Monday, January 26, 2015

Letter #79 - Into a World I Never Knew

As a missionary, I have had so many opportunties to grow, to experience things, and really see what life is like outside of the "bubble." Elder Brown asked me a great question this week: "What is the purpose of a mission? For us?" Obviously, I blurted out the Missionary Purpose in Preach my Gospel: "[To bring others closer to] Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." But he really asked was, "What does a mission do, for us?" I thought about it for a couple days. I thought, we get to experience first hand what it means to live after the gospel of Jesus Christ, and what it doesn't. The gospel can be an anchor in your life, and can give you some direction.

This week, was absolutely a wave of emotion. A great sister in our Zone went home due to medical issues. A family that has a son with a skin condition wanted us to heal him right then and there, and the mom is worried sick. We met with a guy that because of the goverment, and all the hard things in his life, he has closed off his heart and won't accept anything other than the world is crazy and there is no God. Then finally, we helped our friend, and recent convert, Tony with a letter he received saying that they want to kick him out of Germany.

I'm a 19 year old who never thought life was bigger than high school, thought longboarding and girls were the most important things, and that McDonalds and Betos breakfast burritos are really the only things that people need in life. So, as you can imagine, when I have these experiences, these amazing growing points in my life, I kind of have to take a step back and say: "Wow. Is this really going on?"

Then, I put both feet in and think of the words of my missionary call letter:
"Greater Blessings and more Happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayfully serve the Lord in this Labor of love among His children."

I realized that even though I'm thrown into a world that I have never before tasted or felt, I can relate to these people. I can love them.

I have noticed that often in the scriptures, when the people are being taught a gospel lesson or principle, it is only understood or applied when the heart is involved. I recently have been studying about Peter and wondering what made him change. He was a different person during Christ's life and then after. I know that the Spirit sparked that change in him. It was the truth that Christ lives, that He is the Christ, and that we are to follow Him.

Another experience this week involved Prakash. He got back from his trip. We met with him and just read the Book of Mormon. The day had been hard,  and I wasn't doing so hot. He read me like a book. I didn't really want to talk about it, just read, testify, pray, and be done. Then after reading, we turned to Mosiah 21 (read it in the morning, one of my favorite chapters now). I explained to him that the Lord allows me to be humbled all the time. That I am not perfect, and I know I have weaknesses. So, when I am going through a trial, I have to decide whether or not to stay on the right course and allow myself to be humbled, or to fight it off and just say, "I'm having a bad day, leave me alone." As I told him this, the spirit testified to him the importance of being humble. He said that was exactly what he needed. It was a really, really cool and even a more humbling moment.

My thoughts are jumbled. Life has its ups and downs. But in this "Labor of Love," I couldn't be more grateful to be the Lord's servant and be out here serving His children.

Love you all!! Have a great, fantastic week and lemme know if you need anything. Oh, and pics are gonna come next week. Elder Brown has the best ones and I didn't bring my camera with me. :) Oops. Bye!!!

Lots of Love,
Elder Mayne

Monday, January 19, 2015

Letter #78 - The best things are the the gifts from God

My family and friends, 

Lemme just say, MIRACLES happen because of FAITH.  And good things, GREAT things, never end. Especially when all the sisters go home in your group, and you're just wandering around wondering what you are doing.  Then, an email pops up and you're like "oh ya, 21st century." :) This week was terribly sad saying goodbye to all the sisters that came out in my MTC group.  Elder Brown and I were lamenting on how its just so weird. So to counter act this feeling, we set some great and fantastic goals for the up coming transfer:

- We want 100 lessons
- We are waking up at 5:45 every morning and going to the church gym and either doing 
insanity or basketball/wrestling
- We are speaking German all the time because, well, we are in Germany :)

I know that the Lord saw my efforts of wanting to become something. This Sunday, was a MIRACLE Sunday. It literally was insane. I don't think I sat down for more than 10 min the entire meeting. We had a total of 7 investigators at church, and other members brought friends as well!  It just felt like everyone wanted to talk to us and introduce us to the friend they brought.  My face was literally beaming because it was so AMAZING. 

We also met with Prakash this week and had a great talk. We have taught him all the lessons. He is following all commitments, and we honestly felt like we were running out of things to teach him. We listened to the talk by Elder Holland, "Remember Lot's Wife," and it struck him hard. We talked about baptism. The spirit was so strong, and you could feel it.  But he fought with it, and just said "I need more time. Just give me time."  I think that's the hardest thing to see, and feel in my heart, when someone I honestly care about rejects what the spirit says to him.  You feel that rejection a little deep.  We know that by the end of this transfer, he will be baptized and it's just a matter of waiting. :) 

As for other news, we cleaned up our apartment and made it look amazing. I am on the rebound of the sickness, but got everyone else in the zone sick... so oops. :) But really, life is great. We were doing numbers yesterday evening (Zone Leaders collect the weekly numbers from everyone in the Zone and then send it to the APs), and we had on in the background the new CES devotional from Randall L. Ridd. I was only half listening kinda, and then something stuck out to me. He talked about how we see people who accomplish great things, for example olympic athletes.  They win a medal and we see them and say, "Hey! I want to do the same."  And then we go about thinking that tomorrow, without changing anything in our schedule, we are going to produce some results. But that's not the case. When we want to achieve results that we never have before, we are going to have to do something we have never done. And its done by the simple things. We don't see the day to day things that the olympian had to do in order to achieve that marvelous goal. I think that's why Satan tries so HARD to just get us to stop doing the very small things, because we don't see the impact until later, when its harder to get back to start one.  So, I have committed myself, to do the small things. To call upon the Lord daily for help, and to tell him that I need His help everyday in order to do so. 

And that's my big thought for today. :) I love you all and I hope, you feel my love for ya'll because I must say, that the people that are most important in life, YOU, I keep close to my heart.  I hope ya'll know that. :) There's my caring moment for the week too. ICH LIEBE EUCH [I LOVE YOU]!!!

LG, Elder Mayne


 The sisters in our Zone that left :)

Beautiful Germany

Monday, January 12, 2015

Letter #77 - The quarze Bericht [The quartz crystals report?]

So, considering that I just updated you on about a week and a half last time, and now it's been only about 4 days since that happened... Haha. I'll update you on the little things that happened, and just how GREAT errday really is. It is always jammed packed with miracles and awesome times.

IDK if that made sense. I'm super tired right now, and it's dark and dreary outside. So... bear with me peeps. :)

Friday was great. Got to go on a split with one of my best buds on the mission - Elder von Wallwitz. That Brazilian guy is awesome. Ha. We got a lot done and had fun. He was super excited because they were having a baptism the next day, and it's the first one the ward has had in about 1 and a half years. So, it's great to see him so giddy and happy. :)

Saturday was really, one of my happiest days on the mission. I LOVE being a Zone Leader. When you see the Zone members happy and having success, there really isn't a better feeling. There was another baptism in the morning for the Mannheim Sisters in the Mannheim ward, which was really great. Then, the baptism with Elder von Wallwitz and Elder King in the Speyer ward. It was just great to: 1- See the fruits of the hard work of the elders and sisters, and 2- See the faces of those being baptized as they came out of the water, and felt clean again. I'm telling ya, missions are just chalked FULL of experiences that make a change inside of you.

Really cool experience at the 2nd baptism. They asked one of their investigators who only speaks Romanian give the closing prayer. This guy is amazing. He has been in some really hostile environments, and really is homeless. As he got up there and prayed, I couldn't understand a word he was sayin. But I could tell, he was talking to God. He prayed with his whole heart, and I could tell that that this guy gave his heart to the Lord. The Lord has made him humble and through that, has brought him to His church. He'll be baptized on the 24 of January. So, I'll keep ya'll updated. :)

Life. Ah, it's terrible to see people you care about, and grow so close to, leave and go away. ;( This Sunday was Sister Lyons last Sunday, and sadly, she will be going back to Colorado because she is done with her mission! It's crazy to think that Elder Brown, Sister Lyons, and I were all in the same MTC group. Now our sisters are going home, and we only have this short time left. Sister Lyons has really been there for me, thick and thin. We served in the same area for 5 transfers in our mission (Feucht and Heidelberg), and she is one of my best buds. So shout out to her. :)

BUT on another note, our Ward Mission Leader and his wife, Brian and Jessie, are back from the states. We had an AWESOME time with them yesterday, and I just love them so much. I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE! When I meet someone and care about them, I can't and won't forget about them. You take a chunk outta my heart. It's like a horcrux. ;) You're something special.

So really, this letter is kinda just me rambling on how blessed I am to be where I am, to have such great friends here on the mission and at home and other places in the world, and how every single one has had a specific impact on me. I love my mission with all my heart. These last 6 [7?] months, I'm gonna be kickin' it, and be dead by the time my time rolls around. :) I love the change and opportunity the Atonement gives us, to be able to change and repent daily. :) This is His work, and I am His servant. :)

Love you all. :) And Happy Hanukkah. ;)

Elder Mayne

 Tony's Baptism!!!

 Me, Tony, and Elder Brown.

 Me at the temple, with the classic pic. :)

We (I) locked our keys in the church, 
and one of the windows was tipped open, 
so we opened it with vines from the wall right next to it. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015


What a wonderful two weeks. I am going to have to sum up about all that happened into about, well a sentence. And it is: I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. I KNOW this. And my heart sings because of it.

Lemme update you on what has happened in these last two weeks. Today was amazing. Went to the temple with the Heidelberg Fam and it was just a wonderful spiritual upliftment. :)

TONY GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was so amazing! This last week, we met with him almost every day. He passed his interview on Wednesday, and got getauft [baptized] on Saturday. What a crazy week, lemme tell ya. He was so happy. This feeling of seeing someone that you have come to love, make a change after learning about the gospel, and then see him follow in the footsteps of Christ, changes something inside of you.

A lot of crazy stuff happened the night before his baptism, as Satan always tries to do before spiritual experiences (and after). BUT as we got out of the water and were changing, I just asked him, "Do you feel like you made the right decision?" I could just see this look in his eye as he turned to me and said, "Totally, man". It was great. Wonderful, wonderful experience.

New years eve (seems like an eternity ago) - AWESOME. I am pretty sure Americans don't know how New Year's Eve and fireworks coincide until they come to Europe/Germany. HOLY COW. Like my brotha' Tay said about Norway - literally looks like, sounds like, and smells like someone is bombing the city. Sadly, we had to be inside by 6pm. So, we were chilling outside of our window. We found that even in the little town we lived in, our neighbors went cray. :) We on the other hand, did some insanity... we built a closet from Ikea, and made some great New Year's resolutions.

Next day, we had Zone training. So tired. The sickness was getting to me. Throat totally killing, had a fever, and everything. Wore some nice plastic gloves for a little bit of the time because I didn't want to get our Zone krank. Luckily, we have a mission nurse that is really my grandma, and we are good buds. So, she took care of me good. We went on a split the next day, with Elder Rodgers in Karlsruhe. The mission nurse, told me to stay in the apartment. Ha. We stayed home for a little, and I cleaned their apartment... The nurse didn't say WHAT I had to do... It was a good time. :)

Ah, MIRACLE story. They seem to pop up all the time. I always wonder why I am able to be here, at this time in my life, to experience the Lord hastening of His work. We get this call, and an investigator from Darmstadt, Prakash is his name (Indian dude :)), has moved to Heidelberg and the Darmstadt Elders were handing him off to us. He is a rock star! We have met with him everyday, loves computers, and LOVES the gospel. He loves prayer. Had a wonderful, wonderful meeting with him and he said he knows he needs and should be baptized. He just wants to take some time to settle in, and get used to Heidelberg. This man has been sleeping with his coat and hasn't had a blanket since he has been here... So, we totally understood that. :) But wow... I really love MIRACLES.

Another side note, the american family the TAYLORS - best family ever. Love their little kid named Bear (pictures coming). We hung out with them on New Years eve, had a buffet of Chinese food, and opened our fortune cookies with one hand (Taylor family tradition). My fortune said something great will happen to me in 5 days (so last Monday). Elder Brown's said he has a voice of an angel. I got sick on Monday, and well... Elder Brown's fortune is going to come true someday. ;)

One of my goals this year, is to testify everyday. I can see the wonderful fruits that come from it. I see the effect on others and on myself.  I have made a really extensive plan of who I am going to become, what the Lord wants me to achieve, and what I want to accomplish.

The biggest thought on my mind at the moment, after just coming from the temple, is about the relationship between Christ and Heavenly Father. I thought about some of the great families in the ward. There are great examples of fatherhood. I thought about the feeling of seeing your child succeed, seeing him do what you tell him to do, and watching him grow. The love of a father, a mother, a parent, to a child, is something divine. I know that when we do what our Heavenly Father beckons us to do, we will be the happiest we could ever be. I offer these personal questions: "Are you doing what your Father would have you do?" "What blessings have you seen in your life?" I love my family. I love this gospel, and I love doing the Lord's work. :) Have a great week ya'll!!


P.S... I'm gonna answer back a bunch of emails when I have more time on Monday. :) Still givin' the love. I'll send pics of the baptism on Monday. :)