Wednesday, April 27, 2016

100th Post!

Hey y'all!

 Well, we had another week full of fun! A lot of stuff happened that
made this a week to remember. First off we got to help with two
different moves this week, both with different less active members.
One was with a super sweet older sister in the ward. She moved about a
month ago, but still needed help organizing everything. Most of time
was spent trying to hang cabinets on walls, which was really hard
because her building was build in the GDR, and is basically a big
concrete block, so we had to drill a bunch of holes into concrete
walls. The other move was with another less active, who lived on the
5th floor of his apartment, without an elevator. Wahoo. Haha, good
thing I've been doing my exercises.

 We also got to go to this super cool city called Arnstadt. It's in our
area, and we got to do some work down there. But arnstadt is one of
the oldest cities in Germany, it's been around since 705! Over 1300
years! Crazy! While we were there we got to visit a less active
family, and have a lot of really great conversations along the way. We
talked to one lady who was super excited to see us! She was born and
raised atheist in communist east Germany, but later found faith
through reading in the bible. But after she decided to become a
Christian her family shunned her, and now she's all alone Pensive facePensive face so she
was very happy to talk to anyone about religion and faith. It's so
nice when people actually want to talk about God, most people here
just say "what? Church? No thanks." Of that was good.

 We had stake conference this week in Leipzig, which means we had
another road trip! President Fingerle was there and he talked about
the promises that have been given to Germany. These saints were
promised that there will be 100s of stakes here. There are currently
around 20. Some of the members here have started giving up hope that
this promise will come true, because there hasn't been a ton of growth
lately. What president Fingerle said was very profound. He shared the
story of Abraham, and how he was promised lot of posterity, but became
very old to the point of not being able to have children anymore, and
still didn't have children. At this point it must have been really
hard for Abraham to continue to have faith in the Lord's promise, but
he continued in faith and was blessed with a son.

 The Lord honors his

 I know it! I've seen it!

 I hope you all have a great week! 

 LG Elder Oliphant

Elder Teuscher, Chase's trainee

Monday, April 18, 2016

Welcome to Heaven!

Hey y'all!

Man, this last week has just been amazing! I have had so much fun,
it's ridiculous! A lot of it is due to Elder Powell, my new comp.
We've been together for less than a week, and we're already best
friends! He's so cool! We've been having a great time trying to get
him used to the area. On Thursday we went on the double E (The Erfurt
Experience) where I showed him around the whole city and it was
beautiful. He's just coming from Chemnitz, which is known to be a
ghetto, not so pretty city. And then coming here he said "It's like
I'm in heaven on earth!" I've always known that Erfurt is pretty, but
Elder Powell's reaction to the city reminded me once again of how
beautiful Erfurt really is, and it also helped me to appreciate the
area even more. It's so interesting how we can start to take such
amazing things for granted. The same applies for the Gospel as well.
Do we take the sacrament for granted? Or the Holy Scriptures? Or the
atonement? I hope not! All of these things and more are amazing,
beautiful gifts for us, and we can always learn more and more from
them, and we can always become better. There is no limit to how much
we can improve through Jesus Christ and his gospel! So don't take it
for granted!

Morning Sport

Supposedly they "made" a cheesecake

Scholl Friedenstein in Gotha

The work is going well, we started a German class this week for
refugees who need help learning the language. We only had a few people
show up, but it was really good, and we're expecting more next time!
Teaching German is really fun, and it's way easier than teaching
English. Mostly because I actually know what the rules are in German,
and I know how to learn it. Also my English is getting pretty bad...

We also had a big ward activity this week, a Kirschblütenfest (Cherry
blossom fest) there was music, games, and a dance! That was weird,
haha, really weird. But it was way fun.

Well, that's it for me. Have a great week!

P.S. There was a big sale on peanut butter. We got 10 jars

Thursday, April 14, 2016

19 months!‏

Everyone in the back row is on a chair except Chase 

Hey y'all!

 Wow, yesterday I celebrated my 19 month mark! I can't believe how fast
the time has flown right by! I love it so much! The transfer also just
ended, and I've already had to say goodbye to elder Bakly. He's
currently on a train headed off to Freiberg, and then back home. And,
the best part is, I'll be staying in Erfurt! Woo hoo! And my new
companion will be Elder Powell. He's pretty young on the mission, but
I've already met him a few times, and I'm really excited to work with

 This week was pretty good. We've been working with a woman, Petra, who
moved here a few years ago from the Czech Republic, and she is so
excited for the gospel! We taught her this week about the gospel of
Jesus Christ, and when we gave our testimony of His Atonement and
resurrection she started crying. She wants to be baptized next month!
Let's hope all goes well there! 

 We also had a Zone training meeting in Jena, where we talked about the
work, and what we can do to get more baptisms. Elder Weber is getting
transferred, I'll miss that guy. Hopefully we'll have a little more
time together, but we're both just running out of time. It's so crazy
how the time flies by! That's why we use every minute, and don't waste
a single bit of it! 

The church is super true! I love Erfurt, I'm so
glad I'll get to stay for at least 7 more weeks(7 week transfer!)

 Wish me luck!

LG Elder Oliphant

Add caption

Elder Greaves

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April Fools!

Hey everybody! 
 We had a really fun time this week, and we learned a ton! First of
all, how was that general conference, huh? I always knew that German
was a special language :) haha! Go President Uchtdorf!!

 But, really, what he said about God being able to take someone in
ruins, that may look completely hopeless and destroyed, and rebuild
him into someone great is so true. The atonement is for everyone! This
talk also had special meaning for me, because I actually had the
opportunity to serve and preach the gospel in Dresden, the city where
the beautiful Frauenkirche is. I'm so grateful to be serving a mission
in this blessed country.
Picture taken by Elder Oliphant
After the bombing during WWII
This week we also went on exchanges, and I got to do one more great
exchange with Elder Weber. Haha, we've been in the same district for
such a long time, that this was our 6th exchange! Mensch, sechs mal!
Das ist doch verrückt, oder? I love Elder Weber, he's a great elder.
On this exchange we went and visited a few of the older sisters in the
ward who are too sick/old to regularly come to church. We wanted to
share a message with one of them about feasting on the words of
Christ, but when we got there the other member that we came with just
started talking and talking, and we didn't get a word in! He talked
for 45 minutes strait! Haha, crazy! I love older people. It was a lot
of fun, and I learned a lot from Elder Weber. 

 One more week of the transfer, it's gonna be good! Love ya!

P.S. My companion and Elder Seegmiller are doing "monkey week" where
they're only eating bananas Face with tears of joyFace with tears of joyBananaBananaBananaBananaBanana 

 LG Elder Oliphant

 A carnival!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

2 for the price of 1 Frohe Easter everybody and Frühling!!‏

Hey everybody!

 Frohe Ostern! Happy Easter! I hope you all have had a
great Easter celebration, and a good opportunity to think about the
savior, Jesus Christ and his resurrection. I'm so thankful for the
opportunity that I have to be a part of his great work.

 Everything is going well here in Erfurt, we have found a new
investigator, who had to flee his home country in order to protect his
life, and now he has been living in Germany for about a year. He's is
really cool, and is really excited about the gospel! At our last
appointment he had two other friends come over, then his brother, then
another friend! And we were able to have gospel discussions with all
of them!

 Have you all seen the new Easter video? #Hallelujah? Probably, but if
not, Watch it! it's great! We've had a lot of
success with it, and with talking to people about Easter this week. 

Thursday we went on exchange, and we found a family that wants to
learn more about Jesus Christ, so we showed them the video, and they
really liked it! In th video, you can really see the joy that these
people have received in their lives because of the knowledge that
Jesus Christ suffered, died, and rose again all for us. This knowledge
brings joy! I've seen it in my life and in the lives of others! The
gospel works!

 I hope you all had a great Easter!

 LG Elder Oliphant

Hey hey hey!

 Spring is finally here! Woo-hoo!! Say goodbye to the cold German
winter and say hello to sunshine, sweaters, and smiles! As well as
rain, allergies, bugs, and a sunrise that's way earlier than 6:30.
But let's not focus on the negative. 

We also have easter, with easter
care packages (hint hintWinking face), general conference, and good
sport/proselyting weather! #HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD. 

 So, if you remember, I said last week that we were expecting miracles,
because this week our zone did a WUNDERWOCHE®️ (miracle week). What is
a WUNDERWOCHE®️ you ask? Well, when a companionship is having a rough
time, and is desperate for miracles, he can do a WUNDERWOCHE®️ where
he and his companion come together and set goals and make plans for
things they want to do in order to show the Lord that they need
 Some of the things we did were:
 1. Wake up at 6:00
 2. Five minute showers
 3. Cold showers
 4. Extra 30 minutes of study in the morning 
5. No chocolate (that was hard)
 6. Only spoke German
 7. Only listened to talks or motab 
8. Only took the stairs (which is hard when your investigators live on
the 7th floor)
 9. Kneeled for every prayer we said
 10. Drank green smoothies
 11. Only 30 minutes for dinner. 

 There's probably some more stuff too, but that's all I can remember
right now. Now is course, doing all of this stuff isn't what gave us
miracles, the miracles came because God loves us, he loves his
children, and because we were expecting them. This was a way to excite
us about miracles and to show our urgency and desperation. Desperation
can be a wonderful tool to motivate us for the work, and I even though
a lot of the things we did were hard, I learned a lot about myself and
I was very happy! 
 I love you all, I love the Lord, and I love His work! I hope you all
have a great week in preparation for easter!
 LG Elder Oliphant