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

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