Monday, March 25, 2013

Hallo Hallo!

Another week gone!  Wow time flies so fast here.  I really feel like I've been here for two weeks at the most.  I'm loving the work though.  We just got done doing some doors outside of Groitzsch which was our P-Day work.  It was good.  Today we went out to lunch with Enrico to this small town resturant in Groitzsch.  Soooo good.  I had some Gölasch and rotkohl.  Amazing food.  We also had some crepes with nutella in the middle...holy crap.  Anyways...I also sent you a little Easter treat today so hopfully you get it this week or next.  It takes about 6 days I think.  

STOKED for General Conference.  Who ever knew that we actually had a PROPHET of GOD on the earth today.  I was too "blind" to realize it before I guess but he is speaking!!!  Ahh mensch that's gunna be cool. 

I am now at the point with the language that I feel confident talking to anybody now.  Which is really relieving.  I realized it the other day.  So that's good. 
Had some caffeine today!  Man I miss that stuff.  You should have seen my door approaches!  I was on one.  Holy Ghost + Caffeine = INSTANT CONVERSION.  Through that stuff in Preach My Gospel, I'm telling ya.  

This is a picture of Enrico and I.  Coolest guy ever.  
Helps us with everything. 

It doesn't look like it but it is -2° C and tons of wind.

This week was the toughest week so far for me.  Well...I've been sick all week.  I had an ear infection/fever/head cold for about 4 days.  I didn't know what was up until like the second day when I realized there was blood coming out of my ears.  That was interesting.  Yeah, there is no doctor's office in Groitzsch.  Awesome huh.  I worked through it though.  We came home an hour early one night because I was just out of it but I felt really bad so I worked in the Area Book.  I hate the idea of not working!  Anyways I am just left with a cold now so all better!  I was sick but most of our appointments fell out aaaannnddd yeah it wasn't the best. 

A couple of things happened that were good though!  We made a little bit of progress with Peter.  He has been coming to church for centuries but can't quit smoking.  We have done everything the church has given us to do and nothing helps.  This week we finally broke though.  He finally said that he realized that he needed to stop smoking and we set a couple of goals.  We talked about the importance of goal setting and we got it.  I'll keep ya'll updated.  Herr Ha**** also made progress!  He has been meeting with the missionaries on and off since 05 so it was much needed.  Anyways we got him to pray in front of us and commited him to pray on his own!  He is very logical so it is hard to have a spiritual discussion with him but we got it to happen.  Those are the two miracles we saw this week.

It's hard work out here but those little miracles...make the whole world spin for us.  I felt joy for a total of 23.5 hours because of that experience.  (Dinner covered the other 30 min).  I love looking at the simple things in life and seeing literally the hand of God work.  I'm truly blessed to be on a mission and I don't want to be anywhere else right now.  But yes I love and miss you all very much.

I'll make sure to look for Erika in the Conference!  Güt gemacht!!

Everybody sounds like you're all doing good!  I sent you all a letter in the mail so you'll get it soon hopefully.   

I love you all!  Bis nechste woche!
Elder Hays

Monday, March 18, 2013

Staying in Groitzsh and meeting Henry Buckhardt

Well transfers are over with and Elder Guccione and I will be staying in Groitzsch together!  I'm excited for that because I feel like I have barely been able to get to know the people here! 

This week has been a good one.  I've felt the spirit more this week than any other.  I have some great news also!  Frau Ro**** is getting baptized!  On April 6!  How awesome is that!?  Ahh we are so excited for her.  When we challenged her, we told her that she needed to give herself a present for Easter and what better gift to give yourself than to become baptized!  Aww so cool.  It's awesome to watch people change their lives. 

I want to tell you about this guy in our ward who joins us when we go and visit Omi.  His name is Henry Buckhardt, and he is amazing.

Henry Buckhard     t

The closest man to God that I have ever met hands down.  He is in his 80's now but he was the Freiberg Temple president for 7 years, he was President Kimball's right hand man in Germany, and is best friends with President Monson!  He would tell us stories about how President Kimball would call him up and ask for some advice or how they would visit all the time.  We asked him if they had a translator or anything thing, he replied with a shrug and a "no, but we understood each other."  I was thrown back into my chair a little bit, realizing who this man really was.  So so so cool.

Yesterday (Sunday) Elder Guccione and I held a fireside for the ward and investigators on the topic of "Why are there so many churches on the earth?"  Anyways, long story short it went really well and the spirit was definitely felt.  Just fun things to do to keep the week interesting! Guess what ?!  I play the piano!  Well I can play just about every hymn now with one or two times practicing and I played for the fireside on Sunday and I don't know what happened!  It's the spirit guiding my hands I guess!  Cool right?!

So the weather in Germany has been tempermental lately.  Last week it got up to 15 grad and now it's going down to -16.  It sucks haha I don't know what to think.  It was sunny last week and then this week we had about 6 inches of snow.  Reminds me of Utah.

Today for P-Day we went to a museum of the great war in Leipzig.  The war was between Napolean and the Germans and Austrians.  Anyways I got some pics! 

These guys were pretty big.  Of course Napolean stood no chance.  They say that St. Micheal came down from heaven to help.  I'm just waiting for the battle of Armegedeon where Micheal the Archangel is gunna swoop down and ruin somebody's day.

My spiritual thought of the week is brought to you by...Deseret Book, feeding the mind...
Nah but I was reading about how Alma on his mission was mourning for all the Lamanites being destroyed by the Nephites, because the Lamanites were going to destruction when they die.  They were being damned in front of his eyes.  That is what I feel like here.  I look at these people and hope with all of my heart that they will soften theirs and realize that they have a father in heaven who loves them.  I hate that I feel almost like I'm taking away their chance if they say no, that is why I need to be prepared for the spirit in every door approach, every street contact and in every lesson, because somebodies soul is at stake and I know that it isn't all on me, but I realize that I've been sent to help them gain salvation through the mercy and love of Jesus Christ.  It is on me to tell them the truth and to have the spirit with me to testify to them of the truth.  I'm grateful for the trust that Heavenly Father has placed in me to teach HIS sacred and loving children.

Offenbarung for the week.  Not too much more happened this week but still going strong!  Loving life!


Elder Brandon Hays

Monday, March 11, 2013

Looking spiffy and loving German food

Well Hi...what should I say?...The food here is so gooooood...We ate by a few members this week and holy cow that was amazing.  We had this German version of Pineapple chicken and also some awesome yogurt stuff called Quark.  Anyways, it is just awesome.  We eat at the bakery a ton.  It's so so cheap and so so good.  The bread here is my favorite thing in the world right now!  Anyways....but I really didn't come here for bread so I'll talk about missionary stuff now I guess.  

Elder Guccione and I gave 2 blessing this week (and yes I did participate).  It was so cool because we gave a blessing to a non-member and she felt so good and so awesome afterwards.  She was completely astonished by the blessing and how she felt!  We asked if we could come back and teach her more and she said yes and she will cook for us!  2 in 1 yeahhhhhh buddy.  It was really cool to see the power of the Priesthood.  

This week we also went by Herr H--------- who is in the long term care and is so so nice.  He reminded me so much of Grandpa John, just talking and hearing some of his stories.  Can't wait to go back and get more aquainted with him.  I didn't want to leave but we had to go to another appointment.  It was really funny because he was trying to speak some english with us and all he could get out was "English is cool" haha it was awesome.

The next day I went on exchange with Elder Baker from Leipzig who is my district leader.  He is just awesome and we both went down to a town in our area called Altenburg.  We found some new investigators there and are going back on Thursday which will be cool!  Altenburg is the biggest city in our mission so we would like to work more there, but it's hard because the church is in Groitzsch and it's a 30 min drive to church which is hard for a lot of Germans because they don't have a car.  Soooo  we will have to figure something out I guess. 

Highlight of the week?  Elder Hunziker (my zone leader in Leipzig who I was on exchange with the week before) told me that the Lebanon guy that we found with his van stuck is on a baptismal date!  How awesome is that!  That got me so so excited.

Abendbrot is amazing.  So Germans don't have dinner.  They have Abendbrot which is just an array of cheese, butter, AMAZING BREAD, and meats of all different kinds.  Anyways every sunday we have Abendbrot with Omi and it's so so fun and delicious. 

Not too much more to say but that I love you!!  I'm working as hard as I can and I'm enjoying every minute.

viel Liebe,
Elder Hays

"And yes I bought a cardigan"

Monday, March 4, 2013


Well I'm just having some more night time tea!!  We just got done doing a few hours of doors in a little dorf called Profen, just outside of Groitzsch, and guess what?!  We found a little family that is interested in the gospel!  It was so nice to actually talk to somebody haha People aren't nice around here and they just aren't open to religion.  Most of them.  You can really see the people who have been prepared by the Lord.  Anyways, we are really excited to teach them.  

This is Omi.  She is 92ish and lives alone.  She is so amazing!  We eat with her every week.

Right now we have 2 people on baptism date this month and yeah!  We bring in about 2-3 new investigators a week here which is a really good week in Germany.  

This week I went on an exchange with an Elder Hunziker, who is serving in Leipzig our zone city (from Provo, UT).  He is my zone leader and it was a great day!  Leipzig is a bigger city so there are actually people on the street; anyways I ran into this guy who was stuck in some gravel with a trailer and a van, so we ran over and after a few minutes of pushing, we got the van unstuck and talked to him about the gospel, anyways he was really interested!  Elder Hunziker is keeping me updated on his progress and he is doing fantastic.

The language is still coming.  I'm understanding people more but you really don't get the chance to just talk to people in Groitzsch.  Just the first sentance a lot haha.  I love the people here though, they are all fantastic.

Elder Guccione is still rocking it and we have kind of gotten our grove as a team which is really cool to see work!  

This picture of me in front of that huge church is in Leipzig when I was on exchange.  I'll send a few more...don't you worry.

It sounds like everybody is doing good, besides the sicknesses, that's terrible!  I luckily haven't even caught a cold yet.  

Oh yeah, I eat turkey breasts, veggies, egg whites and AMAZING bread :)  and then whatever the members feed me.  So much good food here and I have recipies!

I Love you!

Elder Hays

Friday, March 1, 2013