Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012

Dear Mom,
                Well, first off the exciting news.... I am being transferred! I will be going to Chur! That is on the other side of Switzerland. It is in the mountains, and it is the only area with a car in Switzerland! I love it already! hahaha and I will be training, which will be an adventure. BTW my companion will have a driver’s license, but I really want to drive as well and I talked with Pres. Miles about it and he said I can do it, but I have to pay for the license myself. But I will most likely do it. It isn`t that expensive. And it will be a cool souvenir. And it is good for life. case closed.
                Anyways, besides that little bit of crazy news, we have had a really good week. We had two exchanges this week, and both were really amazing. First exchange I was in Biel. We were in a bus, and I saw a lady and I had the feeling that I should talk to her, but the bus was crowded and I couldn`t really get to her so I thought, oh well. Then we got in the train and she was in the train, so I sat across from her, and started talking to her, but she could only speak French. So that was a bummer. But then out of no where this African guy pops up and is like, "Elder! How are you?" It was a guy named Michael that is actually a member in the French part of Switzerland, and that I had met a few weeks ago in Bern. But it was really convenient that he was there, because he can speak French. So I asked him to tell the girl about the church and he did. She wasn`t too interested, and then I remembered that earlier in the day I had had the feeling to put a French Book of Mormon in my backpack. So I took the book out and gave it to her. She was really surprised and asked (Michael translated) "why do you have a French book? I thought you speak German?" I told her that I had had a feeling that I would meet someone today who needed the book in French, so I had brought it along, and I wanted to give it to her. It was a really cool experience. She gave us her contact information and we gave it on further to the French elders. So that was cool.
                Then miracles on the second exchange. This time I was in Bern with Elder Fahl. We were teaching L________, an investigator from Tibet. He is making a lot of progress and has come to church twice, but we weren`t sure how much he actually understood. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we were acting things out and drawing pictures trying to help him understand. Then we got to baptism, and we talked to him about it, and asked him if he still wanted to be baptized, he said that it was difficult but didn`t expound. We asked what was difficult and he didn`t answer for a while, but finally he explained that his entire family is Buddhist, and he isn`t sure how his family will react if he were to convert to Christianity. He told us that he was afraid that his father would disown him. It was amazing to me that somehow he had understood what we were saying and understood at least partially what would be required of him. We promised him that God would prepare a way for him that would lead to greater happiness for him and for his family. Both of these experiences strengthened my testimony that this is the work of the Lord, and that He is fully capable of doing his own work. If we will get out of his way, yield the natural man to his will, and do all that we can, then he will do the rest.
                We also visited the temple on Tuesday. Man the temple is the best. I love it. We moved most of our p day to Tuesday, hence why I wrote so short last week. but after going to the temple we wanted to go to a museum here in Bern. We got there a little bit later then we wanted, and ended up at the museum at 4:30. We saw signs that said that it would close at 5 pm, but hoped that somehow these signs were wrong, so we went inside and asked the lady at the front desk how much it costs. She asked, "nothing." we thought that that meant the museum was closed and it was too late, but then she told us that the last half an hour is free. So we ran through this sweet museum and took a lot of pictures, all for free. Totally awesome.
                Anyways, that is the main points of this week. It was awesomely good. I loved it. Being a missionary is the best thing ever! The church is so true! I love you!

Elder Terry
Elders Terry and Sanderson in Bern

Elder Terry with Bern Crest

gross spider in the Elders apartment



Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

Dear Mom,

                Well I hope you are feeling better this week. My sickness is gone, and Elder Sonne’s as well, it didn`t last too long, only Sunday and Monday so we were good for the whole week. An important favor you can do, Elder Fleming, aka Brian Fleming, a roommate from BYU is now serving in grandma and grandpa Terry`s ward. They should invite him over for dinner :) and he is a skinny kid so they can help fatten him up.
                Well this week has been an adventurous one, but I don`t really remember why.... jk. It was good. We lost contact with I________ again. She isn`t answering her phone and missed our appointment. She is really going through a hard time at the moment, so include her in your prayers.
                M______ should be having his baptism this week, but we decided to push it back a week or two because he isn`t quite ready. But he will be soon. He is a great guy.
                B________, the sweetest littly lady from Equador came to church again, and that is really good. She also is reading tons in the Book of Mormon. So that was really good news. She is making a lot of progress but still hasn`t fully grasped the apostasy. But some things take time.
                H________ is making a lot of progress as well. We taught him the word of wisdom, and he wants to keep it, so we set a goal for when he will stop smoking and stuff and he is making a lot of progress towards baptism. So that is great. He is a stud.
                We also found a really cool guy named L_________ from Nigeria. We talked to him on the street on our way to an appointment, and he had interest, and we told him we would come by in an hour, after our appointment. So we went by on him, and we were able to have a great lesson with him. He had a lot of really great questions, and the lesson went really well. We explained that the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith and L________ asked us, "So how did that work? Did the Spirit of God come upon him and enlighten his mind so that he could translate the record into English?" and we told him that that is exactly how it worked. It was pretty cool. We invited him to kneel and pray and ask god if what we had said was true at the end of the lesson, and he prayed silently for like 10 minutes at the end of the lesson. It was awesome. We are meeting with him again today.
                Sorry there is a lot more that I would love to tell you, but we are having a shortened p day today because we are going to the temple tomorrow. But I love you! and have a great week!

Elder Terry

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012

Dear Mom,
                Well unfortunately because of our telepathic bond you have made me sick, because Saturday I started to feel it a little bit in my throat, and then Sunday it got a lot worse. So I am sick as well. And so is Elder Sonne. But we are surviving and moving forwards, naturally, and enjoying life as it comes, one runny nose at a time. Man cross country camp is the best! No really, like it is the greatest. I think that cross country is what helped me prepare the most for a mission. You learn how to set goals, work hard, but what I found the most valuable is that I learned how to overcome adversity, and that life is exactly like missionary work and like cross country. In cross country you have a coach, who gives you workouts that could possibly kill you sometimes, or at least that is what it feels like, but he doesn`t do that because he wants you to suffer, or because he hates you, but because he wants you to succeed. Throughout life (and missions) God gives us challenges, not because he enjoys seeing us struggle, and not because he is displeased with us, but because he wants us to succeed. God knows what all good runners come to learn, that it isn`t the easy runs that make you strong, it’s the ones that push you to the very edge and beyond, that make you strong. And so if we ever desire to be worthy to live with God again, and to be able to become like him, then we must stick with our training plan, and use the hard moments to our eternal benefit. The apostle Paul summed it up nicely when he said,
9  "And he said unto me, My  grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." So that is my little plug for cross country. If you want to be a good missionary then go to church and live the gospel, and go to cross country. There is no better preparation for life.
                Well now about our week. We were busy to the extreme. I don`t know if I have ever had so much stress on my mission. We had to plan and prepare for zone conference, as well as plan and prepare a fireside. But let me explain. So on Thursday we had our zone conference, and for your information I played the piano, well more precisely hymns before the meeting started since I couldn`t accompany during the meeting because I was conducting, but zone conference went really well, I always love to spend time with Pres. Miles, he is really an awesome man, and it is cool to learn from him. (side note, because Sister Miles is the daughter of Elder Nelson, he is coming to visit our mission. Sept. 11 and 12 we get to meet with him) then afterwards we had an austausch with the Assistants, I got to work with Elder Carter, which was way fun, and they stayed the night at our apartment, so it was cool to spend time with Elder Sanderson again, and then Friday we had a fireside that we had planned for Newly baptized members and investigators, and it went really well. That was the stress. Now for the good parts.
                Well I_______ is really struggling. Elder Sanderson and Elder Sonne met with her on our austausch. She was sick and in the hospital and relapsed into depression, but things are starting to look better, we have an appointment with her tomorrow, and hopefully things will go better, but she definitely needs continued prayers. She is awesome and has a lot of faith but is facing a lot of opposition right now. M_____ is also making a lot of progress, he came to church this week and we met with him almost daily. But he also has a difficult situation, looking for work so that he can help out his family in Africa. So keep him in your prayers as well.
                We also have L_______, an awesome man from Tibet, who is super funny. He can`t speak very much English or German, but we were talking to him about Tibet and he told us that Switzerland is flat, and the mountains in Tibet go straight up. It was super funny. Only people from Tibet can look at the Alps and call them flat.
                B_____, the lady from Equador, is making a lot of progress as well. She came to church again this week. She has a hard time understanding the apostasy because she is really strong Catholic, but she wants to learn more and is eager to read, so things should continue to go well there.
                Well school starts today actually here in Switzerland, so everyone is back from vacation. Summer is over. Man, that is crazy. I am not ready for cold weather. Oh well, what comes, comes. I hope that you have a great week, I will be praying that you get healthy again so that I can be healthy, and I am still working on the voice recorder, and be working on it I mean I have listened to it all but haven`t recorded anything, so it could take awhile, but the important thing is that I LOVE you. You are the!

Elder Terry

August 6, 2012

                Well this week was pretty exciting for us. We had a lovely train ride to München like normal, but there was a surprise waiting for us.... namely Elder Richards of the second quorum of the seventy, who is now in the area presidency, decided that he wanted to come and visit our mission, so he and his wife came to zone leader conference. That was pretty cool. It was cool to learn from him and it was a really spiritual experience.
                Otherwise, things are going good. We haven`t had very much contact with I_______, I called her every day, but on Tuesday she answered and said that she was sick, and since then we haven`t had any contact. So we are praying and fasting that everything goes well with her, that she will feel better, and that we will be able to have contact with her today. Other than that we are still meeting with M______, he is making a lot of progress, but unfortunately he came late to church and missed sacrament meeting. AH! but it will all work out, we will talk with him today more about it. We also had contact with Hadgu again, and are working to help him get ready for Baptism.
                Do you know what is crazy? I have been thinking and praying about what I should do with the last 6 months of my mission, and I counted, and man, I only have 191 days left on my mission! WHAT? Where did all the time go? Oh well, we live life one day at a time, and all I can do is work today to do all that the Lord wants me to do today.
                I testify that we have a loving Heavenly Father, who as he told Oliver Cowdery, gives us answers EVERY time that we ask in faith, with real intent. I am so immensely grateful that God has trusted us with the chance to come here and to make correct choices, and I know that He is always faithful, that divine help is always available, and that even in our moments of despair and loneliness, He is there for us and with us, to the very end. I know that this church is the true and living church, the only one upon the face of the whole earth, and this knowledge is very important to me, and to every single soul. Let us all do a little more to share the gospel with those we know, who also are in so desperate need of the love of the Lord. I love you, and my prayers are with you!

Elder Terry

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Random Pictures

Sister Miles, the Mission President's wife, has been keeping up a blog of their mission experiences.  I haven't really known what to do with about the pictures of Elder Terry that are on her blog and then one day I got an idea and this is the result.  My goal is to go through the older mission blog posts and find pictures of Elder Terry to add to this blog, it may take awhile so be patient :)

Elders Sanderson and Terry

I just noticed that Elder Terry is standing near to Sister Miles in the group pictures.  Funny coincidence?

July 30, 2012

Dear Mom,
      Well I can`t really remember this past week either. But I will try. Monday we played basketball with Elder Sullivan and Elder Reed, and man, I can`t plan basketball anymore. I retire. Not that I could really play before. Then we ended up talking to alot of people. We were on our way home and we saw a guy that was smoking marijuana and of course we talked to him. He didn`t believe in God, but we read with him in the Book of Mormon, and gave him one. The pretty much sums up our week this week. We gave out 18 Books of Mormon. And got a lot of contact information, but the problem is, that Europeans like vacation. They get 5 weeks of vacation. So people are interested but say things like, "Okay I will read this Book, but I am going to Spain until the end of September. Can you call me then?" hahaha it is just part of the pattern of the Lord I guess. 
      I______ was unable to come to church this week, but she is doing way good, and we are excited for her baptism in a few weeks. We did have a miracle this week. On Sunday we had no one at the church. Then at 12 o`clock somone showed up. His name is Mikael. We met him last week. But we hadn`t had any contact with him. But he came to church. And man, he is really cool. HE has already read the Book of Mormon, and has prayed about it, and knows that it is true. And he will be baptized very soon as well.
       Anyways, I am sorry, I can`t remember what else we did, but it was a cool week, and I learned a lot. More than anything I felt the Love of Christ, testifying to me that He truly does love us. He has carried our pains and sorrows, and he will carry us as well, if we will let him.
Elder Terry