Thursday, November 27, 2008

Additional photos while waiting for the next email

The Kiel District Serving at the Outreach Center.
Four past and future wakeboarders now preaching the gospel.

Elders and Sisters with Outreach Institute members at a get together.

Four past and future wakeboarders now preaching the gospel wishing they had a wakeboard and wishing it was legal to do on a mission.

On a ferry boat during P-day at the Yacht Harbor outside of Kiel.

Thanks to Sister Lynn Durham who recently returned from her mission for providing us with some photos we've never seen. She was kind to provide us with some shots of Chad's time in Kiel during the summer months. For the record, it's okay to ride on ferry's and boats in their mission mainly because there is so much water and in some areas it is the only way to get around easily. Hamburg has more canals and waterways than Venice, Italy and Kiel is the sailing capital of Germany. Chad won't be seeing much ocean during the next few months as he is back down in the southwestern part of Germany again. He was lucky to serve in coastal cities on both the Baltic and North Seas. Now it's back to the cold regions close to the Netherlands and Belgium borders. We also hope to receive additional photos from Sister Wilson who also served in Kiel. Both Sisters went to Germany at the same time as Chad and have completed ther missions. Keep the photos coming sisters. We always knew we could count on the "sisters" to get things done and as all the Arnett neices who have served keep telling us, "sisters" make the best missionaries. While we are at it, an official congrats to Chad's cousin Lexie on her mission call to Washington DC South.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Love Love Loving it!

Well it was a good week. I'm loving life! And it's snowing! Woot! I'm like a little kid! We made snowmen Elders with the ward at choir practice last night. I just love the work!
The baptism went great this week. It kinda snuck up on me, but everything ran smoothly and the ward came together to make a really nice program. I kinda got stressed with it all, but the ward is so loving and helpful. I can call anyone and ask for anything and it gets done. I love love love love them all. I want to die here. Elder Duvall baptised Jack and it was all just great. Yesterday I was privileged to stand in the circle as he was being confirmed. All is well! I'm in love with this work!
This week a lot of our district was sick. But it's ok, they are all still tearing it up here in the Ruhrgebiet! There was a bit of number confusion, people not sure what to count as another lesson, but it was promptly cleared up. One area our district is having some troubles is they keep wanting to hang out instead of doing work. It's fun to play together, but we need to get baptisms! I don't have time to mess around all the time! It's all about Work Hard, Play Hard. But, some just want to play hard. It's kinda weird though, cause I'm now actually in a position where I make a difference. So it's just kinda different. But I like it.
Elder Wood was sick on Friday and is still recovering, but he's a champ and pushing through. We are hoping for a baptismal date this week. We have a lot of promising investigators. I'm just lovin this! It's so good. The ward is just killer.
ADDRESS Before I forget.
Heerstr. 8445478

Mülheim Germany
So there is that. I'm sorry that the email this week is short, but I've got no time. We are packed with appointments. We have plans for Thanksgiving and I'll tell you all about it next week. Here are some pics of this past week.
1. Taufe! Woot!2 Snow...
And that's going to do it for me. I love you and miss you tons. I'll talk to Pres. about the Wayne and mark thing, just get me the dates.
Also, somehow I volunteered to play and sing for the ward Christmas party this year. I don't know how it happened. I'm mad.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Maybe I've been here before....

Oh geez. Do you even realize what is happening here? I feel like I'm home. Seriously. But not like home home. Just a missionary home. I love this place. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Now, in actuality, I think going back to Kiel would produce the same affect, cause I really miss that place, but I'm in Ruhrgebiet now. And I'm happy.
It was hard saying goodbye to my friends in Bremerhaven. It's amazing how many friends you can find if you are just willing to love.
I'm like a giddy school girl and haven't been able to calm down for quite a while. Sorry if this email is everywhere.
On Wednesday, I stayed with Elder Ivins and Shupe cause Elder Turvey went to Hamburg to get a Golden. It was fun. I'm really missing Elder Ivins right now. I love that kid so much. Too many good times.
Thursday was hard. I said goodbye to many friends. This group that went home is one of my favorites and I'll miss them all dearly. It was fun saying goodbye, only if it was for the short reunion. But, then it was off to the Ruhrgebiet. I traveled with Elder Hurst and Anderson and Hurst's Golden. Hurst and Anderson are some good friends too and I had a blast during the 10 hours it took to get to Essen. But only to Essen. We got in at 11.30 with a posse of missionaries. Everyone followed me and Hurst. I kinda felt bad cause we barged in on the ZL's but they secretly loved it.
Friday we, meaning Elder Wood my new companion and I, got back to our area and started working. Thanks to Elder Duvall for giving me things to do my first week. It's so nice walking into work. I love it here! Saturday we were back in Essen for an Ausstellung. I love being 30 minutes away from all my friends. I've missed this place so much. I saw some members and was surprised that they remembered me. We talked for a bit and then got lunch and then headed back to Mülheim to a few appointments. Saturday night we chilled with the other Elders who serve in the ward, Elders Harmon and Grieder.
Our ward boundaries are so big that they have split it in two and have two missionary pairs working it. I love the District.
Sunday rolled around and was good. This ward remembered me too which is weird. I worked a lot with the Zone Leaders, but not enough to be remembered. There are a few members who I've met and visited, so we have good contact already. But the Bishop is Bishop Geldermann. I love this man. I've known him forever. You wanna know what he said to me when he saw me at church? Ok. He said, in English, "What the hell are you doing here?!?!" and then gave me a huge bear hug. I love that man and am stoked to be here.
This week should be good. I just found out that I have to get a man named Jack ready for Baptism by this Saturday when he takes the plunge. So we've got a lot to do. I love Elder Wood. He's so funny. I love this place so much. BAH! (which, mother, is not a German word, but rather an onomatopoeia. An outward expression on an inner feeling, if you will.)
Yes the work is cut out for me here. People say hi back to me here. It's cool. I'm just excited for the fun to be had.
1 Sisters going home
2 Goodbyes at Bahnoff
3 Clair Rudi and Bernard
4 Old Bremerhaven District
I'm sorry you two, I don't have much time today.
Mom, I now have two suitcases. One of which broke on the way down here. The ones we bought are crap! The wheel split again. But whatever. I do need my inhaler once in a while, but nothing to bad. I usually forgo using it and just suffer til it stops to teach my body that I won't take anymore of its bull.
Stuff is being mailed home starting with an envelope of letters. Just put it in my room unopened if you would. Dad. I would love love love to see Wayne and Mark. It would be so surreal! I'm down! Just get me dates and what not. I don't know if President will let it fly, but I think if I could set up something with Ronja it would be fine! Just let me know!
I gotta run. We're playing B-Ball in a little here.

I love and miss you both terribly. More info next week when I have more time!

Elder ChArnett

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A transfer, Christmas clarifications and a Father's lament

Hey-o Parental Units.

So Mülheim it is. Back to the old stomping grounds. Yes, I am transferred. Raise your hand if you love 9 hour train rides! My hand is not raised. But it's a good city. I know it already because it was in my first district when I was in Essen. I was there as a few were baptized into the ward, ate with some of the members, and so forth. It should be good. President called me yesterday to talk to me about it. They had 11 investigators at church last week. I'm going in and replacing an elder who is going home -- Elder Duvall. He was my first zone leader in Zone Neumünster. Good guy. We've served in two of the same areas and worked together once so I know how he operates. When I was working with him we broke into a contacts house. Remember that story? It's a good'en. But I don't want to tell it now. I'm going to be with Elder Wood. Seems cool. He's going into his second transfer. A Re-Go as we call them...Recycled Golden. If they get transferred after their first transfer or their trainer dies (meaning goes home) they get a new trainer and we call them Re-Go's. So I'm pretty much training again. Woot.

I'm district leader to 8 Elders, two of which are Zone Leaders. I've always been DL to ZL's. I don't get it. I'm excited, but exhausted. It's scary, but I feel as if I'm burning out. It's hard to awake desire sometimes. But, its just another thing to learn, and the Ruhrgebiet should help reinvigorate me. I loved it down there. I'll get to be there for Christmas! YES! I got jipped last year. Transferred 2 weeks before Christmas.

Mülheim might be my last area. Weird thought right? But, I think I still got one transfer left in me. Elder Jarvis, my comp in the MTC, is now serving in Bad Bentheim, a car city. He's doing well. Elder Wecker is going Sr. Comp in Hamm. All of the missionaries I came out with, (for the most part) are really close. They are some of my best friends. It's a sobering feeling to have one of the Sisters I came out with going home. She's going now and the other two are going home in 5 weeks. Ugh. That makes me old. I've served with two of the Sisters, Wilson and Grow, and it's crazy that they are done. But it sure is a hoot making fun of them for it. Haha!

Nicholas moved back to America. I just found out and am kinda sad. I think it's the best for him so that's good. But, I was really excited to see him again in Essen. It happened fast, but he says his family needs him and what not. So, I'm more than ok with it. It was just kind of a shock. Yesterday we were at the Fischer Family's house. They are way cool. I got a girlfriend. She's 3. Haha. Just kidding. But she is cute and I loved playing with her the past three months. We stayed at their house just chatting about the ward and the work. We watched a missionary movie and ate dinner too. It was a fun FHE. I haven't had one of those in a while.

As for the rest of the week. It's just been spent with members. I've been working a lot with the Bode Boys. I love those guys. We are at their apartment a lot now-a-days. It's just been fun working here. The past three months have flown by. The friends I made and the things I learned are unparalleled. This area was packed with experiences and lessons to be learned. I'm sad to see it go. This place won an unlikely spot in my heart. I was so depressed about leaving Kiel that I didn't really care about this place. That is to say, at first. It grew and grew on me. It's always hard leaving an area. It always feels like walking away from a field of harvest, sometimes a field untouched. I walked into this area with a lot of seeds in hand. I hope a few will take root.

We met up with two friends of Rudi Bode (one of the Bode boys!) at the church this last week. It was a really fun and good appointment. We did it so that they could see the church and get to know the Mormons. It's crazy, but people still believe strange things about us here. They have no idea who we are or what we do. So I made onion dip and steaks and we played games for a bit until the inevitable questions were asked. Then we got down to business. I love seeing someone's face when they feel something ring true. We pretty much taught all three lessons in that evening. The truth was made known and they felt it. They might be reading this if you post it, so HI VAN UND SASSI! It was a good time. Lots was learned.

I got 2 whole doughnuts out during our appointment with Sister Burde. I was getting so good at sneaking food out. I haven't really gained any weight, but I just feel out of shape and a little fatter in the face. I dunno, probably just cause its getting colder. But I refuse to come home bigger! But knowing the mission, it will probably happen. I haven't been in a bike city yet nor do I think I will be. Sad. NOT!!

We met with Henry Helmke this last week too. The physiotherapist guy who is kinda blind. He was having a hard hard time. His family disowned him when he joined the church and his brother came around after 5 years of not talking just to criticize him again. Henry was freaking out. Elder Turvey and I gave him a blessing. He also needed healing for a wound on the back of his head. I won't go into details, but it was amazing. I don't know how to express it.

I don't really know what else to say. The thing about Elder Micheal Fox in the Ukraine is crazy. One week of pure finding. Like it sounds cool, but that's pretty much all the work is here. Haha pure finding. What did they do with investigators? It'd be cool if I could inspire my district to do that too, but what do you do about the appointments? Make them after 7?

As my time grows short here I've started to notice things I took for granted. I've become absolutely fascinated with light. It is completely amazing. Some parts of the day just bring out color in the world. Light brings warmth and security. It energizes me when I'm cold and wet and walking the streets. It breaks through clouds to show us God's glory. It brings an unavoidable feeling of love. Light is our life force. It is Hope.

I've been taking a lot of photos on P-day lately. Some I've sent to you like the walk to church. I think I might want to take some photography classes this summer, just as a side note. Maybe Chea can see if I have what they call Natural Talent! It's just a fun hobby and has opened up my eyes. Our world in amazing. People are amazing. Animals are amazing. I have been watching people behind the safety of a lens and I see everything in a completely new light. I see it for beauty. It's all about perspective. There is beauty to be found in every area, in every being, in everything. We just have to change our perspective from time to time to catch it in a new light... a pure light, or a dampened light, or sometimes in a depressing light. I don't know how to explain it. But it is amazing.The world is changing. The second harvest is nigh at hand. People are starting to look at the stars again and asking questions that move the soul. They are getting hopeful. It's about hope. Hope for a better world. Hope for a better life. Hope for more knowledge. Hope for salvation. Missionary Work = Hope. We love the Lord because He loved us first. I serve cause I have felt the hope He gave me. It is hope that I try to pass on. He showed me the light.

The thing is, hope is all we have. It's a flame that burns within us. Sometimes that flickers, but it still it's still there. It is the thought or the dream that there could be such a thing as light on dark nights that inspires others to light their own flames. Hope. It's an amazing concept and feeling. It's the one thing that keeps me going.

Pictures to come. I love and miss you both. Have a good week.

Elder Chad Arnett

P.S. It has come to my attention that someone said that I said Christmas is on December 6th, (it was you, FATHER). The fact of the matter is it is not. The 6th is St. Nicholas's day. They still celebrate Christmas on the 25th, and do it better than the Americans, for they push it even until the 26th. Thank you to my friend in Kiel, Jakob Kleine (who has adorable children), for bringing this monstrosity to my attention. A thousand pardons to my German friends.
A Father Responds: More than one person has brought it to my attention that I am an idiot. Several of my ward members here in Arizona, that served in Germany, also corrected me on interpreting Chad's emails wrong. I was reading up on German Christmas traditions online one day and got the mistaken impression that December 6th was as big a day as Christmas. What do I know. On my mission in Australia they didn't even have Santa Claus, it was Father Christmas. So, I offer more than a thousand pardons to Elder Arnett's German friends. I offer my apologies by wishing that, "all your arrows fly straight and the feathers fall to tickle your fancy". Try translating that into German, Chad. Incidentally, I am a former newpaper editor and have a really bad habit of editing everything to shorten it, much to my son's chagrin.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hoping for a White Christmas

Dearest Parental Units.
Well once again, the week has flown by. I'm still a bit disappointed with the results of the work, but sometimes it just happens. We have no influence when it comes down to the decision making of other individuals. It's kind of depressing, but an integral part of the Father's plan.
A few new and interesting experiences this week. I most definitely learned a lot, yet again. It's been a common theme the past few weeks.

Zone Conference, as usual, was inspiring and uplifting. Sister Thompson's theme was amazing and exactly what I needed. Funny how that always seems to work out. It was good getting together with everyone and just feeling the Spirit. I loved how it was so spiritual but fun and energizing. Exactly how it should be, meine Meinung nach!

After ZC, I had the opportunity to interview Audra for baptism. Audra is a lady that the Sisters in Bremen have been teaching. It was kinda a sketchy situation, but it all worked out in the end. I'm just glad I interviewed her after Zone Conference. The spirit was strong. It was the first time I've interviewed on my mission, or period for that matter, and it was a sobering experience. During the closing prayer, I realized that, at that moment, I stood between this woman and Eternal Life. I felt of the seriousness and the joy of baptism as I pronounced her ready to make the sacred covenants. It was a moment that I won't soon forget.

This week we called the lady who we found on the bahn. I talked to her husband and as I introduced myself, he got really excited and said that his wife told him all about us. They have two children and want us over for dinner. It was an amazing conversation and just filled me with hope. We will call again this week to set up an appointment. Huzzah!

Those were probably the high points of the week. We did get attacked by a drunk man, but that's why we love Germany! He was on a bike and we sparred for about 35 minutes verbally, and after that you don't want to know what he did to us!
On Friday, I snuck out about half of the Sister Burde meal! I'm so proud of myself! I didn't die because of sugar! Woot!

We tried really hard to get a baptismal date by the end of October. I'm sorry we didn't accomplish it. But the effort changed me. I want to be and do better. It's been a slow, but steady transformation and one that I'm grateful for. I love the idea of a white Christmas, and I dedicate myself now and fully to this goal. The white Christmas is the goal for the mission that the every city has a baptismal date by Christmas, hence the white Christmas. I love it! Such a good idea!!!I've learned much this transfer. I do not believe I could have learned it in any other situation. I'm so grateful for an amazing companion accompanied by an amazing district.

As we were riding back from Cuxhaven last night, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude swept over me. I was thinking of all the blessings I've received out here. It was sparked because today is Nicholas Garbacz's 1 year member mark. The Lord has blessed me so much during my mission. All of the success I've seen has not come because of me, but rather because the Lord is merciful. I remember when Josè told me in the changing room that I was his savior. Lower-case on purpose. I cried then and I cried yesterday when I thought about it. I love this work. It is the most important thing I could ever do. I'm so grateful for the chance I have to make a difference and the difference it will make in my life.
It's true. Praise the Lord, it's true.

This time next week we'll know if I'm getting transferred or not. I'll keep you updated. I kinda get the feeling that I'm leaving. Why? Because Elder Turvey is ready to go Sr Comp and this companionship is too much fun. Good things can't last three transfers! This is a mission! No Smiling! (of course, I'm not serious). Missions are the most fun you can have. As THE Elder Holland told us when he was here in Hamburg, "If you miss the fun, you miss it all." And now to paraphrase, 'We want you missionaries to have fun. Enjoy yourselves. And baptise while you're at it.' So there. (Missions are fun.)

Well parentals, time is short today. I must go and buy a Jacket. Mom, no worries, you taught me well, and I think with a little ingenuity I can repair my jeans. I did get the Halloween parcel. Thank you very much.
I will try to send a few pictures in a different email. Also, last night we were with Bremen, and we recorded our talk. It somewhere around 45 minutes, so don't listen if you don't have time. It's random. But I love you. I'll send it in a different email. On this email I will attach a song I sang with Ivins on the guitar gettting ready for our White Christmas. Remember Christmas here is really December 6th. Don't make fun of my voice. I know I'm bad. But enjoy. It's about a month off and I'm not professional, but whatever.

Ok that's gunna do it for me this week. We're running out of time... Sorry!

Elder ChArnett