Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Update from Germany

Merry Christmas to all of you! We rejoice in this time of year to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

The last few months have been filled with joyous experiences and opportunities. A few highlights include attending several stake conferences. Both the Berlin and Hamburg Stake celebrated their 50th anniversary and the Neumünster Stake celebrated its 30th anniversary. They were special meetings to attend as we were able to see the numerous Saints gathered together in buildings that were filled to overflowing. We felt their warmth and love and heard stories and testimonies of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We have been working hard to raise the awareness of the Church in Germany. Updates on the German website have been made, new pass along cards with the Church website in large print have been and continue to be distributed, now over ½ million. People are finding the cards and calling the missionaries. Most recently, we had a new street display made that is “a banner unfurled” and will “wave to all the world”. It has a picture of Christ on it and draws people to know more. We hear miracle stories on a regular basis. The street displays have been such a hit that many stake presidents are buying them for each of the ward/branch buildings. In the first week a young man saw it, met with the Elders and is progressing towards baptism. Our street displays are also set up in the lobby of the Church building when not in use so people are walking in off the street, into the building and asking for information. We love it. The missionaries love to teach and are doing a great job.

There are currently 200 missionaries in our mission and we love them dearly. It is a joy to receive their phone calls and hear the excitement in their voices when they set a baptism date. With the missionaries that come and those that go, trips to the airport, zone conferences, interviews and training, we keep plenty busy. There is nothing like being on a full time mission and taking part as the invitation to “Come Unto Christ” is extended. We witness the miracle of seeing lives changed, families joined together and know that it is because of their testimony of Christ. We too testify that God lives, Jesus is the Christ and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth today. We love you all and wish you a Merry Christmas!

Love, Jay & Colleen & Mike

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Germany Berlin Mission

Dear Family:

Sorry for the long post, but it has been an eventful few months. We would like to give you a few updates of our activities:

In May we began to focus the missionaries on following the example of Christ and “fish with a net,” including the internet. New pass along card were printed with www.kirche-jesu-christi.org in large, bold letters and the missionaries have been diligent in spreading them, 300,000 plus. Here are a few of the miracles of the first few days after distribution (and the miracles continue):

· Elders got a phone call from a lady, "I got your card on my door. I would like to meet with you."

· Elders in the east part of Berlin were passing out cards to everyone they could. One grumpy man would not take the card so the Elder put it on the park bench next to him. Later the Elder got a phone call, "I found one of your cards on a park bench. I would like to talk to you." They have already had two discussions.

· Elders got a call from a lady who said, "Why did you put a card on my door?" Elders responded, "We prayed about it and felt it would be a good thing." She said she knew members of the Church and would check it out on the Internet.

· Sisters on a bus gave one of the new cards to someone. The person next to them said, "Can I get one of those too?"

· Elders placed pass along cards at an apartment complex and then went back later knocking on doors. At one of the door, they heard, "I got your card, come in." They had a walk-in appointment.

· Elders were teaching a golden family and all of a sudden they wanted no more contact. Elders ran into them on the street and asked them about it. The family had found inaccurate information about the Church on the Internet. The Elders asked them to check out the official site on the new card. They did, and liked what they saw. The Elders are once again teaching them.

At the end of June the first missionaries that we greeted two years ago returned home. It was a bitter sweet occasion. We have such a great love for them all.

July 3 was a historic Sunday spent in Plauen as the branch was divided and the new Hof Branch was formed. The forming of the Hof Branch has special meaning for Jay. He served in the Hof Branch as a young missionary in 1972 when it was part of the Germany South Mission. As the branch was closed in 2002 a sister said, "I don't know how or when, but we will have church services here in Hof again." As missionaries felt a great desire to work there, and worked diligently, (previously no missionaries assigned) the miracles began. A group was formed in December with about 15 attending culminating with the Hof Branch being formed. It was a day of rejoicing!

The distance we have travelled, in a van, with the assistants, has been near brutal, 4,323 km over a 3 week period completing interviews, Sunday visit to a branch and a Mission Tour as well. That is like driving from the West Coast to the East Coast in the U.S. Looking back, it was well worth the journey.

July 4 - 7 was an enriching few days spent with Elder Caussé. He is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the Church, coming from France. We were richly blessed, not only by his instruction but by the outstanding musical abilities of the missionaries who preformed. Here are a few principles that were taught:

· All of the callings in the Church have the same Purpose, which is to invite others to come unto Christ.

· Missionaries, members and the Lord work together so there can be a harvest. (1 Cor. 3:6)

· The Doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31, 3 Nephi 11, 3 Nephi 27) is what we must know and what we must teach.

· There are many people in Germany being prepared to accept the Gospel. Germany is a sleeping giant to be awakened. There is urgency in this work. Even if the percentage of those who accept the message now is small, a small percentage adds up to thousands of people, so we need to talk to everyone in order to find those who are truly seeking the truth.

· Our family members are in the hands of the Lord as we go out to serve and they will be blessed an hundredfold for your service. (Mark 10:29-30)

We were happy our leader reported that the Germany Berlin Mission is doing well. The missionaries are dedicated, hard working and have a sense of esprit de corp.

Serving a full time mission is one of the most rewarding experiences we have had thus far in our lives. Our family has been blessed beyond measure. We see the hand of the Lord daily in his work. We know he lives and loves us and wants ALL people to come unto him. We are grateful for your love and support.

Lots of Love,

Jay and Colleen

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Germany Berlin Mission

Colleen (aka Sister Pimentel) made some changes to the layout of her blog so don't be surprised when you see it: http://germanyberlinmission.blogspot.com

Here is a short story about Elder Smith, whose parents live a short distance from Colleen's parents in Idaho. A lady talked to missionaries three different times but when Elder Matthew Smith and Elder Tanner talked to her, the third attempt, she felt she should listen. She had been attending a Bible study class in another church but as she read the Book of Mormon, she felt its warmth. It was four weeks from the time she started lessons to her baptism. It was a miracle for Elder Smith because he had previously decided to extend his mission for a few weeks and, in that time, was privileged to baptize her.

Here is one of the recent weekly messages, typical of the message we sent to our missionaries every week:

From Sister Pimentel: "Your needs are great and varied. Each of you is a unique child of God. God knows you individually." Trust in Him...then go and do! President Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, November 2010

From President: I have been impressed again this week how much knowing German helps me understand English scriptures better. Many of the words in the English scriptures come from words that are also German words.

In Philippians 1:14 we read that many were “waxing confident” to be “more bold to speak the word without fear.” In this case, “waxing” comes from the same origin as the German word “wachsen” – to grow. It has nothing to do with candle wax. In verse 27 of the same chapter, Paul praises those who “stand fast” in being of one mind “striving together for the faith of the gospel.” In this case “fast” comes from the same origin as the German word “fest” – solid, firm. It is talking about stability, not speed.

So, as missionaries, we grow confident in boldly preaching the gospel and stand firmly together in our work to spread the faith of the gospel – to fulfill our Purpose. God lives, Jesus is the Christ and this is the true Church of Christ on the earth today. I know it.

Vielen Dank und alles Gute. Präsident u. Sister Pimentel

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Year End in Berlin

We have had a whirlwind of activities the last several months running from one thing to the next with little time inbetween: We have made numerous trips to the airport, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day to drop off and pick-up missionaries. There have been leadership training all over the mission, zone conferences and interviews. We had a 4 day Mission President training with the Europe Area Presidency in Dresden, in October and a Mission Tour with Elder & Sister Teixeira for 3 days in December. The last two months we have had many visitors and enjoyed the time we had with them - Grandma, Gary, Ty, Liz, Dale, Nancy, Neli, Dave, Annette, Sam, Ruth, Edward, Emma Lucy, Isaac, Eleanor, Megan & Collin.

Christmas Zone Conferences were a highlight because they carry a special, sweet spirit. It was well worth the hours upon hours of travel to visit the missionaries! We enjoyed the time with them and took the opportunity to show a Pimentel family tradition, playing the hand bells together. The missionaries took part and did a great job. At two of the conferences we played inside due to the storm outside. At the other two conferences we stood outside and sang and rang the bells to those walking by, and to those who opened their window to listen. It really is sweet to hear testimonies of the birth of our Savior through song.

It is interesting to note that for the first time since 1981, ALL of Germany experienced a snowy "White Christmas"! Germany is also experiencing the coldest winter in more than 40 years!

Miracles in the mission:

  • Elder Ott said, after learningn of his first assignment, that he really wanted to serve his mission in Berlin, Germany, and he was called there. When at the MTC someone said how great the city of Kiel is and what a great missionary Elder Badger is. As we worked on the assignments of companionships and cities, it just wasn't working out. Finally, when the new Elder Ott was teamed up with Elder Badger, in Keil, the transfer plan worked.
  • Sister Wakefield arrived in the mission unable to have the balance to ride a bike. Her Trainer, Sister Kocharyan from Armenia had also arrived in the mission originally unable to ride a bike. Both sister missionaries not only can ride bikes now but like doing it.
  • Elder & Sister Christian in Prenzlau have started holding Sacrament Meeting for a group of members in Schwedt who have found it difficult to travel to attend church in Prenzlau. The first meeting they held, 8 members came.
  • Church meetings have started in Hof as members have worked with Elder Tjaden & Elder Christensen from Plauen. The first Sacrament meeting held had 20 members in attendance.
  • There were many baptisms during Nov. and Dec., people who have been searching for the Gospel and finally found it. Many were baptisms of part-member families. What joyous events.

"When filled with God’s love, we can do and see and understand things that we could not otherwise do or see or understand. Filled with His love, we can endure pain, quell fear, forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength, and bless and help others in ways surprising even to us. John H. Groberg, Ensign, Nov 2004

May you all feel the love God has for you. We know He lives! Love, Jay & Colleen & Mike