Monday, May 26, 2014

Helping the One

 Sunday dinner at a member's home with Elder Nielson,  in similar ties.

Nice looking car here in Stuttgart - the birthplace of the car.
We are getting into the hot season here in Stuttgart, it did rain a few days actually so it was nice. The weather here reminds me a lot of back home. In the morning it will be raining and then shortly after the sun comes out and it turns into a beautiful day. We never know but that doesnt stop us from shinning within. We can always let that light shine! Saturday was one of those days concerning the weather. We had a ward activity as we had our Ward Conference this past weekend and in the morning it rained and it rained a lot. We had actually planned to do some service in the yard for a member but they canceled because of the rain. It wasnt looking well for the ward activity but by lunch time the sun came out and turned into a great day. We visited it for a while. We brought Diogo along the new convert and he enjoyed the time as well as we did. I think we would have enjoyed it a little more if we can prepared with the right clothing. We played soccer with the ward but we still had our missionary clothes on, we had fun none the less and made the best of it! 
Thats something I have learned a lot about, no matter what we are doing that we enjoy the moment and make the best of it. I have also learned that when you are working diligently and efficiently than you are happy. Work makes you happy because you forget about yourself and worry more on the salvation of others. We speak to many people daily and fulfill our purpose by inviting "them" to come to Christ and accept the gospel. I know God is a loving God though because he returns the favor as we also come closer to Him and his son Jesus Christ. 
We met with our friend Steven this past week and he is progressing in the gospel. It was great to hear as he said he had been reading a chapter every night before going to bed. The words of God do heal the soul and it is neat to just be the instrument in the hand of the Lord. Receiving a testimony of the Book of Mormon is an essential part of becoming converted to the true and restored gospel of Jesus Christ and many times those we work with either dont read or dont understand what we read. I can imagine it being difficult to receive a testimony to something you dont understand and that is why our role is so key to help them understand and we do that best with reading with them. We have been doing that more often and it does help and also helps them gain the desire to read on their own because they understand. As we understand we receive knowledge, the knowledge of the truth. 
A miracle story of the week, so it all started back on Tuesday I was on an exchanged with another Elder in the zone and we were working here in Stuttgart. We went by a less active after an appointment and unfortunately he wasnt home but we told his landlord to tell us we had dropped by. Two days later I was on another exchanged with Elder Talbert in the International Ward also here in Stuttgart and we were going to an appointment and I recognized the area we were in. It was the same area we were in just two days earlier. We had to go to the appointment but it sadly fell out so we had some time and decided to go by on this less active once more. Again he wasnt home but we talked to his roommate to give him the message. Deep down I know that one way or another he would get the message. Well the next day after exchanging back Elder Nielson said that he had gotten a call from the Mission Office who said that they had received a call from a member in our ward in the hospital and had requested a visit. We went that night and we was so happy to see us, saying that both his landlord and roommate had told him we had come by. He felt our love and the love of God reach out to him, and he explained that he also had someone for us who was interested in meeting with us! Miracles happen everyday because God lives and he loves us, that is the foundation of my testimony and of these things I know to be true. 
I love you and hope you have a wonderful last week of school! Give it your best and enjoy each moment! 
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Jerman
 Dino Museum is closed on Mondays, but we stopped on our way to play ultimate frisbee

P-Day ice cream

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Written by Elder Nielson

Here is an email written by Elder Dane Nielson, 5 months before he was a companion with Jason.  

Monday, December 9, 2013 5:32 AM
"tell brother and sister Smith that there son is in good hands.  He is being trained by Elder Jerman. I was in the MTC with him and I love him to death.  He works hard and is so kind and loving.  I hope I get to work with him one day as well :) and Elder Smith too :) ..."

Monday, May 19, 2014

3 times is a charm!

I love my family and am grateful all is well and everyone is safe and healthy. I know the Lord is watching over us everyday no matter where we are or what we are doing. I pray for you individually daily and am so grateful how blessed we have been of being a healthy family! I love you all! 
Well we have had a great week here in Stuttgat, we have been really busy which is good and Elder Nielson and I are getting along very well. We have a good time working together and also a fun time, both important no matter what phase we are in our lives. We have had some great success in finding new people interested in learning about the gospel. On Tuesday night we met with two young guys. We met at the YSA center, we showed them around and they had many great questions and we sat down and taught the Restoration. So neat to first off tell them what makes our church so special and different. As we told the story of Joseph Smith the Spirit was strong and I know they felt it. They committed to read in the Book of Mormon and we hope to be meeting with them in the coming week. Another neat experience with teaching someone for the first time was Saturday morning we had an appointment with another young guy. His name is Steven and we actually met him a week ago on the Street. We met with him at the church, toured him around and then sat and had a lesson with him. That first lesson is always so important with new people and its whats most important is them feeling two things. The Spirit and love, and I would say both were there. He explained to us on the day we met him that he wasnt having the best day and didnt even want to go outside but rather stay inside but he had a feeling he needed to go out, it might have been his stomach being a little hungry but he was on his way to the grocery store when we met him and Saturday he told us that is was times like these that he knew that there must be a God. There are no accidents and we have really high hopes for him. At the end of our lesson after the prayer, the first thing he said was, " I feel good." We know that was the Spirit and the love of his Father in Heaven. We are meeting again this week again at the church because of that "good feeling" he felt there. We cant do this work without the Spirit and we are so privilege to have him with us as we do what is right and live worthy. 
Lilliana and her family are doing well, they have been sick this last week and our appointment didnt go through but we hope to keep making good progress with them. A neat miracle story for the week was Friday morning when we had a service project. We were helping a less active in the ward make and build closets so she could have more space in her apartment. We were with the Bensons and we first went to Ikea to look at what they had. We rode the elevator up with this lady, back didnt say anything. About 10 minutes being there they had a fire drill and everyone had to go outside to the big parking lot. Elder Nielson mentioned that there was someone out there that we needed to meet. We gathered with the Bensons and then noticed the lady that rode up with us. We started talking with her and also as we went back into the building. She was so nice and kind, but then she went her way and us our way. Ah that was our chance! I knew I should of done a little more to ask for her info to keep in touch. We went to the less actives to take measurements and then went back to purchase at Ikea. I said a little pray in my heart that we would see her again. I knew the chances were slim but as we arrived back she was there just at the check out! We had to talk to her! So Elder Nielson and I waiting around until she finished and then we went up to talk to her and received her info! The Lord was kind to us in answering my simple pray and giving us one more chance. And I know without the Spirit with us, the lady would of thought we were crazy as she didnt really know what was going on but the Lord soften her heart and now we can stay in touch and hopefully meet with her. God has a plan for everyone of his children to receive and accept the gospel. Let us all do our part in serving others and asking Him for his divine help. 
I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful and safe week! 
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Jerman

Made a new friend on the train.  He just returned from a semester at the U of U!

from Elder Dane Nielson's letter

Mom,  I’m Glad that Elder Jerman´s mom got in touch with you.   Elder Jerman is a fantastic missionary.  There is no other missionary I would rather be working with right now in the entire mission!   :)
 Well I wanted to tell you a little more about Elder Jerman and how he is the best companion in the world but time is short so I will end by simply saying.  I´m really grateful for this work and for the ones I get to share it with    :)
P-day with new companion - Elder Jerman and Elder Nielson!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Alles Liebe zum Mutter Tag!

Final farewell with this Stuttgart District before some move on.
It was so good seeing and hearing from you yesterday! We are so blessed that we can do that in these days! I loved talking to you and hearing from you, I love you so much and am so that we have the restored truth and know that this life is not the end. We will enjoy the eternities together with one another and I am so happy that the gospel is a blessing for us and and forever. What a great time we live in with the restored truth and that we can share it with others as well so their families can also enjoy the happiness. I am grateful for the privileged to be here now in Stuttgart doing that same thing. 
This week as been a week of change and new beginning as I have received a new companion. Elder Nielson from Delta Utah who was in my MTC District. He came in on Thursday and it has been a great couple last days. I know the Lord has lots in store for us and I know the way to accomplish it is setting goals. That is the way we can all accomplish anything righteous we want to. An important key that was made clear to me these last few days is that we just dont set them hoping that we will reached them with putting in a little effort here and there and hoping for the best but that as we set them and then go out and work and give it our best in asking for the Lords help. Through that, I know that we can reach all that we want to. Both Friday and Saturday we had the goal to find 4 potential investigators. We went throughout the day working and talking with as many as we could and as we knew the day was coming to the end and we hadnt reached our goal we knew we had the go just a little further and not give up. It was neat as we did all we could the Lord guided us through the Spirit to reach our goal. We have a quote that I really like and it goes as following, "Everyday is a battle, and every night a victory." I love that! The work wont always be easy and so wont life, but we knew that before we came to earth. We promised our Father in Heaven that we would give our best and as we do daily by the end of the day we will see what blessings he gave us to help us receive the victory. 
For our friends of the church we visited this past week who is making progress we had two great experiences. One with Lilliana and her family as we met with them all together. We first read with her in the Book of Mormon since she hadnt since the last time we met and it is so important that they learn that in order to get an answer they must put in their own effort. After we read we watched the Restoration film with her and the family in Portuguese and she seemed very intrigued. We hope to keep making progress with her and help her receive her witness through the Spirit of the truth. We also had a neat experience with Andrea. His father passed away last week and was a tough time for him and his family as we can imagine. We had the opportunity to go over and just speak with him but mostly listen and have him talk. As we listen with love we will know what do say. We didnt say much but I know what we did say it was enough and it was what he needed at that time. He knew he had received strength from the gospel and also from above. The neat thing about that is about a month ago is when he got serious into the Book of Mormon reading it daily on his own and I know for a fact that is one reason he received that strength. As we do what has been asked we will receive what we need as we ask. I know Christ lives and that we have a Father in Heaven who loves each one of us.
I love each one of you so much and hope you have a great week! 
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Jerman

With the Finotto family from Italy

Monday, May 5, 2014

Making the best of every situation

Welcome to a new week, it looks like you will be having a full week with lots going on, but whats new! Hope all goes well and you wont feel too stressed! I know it will all work out in the end, it always does and it did once again this week in Stuttgart. We had a great week, it was a little different this week because we were also in Munich for part of the week but let me tell you all about! On Monday night we visited our new family we are teaching. Filipe and Liliana are doing great, we actually did find out that he is a member! Last week we werent sure but this time we offered to give a blessing to their daughter as she was going in for a operation and we figured out that he actually has the Melchizedek Priesthood! Since being here in Germany the last 4 years he has been inactive as he had some negative experiences in the past but we hope to work with him and their family. Liliana is so great though, she loves praying and growing her faith that is new to her. She explained to us how she likes that there is a straight and narrow path that is the right one. She knows in her life she hasnt always been on that path but she wants to and she knows as she does, the Lord will prepare a way! We were also their on Saturday and Diogo was there so it was good to have them all their. We hope to make some great progress with this great family! Getting Filipe and Diogo active and having Liliana be apart of this great gospel and have it be a blessing for their family! We are excited with them. Tuesday we had an exchange with the International Elders which went good and then Wednesday we headed off to Munich. We went with all the District Leaders here in the zone to stay the night because the next morning we had a meeting that we had to be there for. Then we had our Mission Tour! Stuttgart and Munich Zones came together and we had Sister and Elder Dyches from the seventy visit us. It was great to hear from them as well from Sister and President Miles. Then afterwards we had a big finding day, kind of what we did back here in Stuttgart a couple of weeks ago. It was neat what we did as we went out but stayed close to the church and invited everyone to come and have a church tour. It was very succesful as we had the doors open to those interested and then took them through. Something neat for us while contacting and inviting others to come was that we met a Bishop from Japan! We talked with him just for a short time and then he wished us on our way and its always is neat to meet members around the world and receive support to keep us going strong. Then Friday we stayed one more day in Munich and had MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) We had Sister and Elder Dyches here this time which was neat to hear from them. He talked about agency and responsibility as leaders and what role that plays. It was a great few days with much council and direction given. It is neat though that we can not only receive it from them but also be impressed from the Spirit on how we can use it in our personal work and areas. It was neat to get ideas for specific investigators and such. This is Gods work with his children and when we have the desire he will give us what we need to help his children. Saturday we met with a less active for the first time. I called him about a month ago and made out this appointment and then called the night before to confirm and he was good to go. It doesnt always work out that way but this was great. We met and had a good lesson. It is so great that we can work with so many different people where ever they may be in the gospel. We learned in our meetings that it is just important of bringing back the ones that have lost the way as it is bringing in the new. There are many ways of hastening his work and that is one of them.
One neat quick miracle story, something small but of big importance. Yesterday leaving our apartment going to church we were walking up the sidewalk going to the station to get on the street train and then realized we had forgotten a few ideas so we had to go back making us miss our original train. We made our way back but knowing we would have a little more time before the next train I decided to speak to this women walking by. We find out she is really religious and interested in our message. We end up giving her a Book of Mormon and our testimonies of the truthfulness of it. It is just so neat that as we make the best of every situation, having a good attitude and working diligently the Lord will bless us in ways we will never know unless we act upon those promptings given us. Oh the joy we will experience has we trust in the Lord and his time and way to fulfill his purpose for all his children. It is so great we can all be apart of this great work!
Hey one last thing, so we got transfer calls this last week and found out that Elder Moon will be moving on this next week and I will be getting a new companion. It will be Elder Nielson from my MTC district!! I am super excited and I know there are many great things in store for us. I know the Lord will be expecting our best and it will be a neat opportunity to work diligently and obediently in being his instruments as his missionaries.
I hope you all have a great week and thanks for your love and support. It will be great seeing and talking to you next week, looking forward to it! Love you so much!
Bis Später,
Elder Jerman