Monday, June 29, 2015

Week One in Germany

This week has been crazy. I'm officially in Germany!!!! I arrived the
first day we we got straight to work with orientation. We also got
iPads! It's so cool we can download videos to share and we can have
the Book of Mormon in basically every language (something I soon
learned was a necessity) after they fed us they got us started with a
board display. We started talking to random people in the street about
das Buch Mormon basically. It was cool, Frankfurt has a million
languages and is extremely international.

We stayed the night in the hotel and then in the morning did a bit
more orientation and we finally got our companions and areas. My comp
is Elder Crittenden from Utah. He's really cool and is a great
trainer. We've been going strong since I got here. It took us two days
to get to Paderborn because we had district meeting in Unna and it was
a waste of euro to go to Paderborn then turn around the next day. So I
finally made it to my new home.

Sunday was the best. We got to church a bit earlier and I was able to
meet most of the members. Then in sacrament meeting, Sunday school,
and Priesthood meeting the branch president made sure to let everyone
know that we have a new missionary (At which point everyone in the
branch of 24 would look at me). I got to give a short testimony in my
check mix German which was fun. It was linger longer this Sunday......
We need to step up our game. This was the best linger longer in my
life. We had a full course meal, which was amazing and I could have
died right then. Someone had made this amazing peach and chicken
thing. And the cake was great too. They had a coconut one, a malize
pan cake. Everyone said hi and talk a bit with me and the kids all
thought it was fun when I couldn't pronounce the word tape in German.
We have about 25 members and 12 of them are under 12.

A bit more about my area. Paderborn is a biking mission. So after a
year plus of not riding a bike that's pretty fun :( it's getting me
into shape that's für sure. We also have buss passes. And our area is
huge! It takes over an hour by train to get to some of the corners and
it's quite expensive so we don't go out there that often. The work is
going to be great here and I'm so excited to get started.

A great moment this week was when we were walking to an appointment we
ran into two people siting on a bench and asked if they would like to
hear a message about Jesus Christ, they said they were just talking
about him and would love to hear what we believe. We have an
appointment with them tomorrow. It was so cool.

So far the languages I've spoken this week
An attempt at farsly (Iran)
Some sigh language to a lady in the park (ain't nothing like making
sentence out of thin air, literally) she wasn't interested but she
gave a thumbs up to Jesus Christ and a thumbs down to Heligen der
Letzten Tage.
So far no Spanish.... Next week.

We're also looking really hard for a service project to do, anyone
have any ideas?

Elder Flickinger

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lets Do This Thing

Hey everyone, I just wanted to say good-bye from the MTC. My flight leaves tomorrow at 4 am so I get to say goodbye. Im so excited to be sharing the gospel in Germany. I cant wait to get there and get started. Thanks to everyone that helped me get here. I cant wait to email you from Germany. 

I just wanted to bear my testimony that I know this Chuch is true and that my call was inspired and given through a living Apostle. I know that through diligent scriputre study and prayer God will answer our prayers. He has prepared us for the things He wants us to do and the people He wants us to meet. I know that He is preparing people in Germany right now for me. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it realy was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

Thanks for all of ur love and prayers. 

Elder Flickinger

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Last Week at the MTC

So Im approaching my last week at the MTC here are some spiritual things Ive learned

1. The Book of Mormon is amazing and we have prophets to guide us in these latter days. The Book of Mormon was translated and printed by a prophet and we have a prophet to guide us and help us to come closer to Christ. Isint that amazing I guess this is a bit more of God Loves us so much that he has given us what we need to come back to him and he helps us find it. 

3. We can pray for anything. This week all of my prayers have been answered. To the point where Im now praying to know what I need to pray for. Its amazing that we have a Hevanly Father that loves us and want to bless us and answer all of our prayers. 

4. Be Obedent. It seems to be a common theme in a lot of talks about how we have to be exactly obedient. But also this week D&C 130:20-21 has popped up a lot. "21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." Basically if you want blessings you have to follow commandment connected to the blessings. 

And some not so spiritual things Ive learned

1. Don't bring hangers to the MTC. There a waste of space and they cost 4-8 cents in the book store.

2. Be an international arrival! Its amazing the perks include...
  • Meet all the international arrivals because you show up a day early and have instant friends anywhere you see them
  • Making people think ur fluent in another language (Si, soy fluent.... Asi Asi)
3. Dont drink the Orange Juice. Here is my conspiracy theory over the Orange Juice. The MTC Department of Research (actually found their office in the basement of a random building) is working on a formula to make a generation of Super Missionaries. Right now they testing new formulas in the Orange Juice. They have these underground tunnels that connect the buildings so they can hide all of their secret laboratories and conduct other test... Basically when I find something new about the MTC I try to connect it to the Orange Juice Conspiracy. Its a fun mental game. 

And on a more "here is what I did this week" note; I got to go to the SLC Temple which was amazing. I also got to go to the LDS Humanitarian Services and make a quilt. It was so nice to do normal service for an hour (at the MTC we have 2 hours of service a week but it basically means 2 hours of cleaning the MTC). Also I was amazed at how much the Church does to help with their service. One of their three purposes is to help people to become self sufficient so most of their project help people achieve that along with helping them. We also got to see the visitor center and the conference center and the Tabernacle. It was so cool to see all those places.  

My temporary companion for the day was from Mexico. So I got to practice a bit of my spanish with him. 

This week I broke my glasses. Sad day. But on the bright side I got to go off campus to get new ones. What was really awesome is people would say hi to us. We ran into a senior couple serving a stay at home mission (new pilot program) and someone offered to pay for our lunch (we had to decline because we eat at the MTC). We also got some planing done for our investigators which was great. 

Thanks for all of ur prayers and help.

Elder Flickinger

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fire Nation

We've determined everyone's bending element (I'm Air and my comp is Earth...)

I got to play in Church this week and it turned out amazing. Ill try to attach a video of me practicing. Im going to try to play all three songs this week so lets hope it goes well. Some of our presidency is leaving this week and its our second to last week so we will be playing "God be with you till we meet again" But I was I nailed "Come Follow Me"

So my companion has found out that I have a small obsession with rice. This week I have going through rice withdrawal but them the cafeteria had TERIYAKI BURGERS!!! which means more importantly TERIYAKI SAUCE!!!!!!!!!!!! which means even better things can be made like rice and teriyaki (I feel like I may have gotten carried away with caps lock there for a little). 

So this week I felt amazing after doing a slamming job of playing the piano that it's time to pick up the violin again. The good news is that it's like riding a bicycle and I haven't forgotten a thing. The bad news... I was never good at playing the violin. So basically we compared it to the three degrees of glory. I was Telestial, my companion is Terrestrial and the sister from the other zone is Celestial because she plays so good (like how are you not a pro). So lets just say Im going to be sticking to the piano for a while.

This Tuesdays devotional we had the relief society president talk (thats whats happens when you have more sisters in the MTC then elders) She gave a great talk on how we are disciples and I went to share a scripture so I got put on the gumbo screen (it was so scary, i thought i saw my dork dot back on my nametag) Near the end one thing that she said that really stuck to me was "We all begin somewhere, we start where we are and move forward" I think that that is a great quote for us as missionaries and as we help investigators to come unto christ. We all are starting somewhere, no matter where that is, its great when we start moving forward. 

Also I now have a new favorite scripture. Is Moroni 8:26 "And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God." Isint that a great scripture. I love how it also touches on some of the points in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End) I love how it also brings up how we must pray diligently and how it references the Plan of Salvation by stating that we will then dwell with God when the end comes. 

-Elder Flickinger

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Another Crazy Week at the MTC

This week has been crazy. We got to teach a German member (unfortunately we don't Skype them because enough people in Provo UT. are German) Also my capitalization is also going nuts because Germans are capitalization happy. 

This week my "Ziel' is to learn to play two songs on the Piano. I can kinda play Called to Serve and Come Follow Me. Come Follow Me is insainly easy so I guess I know what we are going to be singing in church on Sunday. Thanks again mom for having me take piano lessons and learning to play the violin. Its weird but I still remember most of it. (Except how to play left hand. But I might sneak a google in to figure that out). 

On a funny german story Ive accidentally been saying "Jesus Christi hat fur uns getort" which I thought was "Jesus died for all of us" Turns out its "Jesus killed for all of us." It should be "Jesus Christi hat fur uns gesterbt" which is "Jesus died for all of us" Turns out the word for dead "Tod" and the verb to kill "toten" are more alike than the verb to die "gesterben" .... opps, that explains all of the odd looks i get.  good thing im learning this now when im just talking to members and not scaring off Germans with false doctrine. Also it turns out the the Swedes and Romainish have been having the same problem. #LearningANewLanguage

This week my companion got an ankle injury so I finally got to wait in the waiting room of the Clinic. They have an Origami section so I learned how to make a Snail, a Bird, and a Gold Fish! It was fun because we had to go to the clinic then off campus to get Xrays. (Going off campus make us really happy because the campus is kinda small so we cherish the opportunity to see the outside world) Then we had to go to the clinic. So basicaly I learned origami and the only reading I had was the handbook so I now know all the rules inside and out. whoop whoop.

The IT vs. Missionaries war has its victor. ME :) I found a computer and a small work around that lets me upload photos :) I think its how they want you to do it because its what the instruction on one of the scripts they have on its says to do so I dont know how much of a work around it is, but it works so I'm happy. 

All in all this week has been fun and exhausting. They are not kidding when they say a missionary can fall asleep at the end of the day in a second. We get up at 6:30 every day except on Monday when we have to get up at 6:00 to do a special service (Cleaning the MTC, everyone has to do it).

My spiritual experience from this week was from a talk by Elder Christopherson which he gave for devotional about how you need to learn to love the people you serve. If the Germans in Germany are anything like the Germans I've met at the MET then that will be no problem. As long as you love the people you can get around some mispronounced words and a "charming" accent and let the spirit teach. 

Ps. Im so jealous that the school just now got 3d printers. And there was a robotics comp at the city of knowledge just after as I left.... what is this? 

Elder Flickinger