Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Oktoberfest Everyone!

Received September 24, 2012 That's right, the largest festival in the world has kicked off once again and beer is being chugged down by the liter. An investigator brought to my attention an interesting fact about the bar maids at Oktoberfest. She may look like a pretty little blond thing in a dirndl, but inside she's really a more like a body builder. Each one will carry at any given time up to 10 liters of beer which is actually more than 10 kilograms considering that the "Maß" are made out of glass. So every time she goes to pick up a new order of beer she's carrying probably near 25 pounds on her arms. Don't get in any bar fights with a one of those girls. So if any women out there want to earn some money and work their arms a bit, it's not a bad profession. All that aside, this week was pretty good. This week went by way fast and it's hard to even remember what happened. We did have our first district meeting in Dornbirn this week which means that I got to go back to the Vaterland. Well, Vorarlberg is more like Switzerland than it is Austria, but I guess it still counts. That day I went back with Elder Christensen to Ravensburg and proceeded to go by on a ton of "investigators" that I still have not met. Not many people were actually home and no one had time. However, we were waiting for a bus on a bench and a man who was sitting near us asked us if our name tags had something to do with music. We explained who we are and he said that he is a very faithful man who comes from Spain and loves Jesus. He told us that he does not have very many friends here is Germany and he needs something. We told him that we could help him with that and told him that we have a book for him. He readily accepted the book gave us his address and said that we could come by on weekends and talk to him. He would have called us to set up an appointment, but he didn't have a cell phone yet. We will go and talk to him this week. He is really cool. We also went to help out the husband of a member this week. He has a warehouse and he is building a museum inside the warehouse. It's interesting for sure. We spent quite a while there with him putting up a tent in the warehouse for his palm trees that he has outside. He needs to move them inside before the weather gets too cold. It's a complicated situation, but he's got everything under control. The museum will eventually be turned into a war museum focused primarily on the world wars. It's a work in progress. There is lots of work to do this week and we will be having fun while doing it. I hope that everyone has a great week. Until next time, Tschüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüßßßß!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Elder Nelson Says Thank You...

Received September 17, 2012 He really does. He told us all to say thank you to our parents. He is really a very amazing man. Many of you already know this, but he is REALLY smart too. On Wednesday we travelled to Zürich to listen to him speak to us. We learned a lot, so I won't even try to give you a sum up of what he said. Maybe someday we can talk about it in person. He talked a lot about reaching our potential to become like Christ. That's a big task! However, he assured us that we can do it, through the Atonement of course. With all that in mind, the end of this week was a little bit of a down week with Elder Hustead becoming sick. It's nothing horrible though, so we will be back at it tonight. We had a lesson with our Brothas from l'Afrique, ok so they don't speak French, but they are from Africa. It was beginning to become a little bit out of our hands when it started to turn into a little Praise meeting of sorts. Luckily, Elder Sampson was there to save us from another 20 minutes or so. Since he takes them home he gets to decide when the lessons are over. I get the feeling that we are just being preached to. It's sad but true. We'll see how things progress. Have you ever been faced with a daunting task? Let me tell you about the one that our mission is currently facing. By the end of the year we want to reach our goal of baptizing 300+ people. Given that the current number of baptisms is 88, that leaves a lot of room for improvement. Since we're getting down to the final stretch, we have needed to reenergize our work and our faith that this whole goal won't go down in flames. However, sometimes you just have to believe no matter how impossible things look. Take for example the three Hebrew boys who would not pray to the idol of the king. They told him that their God would save them, but even if He didn't they still wouldn't pray to his God because they knew what they believed and would not waver at all. We then find our that God really did save them in a rather miraculous way. This can and will happen with us in this mission. Even if we don't make our goal, I will believe until the morning of New Years Day 2013 that this is a reachable goal. And even if we don't reach it, can we be disappointed in the many souls that came to a knowledge of the truth? No. This is a great work and I'm having fun along the way too. I know that my time is getting short, but I still have a ton of time mission-wise. Two and a half transfers is all the time in the world to find and baptize. Just remember to pray for us to find the people that need the gospel. Well, I think that's enough for this week. Have a fun week. Tschüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüßßßß!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Germans love plays on words...

Received September 10, 2012 They really do. Every time I go to a new area it seems that there is someone whose name (or maiden name) is Mayer (and all possible variations -meier, -meyer, etc.). And every time someone is bound to say, "Oh you're the NEU-Mayer" Since the word "neu" just means new, it's like the the biggest joke ever. Every time I think, "Yep, haven't heard that one before..." They just love their plays on words, what can you do. Joseph Wagstaff eat your heart out. This week in Ravensburg was "Ravensburg Spielt", a game festival where everywhere you turn there is some crazy booth full of games for small people, big people, old people, all kinds of people! I really wanted to get a picture of the "Settlers of Catan" Bus, but I didn't get the chance. Thousands of people flocked to Ravensburg this week to participate in the festivities. You could basically go to any of the booths and just sit down and start playing the (mostly board) games that lined the streets. I can just say that it looked awesome! This week lesson-wise wasn't too bad either. On Monday we went to the (go figure) Meier family. Had originally invited some investigators and Derick a new member to come and eat. They didn't show up, so we had dinner without them. They had a friend of the family there who has apparently been to several dinners with the Meiers. Toward the end of the night he told us that he really wants to meet with us too but we can't go where he lives because there are some ladies there that will throw glass at us and then demand money from us (?) no joke. So Tanya Meier said that he was welcome to meet with us at their home. He is really quite a good man and very simple and will be a great member of the church. We also had a lesson with a family in Friedrichshafen who are really well rounded. When they heard that I was an opera singer, the mother went and put in a DVD of the Salzburg Marionette Theater performing Mozart operas. It was really funny and they were really interested that I sing opera. They would be a really great family to have in the church. We met with our two African investigators this week. It's not easy to just talk about one thing with them. We started talking about prophets and what the purpose of a prophet is. I don't know really where we ended, but it had nothing to do with prophets...anyway, they are slowly coming along. The best thing is that they come to church every week. I have no problem with that. I forgot to say anything about my new companion. His name is Elder Hustead and he comes from the St. George area in Utah. He is a physics major at USU and may want to join the Airforce. He's a pretty funny guy and asks a lot of crazy questions. This morning for example: What do you think of squirrels? This week on Wednesday is when Elder Russell M. Nelson will be coming to the mission. We will be going to Zürich to see him with all of the missionaries in Switzerland. Well, I think I've spent long enough on this email. I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Remember to help the missionaries at home. Until next week, Tschüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

O je me nee, des isch jo kloin!

Received September 4, 2012 Willkommen in Ravensburg! This city is pretty crazy. It's actually not too small like some of my former areas *cough* Bad Säckingen *cough*. Anyway, there is a pretty nice amount of public transport and we have cards that pretty much cover the whole area. Yay, not as much walking! The crazy part of the city is that it's pretty old. There is a lot of history and everywhere you turn there's a little piece of the old town wall or a tavern that was built in the first century...yeah that's right. We do live in Ravensburg right in the town center. The building is pretty old but the apartment was refurbished not too long ago. We also have no neighbors downstairs so we don't have to be too worried about how much noise we make when we walk around. The reasoning behind the subject line (do not put it into Google Translate, it won't bring anything) is in reference to how I felt looking at the Branch on Sunday. We meet in an office building and there are about 18 or 19 people at church every Sunday. That's what I call small. My companion is fine with the size since he came from Neu Ötting where the branch is made up of 8 people. These people are faithful though because they come every Sunday and they know what they believe in. We have a senior missionary couple here named the Sampsons. They are awesome. They don't speak much German but they are trying. They are more there as support to the members, but they are awesome at teaching when they need to. Elder Sampson is a former mission president and he always loves giving Snickers bars and buying us ice cream. I think they are on their fourth mission now. We are teaching some pretty cool guys from Nigeria who really like when things are lively and exciting. We spent two hours the other day trying to resolve a concern of one of them. We also had our awesome new member joint teach Derick Taewo with us. He is also from Nigeria and he's way cool and speaks English and really good German. I'm excited for working in this area and helping the Branch grow. I have included a few pictures from Bad Säckingen. They don't have me in them, but they are some cool places. The first is the Münster in Bad Säckingen from up where I sang. The second is of a giant church in St. Blasien. The third is of some of the scenery in a town just outside of St. Blasien. My new address is: Elder Andrew Neumayer Kirche Jesu Christi Charlottenstr. 8 88212 Ravensburg Germany I hope everyone has a wonderful week full of not too much rain and lovely weather. Have fun! Tschüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüß!!!!!