Monday, May 18, 2015

Transfers!


Hey Mom! 
So, we have had an incredible week! This week we had a German holiday, Christ-Himmel-Fahrt. Officially, they celebrate the day where Christ ascended into heaven after his resurrection. Unofficially, it´s called man day. It´s where all of the men go out and get totally drunk. A real German holiday :) Because of how crazy it gets here we had to be inside at 6:00 unless we were with a member. I hate being in our apartment, so fortunately a member invited us over for dinner! The Bobinger Family (you already have a picture with them). They are so nice. They made a giant feast for us and they grilled! Bratwurst, schnitzel, so much meat! It was amazing. So great. They also invited their nephew who lives in Hamburg, who is not a member of our church. As we got their the family wanted to play a game with us, and Elder Williams, being prepared, brought his Book of Mormon battles card game. It´s a card game where all of the cards are book of Mormon characters. It´s similar to the game War, but with a gospel twist. As we were playing, this awesome kid got so into it! At the end he was saying "Who are these people?? Where are they from??" Of course we told him they were from the Book of Mormon, and he then told us he wanted to read it!! We gave him one, and we took pictures with him and wrote our testimonies in the book. A great time... Except for the fact that they gave us WAY to much food! And as we were there, the Hubrich family called us and invited us over right after! Way to much food, but a great night.

This last week we´ve received several text messages from our zone telling us about miracles and baptismal dates in our zone. It was great to here that so many of our brothers and sisters are going to be entering into a covenant with our Heavenly Father, but these texts really made me think. All of these wonderful things were happening in our zone, in almost every other area, and I thought to myself "Hey, why not Freiberg?" So I said a prayer, and Elder Williams and I went out to work until we found a miracle, and we did! I was looking through the list of contacts that we have in our area book, and I decided to call a name I found. He didn´t answer the phone, but then he called back! I talked to him for a while, and he ended up telling me that he didn´t really have interest to learn from us, but his roommate did, and he set up an appointment for us. We came by for our appointment, and Y*****, the man we called, had made us a big dinner. Really tasty! After we ate, we were going to start teaching Y****´s roommate, D****. As we started, we did what Preach My Gospel says, and invited everyone there to stay for the lesson. At first Ya****was hesitant, but he agreed to stay. As we started teaching, he got more and more interested, and by the end we were all great friends. They´re scheduled to  be baptized on the 20 of June. Please pray for them!
Now today, we had a crazy adventure. We got permission to go to see the place where president Monson dedicated  East Germany for missionary work. What an amazing experience. I loved it so much, once we got there. The Hubrichs found out we were going and they offered to drive us out there. So we started off, and ran into trouble. Their GPS is really old, so we ended up getting lost, and it took 3 hours to find the place! So we got to the place where the walking path starts, and the driving path ends, but Elder Hubrich didn´t care! He drove right up the path! And then parked in the middle of  the forest on the side. SO FUNNY! But we had a great adventure together (This is why we´re writing so late today).


So... Transfers. Now, do you want to here a funny story? Two days before our calls I had a dream that I would be transferred to Leipzig, and serve with Elder Clark, one of the Elders we spent the night with when we went to Berlin. We got our calls on Saturday, and Elder Williams was transferred to Leipzig! And he´ll be serving with Elder Clark! Crazy. Sadly, We won´t be serving together anymore. We´ve become great friends here. My new companion is Elder Benitz, and he´s a GERMAN! He´s from Stuttgard, and just finished his training. Woo hoo! My German is going to get a lot better.
So can you also send me some Velcro stick things, and super glue? Thanks :)
Love you mom!
Elder Oliphant






Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Hey mom!

So, we just talked, and I´m not sure what to write about... oh well. 

We had interview with president on Friday. Usually when we have interviews we learn about them 1-2 weeks in advance, but this time, we learned about it the day before. So we had to cancel an appointment, go to Dresden, and have interviews. We had a great time though, and we found out a little more about the iPads. So President Kosak called Apple this week to ask where they are, and they told them that the shipment was on the way! On Wednesday it came, with a grand total of 1 iPad... out of 250. So really we have no idea when we´ll be getting them. Hopefully before September 2016.

We also had our stake conference this weekend. That was really cool. Coming from a district in Leer, to a giant stake here was a big change! There were so many people there, I thought it was America! Except everything was in German... of course. But yea, that was pretty cool.

We were also able to travel to one of the villages outside of Freiberg and we came in contact with 2 less active families that allowed us to meet with them, and wanted to set up return appointments. I really enjoy less active work, and it´s especially nice when we have a senior couple who also likes it and is willing to drive us out to the places that are a little too far for our bikes.

One more thing, do you remember how I told you about the girl that we helped? Well she contacted us this week and wanted a Book of Mormon! So we gave her one and set up a return appointment. I can start to feel the work picking up here in this area, but it´s only going to keep up if we work for it!

Ok... Well I´m not sure what else to write about. Maybe a spiritual thought?

I was reading in Helaman 5 (One of my favorite chapters of holy scripture) and it tells the story of Nephi and Lehi, the son´s of Helaman. They went off to serve a mission among the Lamanites, and right when they got there, they were taken and bound and thrown in prison. Not the best start ever, right? Well, after a few days the lamanites came in to try and kill them, but when they walked into the prison Nephi and Lehi were surrounded in fire! Pretty cool, right? After the Lamanites saw this they realized they were in darkness, they wanted to repent, one thing led to another and they ended up converting a ton of people. Now, the part that I found cool was that Nephi and Lehi did nothing. They were just sitting in prison, and they converted all these people. So what do we learn from this? Nephi and Lehi were tools of the Lord, that´s it. They were in the right place, at the right time, and they were worthy to be protected and to have the holy ghost with them. God did all of the work. He converted all those people. It wasn´t the words of Nephi and Lehi, it was the spirit of God. So when WE want to be successful missionaries, we need to be the best tools we can be, so the Lord can do the most work possible through us.

Oh, can you also send taco mix? I didn´t want any more while I was in Leer because we had a bunch, but my taco stash is now (sadly) in Leer. 

I love you mom :) I´m really glad I got to see you yesterday. I hope you have a great week!

Elder Oliphant
After meeting with President Kosak





Monday, May 4, 2015

And That´s How I Almost Got Out of Giving a Spiritual Thought...‏



Hey mom!

So... This week was a little crazy. Ok, really crazy. 

Well, I´m not going to lie, this has probably been the craziest week of my mission. We started working on the list of part member families that our ward gave us, and this last week we had an appointment with one of them. They are a great family. The Husband was baptized about 3 years ago, but his wife had a really bad experience with the Lutheran church and now she really doesn´t want too much to do with churches. Well, that´s what she told us, at least. She had a ton of questions, some of which we could answer, and then a lot of others we couldn´t. She was hesitant at first, but then we ended up having a great evening together.

Now, right before this appointment I started feeling a little sick, and then afterwards I was just dead. I really don´t like being sick here, I just felt like I was wasting my time. But then when I tried to get up and do something I couldn´t. It´s awful! So I´m going to start taking better care of my body, eating healthier, exercising better, and then hopefully, with a lot of prayer, I won´t get sick anymore.



Dude, that tie


So right when I was fully recovered we had a very interesting thing happen. We had a member family invite us over for dinner! Frank Apel. Just a little background on him. He was the first stake president in East Germany. He was a Temple president, mission president, bishop, pretty much everyone in the book. He was part of the temple committee that build the Freiberg Temple, and he´s mentioned in a book written by President Monson. So, super saint. They invited us over for dinner on May 1, which is some kind of big holiday here in Germany, and it was the most amazing German meal I think I´ll ever have! Oh so good! Turkey, Rotkohl, Kn├╝del, potatoes, so delicious! They´re an awesome family. So, like after all eating appointments, the time came for us to give a spiritual thought. Right as I opened up my scriptures, my nose started gushing out blood!  It got all over everything, except my scriptures. Those were ok :) I went to clean up, and when I came back we said a prayer and were about to leave... Until brother Apel said "Warte! Wir brauchen noch einen geistige gedanken!" So needless to say, we still gave it. So close

One other crazy experience for the week. We had a potential investigator call us, and ask if she could spend the night. With us. In our apartment. Yea... That kind of threw us off a little. At first we thought she was joking, but as we were coming home for the day we saw her just sitting on the street. We asked her what was going on, and she told us that she had a big argument with her dad, and he told her not to come home for the night. We tried to be good Christians, and we helped her as much as we could, but there was only so much we could do. Eventually we convinced her to go home and try and talk things out with her dad. This was a crazy night, but we just tried to act Like we feel Jesus would´ve acted, and hopefully she´ll remember this and want to learn more.


ALSO! I almost forgot. Thank you for the package. I got it. The swedish fish jelly beans were cool, and I loved the pringles! Their definetly better than the ones they sell here! Why? because AMERICA!!!

One more crazy thing. There was a one day festival outside our apartment yesterday. They had a rock band, bratwurst, Ice cream, games, baloons, and a giant bunny and bumble bee walking around. The temptation to break the Sabbath was REAL


The week was short, but it was crazy.

Love you,

Elder Oliphant