to have good weeks and then a bad week with cancelling appointments but we are not giving up on him and we know as we just be there to support and help him build his faith in Christ I know he will come around. We met with Damaris twice with this week and we had Bishop came which was really good! He is a really busy guy but there is nothing better than getting your Bishop to come to an appointment to get him more involved and excited in this work and then to have him give that further to the ward. It was a good experience for us all. 
A neat and fun experience this last week happened when we were on an exchange. I was here in Stuttgart with another Elder and our plan for part of the day was to go out to a small town to do some work. A member had actually given us some names to go by on and so we were excited to see what would come of it. She told us that she explained to these people that there may be missionaries working in your area and may stop by your house. So what we did as instructions from her is we doored one door before and after. It was great to be doing this work and even if none of them had interest it was great to see the effort of the members doing their part and what was really cool is that we actually ran into this member! I didnt even know that they lived in this village but there they were and they were so happy to see us in their village doing the Lords work for those they know and love. It was neat to know that on this day we were doing exactly what the Lord wanted us to be doing. We strive daily to do the will and the work of the Lord His way so we can help those ready find that joy! May we all pay more attention to the Spirit and the way it speaks to us through our feelings and thoughts in the small ways of service to help others along their path to eternal happiness! 
I love you all so much and so grateful to call you family! Hope you have a great week! 
Much love,
A look out of Stuttgart!

On Konig Strasse with a big alp horn playing!!
Elder Jerman

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference Week!

Christoph and I at the Stuttgart Zoo!   A great day!
What a week! As I looked back on the week it was a great success and we experienced some neat miracles. Starting off from the beginning of the week and where I left off last time...Christoph came! After emails we went to the train station and met him there and then with other Elders here in Stuttgart we all went to the Zoo! It was a great activity to do with Christoph on Pday and we all enjoyed the time very much so. Afterwards when it was time to go we said our goodbyes and then I gave him a Book of Mormon! I had written my personal testimony in it and it was neat to give it to him as he is a great friend of mine. Missionary work does get personal as we do it with those close to us. Its a great service we can do and there is nothing better we can offer to those we love the most.
We had our Zone Training meeting for all the missionaries here in the zone and it went really good and great to hear from everyone and there testimonies. Afterwards went on an exchange with the other Elders here in Stuttgart and they have 3 right now so I worked with two of them and this work is still possible with 3! Some think its "harder" especially street contacting with 3 but anything is possible and we had a great miracle. We contacted a guy who had just come from our church doing family history! There is actually quite a few of non members that come to the church for genealogy. But great to talk with him hopefully start meeting with him as he already has this interest! Also a neat miracle from opening our mouths was we were waiting at the train station for our train and we walk up and there is a young man standing there waiting as well and he kind of looks up and realizes us and took out his headphone but didnt say anything. A little time went on but then I had the feeling to talk with him and did so and we find out that he is actually a member! He is from America so he is in the other ward but it was perfect since we were on the exchange. He has been less active for just over a year but after our talking he said, I think I need to come back to church! It was so neat and I have experience multiple miracles as we simply open our mouths and start. That is how it all begins in fulfilling the commandment of preaching the gospel and extending the invitation to all. 
We had transfer day and we are staying together but we were at the train station helping those changing trains or moving onto another area. It was great to be with the missionaries and also this weekend we have been with them as a few stayed over for General Conference. And speaking of Conference, it was the greatest ever!!! I absolutely loved it and it truly is something I look forward to and will for the rest of my life! What a special opportunity we have to hear from our Prophet and Apostles, to listen and to learn on how we can better improve our lives and our service to others. Cant believe a year ago I was here in Stuttgart at the Stake house watching it as well. It is set up with English shown in the chapel and German in the culture hall. Us missionaries (all the missionaries in the zone come) watch in English but during one session we had a less active show up! It was great, we have been working with him and it was his first time back! He went into German and us in English but I had the feeling to go set with him so I did so and it was probably the best session ever. I learned from the Spirit that session than any other. I didnt understand and get everything the Speakers were saying but the Spirit was speaking so clearly to me on how I am here to serve and not be served and as I do so even if I dont understand everything that the Lord will look out for me and bless those I serve and thats exactly what happened as our less active was there and also we had an investigator show up and it was a blessing to be there and have her be able to have someone to sit with as it was her first time to church. 
That is actually a miracle story in itself. Remember last week as I explained our situation with Damaris and how we were probably done teaching her? Well we met with her one more time this week and had a lesson on repentance and we know that is a subject very dear to her. Well the lesson went really good and we decided to make out another appointment and then invited her to General Conference and she seemed interested so we were hoping she would come and she came to all 3 sessions!! It was the neatest, she is searching for her answers and so we are not giving up on her quite yet! So Conference was great yes and I am so grateful we can hear from them and learn what we can do and now is the time to do it! I loved Elder Bednars story and dad I wont ever forget our similar story of getting the van stuck on that dirt road. Our loads are heavy sometimes and we dont know why life is hard but God knows exactly what we need. This is the time to preform and show our trust and faith in Jesus Christ and in his Atonement. I know we can receive the strength needed to carry the load of life and that we can experience the joy of life God wants us to experience. It is through his Son Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and leads this church. 
I hope you have a great week and enjoy your Spring Break! 
I know families are eternal and I love you all so much!
Elder Jerman
 P-day, in front of a great blooming tree in the Spring here in Germany.  We aren't usually in street clothes but we are going biking today.