Monday, December 29, 2014

Germany Week 28

Dearest Mumzy,

The rest of my Christmas was pretty good. We had a delicious turkey dinner with Rot Kohl and Knödel (or is it Klösse? I never remember). Also on Second Christmas we were invited over to S's house where we played some games with him and had a delicious traditional Bamberger Lunch. It also started snowing on Christmas, so Bamberg is properly white now, and freezing cold. It makes all that contacting we do even more fun.

Sunday was also exciting. We had so few people at church. Bishop ended up turning half of Sacrament Meeting into a testimony meeting because the second person who was supposed to speak didn't show up. He even ended up cancelling Sunday School because there were so few people and the person that was supposed to teach wasn't there. So that was interesting. Church was all really good though. A lot of the stuff we talked about led me to reading in Romans 8, and let me tell you that chapter's great. My favorite verses are 18 and then the last two verses. I feel like they're awesome all of the time, but especially if you're going through rough times.

Well, nothing else much happened this week that you don't already know about...

Zippidy Doo-da
Love you more!
Elder Isaac

Monday, December 22, 2014

Germany Week 27

Dear Mum,

This week was pretty exciting, at least compared to the last few weeks. Everyone's super nice for Christmas. Well, nothing too exciting actually happened, but the people around here are super nice for the holidays. We also had Zone Conference on Wednesday. Elder Lymer of the Area seventy was there. It was really cool, and spiritual, and Christmasy! This really is a great time to be talking about our Lord and everything he has done for us. #SharetheGift

You're great!
Love you more!
Elder Isaac

Monday, December 15, 2014

Germany Week 26

My week wasn't too exciting. Mostly spent it walking around the streets trying to talk to people about Christmas and He is The Gift. I did spend some time making some Plätzchen though. That was exciting. It reminded me of grandma, partially because we were making Plätzchen and partly because Bru. G spent the whole time talking about how he used to make some with his grandmother. (Also, you shouldn't google that or anything, you should just ask your other sons what Plätzchen is, because the guy in our ward that's from East Germany was weirded out calling them that, but all the Frankoniens were very insistant that it was Plätzchen, and not anything else.)

Aside from that nothing too exciting's been going on here. Christmas is in the air. It's a party. Uh... yep, you're great!

Love you more!!!
Elder Son

Monday, December 8, 2014

Germany Week 25

Dearest Mumzy,

Elder Nilson and I drinking my first Kinderpusch together at the Coburg Weihnachtmarkt.
My week wasn't too exciting. I certainly didn't have any rolls, thawed or otherwise, but I did have some Kinderpunsch, so I guess that makes up for it. I did indeed go to the Christkindmarkt down in Nürnberg on Monday. That puppy is huge. Massive. Especially compared to the one here in Bamberg, which we walk past pretty much everyday. Of course the one in Bamberg is still bigger than the one in Coburg, which we ate lunch at on Tuesday after we had Distrikts Versammlung there. But Coburg has the coolest mugs, so that makes up for it being tiny.
Tiny-istsy-bisty part of the Nürnberg Weihnachtmarkt

We also got our "He is the Gift" pass-along cards this week, which are way awesome. I was told that all of the Ensigns were supposed to come with a few too, does that mean that you have some that your supposed to hand out too? Awesome. Also it's pretty cool that the church bought Time Square for a month. Anyway. I'm super excited to go around and talk to people about Christmas! Christmas is great.

Sonst (otherwise), nothing much happened. At least nothing too special. I did listen to Elder Bednar's talk again this week, and let me tell you, that talk is awesome. I found his wording about full-time missionaries to be very interesting, especially seeing as I am a full-time missionary, but I think everyone else could get a lot out of that talk too.

I'm sure something else cool happened this week, but I really can't think of it, so I think I'll just attatch a bunch of pictures and call it good.

Love you more!
Elder Son

Elder Peifer and I with our Companion Teddy Bear's dressed as cows! (No, we're not, and have never been companions, we've just been on so many mini-splits we might as well be) (Also me in my new coat and hat)

Weisstein Schloss, just for fun.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Germany Week 24

Dear Momma,

Probably the most exciting thing about my week was transfer calls. Turns out I'm staying in Nürnberg for Christmas, in fact I'm staying in Bamberg for Christmas. The whole district is actually staying the same, except for Elder Burger who is going home. It's kind of crazy. The other super exciting thing was that the Weihnachtmarkts are out!!! I haven't really seen most of Bamberg's, but I've seen bits from walking around. I'm also going to Nürnberg's Weihnachtmarkt today, and that one is supposed to be awesome, so I'm super excited.

It sounds like your Thanksgiving was quite the party. I actually ended up having a lot more of a thanksgiving than I thought we were going to because one of the members invited us over for thanksgiving. It was a German and his British wife, so they don't actually celebrate Thanksgiving, but they felt bad for us and invited us over anyway. What's more they actually found a turkey. It was all delicious, though it was missing a little of that Mother's Pumpkin Pie. And Stuffing. But otherwise it was perfect, and was really delicious.

I actually sort of got two Thanksgiving dinners, because earlier in the day we had a surprise Zone Training and someone brought Chicken and cookies for everyone. That wasn't the actual point of the meeting though, which was actually even better. We met to discuss the church's new website: and the video that goes along with it. If you haven't visited the site, or watched the video yet, you definitely should. It is so good! I hope we can all watch it and truly remember that Jesus is the Christ, and that through Him we can be save.

Love you more!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Germany Week 23

Dear Sister Mom,

As it turns out M2 did not get baptized this week. He is indeed American and he ended up having to leave a little earlier than anticipated, so he was gone by the time he was going to get baptized. I think he's probably already referred to the elders back in the states, or he will refer himself very soon though, so I think he should still be good, I just won't get to be there.

Things here have been about the same as always. It is getting a bit colder, and I actually bought a coat last week. I know, I actually bought a coat. Crazy. It looks really classy though. I'll have to take a picture of it and send it to you sometime.

We also had Stake Conference yesterday. That was super interesting, especially since Nürnberg is a bilingual stake so everything was said in one language and immediately translated into the other. They do it every week here in Bamberg, but it was still strange in a Stake Conference setting for some reason. Stake Conference was really good though. I think my favorite talk was given by our special guest Präsident Stoddard. He made a really interesting point that missionary work is really all about helping people better understand Christ, and that everything else we teach as missionaries, as well as everything everyone does as member missionaries, is really just appendages thereto, and really just helps people better know Christ. Also, he spoke in German, which was way cool, though I think his translator was expecting to translate into German up to the very moment that Präsident Stoddard started speaking. It was great.

Well, keep on being awesome!

Love you more!!!
Elder Son

Monday, November 17, 2014

Germany Week 22

Elder Nilson and I taught Bamberg's lone deacon on Sunday. That was a handful. The kid's awesome, but he's a bit irreverent sometimes. We finally got him to pay attention and everything though, and then it was a really good, spiritual lesson.

Other than that nothing too exciting happened. We did some contacting. I went on a split and taught the Familie G. They are awesome. The dad is way funny, and he constantly cracks jokes, but he can also be very spiritual. It was a way good lesson about God's plan, and how while he does have an over arching plan for us, he also has a plan for each of us individually. Also, we found out this week, that because of some crazy circumstances that popped up M2 will be moving back to the States pretty soon, and he wants to get baptized before he moves, which means he's trying to do it this Saturday. It seems like it's going to happen and we'll hopefully be able to go and see it! Ich freue mich dafür! Matt ist der Hammer!

Well, I think that's about it for me. Have an awesome week!

Love you more!
Elder Son,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Germany Week 21

My week was fairly uneventful. Pretty much the same as every other week. M2 hasn't moved to Bamberg yet, but was rather visiting. He's hoping to move here in a month or two, but I'll most likely be gone by the time he moves back as well as for his baptism. We'll see in a few weeks with transfer calls. He still calls us every once in a while and he seems like he's doing really well, so that's awesome, but nothing else too much is happening here right now.

Um... yeah...

Have a dandy week!
Love you most!
Elder Isaac

Monday, November 3, 2014

Germany Week 20

Yum, brownies... Now I really want some brownies, but thankfully there are a lot of other delicious things here that I can eat, even if I haven't seen any brownies in a very long time. Elder Swallow does indeed know Steven Nelson, so that's exciting. As for Christmas I might wear a scarf if you sent me one and some warmer socks would probably be nice, but mostly I just need to get some gloves, and probably buy a nice coat. We'll see.

My week was pretty crazy. Elder Swan and I had to run around saying goodbye to people for the first half of the week and then on Wednesday we had to go down to Nürnberg. I stayed there until Thursday and Elder Swallow was supposed to come in on a bus at about 5:00, but they called a bit before and said they'd be there about an hour and a half late. We'll, that made everything interesting because we were supposed to be meeting with M2 at 6:00, and he suddenly wasn't going to be there until 6:30. So I took another missionary, Elder Cochran, and we ran back to Bamberg, did a sort of lesson with M2, but mostly just sat down and talked with him to help him keep from smoking, since he's trying to give that up. Afterwards we ran back to Nürnberg because our new companions should have been there for about an hour already, even with the delay, but of course when we got back, they still weren't there, so we actually met them as they got off the bus.

Church yesterday was great. Elder Swallow got up and bore his testimony. And one of the Weniger Aktivs that the other guys have been working with came and stayed for the whole time. It was awesome. In fact in Priesthood, he even made a really good comment about home teaching and how it's about caring about the people and not just giving a rote lesson, yes, the lesson is important, but it's not the most important. As he was saying that I realized just how much Home Teaching is like missionary work, because that's exactly the same thing with us! The audience tends to be a little different, but everything else is pretty much the same.

I can't think of anything else that really happened this week, but I hope your week is awesome!

Love you more!!!!!
Elder Cloward

Monday, October 27, 2014

Germany Week 19

My week was pretty good, I am indeed staying in Bamberg, where I will be joined by Elder Swallow, whom I do not yet know, though supposedly I've met him at some point, but as I probably met a bunch of other people that day that I'll never see again, I don't remember him. As for Elder Swan, we're going to Nürnberg Wednesday evening, and he's going to Frankfurt the next day where he'll meet his parents and go to the temple and stuff. He's then going to tour around Germany for a week, and is actually coming back to Bamberg next Monday and I'll probably see him then.

As for lessons, we've been teaching an awesome Neubekert (new convert) and that's been super fun because he really wants to learn more about the church. We've also been in almost daily telephone contact with M2 because even though he lives in Grafenwöhr right now, he'll probably have to come to Bamberg for church most of the time, and he's hoping to move back to Bamberg at some point. He's super awesome, and he's really commited to being ready for the Dec. 20 Baptismal date the Grafenwöhr elders challenged him to.

Sounds like your week was pretty fun, you should have another good one this week!

Love you more!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Germany Week 18

Hey Mom,

My week's been a bit strange. We spent a lot of time doing all that good stuff like walking around talking to people and having appointments, mostly with members, but as my companion is dying next week he's also been writing his mission history. That means I've been getting in a bit of extra study as we sit at the church and he writes about his time on the mission in a nice little story format that President gets from all of the missionaries in their last transfer. Besides that, nothing too much happened this week. We got a call from M2 yesterday and he told us about meeting with the Grafenwöhr elders and about how he felt the Spirit for the first time in forever when he was with them, so that was totally awesome! He is so ready for the gospel, and what's more he's trying really hard to quit smoking, and while it's incredibly tough, he's doing a pretty good job.

Other than that nothing has really happened. On Saturday I should find out who my new companion will be. Should be exciting. I feel like I should write a lot more in my emails, but I really don't know what to put so...

Love you more! Isaac

Monday, October 13, 2014

Germany Week 17

Dear Sis. Mom,

My week was pretty good. Nothing too special happened, but we were able to meet with J and B ein paar mal (a few times) this week, and that was awesome. Neither of them are entirely sold on the idea yet, but they seem open to the idea and still want to meet with us, so that's really good. We were also able to get a hold of M2 again. Unfortunately his life has somehow gotten worse since the last time we spoke, but he should be able to meet with the Elders in Grafenwöhr, and he still seems like he wants to get baptized, so I'm super excited about that. I'm just sad I won't be able to teach him personally.

Other than that, I was able to watch the last session of Conference this week, and that was awesome! I especially loved Elder Bednar's talk. That man is der Hammer. I love General Conference, and I can't wait to be able to study all of those talks over again and get even more inspired.

Church is True! You're great!
Love you more!
Elder Isaac

Also, we went with a Neubekehrt (new convert) to an Orgel (Organ) recital in Dom (cathedral) the other day. That place is gorgeous. Let me tell you, I've been in a few Cathedrals in my days, but this one is the prettiest, in my opinion.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Germany Week 16

Dearest Mumzy,

Too bad about BYU getting smashed by not even Chuckie Keaton. So is Utah State ranked now? That's way exciting to hear about Jessica and the new baby. Also sounds like Conference was awesome, I haven't seen the last session yet, but all of the other ones were super good, and we actually got an investigator to come to one of them, so that was great.

The rest of the week was pretty good too. We got the whole Zone down on Wednesday for Zone Training and afterwards we did a big finding activity and we were able to get two new investigators out of it! We also met with an investigator we haven't seen in over a month, so that was way cool too.

Nothing else too exciting has happened in the last week, at least that I can think of right now... But, the gospel is true, and amazing! Sometimes the way seems dark and difficult, but I know that when we keep on going we'll find the blessing that God specifically put at the end of that darkness just for us.

Have a sparkly week!

Love you more!
Elder Isaac

Monday, September 29, 2014

Germany Week 15

Dearest Mumsypoo,

My week was pretty good. We weren't able to meet with M2 because his phone seems to not be working again, but the high councilor for Bamberg lives near him, so he's going to try and go by where we think he works and see if he can get in contact with him again. We also had the Elders from Coburg come down on Saturday and all six of us walked around for a few hours talking to people. Through all of that we met a really cool Chinese dude who we gave a Book of Mormon and who should be playing basketball with us on Tuesday. We also met with a few less actives and part member families, and that was awesome! In fact one of the less actives came to church the last two weeks, and yesterday he even got up and bore his testimony. It was so powerful and so awesome to see him truly wanting to come back, and what's more he is truly trying to prepare himself for the Melchizedek Priesthood. One of the things in his testimony that I really liked was when he was talking about how the greatest batt
le we will ever have is the one within ourselves. He then said that it's a battle we can't win by ourselves and he talked about all of the people who have helped him as well as how the Spirit has helped him. It was so amazing and so spiritulal.

I feel like there were probably some other things that happened this week, but I really can't remember them, so I'll just leave it here.

Love you more!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Germany Week 14

Hey Sister Mom,

Those temple dedications sound like they were probably pretty cool. Man, the moment I leave the stake suddenly turns into a super-charged spiritual party. I'm super neidisch (jealous).

However, I enjoyed my week too. It started out like almost every other week we've been having here in Bamberg, with finding people. We did a lot of walking around trying to talk to people, and per usual they did a lot of not listening to us. In fact that's pretty much all that happened this week. Until Friday, when we did some Weekly Planning instead of walking around. Well, as we have more or less no investigators at this point we decided to call a former investigator named M1. He didn't answer, but when Elder Swan found his number we also saw M2's number. I think I've told you a little about M2, but not too much, and in order to understand the full miraculousness of this story I'll have to tell you all of his background.

M2 was one of the other Elder's investigators, and he decided he wanted to be baptized. He said he wanted to live the standards of the church for a month before his Taufe (baptism) though, which made sense. One of the things he had to do was quit smoking and he went from smoking a pack and a half a day, to none. It was amazing. He also had to break up with his girlfriend, which he went to go do on the same day he quit smoking. The man is awesome. Unfortunatley at this point his life exploded as his girlfriend thought she was pregnant and some things happened to make his financial situation a bit stressed. At this point he fell off the face of the earth and we couldn't get a hold of him. Until Friday. We called him up, and he answered. He then explained that due to his financial situation he's not able to make phone calls, but he can recieve them. He also was more or less forced to move into a place with his girlfriend and move over to Graf because he couldn't really afford to live anywhere else. But when they moved there, he demanded his own room, and made it very clear that nothing was going to happen. He's also started to go to school and has a job, so he can now move out which he will hopefully be doing sometime this week! He's also been reading in the Book of Mormon about an hour every week, even though he hasn't met with the missionaries in over a month, and he's cut his smoking down like crazy. Sadly for us, he no longer actually lives in our area, but he has to come to Bamberg every weekend to see his son, and he wants to meet with us either on this Saturday or Sunday, and is hoping to come to church! It's awesome! He is so prepared for baptism and he really knows this church is true, and I know that he can do it!

The Lord truly does work miracles! This is His church!
Love you more!
Elder Isaac

Monday, September 15, 2014

Germany Week 13

Dear Mother,

Our potential investigator in fact did not show up, but we called him about the day before and when he said he wouldn't be able to make it we rescheduled for sometime this week, so hopefully he'll actually be able to make it to that one. As for Elder Carson, he's not being trained by Elder Nilson, but he is in the Zone, so I'll at least get to see him a few times.

As for the rest of my week it was again mostly spent on the streets of Bamberg talking to people. The big exception was Friday when the whole mission went over to Frankfurt to listen to Elder Ballard as well as a few seventies. That was super good. He talked about a lot of different things, including how we need to feel the power of the gospel so we can better help others feel that same way.

Tanner's already going on a mission too? But he's still 11! Man, everyone's on a mission now. This is crazy. Well I hope you had fun at Grandpa's and teaching and everything else you do this week!

Love you more!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Germany Week 12

Hey Mom! Sounds like a pretty awesome Regional Coference. You got to listen to two different Apostles? That's so cool!

Over here in Germany we had a pretty interesting week, at least as interesting as it can be contacting people almost all day everyday. Elder Swan and I made a goal this week to hand out a Book of Mormon for every ten people we talked to, and while we didn't quite schaff that goal, we did pretty good. On the first day we were doing it we had talked to nine people who all said "Keine Zeit" and walked off. The tenth person told us about the same thing, but he also said he could listen for just a bit. We told him a bit about the church and then gave him a copy of The Book of Mormon. He seemed to take it a bit reluctantly, but we kept talking to him for a bit more and we were able to get his number and make out an appointment with him for this Thursday! Pray for him that he'll actually come!

Well, that was probably the most exciting thing that happened all week, so I'll leave you with that thought, that God really does answer our prayers, and while sometimes it's not the way we wanted or expected, sometimes it's exactly the way we asked for.

Love you more!

P.S. I knew I forgot something! We had transfer calls on Saturday, and I'm staying in Bamberg with Elder Swan, and since Elder Swan is going home at the end of this transfer I'll most likely be in Bamberg for another transfer, but we'll see about that for sure in six weeks. We're also getting a Golden in Bamberg, and I'm really hoping that Elder Nilson ends up training Elder Carson. Elder Carson was in my MTC group, but he injured his knee so he's just coming out this transfer, and he's awesome and I keep telling Elder Nilson that that's who his Golden is going to be.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Germany Week 11

Hey Mum!

My week was still pretty slow, I talked to a lot of people and we even gave out a few copies of The Book of Mormon, but that was about it. Thankfully August is over so Bamberg should again be full of people that actually live here and not just tourists, and the ward members should be back too, so that should help.

We also had a Zone Training this week. We talked about a lot of things there, including the fact that we're having a Devotional thing with Elder Ballard (and possibly Elder Bednar) on Transfer Day. We also talked about a goal for the Zone for the end of the year. The Zone Leaders challenged each area to have a baptism by the end of the year, and in that moment I felt such a powerful spirit that that truly was possible. I was also reading in the scriptures today, and one of the verses I read sort of reminded me of this. It was in 2 Timothy when Paul is speaking about the Apostasy, and in chapter 3 verse 5 he says that men will have a form of godliness, but deny the power of it. It made me wonder how often we do that. How often do we recieve a spiritual prompting, but then decide that it's too hard, and deny the power of God in our lives? Hopefully we won't do that, and we will instead accomplish what the Lord has in store for us.

Love you more!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Germany week 10

Hey Momma!!!

A bit of the view of Würzburg from atop a Festung (fortress)
My week was pretty good. Würzbug was pretty gorgeous, and I in fact do have some pictures that I am going to send you. I also didn't get your e-card, but I can probably picture it in my head, or at least the one you would have sent me if you could have found it, so we're all good.

Elder Swan and I have not been successful in finding anyone to teach, old, new, member or not this week, but we did do a bit of service. We were also successful in finding a guy with an awesome accent who may or may not be a seventy. You see, we had Zone Konferenz on Thursday and Elder Kearon spoke at it. If you don't know who that is, he spoke about scorpions in General Conference a few years ago. I wish I brought my notes, because it was way awesome, but I really cannot remember anything specific right now...

Happy Days!

Love you even more!!!
Elder Swan and I battling in a Garden atop a Festung.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Germany Week 9

Dear Sister Mom,

It's weird turning old... Elder Swan this morning said something along the lines of "Happy Birthday! How does it feel to be a fourth of the way through your life, and not even a fourth of the way through your mission?" As for my present, there have been some rumors, and they were actually started by , at least more or less, that Germany very well could be getting iPads sometime in the near future, but that we'll probably have to pay for them ourselves, so I figure I'll hold off on spending that until I know exactly what's happening with that, or even if it's actually happening at all. Other than that I've celebrated by eating some Kinder Eier and buying some Landliebe chocolate milk. I'm also going to journey over to Würzburg today and see the sites over there. We'll see how that goes.

As for the rest of my week it was almost as uneventful as the last week. All the elders in Bamberg did do a special fast on Wednesday that we would be able to find more people. We haven't exactly seen the fruits of that yet, but the other Elders got a new investigator and that was awesome. Elder Swan and I also went to Relief Society yesterday because so much of the ward is on vacation that they needed a translator so Elder Swan did that so I had to go with. It was really interesting.

Well, that's about it. Hope you have an awesome week!!!

Elder Son

Monday, August 11, 2014

Germany Week 8

So this week was the start of August, which apparently means that everyone goes on Urlaub, which meant that the few investigators we did have all disappeared off the face of the earth, which meant we spent all week doing finding work. It was a little rough. Especially since we spent probably close to six hours each day contacting people in one way of another and we didn't even get one potential investigator. We did end up giving out a Book of Mormon, but I wasn't actually there when Elder Swan did that because I was on an austausch with Elder Nilson. That was pretty coool though. You see, Elder Nilson, who is the new District leader btw, plays the ukelele, so he thought we could try walking around the city and playing it and see if it could get a conversation started with someone. It was almost nine, and we had had a few conversations with people, but they were all pretty short and without much substance, so we were walking home. We walked around a corner and a nice old couple commented on Elder NIlson's playing and asked him to play a song for them, which he did. Afterwards he started explaining a bit about why we were there, and they said they already knew about the mormons and weren't interested, but just at this moment a door across the street opened and two girls in about their 30s walked out and asked if Elder Nilson would play a song for their friend for her birthday. We figured it couldn't hurt so we followed them into their backyard where there was a party of 20-30 people. Elder Nilson was a little taken back, but he still played Somewhere Over the Rainbow for them, and did a wonderful job I might add. Afterwards one of them tried to tip Elder Nilson €10, which he of course refused, so of course they asked us what we were doing in Germany, so he explained and bore his testimony to them. Super Cool. We also gave the girl a Book of Mormon as a birthday present. I don't know how much any of that actually helped any of them, but I think it at least made all of those people a little less skeptical of those guys who walk around in white shirts, which is sometimes all you can ask for.

Other than that this has been a pretty boring week. President Stoddard told us that we should always send a scripture, that impressed us this week, in our emails, and I totally had one, but I forgot to write it down or bring my scriptures, so I guess you'll just have to wait until next week.

Have a totally I mean righteous, week!!!

Love you more!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Germany Week 7

Ah, August in Germany. Ridiculously hot, and ridiculously humid. What a wonderful combination.

Life here's about as normal as missionary work ever is. We finally got an appointment with this guy we met at Bahnhof on our very first day in Bamberg. He's been texting us ever since and based on his questions and everything he seems like he's golden and really wants to know the truth. Unfortunately every appointment we were ever actually able to make with him fell through, until last Thursday! That was an awesome day. We started out that day with no appointments, but we felt like we should call one of our investigators, got an appointment with him that day, the guy I was just talking about, A--, called us and made an appointment for that day, so suddenly we had two appointments. Then, one potential investigator we've been calling everyday for almost a month called us back after I had the sudden inspiration to ask Elder Swan if we had tried texting him. It was a miracle day. Sadly none of them came to church yesterday, but hopefully they'll come next week.

Also, these days at least seem a lot shorter than they did at Ultradent.

Love you more!
Elder Son

Monday, July 28, 2014

Germany Week 6

It sounds like you had quite the exciting week. On the 24th I realized what day it was about halfway through the day and started wishing all of the missionaries around a happy Pie 'n Beer day*. I really want homemade ice cream now. Thanks for reminding me of it mom.

Nothing too crazy happened here this week, but it was a pretty exciting week. Friday was probably the best day. First Elder Swan and I went out to go by some former investigators and some less actives and to contact some people along the way. The very first (and she actually ended up being the only) person we talked to, took a Book of Mormon and gave us her number because she said she was interested in learning more! It was awesome! A bit later in the day we met with the other Bamberg Fellas and Elder Sprunt informed us that he just got a text from one of their investigators saying he wants to get baptized!!! It will be in at least a month because he wants to be living the standards of the church for at least a month before he gets baptized and he has to quit smoking and break up with his girlfriend. We were with him all day yesterday and he didn't smoke one cigarette, which is really impressive since he has been smoking a pack or two everyday since he was about 11. He only left us when he went to go try and break up with his girlfriend, so he definitely seems like he's going to make it, but I sure don't envy him because it's going to be hard.

We also had transfer calls on Saturday, but it doesn't really affect me too much. Elder Jackson, our District Leader, and one of the other Elders in Bamberg is getting transfered out, but that's about the only change in the entire district.

You're great!

Love you more!

*the folks on our street have a block party on Pioneer Day which they call "Pie 'n Beer Day

Monday, July 21, 2014

Germany Week 5

Hey Mom!,

So is Joseph's new car brand spankin' new? Because if it has that new car smell it's hard to imagine it being a new used car. Speaking of which, I had to buy a new used bike today because the gear shifter on my old one completely busted a little over a week ago. Anyway. I hope you understood more of the Spanish church service than I do of the German one. It's not actually that bad because they translate everything into English here in Bamberg. I'm not exactly sure why though. Well it's actually because there's an American Army base here, but it got shut down a few months ago so there are no more American families, so there's not much of a point anymore, but they still do it anyway. I try to use it as a way to learn the German words I don't understand, but that doesn't always work out.

The work here's about like usual. Slow. But we have met with a few people, and one of them, that I don't think I told you about, is named M-. He's from China, so he's a bit skeptical of just about everythihng, but he's really cool, and if he can just start believing in his spiritual promptings he will be golden.

Love you more!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Germany Week 4

Hey Mumsy! Sounds like you had quite an... interesting week. So are you already in Texas then? You said you'll be there for Joseph's Birthday right? You should wish him a happy Birthday for me because this is the closest I'll get to talking to him on his Birthday.

My week was pretty interesting. The work seems to be picking up. Yesterday we taught a Polish girl, named S--
, at the Bishop's house. She's sort of been meeting with the missionaries for about two years, but it's been more of hanging out than anything else, but yesterday we explained that we wanted teach her a few lessons and she was totally down for it!

Also on Friday night we were starting to plan and Elder Swan kept feeling like we were supposed to do something. He looked at all of of investigators, and potentials and what not, but we had already called all of them, or knew what was happening with them. He decided to look through the contacts in our phone anyway, and randomly stumbled across a potential investigator that the last missionaries had found. He called him up, but he couldn't hear a word we were saying and hung up on us. Oh well. Then, a few minutes later he called us back and we set up an appointment for Saturday. Our lesson with him was awesome, and when we told him that faith grows in us like a seed grows into a tree he told us "I want to be a tree." He also said he could feel the truth in what we were saying and is meeting with us again today!

 The View from the other Elders Apartment.  It looks way better in real life.  You can see Michaelsburg, a cloister, over on the right of the picture, and on the left is the top of Bambergerdome
Also, funny story, we did some Sport Contacting this week, so we went and played some basketball at a park. Unfortunately there were only little kids there, but we decided to play with them anyway. We were thinking that we were going to have to go easy on them, but they totally schooled us. We Nicknamed one, who was ten, John Stockton because I don't think he missed one shot. It was ridiculous.
The View from my apartment.  At least you can see if your train is late or not.

You're the best Mom!
Have a jolly week!
Love you more!
Elder Isaac Cloward

Monday, July 7, 2014

Germany Week 3

Sounds like you had quite the exciting week! Mine was much less exciting and consisted mostly of walking around the beautiful streets of Bamberg trying to get anyone to talk to us. We acually met a few people that seem like they're really cool and might just end up being awesome investigators. We'll have to wait and see on them. Unfortunately the one real investigator we had decided he didn't want to meet with us anymore so now we more or less have no actual investigators, but a couple of potentials.

We also went over to the Bishop's house yesterday, and let me tell you, he and his wife are really awesome people. What's more, they cooked Enchilads for us. They were delicious and brought a little bit of home.

Well, I don't think I really have much of anything else to say, there's not exactly a lot going on here in Bamberg, though there is a Giant Magic Show coming up. We're also hoping that if Germany makes it to the final Pres. Stoddard will let us watch that game, but I digress.

Love you more!
Elder Isaac

P.S. You should totally go read "Following Up", Elder Ballard's last conference talk.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Germany Week 2

My week went pretty well. We said goodbye to President Schwarz on Tuesday, not that I really knew him. The work here is still a bit slow, but we're starting to get a bit of an investigator pool, so we should hopefully be a bit busier in this coming week. This last week we only taught one lesson and spent pretty much all of the rest of this week finding.

Well, sounds like life there is about as much of a party as it is over here. Hope you continue to have awesomeness in your lives!

Elder Cloward!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Germany Week 1

It's been a crazy week (well, more than a week) So much has happened and I probably won't remember most of it. Elder Swan's pretty awesome and Bamberg is absolutely beautiful, though I can't say it looks all that medieval, nor does it smell like beer*. Thank goodness. Elder Swan and I are whitewashing in, so at the moment the work is a bit slow and we've mostly been doing contacting which is crazy, especially since Elder Swan enjoys making me contact the people he thinks will make me the most uncomfortable. There was also a guy that just randomly walked up to us on the first day and seemed really interested and even randomly texted us that night. Unfortunately he didn't come to church and hasn't contacted us since, so we're not really sure what's going on there anymore.

That picture** was just from a random lady who works in the Dallas Airport, but lives in Bountiful or something, so she really likes missionaries. She bought Elder Tischner and I some Ice cream and then sent pictures of us to our mothers because she knew it would make you happy. She sent out a missionary herself, so she knows your pain.

I'm sure a lot more happened, but I can't think of it so...
Loves! Have a dandy week!

Elder Isaac

*Isaac's mom googled Bamberg and learned it was famous for being medieval like and having a lot of breweries, so she asked if it smelled like beer.
**see MTC Week 6

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

MTC Week 6

Isaac didn't send an e-mail this week as he left for Frankfurt on Tuesday and arrived on Wednesday.  Someone sent this e-mail to his mother:
"Saw your sweet elder today and 
snapped this picture. So sweet."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MTC Week 5

My week's been pretty dandy.  Elder Cook and his wife came and spoke to us yesterday,  T'was awesome.  I'm almost disappointed to be leaving the MTC next week because those who are here for two maybe three weeks longer than us get to sing in the choir for the Mission President's seminar thing, so they'll get to listen to a bucket load of Apostles.  I have indeed been able to host.  In fact I've hosted twice now, but not for regular missionaries.  We were assigned to host for the senior couples these last two weeks, so that was quite exciting.  

Also this week my two Untersuchers, Reiner und Jens both committed to taufen lassen!  (English words are hard to remember--be baptized)  Too bad they're not real people.  Well they are, they're just not.  Anyway, it's a party.

I should be able to call you from the airport.  We have to leave here at 4:30 in the morning; it's great.  I should have enough time to call you while I'm at the Salt Lake Airport around 6:00 or 7:00, but I might have to wait and do it during the four hour lay-over in Dallas.  Should be exciting.

Keep on having a party!
Vieler Leibe!

continuing e-mail conversation:
Shaneen:  Do you know what time you'll be in Dallas?  Do you know the Flight numbers?  Do you fly straight to Frankfurt from Dallas or stop somewhere in between?

Isaac:  I don't remember exactly, but we're on American Airlines, you might be able to figure it out from that.  I want to say we land in Dallas about 12:00 their time, but I wouldn't swear to that.  Dallas is indeed our only layover, so that's nice at least.  The Berliners have to fly to Seattle, then to Amsterdam and then to Berlin.  Poor kids.  But there are only six of them, so it's okay.

S:   I'm surprised it's American.  I thought the church always used Delta for missionaries.

I:  The Berliners are on Delta.  I suspect they don't have an easy way to get to Frankfurt so they use American instead, but I don't actually know.

S:  I am excited for you!  Have fun on that very long flight.

I:  And with no television.

S:  I wondered if they would let you watch the movies and TV on the flight.  What can you do to entertain yourselves on the way?  I guess there are enough of you that you can entertain each other.

I:  Nope, no worldly things like movies.  Also, while there will be 22 of us on the plane, we will not be seated together, so we have to entertain ourselves by reading from our library and trying to sneakily bring up the gospel to our fellow passengers.

S:  Sounds like fun.  Hopefully you have a kind and receptive seatmate.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

MTC Week 4

My weeks been pretty dandy, though we didn't get to listen to any Apostles this week.  Too bad right?  We did get to listen to a seventy though, and the person that's over using the internet to do missionary work.  It was super interesting to hear him speak because the majority of his talk was about the initial spread of the gospel and how almost none of it was done with traditional proselyting, but instead through Social Networking!  Then he talked about how even missionaries who don't yet get to use facebook and what not on their missions can use facebook to do missionary work.  One of his examples was that in Preach My Gospel it talks about getting members to make a list of friends and family and then pray about which of them could be helped right now by the Gospel, and he pointed out that facebook's already done the first half of that for us!  All we have to do is get the members to do the last part with the list they already have!
Also here's a nice picture of my Dritt
(Namely: Elder Tischner, Elder Cloward, and Elder Perry (Cloward))
The cookies were actually mostly intact, it was quite impressive.  Also incredibly delicious. I did indeed find the envelope, and the CDs that Jacob sent me.  They're very pretty to look at, though that is the only thing I can do with them, because I have nothing to play them with...

You're all wonderful!!!  Keep being awesome!!!

Even more Loves!
Elder Isaac Cloward

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

MTC Week 3

Hey Momma!

My weeks been pretty great, turns out we pretty much get an apostle every single week because yesterday we got to listen to Elder Nelson!  Awesome.  The choir (which I once again sang in) sang Hope of Israel for it, and it was super fantastic.

My Memorial Day was pretty boring, and the only reason I even remembered that it was Memorial Day is because I didn't have to get the mail on Monday.  Oh, speaking of mail I actually got called to be the District Leader on Sunday, so now I actually open the mailbox instead of just standing there watching Elder Tischner open the mailbox, but that's pretty much it.

Let's see...  Had I met Jens the last time I wrote?  I don't think so, he's pretty cool, seems pretty open to the gospel.  Good stuff.  Bru. Davis was gone for a few days this week so instead of teaching Reiner yesterday we had to go "tracting" where we met a man named Nathan.  It was a party, and I think it went pretty well, especially considering we'd never done anything like that before.

More Loves!
Elder Cloward

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

MTC Week Two

The MTC has been about as swell as the MTC can be, I do believe.  We finished teaching Angelo last Thursday, and he mostly accepted our challenge.  Hopefully the peole that got transferred there got him to fully commit ;).  We are now teaching a man named R.  I wonder if Jacob knows him?  You see, Bro. Davis, who is our teacher, is playing him, but it's a person he actually taught while he was on his mission.  We're also teaching another investigator, but were not actually going to meet him until tomorrow.  R's pretty exciting though, because he's a drunk, and Bro. Davis does an excellent job of acting.

So, on Sunday we had another devotional, but this time we just watched the film of a devotional from two years ago that Elder Bednar gave.  After it got over, and it was amazing by the way, I was sitting there waiting for the Closing Hymn to start when suddenly everyone in front of me stands up, and what do you know?  Elder Bednar walks in and has a one and a half hour or so Q&A with us.  It was AMAZING!

Speaking of the MTC choir, I think dad will appreciate this small story.  So that same day we practiced for the choir and guess who sat in front of me.  Elder Mika.  Needless to say, I could not see the conductor the entire time.

Well, it sounds like youre having a nice, though perhaps dull life, so that's good.

Elder Cloward

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MTC Week One

My weeks been pretty good, my companion as well as all my district sind "Der Hammer."  Brother Davis and Sister Pingree, who are my teachers, are both amazing, and you can tell they really care about us, so it's good even if it's sometimes a bit dull saying German phrases I already know over and over again.

I don't know much what else to say, since I think I told you everything I can think of on Sunday, so...
Um... So our "investigator" is named Angelo.  He's pretty cool.  We challenged him to be baptized yesterday, and he sort of accepted.  He said he wasn't sure it was true yet, but he would pray about it, and if he found out it was true he would be baptized.  We meet with him for the last time tomorrow and I think he'll probably accept, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Ooo, also Elder L. Tom Perry came and spoke to us yesterday, and I sang in the choir for it.  We sang Nearer My God To Thee, and it was AMAZING!!!  I love that song so much.  Also Elder Perry's talk was super spiritual.  The moment he got up I could just feel so intensely that this man was an apostle of God, that he knew this church was true, and by extension, this church is true.

Anyway, I don't really have anything else to say, sorry if my letter's a bit short.

Love you more!
Elder Cloward

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Entering the MTC


Lunch before the "Drop off"

A goodbye hug for Dad

So long, Have a great two years!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Becoming a Missionary

Isaac with President DeGraff after being set apart as a missionary.