Monday, June 27, 2011

A drinking fountain? Naaaaaaaa, I'm just imagining things.

Received June 27, 2011

But there it was. In all it's resplendent glory, a drinking fountain in the middle of the city on Neckarsulm. Elder Sills and I, of course, had to test it out and it was one of the biggest novelties. Elder Sills actually wanted a picture of himself drinking from it so I took it for him. Another highlight from this week includes going on one of the few ferries in the mission. Yes, we got to ride on a boat! That's something that almost nobody gets to say but we happened to require passage on a ferry to get to the lovely city of Hassmersheim. There aren't a ton of people living there but the city was interesting to look at. We also went to Bad Wimpfen which has the honor of the world's longest tradition of a watchman. So yes, someone sits up on top of the tower through the night to make sure that nothing bad happens or to sound the cal in case any invading armies approach the city. Anyway it was pretty cool and they have an awesome tower there that looks over the whole valley. Yeah, there are just some cool things in this mission!

It is getting really hot in Germany. I hope it doesn't stay like this for too long. I hope that this week is great and everyone has fun together! I will send pictures when I actually have a USB port on the computer I am able to use. Tschuuuuuuuuuusssssss!!!!!!!

Elder Sills hat mit einen Teddybar gerungen. Und deswegen sieht er so aus

Received June 20, 2011

There is a pretty cool story to go along with this email's subject line. However, it's all false. While I was in Waiblingen on exchange, Elder Sills decided that his nose must be really dirty and that he needed to scrub it...bad idea. I saw him the next day and he had a nasty burn on his nose because he had rubbed all the skin off the top. Then it got even stranger looking as it began to leak some sort of orangy liquid. After that stopped, then began the lies. the story took on many forms including me biting him, bar fights, wrestling a real bear, wrestling a teddy bear, the list goes on. Anyway we told the story about a million times and eventually Elder Sills had to tell everyone the truth. Sister Hartig gave him some sort of cream that did some miracle and he is almost back to normal now. Not a ton happened this week. Last Monday we went to Schwabisch Hall where there is a really well preserved old part of the town. It sits in a little valley between the hills and has a quaint little river flowing through it. We happened to have the luck of going there on a day when the town was having a huge festival and lost of people were wearing Tracht and shooting black powder rifles and drinking lots of beer. It was cool. There are a few pictures to along with this email that show some of the stuff that we saw but I will send them next week.

We had a lesson with our African investigator Arisa. He came to church and instead of taking him to the regular Sunday School class where lots of big words would be used or the Temple Prep class, we decided that it would be in his best interest to just have a lesson with him. We got Christof Lichner who is going on a mission soon and Kevin Hartig who might not be going on a mission (?) and had them help us in the lesson by giving testimony. It was really great for everyone. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and we invited Arisa to be baptized. He really wants to and we set a date for him but he doesn't know if he'll be able to quit smoking by then. We will call him this week and see what he thinks after having some time to think about it.

After church we had two eating appointments in a row. People just love us I guess. We went to the Branch President's house and had home made cherry juice. It was good and the food was awesome. Then we left just in time to get on a Stadt Bahn where we rode an our to our next appointment at the Lichner's. They are just too cool! Right now their coolness is even higher because they are hosting an American college student named Caitlin. She is doing some sort of study abroad program where she is just the "caretaker" for a bunch of other American students that are studying at the Hochschule Heilbronn. She gets to chill out in Germany for a couple of weeks making sure the kids don't do anything dumb. That sounds like a cool job. she was actually once a vocal performance major at BYU but then she switched to German as her major. She's way cool to talk to because she's American and as missionaries we love to talk to Americans. So that was pretty much all the excitement this week. I hope everything is great at home. Until next time, Tschuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusssss!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guten Taaaaaaaggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!

Received June 13, 2011

Happy Pfingst Monday everybody! Otherwise known as Pentacost Monday. I never thought that you could possibly have a day as dead as this. There wasn't anybody outside when we went to do emails. It's also sprinkling which is nice because that means that it's not hot. Just to be clear, that baptism we went to that I talked about in last week's email was the Pforzheim Sister's, not one of my investigators. I wish it was mine, it would mean that someone was actually progessing in Heilbronn. That's a little harsh sounding but it's kinda true. Nobody has time to meet with us. Anamul is going down to Ulm to be with his kids for the week so we might not meet this week at all. We met him by chance yesterday on the bus and he said that he had the 1st lesson pamphlet with him. We suggested that he read it on his way to Ulm since it's something like a 2 hour train ride away. Jessica would be doing a lot better if we could meet with her more but a lot of meeting with her depends on us having her boyfriend Brian there and he's not always too reliable. She is scheduled to be baptized on the 25th but we might have to move that back a few weeks if we don't start meeting with her a lot more. We have decided to end out pause with Arisa because he decided to come to church last week of his own accord. So we had a lesson appointment and we came to the asylum (political not insane) where he lives and we went to his room. Two of his friends who also live there were there and said that he was gone for the day and we couldn't call him because his cell phone was off. They said that we could wait there to see if he came back. After introducing ourselves, one of them, Franky from Gambia, asked us to share a message with him! That never happens! So we shared with the both of the the Einfuhrungs Lektion which is like a lesson 0 of sorts. We introduce the basic points of the message of the restoration without getting too much in depth and then present the Book of Mormon to them and invite them to read it. It is a great way of keeping the message simple to people who many times have not even heard of the church. Both of the guys said that they would read the book and Franky even said the closing prayer. He thanked the Lord that we came to them and that we share the message with them. He also prayed that he would be able to understand every word in the book through the Holy Spirit. He's just too cool for school!

Yesterday, we had a fun little experience with two drunk men at church. They came into the foyer during our Sacrament meeting and started talking really loud at which a couple of our members went outside to discuss this with them. The drunk guys said that they just wanted to observe our church services and that they pay the church tax. The church tax by the way doesn't apply to the LDS church since we are a private church and his tax does not pay us. Anyway, they had a nice little discussion until they needed to go smoke. They stood outside the gate and smoked and then came back at which point a member of Ludwigsburg Ward invited them in to their sacrament meeting which was just starting then. They went in and all was well until suddenly one of them dropped the "F" bomb and started yelling something about YouTube. They were pretty well out of it. Upon that, the (larger) Ludwigsburg members threw them out and they went away saying something about us being a sect. That was fun.

We went to the Henkel family's house for lunch. It was amazing. There was a lot of asparagus, of the white variety, and it actually wasn't too bad steam cooked with a hollandaise on top. There were amazing german potatoes and other vegetables. There was also really tender chicken. It was so good. We ended up staying there a really long time which was probably fine since nobody would have wanted to be disturbed on Pentacost Sunday. When it is a holiday, IT IS A HOLIDAY and people don't care what you have to say. Anyway, it was a great Sunday despite the drunk people.

I will probably be staying here for another transfer but Elder Sills will likely go somewhere else since he has been here 7 months already. I may make a package of stuff to send to you including some things that I have obtained in my travels here. I am running out of room in my suitcases and they are just too heavy!

Have a great week and I hope everything is sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. As always, Tschuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuussssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3 times to Stuttgart in one week!

Received June 6, 2011

Like the subject line say, we went to Stuttgart 3 times this week. That's an hour long train ride each way by the way. It was all for good reasons though. First, we went to a District meeting like always and it was fun there like usual. The second time was to go to the Stake Center so that Elder Sills could give a baptismal interview to the investigator of the Pforzheim Sisters. That was fun because we don't usually get to meet the investigators of other companionships. The investigator is really nice and cool and does slack lining which is kinda like tight rope walking. She is actually from further north but she's studying in Pforzheim. After the interview Sister Anderson wanted to sing Be Still My Soul and I accompanied her on the piano...yea, me. It wasn't too bad. The third time to Stuttgart was the baptism itself on Saturday. This was by far the most interesting trip. As the train pulled up, we could tell something was up by the chanting and the fact that the back car was bouncing. The doors opened and we stuffed ourselves in with an entire train full of loud and very drunk soccer fans from Mannheim who were going down to Reutlingen for a game. They don't like Schwabs very much as evidenced by the songs they were singing which I will NOT write here. We stood in the part of the train with the police and felt pretty safe in their midst. That was the longest, loudest and stinkiest ride ever. When we got out in Stuttgart we walked really fast as the rest of the train poured out and the drums and chanting began to ring out. Crazy? Yeah.

The baptism though was amazing. It went really well and there was food afterward. After everyone cleared out of the rooms Elder Hawker wanted me to sing something for him since has never heard me sing before. We started with All Creatures of Our God and King and he was just smiling the whole time. We also sang God of Our Fathers in all its resplendent glory and it was really fun. Everyone out in the hall was taking a peek in now and then from the doorway. One of the men there came and "Wow, that's a voice Elder Neumayer! Satan just trembled!" A younger married girl out in the hallway told Elder Sills that she wished her husband sang like that. I just love singing when there's someone to play the piano for me. It's so cool. Things are always just better with music.

I got your package. Thanks. It had a lot of goodies in it. By the way, Sister Condie has put a ban on all salads for the time being due to the e.coli thing. And yes, your little calendar thing is correct, it has been raining today and a lot. It's a fun place this Heilbronn. I just wish it was moving a little more missionary-wise. Have a fun week and as always, Tschuuuuuuuuuuusssssssssssssssssssss!

Wos sagt er? Der Donau er Moperle? Das is ja Blodsinn!

Received May 30, 2011

Another week in Heilbronn! This week was filled with a whole lot of nothing. People and their appointments feel out quite a few times. It was insanity! But, we had some good conversations with some fun people, We got a new sim card in our phone and for the first couple of days we were having trouble calling people, which was something we HAD to do since the sim card came with a new phone number. That was not cool. We have to go and change all of our numbers on the cards that we had already stamped and call everybody that we actually have contact with to tell them about the new number. It's a good thing that those cards that we had already given out still have the internet address on them. We went to a part member family this week where the husband, who is not a member, is an avid bonsai tree grower. I never thought I would meet a German that grew bonsai trees. The wife is also an avid gardener and they have an olive tree in their back yard! Another thing I never thought I would see in Germany. They also have a very sweet Afghan hound that just walks around and looks pretty.

We finally got invited to an after church lunch at a member's house thus breaking the three week long famine in the land. The Lichners are an awesome family and it is always amazing to spend time with them. Wolfgang Lichner, the husband, is like the German version of Jared Thomas, the other Sarastro in the BYU Magic Flute. He's just as tall if not taller and speaks just as low and is just as awesome and nice. In the entire Stuttgart Zone, there are three people with baptism dates. One is from us, another from the Pforzheim Sisters and the other is in the Stuttgart International. That means our district is leading in baptismal dates right not. It's cool and we expect the work to continue to expand as people get to know the missionaries and see the blessings of accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope you have a wonderful week and that the sun shines and isn't as hot there as it is here! Until next week, Tschuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuss!