Monday, December 28, 2015

New Year, New Cheer!

Hey y'all! 
Well, I can't believe the year is already come to an end. I can't
still remember back last year when I was still in the small town of
Leer for the new year. That feels like it wasn't that long ago, but at
the same time it feels like a whole other life! Time is strange on the
mission, the days are long, the weeks fly by, and each transfer feels
shorter and shorter. I'm sure these next few months will just fly
right by. 

This week was just a wonderful week of Christmas cheer. We had a white
elephant give exchange at district meeting, but we did it German style
where in order to get a present you have to sing a song, or recite
something. But for us, instead of singing or doing something like
that, we used this opportunity to practice our memorized scriptures ;)
and we all got gifts from "Der Weihnachtsman!" (Santa)
Father Christmas🏻Father Christmas🏻Father Christmas🏻Father Christmas🏻

We also spent a lot of time with the amazing members here, which was
awesome, because the members here have so much love, and they're so
nice to us. Honestly without the members this would've been a sad
Christmas. We got to spend last Sunday with a family, and they fed us,
Wurst, then Monday with a family, and they fed us, more wurst. Then
again on Christmas Eve, with more wurst. Each Wurst was about twice
the size of a Normal American hot dog, and I probably ate over 30 of
them this week... So this week we only bought vegetables to make up
for it, and we're doing a "vegetarian week" to give ourselves a break
from all that meat. 

There was one other moment this week that was just hilarious.
Yesterday Elder Day gave a talk in sacrament meeting about inviting
friends to church activities. It was a really good talk, but he didn't
get to finish it, because right in the middle of it, he fainted! We
all rushed up to the pulpit to make sure he was ok, and then after we
helped him out of the chapel and made sure there was no real problem
we all just busted up laughing. It was so funny! He just locked his
knees, but when the members came to ask what was wrong, elder Day
didn't know to say that in German, so he said it was the spirit!
Hahaha! Oh, such a funny day at church :) but Elder Day is totally
fine now. Some members even took us to the hospital because they
wanted to be sure he was ok, so we went and sat in that awful hospital
waiting room for two hours, just to have the doctor tell us he was
fine and that we should go home... Oh socialism Face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye

Well, that was my week. It was great talking to you on Christmas, I
can't wait for Mother's Day to roll around. And if you have any more
questions, just email them :) and I will answer!

 Love you! 
 LG Elder Oliphant

Christmas Pancakes!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas is Here!!

Hey y'all!

Christmas is Here! Woo hoo! Man, December has just flown right by, but
that's honestly just how it goes on the mission sometimes. It really
feels like I'm still a new trainee. Crazy!!

So, this week was... Interesting. Haha, most of our investigators have
Tschüssed us for the week (said goodbye) because they're all going
away to visit their families for Christmas, or they're finishing up
with finals, or they have other excuses for why they can't meet, but
that's ok, because we still love them, and even the busiest people
have time for a quick text every day :) we've started sending out a
"scripture a day" to members, investigators, and other friends.
Hopefully that will help some of them to focus on Christ and the
wonderful message that the scriptures tell us about him during

Speaking of Christmas, we're going to be Skyping on the 25th, at
6:00pm our time, so that's 10:00 for you :) we'll be spending
Christmas with the bishop, and also the Kirchers, we're really
excited, and I'm really happy that I'll get to see you all again! This
will be our third call, only one more left after that!

Today we're going to Eisenach for our p-day, which is 50 km away, and
somehow is still in our area, but Eisenach is a really cool city, it's
the home of Wartburg, the Castle that Martin Luther was hiding in for
a while, and where he translated the New Testament. I'm so grateful
that I can serve in a place where there is so much religious history!
It's really helped me understand more about religion, and the
apostasy, and why Germany is how it is. I love the people, and the
culture, and here you can't understand the culture and history without
understanding the religious culture and history. It's fun :)

Well, have a great week! We'll see you on Friday! :) :)

LG Elder Oliphant

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ho Ho Ho!‏

Hey y'all! 

Well, another merry old week in the Christmas Capitol of the world! I
love Germany at Christmas time, it is literally the best! We've been
able to do a lot of work this week with the Christmas initiative,
#EinErrettorIstGeboren and we've seen some really positive feedback
from the people here from that video, and the message behind it.
Everyone here loves Christmas, and it's one of the only times where all
of the people here actually think about Christ and go to
church!(except for the members, they're doing that all the time 🙃🙃)

We haven't had a ton of time to share the Christmas initiative with
people in finding, but that's just because we've been teaching a ton!
I just wish we had more time in the day to find, teach, baptize and

Things are going really well with Edwin. He's preparing himself for
baptism, but this week he'll be off to Spain to spend Christmas with
his family. We'll have one more lesson with him, and then he'll be
gone until January. It has been such an honor to work with him, and to
see his faith grow. Also, I've started learning Spanish so I can talk
to him better! El evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero! Estoy
agradecido por el Evangelio!

Haha :) if any of you Spanish speakers have any tips, let me know!!

 We also had a zone conference, where we got our Christmas packages! I
got mine, but I haven't opened it yet, it's just sitting under the
Christmas tree.
I'm super excited for this week, and I'm just super happy! Oh, I also
sent my Christmas package today, so I hope you get it soon! Hopefully
before Christmas!
 Love you!

LG Elder Oliphant
Chase and his former companion Elder Williams

A reminder; these are still a bunch of boys

Christmas Market

Half of a house

Christmas Pyramid 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Another day, another transfer

Hey y'all! 

Well, another transfer down. Man the time just goes by too fast. But,
there aren't going to be any changes in my district, we're all staying
together! Yay! Haha, that's the first time on my whole mission that my
district hasn't changed at all after a transfer, weird. But I'm
excited to stay in Erfurt with elder griffin. We get along pretty well

So, the work. This week was a lot different, we had several
appointments fall out, and we weren't able to meet everyone in our
teaching pool, but we managed to use our time by visiting some of the
older less active members in the ward that haven't been coming to
church for a while. We had a lot of very spiritual moments with them.
We visited this one sister who it turning 86 in two weeks, and at
first she wasn't very happy that we came, but she let us in. We shared
the new Christmas video, a Savior is born, with her, and at the end of
our lesson she started crying and said a prayer for us, thanking
Heavenly Father for inspiring us to come help her, because he knew
exactly what she needed, even when she didn't. It's wonderful being
able to see the lord work through us to help these people!

Another example of this comes with our investigator, Edwin. Honestly,
I've never met anyone in my life who is more prepared than him. He is
making so much progress, and every time we meet with him we can see
his faith in Christ growing. I'm really excited for him, and for what
the gospel will do to him and his family. Next week he'll be going to
visit his family in Spain for Christmas, and he'll be there till the
new year, but when he gets back we're going to be having a baptism,
and hopefully we won't have to fill the font by hand this time ;)

Well, I love you all! Please pray for me :)
LG Elder Oliphant

The District

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving... Chili and Burgers?

Hey y'all! 
Well, first of all, happy thanksgiving! I hope you all had a great
week and were able to think about what your are all grateful for in
your life :) I'm very grateful that I can be here on my mission, that
I have so many supportive friends and family members here and back
home, and I'm especially thankful for my sweet mother who is just the
best mom ever! I love you!! :)

Once again, we were super busy this week. We had a zone conference,
which means we had to drive to Berlin again! That's three trips to
Berlin this month! It's crazy, how many different meetings we've had.
They take up a lot of our time, but they are always wonderful,
spiritual experiences. This time we talked about the new Christmas
initiative, "a Savior is born" and we watched the new videos for it.
If you haven't seen it yet, then repent, and go look it up! Haha :)
but really though, it invited the spirit so strongly, just by sharing
a simple message about Jesus Christ. Wonderful :)

After this we did an exchange, and I got to go to Jena with elder
weber. Jena is a giant international university city. There are 60,000
students there from all over the world! No joke!! It is totally a
party! I was really excited for this, because the senior couple there,
the Ybarra's, were making a thanksgiving dinner for institute that
night, and it looked really good! But, elder Anderson, elder Weber's
companion wanted to be back for that, so we let him enjoy that, and
instead we had a nice thanksgiving chili with a wonderful family in

I'd also like to tell you about an experience this week that we had
with Edwin, our awesome friend with a baptismal date. On Friday we had
an eating appointment with an amazing family in out ward, where they
cooked us up real American hamburgers(well, close enough Winking face) and they
also invited Edwin, and another one of our friends! We had such a
great night, and we were able to help our friends feel the love and
joy that comes from living the gospel. So great :) 

I am so grateful that I can service here in Erfurt, there are so many
wonderful things happening, and we are right in the middle of the
Lord's work! There can be no greater accomplishment or calling!

I hope you have a great week, we'll here us next week!

LG Elder Oliphant

(Editor's note: I asked Chase what he wanted for Christmas and/or missed.  I was expecting something like Root Beer or Mac & Cheese.  This is the list he gave me)

10. Being called Chase
 9. Movies
 8. TV 
7. Hanging out
 6. Driving
 5. Partying hard 
4. Music 
3. Girls 
2. Family 
1. Star Wars