Friday, March 18, 2016

Don't go hiking in dress pants!

Elder Greaves


 Another week come and gone, and it was a good one. We got a referral
in a city called Eisenach. I've been there before, and for those of
you who remember its where the Wartburg is, the castle we visited a
few months ago where Martin Luther translated the new testament. We
visited this man and he was really nice. We went on a walk through the
city, he told us all about the history of the city, showed us some
cool sites, like the Bachhaus, the house where Johann Sebastian Bach
was born, and we taught him the restoration. 

It was a great time, but
for part of our walk we walked up a few "mountains" (small Hills,
actually Winking face) and I totally ripped my pants! Right in the middle of a
lesson! Oh it was so embarrassing! And we couldn't go home and change
because Eisenach is an hour away from Erfurt, and we had other
appointments there, so we hurried and finished our appointment and ran
to the store to buy new pants. Haha, that was fun. You'd think I'd
have learned my lesson after that, right? Don't go hiking in dress

But then, at zone training meeting this week we had a focus on
desperation and consecration, and Elder Weber and Greaves wanted to
show us how becoming a consecrated missionary is like climbing a
mountain. So, in order to get the point across we all went and climbed
up a mountain in Jena (once again, just a small Hill, really. There
aren't any real mountains here). I wasn't super excited about that,
but this time my pants stayed together! Success!

 We also found four new investigators this week! The guy in Eisenach, a
super cool African, we started teaching the step daughter of a member
here, and at another lesson with Ella, her husband decided to accept
our invitation to meet with us as well, and we're having him too!
There are so many miracles happening right now, and we're expecting
even more! I'll tell you all about why we're expecting miracles next
week, but until then,
 LG Elder Oliphant

 The zone on the "mountain"

30 Year old canned bread

Monday, March 7, 2016

Change is Here!

Hey hey hey!

 Well, the winds of change have come and gone, and Elder Griffin left
with it :( I miss him a lot, he was a great companion. But, with him
leaving comes a new companion, and adventure! I'm now serving with
Elder Bakley. He's from Montana, he loves the Bible is a huge zelda
fan, and is going home in 5 weeks... He's super old on the mission, so
we're going to get work done! 

 We spent most of the week trying to get Elder Bakley acquainted with
the area, members, investigators, etc(which is really really hard
because it's a huge area) but we did a pretty good job I think.

 The best part of the week was definitely Sunday. So a few weeks ago
Elder Griffin and I were going by on a few less active members here in
Erfurt, and we went by on one, and when we went by on one brother, we
found out that he was mentally handicapped, and his family used to be
in the church, but they removed their records. The mother invited us
in, and we stayed teaching them. Everytime we go by we have just the
most spiritual lessons. Yesterday we talked about the first vision,
and it was one of the strongest spiritual experiences of my mission.
This woman used to have a strong testimony of the gospel, but through
time it stopped growing and she lost what she had. But, it's still
there! We just have to help her refind it, and the spirit is helping
us so much! #ChurchIsTrue 

 Other than that not a whole lot happened. But we had fun, and we're
excited for the coming week!

 Love ya! Stay classy! 

 LG Elder Oliphant

Automatic Chocolate Milk mixer

That's a piece of bread

Elder Griffin

New Comp

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Change is Coming

Hey everybody!

 So, just like the subject says, we got transfer calls this week. I
will be staying in Erfurt (yay!) but, sadly, my companion Elder
Griffin will be leaving. Tomorrow he'll get on a train and had down to
Zwickau. Honestly its not too bad, he's still going to be in the same
zone, but I'll really miss him. He is a great guy. Haha, at first he
was a little different, and really short, but after our 4 months
together I'm amazed at how big of a heart such a little bit can have.
He's wonderful, wonderful!

 My new companion will be Elder Bakly, and Elder Greaves is still in my district. 

 This week we had a lot of fallen out appointments. Remember the new
Albanian family I told you about that replaced the other one that got
deported? Well, this one is leaving too... So no more Albanians for us
Disappointed faceDisappointed face but, we did find a new investigator!
We were out talking on the
street and we stopped this group of people. They didn't really look
like the type of people to accept the gospel, (you know, dreads, lots
of piercings, tattoos, etc) but we stopped them anyway. At first the
group saw us and kind of laughed and then walked away, but then one of
them stopped and asked us to tell him what we were doing. We quickly
taught about the restoration, and then he told us that the night
before he had prayed, and asked God to help him understand more about
him. We met later in the week, and when we introduced the book of
Mormon he got so excited! He loved it, and he's really excited to
learn more!

The church is true!

Sorry for the speedy letter, don't have a lot of time. 
Have a great week!

 LG Elder Oliphant.

Valentine from Elder Bennett

Just like a Roller Coaster

We have had a roller-coaster of a week here. It's Been going up and
down and back up and then down. But, just like a roller coaster it's
super exciting and I love it! A roller coaster really is a good...
Um... Vergleich? Comparison! With a mission. It started out with the
mtc, where we were constantly getting higher and higher on the spirit,
then we had a high exciting drop when we got off of the plane in
Germany, and now we're going through the corkscrews and loopdy-loops,
and I love it!

But, yes, this week.

We started off with a big low when we had to say
goodbye to our dear friend (more like a brother, really) Alexander.
Man, we've been working so much with this man, trying to prepare him
for baptism, and this week he got sent to Albania. We were such good
friends, it's really, really hard to say goodbye, but after a lot of
prayer I realized it's for the best. In Albania he'll be able to hear
the gospel in his own language, and he'll be able to make even more
progress. That was a pretty deep low this week, but it was
accompanied by an awesome high. We made contact with another member
who we thought was also sent back to Albania(because he hasn't been
too church for a while) but we found out that he's still here, and now
he has contact again with the church.

Then we had another low... Sort of. Our super awesome, amazing, spiritually gigantic friend Edwin was supposed to be baptized this week, but in our lesson two days before he told us that he didn't quite feel ready yet. He wants to really make sure that he's fully ready and pure in heart before he makes this covenant with our heavenly father, and we totally support that! It's just a little frustrating to do all of this work to prepare A baptism, and then have it fall out. But, it's OK, because this is the Lord's work, and everything happens in his time. 

But, right after the whole baptism
fell out, we had the feeling that we needed to go by on an
investigator that we found a few weeks ago, but haven't been able to
contact since then. We went by, and they were home! We had no plan
when we walked in, but we trusted that the spirit would help us know
what to say, and he did! He gave us inspired questions to ask, and
scripture references to back up our testimony. This woman told us that
she had a hard time believing that she was a child of God, so we
opened up to Romans 8 with her, and as she read the spirit filled the
room and she showed us that she had already marked the scriptures we
read, and the spirit helped her remember the testimony that he used to
have, that we all are children of God.

 Another fun experience this week, on Sunday the gospel principles
teacher came up to us at the beginning of the second hour at church
and told us that he needed to talk with the bishop for 5 minutes, and
he needed us to start up his class. Only for 5 minutes, no problem,
right? Well... Wrong. Apparently some other stuff came up that took
longer than 5 minutes, so elder Griffin and I ended up leading the
class... And, of course, the topic was chastity... 

The church is true! 

I know it, I live it, I love it!

 Have a great week!

Elder Greaves getting shoes from the double decker parking garage