Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter #57 - And bake, and bake, and bake, and bake and walk AND trains........ :)

This week basically consisted of an AMAZING Conference, traveling, wonderful missionaries, another birthday party, and well, the Spirit of Thankfulness.  

Lets start, eh?

SO, after a p-day spent in good ol' Werdau on Dienstag, we went to Jena to have a split with the Zone Leaders. I stayed in Jena with Elder Watts, while Elder Hawker and Elder Shelley went back to Werdau. I love Jena. It's a wonderful student town. The church is a rented out apartment building above a bakery, and talking to students is one of my favorite things. Elder Watts, from Syracuse, is just a straight up homie. He goes home after the next transfer. So, I am glad we got to get to know each other, and tear it up. #shoutout. Anyway, it was a great time running around and just talking to people, and what not. Missionary day, but walking around with class, and seeing awesome people. :)

THEN we get a call, almost at planning. It's Elder Hawker, saying that He and Elder Shelley got home just barely, at 9 o'clock. They left from Jena at 3:00. Yikes. They took several wrong trains, and then finally got home. :) Maybe I chuckled a little bit. Just glad they got home. :)

The next day, Elder Watts and I taught someone, and then we all split back. We then stayed in Jena, to play soccer with a bunch of potentials. It was on a legit sized field, with mountains in the background. Ha. Super fun. Elder Shelley is dang good, and i realized that I am in decent shape. The Jena Elders got a phone number from one of the guys. :) All around good. :)

THEN (it makes it more intense if i use THEN at the beginning of the paragraph), we all ran home, packed all of our stuff, and ran to Bahnhof to catch a train to Erfurt. We would all be sleeping over in Erfurt because we had to catch a train at 6 am to Frankfurt. As we got there, we found out that Elder Watts forgot his shoes. So the Zone Leaders stayed, while Elder Shelley and I went on to Erfurt.

Erfurt... gorgeous. Arrived there during the night, and it was just absolutely gorgeous. The Elder's apartment is right in the middle of the city. So, for part of the night I just sat looking outside the window, and watched the German people. It was fun to sleepover, 6 Elders in an apartment. Luckily, it was a nice apartment. The only pain, only 1 shower. Say hello to a 4 o'clock alarm, and pancakes at 4 am. :) We woke up, got on the train to Frankfurt, and ah, I just enjoyed every moment of it. I love the beauty of Germany.

FRANKFURT. Wow! I love conferences. We had the opportunity to have Elder and Sister Kearon speak to us. He is in the Presidency of the Quorum of the 70 (I think), and is over the Europe Area. I was just amazed at the revelation, the things that he talked about, and how my testimony sky rocketed. I think it was because of my preparation, by humbling myself, to prepare for this sermon. I could do my entire weekly on what I learned at this conference. I will say this: this conference, is a huge turning point in my life. I can't say it now, but what I learned, will change my life. I had the opportunity to express my thanks and just talk to him and his wife in between lunch and starting up again. I just can just say, I know he is serving with his whole heart out there. I am grateful for the leaders of our Church.

Now, adventure time. Hold on to your seat belts. Ha. Not really. We left the conference right after it ended. And well, we didn't make it home until midday the next day. :) We were traveling for 6 hours. Then, we left the ticket on the train. So, we had to sleep over at another Elder's apartment, and then wake up to catch an early train from Weimar to Werdau. Ha ha. Quite the adventure. But I can say, that when you are on trains, there are plenty of people to talk to about about the Gospel, since they can't escape you. :)

THEN!! :) Our Branch President´s wife had a birthday. She is one amazing person. We found out that she was doing all the work herself! Making the food, setting up the church and decorations, and everything! So, I totally thought of mom, and said, "uh uh." I decided to butt in, and do what we could. Ha. We made carrot cake, made brownies, helped set up and take down, wrote a note, alles möglich (everything is possible). She appreciated it, almost to tears. It was really quite great. I love this Familie. I am glad my mom and dad taught me how to serve others. :)

OH, and we got 2 new investigators on a referral from a part member Familie. I love it, and I love them. It's going to be awesome. :)

This letter is a novel. I am sorry. Ha. I could make it so much longer is the problem. :) The last things I want to end with, were said by our beloved leaders, President Uchtdorf and Monson:

I have wept in the night
For the shortness of sight
That to somebody's need made me blind
But I never have yet
Felt a tinge of regret
For being a little too kind.

From Elder Uchtdorf: How many of us go through life, waiting for the rainbow, instead of thanking the Lord for the rain?

I am a servant of the Lord. I am here to bring others closer to Christ. I am like Nephi. I delight in the little things, and the simple things. It brings me joy to see my brothers and sisters come closer to Christ. :) Love you all.

Elder Mayne

Monday, August 18, 2014

Letter #56 - The greatest examples we have, are those with faith and a vision.

I honestly don't know why that is the title this week. I love being a missionary, and I just sang that tune in my head. So, I just thought it sounded good. :) As the weeks go by, they seem to be on a plane or a sports car, and just FLY by. It's incredible how time can fly so amazingly fast. This week, I'll talk about the special things that I really loved, and the miracles that stuck out.

Which I do every week, but hey, THIS week, was cool. :)

So I am formulating this opinion that everyone in Germany, in the month of August and end of July, decides to go on vacation. They probably all get together and decide this. But sufficieth to say, sooooo many people are gone during these two months, and it hasn't been the easiest to get lessons. But, that doesn't get my hope down. Miracles proceed ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, and it's a wonderful experience to be right in the middle of them.

This week I was able to go on a split with Elder Taylor, the other Golden in Gera. What a smart kid! He already has really good German. He has the grammar down for the most part, and that is impressive in and of itself. We had the chance to go to a member's house, Schwester Barthel, and have lunch with her and her best bud Bruder Kosak. They have been friends since the 40's (they're old :)). I love These two members with all my heart. We had a great lunch. Then, as we started our spiritual thought, the conversation changed. It ended up with them telling us stories of the DDR, and then their conversion stories. They told us about how they survived, and how they would meet illegally in order to have church, and things like that. My heart was just blown away. These two had such amazing faith! To be baptized in a cave, knowing that if you were caught, you would have been killed. But, they wanted to do it because they wanted to follow Christ. It was so astounding to hear the stories from these two, if I may call them, Pioneers.

On Mittwoch we had a great District Meeting. The Zone Leaders were there, and the Senior couple. We went around the circle, and everyone told us why they were serving. Really cool to hear everyone's story. I love being surrounded by such amazing people.

Donnerstag was really great. I was just on fire that day. I was just talking to everyone, and everyone wanted to talk to me (I mean this in a two person context of course :)). I was just Walking around Werdau smiling at people, and wondering who needed a little sunshine in their life today. We had some fantastic talks with some great people. Then, we had the impression to brings some cookies to one of our investigators. We have tried to get back in contact with him, but it has been awhile. So we stopped by, but no one was home. So, we just went on throughout the day. Then at English class, he showed up (Georg). He said that they came home from vacation today. It was about an hour in between when we showed up, and he got home. Ha. It was so cool! We talked to him for a little, and sadly, he has another week of vacation planned. But it was great timing, and glad we acted on that prompting.

Saturday, the miracle, was my mom teaching me how to throw together a party, and Student Council teaching me how to do one. :) Ha. It was Elder Taylor's birthday. So, we made cake, set up the apartment, and made a party. I'm Elder Mayne, and I like to party. :) It was great to see the surprise on that kid's face.

Sonntag, as usual, was fantastic. What made it great though, was Elder Shelley giving a talk. He totally ROCKED it. We got the invitation on Tuesday, and we prepared for it throughout the entire week. It was absolutely awesome. He did great, and I must say, I was a proud father. :) This week was absolutely awesome.

The thing that stood out to me this week, was I read a lot of "Our Heritage." I must say that the ball baby, that runs in my family, came out. I was crying at parts of reading about the beginnings of the Church. I wish I was there, standing in that building, with those 30 men who declared that this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, would reach nations and be in avaliable to everyone in their own language. I cannot believe, the amazing faith that These Saints had. They gave up everything they owned. They were kicked out and thrown out. They were willing to sacrifice every piece of land, clothing, and wealth, to follow a Prophet of God. They were willing to follow the way Christ has shown. Can we follow their examples? Do we have that kind of faith? Do we believe in our future, and have a vision for ourselves? I know that I cannot muster the gratitude in words, for the Saints who walked and established Zion. But I can show it in deed, in doing my best to live this Gospel, and in sharing it with others. That's why I am out here. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love with my HERZ,

Elder Mayne

 Good old Werdau (One of the pretty places :)).

 The b-day party with a s/o to Elder Checketts.

Us being fly with a bow tie so we don't get food on it. :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Letter #55 - Making the Moments Matter

Every week is just AWESOME. No matter what goes on, there's always things that happen that make life interesting:

1-Days aren't always what you feel they are going to be.
2-Miracles and missionary work are the same thing. So are awkward moments.
3-When you love, you can't help but love everything else.
4-FOOD is a must.

This week, was a rewarding week and made me grow a lot. I realized that being a "Dad" really is so AWESOME and so tiring at the same time. I love Elder Shelley. He is such a great missionary. We get along really well, and just do work. :) This week, I had a talk in our District Meeting about doing morgen sport every morning like it says in the White handbook. I love doing morgen sport, and so I was happy to give the talk. But to make it a little more interesting, we made a little video. We were jamming out to some Lindsey Sterling, making a cake (that we brought to Distrikt Meeting) all while working out. I must say, I even impressed myself. :) I'll have to figure out some way to send it.

WE GOT A NEW INVESTIGATOR! His name is Marcus. He is a super cool guy. He showed up to our awesome English class about 2 weeks ago. He is studying English at the University. But, he wants to learn to speak better English, and not just the business stuff. So we have been meeting with him 3 times a week. To help him practice his English, we make him read out of Liahonas and talk to us in English. :) We gave him a Buch Mormon and asked him to read a couple pages before we met with him later in the week. He read and understood most of it.  We only had to explain a little. Then, since we have just been surrounding him in basically the entire church, we asked him if he would like to take the lessons. He said YES! He is going on a trip this week, but next week we will meet with him. This guy is AWESOME! :)

Our English class rocks, right? Right. This week, we had a good time with our English class people. They have been coming for over 5 years. Ha, and they just like to Chat with us and practice English. Some of them have been investigating the church, some not. But, it has been awesome. We asked everyone to share an embarrassing experience and a favorite childhood Memory. It was great. :) Ha. My Story of the experience with Mr Caveman will always be a classic. :)

Our English class is really well known actually. We were in Crimmitschau, the town right next to us, trying to find a park to play in... but to no avail. We walked EVERYWHERE. So after this adventure, I didn't want to just give up. Uh uh. So, I went into a bakery to let Elder Shelley have a taste of food from a real German bakery. Plus, I was hungry. I talked to this lady and told her we were from America. Apparently, her husband used to attend our English course! We told her that he was totally welcome to come again. It was just really cool that we found someone all the way out there, who had gone to our English class before. :)

This week was just great. I just rejoice in the simple things. Being a Trainer, at the beginning, is a Little stressful. You have to do a lot. Basically, you have to take over the area, which is quite the challenge sometimes. But, I thought back to one of my favorite scriptures, Mosiah 3:19. That is the biggest battle that we are fighting here on the earth - the natural man. I know, without a DOUBT, that when we let the natural man take over our thoughts and actions, the false happiness we think we want, isn't what God wants. By putting off the natural man and becoming a Saint, like Elder Bednar said, through the Atonement of Christ, we will find true happiness. It will bring true miracles. It will let us see challenges and tests in our lives, as opportunities to grow. It will let us see the good in everyone. It will let us see, just how important it is to be humble, Christlike, charitable, and faithful. In a world that is ever spiraling downward, there needs to be those of us who keep it up. Have a great week! I LOVE YOU ALL, AND I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Elder Mayne

Monday, August 4, 2014

Letter #54 - I have declared for myself, a dependant

I HAVE A SOHN!!!! Lemme tell you about him:

Elder Brendan Shelley
From: Elko Nevada
Hair: Dark orange
Family: 3rd oldest of 8
Age: 19
Talents: Being awesome, soccer, and crackin' jokes

So I am officially a father. :) I love it. I went down on Tuesday to Gera, slept overnight with the Elders there, and then we (Elder Wright is training too) traveled to Frankfurt to the Mission Office. We had a meeting, slept in the hotel here, and then pick up our Golden's the next morning. We ended up arriving in Frankfurt 3 hours before the meeting for all the Trainers... So, Elder Wright and I got to talk to the missionaries, and I had a good time talking to the President and his wife. I spent a lot of time with Elder Emery and Elder Lindsey, some of my good friends on the mission and from the home land.

At the Trainers Meeting, I got to see a lot of my MTC buddies who were training also: Elders Nelson and Boam, and Sisters McMurray and Teeples. I love these missionaries to death. I knew a lot of the Elders there, and I am just SO HAPPY to meet so many amazing soldiers in God's Army.

3 claps for missionaries.

Anyway, after that we got to go to the hotel, where I slept my first day here in Germany. WOW! It was totally a flashback. It really hit me. It has totally been one entire year. As Elder Boam, Nelson, and I were standing outside the hotel looking at all the cars go past, we remembered when we did that the first time. We were exclaiming, "Wow, so many Audis and BMWs... and now, oh wow, a truck!" It's amazing, just really, how far I've come (that was a bad example, but ya :)). The next day, I met Elder Shelley! What a great guy. We hit it right off the bat as we took our 5 and half hour train ride home. :) We talked to some people on the way. I maybe accidentally broke his luggage. It's ok now... hopefully. I fell on the handle. Bad trains. :) But lemme just tell you about the cool things we have seen ALREADY since he has been here...

We are just excited. We are happy, and we believe. I love it. :) We had our English Class, and are going to get a new investigator out of it, which is AWESOME. Something that is really cool, is how much I have learned to love service. I made a vow to just do little things for him everyday, and it's great. We went contacting the other day, and it was all about the little things. We helped someone into the train, gave someone money that they dropped, etc., etc. I just LOVE service. The best feeling is seeing that person's burden being lifted, and leaving them happier than they were before. That is what makes me keep going everyday. I am so grateful that the Lord trusts me with that.

I honestly believe that everything we go through, is for a reason. This may sound weird, but I cant WAIT to be a real father. Training, like Bro. Bird told me, is totally like fatherhood (as if I would know). But, it really is cool, when all you care about, is him. Making sure that He is ok, and that he has a great beginning to his mission. I want him to learn how much the Lord loves him. I just think about how much OUR Father in Heaven loves us perfectly. How much patience he has with us. How he is a perfect teacher, a perfect example, a perfect father. I love the Lord, and I love to serve. :) 3 cheers for this next transfer. :) Have a great week!!!

Elder Mayne

 Elder Shelley and I with the President and his wife.

 Sister Miller is going home...

 My Golden group with our Goldens. :)

Me and Elder Shelley, swag look.