Monday, April 27, 2015

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

Rosina.

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

Wednesday:

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 :)

LOVE YOU!! HAVE A SICK WEEK!

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 Leberk├Ąse 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.

#happinessrollininHD

LOVE YA'LL

Elder Mayne

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




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Letter #89 - Der Tag Unsere Befreiung (The Day of Our Liberation)

Happy Easter everyone!! Hope you had an Easter filled with chocolate, Jesus, Prophets, and Peeps (oh my). This Easter for me in Germany was a special one and I wanted it to be, since it's the last one, so I am so glad I took the time to prepare.

This week all led up to a marvelous weekend. The highlight was going on a split with the Golden Elder Klingler. He is a great elder and is serving in Speyer, and so he came up with me and Elder von Wallwitz went back to his old area.

BUT WAIT!

The Week started off barfy (ha.. ha...) because Elder von Wallwitz literally was barfing all over the place. We had a sweet P-day planned to go hang out with the awesome Jesse McDeezy (a member in the ward from America), but as we were doing emails, Elder VW felt sick. When we were getting ready to go, he said he really didn't feel good, so we decided to stay home. He threw up, had some major chills, and didn't feel well at all. So I went into "Doctor Mayne" mode and started doing all that I could, cleaned everything, and washed my hands and stuff a billion times so I wouldn't get sick :) Momma taught me well, nah? He felt like that for a couple of days, and luckily we still got to have a couple of appointments, but other than that I filled my time with lots of study and catchin up on journal writing. :)

Back to the split though. I love golden splits. I love goldens personably. They are so willing and try their very hardest, espcially at the language. But this split was arguably one of my favorite days of the transfer. I really got to see, the progress I have made, and also the amount of time that the Lord has put into me, to make me the missionary I have become. We first contacted two referrals. We met this kid named Michael who is 17 and wants to know the truth. And we taught him the first discussion and set an appointment. After we had a nice comp study, we then taught a great investigator Abbe and basically called him to repentence, and the Spirit was amazingly strong and powerful. At institute, one of the sweetest moments of my day occured. We were talking to these Spanish-speaking people (me in broken Spanish, them in broken German) and ended up taking pics together and are now Facebook friends. Wahoo :)

There is always food after institute, so we were about to eat when one of the members in the ward comes up to me and says that there is this lady in a wheelchair who is here to get a Bible. And I was like, ok we will find one, and does she know about the Book of Mormon? He just smiles and shrugs his shoulders and says "not yet" :) So I grab a Bible and Book of Mormon, and I meet this lady. This lady, Rosina, is a wonderful, wonderful lady. I couldn't talk to her for some reason while standing, so I just knelt right next to her and taught her the first discussion right in the hallway as people are running back and forth and it just felt like we were alone, in a little bubble, feeling the Spirit and truth. She has gone through so much in her life, and she is so positive. She just wants to become the best person she can, and she believes Christ is that example for her. She wants to go out everyday in her wheelchair, and just smile at people and make them happy, and that's her honest desire. It was such a sweet experience, and the Spirit there in that little moment, was so strong. I felt that true Christlike love in that moment, and I can't forget it :)

Now as to the wonderful spiritual feast that I partook of on Saturday, lemme tell you right before that, of our street display right AND transfer calls that happened. WELL, Im staying here in Heidelberg :) And with my good old pal Elder VW. So that means that I'll be here until I'm in the grave, which I'm very very happy about. BUT GUESS WHAT...WE ARE GETTING IPADS!! Elder Bednar is coming for an entire day seminar on the 24th of April and will introduce us to the "Digital Age" of missionary work. Amazing nah? Ive been waiting for this since like, my 2nd transfer and FINALLY the day has come. Pretty funny actually, because (just remembering) we had Zone training this Mittwoch, and we pulled an April Fool's prank and told everyone we are getting iPads.... haha so April Fool's joke still on!!! :)

Anyway, we had our street display where we were planning on having a projector, speakers, and the whole shibang playing "Because He Lives" in the middle of the Hauptstra├če and everyone would watch it.... haha so the only day that it didn't stop raining was Saturday... And our prayers were heard later. But ya know, I didn't give up trying. Elder von Wallwitz and I were like, "Heavenly Father, we planned this far in advance, we prepared everything we could, and we are going to go out there in faith, and do thy work." And that's what we did! And let me tell you, I don't think I've gotten so badly rejected before. So many people said, "No, I don't believe in Jesus," and just so much negativity. But I kept going. I can literally tell you I talked to so many people, and over 200 "no's" (not "unsuccesses") came to me. And so by the time we packed up everything, we were about to leave, Elder VW and I and a member, (I'll talk about him in a minute), we said we'd talk to a couple more people before we had to leave. Well, the very next person I talk to is a Muslim guy that actually wants to become Christian and learn about Jesus, and takes my card with such gratitude. Wow. I can tell you that was worth all the no's plus about a thousand more. It was a great way of Heavenly Father showing me His appreciation, and my faith in Him growing.

As for conference, it was a miracle filled time. It literally felt like every single talk had little bits and pieces that were specifically for me and to define my character and what I need to improve on. I love Genreal Conference and compare it literally to Christmas because that's what it feels like :) But we had about 7 investigators come to different sessions and it was great, because Elder VW and I would look at each other and just be like, "That investigator needed to hear that," and it happened over and over. Ah, I love conference. Also, President Frost, who is in the stake Presidency, is such an amazing man. He and his family are so wonderful, so happy, and so in touch with the Gospel. You can see what their prorities are and what is first, which is God, and then you see, that everything falls into place when you do that :)

And a quick shout out to Elders Hawker, Boyd from my mission, and Sister Gilmour, one of my besties, for all completin' the Mish and serving awesomely and wonderfully. Love you all :) Keep going and we will be partying together soon ;)

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!! Have a great week filled with awesomeness, love, and God's guidence.

Elder Mayne

Zone pics :) the homies (elder nelson) and street display prep: car full to the max