Monday, October 27, 2014

Letter #66 - BYE BYE

That was the common saying in my ward this week, because: 1- I am being transferred, and 2- No idea why they were saying it in English. But, I really liked a bunch of 70yr old men with a German accent saying "bye bye."

Sadly, I am being transferred and have to leave Werdau. I am being transferred to Heidelberg, one of the prettiest cities in Germany, and I got called to be a Zone Leader! It is a total change, but my favorite motto keeps poppin' into my head: "Adventure is OUT THERE!!" I really am so excited. Elder Brown from my MTC group is my new comp, and it'll be really great to work with him.

As for this week, I just want to say, it was a special week. :) I'll give an account of the experience that made the entire week... We had an appointment with Katrine on Donnerstag and we wanted to meet at the church so that we could have a spiritual atmosphere and show her the church. We just figured that everything would be better. :) So, she shows up with her grandson Paul. We start giving the tour, but Paul is getting a little anxious and wants some attention. So, I left Katrine with Elder Shelley and our member, and gave Paul his own personal tour of the baptismal font, the chapel, the primary rooms, pictures of Jesus and explaining who he is and why He is important, and then ended with a nice Pictionary game on the blackboard (sounds like a long time, but it was only 10 min). Then after Katrine finished her tour too, we had planned to watch the Joseph movie, the 20 min version and have a lesson. So, we went and watched the movie and the spirit, was kinda just like filling up a pool. As the movie went on, the spirit just kept filling up and up. After the movie ended, we just sat for a moment and she was just staring at the TV. I asked her what she felt after watching the movie.  She tried to talk, and then just burst into tears. Uncontrollable, and just sobbing. We sat there, wondering what we should do, and I was trying to make eye contact with Elder Shelley to make him rub her shoulder, or something. But after she finally got back, she just sat there in silence as little tears kept coming. The spirit was absolutely in the deep end. It was flooding out the doors, and it was sometimes hard not to cry yourself. We sat there for a moment, and then I testified that this is the Holy Ghost speaking to her, and He testifies of truth. She then said that she has never felt this way before, and that man goes through life, living so much, and questioning so much. Then she started to cry again. I asked her if she believes that she has found the way. She said yes. Then we asked her to be baptized, and again she said yes, but that she needs some time. We reassured her that this is the way, and that we'll be guides along this path that she has found, and that it will bring her ultimate happiness. I was one of the most rewarding, cleansing, beautiful experiences of my life.

On Sunday, well, it was super hard to say goodbye to the family that I now have in Werdau. I really love all these people, and they mean the world to me. I have never gotten so many hugs, and I never really have been thanked so much. I really, didn't know how much of an impact I made, until this day. I really just wanted to make sure these people knew that, in this labor of love, I am serving them with all my heart, and wish them all the best. Werdau will be a very special place for me. I have never gone through harder times in my life. But it's because of the constant, outward reaching towards the Savior and His Atonement, that I did not shrink. That instead of turning inward, I asked the simple question: "Who can I touch because of what I am going through?" We are never left alone, and that path we are on, was walked on before by the Savior of the World. I know He lives. I know that He has made me into someone I could never have dreamed of, and I thank Him forever.

Have a great week ya'll. Love you in bunches. ;)

Elder Mayne

The best family ever: Bauerfiends. 
Told me to come back and hang with them so we can do stuff I can't do now on a mission. :)

I totally don't know about the other pics #badmemory. :)

[I guess somethings haven't changed. :-)]

Monday, October 20, 2014

Letter #65 - I GOT THE POWER

This week has been a great week. A great testing week. As I learned the news about my dad, it hit me hard at first. I was worried about him. Then, a second thought came into my mind. I needed to work a ton harder this week so he can receive the blessings. :) And well, it helped a lot. I felt a lot of prayers, and the power from them. I want to thank all of you that prayed for my family and me. :) And so, the week...

We had a jam session. I jammed out on my uke, and got to have some richtig [proper] mexican food at the older couple's apartment for dinner. :) It was great.

AWESOME day. I loved it so much, because we planned for 3 hours of contacting, door to door. But this time we switched it up. We got into some dienst [service] clothes and went around asking people if we could shovel their leaves and clean their gardens. Germans don't like having someone point out how dirty or bad they are, so we didn't have a lot of success. Until we came to this one house, and this 15 year old girl answers (we were on the street). I'll give you the context of what went down:

Girl: What do you want?
Me: Hi! We are wondering if we can rake your leaves?
*awkward pause*
Girl: Do you want anything?
Me: No! We just want to rake your leaves.
*flashes smile*
Girl: Ok then, go ahead.
*awkward pause*
Girl: I said go ahead!
*shuts door*

Ha. It was so awkward. But, we got to rake, do service, talk to the girl a little bit more, tell her who we were, give her a card, ask her to tell her parents about us and that we can come rake some more leaves another time. :) Ha. I LOVE service.

Had our Distrikt Meeting. Then, we met with Sch. Dörtliz again for lunch (love her). But, we TOTALLY forgot that today there was a strike going on with the trains, and that they wouldn't be running until 4 am the next morning... #momentofpanic. We had our ward BOWLING Night later, so obviously we couldn't miss it. So in this scenario, you obviously turn to your trusty English class that loves you, and will do anything for you. So, we called our friend Marcus, and he picked us up from Gera. We arrived at the Bowling Night right on time. I now realize that the Lord likes to humble us by showing us our weaknesses. And, I realized why I've never been on a bowling date. I stink. Ha. But it was super fun. None of the people we invited, other than Marcus, showed up. But we still had a good time with the ward, and I liked smack talking to our Branch President (who got a 220). Great day.

English GaloRe (did that 'R' purposefully). We taught English for 4 hours straight, with only a 30 min break in between. Sadly, no one came to the last one, other than Marcus (it's unusual for everyone to be too busy). We had a talk with Marcus about what's going on in the world and how crazy it seems. I had prayed that morning, that we would have an opportunity to bear our testimonies. When he talked about all that was going on, it sounded so sad, dismal, and caotic. I just said to him, that I am so grateful, that this church has given us knowledge, that we are something, and that we don't have to look to the world, who is killing itself, to give us knowledge of our self-worth. We are worth something. It's right here, in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This day was great. We had a fest in Werdau, a pumpkin fest. Gottfried, from our English course, had a pumpkin that won, and was the star of the fest. It was awesome. We also met Georg and his family. Marcus was there, and we had an AWESOME time talking, chatting, and getting closer to them. It was a great time. I got to try a lot of different German food. I love Georg's wife, because she reminds me a lot of my mom. :) After this, I developed even more of a desire to see these people accept the gospel. I think that as I keep going, loving people, and having empathy for them, that I really just want to guide them to the path that will give them ultimate happiness, and eternal life. :)

Real good day. Nothin' too special other than cleaning out a ton of rabbit poop at a members house. I knew God blessed me with a stuffy nose that day. :) But, I loved it the entire time. The member fell on his bike and hurt his shoulder, and so it was a blessing that we could help him some more. :)

Something special that happened, Elder (former) Lietsalmi came with his Family! Not gonna lie, it was suuuuper weird to see that, but, it was great to see an old comp. The ward members loved it, and I am glad the Finlander is still doing good.

My testimony is strong and firm in the power of prayer. I'm learning to not always ask for blessings, but rather, to except God's eternal will for me, and have strength to endure. I know that when we try our hardest to recognize the blessings of our prayers, we will notice that our prayers never go unanswered. Our loving Heavenly Father, is always aware of our needs. Keep praying people. Keep doing it personally and as a family. Don't rationalize by saying you don't have time. When we take time out of our lives, to give it to the Lord, we will see the time He spends everyday, taking care of us.

Elder Mayne

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter #64 - Krankheit [sickness] isn't the end :)

Well, this week wasn't a week of awesomeness. It wasn't a week where amazing things happened. I had a wonderful opportunity to be sick, and just keep going strong. Then, I was forced by the members, on Sunday, to take a nice hot shower, sweat a lot, drink tea, and then nap. So...

I learned why I have this sickness. On Thursday night, I wasn't able to go to bed. I had so much phlegm that I had to sit by the tub and just spit... alllll night long. I know, gross. But, I was able to read a lot of the Book of Mormon that night, and I just felt by the spirit, very strongly, that this is the word of God. We ended up doing a split with the Gera Elders the next morning. I was hoping that we would be able to get a doctor's appointment, and I would get healed. Well, we ended up working in a garden for a member, which was great, for the entire day. We weren't able to accomplish everything else we had planned.

On Friday night, we had a member appointment in Gera with one of my favorite members, Schwester Dörtliz (I've talked about her before). We have a really good connection, and its always great to be there. Elder Wright (the one I was on the split with) gave the spiritual thought, closed it, and testified. But, I felt like I needed to say something. I got personal and told her about some of the challenges that we as missionaries go through. I talked about some of my personal challenges, and how Christ helps us all have hope. Well, after that, she totally opened up to us. She told us how she has been struggling lately, and has been having a really hard time. It was so amazing that she trusted us so much. You could see in her eyes the sincerity of how much she loved and appreciated us. She ended up asking us for a blessing, and I had the opportunity to give it. I was soooo scared because it was my first ever blessing in German. But it went fantastic, and I can't even remember what I had the chance to say. But, I felt the Love that God had for this amazing woman. I know that He is so mindful of us, and loves each and everyone of us.  It doesn't matter about our choices, or where we are on the path of righteousness. He still loves us.

I testify that Christ lives. That He was foreordained before the World was, to lay down His life, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, and to be that advocate to the Father that allows us to return to Him again. I believe in the Power of the Priesthood. It is the same power that He had. I know, that I am a Son of God. My wonderful friends and family, be YOU. Go out there everyday and see that everything has a purpose, and a right to be there. You have the opportunity to CHOOSE. Choose to be who your Heavenly Father wants you to be. This is my prayer. :)

Please also, wonderful readers (family, and friends that are considered family, and anyone who humbly comes across this :)) please pray for my dad. :) That is all I ask. :)


Much love, :)
Elder Mayne

This selfie of the helmet is for Alyssa. :)
I wear that helmet wit pride sista!! :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Letter #63 - Change is always there for us

Well hey, friends and family. Wasn't this weekend great?? I absolutely love the Prophet, and I am proud to say that I know that there is a living Prophet on the Earth today.

This letter is going to be a little different. I just want to talk heart to heart, and feelings to feelings. This week, was incredibly hard for me. Despite all the work that I did, I felt that on the receiving end, it wasn't exactly being received.

On Monday, I started to get a very sore throat, and I could barely manage to swallow anything. With that, I also had a little friend called "cankersoreonthebackofmytongue." It came and I had probably the worst breath in all of East Germany. I gave in. Satan was trying so hard to tempt me to just to give up. He was trying to break me, and he did. My thoughts were so hard to overcome, and I felt like a black rainy cloud walking around. As this was happening, I woke up with severe back pain. I could barely sit or walk for 5 min without a sharp pain coming in. At first I started to ask "WHY?" I was being obedient. I was starting off the week good. We had a good week planned. Blah, blah, blah. Still following those thoughts of Satan. Then I mentally had enough, and just said "stop!" I didn't want to dwell in this chamber where I felt like I wasn't controlling anything, and I wanted to be released. I needed to be released. On the day I had my back pain, we had to cancel an appointment with a member. I had to stay home the entire day. As I stayed home, I could have been super depressed, quit, and whined my little eyes out. But I didn't. I remembered the example of Elder Ballard when he talked to us. When he thinks he can't go anymore, he has a picture of Christ in his wallet. He looks at Him and remembers what He has done. So I made one for myself, and I got things done, even though I could have rested some more and what not. Being in the apartment for that long makes the hairs on my back stand up, and I get sooo jittery. But, I did not shrink. Before General Conference, I got a Priesthood blessing. In it, I was told that this is just a time, a test, that will pass by soon. It was here to help me remember the Savior, and what He did for us. I know he suffered, so I could be saved. I know, that he has felt EXACTLY what I am feeling, and what I haven't felt yet, just so I don't have to walk this path alone.

General Conference was amazing. The biggest things that I got out of it were that we are accountable, for who WE are. We choose to follow the Savior. We choose which road we want to walk on. If we build our life on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we will be the happiest we can ever be. We will not fail. We will always, always have hope. Decisions determine destiny. No matter where we are on the path of discipleship, or obedience, we are never alone. Let us forget ourselves, and serve others. Let us rejoice in the small things, and be an example to the believers. I know that this is the way for me, and I will testify that Jesus is the Christ 'til I rest in my grave. He lives and I am His servant.

LG [Life's Good],
Elder Mayne

 The Distrikt CD 3 ;)

 We made bunk beds.... really, really tall ones. :)

My boy Elder Boyd from Canada