Monday, October 27, 2014

Die Furhung

Me at the central cemetary in Vienna!!

Hello and good morning to you all. Sounds like all is well at home and so fun to hear from each one of you, thanks for taking the time to do so! I must say, things are going very well here too! Its been a great week as the work keeps moving forward, which is great especially for us as people that we can always be working to something greater no matter where we are in life. I heard from Steven in Stuttgart today, he wrote me a letter and so neat to hear from him how his experience was. He received the Aaronic Priesthood this week and is already planning on going on the temple this next weekend to do baptisms for the dead! I am thankful for a loving God who has given us a perfect plan and gospel that we can live and learn from everyday! Some new news from our side as mission life goes, we got transfer calls this past week and Elder Howarth will be leaving us here in Vienna and I will be staying! Even though he came after me, I will be staying and he will be going! I will be getting a new companion that is actually in a near by city so I know him already and it will be great to work with him, I know that already!! It has been great with Elder Howarth and I learned lots from him and his teaching, it will great to move on and keep on learning. I am very excited to be staying here in Vienna as well with this great ward, area and people! It will be neat to keep working with those from the past and see their progress and hopefully with Yisel we can start working with a good friend of hers and maybe someday with her husband! 
We are making good progress with two different investigators, Frau Sulzenbacher who is coming slowly along but coming. Her big obstacle is pray as she doesnt quite understand it but how key it is as we found out through pray the truth. There is no other way where we can find spiritual truth and we receive that as we make the effort to ask. Daniel is also making great progress, we met for the 2nd time this past week and talked about the Restoration and he accepted everything very well and didnt have many questions as he understands it. He has read lots of good things are the church website which is a great source and so he is coming along great. We hope to set a baptismal date with him this week and its so neat how the gospel works and that we are here to invite all to come unto Christ. Invitation is a big key and helps people progress, if we werent invited to do something I believe not as much would be accomplished. Sure thats of good would still happen but by invitation we are asked to do so and then use are agency to decide and see the blessings for ourselves as we live accordingly. 

Vienna Missionaries / Army of Helaman!

We had Stake Conference this weekend both on Saturday night and Sunday, so neat to see members and spend the time with them. There was lots talked about the Plan of Happiness and even as we have trials and struggles through life that we need to stay firm to the iron rod and we do so by both family and individual pray and scripture study, something we hear every week but so key to receive that comfort, strength, and guidance in our lives. That guidance and light comes from Christ and his gospel which he so clearly taught and still teaches through the prophets today. We are so blessed to hear from his words and as we daily through the multiple opportunities we will one day return to the presence of our brother and father in heaven. What a blessing it is to know who we are as well as to know who they are and how we can return to our family! Families are forever! 
I love my family so much and hope you have a great week! 
Much love,

Elder Jerman
We played volleyball for a sport night at the church

Monday, October 20, 2014

Das Wunder

Rainy day before Yisel's baptism
Well I dont know where to start! I love you thats for sure and I love these people of Austria! It doesnt come over night and special experiences help you gain that love but I feel a great love for these people I am serving. And the big news you have all been waiting for...Yisel did it!! She was baptized on Saturday, it all worked out and it was such a beautiful day!! I got word that Steven in Stuttgart was also baptized which is great to hear and what a neat day it was. The day before it had rained and was gray and storming but Saturday rolls around and the sun comes up shinning bright. It was a beautiful day the batism service went well, we had a good show up with members and she even invited her friends and we had another investigator there as well. I was privileged to be one of the Witnesses and to see her come out of the water was so neat to know she was completely clean and her sins were washed away. Afterwards talking with her she mentioned how she felt as she was on clouds as she came up and you could see in her imagine she was different, she was clean and she pure. She has truly gone through a change of heart as she has accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and lived accordingly. I know the many prayers and fasting helped her make this decision and had this change in heart. We met with her on Thursday one last time before her baptism and she was excited to tell us that the night before she had been invited from one of her very best friends to go to a party but she declined and didnt regret her decision. The power of the Atonement is real and can change the heart of all of us no matter who we are or what situation we are in. Her husband was okay with her getting baptized, mostly he didnt really understand it but he wasnt against it and supported her for it. It truly was a wonderful miracle! Then on Sunday I had the privileged to confirm her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A special experience and afterwards she thanked me and she said she felt the Holy Ghost strong. I am so happy for her and she has been so blessed! I am grateful for the Spirit that she has come to recognize him and that through the Priesthood power (the power of God) we are able to preform such ordinances. I have learned so much from her and her desire to do what is right and follow Christ, to live her faith as she put it the first time we met. I know she will do well as she continues to live the gospel as this is just the beginning and she will be a great example to her family and friends and that one day her husband will come to the realization of what he is missing out on! The gospel is true and this is a moment I will never forget. 
The rest of the week was also good leading up to the weekend. We met with a less active that we went by on a few weeks ago and had set out this appointment for this week and it was neat to listen to her and have her know that it is the time for her to return. She said she has had times before throughout the years where missionaries had come by but itwasnt the right time for her or she wasnt ready but now she knows its time to come back, she knows the Book of Mormon is true and that the church is as well so we hope to work with her and her family. The gospel truly is best taught, lived, and enjoyed within the family and I am grateful for my family and growing up learning the many things I consider precious today. There is much still to be done and many that are searching for that happiness, it is not always easy especially in a place where most dont understand and accept it quite yet but I know it is worth it, those times when it gets hard and your tired and there doesnt seem to be hope. I know, I know for sure that there are those out there who is waiting for the truth and everyday serving the Lord is worth it to find the lost one. That is what he would do and that is what we should all do as times gets hard and you dont see much success, keep pressing on and the lost will be found through diligent and obedient searching. 
Its a great day in the Lords vineyard, a new day to find those ready to hearken unto his voice! I hope we will all share this hope and joy with all! I love you and am so grateful for our family and the loving bound we have as we live the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! 
Much love,
Elder Jerman

Yisel's baptism!  (Jason was a witness to the baptism and asked to confirm her a member of the church and give her the Holy Ghost)

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's time!

Vienna apartment
Its great to hear from all of you personally. Thanks for taking the time and I love hearing whats going on in your lives. Much good which is great to hear! Life is good also here on the other side of the world. There is lots of good potential here as there are so many people that we meet every day and most just understand what we have to share as they move right along. That is why are special message of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon is so important, I love talking to people about the Book of Mormon and more often than not you meet someone who knows about it or even if you get lucky someone who has one but unfortunately hasnt read much from it. We had a really neat experience similar to that as we were traveling back from zone conference in Salzburg. Which I must say was great, it was neat to hear from President Kohler and his vision of the mission and he concentrated on why we are here and who we really are? You have heard our goal for the end of the year and I know it is possible and the prayers of many can bring great miracles. Anyways back to our trip home from Salzburg we sat down and starting talking with this lady, we come to find out that about 2 years ago she got a Book of Mormon from missionaries on the street and she had just read the introduction and a little of the beginning. She did know quite a bit about Joseph Smith and how he received the plates but we explained more to her and it was neat to see her desire grow. She thought it to be very intriguing, and especially that it testified of Christ. She told us a little about her life and how it hasnt been the easiest and how she has found strength and hope through Christ. I felt the Spirit strong testify of Christ and his Atonement and that no matter our situation we can be healed both physically and spiritually through the power of the Atonement of Christ. As we bring others to Christ, we are blessed greatly to also come closer to Him. 
Yisel is doing well, and thanks so much for the many prayers for her and her family. They are needed and the time is here, we met with her this morning and the zone leaders came to do her baptism interview. Everything right now is looking good for Saturday but keep her in your prayers! Let the Lords will be done whatever it shall be and have trust that it is what is right and the best for everyone. We are excited though and hope it works out! Its been a great time teaching and helping her come to this understanding of the gospel and helping her gain her faith in the Restoration but its truly Him who has helped Yisel come this far and through the power of the Holy Ghost has she come to the belief that the Book of Mormon is true. We hope to further help her along her path as this is just the beginning. We learn as well though, that there are many ready to accept the gospel and to keep up on others so the work keeps going forward and doesnt stop once someone is baptized. We had a neat experience as we went by a former investigator on Tuesday who hasnt been visited in more than 10 years. We made out an appointment with her and met with her Thursday and came to find out that she had actually moved out and was away for 10 years traveling the world with a partner. He passed away about 6 months ago and she has moved back in in the last 3 months. Everything has its timing and this is the time for her, she is willing to meet with us again and see how far she gets. As she put it, but that is all we need is a desire to have an open heart and ask God. 
I love the gospel and I love my Savior Jesus Christ, we can all grow our love for Him as we desire to strengthen our faith and learn more about it and as we do so we do come closer to Him and learn the love he has for us. 
I love my family and hope you have a great week! 
Liebe Grüße,
Elder Jerman

To Dad - I love you so very much and we truly are blessed as a family.  I was thinking about that this past week and that I dont have to worry about home and just focus on the work! Thanks for the love and support! 
your son,

To Mom - Life is good, its real good and I know life is good with my family and we are so blessed that we cant give enough thanks. We truly need to everyday say thanks for all we have. I am so grateful for my family and my parents. I love you all and thanks for all you do for me and also the investigators, your prays do count, I hope you know that everyone and this week is the one they count the most as Satan will be working hard on the other side but with God his power is stronger and let his will be done! 
Love your son, and brother,

Monday, October 6, 2014

We have a prophet called of God!

With members, making American chocolate chip cookies.  They wanted us to show them how to make those great cookies! 
How about that great General Conference! Oh how we need General Conference and was it ever so good! I love it and it comes and goes very quick but even though it is over, now is the time that really matters in putting what we learned into action! Sunday was the full day as we had Priesthood Session in the morning then had a lunch which we brought along and then Saturday afternoon and then Sunday morning live. It was a great day and I am so grateful for prophets in these days. We need their guidance and council. I was touched from the Sunday morning session with the two talks about substaining prophets and our great need for them and then having Thomas S. Monson speak to us at the end and teach and testify of Jesus Christ and the gospel which he taught. We can all find hope and direction in life as we learn more about the Savior and his sacrifice as we study both ancent and modern prophets in the scriptures and conference talks. Its nothing new to us but it is the rededication and confirmation from the Spirit that is what helps us strive forward to accomplish his will and for us to have happy lives!
We had some neat less active progression this last week, we went by a less active right before they were leaving and met with them shortly setting up an appointment for next week, oh how I love less active work and bringing those back to the fold. Most of the time they arent there or have moved away but as we constantly diligently work at it, we will find those ready! On Friday during weekly planning I had the thought to call a less active who Elder Gomez Torio and I worked with. He was from El Salvator and he had moved to a different area in Vienna and Elder Gomez Torio then left, but I called him to see how he was doing and if the missionaries had contact with him. He remembered my voice and was pleased to hear from me as he has been away and hasnt had much contact with the church. He asked me if there was any activities going on and I told him about a YSA activity that night and later I found out he went and made contact with the right missionaries and will be working with them now. We can make things happen as we follow those small promptings and it is not us rather God who is to thank. He loevs all his children and wants to make sure they know that and that they are not forgotten. We play a big role in that as we work as instruments in his hands. While going to an appointment we met a less active on the street! It was a great miracle to have them standing right there but sad as they didnt have any interest meeting with us although she was really nice. I wanted to at least do something but didnt know what, then had the thought to share a scripture with her. The words of God can be more powerful than we know and it was neat as she listened and then took the book and looked up a scripture, unfortantly she couldnt find it but we commited her right there on the street to read again in the scriptures. We have the opportunity every 6 months to hear the word of God through his prophets but we can hear his word everyday and receive personal revelation for our lives, what a wonderful blessing it is! 
Yisel is doing well, we met with her two times last week and this week as well, things are looking good for now, but keep her in your prayers and also her family. She watched some of General Conference and really enjoyed it, this past week she also mentioned how she has gained the importance of the Book of Mormon. She has always believed in Bible and that to be the word of God, at the beginning of meeting with us she still had that be number one, but just of lately she has realized the importance of the Book of Mormon and how it is also the word of God and that it can speak to hear just as the Bible does. When we do those simple things we are asked of, pray, read and go to church we will come to the realization just as with any commandment that it is true and it brings us closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. 
I hope you have a great week and I love you all! 
Much love,
Elder Jerman

Bowling with a new convert and her son who is not yet baptized.  Great activity! 


Free ice cream! It was while on an exchange with Elder Holm, it was the last night before they closed for the season and we got a big ice cream!