Monday, February 15, 2016

Schönen guten Tag Moin Moin!

Elder Griffin with all of his companions (notice how they've been
getting progressively taller)

Wet Elders

Traffic on the AutoBahn

Sister Ibrahimi
Well, another week down, and we have had a bunch of stress with it!
But mostly because we've been really busy teaching, and finding, and
doing missionary work. So it's good stress!
This week started off pretty sad, we had to say goodbye to sister
Ibrahimi. She is one of the new converts that we've been working with,
and she's also been helping us teach her son. They came here as
economical refugees, but because of all of the new refugees coming in
from Syria and the Middle East, the German government doesn't have
enough resources to support all of the other refugees from other
countries where there isn't any war. So, the Ibrahimi's are being
deported. Sister Ibrahimi left on Tuesday, and her two sons will be
following next week. It's very, very sad. I've become such good
friends with them, and I hate to say goodbye, but I'm sure we'll see
each other again :)

 However, with goodbyes, there are always new hellos! We made contact
with a new Albanian family! Woo hoo! This family came to Germany at
about the same time the Ibrahimi's, and they also were being taught
together with them. At the end of the teaching, the Ibrahimi's decided
to be baptized, but this family decided to wait a little longer. After
this area changed missions they got lost, and haven't had contact with
the church for the past 10 months. Then, last week the wife met our
relief society president on the street, and told her she would like to
meet with us again. Score!! They are a super, super sweet family. They
know the gospel, and they told us that they miss the good feelings
that they had while they were investigating the church. There's only
one problem: they speak almost no German, or English. But, the wife
speaks Italian! And one of our members speaks Spanish! And through the
similarities in the languages (and a lot of divine intervention I'm
sure) they can understand each other. This week in our lesson we were
speaking English, German, Spanish, Italian, and Albanian...

 So, quick update with Edwin, WE FOUND HIM! He came to soccer, and
church, and we had a great talk with him. The baptism is now scheduled
for next week, and everything's looking good! So excited!

We have so much fun, and success here. 

Heavy black heart️ Erfurt

 LG Elder Oliphant

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Visit to Buchenwald


So, I want to apologize in advance for the short letter, but we're a
little short on time today.

We had a really good, and busy week. We had leadership training in
Berlin, and I got to go and take part in that. Lucky me! I really
enjoy big mission meetings like this, but I just wish they didn't take
as much time as they do. We had to stay the night with some other
elders in Magdeburg, and then I drove to Berlin with elder casperson.
We had a really good meeting, then we came back. I like meetings like
this, I just wish they didn't take so much time out of our week. We
lost a day and a half for it. :/ But we wouldn't do it of we didn't
need it.

One of the best parts about being a missionary here in Germany is
being able to experience so much of the German history. This last week
we had the privilege of being able to visit Buchenwald, one of the
concentration camps of world war 2. Words can not describe the
thoughts and emotions that one has when he is there. The camp was
bombed shortly after its liberation, so there isn't much left, but
what is there they've made into a memorial. It is so hard to imagine
that so many thousands and thousands of people were killed there
because of their race or faith. I will never forget that experience,
and I think it's important that everyone understands just how that
feels, so that nothing like that ever happens again.

Just an update on Edwin, his baptism should be this week, but he
didn't come to our appointment this week, or soccer, or church, and we
haven't been able to contact him yet, so... Please pray that
everything will work out!

Well, I hope you have a great week! Love ya!

Monday, February 1, 2016

I can sum up this week in two words: Flipping awesome!

Schönen guten Tag! Wie geht's euch??

I can sum up this week in two words: Flipping awesome! Definitely a
week to remember. Elder Griffin and I have started doing a lot of less
active work this week, which is great, because I love less active
work. We had the opportunity to meet with 8 different less active/
part member families, and some of the experiences we've had are just
amazing. With most of these people we're at the "get to know you/feel
our love" stage, and the amazing stories that these members have
shared with us have really touched me. Our current plan is to help
these members come back, and then, in the words of elder Nielson,
"baptize their friends and family". We'll keep you updated on that one

Everything with Edwin is still going great. We had an awesome lesson
this week, where we started teaching the commandments, and he is
totally ready to follow everything that the Lord has commanded. He's
so cool! We're really excited for his baptism in 2 weeks!

So, as I've said before, I currently live in a four-man apartment,
which can be really fun. We decided that we needed to have some more
unity together, and really just find a way to relax and have a little
fun at night during our personal time(after 9:30 PM before we go to
bed). So, we started a boy band (see video)Face with tears of joyFace with tears of joy I love these elders,
and I'm super grateful to be able to serve with all of them together.

One more fun event, every week we go and play Fußball (soccer) with a
few members and a lot of their friends. It's actually a really good
opportunity for us to find new investigators and make good friends.
The only problem is that it can be a little dangerous. This week I was
playing in the goal (apparently the Germans think I'm good in the
goal?) and one of the players kicked it super hard, and it slammed me
right in the face! I didn't really see what happened, but apparently
blood splattered all over the place! Haha, I'm like Scott Sterling!
The man! The myth! The legend! (Don't worry mom, it was just a bloody
nose, I'm totally fine.)

Well, yea. That's it from me. I hope you have a great week! I love you!

LG Elder Oliphant