Monday, September 30, 2013

Ihm Vertrauen - Week 4 in Ellwangen

     Trust was the key to this week. Trust - leading to acting in Faith - leading to Miracles! Whether in me or in the work we definitely had some this week. 

     So Monday was P-day and we were in Ulm. We climbed the Münster, which is the tallest church in the world. Like the whole world. It was like super cool to climb, 1 staircase that winds up in a spiral direction. Very much like hiking again! Ah reminded me of like Bears Hump lol. Very cool to see all of Ulm from the top of it. We did that, ate and then like went back to Ellwangen. Kinda cool! So this week went way to fast! We had a Family Home Evening with a member family Monday night and they had a non member family come over for it! We got dinner and we were able to talk to new people about the Gospel! It was super duper cool!! SoTuesday was district meeting and that went over in Ulm lol so we went back there in the morning. Elder Oviatt had the ticket but realized we forgot it when we were already on the train so we got off at the next possible stop and were delayed an hour lol. So we sat and reviewed German! haha yes!!! But it was OK  It would have been like a $40 ticket each if we had been caught with no ticket. So we gladly got off and got a new one lol. 

     District meeting was good as usual. Lots of learning and discussion. Nothing crazy to report though. So Wednesday we were supposed to have a lesson with one of our investigators who has a baptismal date. 2 hour travel to his house and as we were en route when he called and cancelled... lol so we had to go contacting in Schwäbisch Hall for 3 hours. And we met the scariest most awesome dude ever. Talked to him for like half hour and he was very against our beliefs. For some reason I gave him a card with the church address on it and he said he'd come! So I was like super excited! But super scared because he was a little odd... But he didn't come :( we totally thought he would have. Then we talked to many others but had like absolutely no success. On the way back to Bahnhof we were stopped by a lady, we thought looked homeless, she was laying on a bench and had like 4 teeth. She told us she was from New York and was going back tomorrow! Then she took a picture of us on her phone and said she was gonna print it off and she wanted us to come back the next day to get it! A little confused because we thought she was going to New York.. Nevertheless we said OK  haha but she wasn't there.... So we didn't get our picture and now there's a lady who has my picture on her phone... awks! But now that I look, it may have been a way the Lord was working. We went back the next day for another appointment which again fell out lol, But we had 5 contacts in 2 hours. We talked to a couple on a bench for like over an hour who were atheist and taught like the whole first lesson and stuff. Super cool people and we really think one may accept the gospel! Then we talked to another dude who was awesome and I did the whole thing! It was amazing because it was in German! haha I don't know German! but I did for those 10 minutes! I really think he could make progress if he feels the desire! So this trip to Schwäbisch Hall was good! Just have to look at it in a different perspective and it makes sense!

     We had more contacting and stuff on Thursday. Friday we spent cleaning and putting together trunks that we got. The Senior Couple here told us to do it lol so we weren't just hanging at home all day illegally lol, All good! Then that night the branch president came over and we discussed the less actives and the whole ward! Very cool! 

   Saturday we went to Göppingen? lol to help the sisters to do an Austellung. Idk what that is in English but it's like a public display thing and we just contacted and told people to go see it for like 3 hours lol. Very cool! (It translates to exhibition)

     Sunday was lovely and went so fast! Dinner with a member and life is great! Things here are going really well! We just need to keep acting in faith and soon we will get more people to teach, I'm sure! General conference next week! Oh yes! We are 8 hours delayed so we'll get to watch the 1st session live but it'll be 6 pm here. Then we watch 3 sessions on Sunday, the Sunday morning will be live again here at 6 pm then the next Sunday we watch the last session. So 2/5 are live. The morning sessions. That's how that goes! The weather here is good, the apartment is good! Life is good in Ellwangen! I really love being a missionary!!!

Elder Rodgers

Other Zone Missionaries before the climb up Münster!

Selfie on the Münster!

Looking out over Ulm

Behold the wilderness of Schwäbisch Hall

Selfie in the Wilderness!

My lovely companion

Monday, September 23, 2013

Forschritt! Ein bischen... Aber.... Forschritt!! Week 3 in Ellwangen

       Progress! A little.... but... Progress!! haha so this week was really short it seems, yet we did so much! Our days were so long. First off, I wanna state a few household things. Maultauschen for supper is officially my favourite. Its so amazing! With tons of new spices and stuff. Taco seasoning is one of my favourites. Nougat Bits for breakfast... They are filled with nutella... OH YES! Our laundry is odd lol. We have a washer... and that's it. So we have to hang dry everything. Which is annoying. Then we have to iron it...which is annoying.... then we have to do it again the next week.... which is annoying. So.. to all those who are gonna serve missions soon... my brothers, friends or anyone... Learn now how to iron efficiently and quickly. Its annoying!!
     That's my household update for the week. Rely on basic food, rely on basic ironing, rely on simple faith. IT WORKS!! haha OK so we started this week off with a Weniger Aktiv (less active) family. Such a cool family! I loved talking to them. We were invited for supper and so we did that and had a lesson with them after. I was able to talk about service and relying on the Lord for everything because he wants to help us, all we need to do is act on faith and ask sincerely. So my German kinda did me in, but I persevered and got er done lol. They're such a great family, hopefully we can continue to work with them to strengthen their faith again. 
     We had a study on Alma and Amulek this week and I got a ton out of it. Chapters 14-15 I think.. maybe 16 too. But it talked about the sacrifices made to serve and how much they gave up and lost. Nevertheless they served whole heartedly and they blessed so many lives. That's what I'm going to strive for now. Really focusing on serving whole heartedly and blessing others because of it. 
     We focused on contacting in the North this week and it seems like there's some good stuff to be had. Were gonna go back this week and do more finding. One day this week though was Volk Fest uin Crailheim lol. Everyone was in lederhosen and drunk beyond comprehension. We kinda got stuck in the city for 2 hours waiting for the next train lol so we observed some interesting people. But the streets were so empty, cuz everyone congregated to the one area. We had like no one to talk to!!! 
     Everyone who sees us at the Bahnhof (train station) thinks we work for it because of our dress. So we get asked so many questions concerning it lol and its a good opportunity to tell them what were actually doing. Some people though don't like us and get decently upset haha. Oh well, cant teach em all!
     We went to Schwäbish Hall again for a lesson and he was home!!!! So we taught the Restoration! I was able to talk about Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon by the power of God through the Holy Ghost and then I told him the first vision. It was a really cool lesson! Then I felt like I should challenge him to baptism.. so I did haha and he said yes! But we didn't have a date because it was spontaneous, nevertheless we will now really start focusing in on that and helping this awesome guy to come unto Christ. 
     So the week went by fast, lots of work, lots of conversations. Its all so fun! I really enjoy being a missionary. My testimony is so much stronger now. Living with 4 Elders in 1 apartment is epic too. We have so much more to talk about and so many different perspectives to go from. Sharing insights is a joy! hahaha I love the other elders! 
     Well I'm looking forward to this week! What miracles will we see? I'm sure there will be many, we just gotta keep our eyes open! I love my mission!

Elder Rodgers

Messy Kitchen...

Clean Kitchen...

Selfies with the book of Mormon. Im bored sometimes lol

This is Maultauschen

Some little town we were doing service in

New Desk set up lol

I made a lovely sandwich for lunch. SO good!

Where are all the people in Crailheim?


Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall Outs and Trains - Week 2 in Ellwangen

     So this week went by super fast. Once things really started getting going we got on a roll and the days flew by. Maybe they flew by because we were on trains so much, nonetheless it went quick. So we have 4 investigators at the moment. One with a baptismal date. The only thing is.. all of our lessons from this past week fell out. We had 4 scheduled and they were all cancelled. The worst was when we took a train for 1.5 hours then walked uphill for 20 minutes to a guys house and there was no answer. So we called him, and he was in a different city! We confirmed like 12 hours before, yet he forgot. So that was a disappointment  But, what can yah do. So we just spent the next hour contacting around until our next train came. So our other lessons were cancelled via phone before we left for em, but we had the coolest and most awesome ones planned! I was so sad I didn't have the chance to teach! 

    We did have the chance to have a lesson with an inactive member. Which went really well, although I didn't follow along too well. He was way Schwäbish (the local dialect) so it was harder. But overall still good! haha. We had a dinner on Wednesday with a member family. They're so awesome! I love talking to German members because they help me a ton with learning German. They're my favorite. So we had Lasagna then played a card game... Legretto? I think. It was super cool. I sucked though. I finished in the negatives. I'm glad that we are building strong relationships with the members!  

    So we have Visa papers to fill out, they're complicated and in German! So we found a member in the ward who is fluent in English and German so we went to his house and he helped us fill em out. They fed us and are so nice! They drove us to our appointment with the less active member. We had a member visit as well! Then Saturday went in the morning to play soccer with them for about 2 hours. They have a kid and hes like a super awesome fußballer haha, so we shared a message then ate. haha So many cool members here. 

    So Saturday and Sunday were stake conference. Although our whole zone.. (Stuttgart Zone) is the stake. So we had to take a train for about 1 hr 45 mins to Stuttgart then take another train there to the stake center Saturday night. So about 2 hrs by train. Then we took it back home. Slept, got up early Sunday and did the 2 hr ride there again. Had the meeting which was awesome and came back on the train. Our district meetings are in Waiblingen which is 1.5 hrs away. So we do a ton of train travel here. But I have my German In Review textbook that I work from on the trains. I think that's a good way to maximize my learning. Its doing good so far.

    My German is on the rise, yet still at the level of like a 6 year old.. ish... ahhaaha. But i love my companion and he helps me a ton with German! Although.. I did correct him the other day! Adjective endings! He was impressed haha, but that was only cuz I had learned em that morning. Nonetheless my German is slowly progressing. I love being here! Germany is amazing. Although it basically rained this whole week! haha oh well.

    So this upcoming week we are moving someone, and have many lessons planned. Hopefully we will be able to teach this time! Until Next week, auf wiedersehen! haha love you all!

Elder Rodgers

In Schwäbish Hall. This is where our appt fell out

Downtown Ellwangen early in the morning - a little fuzzy 

Selfie on the train!

The 5 Canadians in the mission and all in the same zone! 

I made breakfast. Eggs and sausage

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 1 - Ellwangen Zwei and Area

      Oh my goodness. I'm in Germany! What a crazy experience  This is so nutz! OK so this is how things played out. We left the MTC at 5 am Wednesday Morning then got to the airport. Flew on Lufthansa to München then were greeted by the President and AP's and a few others. Got all our bags to the van, loaded them then split into groups and went out finding on the trains. Talking to people and being bosses. Although we soon realized that we didn't know German. That went on for about an hour then we went on a walk down and around München and had a lunch with the President and his Wife. We talked a bit then headed back on the trains to the Mission Office. At the office we got a whole ton of things given to us, and a 3 hour talk from a multitude of different people. We went to the mission home for dinner which was super good, then after was when we found out who our companions would be and our areas. Ellwangen 2. The coolest part about this is that Elder Oviatt got called to Ellwangen 1 with Elder Garrett thus making us roommates. 2 Canadians in an apartment with 2 trainers, that's a gong show. Its super cool though. So we were excited that's for sure! We slept at the mission home then in the morning took a multitude of different trains totaling about 6 hours from München to Ellwangen where we then went to the apartment. 

     The train system in Germany is amazing. Although its is kinda slow at times. And our area is the worst for trains. So the 6 hour train ride would have only been like a 1.5-2 hour drive haha. Oh well. So we got to the apartment and walked down the streets. Everyone stared as we had all our bags and classic white shirts. So cool. 

    The apartment is cool. Enough room to survive. It is gonna be an awesome 3 months. We need to fix the dresser and a few things, get 2 more beds because we have 4 elders but 2 beds. So we sleep on a couch and another kinda mattressy thing. We get more beds soon tho! Suppers thus far have been Maultaschen... German ravoli.... and Spaghetti and KD then more Maultaschen haha and a member dinner. I love the food here, really good flavor  So we have gotten used to each other now and its all really fun in the Wohnung (apartment) now. We make it work! 

    So Elder Carlson is from Fresno California. He's 20 years old and is an awesome guy. We have started off really well. He's super short, so its fun to walk beside him. He was just serving in Innsbruck for 6 months.... so like the mountains all around.... and loved it there. His German is way good and I've learned a lot from him thus far. But I have again realized that my German is absolutely not amazing. I can speak a bit and understand a lot more than I speak but not to the point where I understand whole conversations. The slang here or the dialect is Schwabisch. They like to slurr the endings and use 'L' for a lot of stuff. 'Ein bischen' means a little. They say it like 'Ein bisseln'. Its fun. 

   So We had church yesterday which was one of the coolest things ever! We had to walk half hour to get there, then ward council was 20 minutes late. I didn't say a word but I wrote down stuff I couldn't understand. Which was a lot. The members are really excited to have 4 missionaries now and they wanna help it seems. Which is epic! So church started. We were part of the program. hahaha So the 3 new missionaries in the area had to get up and bear testimony and talk a bit about ourselves. I'd say it went good because they could understand my point. It was super cool. Although in German they have formal and informal language and some people are very edgy about it. I use mostly formal because we only use informal when we speak to each other or with people who have told us we can with them. But I said in English "I'm looking forward to getting to know you all" but instead of being formal I accidentally and unknowingly went informal and they though it was really funny. In essence I said something along the lines of "I'm looking forward to talking to y'all." So that was a joy. Hahaha so fun though. Then we talked with a ton of members, the ward is about 40-50 people. We taught priesthood! There were 3 young men and they were all so cool! I connected with them real well and they're excited to help me learn German. I talked with one boy for like 20 minutes after church. When we were introducing ourselves to them Elder Oviatt said 'I like Elder Rodgers' - but not just as a friend the way he said it auf Deutsch (In German). He also asked a boy if he had a wife. Very fun making all these mistakes! Its so fun being in Germany!

    We had a member dinner last night which was real, epic, German food. It was heavenly. Shared a message, went home. Our days seem to go by fast. They're full though. 

    So with our area, we are talking the northern part which at the moment consists of 4 investigators, 1 with a baptism date. So we have appointments this week and were gonna start working hard! The ward is there to help.. They like us. Its looking up! I love Germany!

     All is well. There's a castle on a hill in the middle of the city  Its very cool. I like this place, although sometimes when we have lessons far away it'll be hard. We have one Wednesday a 2.5 hr train ride out, lesson  then back. Yah.. rough but that's part of the work eh. Well I'm doing good! Focused and ready to go. See you!!!!!! Love You!!!!!

Elder Rodgers

Brüder Jentzsch and Hengst 
(MTC Teachers)  

Brüder Hengst and Wilkinson. haha love them!
(MTC Teachers)

View from my apartment. That's a castle

Out His Apartment Window Looking Down the Street

The Kitchen

Self Portrait in the Bathroom

In Stuggart

Walking to Church

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

He Has Arrived in Germany!

Tanner left the Preston MTC today went to Manchester and flew to Munich Germany. He met his new mission president and his wife and they sent us the letter below with some pictures. He has been assigned his new companion and the area he will serve. His PDay is now Monday so we will hear more from him then.

Dear family of Elder Rodgers-
      We are delighted to tell you that Elder Rodgers arrived safely in Munich this morning.  He is tucked away in bed now after a long day of orientation. 
       We thought you might enjoy these pictures from this evening. His new companion is Elder Carlson, and they will be serving in Ellwangen, Germany. 
We are thrilled that he is here and are very impressed with his preparation and enthusiasm.  He will be a great missionary.  Thank you for all you have done to help him become the fine young man he is today.  We love him already, and we will do all we can to help him grow as a missionary and have a successful mission. 

President and Sister Miles
Alpine German-speaking Mission

Arrived in Munich

At the Mission Presidents home

First area Ellwangen Germany and Elder Carlson his companion

Tanner with President & Sister Miles