Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 25, 2013

Dear Family

Well this last week a lot of cool things have happened. Last Monday we got a call from someone who had received a Book of Mormon 20 years ago in Switzerland. He has read from it in the past and now he wants to meet with us. So we committed him to baptism and he agreed on the 28th of April to get baptized. Miracles are happening here in Germany. This mission is such a great mission. So Jason, just remember miracles happen, and try to make them happen. 

I'm not so sure if I shared the story about the chocolate last week so I'll do that now.  So two weeks ago we had a lesson with Herr P. (the 80 year old man who ran 40k on Thursday for fun) and he always gives us a snack to eat. So this time he had a plate with some chocolates on it.  Elder B. and I reach to grab one and Elder B. pops one in his mouth and I was about to when Elder B. motions not to eat it. I was super confused. Then I remembered a funny story a senior missionary told me about her giving the missionaries alcoholic chocolate when she was investigating the church. But I knew that Herr P. hates alcohol so I asked him what was inside. He said nougat (hazelnut) so I was like ok and bite half of it. Then before I know it there is this stinging taste on my tongue and I'm sitting there not knowing what to do with my mouth- half open, half way between spitting it out and looking professional (which isn't working at all),  So I decide the only thing to do is swallow it. It was awful. Then Herr P. felt terrible because he knew we aren't supposed to drink alcohol. We looked at the package and it said Kirsch wasser. Which is some type of liquor. It tastes terrible. 

That's funny about the film (a film was made with all of the kids from his brothers graduating class that are serving missions). Some other school already did that. 

And don't worry about Jason being gone. It goes by pretty fast. Sadly, I'm almost half way done. Mothers day will be my half year mark. That's also pretty nice that Jason can be able to call home on Mothers Day. 

Salzburg was well idk, we got some food met some other missionaries then went on our way. It doesn't seem super special to me. I’ve been living here for 8 months now. But a really cool city you should look up is Sigmaringen. A member lives there and we go down every couple of weeks. Cool things that we see or do on our mission always involve people. When I go home my favorite memories that I have will be from the people. There is no substitution to the people. That's just how it is. People here are awesome!

So now Elder B. is no longer a missionary. He served an honorable 2 years and is now doing something in England. I now have Elder F. as a companion. He is from Utah and has been on a mission 3 months less than me. So for the first time my companion is younger than me. That's a first. He is way excited to be here. He was in Linz, Austria before here. So we both love Austria. We enjoy it together. We have some awesome goals. We believe we can get 3 baptisms in the next 2 transfers. (I think I'll be here for 2 more transfers but we'll see what really happens) It is a difficult goal, but I'm sure it's possible. There are so many people here who are prepared to receive the gospel of Jesus christ and we just have find them.

Love Elder Kinghorn

There and back again, A missionary tale by Elder Kinghorn or Baptism and Wedding in Wiener Neustadt)

Dear Family (and Rachel because this is now legal),

This last weekend I spent a ton of time on trains. We started our journey at 9:25 am on Friday. We pulled into Wiener Neustadt at 8:00 pm. We did have a 2 hour layover in Salzburg, which was cool. We had lunch with some missionaries and then got back on our way, but we were kind of lost. Our phone didn't work in Austria. So, we had no keys and no phone at night in Austria. So of course we walked over to the P's to see if we could use their phone. S. was so excited to see us. Well me (Elder Kinghorn had been there for 5 months). J was gone picking people up from the airport. 

Then we got a hold of Elder W. and Elder S. It was great to see them. We met them at bahnhof a quarter to nine. Then we walked home. We had some dinner (ice cream) and then went to bed.... but fell asleep a bit later. 

Saturday morning rolled around and we walked over to where the wedding would be. We opened the door and I saw lots of people speaking Spanish. I saw J and just gave him a huge hug. It was so great to be able to see him again. He had missed me I could tell. Then I saw S and P. Of course giving them hugs too. Then G was there and he was so excited for this day. It was awesome. Then The P kids saw me and Michele (the 1.5 year old) just ran to me and hugged my legs. Then the wedding was about to start so we watched it. It was German with Spanish translations. After the wedding I felt really bad not giving A. (the bride) a hug. So I did. ( I don't hug everyone, A. was actually the first girl but it was needed to be shared.) 

Then we went to the church for a lunch type thing -whatever it's called. We had pizza. and it was great to be able to see everyone again. Ok most of the ward wasn't there because it was ward temple week. But the T’s were there and E. and B, who I wanted to see again. E. just received her endowment last week. She was so excited for the temple. And B. was quite sad that I wasn't able to stay longer. And the T’s are the T’s, and everyone loves them. 

Then we did the baptism pictures and I felt like I was one of the missionaries that really helped G come closer to baptism. Then the baptism started and it was Spanish with German translations. Then G and J went into the water and G. was baptized. It was such an amazing experience. The spirit was so strong. I loved it. But sadly we had to leave like right then. Our train was leaving in 20 minutes. If we missed the 4:30 train we wouldn't be able to get home that day. So we were driven to bahnhof and started our long journey home arriving at 1 am. 

Church was quite different. It was Elder B’s last sunday as a missionary. The ward sang ‘God Be With You Till We Meet Again’. It was quite sad. His farewell as a missionary. He is a good missionary and will do a lot of good when he gets home.

That's crazy that you have two sons out on missions now. This is where God wants us to be. Mom, I know you're going to go into mild depression for the next few weeks. But it's not bad- you get to talk to us in just a few weeks. On Mothers Day. And look in the scriptures. When the sons of Mosiah return and see each other, look at how happy they were. Missions are amazing places to be. In 2 years when you see Jason again you will have the same joy that the sons of Mosiah had. Ya, Jason is your little goofball of a son. But he is destined to be an amazing missionary helping innumerable amounts of people. Jason might get homesick but I'll send him a package soon with something random in it. What do you think I should put in it? I can be your package boy for Jason.

Oh, I've played that game before (the name game).  Except it was in German. It would be a good language study game. I learned a ton of really random words. Like there is a word for the cross country skiing tracks. You know, the two grooves in the snow. But I forgot what it was.

I Love you
Elder Devon Kinghorn

March 11, 2013

Dear Family,

Last week we had zone conference. It was really great. We learned quite a bit of how to work with members better. Also last week 4 of our appointments fell out. So that was pretty rough. But oh well. On Saturday we had a cleaning day. The whole mission was supposed to spend the whole day cleaning. But we had a ward activity in the morning, which was soccer. So we went and played soccer. I'm quite bad at it. Well, really bad compared to everyone else here. That was different. 

Last week I had an exchange with Elder R. He is the one from the MTC. We went to Ellwangen and found some really cool people. One of them lives in Passau so we were able to give his information to the office as a referral. He had quite a bit of potential I think. 

This week is going to be awesome. Friday we are taking a train to Wiener Neustadt to go see G's baptism and wedding. It will be so cool. And also it will be a ton of trains. To come back to Ulm, Saturday at 4:30 we have a train going to Wien. Then we get to Ulm at 1:00 am.  It will be quite a long day of trains. But I'm used to that now. 

Language update- I am pretty good at talking about whatever in German. I have learned the most of my German talking with people. I can understand everything and it's not just church German. So it's coming along great. Have fun being empty-nesters. It is a great party. Oh. and I know about the English-German relationship (question about the show Top Gear) . My companion is very English. And loves Top Gear. It's just fun and games to them, but they all make the jokes anyways

I Love you
Elder Devon Kinghorn

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 4, 2013

Ulm Minster

Dear Everyone,

So yes, I know The District quite well. I have seen them many times and Jason will watch them a ton in the MTC, it's every day. In the first 3 months you're supposed to watch it every day. It is quite a bit of time. And we can quote it pretty well.

This past week was, well different. So two weeks ago we were on the run everywhere because we had no apartment. Then last monday as we were playing basketball (yes It's been 9 months [from the knee surgery] so I have the doctors ok) and Elder B. really hurt his ankle. It swelled up to quite a large size and then turned all sorts of colors. That wasn't the best. So while we were in Stuttgart we purchased an ankle brace for him. He limped onto the train back to Ulm, then to the apartment so he could rest it. We had a lesson in Ulm the next day, so we had to take a train and it wasn't the best for Elder B. Luckily there was a bus that sent us straight to H’s apartment. Our lesson went pretty well.

Then some girls on the way back heard us talking in English and thought it was so cool I was American-apparently being British isn't so cool. There was a gang of 4 or 5 15 year olds. But then we went back up to Ulm.

Oh and yesterday we met with the really cool family that we found last Sunday. I have a feeling that they will get baptized one day. They are about 30 and have a little baby. It will just take time until they get baptized. Maybe this year or maybe in 5.

I don't have much time because we have zone p-day today and dying companions like to get things moving. So I wish you all a wonderful day.

I Love you

Elder Devon Kinghorn

Stuttgart Zone Conference - Birthdays- Elders Root, Kinghorn, Gunn, Stricklin, Fiedler, Buck, Thompson, Sisters Benson & Miles

Stuttgart Zone Conference

Monday, March 4, 2013

February 25, 2013

Dear Everyone who loves me enough to read this,

So last week started out fairly good. My birthday we had no idea what to do so we went to the zoo. It was really fun. We saw some birds that make alligator noises and a spitting llama, and some monkeys. 

After that we went into the Münster-the giant church. As you walk in you have to go through the gift shop. Inside the church it was enormous, and colder than outside. We saw some paintings of peoples guts being pulled out. And statues of famous saints and everything.

This week has been pretty crazy. But this week will be good. I have no worries about it. We are going to stuttgart today for P Day. Maybe in a week or two we will go back up again and see the Mercedes Benz arena. Tours are pretty cheap. 

Last week was a very odd week. and yesterday we were let in by this really cool family. They were probably around 30 with a little baby. But this family is really cool. They want us to come back. And I think they have real potential especially because they live just down the street from the church (office space).  It’s faster to walk than to take the bus. 

This last week was really hard. It was just really tiring not being able to sleep in our own bed. Couches aren't as nice as a bed. But it was fun seeing the other missionaries. But now it's a new week and things will be different.

This week our goal is to work as hard as possible. So next week I'll tell you how it went. But so far it's looking up.

At the end of P day we got a call from our land lord. He was going to redo our bathroom (the tiles were falling off the wall and water was damaging the wall) and he was starting Tuesday. We wouldn't have a toilet or a shower for quite a while. So Tuesday we went up to Ellwangen for District meeting. Which is a 2 hour journey (this past week there was construction on the rail line so we had to use a bus). After that we had to return back to Ulm for an appointment. Then we had to go back up to Ellwangen. Which was quite a long time. And we slept there. 

Wednesday we went back down to Ulm. Then we went to visit an 80 year old guy named H. He is super awesome. He used to meet with the missionaries like 40 years ago. And he has a testimony that everything is true. A bit ago he called the church to get in contact again. He is an awesome guy. And I think he has real potential. 

After H. we went to a part member family for dinner. And it was on the very south edge of our area. So going back to Ellwangen would have been 3.5 hours. Not exactly a perfect scenario to get back at midnight. But going to a city called Ravensburg was possible. It would only be 30 minutes, but it's outside of our zone. So we called the AP's and they told us to go to Ravensburg. This was super exciting because Elder Hyatt works in Ravensburg. So I was able to see Elder Hyatt. It was pretty awesome. And Elder Pope. 

Thursday pulls up and we needed to get back to Ulm fairly early. So we took a train back. Right as the train pulled away we discovered that we had Ravensburg cell  (they are identical) so we called the Ehepaar in Ravensburg and the plan was to come back that night again. So we were able to stay a second night with them. It was pretty sweet. Ravensburg to ulm is only an hour so the train ride wasn't super long. 

So by this point in the past week I had been in Wien zone, taken a train through Salsburg and stopped in München zone to change trains as we came to Ulm, then went to Stuttgart zone because I live there. And now Sankt Gallen because we stayed with the elders there. 

One of our new converts (A.) in Ulm lives technically outside of our area but Ulm is the closest ward so we went with him to visit a kid with down syndrome. And he lives in Sigmaringen which is in the Zürich zone. 

So, in one day we were in 3 different zones doing missionary work. And in the past week I had been to 6 of the 7 zones in the mission! But I don't think I'll go to Bern Swizerland. It's really really far away. Ulm borders München Sankt Gallen and Zürich. 

Fom Sigmeringen to Ellwangen to spend the night was a really really long train ride. We left at 5:30 and got in 8:45. It was quite long. And it was Elder R’s birthday so we celebrated (he is a missionary there and was a roomate in the MTC) His companion is new to the mission. He is from Ireland. So in the apartment there was 2 americans a Brit and an Irish man all in Germany. It’s not very common. 

Saturday morning we did a street display with the elders in Ellwangen and then got some lunch and then traveled back to Ulm. But this was a Saturday so travel times were a lot different. We had to take a train, then a bus, then another train. And it took 3 hours and 15 minutes to do journey that normally takes half that time. Then we did weekly planning. and finally slept at home.

So Sunday rolls around we were tired of having a bum week. So going to church we found a potential. Then after church we had one appointment at night. So we went finding. We went on splits with two ward members. both fresh return missionaries. One speaks Russian as his native language and English, no german. The other is an American who grew up here and went on his mission to Ukraine and speaks Russian. Together we found 5 potential investigators. Actually we found quite a few russian people. I was with the American. 

We knocked on this one door and they let us in and we had a lesson. It was so cool. That had never happened to me before on my mission. Then we got a return appointment from them. It was super exciting. Then we had dinner with a family and went home to fall asleep.

That was my week. I don't even know how many hours have been spent on trains. Quite a few.

I Love you
Elder Devon Kinghorn

Saying Goodbye to Wiener Newstadt and Hello to Ulm

Dear Everyone,

So this week I had a successful trip to Ulm, Deutschland. It took quite a while. We left Wiener Neustadt at 6:45 am. Then took a train at 7 am to Wien. And we ended up in München around 1 pm. Then we had to wait in München for a while and we arrived at Ulm at 4 or 5. We had a third missionary with us who needed to go to Stuttguard. So we had to go to Stuttguard and back and got home at around 8. So it was quite a long day. 

For your talk just say how appreciative I am of all the things we did together. I'm sorry I didn't appreciate it earlier. But now I am so glad for all of the fun times we had together. Going across the world or even just eating together every night. Really, there is no replacement. I can honestly tell people I am glad that I can live with my family forever. 

Yes I know Ulm has a giant church. And yes, I have seen the giant church. We call it the Eye of Sauron. It is probably 500 yards from our apartment. So when we walk outside we see it. Well from the whole city you look up and it's starring at you.

And the German here is different. I won't have a problem with it. I can already understand most of it. Austria just has some hard dialects. The only German I can't understand is Swiss. But that's harder than Dutsch. I can read the Dutch Book of Mormon pretty well. 

We live in the state of Baden Wurttemberg. But the church is in Bavaria. Bayern, as we say. But I can't spell. So now I have worked in 5 different states: those two and Nieder Österreich Borgenland and Wien. Funny how that works. And this branch seems really small. We meet in an office building. There are about 30 active members. So not quite the big crowd. Wiener Neustadt had of 80 or 90. But we are working on it. 

That stinks Jason (his brother) doesn't have a visa (for his mission to Spain). Tell jason his visa isn't that important. God knows what he's doing. And Jason’s mission will go just how God wants it. On a mission it's really easy to see how much God helps us and gets us to the exact people we need to go to. I don't have a German visa yet. But it's no problem. We will just go to the Rathaus and buy one. It comes 6 weeks later. And it's good for as long as I want it to be good for. 

Germany feels different. I can't explain it right now. I still have to wait and listen a bit. But it is definitely different from Austria. This week will be a real contacting week. 

Right now we really don't have much going on. We need to find people. This isn't Wiener Neustadt where 5 lessons is a really really slow week. This is where 5 lesson is a really good week. So it's time to kick it into gear. This area has been kind of slow for a while it needs a kickstart. But that means I can really help this area grow. 

My new companion is Elder B. He is from Britain. He is going home in 4.5 weeks (this transfer is short) so it is my third one transfer companion in a row. He is really funny. And really good at the piano. His english sounds funny to me. He uses the word bit quite a lot instead of thing. 

Last monday was a fun day. I got a pair of Lederhosen. Then we had an eating appointment with a part member family. He is from Germany and is the elders quorum president. His wife is from Ukraine. They have this really funny baby daughter also. 

Tuesday was my last time seeing our GML (ward mission leader) J. It was really hard to say goodbye to the family. His daughters were trying to keep me from leaving. Holding onto me as we were walking out the door. But there is hope to see them again. We might be able to go see G's baptism in a month. It would be a really long trip but it is possible. We just have to see what president says to it. We could do it in just two days. 

After we left the P’s we went to our old 7th day Adventist. He is super cool. After that we had a lesson with C. She is a recent convert. And after her we met with E. She was baptized a year ago this month. She was a really good friend and it was hard to say goodbye to her. She loves the missionaries though. Wednesday we had district meeting and we said goodbye to everyone in our district. That was sad because we have been together for months. And then we basically ran to Bahnhof to catch a train to Baden going to say goodbye to B. She was sad I was leaving. After our appointment she said I know this isn't allowed then gave me a hug. Pretty funny. After that we went back to Wiener Neustadt where we met with C. She is getting baptized this summer. She really loves meeting with us. 

After that we had our last appointment with the A’s. We decided to surprise them so we showed up to their apartment wearing Lederhosen. It was pretty funny. We had a really good dinner and then a really good lesson. G. is so excited for his baptism in a month. I think his will get baptized sometime this year or next. 

Thursday I spent the whole day traveling. Friday we met with another super old guy. named H. He has some really high potential to get baptized. We need to meet with him like 3 times a week. Then we went to find some potential. And we ended up in the middle of nowhere. It wasn't very effective. So then we went to a family who were baptized a few years ago then went inactive but now are coming back to church. They lived  and got baptized in America so they speak perfect English and want us to speak in English so their kids can learn it. They have two little daughters. 

Saturday we went looking for less actives. We found 3 but only one was home. Her name is P. I think she will get reactivated there and her husband get baptized. She is a really cool person. 

I Love Ya
Elder Devon Kinghorn