Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Bishop, Charles Barkley and Dan Marjerle?

That's cool about the Miss America stuff, Too bad about Kayla not winning, but I'll bet they are all super hot anyways, so they can come and console their feelings of defeat with me if they'd like :) I tell people that I am semi-related to Miss Utah, and they think it is cool, so thanks Kayla! Awesome to hear about Las Vegas, sounds like fun, We got a new Bishop in the ward, and hopefully should be getting a new Ward mission leader, because we haven't had one the whole time I have been here. Next week we will be having a zone football game, so we are pretty excited about that. We have not spoken with Katarina in a while, so hopefully she hasn't tschüssed us just yet, we are still trying with her. Not a whole lot happened last week, I got that guitar book that Heidi sent me, and it is really good, it is just like playing the songs on piano, except for guitar, with chords and everything, so hopefully by the end of my mission, I will be able to play all of those hymns (70) in that book, so that was nice to get that so soon. I have been reading Our Search for Happiness by M. Russell Ballard, and it is really good, I would suggest it, and we saw two guys that looked like Charles Barkley and Dan Majerle in the same day, so that was cool. Not too much else happened, just alot of finding time. We did get an Elder in our district from Chandler AZ now, Elder Craghead, he's ok, not Tempe cool though. Bye, Love, Elder Bentz aka Mooker

Our apartment complex in the Snow

Streets of Wuppertal


In a previous letter, mooker told us about a fireworks accident involving his hair. Looks like this might be the result of that event.

"The hills are alive...."

Our first pictures of Wuppertal, Germany. Looks like Mooker has been blessed to serve in a beautiful part of the world.

Mooker and Cousin William at the MTC

Monday, January 26, 2009

The work comes in different ways...

Wow, That is freaking awesome that the Cardinals are in the Superbowl, If they win, that means Hell is going to freeze over too, so that is something to look forward to. The week went well, as we found this really nice lady to teach named Katarina, she has a 6 year old kid, and is divorced, and is really nice, and hopefully will be the one for us, she seems really open and ready for everything, so far. The Aber family is pretty much over, they haven't called us back in a long time, so we'll probably give up on them, some people just aren't THAT ready yet, or have the need I guess, oh well. We got new Missionaries on Tuesday, and the one that was transferred up to our area is Elder Snel, who I know from the MTC, so it's nice to see him again. Bastian is definitely not retarded at all, at least in a mental sense, he is capable in all senses of worldly abilities, he is just a freaky guy. I sent you my memory card on Wednesday so you should get it today or tomorrow hopefully. I took quite a few pictures, so if you can just take all of the pictures off of there and send it back empty, that would be nice. I didn't know that AJ was home already, wow, that was fast, I'll get there soon enough :) Not anything else new, just doing a lot of finding time and that's it. We did drop by on this one really old lady in our ward who is blind and is all alone, and doesn't come to church anymore, so it was nice to go and visit her, Sometimes Missionary work comes in different ways. My German is getting pretty good, but still has a long way to go, so that will be like that my whole mission I'm sure. Thanks for sending me that package with all that drink mix in it, it is being used well. If you fell like sendng ANYTHING else, feel free to do so, I accept all things. Well, I will write you again next week, and hopefully have something to tell you about. Aufwiederhören? Love, Elder Bentz aka Mooker

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adventures in Tracting

I am sorry that I don't write too much stuff back. The thing is, for me AND Matt, we don't do a lot of stuff like Brad does, he is in America, where everyone is nice and wanting to talk about stuff. We do a lot of finding time which is very uneventful, and don't have anything different to say, but I do have one SUPER weird story about contacting. Here it is:

Elder Eddy and I were doing streets one day and we were right next to the Bishop's house. This pretty big guy walks out from his house and Elder Eddy stops him and starts talking to him, he seems normal and nice, and even says that his favorite book in the Book of Mormon is Alma, so that was weird, but then he said that he sees us guys all over the place, like in Poland and Portugal and Brazil, and it gets kind of creepy. He then asks us if we want to go up to his apartment to eat with him, which NEVER happens in Germany, so it was weird, I gave him a pass along card, and we left, and he was following us and trying to get us to eat with him. Later that day, like a half hour later, he calls and wants us to visit him, and we say we can't, and he says well later then, but we said no. CREEPY. Two days later he calls us around lunch time and leaves this creepy message, because we blocked his number, the message said that he is expecting us for lunch and he wants us to come over to his house too. We don't of course, and don't call him back, Later that day he calls like 5 times in a row on our phone, and leaves a message again, and it says that we need to take "this stuff" seriously and he will be waiting for us exact words "I wait for you...bye bye." Oh my gosh, we are freaking scared. Elder Eddy called him back and said, " hey, we are here to teach people the Gospel. Are you interested in the Gospel?" which in German, is " Interessieren Sie sich in das Evangelium?", and he said " Ich interessiere mich in Sie" AHHH!!! which means I interest myself in you... We then said, "we can not meet with you unless you want to get baptized and become a member of the church, which means Chastity and not drinking and smoking" and all that stuff, trying to scare him off but he says "yeah I'll do that" Crap...so he is super creepy and WANTS to "meet" with us. The thing is, no one would ever agree to that, that quick, especially in Germany, but we are only going to do it with a member. We hope he never calls back, but we will see what happens. It totally sounds like he WANTS us too, so we're all scared in our apartment hoping he can't find out where we live or anything and its freaking creepy. This would happen to me, dang it... Whatever, I'll leave here in 6 weeks and hopefully never see him again, uhhh... His name is Bastion, and he is creepy as crap, and big too, with a beard, ewww... So that's my story of finding time for this week, and is a lesson with handing out pass along cards with your phone number on them, DON'T DO IT! Also, on New Year's EVE, One of our investigators, (sort of investigator, we just meet with him and talk about random stuff, not really lessons) threw a firework and it singed some of my hair, it was on accident, and I am not hurt, but I had this hole of no hair in my head, and still do, but it is growing back, it's crazy here. That's what happens here in Germany and Europe as a whole probably, and it's weird, but we do finding all the time, pretty much. I am still with Elder Eddy, and it is now the 2nd cycle into my Mission, only 14 more after this one :)
Love Elder Bentz aka Mooker

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Short and Sweet

Hey, I got all of the pictures and the calendar, Thank you for all of them. That is awesome about the Cardinals hopefully they can do it! It snowed here yesterday, like 6 inches i think and it is very cold today, we did a lot of outside work yesterday, and will again tomorrow. I am going to try and send some pictures over the internet today and well see how they work, Well, back to normal missionary stuff now, Holidays are over and it is time... Oh, can you send more kool-aid mix, like A LOT? please... and also more cholula, Thanks, I love you all and am thankful for what I'm doing and learning out here. Tschuss! Love Elder Bentz aka Mooker

p.s. I had my first German Sauerkraut last night at the Seute familie's home and it was good, better than yours mom, sorry :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

A positively uplifting letter from Heidi

I'm so glad you got to talk to Matt, not many other missionaries can do something really cool like calling your brother who's also on a mission! ( : You know, adversity is going to happen, like getting down or realizing things like you did this last week, but if you've always had that faith you'll be able to lean on it. It's like when you make decisions to do or NOT do something in advance, that way when the times come, then the decision is already made. Well, your time came and you may have had a reality check about doing nothing but missionary work for 2 years on the other side of the world, but you know what? You can handle it because you prepared yourself in advance. You've already got the armour of God on so when Satan tries to weasel his way into your brain he won't get very far. Trust in the Lord and follow the promptings He sends. He has everything under control. You'll have highs and lows but it will all be a great experience that you'll be glad you've had. Remember, come what may and love it! > > Family is EVERYTHING, Mook. We love you so much and keep you in our prayers EVERY TIME!!! I hope you can feel that! Take care of yourself and drink your milk so you'll have strong bones for all that tracting!> > Learn to love the people and enjoy your time there. It's a great adventure! You're bringing the best news anyone could hear! The Gospel is TRUE! Heavenly Father knows each person individually and loves them and has a plan for them. This life is not the end, just a step in the plan of salvation. There's so much still in store for us! Have faith and communicate with the Lord, he's waiting to hear from you! ( :

Elder Bentz sent the following to Auntie Sharon

Thank you so much for the package! That little quilt thing is awesome, and it is hanging on my wall for the whole time now. I am having a great time here in Wuppertal, and the work is going pretty good, or at least as good as it could be. We are teaching this one family that has been prepared by the lord for the message of the Gospel, they are really promising right now, and our only hope as of yet, and I'm just praying that it goes through, The people here are nice, just not interested in the Gospel, we just have to find the ones that are ready. I heard a really good parable:

A man came out of house one morning, and saw an enormous boulder just sitting in his lawn, he was puzzled. Heavenly Father spoke to him and told him to start pushing on the boulder. The man started pushing on it and of course it did not move at all, day in and day out the man pushed on it and it did not move. The man became tiresome of it and prayed to the lord about it, This is pointless God, it does not move at all, why can't I be doing something else? God answered him and said just keep pushing. He said, but there is no way it is going to move, it is truly a waste of time and effort. The Lord answered him, saying, not at all, look how much stronger you have gotten, your obedience is a testament of your devotion, and your endurance has grown as well, The Lord told him all of these things that actually helped the man out by doing this seemingly pointless task. That'the way missionary work feels sometimes, but you just have to realize that it is for you as well, and when the lord wants you to find someone special, he'll let you know. You can't muff it up, it's the Lord's work. Thanks for writing me, and tell all those kids in your Primary class " Frohe Weinachten", Love, Elder Bentz aka Mooker

Short letter after the Christmas phone call

Hey mom, not much happened last week that I did not tell you about over the phone, it was really nice talking to all of you, and I will wait another six or so months until mothers day to do it again. I went on my first split, and it was pretty cool, I spent the night with Elder Sessions, he's a cool kid from Utah, and we had fun doing a lot of finding time. We still have that family, they were sick and did not meet with us, but we still can meet with them later they said, so hopefully something will come out of it. That was way nice talking to Michael, and I'm glad he got the guitar. bye, Love, Elder Bentz aka Mooker sorry it's so short, I'm getting to be like Matt!

Elder Bentz and his companion, Elder Eddy

Map of Elder Mooker's area

Letter from the Mission President

Dear Brother and Sister Bentz,
We are happy to report that your son, Elder Michael Bentz arrived safely on Wednesday and even though it was a day later than planned, he looked well rested and was happy to be in Germany. We took all the new missionaries to our Stake Center where they were introduced to the office staff and given some orientation information. I also had a few minutes to conduct a brief interview and enjoyed this time getting to know him. He is an impressive young man and we are grateful to have him here. We then had a meeting where they were introduced to their companions and then headed off to their first area of service. Our preparation day is currently on Tuesdays in our mission and he will be able to email you on that day. Regular mail is also a precious and welcome thing for missionaries to find in their mailboxes and you can use the his address. We are always grateful to have new missionaries come into the field as they bring a sense of excitement and a spirit of great faith. It inspires and energizes the whole mission. Elder Bentz entered this mission at an especially important time. We pledge eto do all we can to insure that he has a chance to grow spiritually and develop a strong testimony. We feel confident that he will be effective in this important work of teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have been prepared by our Father in Heaven. We are confident that your family will be richly blessed for your sacrifice. Thank you for sharing your son with us. We keep him constantly in our prayers and we promise to do all we can to help him fulfill a successful mission.

With love and gratitude,
President Kevin J. Ninow
Sister Lisa B. Ninow