Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday March 23

This week was very different, different than any other week of my mission. Our entire teaching pool except for 2 families were sick with the flu! We´d been working really hard to build up this pool, and we couldn´t teach them this week. It was sad, but we found other ways to use our time wisely. We did service! We have one investigator, his name is Michael, and he´s a really cool guy from New York! This last week he was rebuilding his patio in his backyard. He hadn´t had a whole lot of time to meet with us before, so we took this opportunity to serve him, and as we were serving him we were able to teach him, help him finish his project, and help him build up relationships with ward members who volunteered their time to come and help us with this. We also had service projects with some active and less active members, and we really did a lot this week to help people out. It was a great experience and Elder Timmerman and I learned a lot.

Michael also took us out to that American restaurant this week as a thank you. That was one of the FOURTEEN eating appointments we had this week! We are feeling so fat!

I love this work. This week there were some hard times, and I really questioned what I´m doing here. Fortunately, for every hard thing, there´s a blessing from God right around the corner. One of these blessings was seeing the Frömling family back at church. We really haven´t been doing to much with this family, we´ve only really been there for support and to be a friend, but the Lord doesn´t always work through his missionaries, sometimes he goes through his other tools. I love this family, I´ve really learned a lot from just watching them, and seeing how members can help other members. It all started because Timmy, Marvin´s brother, invited them to come to a fireside with the stake Patriarch from Hannover. After this fireside, Marvin´s wife decided she wanted to receive a patriarchal blessing, and that caused them to start coming back to church, so she could be worthy to receive one. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but they´re his ways, and they´re the ways we need to follow.
Had a great week, and I´m looking forward for the next too!
Love you

Elder Oliphant

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Latest

Hey mom, sorry, I don´t have a lot of pictures this week. I´ll start taking more for these last few weeks. PROMISE! 

 So, first, a little story :) When I first got here I met an investigator, her name is K****. She´s been an investigator for the past 3 years. When I first met her I really, really wanted to help her, so I got on my knees and I prayed for her. After a while I felt a really strong feeling that I was here for her. I taught her, and we had some good spiritual times, but we didn´t make a whole lot of progress. This last week we had a lesson with her and she told us that she wants to be baptized! The only problem now is that she´s moving in a few weeks to Bielefeld, where she won´t have to work on sundays and she can be a good, active member. This experience just built my testimony that the Lord is truly sending us here for a reason, and that when we submit to his will, we help people! Man, I love this girl, she´s great. I´ll be sure to get a picture with her before I go.
So, this week was Elder Timmerman´s birthday. YAY! We went over to the kopischke´s for a lunch after church, and man, they wen´t crazy! They made us schnitzel. I had never had schnitzel before. It´s really good :) He also got a bunch of candy, a cake, and yea. I think he had a pretty good birthday. We also had, are you ready? 4 eating appointments this last week! And this next week we have four more! We seriously don´t need to buy food this week. I´m loving it :) Also, I want to give some of the investigators here some american snicker bars, to show them the difference. Can you send me some? I´ll be able to get the on the 1st of april if you send them soon, but if not that´s alright. We have a giant mission conference on the 24th of April in Berlin, so I can get them there. It looks like I have an opportunity to get packages and stuff every month, so if you want to send stuff don´t worry about when I´ll get it, because it´ll come :)
I love you mom, thanks for your support and your prayers. Have a good week!
Elder Oliphant

Monday, March 9, 2015

Short but Sweet

Keep the German bible ;) but yea, haha, the batemans mixed up the packages :P Whoops!

Ok anyway, this week we had an exchange with the Elders in Wilhelmshaven, and I had the opportunity to work with Elder Perez here in Leer. That was an amazing exchange. We were going door to door, and a woman answered the one of the doors. I explained that we were sharing the Book of Mormon, and I gave simple testimony of it. She was hesitant at first, but she eventually let us inside! We walked in, and there were five older women sitting around a table all holding there bibles. Elder Perez and I were a little surprised, but we gratefully came in, and started explaining our message. This is when we had a prophecy fulfilled. This prophecy comes from 2 ne 29:6 which states "Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible."

Even though it was a little funny, and Elder Perez and I had a good laugh about it later, I really made me sad. I was sad to see just how stubborn some of these people are. We testified, read, and prayed with these women, and the spirit in that room was one of the strongest spirits I have felt on my mission, but these women rejected it. It also made me think about things that I do, and how I sometimes reject things that can help me. All in all this experience really taught me a lot about humility, and how we need to always keep a humble attitude so the spirit can influence us. 
We also had a district conference in Oldenburg with president Kosak, and he told me that I was going to be transferred in 4 weeks. I´ve loved my time here, And I want to make the most of the rest of my time here. Any suggestions?
I love you,
Elder Oliphant

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hallo, ich heisse... Elder Bankhead?‏

Hey mom :) 
So, you´re wondering about the title? I lost my nametag, sadly, and so I´ve been wearing one that says Elder Bankhead. He was Elder Timmerman´s trainer, and he gave him a nametag... I don´t know why.

Ok, some things to know about the GBM (Germany Berlin MIssion)... Obedience, obedience, obedience, and obedience. We love rules here. Also, you don´t need an iPad to be a good missionary. If you´re normal sized, don´t spend too much money on clothes, just plan to buy clothes here, and MSF is not a Döner fund!
Hey speaking of rules, I wanted to thank you for all of the rules that you gave me while I was growing up. It´s really helped me here, because I was already used to having a lot of rules.   Some missionaries didn´t have almost any rules growing up, and they get really mad and frustrated with rules, and often thinks they know better, and doesn´t need them. It´s sad, because obedience is a huge part of being a missionary. So thank you mom. I never realized how much you helped me until I came out here. I love you :)
Could you do me a favor? I´d like you to send me a talk. I think it was given by President Kimball, but I´m not sure. It´s about pride, and how we recognize pride in others and in ourselves. I´d really like that one.
Ok, so for the week. I bought the suit, and man, It almost killed me. It was expensive, but it fits perfectly, and it looks really good. I really got a good deal, it was 150€ off! I like it. And with the new European hair cut Elder Timmerman gave me, I look like a regular Kraut!
We´ve started to do a lot more less active work in the area. We went up to a city in our area named Aurich, and we found 3 families up there that let us in and we had lessons with! What a great time we had up there. We´re going back on Saturday to do a service project where we´ll paint one members house. Haha, this lady is so cool. She´s German, but she was born in South Africa and she lived in England for a long time, and she´ll only speak English with us, but she has a crazy British accent!

I love you mom, I miss you and think about you all the time. 
Have fun!
Elder Oliphant

I look like a regular Kraut!