Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Requiem Aeternam

Received May 21, 2012 Thank you for your condolences at the passing away of a very important person in my life, namely the Great Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. I will be honoring his memory this week in whatever way I can without annoying my companion to much (secret is, he actually likes DFD). Let us all honor him by looking up something that he sang on Youtube. My suggestions would be Es blinkt der Tau or (my personal favorite) the recording of him singing Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen with Karl Böhm at the baton. Two truly fantastic recordings of the master. Now he's singing on the other side with Schubert and Brahms at the piano, lovely! Well this week was great here in Waiblingen. We have been getting the area going a little bit because the people have been showing up again. We got to give a church tour to Frau Lang who loved it and was really interested. She said that she will really have to come to church so she can see how it is on Sunday. We got to have a lesson with Heinz with a joint teach. Bru. Kiefer came with us and Heinz really made a lot of progress because he is starting to understand a lot better (thanks to Bru. Kiefer and his German). We also got Anna Savi to finally come to church again and she is already good friends with Schws. Müller and Arning. We also had a Ward Picnic where she was able to interact with the Ward. It was awesome! This week we have Zone Conference and another finding day. It will be a great week. I hope that everyone has a great week. Tschüüüüüüüüüß!

The Great Day of Finding und Muzzas Day

Received May 14, 2012 So the finding day was on Thursday and it was one of the hottest days of the year so far. It was about 30° Cel and I had forgotten how hot that is in a white shirt. After almost 9 hours of talking to everybody in Bad Cannstatt, Waiblingen, and Winnenden we got 3 people. However, 4 other people took Books of Mormon. We really did try hard. I think this finding day was really meant to show us what we could do better. The mission got 533 potential investigators. Stuttgart Zone actually led the way with over 100. On Sunday I got to call and it was great to hear everyone actually speaking. We called from Fichtenberg which is the furthest city in our area and takes an hour by train to reach. Schw. Schuller had pity on us because no one invited us for lunch after church and so we went out there "on the fly". We had a great time with them and even played some games. This morning we left the apartment at 9 to go to the elderly Schw. Geyer who played piano as I sang along. This time we sang through a book of bass songs and arias and a bunch of songs from musicals (My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, West Side Story, Oklahoma). It was great to sing with her and it always makes her so happy to have someone to make music with. She reminds me a lot of Barbara at BYU. I heard from Darrell today that the beloved BYU Opera Program will be once again renewing their title of the "BYU Mozart Troupe" as they will be performing Cosi this year for the fall opera. I must say.....I SAW THAT ONE COMING!!!!!!!! I already knew that they wanted to do that one. Why else would Dr. Vincent start talking about it in Opera Workshop if he didn't want to do it the next time he had a chance? One time when we had just finished Hoffmann in my first semester Dr. Vincent started talking about how much he loved the dialogue between Papageno and Tamino in the first act. Then what happened the next fall? When I sat in on OW the semester before I left he was talking about how much he loved the comedy in Cosi, but he had already decided to celebrate Menotti with one of his operas the next fall. Then what happened???? I rest my case. My Book of Mormon message of the week will be simply, if you have not read the article by Elder David A. Bednar in the last Ensign go read it. If you already have, go read it again. It was wonderfully written. That's all I have to say. Well, this will be a fun week I'm sure. I hope everyone has a great time with whatever they have to do this week. Have fun! Tschüüüüüüüüüüüß!

Reasons why I need to visit Stuttgart with my Step-Father

Received May 8, 2012 There is only one: The Mercedes-Benz Museum! Oh if only John were there. The reason for me not writing yesterday is namely that the museum is not open on Mondays and one of the ward members wanted to take us there. It was WAAAAAAAAAAAAY cool inside and I can't even describe how much information you could get there. We took four hours just kinda glancing at each thing and occasionally stopping to hear the audio tracks. John would have to be there pretty much from the opening to the closing. Maybe if we ever come back to Germany, we'll be able to go..... Ok. Now that we have that cleared up, here's a little info on what's really going on in the mission of Elder Neumayer. In case you missed it a while ago, the Saturday after I got transfered away from Linz was when Rene Strassmair got baptized. I wish that I could have been there, but that was just the way that it had to be. I was there from the very beginning and almost until he got baptized. He is now one of the best member missionaries in all of Austria from what I hear from those who are still there. Right now the whole mission (my area especially) needs more investigators deperately. So, we are having a whole day of nothing but contacting on Thursday and we will be trying to find at least 20 strong potential investigators. It will be an interesting experience and we expect to really improve the work through this day of finding. I must sadly report that at the moment only my family sends me mail. As Rückert once wrote, "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen." It is possible that I will get some mail when that got sent to the mission home during the past month when the Mission President comes on the 22nd, but I'll just let myself be surprised since I've kinda given up hope for mail. I know that no one is going to write. This happens to all missionaries. The Book of Mormon message of the week is pretty cool. I started reading the Book of Mormon again where I left off in the German. I stopped in Alma sometime at the beginning of the year so that I could read it in English. Where I stopped is actually a great part of the Book of Mormon where Alma and the sons of Mosiah come back together after a long time of preaching the gospel to the Lamanites. After having seen the fruits of their labors and having recorded what they were, Alma writes a little interjection of his own where he says that he wished that he were an angel and that he could preach the gospel to all people. He realizes however, that it is sinful to wish such a thing. He should be content with that which the Lord has given him. He realizes that he can receive just as much joy by just being a tool in the hands of the Lord to bring people to repentance and helping them to feel the love of God. That is really what it's all about, helping people realize that they can be happy through the Gospel. Well, I should go and write some other emails. Just be happy everybody. Have a great week. And to some, I'll hear you on Sunday. Tschüüüüüüüüüüüüüüß!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What do we do now, President? Oh, just go talk to some people...

Received December 14, 2011 but for some reason got stuck in the "Draft" folder, sorry! Little exchanges like that are just lovely. So the story that goes along with this is thus: We went to Salzburg on Wednesday. We got up at the regular time 6:30 but had to be at the train station at 8 for a train to Salzburg. Elder Chandler and I got there and took the hour-ish ride to the great Salt Castle (Salzburg in English). When we arrived at the stake center we found out that only the District leaders were allowed to be in the meeting. Sooooo, that's when the conversation in the subject line occured. So Elder Moulton (Elder Bullock's companion) and I were sent out. All we had was our stuff and a bunch of unstamped pass along cards. We didn't even have a phone with us. It's just lovely to be dropped out in the middle of a city like Salzburg and to be told to just go find somebody. So we did. We talked to one kid sitting on a bench who may or may not have interest, but we gave him a card. We found another man though who seemed to be a lot more interested. We were over in the area of the Mozarteum (for all my music fans out there, holla) and we talked to this man. He had a lot of problems with the church being so changed from what existed in the original church and so we explained how the church was restored and he sounded very interested and agreed with what we were saying. We got his number and later gave it on to the Zone Leaders who work there in the city. After three hours of that we went back to join up with our companions. Elder Chandler was hungry so we went down to the big shopping street to go find something to eat. Along the way we passed Mozart's birth house. We finally decided upon good ole McDonalds. After leaving we were walking down the street toward the busses and randomly Elder Chandler stops and I see a man talking on a phone who I very quickly recognized as President Miles. I suddenly thought "Maybe we should be contacting..." But then I realized that this is President Miles. He quickly shook our hands and then finished his phone call. Not so interested in whether we were contacting or not, he wanted to know if this was our first time being on that street and seeing all the shops. Then Sis. Miles came out of one of the shops and jokingly said, "Oh are you guys shopping?" I love how awesome she is. It turns out that their daughter Rachel who is on a mission in Rome is having a birthday this week and they were shopping for her. I think that was so awesome. They were just happy to see us again and we hurried off to catch the bus back to the train station. It was just so awesome. They are a really great pair to have as our surrogate parents for the next little while. On Monday we went to Mauthausen which was a concentration/work camp. The sad thing is that it has a really wonderful view from the top of the hill on which it sits. The memory of what occured there still haunts the place to a certain extent. It wasn't as huge of a camp as say, Dachau or Auschwitz but it did serve a horrible purpose. It was an experience. We made our own little mark on the camp, so to speak. We went to the cremation ovens and people had placed lots of little trinkets, money, or cards in the front of the oven. We put the pass along card that talks about seeing our loved ones again right in the middle with the hope that someone will find the message and be moved to investigate this wonderful message. Today we will be going to IL TROVATORE!!!! I'm soooooooooooooooooo excited and I hope it's good. It sounds like it should be and looks really cool. I hope you have a great week and that everything is just hunky-dory. Tschüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüß!