Monday, July 28, 2014

Unser Zweck

Hey sorry I am a little late today. Earlier today we were with a member family who has a son going on his mission on Wednesday to Provo Utah! An exciting time, it always is for the family and missionary. Excited, nervous and not knowing what to expect. A great experience and neat to see where I have come in my journey. I am still learning everyday and am so thankful for the time I have to serve the Lord with everything I got for this time. The big news for the week is transfer calls! We usually get them in the morning before studies but with new President we had no idea and it wasnt until after studies when we were actually in a lesson that we got a call from President Kohler! We waited until after to call back and found out the news! Elder Gomez Torio will be leaving to Switzerland and I will be getting a new companion. A brand spanken new one! I am excited and humbled for this time to train a new missionary and I wish to love him and that he has a great experience getting right into this great work! 
Its been a great week and I am sad for just having Elder Gomez Torio for a short time. We worked great together and saw a lot of good progress in this area. It is always so neat to look back on the time and see where God has brought us with his help, with out Him it would be impossible. Yesterday at church was quite the miracle. The mission is something so cool, on Friday we met a man from Hungary on the street and invited him to church he ended up coming all 3 hours even though he couldnt understand all of the German. We actually had a member from Hungary who translated a little for him. So neat how in so little time we can help all no matter who it is come closer to Christ. That is our purpose and that is what we strive for everyday. We also had another investigator at church. Her name is Yisel and she is a neat story from this last week. I think I said a little about her last week but she came to a little of church last week, she wanted to see who we are and what we do. We is interested in strengthening her faith. We met with her during the week and she explained how she wants to live her faith not just believe and how she hasnt felt that she can in her faith. Well she is in the right place! Its great we can help those that are hungry for the truth and give what they are looking for. 
I dont have much more time for today. I love you all and so grateful to be here serving my God and my brothers and sisters. I have really learned that as we come to understand that everyone we meet both friends and foreign people they are all children of our Heavenly Father that he loves perfectly and we can too as we serve both Him and them! 
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Jerman
Orlando Morles before he leaves to the Utah, Provo mission!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Start anew

I love you and so glad you had a great week at Trek and the other many activities going on. Its neat to experience what those pioneers did so many years ago. It makes it real and you can relate. A mission has many similarities to that as well of the great stories we hear in the Book of Mormon of missionaries and their hardships as well as success. I am so grateful for all the experiences that our involved in a mission and to relate to those who have made the journey and made the trial for us to follow. 
We had a great week starting back on Monday night last week we got a call from the Zone Leaders asking if we had time the next day to go to an appointment they had made out with someone who lives in our area who had called them from a pass-a-long card. The next day we had our Zone Training and then an activity with the young men and women playing baseball at the church and then headed off to this made out appointment. We kind of got lost and couldnt find the place but finally after searching for awhile we found the place and met him. We came to find out that he is actually a member from El Salvador wanting to start anew and strengthen his faith in Christ. It was a great connection right off with Elder Gomez Torio and Spanish and at the end we ask him to say a kneeling pray. It was a neat spiritual experience as this son of God has found his way back and can start anew in finding Christ. A similar experience this week going along with starting anew was on Friday night we had made out an appointment with a younger man who we had found on the street a couple weeks ago. We invited a member to come and he brought his friend and they are both returned missionaries with in the last few years and the lesson was great. We toured the church and talked about the Book of Mormon and the members did such a great job. I have learned again how important the members are in this work. Nothing can be accomplished without them, we can work as missionaries as hard as we can but not until members get involve and friendship those we come in contact with either through our efforts or members they will not progress and not stay active in the church. Anyways back to Friday night, this man also had the desire to strengthen his faith and come back to Christ. It had been a year since believing and praying to God. At the end we asked him to say the closing pray but he declined so the member did and afterwards he then asked if he could say one. He expressed his true feelings and thanked God for the opportunity once again after over a year to start anew and come to him. Also a very powerful and spiritual experience and I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and how everyone no matter member or non-member can come close to Him and his gospel as they live accordingly. 
Our investigators Jonel and Orlando are doing well. We are meeting with Jonel later tonight and hoping to help him develop his faith as he acts. Sometimes we dont understand how important and basic God has made it, that if we ask having faith (meaning acting and doing something for it) and then  trusting in him and his time he will give us the answer which we need. We receive that revelation as in acting by prayer, reading, and going to church. 3 things that can be done daily and weekly and when we dont we sometimes ask where is the help but we have to show we are doing our part as well. We are helping Orlando also understand the importance of acting. We brought a member with us this last week that was in the same religious background as him and similar situation and that helped a ton to have him relate and see it is possible but only when its our own desire. We cant force anyone just help them gain the desire and a small desire can do a lot as we work with that and have it grow. 
I am enjoying my time in Vienna and I am so grateful for a great companion who is diligent and concecrated in this work. We see many miracles and know that its Gods hand in this work. We are here to help achieve his goal to help all his children come to him no matter where they are on their path back to him. 
I love you and hope you have a wonderful week!! I love my family so much! 
Much love,
Elder Jerman
 Our companionship in front of the Parlament!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Quick but worth it

Things are great in Vienna, I must say its quite a blessing serving here in a great city like Vienna. You meet people from around the whole world and the neat thing is that the gospel is for everyone even if they are just here for a couple days. Even if its quick it can still have an impact, even as quick as one stop on the subway. There is great public transportation in Vienna and sometimes either us or them are just going one stop but neat to talk with them. This last week we talked with this guy who we could tell was having a bad day, we didnt have time to say much but I hope as we went on it was the smile on our faces that helped him along his way. I have learned a lot about the importance of the light we have and share. I am so grateful for a great companion who loves to share that light and doesnt care who its with or who is starring or making fun. He has great faith and I learn lots from him daily and glad we can share that light together. One neat story about sharing it quick and then moving on was we had just came from an appointment and we were walking on the street and 4 young adults come walking in the other direction with beer in their hands and I was thinking this should be good. We stopped them and 3 of them just laughed and kept walking but one stopped and asked what we were doing and we had a great discussion about faith and he told us how important faith is to him in his life. It was just really good even though during it his friends were waiting for him down the road and yelling for him to come but he stayed and it was just the coolest. Found out he was just here for the weekend but that he is from Stuttgart. I loved that and told him I lived there and loved it, we told him there are also missionaries there that can meet with him so we got his number and will pass it on. So grateful that we are in this together and that it is his work not ours! 
The work in this part of the world is coming along great. We have met with our investigator Jonel, he was a former investigator and its neat how Gods time works out because he says that he now has time and has the desire to read the Book of Mormon. We hope we can help him understand and help him come closer to Christ. We met with him yesterday and it was neat as he prayed for the first time in German and a pray from the heart. He prayed for his brother in Serbia who is having a difficult time and I knew he had great faith. After the pray I had the feeling to testify and let him know of the love that God has for him and his family and that he is watching over his family. It was a very spiritual moment and humbling experience to be an instrument in Gods hands and help his children know of his love for them. We are also meeting with a less active member, he is a little older but we love going there and having him feel loved, because that is just what he needs and that is what everyone needs, that feeling of being watched out for and to know someone cares for you and loves you. 
This past week we got to get to know our new Mission President and his family. President and Sister Kohler and their two kids, they have 3 but one is on a mission in Japan. We traveled up to Salzburg (which I must say is a beautiful place) on Tuesday and had a Zone Conference with them. It was great to get to know them and it will be a little different having not just a Mission President and a mom but a whole family! They are such a great example of courage and trusting in the Lord. I know it wouldnt be a easy thing to bring your family to a whole different place. I loved as they all shared their testimonies and the example they showed of faith. If they can do it, I can do it! We all can do it because the Lord knows we can and as we trust him miracles can happen. 
I love you all and wish that you have a wonderful week! 
Much love,
Elder Jerman
This is at Stephan's Church, right down town in Vienna.   You come out of the subway and its right there! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

An unexpected bus ride

Sounds like you had a great 4th of July! I can tell you it wasnt quite the same here in Austria but it still was a great day and one I wont remember. That evening we had a Sport Night that was put together by our Ward Mission Leader, it was for all members and non members to come and play American football with the missionaries and also have some American goodies. We brought chocolate chip cookies that we made. It was a pretty good turn out as we had a few less actives and investigators. It was a great night playing a little football and just as always all went well until some got hurt. Elder Gomez Torio landed wrong and his shoulder and couldnt move his shoulder. We knew that he hadnt broken anything but he wanted to go to a professional to see what it was so he could know to what extend he could still work and so forth. So that night we spend the night in the hospital with our great Ward Mission Leader, but no worries he is well and had just strained his muscle. We were back at it Saturday morning safe and healthy just with a sore shoulder.  We are grateful that we are watched out for and protected, thank you for your many prayers and concerns. We are truly blessed every day as we live. 
Its been a overall great week, Monday night was a great night as we were with a member family as well as their friends that we have met before. This family is wonderful and neat as we got to share the message of the Restoration and have a group discussion where questions where asked and testimonies were given. We are working with both the mother and her son and he actually came on Friday to the activity. We hope to work well with him this week and have this great member family experience the joy that comes from sharing the gospel. Its been neat to come here and start a 2nd part of this ward. Its neat to see growth week after week just these few weeks I have been here. We have been focused on less actives as there are so many unfortunately. We have seen some great success this last week, we have gone by many the past few weeks(many not home or moved away) but this week we went by one and they talked through the voice box and said we could come back the next day. We came back and met him and its neat to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help everyone in every situation. We also visited a member who is having a rough time and I am so grateful that we get to share this wonderful message and to know as we live we will overcome all. As we face every challenge in life with intent prayer and trust in the Lord we will be able to become like Him and understand His plan for us. 
Vienna is a great city and it has been fun getting to learn this city. Its a good size city and the transportation here is really really good. Its either really easy to get lost or it helps you out really well. I know we have been lead many times and received help from on high. As we serve righteously and do our best we receive what we need. A small neat story which might mean a lot but which I loved, is we had just went by on someone and was walking on the street trying to figure out where we exactly were and how to get to our next place. Well a bus pulls us and we both thought we should get in. We both had no idea where it was headed but after a few stops I recognized where we were and we got out to visit a less active we had visited a few days before and they werent there. This time the door was open and we were able to go in and up the stairs to their door. Unfortunately they werent home again but there was a trash bag outside their door and we decided to leave a note expressing our love for them and then we took the garbage out. It was something simple but the Lord works in mysterious ways and who knows what will come from it! 
I love you all and I am so grateful for my family, its been so neat this week doing a little with my family history and sharing it with others. As I do I feel the connection of love we have even though we are over seas. Families are forever and the gospel is what makes us happy. Have a great week! 
Much love,
Elder Jerman