Monday, November 28, 2011

Nov. 28, 2011

           Anyways our week was pretty good. Tuesday we had an austausch with the zone leaders. I got to work with Elder Sullivan, and it was great. We had an appointment with C……. and her sister, but our joint teach fell out. So we couldn`t meet, but we gave them the restoration movie and they watched it while we asked people outside if they could come with us to meet with her. We didn`t find anyone unfortunately, but we did find a drunk, cross dressing gay guy who couldn`t speak High German, only Swiss German and English. But he gave us his number, and we will see if we can meet with him soon. That would be funny. We did have a great appointment with a less active sister that evening though. She really wants to come back to church, and has started reading in the Book of Mormon again. She can`t come back to church until March because of work, but she is planning on coming back then, and that gives us time to work with her husband, who isn`t a member yet.
            We also had an interesting Thanksgiving. We were invited to an older couple’s house for lunch, and when we got there the man was semi choking. Apparently he had eaten an apple, and part of it was stuck in his throat, but it wasn`t blocking his throat all the way, it was just making it hard for him to talk, and he kept coughing up mucus. That had happened almost 2 hours before! Anyways, we gave him a blessing and then he lay down for 5 minutes and then he was all better, and he even came and ate lunch with us. It is really amazing that God has given us the priesthood, literally his power, to work here on the earth. The church is definitely true!
                        We also had a day were everyone we talked to was weird. First we talked to a girl who was not wearing any pants. Luckily she had a winter coat on and it was fairly long. We just gave her a card and walked away. Then 5 minutes later we talked to a woman who asked "are you the mormons, the people who visit hell?" She was a spiritual painter, and didn`t want to hear anything more from us. Then we talked to a girl who was wearing a picture frame around her neck, and who giggled the whole time we were talking to her. Then finally as we got into a bus at the end of the day there was this gangster guy sitting in the back of the bus so I sat by him, and he was wearing a NY hat, so I asked him in English if he was from NY, and strangely enough, he was. It was one weird day of contacting.
            Anyways, our week was pretty good, pretty much because C…… and her sister came to church again, as well as a 9 year old girl named Lydia. We taught her whole family, but her mom and brother couldn`t come, so she rode her bike alone to the church. What a stud. She already knows the church is true and loves it. We are looking forward to a great next week, hopefully it snows soon, and ADVENT starts. I am so excited. Christmas in Switzerland? There is nothing better. Except for maybe Christmas in the Celestial Kingdom, but it is pretty close.
Elder Terry

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nov. 21, 2011

            That is super cool that Brittney got her call. Argentina. That is awesome. I got Sis. Porter`s card, as well as one from Sis. Porter and one from Sis. Rich and the Larsons. So tell them all thank you from me.
            Anyways, this week has gone well. Wednesday was transfers, so I went to Zurich and picked up my new companion and also said a sad goodbye to elder Jacob. Anyways here is the lowdown on Elder Williams. He was born in Colorado, but his family has lived in Utah the past few years, he has 11 brothers and sisters, well actually 4 brothers and sisters, and then 2 half brothers and sisters, and 5 step siblings. So a big family. He is super awesome, and we have had  a lot of fun.
            So on Wednesday our first day together Elder Williams invited this guy on the street to come to church, and we talked to him for a bit, and then he just said "bye" and walked away before we could get any information from him. But then 20 minutes later some members at the church called us and said that someone was there. So we ran to the church and there he was. His name is Max, and he is pretty cool. He is a super hardcore bible fan, and pretty much we spent the whole time talking about how we are all children of God. (well and a few other things, like prayer, healings, faith, etc) He was pretty awesome. But wouldn`t give us a number or a address, but said he would come to church (but he didn`t :(…) but he knows where to find the truth now, so we are hoping that he will return soon. Pretty much that was the story of this week. We had 10 investigators tell us that they would come to church, and none of them came. Man, I was super pumped. Bishop Uchtdorf would have gone crazy with 10 investigators at church. But for some reason none of them came. This Sunday though... they are all coming! (free agency not included) no but we did have a great Sunday because C........, who is less active and from Peru, came to church with her 7 year old daughter and sister who isn`t a member. AWESOMENESS!!!! I love less active members, because as they start to remember the blessings of the church they start bringing other people with them back to church. And apparently that is how the Lord wants the work done here in Wetzikon, (it’s actually the best way to do missionary work, I`m not going to lie) because we have 4 definite appointments with less active and part member families, and 2 possibles. So go members! 
            What else exciting happened this week.... oh I found a sweet new question to ask people on the street. "How many of the 10 commandments do you know?" so far in the past couple of days, no one knows all of the 10 commandments. It is astonishing. Oh and it turns out that Elder Bednar really is an apostle! I was listening to his talk this conference about the spirit of Elijah, and it reminded me of Preach My Gospel, and under the finding people chapter it has a whole section about the spirit of Elijah. Now as all missionaries know, we have this pass along card for genealogy, but pretty much all of the missionaries don`t like it. We only use it on old people. But I decided to start using it on everyone. And it is surprising how interested people really are in their forefathers, just like Elder Bednar promised. Even young people. It is totally awesome. It is like the church is true or something. OF COURSE it is true, and luckily we are led by living prophets, like Elder Bednar, and I am 110% confident that if we follow what the prophets say we will see success, happiness and feel the peace of knowing that we are doing that which the Lord expects of us. I know that this is the only true and LIVING church, and that the LIVING Christ stands at its head. And because that is so, this work ROCKS!
Elder Terry

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nov. 14 part two

Here is the best part about being home this morning when he e-mailed--we got to mail back and forth for about 30 minutes.  I'll share some of what he said:

ME:  How is the weather? Have you bought boots yet?  Have you needed them?
Andrew:  It is pretty cold today, foggy, but no snow.  And no boots, I don't think I will buy them.

ME:  What are you doing on your P-day today?
Andrew:  good question. Elder Jacob wants to go see zurich, but we have no clue where to go. We will probably find companionship ties and brown sugar. And I need to find a way to blow about 250 dollars 

ME:  Really, you're going to just blow $250?  You make me laugh.  Glad to hear you had a good birthday.
Andrew:  no I probably won`t spend it for a while. I want a bayern munich jersey, and maybe liederhosen, but switzerland is not the place to by them. So we will see. Zurich bahnhofstrasse is supposedly the most expensive street in the world. And I beleive it. It is like 13 or 14 francs for a big mac meal at mcdonalds

ME:  So did you have cake with Pres. Miles?
Andrew:  No. He had to leave so that they would get back to their hotel on time
ME:  Do you have to go to Munich to get your new companion or is he local?Andrew:  This will be my first transfer day where I am not in Munich. I think that Elder Williams was in the Bern zone so that is only about 1 or 2 hours away

ME:  Do you have to go to Bern to get him or is he taking a train to Wetzikon?
I will meet him in Zurich. haha and we have one other change in our distict. Elder Sullivan is coming to be zone leader here in st gallen zone, and that means he is in my district. We were in the mtc together and in the same district in wien. I think we are destined to be in the same district forever.

ME:  destined to be near each other but not companions?
Andrew:  yeah exactly. But we will get to work together at least once this transfer on companionship exchanges, and we will celebrate Christmas together!

And then he had to go.  The pictures are of his birthday cakes I sent him, the heart attack lasagna, and of him, not sure why he's so glum but there you go.

Nov. 14 part one

            First of all I need to say thank you to everyone who sent me letters for my birthday! You guys are all the best, and man, it makes a missionary`s day when there is stuff in the mailbox. I will try to write back to all of you as soon as a can, but p day is only so long, so I wanted to get a quick thank you out now. Hahahaha tell everyone hi from me, and tell Grandma and Grandpa Jepperson thank you for the letter. And thanks for the brown sugar options. We used the fake brown sugar that you can buy here last week and it wasn`t too bad, but it wasn`t the same. We will see what we can find today. 
            So this week has been UNBELEIVABLY busy. Well since Thursday. So Thursday we had leadership training in Zurich with all the district and zone leaders in Switzerland, and it was good. Pretty much just about what we can do as leaders to help the missionaries who are struggling with disappointment or other problems. And then Pres. Miles told us about a change that he had decided to make in our temple policy. Before the rule was that missionaries were only allowed to go to the temple with newly baptized members. But he has now changed the rule and all missionaries in Switzerland can go to the temple once a transfer. YES!!!!! That was the best news ever!!!! I am so excited to go to the temple next transfer. Good thing I got into Switzerland when I did.
            Then Friday was transfer calls. I am staying in Wetzikon, but Elder Jacob is leaving. He is going to the Zollikon ward, which is the ward right around the temple. I am getting a new companion, obviously, and it is Elder Williams. He is from America, and is one transfer younger then I am, so I got to know him a little bit in the MTC. Anyways, I am excited to get to stay in a place for a little while, and I will get to celebrate Christmas here, but unfortunately Elder Jacob has to leave :( oh well, I guess the Lord knows what he is doing). Anyways we got that phone call at about 8 in the morning. Then at about 12 in the afternoon Pres. Miles called me, and asked what we had planned for the day. We had an appointment with a less active member, then weekly planning, then we wanted to go dooring. Pres. Miles asked if we could change around our schedule so that at about 5 o’clock he and Sis. Miles could take us out to dinner, and then afterwards he wanted to do weekly planning with us. So we got to go to dinner with Pres. and Sis. Miles at a sweet Italian restaurant and then we did planning together. It was a sweet pre-birthday treat, and Pres. and Sis. Miles didn`t even know it was my birthday the next day. I have to confess that we celebrated my birthday with the cakes and candles (see picture) and I opened my presents on Friday, so one day early, but I hope you can understand. It isn`t every day that our mission president takes us out to dinner and comes home with us to plan. So that was Friday.
            Then Saturday was pretty normal day. We had an appointment with A______, and then we went by on a less active family and the dad isn`t a member, but they let us in and we talked forever, (the dad liked to talk politics and economics) and then on our way home one of the young men called us and told us to come over to his house right away because he had food for us. He and one of his friends made this fast food lasgauna. (yeah sorry, my spelling is off today)(and I didn’t fix it!) they got the idea from, so those of you with less restricted internet access then myself can check it out. Anyways, it is practically a heart attack on a plate. It was a base layer of bacon, then a layer of Quarter Pounders from McDonalds, then more bacon, spaghetti sauce, some cheese sauce, swiss sausages another layer of quarter pounders, sauce and cheese baked in a big metal pot. It tasted so good!!!! I was actually very surprised. Anyways, it was pretty awesome, and they had way too much so they invited us over it eat it. And they didn`t know it was my birthday either. So I am thinking that you probably prayed too much because we got way more food and fun times then I had expected.
            Oh and then Sunday was stake conference. So we had a pretty busy extended weekend, but it wasn`t so great investigator wise. We told one of our investigators who has been investigating the church for 6 years but has only been to church once that pretty much we were done meeting with him until he came to church. Then we also had a number of fallen out appointments. But we did have a super high light with a less active we met with. She is from Peru, is married and has a 7 year old daughter. We met with her on Friday, and we talked about the message of the Restoration, and committed her to preparing to go to the temple next year. It was a great lesson, and afterwards she told us that she wants to bring her sister who is not a member but lives close by to church next Sunday, as well as that she has someone she works with who she wants to give a Book of Mormon. I am so excited to work with her, and all of our other investigators. But we also need some new investigators because our teaching pool is pretty shallow right now, so please pray for that. I know that prayer works. It is the best! God lives and He answers prayers. He loves us and wants us to be happy. I also heard a good thought at stake conference yesterday. God isn`t interested in changing our circumstances, He is interested in changing us. I know that I have felt God`s hand in my life directing and changing me as I have prayed to Him. I know that this is his work, and it’s the best! I love you all!
Elder Terry

Monday, November 7, 2011

Nov. 7, 2011

            Our week was definitely interesting. First of all one of our investigators, M___, was not showing up to any of our appointments, so we pretty much dropped him. Then he called us and said he still wanted to get baptized, and I told him that means we need to meet. So we met that day and set a plan for his baptism. Unfortunately part of that plan was that he had to come to church on Sunday, which he didn`t do, so we will see what happens. One of our other investigators, K___, decided he wanted to stay in the reformed church, so he dropped us.  
            I had a really cool experience on Thursday. I was doing another companionship exchange, and this time I was working with elder Forbush. He is American, and it was weird to be able to speak English with him. But that is besides the point. We had an appointment with A___, the investigator we found a few weeks ago, and at the end of the appointment I tried to get A____ to pray. He hasn`t prayed in our appointments yet because he always says that he has too much to think about, and he wants to be able to really focus on his prayers. But this time I really felt that it was time that he prayed. So when he said again that he had too much to think about and his thoughts were too muddled, I just told him that he needed to pray, and that we were going to wait here until he prayed. Then I folded my arms and closed my eyes and waited for him to pray, as I was fervently praying silently that he would pray. We sat there for at least 7 or 8 minutes and A___ kept saying "man, I can`t pray. Help me." over and over and over. But finally he prayed. And wow it was such a great prayer, and the spirit was so strong. Missionary work is just the best!
            Later that same day elder Forbush and I were on a train, and this really dirty drunk guy gets on the train, and starts playing his guitar and singing "Bear Necessities" from Jungle Book. It sounded really good, and it was just super funny. I was laughing so hard. Missionary adventures are awesome. Other than that we have had an okay week.   
            We have been losing investigators, either we drop them or they drop us, and once again we had no one at church yesterday (that is the worst feeling in the world. No investigators at church) but it definitely means that Elder Jacob and I are going to be finding some pretty awesome people this week, so keep us in your prayers.
            Anyways this week on Thursday is leadership training, so we will see if Pres. Miles says the same thing about staying in areas longer. (Andrew’s cousin said his mission president was told by the First Presidency to leave missionaries in one area for 6 months to a year)  A lot of missionaries in our mission do stay in the same area for a while, its just me who gets transferred every transfer. hahaha transfer calls are on Friday, so we will see what happens. I got your birthday package, and I haven`t opened anything yet, but I haven`t gotten the deoderant yet. And I got a birthday letter from Tay today, so thanks Tay and Tori and Sis. Thomas, you guys are the best!
            Oh and dinner appointments... well we get normally 2 a week or so. That is probably because I don`t want to go to them. Evening is prime missionary time, and we normally have appointments for almost every evening, so that makes it hard for members to invite us over, but oh well, I came on a mission to bring others to Christ, not just to chill out with members. Yes I know that members are super important and I am actually focusing on working more with them, so no one flip out and think I am going apostate.
            To answer your other questions, I think we get 310 Swiss francen, which is A LOT of money, pretty much equal with how much I have to pay every month, so that is ridiculous. I have no idea how much rent is because we don`t deal with that, but if I had to guess probably about 900 or 1000 francen a month. Switzerland is super expensive, like I said. For example... toast (or what Americans refer to as bread... yes there is a difference, and I`ll explain it when I get home) costs about 45 cents in euro in Germany, 50 cents in euro in Austria, and 1.05 francen in Switzerland. So with conversion rates it is hard to tell but about 1.5 times as much as in Austria. Chocolate, although ridiculously good, costs TONS. Milka is like 75 cents in Austria but 1.50 in Switzerland. Or a kägi-fret, the Swiss improvement on the kitkat costs 90 cents in Austria but 1.70 in Switzerland. And it is made in Switzerland. Wierd huh? oh and my favorite, the Döner. In Austria 3.50. in Germany 4.50, and in Switzerland 8.50. Man what a rip. Someone who takes economics should tell me how Switzerland has survived because it doesn`t make any sense to me. We normally buy things together, so that means we alternate every week who buys, but we normally spend about 70 francen a week on groceries. But that is enough about money, that stuff isn`t even important. I still need a Christmas wish list. I thought about buying you chocolates filled with alcohol as a joke, but then I realized it is in German so you wouldn`t be able to read it, and might actually eat it, so that is a bad idea. But otherwise all you are getting is a kg of frey chocolate. What I really want for Christmas is just some Christmas music. I am dying without Christmas music. So if you could burn me a cd with Manheim Steamroller and other good Christmas music, I would love it. (pres. Miles says we can choose if the music is worthy of our calling, so I am saying most of our Christmas music is, except for relient k and some of the songs from Muppets probably aren`t so great, ie Marley and Marley, but pretty much the ones that talk about Christ are great. So a cd of that would be great.
            On and with the recipes... do you want to google where I could buy brown sugar in Switzerland? for some reason they haven`t heard of that. Any other recipes would be welcomed. And a crock pot is a good idea, I will have to look in to that. Anyways, thanks so much, you are the bestest mom in the whole world, I love love love you, and have a great week!
Elder Terry