Monday, February 25, 2013

The Field is White . . .

Das freud mich sehr!!  Wie geht es ihnen??

So, this week went by pretty fast.  On Monday we had quite a few appointments if I remember right.  Our two progressing investigators are Schwester R----- and Schwester H------.  We haven't been able to meet with Schwester H------ this week because her kids and her are both sick but she is on a baptismal date for March 16!!  Awesome right!!  Schwester R------ is progressing also, she has been coming to church and is on a baptismal date for the late spring but we want to get it moved up to an earlier date.  She has been working with the missionaries for a long long time and we finally had a break through.  Elder Guccione and I shared the story of Jesus appearing the American people in 3rd Nephi.  It was super spiritual and the plan went well.  Another investigator is Peter.  He is interesting.  His mom died a couple of months ago and it has been really hard for him to let that go.  He believes everything that we have taught him is true and that he needs to follow it but he is just so down and everything that he can't give up smoking to make him feel better.  (Everybody smokes in Germany) It's crazy.  We see 12 year olds just walking down the road with cigarrettes.  Cig vending machines?  Oh yeah, we got a ton.  Anyways we have been trying to really help Peter and we really have done all that we can do.  He comes to church and everything, so that is good.  I think that he just needs time and love and we have got both of those things to give :)  We have about 5 or 6 more investigators but those are our most promising ones. 

Everybody in Germany is really stern and upfront.  Which I love but sometimes it can be annoying.  They open the door, see your nametag, and slam it.  Or they just hang up so we really just have to find the right person.  Which there are people prepared!!  We give out Book of Mormons every once in a while and set up appointments, which is awesome, so there are definitely people ready to hear the Gospel.  

Language...I'm at the point now where I can understand people here in Germany for the most part and I can respond about 70% of the time with good enough German that they can understand.  So the language is coming along really well I would say.  Elder Guccione is awesome with helping me.  

This is what most of Eastern Germany looks like during the winter!!  Just a lot of fields and a small Dorf (village) every once in a while.  What we will do is just park our car at the edge and can door the whole Dorf in about 30 min, including time talking to people.  That is how a lot of our area is.  The people are awesome!!

Elder Tolman and I were in the MTC together!  This was at zone training meeting this last Wednesday.  Elder Guccione and I had the lesson about Obedience.  It went really well!  I was really glad to see a familiar face.  

So this picture is of our "white" day.  A white day is when you don't have any appointments, so you just find people all day.  Just walking up an down streets knocking on doors.  I looked like a snowman by the end of the day.  We were hoping people would let us in because it was so cold but no luck!!  We gave someone a book of Mormon but that was about it.  That was on Wednesday.  

Church is good!!  Just trying to understand everybody still but yeah!!  The ward is so amazing.  That's way cool!

Yeah its bed time here.  Just having some nighttime tea!  I'm studying about Paul!  Fun right?!  So I went shopping for a new suit today, no luck.  My legs don't fit into anything...euro style is not my getup.  Hopefully next week we will find somthing.

This is Enrico.  He is our best friend and helps us with just about every teaching appointment we have.  He takes care of all the old people in the ward that need taking care of and is just amazing.

I have to go but I love you!!  I miss you all so so much!! 
Bis dan!
Elder Hays

Monday, February 18, 2013

First area . . .Groitzsch, East Germany

We finally received an email from Brandon along with a few pictures.  His area is Groitzsch, Germany. 

I'm in the ward house!  Just got home from dooring and talking to a few people.  We ran into a guy whose wife died and had a good long talk about how we can live after death but he said it wasn't for him.  That is a big excuse for people around here, is that they are just stuck in their ways and don't want to change.  Sorry for the slow typing, I'm using a German keyboard.

The area is really good.  I'm in a small town called Groitzsch.  Smaller than Beaver.  Our area covers a ton of small towns that we call Dorfs.  We have a car because our area is so large and our ward covers about 1hr drive in each direction from Groitzsch.  The ward members are amazing.  Their testimony is so strong!  Every body was so nice and came to meet me.  I bore my testimony in church and it went really well.  They say my German is really well for just leaving, so that is good.  Elder Guccione is amazing.  He works so hard.  He is a great example to me.  It's really funny.  I think that he has gone a little bit crazy because you can hear him as we walk mumble words under his breath like "Taufe, Taufe, Taufe" which means baptism.  He is a great trainer and we both get along great!  He was born in Germany.

It is very very cold.  But bearable!!  Thanks to the under armor, my white shirt, my suit jacket and my overcoat and my scarf and gloves.  Don't worry, I'm warm I promise!  We actually went shopping for food today for the first time and I got some bread, meat and eggs!  Thank you for the Bars because they saved me.  We have a lady in our ward named "Omi"  or "grandma"  She feeds us twice a week!  I will get a picture of her this next week but she is so so sweet and feeds us until we can't move.  She is the person in the ward that really takes care of us.  Our WML is Enrico and he is just awesome.  He comes with us to all of our investigator lessons and helps us with anything we need.  

This is what a lot of East Germany looks like.  There are a ton of buildings here older than America.  Still standing and it's just nuts.

Yes we are definitely in East Germany and you can see it and see the story of the war just by looking at a person in the eyes.  Omi went through the whole thing in Berlin.  She always starts to get really emotional talking about it but she has actually seen Hitler himself and everything he did first had.  The stories that she tells are amazing.  Here is a picture of what it looks like here everyday.  I haven't seen the sun one time.  Very flat with a lot of farm land.  It's gorgeous to me.  It rains a lot but not like pouring.  

There are a lot of cobble stone roads here and just a ton of aweseome buildings.  I will tell you a little about our investigators!!  Schwester Hölding is an investigator that we have and she has recently been challenged to be baptized last Friday and she said yes!  We were so excited for her and she is planned to get baptized on March 16.  We have another named Peter who is old and sick and can't do much but he is very sincere and logical.  The only thing keeping him from baptism is giving up smoking so that is what we are working on with him.  

We worked in Berlin on the day that we arrived and it was a ton of fun!!  So many people. Now we have about 3 progressing investigators and about 6 other investigators.  

This is a view from our appartment.  It is kind of cool, our appartment sits on top of the ward building.  There are a few grocery stores in Groitzsch but that is about it.  We are at the city center. 
There are a lot of mean people here.  A lot of doors slammed already but when you find that one person that will sit and talk with you, it makes all of that worth it.  Germans don't like to change.  They like their way of life and they would like to stick to it.  Very few will hear us.  But like it says in our purpose, to invite others to come unto Christ.  That's all we can do. 

Good job!!  Well I had better head.  It was great talking to you and I love you and I'm doing great here.  Just ready to work.  I love you all and can't wait to share more stories.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Berlin Bound

On Tuesday, Feb 13, at 9:30 am Elder Hays boarded a Delta plane in SLC and headed to Boston, Amsterdam and then Berlin.  Brandon called from the Boston airport.  It was so great to hear his voice.  He had a missionary moment on the flight as he read the Book of Mormon with a college student sitting next to him.  She promised to let more missionaries visit her.  Brandon was thrilled to say the least. Here are some pictures Sister Kosak first posted on the Germany Berlin Mission Blog.

Elder Hays' trainer is Elder Guiccone.  We've heard great things...
Elder Hays then went with other missionaries into Berlin to teach the gospel!

Here is the email we received the day after he arrived. . . 

Deutschland-Mission Berlin
Zerbster Str. 42
12209 Berlin


TELEFON       (030) 470067690
TELEFAX  (030) 4700 6769018


Mr. Scott and Mrs. Racail Hays
6144 West 9800 North
Highland, UT 84003
                                                                                                                         14 February 2013 
Dear Brother and Sister Hays,
We are pleased to announce that your son, Elder Brandon Scott Hays, is safely with us in the Berlin Mission. We have had the opportunity to get to know him, and he is ready and excited to be here. Sister Kosak and I look forward to working with him and will do all that we can to help him serve a happy and successful mission. Elder Hays’s first companion will be Elder Guccione, and they will work together in Groitzsch for the next several weeks. This is his current mailing address:

Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Elder Hays
Graf-Wiprecht-Straße 3
04539 Groitzsch
We have all discussed the mission goals and agreed that we will start right, work hard, and finish strong in order to fulfill our purpose to invite others to come unto Christ.
We, along with your son, appreciate the support which you give through your weekly letters and daily prayers in his behalf. Thank you for raising your son so that he can be part of this amazing work.
For a glimpse inside the mission, including occasional pictures of your missionary, you can check the blog we maintain at If you ever have questions, you are welcome to e-mail me at: I’ve included a picture of Elder Hays, his companion, Elder Guccione, Sister Kosak, and me.
May the Lord bless you in all that you do.
Henry W. Kosak, President
Germany Berlin Mission

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013 Umkehr

 Sister Ashcraft

Elder Cameron

Today is our P-Day so that is nice.  I have my coat in a box and a couple other things that I don't think I'll need.  Should I send it?  I think it would be pretty expensive.  I'm not sure what to do but I will try to find out a way.  Anyways I can't wait!!  For class we have been practicing doing door approaches and bus approaches and it's been pretty fun!!  We have received some pass along cards which will be nice to have.  I'll probably have more to talk about then but I just can't wait.  
I spoke in church yesterday in front of about 100 people and gave an 8 or so minute talk!  It was so amazing.  I fasted all day yesterday that we could work diligently these last couple days and be prepared for Germany; I've never been so calm during a talk!  I spoke about repentance, and the experience that Alma the Younger had with an angel and I also tied that in to the worth of a soul and how that it is our job and mission to give EVERYONE a chance to hear the gospel.  I really like the word in German so so much better than english; the word for Repentance is Umkehr and it literally means to stop where you are, turn around, and go the other way.  It's an awesome word in German and there are so many other words just like that, that explain better than english.  Anyways awesome pictures!!  I miss you guys a ton.  I hope you are all doing well and I really can't wait to call you!!
I love you all and stay by that phone tomorrow!!
Immer mit Liebe,
Elder Hays
Ich bin sehr begeistert zu nach Deutschland fliegen!!  Ich liebe euch!!
The picture is of Elder Nielson and I.  He is a good friend of mine here!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 5, 2013 Aufweidersehn

Oh Hallo,
Not much to report on but only that I'm leaving for Germany baby!!  Yeeaahh Man...I couldn't be more excited to get our there.  The plan that we have been told what we will do there is that we will arrive and go drop our stuff off and then they will give us a few Book of Mormons and they will set us on the city center to work!  Talk about getting thrown into it right??  Crazy.  Well I have purchased a pre-paid phone card and just letting you know, you have to answer right when I call or else I can't call again.  Dad mentioned a prepaid phone, and maybe that would be better but anyways I will tell you my flight plan.  We leave Salt Lake at 9:36 AM on Tuesday, fly to Boston and arrive at 4:07 PM their time.  This is probably when I will call so maybe just be ready during that time if you can??  I dunno.  I will call inbetween 2:15 and 4:00 Utah time on Tuesday afternoon.  After Boston we fly into Amsterdam and have a two hour layover and then to Berlin!!  Yeah buddy!!  How are all of you?? I hope you are well.  I'm doing fantastic, and am learning tons everyday.  The German is to the point where I'm very confident to speak and have no angst (as you would say in Germany).  
Do you have my talk from my farewell?  If so I would like that pretty please :) Gracias.  Not much goes on here at the MTC so I will have better things to write in a couple of weeks.  I'm healthy and still losing a little bit of weight but that's okay ;)  I'm growing in the Gospel and couldn't be happier :) I miss you all and bid you aufwiedersehn.
Immer mit Liebe,
Elder Hays