Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In a land where so many fairy tales were created is where my story begins ...


So first off I am alive!

So I am serving in Schwenningen, Germany.  My new address is...

Elder Seth Adam Bowers
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
SpittelstraBe 1+5
VS-Schwenningen
78056 Deutschland

So to start with leaving England I had 3 hours of sleep the night before because we had almost a 3 hour long testimony meeting. We had to be up early to get ready to leave. At the airport it was weird, they had big elevators that fit 40 people in and you ride it to the 5 floor to check in. The airport was like a mall, you had to walk through it to get to the gates.

Check-in went fine did not have a problem with luggage because they shipped one bag a few days before so I only had to check one. We flew with Lufthansa. I ended up getting a middle seat assigned to me which was ok because Elder Carter had the window seat next to me. It was nice to sit by someone I knew.

 

It was sad to see one sister stay as we left because she was going to the Frankfurt mission and flew a little later on.  When we got to Germany we deplaned, but not on a jet bridge, rather onto busses. They unloaded out the front then the back of the plane.

Once we got to passport control I was worried, but they did not ask me questions. This was a blessing; seeing how I do not know that much German. When everyone got there bags we walked out; President and Sister Kohler where there with the AP, Munich zone leaders, and their son.

We took a group photo and put our bags in a van and left to the train station. We then traveled by train to the mission office.

During this time we were given a book of Mormon and challenged to give it away. So the first two attempts, I got shot down.  They would not even say hello or anything.... I then started to talk with an older lady-and keeping in mind this is in German- so we started talking and then I had to get off the train, so I was not able to give the book of Mormon away.

 I learned so much and gained a better confidence in myself. We then got to the mission office where we learned more about mission life like how much money we get etc. That night we ate in the mission home... which has been in the same place for 50 is what president told me. So it might have been the same house my father visited during his mission.


We then learned of our area we were going to serve in, my area is Schwenningen 2. This is a car area in the middle of the black Forest.
Thanks for the picture Sister Denise Ziegner!

We learned our trainer’s name. My trainers name is Elder Hancey. We had a testimony meeting and the left for the hostile for the night. We took the train there and slept.

The next morning, we went to the church then we went to the train station to get on our trains to leave for our areas. This was a lot like transfer days, for transfer days there are 5 main train stops in our mission. .

It was sad to see some on my MTC friends and companions leave. 3 went to Austria and 1 Germany but close to Austria; they all rode together.

 

There were two that stayed in the Munich zone so their trainer’s came and picked them up. Elder Bates, Elder Maw, Sister Priest and I traveled to Stuttgart; where we later would be dispersed. There were other missionaries as well but when we got to Stuttgart I met my trainer there. We took a train for 2 hours to a station; we transferred to another train and traveled 40 min. So, in all it took like 5-6 hours to get to my area.

 I am in a car area so we cover little cities out here. There is snow here! My apartment; there are 4 of us. My trainer and another elder go home this next transfer. I will be getting a new comp in 5 weeks. The other elder goes home in December!

There are some amazing members here. We went to this family’s house and they fed us. They spoke English which was a plus, but they are so kind to missionaries. I loved being in their home, as you could feel the love the gospel has added to their lives since moving here from England.  They are Philippian.
Another family we went to spoke German, but they were super awesome the invited us over for Sunday lunch. You could feel once again the love they had for the missionaries. He is the Branch President.

So church yesterday was interesting, I bore my testimony in very broken and simple German. A guy afterwards told me to follow him, and I said “I needed my comp” and he said “it will take 2 minutes.” He then gave me a sandwich and an orange. I not sure but I hope I didn’t say something like “I am starving in my testimony.”  He was so sweet, I am so grateful for his compassion. 

 So on Saturday I am going to Zürich because it is stake conference, we are going for the priesthood session with the branch president.  He is driving us. Sunday we will watch it here, I believe.
But In April Elder Bednar is coming and he wants to do a whole missionary meeting with the whole mission. Right now the mission has 265 missionaries.

Love you all!

Elder Bowers

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