Monday, October 27, 2014

Salzburg Austria Week 7

Hallo Everyone!

So this week in the mission field has been just peachy.  Now that I am thinking about it, we did not really do much out of the ordinary.  The highlight of the week is probably that Elder Kingery and I got our first real investigator!  Woohoo!  It's kind of weird that it took us a whole transfer to find an investigator but hey thats ok!  Shout out to my friends in South America that baptize 1000 people a week.  My mission is prettier than yours though!  His name is Roman.  He is a little older.  Maybe 70 something and he is currently a Jehovah's Witness which is always fun.  Everyone in Europe hates them because they can be super mean.  We went over to his house and he was waiting for us with Bible in hand.  When he let us in he had no idea what was about to go down.  Little did he know that I was a grandson of Ed Stone and I have been prepared for this moment my whole life.  We basically answered all his questions about our church through the Bible.  It was dope.  I think I kind of shoke his testimony a little.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read in it.  We will see.

A lot of people ask me how my German is coming.  It is super tricky to learn but it is super fun!  I think it is amazing that 3 months ago I didn't know anything and now I can talk to people and have conversations is German.  It is such a testimony builder for me that the gift of tongues is real! 

It has been getting a little colder latley.  There is snow on the Alps and it is so beautiful.  The Alps here are so amazing.  Way bigger than the mountains in Utah which I always thought were huge.

This transfer was a 7 week transfer instead of a 6 week transfer which is kind of weird.  One of the Zone Leaders I live with is leaving and the new one is from Scotland.  We will meet him tomorow. 

Things here in Salzburg are slowly improving.  The Lord is putting those people He has been preparing for us to teach into our path and I am so grateful for that!  I know that serving a mission is blessing my life and the life of my family.  I'm having so much fun serving the Lord!  Thank you for all the prayers!

Elder Lyman

Monday, October 20, 2014

Salzburg Austria Week 6

The Alpine German Speaking Mission Areas

Hello mine familie and freunden! 

This has been such a great week in Salzburg. Nothing really too crazy happened.

As far as teaching goes, we are doing a little bit more than we have been. We are teaching two 'less active' guys in our ward right now. We have spent some time just getting to know them and becoming their friends. We have taught them both the first lesson and invited them to start coming back to church. They both have testimonies, but they just have some concerns. I know that with the Spirit we can help them find again their testimonies and start coming back to church. They are close, but just need some help from the Lord right now.

We have been working a lot with members lately to find people to teach. We don’t have any solid investigators yet, but I know we will find them when we are supposed to.

This week was also Fall Conference for the Salzburg Stake so that was fun to be a part of. In order to fit everyone, the Stake rents out a big conference type building.  It was in Lintz, Austria, which is just like an hour train ride northeast of Salzburg. I love the transportation here. I never knew trains could be so much fun to ride. That’s one of my favorite things about Europe. The conference was really great. I can undertand most of what people say but not everything. I write down the words I do not understand and learn them later. It helps a lot. Predident and Sister Kohler were there so it was nice to talk with them and their kids.

Deutsch is tricky but it is coming. The grammar is the hardest part to get. Sometimes I will just ask random people on trains and in places if I can practice my German with them. I do not know why, but most people love helping me learn their language.  I guess it's like that cute Asian lady trying to learn English. Most of the time, I will just teach them about the church, so its a win-win.

Things are really really great. I love being a missionary and I know the Lord calls people on a mission to first convert themselves, and then they can help convert others. Also, my recent focus is reading Jesus the Christ. I started it two weeks ago and I'm about to page 300.  It’s amazing. Go read it.

I hope you all are having as much fun as I am. 

Elder Lyman

Monday, October 13, 2014

Salzburg Austria Week 5

Zone Conference.  I think Sister Bushman & I are cousins somehow!

How we do General Conference!!

Das Buch Mormon

Another great week in the mission field for me!  I love Salzburg so freaking much!  I want to move here and go to University here!  This week was a week of firsts for me.  I went on an exchange with my district leader in Neumark and we taught 4 lessons!  It was way cool!  The first on was in a pub out in the country side, the second two were families from Romania and then we taught a family from Serbia. I t was so cool!  I will share a story of what I think the coolest thing was.  

One of the lessons that we had planned fell through so we had some extra time on our hands.  We got some lunch and drove around looking for a park to eat at. We didn't really find anything so we just pulled over in this random apartment complex and had lunch.  Because we had some extra time on our hands, we decided to knock on some doors in the complex.  We basically knocked on 50 doors and no one would talk to us.  Soooooo . . . just like all stereotypical mission stories we got to the last door in the whole complex.  I knocked and a nice young boy answered the door.  Maybe 18 years old. I told him that we were missionaries from The Kirche Jesu Christi und wier habben ein botchaft uber Jesus Christus, a message.  I also told him that we were giving out a book called Das Buch Mormon. He seemed pretty cool with it and didn't really say anything back.  I kind of said everything that I usually say so it got kind of awkward and quiet.  I turned to my companion ans he just gave me the head nod to try and keep talking.  I turned back to the kid and just said, "durffen wir rein commen?" which just means can we come in?  To our surprise he let us come in!!  We got to know him for a few minutes then taught him the first lesson in PRG.  It was super cool.  We then asked him if we could watch the Restoration video with him and he said sure!  We watched the movie and it was soooo tight!  I felt the spirit so strong!  After that we all got on our knees and prayed together to know if Joseph Smith really was a prophet and if the Book of Mormon was true.  He said that what he was feeling was indescribable!!   It was so great!!  We made another appointment with him then left.  I don't get to keep teaching him because it was an exchange in a different area but I don't really care! This was just an example of how the Lord will put the elect people He has prepared to hear our message into our path if we are doing what is right!  Everyone pray for this young Austrian boy named Philipp!  I know that the Lord has prepared him for this gospel.

This week was also zone conference and that was cool.  President and Sister Kohler are so tight.  We learned a a lot of great stuff about The Abrahamic Covenant and how we have all received a double portion from the Lord to care for and bring all those others to Christ!

ANOTHER cool thing happened this week!  There is a non active guy in our ward named Richard Lyman Bliss.  He is from California.  He is 85 so he needs to get his act together soon.  Elder Kingery and I went over with the elders we live with that are teaching him and I took my family pedigree chart just for kicks.  He told me that he was named after his third great grandfather who's name is Richard Lyman!  And guess what!  Richard Lyman is on my pedigree chart!  We are totally pretty closely related!  What are the odds!  Anyway more details on that yet to come.

This week has been solid.  I'm going to keep working hard so the Lord will continue to bless us!

Elder Lyman

Monday, October 6, 2014

Salzburg Austria Week 4

Dear Familie,

What a week in the mission field it has been!  Things are going great here in Salzburg!  I thought that Utah was the most beautiful place in the world in the fall . . . until I lived in Salzburg in the fall. I t is super amazing!

This week was pretty normal besides General Conference. We are still waiting to teach our first lesson but we have an appointment tonight so pray it works out!  We have been doing a lot of finding this week in hopes of finding people to teach.  We visit a lot of non and part member families trying to find people to teach.  There are a lot of people walking around Salzburg so we contact a lot of people in the street.  Sometimes I just like walking up to people with a Book of Mormon and tell them that this book will change there life! Sometimes it works but sometimes . . . i get cussed out.  I don't know too many german swear words so I don' t mind to much.  

Something funny that happened while we were finding this week was that some random guy came up to us and asked "sied ihr schw├╝l" which means "are you gay?"  I told him NO we are not, but we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ.  He didn't really care but it was still funny. 

General Conference was the bomb!  It is basically like the Super Bowl when you are on a mission. We took loads of food up to the Church and watched all the sessions except Sunday afternoon. We will watch that one at some point this week.  I have never paid such close attention before while watching conference. I  really don't have a favorite talk yet.  I loved them all and I can't wait to print them out and study them more!  

As for my ability to speak to people, it's coming along pretty good.  It's amazing how much I learn every week.  People are surprised when I tell them that I have only been here a month because my German is "prima" apparently.  I still have lots and lots to learn. 

In the past I have kind of gotten down on myself for not having as good of numbers as I think I could have.  I know that numbers are not everything but I don't like the feeling that I'm not doing what is asked of me.  My goal this week is just to work everyday like it was my last day in the mission field. At the end of the day if I look back and really believe that I did everything in my power to be the best missionary I could be . . . I don't feel bad.  I'm so grateful that the Lord has trust in me to carry his gospel to others.  I miss all my family and friends but serving with my "WHOLE SOUL" (quoting THE Edger Lee Stone) is the least that I can do for my church and my Savior.

Elder Lyman