Monday, January 27, 2014

Settling down here in Pinneberg . . .

Well Tuesday we taught our new investigator Frau F*****.  She is great and we taught for a good hour and a half and she just soaked it all in.  She is about 60 or so and is pretty intrested.  We had a older sister in the ward as a joint teach and she did great answering questions about the priesthood and relief society.  At the end we showed her the family history center and everything.  She was super excited about that and we have an appointment with her this next week doing family history work and talking about the temple.  

We are fed really well here in Pinneberg.  We have a good 4 eating appointments a week so we are always full.  That is good because I am down to 158 pounds.  Crazy huh haha.  Thank you for sending the protein and know that it will be put to good use.  I just have to put some strength into my shoulders so that they can be more supported.  

We had 8 appointments fall out this week which is never fun so we did some finding in the area.  It has been -18°C the last couple of days during the day with the wind coming as well from the ocean. 
We found another new investigator this week, his name is N*** and he is 18 years old.  We set out an appointment but it didn't go through so we will go by and teach him and his family this week.  

We have 3 or 4 people now who are on the track for baptism which is good.  We just have to take them the next step in the conversion proccess which will happen here soon.  

This week I went on exchange with Elder Bendixon from Penn.  He is serving in Altona, Hamburg right now so that was a lot of fun!  We taught their baptismal date for Feb 8 and he is doing super great.  

On Saturday, we had another member lesson with a family who is great.  They speak Spanish, German and English.  We talked about goals and how we tie that in to making ourselves better servants for the Lord.  It was good.  We asked our Bishop to pray and give us a couple of areas to work in when we have finding time so we will be dooring those areas and do some finding there.  

We had a good Sunday meeting.  Hadi from Dresden moved into the Altona ward but wanted to come to my ward so he met us at church haha.  He is super awesome!  He is from Iran.  I have a couple of picures with him in Dresden.  

I am trying to be a 'consecrated' missionary.  One that is focused and loves the work.  My success is measured in my commitment to the salvation of souls and I can take that feeling a step higher this week.  

I love you!  Thank you for your support and everything that you do!  

Elder Hays

Monday, January 20, 2014

On top of the world!

I feel on top of the world...Missionary work is the best.  The ward is bringing people to church for us to teach, we have people who listen to us on the street and who make out appointments with us.  

We have 17 year old boys and girls listening to a first discussion, asking us to come back and meet their families.  Whoever said that Germany was a hard mission lied.  The Lord has His ways, His methods about teaching His children.  We can only be a tool, but a worthy and sharp tool.  I have a fire inside my soul and it's raging.  I have never set higher goals this week ever in my mission and I already know it will be a good one.  

The ward here is great, Elder Burri is fantastic and the work as a servant of God builds faith.  

I don't have a ton of time today but I am sending letters out today!  YAY for procrastination!!!!  But I do thank everyone who wrote me for Christmas.  It was very brightening :)

I will send a couple of pictures.  

I wish you all a great week and a happy Monday.  Join us next time.  Stay classy America.

Elder Hays

Monday, January 13, 2014

First week in Pinneberg

Okay so I will start with the beginning of the week.  So for the rest of Monday after we wrote emails, we all just hung out at the church, played pingpong and wrote goodbye letters to all that were leaving.  We then went with the Sisters 2 to Is****'s house (the lady I baptized in September) and had a little testimony meeting with her and her children.  It was great but terrible leaving.  We had family home evening that night so we went back to the church and sung as missionaries a couple of songs and then said our goodbyes.  Sister Rasmussen and I at least because we were the ones leaving.  It was so so sad to say goodbye to such dear friends.  I was excited thought.  The city of Dresden also took a part of me.  I feel so so blessed to have been able to serve there.  D*** had us over for dinner and it was super good!  

Dienstag:  Got to the train station at 8:00 for my train to Berlin at 9:00.  We took pictures, said goodbyes and then Sister Rasmussen and I were off to Berlin Hauptbahnhof.  We had a lot of fun just talking about Dresden and how much we will miss everyone.  She has become a great friend of mine since I have been in Dresden with her for 4 transfers.  She will do great in Berlin Marzahn area.  We got off the train in Berlin to be greeted by sister Rasmussen's new companion Sister Woodward.  Sister Woodward is great and she was in Leipzig when I was in Groitzsch.  We were also in the same group coming out but she was fast tracked.  Sister Ricks was also there as her temporary companion.  Sister Ricks and I were in the same district when I was with Elder K├╝nzle.  She is also a great Sister.  We then booked it up flights of platforms to the ICE trains (the fast ones :))  I got on, said last goodbyes to the east and my good friends and put my bags in the baggage place.  I then was l then was looking for a spot to sit when I saw another Sister at the other end of the carriage!  It was Sister Turner who was on her way to Hamburg as well and will be in my district!  How cool!  Her companions were waving goodbye so I ran over to say hello and It was Sister Ahrenholtz!  She was in my district in Dresden for 2 transfers!  So much joy on such a sad transfer day haha.  Sister Turner enjoyed chatting about our families on the way to Hamburg Hbf.  

We were then greeted by Elder Duff (was in my first district in Leipzig) and Elder Duncan and Sister Bradshaw (from Cedar City).  We went down the platform and met my zone leaders, Elders leuning from Canada and Elder Cannon from...I don't know but I will let you know when I do.  Sister Bradshaw, Sister Turner and I then caught a train heading to Pinneberg.  They got off at there stop and then I got off at Pinneberg to meet the rest of my district Elders Bendixon, Miles and Burri.  Elder Burri and I headed home to plan that night and also had an appointment with a less active member.  

Wednesday-Friday: Planned, had district meeting and worked :)

Elder Burri from Switzerland

Friday Night: I went on exchange with my zone leader Elder Leuning.  He was a MMA fighter back in Canada and is just super great and a really humble guy.  As we are walking home, we talked to 3 people and 2 of them listened to the first lesson and accepted Book of Mormons!  It was a start to a great exchange.  Went back to the apartment and met Elder Schmidt (from Alpine) and Elder Sufiert (from Brazil).  I also knew Elder Sufiert ealier because he was in the same zone as I was in Dresden.  On Saturday, we went out to an eating appointment that we had and had some super spicy chili but was way good.  We spent some good time in the bathroom that day.  We then had a couple of meetings, appointments fall out and did some Train finding.  It was a great day!  Found 2 new investigators and 1 contact for them!  

Sunday:  Went to church and was immediately welcomed from the ward.  Bischof Dannenburg is a great leader and was super nice.   I really miss Dresden A LOT but I really like the ward here. They were all very welcoming and very nice. I got up in church and decided I would give a very bold missionary testimony. I said, 'Elder Burri and I work really well together. We will find people and we will teach people. We invite you today to help in this effort. Find people, bring them together with us and we can both teach people. I promise you brothers and sisters, if we come together in unity of efforts, we will see baptisms here in Pinneberg.' The Bishop came up to me afterward and said that he was super excited that I was excited and that we have that expectation.  It will be a great transfer with people coming to the fold of Christ.  

That was my week in a nutshell.  Got lots done and now time for another :)

I love you!

Elder Hays

Kind of amazing to think that Elder Hays is serving in the same German town that his Bishop served in 1986

Monday, January 6, 2014

Transfered . . .

I don't know if I want to tell you where I got transfered to but it will be a new experience:)

I get a Swiss companion again!!!  I am really excited about that haha and he is younger than Elder Young is on the mission which is awesome as well.  I am still district leader over 2 other Sisters and a pair of Elders.  I am in the west part of Germany which will be really different! 

For the new year I have set a lot of goals.  I have a vision in my head of who I want to become and what I want to be at the end of my mission.  I have written a list and have set goals and plans to reach these attributes.  

I feel like I have a lot more to do in Dresden but I have been called somewhere else and I will go there.  I will miss the ward a lot and I cried all of Sunday in the meeting which was terrible.  A lot of people came up to me to wish me farewell but I got a few people to cry haha not really but I saw it in a couple of peoples eyes.  Maybe I was just dreaming but I had a great relationship with the young men.  Elder Young and I were with the young men for priesthood meeting every week.  The youth here are so strong.  They all talk about missions, saving up for missions and the whole round.  That is the only thing on their minds and I am so proud of them for it.  They are a great example to me.  I love them so much and will miss them with all of my heart.  A lot of families here really 'lay on my heart' as you would say in German.  

I am going to..........where am I going?  Um......oh yeah to the church today but I leave tomorrow morning!  At nine in the morning here...Crazy huh?!  

Okay...I can't help it anymore....IM GOING TO PINNEBERG-HAMBURG!!!!!!

Allllll the way across the country haha.  I am really excited.  I will be able to ride with missionaries the whole time there in the train which will be a blast.  I can't wait.  

Until next week!  I don't know what else to write...

We had a fun New Years Eve!  We went to a members house and had a huge dinner, sung and played games.  We then hiked up to the top of the hill and watched fireworks until we had to go home but at like 10:30 at night, Samuel Schmitt called and said to look out side of our window.  He was standing there with a couple of other members and his wife and started of this huge firework show!  Okay fireworks in America are lame...Germany does it right.  Everything is completely legal here.  They go so high, run into buildings and just EXPLODE it's a blast.  

I love you and Happy New Year!

Elder Hays

Side note . . . Our Bishop served in this exact same place. Pinneberg in a fairly small town a ways outside of Hamburg.  Here's how he explained the pronunciation . . .

Oh, and Hamburg is pronounced “HOM-burg” (the first syllable is emphasized and rhymes with Tom) – only the “u” is a bit rounded – more like Hambourg – and the “g” is between a hard “g” and a soft “g” – kind of like a hard “h.”  (Might take a little practice J but it’s a beautiful word! J)