Sunday, May 29, 2016

Two for One!

Hey hey hey!

Well, this last week was pretty good. It started of with an awesome
trip to the monkey forest. It's a park way up at the top of our area
where monkeys roam free! The whole area is fenced off, but once you're
inside there are no more boundaries, and the monkeys are free to come
up and climb all over you. It was so cool! The best part though were
definitely the lemurs! They were so curious and friendly, they would
just come and jump all over you! That was a ton of fun. Then, right
after this we went to Nordhausen, and got the best pizza EVER! Back
when there were missionaries in Nordhausen this pizza place was
frequented by the elders, and the owner loves missionaries! He has
pictures on his walls of missionaries, postcards from salt lake,
invitations to weddings, etc. While we were in Nordhausen we got the
opportunity to meet with two different "investigators" (because there
aren't any elders to meet with regularly they don't really make
progress) and both of them already have a testimony of the Book of
Mormon. We talked to them, and they told us they know the Book of
Mormon to be true, but they don't join the church because of personal
reasons. One doesn't want to get married, even though she's living
with her boyfriend, and the other works for her current church and
doesn't want to lose her job. I think there's a valuable lesson to be
learned here. Every day we have to make choices, and these choices
effect our lives. President Monson talked about this in his last
general conference talk. He reminded us to always be ready to choose
the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Both of these people
know what they need to do, but they're not willing to do it because
their previous choices have led them down a different path, and it's
much harder to leave their current, comfortable state and come into
another one that can be a lot harder. But, once we're on the right
path, we know exactly what we have to do to stay on it! So, stay on
the path!

I was also sick for a few days this week, I was having some stomach
problems, but I feel a lot better now. But we had to stay inside for a
few days so I could recover. I hate being sick on the mission, it's
the worst. On Saturday I was feeling better, and we had an appointment
with one of our Arabic investigators! He's wanted to do this with us
for a while, and this week we finally had the chance. So we made
peanut butter sandwiches, he brought Arabic pizza, and we went to a
park and ate. It was all fun, until as we were eating, he reached in
his bag and pulled out a big hookah! Hahaha, it was so funny. He
started to set it up, and it gave us a good opportunity to teach about
the word of wisdom. He still ended up setting it up, and using it, so
it hasn't totally set in yet, but we're working with him.

Well, that's all from me. Hope you all have a great week!

LG Elder Oliphant

Friday, May 20, 2016

Mother's Day, Oh I loved it!

Hey guys!

So I really have no desire to write an email right now, so we'll see
how this goes.

This week was pretty good. We had a good amount of lessons, which is
always the best. I love teaching people about the gospel, it's the
greatest! We also got to call home for Mother's Day, which was
amazing. Oh I loved it.

The best part though of this last week was that we have found a new
family to teach! The father, mother, and two daughters were baptized
many years ago, but they have not been coming to church for several,
several years. We've tried to make contact with them before, but it
has never worked out. Then, two weeks ago the mother passed away. It
has been really hard on the entire family, which has now grown with
several grandchildren, and they are starting to open up to the gospel
again! Sometimes we might ask ourselves why certain things in our
lives have to happen, like death, sickness, or war. We may not know
why, but God knows, and he has a purpose in everything. This event has
opened up an entire family to hearing the gospel, and through it they
are being blessed. It's just like Alma says in the Book of Mormon,
"And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye"(Alma
32:13). When we are humble before the Lord, and willing to except his
counsel and guidance, then we are blessed. It's good when this
humility comes through trial, but better when we decide ourselves to
be humble. Alma also says "do ye not suppose that they are more
blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?
 Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and
endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed--yea, much more blessed
than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding
[trials]. Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without
being compelled to be humble"(Alma 32:14-16). The blessings of being
humble before we are forced to be humble are far greater.

Now, because it was Mother's Day yesterday, I thought I'd write a
little something about my mom.

Mom, I love you! I really, really love you! You brought me into this
world, and showed me how to live my life. You were patient with me,
and because of you I am here, involved in the greatest work the world
has ever known! I'm so grateful for the testimony that you have. There
have been days here in the mission field where I've just wanted to
give up and go home, and every time a thought like that has come into
my mind, the next thought that has come has been the stripling
warriors, and how they did not give up, because their mothers knew it.
I'm so glad that my mother also knows it, and that I can always hold
onto her love and her testimony when I have no where else to go.

I love you! Have a great week!

LG Elder Oliphant

Friday, May 6, 2016

Was geht ab, dicker??

Hey everybody!

Man, this Last week has been super intense, I don't even know where to begin!

On Monday we were going to go to a zoo park in Erfurt called
"Crocworld" which is supposedly a big zoo completely dedicated to
crocodiles! It sounded really cool, but sadly when we got there it was
closed! Like, super closed, and it didn't look like they would be
opening any time soon. Which is sad :( so we did a little shopping and
walked around the downtown area of the city. Then that night we were
invited to family home evening with some members, and they taught us
how to make home made egg rolls! Super good, almost as satisfying as
our spiritual thought 😉 we talked about blessings and promises and
how God honors his promises. It was a very spiritual
moment with this family and it really strengthened my testimony.

Tuesday was good. We went on exchange and I got to work with Elder
Seegmiller. They didn't have any appointments, so we went around and
tried to find new people for them to teach. The other program has been
struggling lately, and it's really hard for me as their DL to see
that, because I really want them to have success. I wish I could do
more, but the success of their program isn't in my hands, it's between
them, the Lord, and the people's agency. One really funny, horrible
thing happened while we were together. We were walking alongside a
river that flows through the city, and there was a family of ducks
playing in the water. A mama duck, a papa duck, and 3 little baby
ducklings. They were so cute! Then, a man came up to the water with
his big, bad, smelly dog! He let the dog off it's leash, and the dog
dove into the water! The mama and papa, recognizing the danger quickly
gathered the ducklings and got them to safety, but one was left
behind. He tried to swim away, but the big, bad, smelly dog was to
fast. He pounced on him, the duckling went under... And DIDN'T COME
BACK UP! Straight up one of  the saddest thing I've seen on my

Wednesday was normal. Skip Wednesday

Thursday was Elder Powell's birthday! And he also had a doctors
appointment... In Chemnitz, which is a bigger city almost 100 miles
away. It was his first area, and the appointment was set up before he
got transferred here, so I got to see Chemnitz. It's a really big
city, and it's super communist. The name of the city up until 1996 was
"Karl-Marx-Stadt" (Stadt is city), and they have a giant statue of
Karl Marx's head right in the middle of the city! It's huge! We had a
fun time, and we also met a professional basketball player in the
hospital waiting room! He was from Seattle, but had lived and played
in Germany for 8 years. He also knew a lot about the church, because
he played college ball for the University of Utah! Small world.
That night, after we got home we had our German class, and one of our
students, Ali, told us he really likes what we do, and our church, and
he wants to join! He has a lot to do before he can do that, but we're
really excited for him. We also had a little birthday party for elder

Add caption

The next cool day was Saturday. We play soccer every Saturday, which
is awesome, and I'm getting way better at soccer, so when I get home I
might go pro... Just a thought ⚽️⚽️ later that day we had an
appointment with Eddy, one of our African investigators, and while we
were there he invited his friend to come over! His friend was super
cool, and was really excited to hear more about or message! We have
another appointment with them tonight, and I'm really excited to see
where it goes.

Overall this week was great, and I love being a missionary! Have a great week!

LG Elder Oliphant

Elder Weber and Elder Anderson