Monday, May 11, 2015

Letter #94 - It All Comes Back to Family

3 And ye yourselves know that I have hitherto been diligent in the office of my calling; but I this day am weighed down with much more desire and anxiety for the welfare of your souls than I have hitherto been.

This scripture came into my mind several times this past week, and I all that I can say is that I understood what Jacob meant. I love the picture that he puts in my mind of being "weighed down" with a desire, and anxiety, all for his people. And I can honestly say personally I have felt that weight, but also that that "weight" is all created out of a love for the people I serve.

This week we had Zone Training, and oh was this an exciting one. We planned on having it on Thursday at 11am. We get a text from the tech elders that there is a strike for the workers on the trains, so we might have to cancel the meeting if it will be hard for missionaries to get to Heidelberg. We immediately looked it all up and planned for 11:30am. Then after much preparations for themes, papers, chex muddy buddies for snacks, suprise birthday party for Elder Nelson, and cool German CTR rings, the day finally came.

I myself personally, could explain to you all that we talked about, but what I want to say is how I felt. The specific themes were on unity, obedience, our purpose, a new beginning, and agency. It all went wonderfully. Everyone gave wonderful talks, and it was great. As I sat there though listening and seeing everyone's faces, this overwhelming feeling came over me that I couldn't muster or control myself. And the only word that I could use to describe it was love. I felt that desire and anxiety wash away as I sat there and let the Spirit teach these wonderful missionaries in their hearts. I gave the theme on agency and did my best to teach as Elder Bednar did and led a discussion. I am far from that, but the preparation that I put in and my many prayers were heard, and it was exactly what I, and others needed.

The other 2 experiences, have to do with family. We met with this wonderful family from Iran, who left everything to become Christian here in Germany. We just sat there amazed as they described to us their journey that was so unbearable, nothing that I could even compare my life to, and all because of Christ. The mother has even left two of her oldest children there, and misses them everyday, because she can't even see them or have contact with them.

Similarly there is also a mom that has been away from her kid about 2 years now, and all because she knows and loves her Heavenly Father and Jesus and sent her son away, so he could bring "a few souls unto Christ". I got to see this amazing mother and wish her a Happy Mother's Day, and all I can say is, I have amazing examples in my life, especially from the women that are in my life. Happy Mother's Day, mom :)

All I can say is, the overwhelming feeling of LOVE is a standard and a base for what I do. It's where my desire is rooted. I love the people I serve, and I desire for the "welfare of their souls". I desire, that the people that are close to me and mean something to me, to be happy. When I see someone in pain or in a moment of weakness, I know I can do something about it. I know I can be there. And I desire, that everyone, finds where true love stems from, and that is in Christ.

Have a wonderful week :) And if you want to know, I'll be in Utah from July 10th to the 22nd, so lemme know if you want to do anything :) much love!!!

Elder Mayne

Monday, May 4, 2015

Letter #93 - Just Ask

I have to say, I have been sitting at the computer for like 10 minutes just trying to figure out what I need/want to say in this letter, and nothing is coming to me other than just a couple of experiences that happened this week. So many things happened that changed me this week, and all I can do is just try to explain them.

This week Satan said "uh.... no" to my German and that hit me hard all week long. Then Thursday happened, and it changed me. We met with Andreas and talked about enduring to the end. We watched the video from Elder Bednar about "Enduring Our Burdens With Hope". Amazing spirit. As I struggled to produce words, I just spoke from the heart, and I felt the Spirit work through me. Really understood the "unto" the heart like it says in the scriptures.

After that we went to district meeting in Karlsruhe, and as we got there (a little bit late. LOTS of rain) they were doing it in German, and I was like "poop." Part of me wanted to curl up in a corner and just talk to myself in English; the other part wanted to stand on the table and speak the tounge of angels. I had a topic to give during the meeting, and luckily it was with Elder von Wallwitz so he picked up my big slack :) But after that, we split and I went with Elder Vorimo back to Heidelberg. Something that the Karlsruhe missionaries were doing was only speaking German the entire week because a member offered to buy them ice cream. Ha so Elder Vorimo and I had a LONG car ride (including traffic). But I just listened and asked questions and started to gain confidence again in the language it seemed I couldn't master alone.

Then we came home, cooked an awesome meal, and went to the hospital in Mannheim to visit Abbe, who just had an opperation to take out a kidney stone. When we walked into his room, his face was priceless. He was so happy we came. He was in pain, but knew that it would be better now, and he was just so grateful that we would come and stop by to see him and make sure he was alright. I had the feeling to wip out Mosiah 24 and talk about the people who had burdens that they could not bear, but then the Lord made them able to bear them. The Spirit entered the room and the people next to us also stopped conversing and listened to what we had to say. We gave a nice prayer, and the people next to him took a card as we walked out after talking to them. That's the language everyone recognizes :)

After that we went to Institute, where literally only 4 people showed up because there were several things going on later that day. So we had time to do some language study :) Exactly what I needed all day. So I thought. We had a meeting with Prakash that night, and I felt that we should call the RM of the ward, Tabea Henkel, who came back last week and have her joint teach with us. She is awesome. She came a little early and we had a nice chat. She talked a little about life after the mission and how her day was just kinda like "eh." As she was talking, we walked in to Prakash. We had a good chit chat so everyone got familiar with each other. As we started, I said the prayer, and I felt this amazing spirit. The lesson was amazing. We talked about the Anti Nephi Lehis and how they TRULY became converted unto the Lord, and read the story of how they would rather die then brake this covenant they had made with the Lord. The Spirit was so strong. I literally could say it felt like "earth was quaking" but that it was all in the heart. Again we came to stalemate of him saying he needed time, but we found out more concerns and addressed them, and the Spirit was so strong, a lot coming from the testimonies of Tabea and Elder Vorimo.

I came home that night and just reflected on everything. It seems like the rainiest days do that to people :) But I just sat in my bed, listening to the rain, and I just began to pray and to think about those who mattered most to me, and then those I am loving here, and the home that I have here. The lessons where we learn the most, are in the home. This "home" has taught me the greatest lesson I will probably ever learn. And it's relying on the Atonement. All throughout the day, I felt like my own wisdom, my strength that I had, was good enough. And then all throughout the day, the person who is the teacher (the Spirit) testified of who we really need to rely on, which is Christ. I have realized that the enabling power of the atonement is real. I am an agent, who can act on his own. If I ask the Lord to take away the problems, the things that I struggle with, what benifit would that do? Elder Bednar says that sometimes we believe that the absence of a load will make us happy. But it is only through the load, that we create spritual traction that enables us to go along the pathway to our Heavenly Father. To be an agent, is to ask. To ask for His divine and eternal help.

And Sunday I realized that. I felt the Lord carry me. We had such an amazing Sunday, had a wonderful time with a lot of investigators, and I got to bear my testimony in every class and in Sacrament meeting as well. This work is true and I know that the Lord, is who we need in order to become.

Have a great great Day. Ya'll are loved :)

Elder Mayne

oh and PS: For all you Neon Trees fans out there, I met Elaine Bradley and her husband. Haven't washed my hand for like 6 days now (spaß) And saw my good ol teach from the MTC Andrew Birkensha :) shout out to him and his wife.

Bad week on pics. not cool at all. haha did make some yummy cinnomon (sp) rolls though :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Letter #92 - Start Rolling Memory Reel Titled "Never Forget This"


She got baptized :)

(memory reel starts.... click click click)

Elder von Wallwitz and I pack everything up and head to the church at 1pm, two hours before the baptism. I'm wearing my favorite tie, he is looking great. I brought an extra shirt so I don't have to be soaked like last time, and everything is great. We show up there, realize we don't have any treats, which we were supposed to bring. We start praying that members will bring stuff. We walk into the church, go straight to the font, and start filling it up. I look inside of the font, and there is a massive fly just floating in the water. Ew. Luckily this isn't the first time. I go grab our makeshift dingsbumbs, which is perfect for the job. Next we go set up the chairs and start printing our programs. Brian, our ward mission leader, shows up and starts helping as well. Everything is set up, looking great. We start chatting, then I realize...I forgot my white pants. Elder von Wallwitz starts laughing. Brian says I should wear the grandpa airspace jumpsuits they have. No hesitation, I put that thing right on. Looks like a perfect fit. We stop panicking. We go out to the door and see that Rosina is there with her son. She is so happy, tells us she drank lots of water last night and today, so she can be clean outside and inside :)

We go show her the baptismal fount and she is so excited. Her son is excited for her as well and is a nice chap. We get closer to crunch time and lots of members are showing up, which is so great to see. We tell her that it's time to go get changed, and I head into the men's stall, she to the women's. As I'm changing, I get a little emotional and just pray that everything will go great. I express my gratitude to see someone following Jesus Christ, even one of my dear friends I care about so much. As I head out and wait for her, Elder von Wallwitz and I just can't even hold our excitement. There is just nothing better. She comes out and is just shining in her white dress. She says we are both white angels, just without the circle around our head (forgot what that is in english). We take a couple of pictures and then head into the full room of people to start the baptism program.

Everything goes great. The Spirit there is just a big warm feeling, like someone is just hugging the entire room there and just squeezing. Talea, an awesome girl in the ward, gives the talk on baptism, and then we procede to the baptism. I go in the water and help Rosina walk down the stairs. She holds on to me and then I say the words "Beauftragt von Jesus Christus, taufe ich dich in Namen des Vaters, und des Sohnes, und des Heilgen Geistes, Amen." And I dip her in. She goes forward, because of her back, and doesn't go completely under the first time. After she comes out, her face is just smiling and looks around like the world is completely new. I tell her we have to do it one more time, and she is more than willing. We do it again, and it's perfect. She comes out of the water and smiles again and says "nochmal?" One more time? :) I laugh and say no, it's perfect, and then she wants to take a picture in the font and I hold on to her tight.

We change and then continue with the baptism again, and she is just happy. You can tell she is just on top of the world. This is her day. The bishop speaks to her so nicely and the program ends, and luckily there was a lot of refreshments, and we just chat after and spirits are high and the feeling of being washed clean and the happiness is just all over the face of Rosina. What an amazing day.

Now Elder Bednar (throw in the other reel)

We are sitting in the chapel, waiting all quietly as we study and try to prepare ourselves best for him, and as the clock hits 10am, in walks President Stoddard and his wife, followed by Elder Bednar and his wife. Everyone is standing and you can just feel the Spirit in the room. President says a few words, someone says a prayer, and then he immediately turns the time over to Elder Bednar. Elder Bednar stands up and speaks and says he is grateful to be there and then says that first and foremost he brings his love from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and the Prophet and his counselors. I feel this feeling of love and gratitude for these men, and the thought that pops into my head: "These men are called and ordained of God." And I know it. Then Elder Bednar says, "I'm going to say a statement and then I want to know what your first thoughts are as I say this alright? I'm not here to talk about iPads." For about an hour and a half, we talked about that... And the conversation the entire lesson was guided by the Spirit. I just sat there amazed with the way he taught, by inviting the Spirit. I learned so many things I need to improve on, and how I can become better. Then of course, they talked about iPads later, and the things and the thoughts and the ideas they have compiled together was amazing. The things that I am learning now, are things I'm going to take home from my mission and also teach my kids. This meeting was absolutely spectacular. He gave a prophecy at the end and said that some of you, I will meet again personally, and you will talk about this meeting and the things you have learned. And I felt, that one day, that will happen. And I can't wait, to tell him the things that I've learned.

This week was amazing, and so spiritual. All I can say is, like my best bud Steph back home said this week "I just smile bigger now."

And to conclude, I just want to give a shout out to someone. I won't say their name, but one of my dear friends went home from their mission this week, and I just want them to know that I care about them a lot, I love them, and they should come talk to me. :) Because it doesn't matter how many times we fall, but how many times we wipe off the dust of what we are leaving behind and pick ourselves back up :)

Have a wonderful week. Love you all!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Letter #91 - Our Desires Are What Make ACTION


Wake up, morgen sport (morning exercise). Nice quick breakfast, hurry and gather all the things we need for the day, hustle out the door at 8am to go to the church. Almost there, get a call from the sisters, they are locked from the inside of their apartment... The missionary couple is trying to help with no avail, we come, no help. I bump the mission couple's car on the hump, because the garbage man came at the same time. Oops. We try all we can, call the tech elders, they tell us to try everything we can, then tell us to brake the door. Elder von Wallwitz rams into the door, breaks the lock, and the door. Sisters have to leave, they put the lock back on, a piece of the door, and lock the apartment, and we all bounce. We drive quickly to the church, plan two preaches for the day, do some others, and then head to the church in Limberhof were we were all planning on having a 30 min Zone training. Elder von Wallwitz, me, and Elder Nelson did a theme on how we are all Superheros, and we wore our normal procelyting clothes, then superman stuff over the top, and then old american clothes, and we talked about how we are all special (rip shirt off, show superman suit) then talked about how superheroes don't have the power we have, we are all ordained of God (take off superman, missionary attire). It was really, really fun. It was also super hot that day. After, went to district meeting in the Mannheim district. Great time. President comes down, does interviews with everyone. Love that man. Go on a split with my German buddie Elder Schmidt. Went and taught Abbe and set a baptismal date for the 9th of May. Talked with all the homies there and got three new investigators, saw Tony as well. After went to the church, Elder Schmidt had his leavers interview and I had a good chat with Sister Stoddard. Elder Schmidt and I realize we don't have keys to our apartment, and the Mannheim elders can't get into their apartment. We drive to Mannheim while having a good ol chat about marriage (he is ready haha) and then got home and slept over, Elder Schimdt also finding time to give me a haircut. Elder von Wallwitz and I have a good chat while sleeping on the floor.

The life though :) This honestly is the greatest time of my life. That was just one day! And this week, was something special. We honestly had set a goal this week, for at least one week, teach more then the mission record: 31 and we did, we taught 33. We worked our little tails off, and it was so so wonderful. One of the most precious moments was when Elder von Wallwitz and I park the car right in front of our apartment and just sit and enjoy the night and just talk about why missions are so wonderful, all the amazing things you learn out here, and how this place has really become our "home." I have felt that home-feeling more than once out here, but I really do call this place, Germany, a home.

Another highlight this week was Rosina :) We met with her twice and we needed to go over all the lessons in order to prepare her for baptism. As we taught her, we felt like we needed to ask her whether she would want to be baptized this upcoming Saturday or in 2 weeks. Her answer was perfect: "Why wait? Ya'll going on vaction or something?" :) I love this lady with my whole heart. We taught her 3 times this week and just had such a blast, and had some of the most spritual times. This lady is something so wonderful. As we were talking at church and after she had her interview and "passed," I strolled her out to the parking lot and we just had a personal chat and she just said to me, "This work is wonderful isn't it? You are serving the Lord with your whole heart, and feeling the wonderful joy of bringing others closer to Christ. Do you love this work?" I melted in my tears in that sunlight. I can never forget that moment. I answered her whole heartedly yes and told her that she is an amazing, amazing woman.

We read a wonderful scripture that ties in my last like...50 personal studies with the Book of Mormon. It's in Alma 29: 3-5 and it says:

3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.

5 Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.

It's all our desires. What we desire, is who we really are :)


Elder Mayne

Monday, April 13, 2015

Letter #90 - There Is ALWAYS Happiness Around Us

This week was wild, as it always is (I literally yawned when I typed that haha. I promise it was)

To start off... We set a baptismal date with Rosina!!!!!! She is being baptized on the 25th of April. This lady is amazing and I want to tell you why:

We had a funeral for a member this past week, and it was very humbling. The Spirit there was very strong and you could just feel the love in the room. It was interesting though, because as I was sitting there, I just felt, I knew, that this wasn't the end. I sat there as the talks were talked and the songs played, and there was a baby a couple rows ahead and I just had a testimony of that I really know that the Plan of Salvation is real. That we are here to experience, and learn and to grow, and to recieve a body. And also, to have joy. :)

At the end, we turned around because we were planning on having a lesson with Rosina, and she was sitting in the back in her wheelchair and just smiled at us. We went and talked to her and she told us that she didn't want to miss the lesson, so she came a little early, and someone let her in, so she took part of the funeral. She then just explained to us how she could feel the presence of her parents there and also the lady who the funeral was for, and how she felt as well that there wasn't a reason to feel sad, because she was in a good place. It was perfect, because we wanted to talk about the Plan of Salvation, so we just jumped right into it, and it was a fantastic lesson, on a couple benches in the chapel. At the end of the lesson, we talked a little bit more about our purpose and why we are here and she is so amazing, she literally just wants to help and serve everyone. And then she explained to us that she felt like SHE wasn't something special, and just wished she could give her life for the sake of others. We explained to her, that there is someone that already has done that, Jesus Christ, and that if we follow Him the best we can, that is enough. And we asked her to be baptized. :) She accepted and told us that she felt like she has been on a search, and has felt she finally has found it. The thing every missionary wants to hear, it was a miracle :)

Another miracle that happened was our appointment with Luis (from the Spanish branch). He is so amazing and luckily knows perfect German, so I can talk to him as well. But he is such a good guy with an amazing heart. We came to the lesson, not knowing exactly what to say, despite our preparations, so we were saying some faithful prayers. But as we asked him how he liked General Conference and what not, he said a friend emailed him a link of one of the talks from Elder Uchtdorf and about the experiment with the little kids and the marshmallows (one of my favorites). We were like...uh that wasn't this year... And he was like "doch!" and then looked it up and found out it wasn't, and then explained to us that is was EXACTLY what he needed, that he needed to be more patient and willing to follow and wait for an answer and it was a miracle :) We told him that that was God talking specifically to Him. And now that he KNOWS he can recieve personal revelation, that personal foundation of a testimony is going to come so quickly and easy. It was such a great answers to our prayers :)

Other than that, we had our first barbecue of the summer (almost here) with the young single adults which was sweet, had a wonderful time with an awesome member, Eduardo, in the spanish branch, and then did some service with those classy "helping hands" yellow t-shirts's (literally cleared out a forest and then burnt it and roasted some Leberkäse on it :))

OH AND THE BEST (not really.... everyday is the best :)) PART OF THE WEEK: GOING TO THE TEMPLE!!! Such a great time and got a lot of questions answered AND I SAW MY FEUCHT HOMIES!!!!! Samuel ran up to me and we hugged for about 5 min :) it was probably one of the most touching moments of my mission.

Life is great. I testify that missionary work makes people happy. You want happiness? Go bring someone closer to Christ. Then you will receive a joy you never have felt before.



Elder Mayne

P.S. SVU is official!! I'm all registared and ready to go kick it!