Monday, September 21, 2015

Faithfully we baptize, focusing on the blessings of the temple

Hello! Well, another week geschafft in Dresden, the most beautiful
city ever to be occupied by communists. We had a week just full of
fun, heartache, and miracles. First, the fun.

Last week we had our last p day with elder drazin and elder hall, and
we wanted to make it one to remember! So, we all went shopping!! There
is so much shopping in Dresden, and it's great. Usually I don't like
going shopping, because I don't really like spending money, but with
friends buying the right things, it's great. We went to PRIMARK (best
store EVER) and it's like a missionary paradise. Ties, 2€. White
shirts, 6€. Pants, 19€. But the best deal is definitely a dinosaur
onesie for 16€ Face with stuck-out tongue and winking eyeFace with stuck-out tongue and winking eye #SwagosaurusRex. I also finally found lederhosen
that fit me, so that's pretty cool too.

Now, the heartache. We sadly had to say goodbye to elder drazin, elder
hall, sister Kooyman, and sister Stephens this week. That was really
hard. We've all become really great friends during the last two
transfers. We have gone through so many things together, and I really
hope that I can keep in contact with all of them after the mission!
But, with transfers come new missionaries also! Elder Bailey, and
elder Adams have replaced the elders program. They are both really
great, and elder Bailey and elder Teuscher could be twins! They look
so alike! I'm really excited to have the chance to work with them, and
I hope we all get along!

So last, but certainly not least, is the miracles. This week I've
really seen God working and helping people through us. We found a
family this week. The husband is from turkey, and the wife is from
Dresden. We talked to them in a park, and they were very interested.
Later we had an appointment where we taught them the restoration, and
it went really well. They believe that God has a plan and a way for
every person, and they already pray every day and ask God to help them
follow the path that he has prepared for them that day. We asked them
If they thought that maybe this was the path for them, and right now
they don't know, but they want to work with us and find out! We were
really excited for them, and then on Sunday, out of no where, they
came to church on there own! This is huge! Most people here have heard
a lot of bad things about the church, so they're hesitant to come to
the church, but they didn't care about all of that, they just want to
find out what God wants for them!

Right when I got to Dresden, we started teaching a man from Africa who
really wanted to find God in his life. We met him twice, but then he
started canceling appointments, and he just stopped all contact with
him, and we didn't know why. Yesterday evening it was late and we were
really tired, so we wanted to go home and work in the area boom
instead of following our plan and going to visit a less active member.
We prayed about it, and we decided to follow our plan. We went to the
less active, and he wasn't home. I wasn't really sure why we went, and
then, as we were waiting for the tram, this former investigator walked
up and we started talking to him! We ended up having a 30 minute
conversation with him, and he expressed some of his concerns about
temples. He wasn't sure why we needed temple now, because he believes
that temples were part of the law of Moses, and when Jesus fulfilled
the law the Moses the need for a physical temple went away, and we,
our bodies, became the temples of God. I've been really thinking about
this and study, and I've learned a lot about the temple.

The last 2 verses in the gospel of Luke say
52 And they[Jesus' disciples] worshipped him, and returned to
Jerusalem with great joy:

53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

When Jesus fulfilled the law, some of the ordinances, like the giving
of sacrifices, were taken away, but the need for temples was still
there. We truly need the temples of God if we are going to come as
close to him as we can on this earth, and when we truly want to
worship him to the best of our ability. I was also reading in John,
where Jesus purifies the temple right before he fulfills the law. My
question is why would he make sure the temple was clean, and throw out
all of the money changers if the need for a house of God was about to
go away, and it would just turn into a cool building? Why? He cleansed
it because it was a house of God, and was going to stay a house of

We had many other great things happen this week, and I have seen the
hand of God every single day. I love you, have a great week!

Elder Oliphant Heavy black heart

Add caption

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Well, another week gone by. And with this week, comes another
transfer. We got our call on Saturday, and it was so suspenseful!
Elder Drazin and elder Hall had both been in their area for more than
7 months, so, naturally, they both wanted to leave. However, they also
didn't think that president Fingerle would white wash their program.
Well, they were wrong. Elder drazin is going to Halberstadt, near
Hanover, and elder Hall is going up to Heide, above Hamburg. I've
really enjoyed my time with both of these great elders. We've become
such good friends, I'll miss them. Elder Teuscher and I will be
staying together! Yay, first companion that I've had for more than two
transfers! And I trained him too, what? Haha, that's cool. We're
excited to stay here :) Dresden is such a pretty city, and our ward is
fantastic! A few more fun facts for the new transfer, one of the
sisters programs is closing, we're getting a new senior couple in
Dresden, and I'm the new district leader! Needless to say, we're all
hoping for a good transfer together.

So, the week. We've been seeing a lot of great success lately. As you
may know, there is a big conflict in the Middle East, and refugees are
pouring into Europe. This is good because these people are humble. But
most of them are Muslim, And we aren't allowed to teach them unless
they have a visa. It makes it hard when you have someone who wants to
learn and progress, but for their own safety they can't. It's really
hard. We just have to trust that God has a time, place, and purpose in
all things, and he will help them.

We've been really trying to work with our ward, and find activities
that we can do with them that can help them share the gospel with
there friends, so if you have any ideas let me know!

Sorry for the lame letter this week, we don't have a lot of time
today. We have our last p day with the other elders and we want to
enjoy it.

Bye, love you! I pray for you!

Elder Oliphant Heavy black heart

Gave himself a haircut--oops

Monday, September 7, 2015

Things Are Looking Up!

Hey mom! 
So this week was a lot better! We saw a lot of success and
had a lot of fun along with it! On Tuesday we went out to visit two
brothers from India, Vishu and hebjud. They're super cool, but I'll
talk about that a little later. They weren't home for our appointment,
so we followed our backup plan and went to search for a contact that
lived around that area. We talked to this man o the street last week,
and he told us his address, but not his name. We came to the building
and just decided to ask everyone there if they had interest until we
found this man. Well, after we talked to three people, a man came out
of the building and told us to get lost... I didn't like that very
much. We politely explained what we were doing, and why, but he didn't
care and he didn't want us to stay. It turns out he just lived there,
and he actually had no right to tell us to leave, so we told him that.
It actually felt really good to just stand up to this man, and to not
let him hinder the work of salvation. I also really felt a strength
that didn't come from me, because I don't like confrontation, but I
was calm, focused, and confident. It just showed me that God is really
on our side, and he will give us the strength to do what is required
of us.

After this experience we had a feeling to walk down this other street,
and we ran into 3 men from Eritrea that we actually met about a month
ago on the street! I don't know if I explained the situation in
Eritrea, but there are a lot of refugees coming here from there,
because of religious persecution. These people have so much faith, and
they want to learn, but most of them can only speak a language called
Tigrinya, and there's no church material in this language. These three
men we met were very similar, except one of them spoke German pretty
well, and another one can read a very similar language (Amharic). We
were able to give them a Book of Mormon in this language that they
will be able to understand. Awesome!

After we set up an appointment with these guys we went back to the
Indians, and they were home! They let us in, and we had a great lesson
with them! We're really excited to help them understand even more!

A lot more happened this week, we FINALLY had interviews with Pres.
Fingerle. They were really good, it was nice to finally get to know
him better. We had interviews in Chemnitz, for some reason, and man,
that place is not quite as pretty as Dresden (Ghetto!). But right
after our interviews we came back to Dresden, and guess who was there
teaching institute, PRESIDENT KOSAK!! :) :) oh, that made me so happy
to see him again. He's awesome!
One more cool thing from this week. We had a trainer, new missionary meeting in Berlin at the mission HOME! This was the first meeting in the mission home since 12 years ago. Cool, huh? We were all pretty stoked. We came, talked about being good examples, and learned, and ate tacos, and yea. Haha, fun.

Well, things are starting to look up. Today we're going to Radebeul, that's where president monson dedicated Germany for missionary work. It should be a good day :) Thanks for your support and love. Have a great week! Elder Oliphant Heavy black heart

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Zone Conference

August 31

Hey mom! Thanks for your email, I really like hearing about what's going on back home. Some of the other elders have set up ICloud albums with their families so there families can send them pictures through that. Just a thought :) 

This week was pretty rough. We had a lot of appointments fall out, and just a lot of people that made commitments they didn't keep. For example, on Sunday, we had 16 people tell us they would be at church, and none of them came. It was really sad for us, but we did our part. We gave testimony, invited, and promised blessings. The rest is up to their agency. 

But that wasn't really what was hard. This last week I've been doing a lot of self reflection. I felt like I was just stuck in a routine. I would get up, work as hard as I can, and not really see any results from it. Next week I'll have been out a whole year, and I just felt like in the past year I haven't accomplished anything. If I've been works so hard, then why have I seen minimal success? 

The answer to this question came slowly and through a lot of prayer and fasting. I read through my study journal, and I thought about all of the things I have learned here on my mission, and how much Personal revelation I have received. I remembered all of the good times I had, and all of the love that I felt. I remembered all of the blessings that have been given me, and all of the promises which will be fulfilled about my mission. But, most importantly, I remembered that Jesus is the Christ, and my savior. I have really come to appreciate the power of the atonement, and I really want to bear testimony that we can Access this power through fasting. Fasting has really helped me to focus this last week, and has helped me to know just what needs to get done.

In this past year u have had a very successful mission. I haven't seen a baptism, but it had still been successful, because I have learned and grown. I know that the lord is preparing me for something big that is coming, I can feel it. I've never felt so prepared to do the lords work as I do now, and I've also never felt as many temptation and power from the devil. He wants to stop whatever is about to happen, and I can't let him do that, this work is far too important, and I love these people way too much! 
I love you mom, thanks for writing me. You're the best! But, don't send any more toys, I don't need those, and they're now against mission rules Neutral Face

Have a great week!
Elder Oliphant Heavy black heart