Monday, January 27, 2014

Along the Path

Hey Dad!  [Ed. note - Debbie had problems with her email last night and wasn't able to send a message to Parker -thus the "Hey Dad!"]
Can you believe that it has been so long since we were in London? That seems like just a few months ago. I hope you are having a lot of fun especially because you know your way around a bit more. Do you remember going through that spook alley? It wasn't that scary, but it was fun to push hanging skulls into the lady's face in front of us. She didn't enjoy it as much as I did.
We had a pretty good week here. We didn't end up getting hot water again until friday so we went a whole week without hot showers. I guess it helped us be a bit more perky throughout the day. We had a really hard time this week with getting visible results but it is ok because we did our best, and we can't make decisions for others. I am excited to

Sardoni and Eldredge
see what miracles are coming our way because we never gave up all week. The weather is reminding me of Utah because it can't seem to make up it's mind about being rainy and cold or just plain beautiful.
A man came up to us on the street this week and asked us if we were mormons, and then asked us what the name of God is. I knew exactly what church he was from. He found our beliefs pretty interesting so he asked if we could meet the next morning and "talk" about the Bible. The next morning I started my personal study about 40 minutes early just to really prepare myself before going out to meet him. We went out to the place that he wanted us to wait for him and when he came we crossed the street and walked up the road. Not to my surprise there was a Kingdoms hall sitting at the top of this street. He also brought a friend with him. We met inside their church and started to talk about the church. We tried at first to show them many of the things that we have in common but they just wanted to prove us wrong in any way possible. I was amazed to find myself remembering scriptures in the Bible to back us up and to testify from. At the end of our time with them, the man that talked to us on the street asked us what the biggest difference between our churches were. I told him, "There are many differences in our church 
St. Gallen District
that differ us from everyone else in the world. We have modern day prophets and scriptures, but the biggest difference between us and the rest of the world, is authority to act in the name of God for the salvation of man." I felt the spirit so strong when I said that too him, and I could tell that he felt it too as I looked into his eyes.
Through my mission so far, one of my problems has been that I teach too much without giving enough testimony. I learned during this meeting, as we simply bore testimony without trying to win some childish scripture battle, that the spirit is the strongest tool we have.
I also wanted to share a bit of my studies this morning. I have an assignment for the next district meeting to talk about some of our mission goals. So as I was studying goal setting in "Preach my Gospel" these thoughts came into mind:
When I imagine goal setting, I envision myself allowing for a path to be built in front of me. At the end of this path lies my desire or goal. While this path is being built, I notice the many obstacles, and that this path is not so smooth as I had hoped. In fact, now it looks very difficult! I decided that if I want to reach the end of this path, I am going to have to plan every step.
I feel that goal setting is the best way to make any sort of progress in life, and I have learned that even when we feel like we didn't get as far as we had hoped, we are still a lot further along than when we started.
Well I hope that you all have a great week! Dad, how long are you staying in London? Also, would you happen to still have those to SD cards that I sent home a few months ago? I might like to see at least one of those again.
I love you all and I pray for you all!
Elder Eldredge 

Monday, January 20, 2014

In the Dark

You all seem to always be having a lot of fun! I would have loved to see Hogan play some basketball!
We have been having a pretty interesting week over here! There was a lot that happened this week and I don't really know where to start. I guess I will start with interviews. We had interviews with pres. Miles on tuesday in Winterthur, and that is always a good time. Pres. and Sis. Miles are really funny to be around. It was also combined with our first district meeting of this transfer and we have a few new members of our district. One of them is Elder Grenier from france. Elder Grenier was in the MTC with me so in our district we have three people from our MTC group! It is always great to see eachother again and to see eachothers growth over time. Speaking of time, today is my ten month mark! I still feel like I just flew into munich two months ago and that I should still be with Elder Stilger in Haag! It is kindof sad realizing how fast the time goes because there is nothing better than being out here.
We have had a bit of a problem in the apartment for the last few days. On friday morning, all of the lights suddenly went out. Normally when that happens, it means that somebody used the stove wrong (it has a short), but this time the lights wouldn't turn back on when we flipped the breaker. So not only have we gone with out light since friday, we have also had no hot water. So it has been cold showers for a few days. Luckily the electrician is coming this afternoon so we should be fine tonight.
A cool update, we should be getting bikes here in Konstanz pretty soon. Elder Sardoni and I just need to go shopping and find some cheap ones. We are pretty excited because most of our members lived really far away so it is hard to work with them frequently. But now with bikes we will be able to visit a lot more people in a lot less time. Plus Konstanz is a place where everybody rides bikes, so it is really biker friendly.
There is a woman in our area, U-----, who used to be a member but was ex-communicated. She has told us that she really wants to be re-baptized so we have been trying to work with her, so on wednesday we had a lesson with her and we set a baptismal date for the 16th of March. She is really nice but she just like being committed aparantly. She promised that she would finally come to church because we told her that she can't be baptized if she never comes to church, but she still didn't come so we don't know exactly what we are going to do with her to get her motivated and active.
All in all it was a great week here and we are always having fun. I would love to send you all photos of us trying to eat and study in the dark but I forgot my camera today. But expect them next week. Thanks for writing! have a great time in London dad! I love you all! Talk to you next week.
Elder Eldredge
P.S. I got the letters and notes that the ward sent me for Christmas! Tell everybody thanks for me! It really made my day to hear from everybody that wrote something for me.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Bitter and the Sweet

Hi Everybody!
Out with the old...
It's been another great week out here! I am now working with Elder Sardoni and we are having a lot of fun! On thursday I sent Elder Gubler back home and picked up elder Sardoni in Munich. That was one of those bitter-sweet days because I am sad that I can't work with Elder Gubler anymore but Elder Sardoni is also really funny. I drove all the way to Munich and back and we carried Elder Sardoni's stuff to the apartment and headed out again to to talk on the streets.
While Elder Sardoni and I were out talking to people we decided to say hi to one of our members who lived close to where we were. She asked us if we had already visited deisy, another member in our ward. We told her that we hadn't but we thought it would be a good idea. So we went to deisy's apartment and knocked on the door. We heard deisy ask who it was so we said "It's the Elders!" We then heard her get excited and come to the door. When she opened the door she said to us, "Elders! I can't believe you came! I was just praying for help when you knocked on the door!" Her son, Nico, was really really sick. He had been sick for a few days and he looked like it too. We told her that we would give her son a blessing, but we couldn't go into the house because she had no husband there. We quickly got the other elders so that we were allowed to go in. Deisy asked me to give the blessing. I was pretty nervous but I knew that I could do it. While giving the blessing I had the distinct feeling that he would be healthy again. I promised him that he would be healed and ended the blessing. As soon as we were done he already seemed to have more energy and color in his face. We also checked up on them the next day and Nico was his old playful four year old self again.
In with the new!
I really learned a lot from this experience about being spiritually prepared. If I hadn't been keeping my commandments and staying worthy of my calling, I would have never been able to experience the power of God work through me.
Those videos of the kids are pretty darn cute! Ainsley has such a beautiful singing voice! I couldn't believe it! I also like Graysons up-beat style! It is too bad that everybody is sick. That must not be very fun! I hope that you all start feeling better soon!
Working with Elder Sardoni has been tons of fun already! He has been on his mission for almost 7 months now. It feels a lot different being the senior companion now. I am learning a lot of new things now that I am the one who has to take more of a leading role. It is really fun and I am trying my best to be the best example and teacher that I can. We are working really hard on german together because Elder Sardoni has been in an english speaking ward for his whole mission so he needs a little bit of catching up but he is doing really really well already. He knows more and more words every day. I will send a picture of me and Elder Sardoni and one with me and Elder Gubler in munich.
I hope that you all have a great week! I pray for you and love you all!
Elder Eldredge

P.S. Dad, would you mind making a line of authority for me? I have always wanted to see what mine is. Thanks!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year and a New Companion

It sounds like you all had a great time in mexico! Those pictures are really great! I really miss those people down there! We had a pretty awesome week here! The new years eve party was right on the river and there was a ton of college students with a lot of fireworks. Sadly it was pretty foggy so we didn't get to go hike the hill to the castle because we wouldn't have been able to see the fireworks anyway. But it was fun nevertheless.
We got transfer calls on saturday! I will be working with Elder Sardoni from Kanaraville utah! He is about 6 months old on his mission so I will be the senior missionary for the first time! I also have heard that he is really really funny so I am excited. Elder Pugh will also be leaving Kreuzlingen and Elder Schuhmaier will be coming to work with Elder Stank. It should be a really fun transfer!
We had a pretty cool experience last night. We left an eating appointment last night and we were going to take the train home because it was going to be too late to just walk. When we were at the train station, the women came and sat next to us so we offered her some of the left over cake that we had just received. She apparently loves chocolate so she took it. We got talking and she had met with the elders before in the Dominican Republik. We kept having this really awesome conversation until we realized that the train should have come about five minutes before. We thought that was weird but we just kept talking. She was waiting for the same train but it never came. We got her phone number and address because she wants to meet with us. We then started to walk home because the train still hadn't come and it was about 20 minutes later. She went the other way. We later had the strong feeling that the train never came because we needed to talk to her. We even walked along the tracks for about 40 minutes and not a single train drove by. We know that for some reason, we really needed to talk with this women and God made sure that it happened. That was just one of the many miracles that we see daily.
I can't write too much this week because we have got some stuff planned for Elder Gublers last P-day so I am sorry that this is a bit short. But I am doing great and I couldn't be happier! Thanks for writing, and I am glad that you all got back safe! I love you all and I will talk to you next week!

Elder Eldredge  

More Christmas

Happy birthday ben! I can't believe that you are 17! That is super weird to me! But I hope you have a good one bud!
We had a pretty awesome week here in konstanz. Thanks for all of the awesome new toys! We have been having a pretty good time with them! One of our members, Patrik (at who's house we skyped at), gave me an Asterix and Obelix magazine for Christmas and it is really funny! Do you remember those dad? We have got stack and stacks of chocolate from our ward in the last few days, it is unbelievable!
On Christmas we were with a family from south africa, the Ryans. They are way cool and they have two kids, gary and Kaily. They were fun to play with, especially because Gary got some legos so I spent some time building his trains for him.
Almost everyday of this last week we have had at least one eating appointment, so I have almost eaten myself to death by now. Luckily everybody here eats really really tasty, normal food. I have still never had a bad meal, except for a few things that I tried to make!
Mexico looks like it has been tons of fun! I can just imagine being at the church at evenings being swarmed my masses of people ready to play games and eat good food! I do have to say that I have missed mexican food. They don't really do that over here and it makes me a little bit sad. But I'm sure that I will have many more chances to eat tacos. Make sure to eat a few more of those shrimp tacos for me!
Sadly we didn't get too many chances to do normal missionary work this week because of all of the holiday stuff, but I am really excited to have a pretty normal week of work! I am also pretty happy about new years eve! We are going with a few families to hike up this hill and I think that we will be on top of some sort of old castle tower to watch all of the fireworks. That should be pretty fun!
I took some pretty awesome photos of the sunset on Christmas eve so I will make sure to send you those photos. I also have some more photos of the same scenery but I made them yesterday evening. There is a big bridge that we walk across and the river always looks super pretty behind it.
Well I hope that you all continue to have a great time in Mexico! say HI to the Calls for me! Thanks again for the Christmas gifts! I love you all!

Elder Eldredge