Monday, 30 December 2013

Laughter ... the Holy Grail of Greatness

This week was great! Thank you all for the gifts and cards that were sent :)
I really do appreciate the time, thoughts and effort that has gone into what was sent :)

So this week honestly felt weird because there was so much "time off" that I almost didn't feel like a missionary and this coming week isn't gonna be that normal either :P 

So Monday was half p-day because we get so much time off and so we just napped :) That was great :)

Tuesday was Christmas Eve and we went to Mavis's for tea and then were in the flat at 6:00. We tidied the flat up so that it looked better and then we messed it all up again with the wrappings! We kinda celebrated German Christmas. Then we watched and sang to Tarzan and went to bed.  We are going to have schnitzel this week! Thank you for the gifts and support that has been given!

Wednesday was Christmas!  I got up and then we had Reeses puff cereal for breakfast  (from a member!  A box is like 7$ for a small one here) and then we went to Mavis's for the day. Throughout the day people were skyping home, we were watching movies like Hook, Its a Wonderful Life, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Horton Hears a Who (we only finished hook though to the end) hahaha.  I got to talk to my family and it was great !  Hope that its not too weird.  But all in all, Christmas was great!

Thursday - Boxing day where it was treated as a p-day and so we took naps that day too  (I am starting to enjoy the naps). I feel a lot better after a nap. Oh and we worked out.

Friday - First normal day of work in a while and that was almost weird to have again. Elder M and I went beach contacting again and the wind was so strong that it BLEW ME OVER!  There were some really nice swells and I was DYING to go body boarding on them! Like tubular swells!

Saturday - We had a lesson with a less active and she just complained to us the entire time!  She said that she felt good after so I guess that helped her that we were able to be her sounding board.

Sunday - I gave a talk in Church yesterday.  I quoted Batman, Meet the Robinsons and said that life is not just butterflies and rainbows over the pulpit and guess what .. I GOT PEOPLE TO LAUGH! Thats a huge thing over here, its like the Holy grail of greatness!

Anyways, I have to go.  Its a short p-day again today so we're heading to the park.  
Have a great week!  Happy New Year!
Love you All
Elder Dotschkat

Christmas Card received December 24th

To Everyone!
Hello my wonderful family!  I hope that you are enjoying this fantastic Christmas season!  I know that I love Christmas so much just because of the wonderful memories that we get to make as a family :)
Now this year is going to be a little different because I'm in England.  Even though I'm far away now, I can still feel your love for me.  I appreciate every letter and email that you send to me.  I makes me feel like I am still apart of the family time and everyone's lives.  I hope that my emails and letters home make you feel the same way.
Now in the Christmas season, remember the true meaning.  Remember the love of God, the love of our family and the love of our Saviour Jesus Christ.  It is because of him that everything is possible.  It is because of him that we can find joy and peace.  It is because of him that we can be a family, not only for this life, but for eternity :)
Have a wonderful Christmas full of happy and fun filled memories!  Remember those who don't have much around them and to share your love because our family has enough to fill the entire world!
Thank you for all your support and confidence in me and my mission. You are all in my prayers.  I miss you all but I know that our family is forever.
Will all the love in the world
Elder Zachary Lee Dotschkat

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Skype on Christmas Day

Wearing the superman onesie that his missionary team wore for the Christmas party.  They played the human bagpipes!

He looks so awesome!  So proud of this young man!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas

My Dearest Family,
I hope that you are having a very Merry Christmas and enjoying this wonderful holiday. I'm sure the Christmas cheer is in the air back home (especially with all the smells and sounds ) and it makes me think of memories, not only of Christmas past, but times that we have been together. I must admit there are points in my mission that I do miss you and I do long for that hug and that smile but I know that it is not too far away. Life sometimes hits us with difficulties, and we must recognize that they are for our good because we learn and grow from them. Sometimes its hard and sometimes it seems impossible but I KNOW that EVERYTHING is possible with two things. The trust in God and love of a family. My heart does wish to be there with you at this time to share a memory, a smile, a laugh, but I know that what I am doing now will change peoples lives forever. I want to thank all of you for everything that you have and continue to do for me. My heart truly does go out to all of you when I hear of your difficulties and of your struggles. You are never far from my prayers and always close to my heart. Now, just to settle some worries, I am doing great :) I want you to all know that I am happy and that I am learning a lot. I am learning to not only trust in God but to trust and have faith in myself. Heavenly Father puts us into situations so that we can grow and learn from our experiences. Not only for us but for those people around us, we can learn so much from the example of the Saviour. He taught us perfectly and I know that he is there. I KNOW IT. He would never give up on someone just because they have had a bad day, but rather he would stand close to them so that they can feel his love. At this Christmas season it is important to make memories of the excitment of gift giving but it is even more important of making memories of love. That's what Heavenly Father would do for us and thats all that he asks for us to do. Remember the true meaning of Christmas and remember that it is all because of love that everything is possible. When we have love, we are willing to trust in God and to help those around us. Love is the most powerful force in existence and when we use it to help other people and love God's children, we will then be filled with His love.

I hope that you look for those around you that need support and need this love because this is the greatest gift that you can give.
All I want for Christmas is for you to make memories and share the love with those around you.
I love you all, each and everyone of you
You are in my prayers,
Have a Merry Christmas,
Elder Dotschkat

Monday, 16 December 2013

Twenty-six missionaries in one house ... CRAZY

Well hello :) Its me. :)

So this week was a lot of fun and a lot of work! The area is slowly but surely progressing. We are having so much fun in our new flat! Its so nice! I'm actually so excited in the morning to work out and things because we have space enough to spare. Well that was everyday except for thursday night....Let me explain the rest of the week first :)

Monday - P-day again and we were asked to go to Newcastle because it was zone P-day. Unfortunately it takes like two hours out of our P-day so I write letters on the train (sorry if they are messy). Anyways, while we were there we watched some weird anime movie that I couldn't figure out the plot or anything!  Just like any other anime movie for me! haha. It was called Spirited Away. Anyways, after P-day we went carolling to less actives and elderly members of the ward with Bishops family. THEY HAVE 5 KIDS UNDER 10!!! Its so fun! And crazy sometimes ! I love it!

Tuesday - I can't remember that much except we visited with Mavis for a long time that day. She is a truly wonderful lady. She cares about the missionaries like we are her own sons and feeds us so much. Everytime that we go there we discuss our lives and who we were before the mission and sing for her and Sarah (her CP foster child) . Its wonderful :) I love to sing. (I have been singing all day everyday this week in our finding)

Wednesday - My first official exchange! I went with Elder McGee into his area and Elder Mielacher and Elder Fischer went in ours. The best part of Wednesday was beach finding! We went to the North Sea because normally people when they are at large bodies of water and hearing the sounds of the waves they think more deeply and contemplate life. With this knowledge we went and had 5 fantastic conversations with people. They are all checking out . Its great :)

Wednesday NIGHT- CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY TIMES!!!! I thought that we were going to get kicked out of our new home or the cops were going to come because we had the mission tour Thursday and the WHOLE 2 ZONES slept at our flat (just the Elders of course :P). WE HAD 26 MISSIONARIES IN 1 HOUSE!!!! It was so fun and crazy! AND THE BEST PART WAS I WASN'T STRESSING OUT!!!! HAHAHAHA!

Thursday - We had the mission tour in York. I drove with the zone leaders down. It was great! We had McDonalds for breakfast and then listened to great music as we traveled down! The 1st counselor of the Area Presidency (Elder Kearen) came and talked to us . It was a fun time! I learned quite a lot. Especially about real intent and how if we want anything or to have things done in life, we must have real intent and be able to work for what we desire. Nothing comes easy and sometimes life is difficult but it will ALWAYS be worth it in the end :)

Friday - We had weekly planning again (yup! suprise suprise! hahaha my schedule doesn't ever really change :P) and after that we went finding all day! It was great! And we took time, WATCH THE VIDEOS! They are so great! In the evening we had ward coordination and it was interesting talking about our desires and what we need from the ward. The investigators of the other companionships are progressing very well :) My District is doing so good! Woot ! Young Gunz District !!!! (thats our name :P)

Saturday - I had District Leader Specialized training and that went very well. It was more of a council and how we can get the Zone to further the work. we also planned the Christmas talents that we are sharing. It is going to consist of (hopefully) a circus, Called to Serve rap battle and a capella songs :) After that we went to the birthday party of a recent convert who was JW so he has not had a birthday in 15 years! It was great to celebrate that with him. I had a huge burger :) Thats me! I LOVE MY BURGERS! In the evening we went to the Christmas Devotional :) I love Elder Russell M. Nelsons talk about peace. Its amazing how Heavenly Father answer our prayers and knows exactly what we need.

Sunday - Had church and it was so funny! Just things that the missionaries were saying and doing made me laugh so hard that I was nearly crying! After that we went back to the flat for lunch (I had this very nice shrimp and rice with a lovely coconut sauce and piri piri spice and honey all mixed together :) I am eating a lot healthier and because of that I am getting into better shape! I CAN DO A SIT UP!!!! Hahaha! Just kidding, I always could have but now I am seeing results with my work outs :) Its great having a German trainer.  In the evening we went caroling again with the members and it made me so happy to be able to brighten someones day with a little Christmas spirit :)

Well that was my week!
Can't wait to talk to you next week!
Take care!
Love you
Elder Zach Dotschkat

Monday, 9 December 2013

Sick missionaries are no fun :(

Well, weather back home sounds like it sucks! Hahahaha …  NO SNOW HERE :P!!!!! I'm actually laughing really hard. It's weird, almost Christmas and NO SNOW! 
On Monday we went to Newcastle and had p-day! We watched Despicable Me 2!!!! Then we took the train for 2 hours and met our 72 year old recent convert. Apparently this was the first time that a lesson went under an hour or so! He has so many questions. He is quite a funny old man :)

Wednesday was my first DDM and I was so nervous. My goal is that our District becomes more of a brotherhood and that we love each other and rejoice with each other just as the Sons of Mosiah. So we showed pictures of our families and really got to know one another. After that we had IKEA lunch (hot dogs, meatballs, fries and gingerbread milkshakes) and moved into our posh new flat!!!!!! ITS HUGE!!!! I will send pics next week. Then the Zone Leaders took us to dinner at a nice place called NANDOS :) It was really good! Until the other set of Elders (McGee & Fischer) were sick all night. Elder Mielacher and I took care of them :)

Thursday- BLESSINGS FROM HEAVEN!!! I NEARLY CRIED I WAS SOOOOOOO HAPPY!!! I was exhausted in the morning because of taking care of the other elders (ps- thanks mom & dad for taking care of me when I was sick  :)) . We then got a call from the zone leader saying that the weather was too bad and that President said to not proselyte that day. The wind was tearing rooves off of houses!!!! WOAH!!!!! Like our 1800's (I think) house was shaking but sturdy :) So because Elder Mielacher and I wanted to be effective, we moved what we could from the old flat (in our large suitcases) to the new flat. Elder McGee and Fischer were out for the COUNT! They were so sick! hahaha :) That evening I made dinner for the flat (consisted of pizza and fries :P) but I am proud of myself! hahaha. Anyways, t'was a good day!

On Friday we went finding all day and really got to know Elder Milacher a lot better:) He is such a great chap! Quite a quiet guy, but nonetheless a true missionary. He has his heart in the right place and we are very much alike (except I'm not quiet :P) hahahaha. Um.......Friday was a good day of bonding with my companion :) OH! BEST PART: HE LIKES FOOD TOO!!! AND NOT ALERGIC TO ANYTHING!!!!

On Saturday we had ward correlation and our ward mission leader is quite good. He just recently returned from his mission in Australia and so he knows how missionary work is moving forward in the world. He has very good desires and makes sure that what we need from him is met. That evening we had Mavis (kings dinner lady :)) She is really wonderful :) We have actually been invited over to her house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  (thats when I will skype home- further updates to be said later)

Sunday was pretty good...I am not gonna lie though, I was a little cranky because I was HUNGRY! Hahahaha...Anyways, the talks were great especially a sister in the ward talking about trials and how life trials are like driving through a tunnel. Soon you have complete darkness that surrounds you, then as you keep going, having faith, little bits of sunshine are let in. At the end of the tunnel you emerge into a beautiful vista showing Gods blessings for you. That evening we made steak COVERED in Cajun spices!!!! SOOOOOO GOOOOOD!!!!!!

Well thats my week!
Elder Dotschkat

Monday, 2 December 2013

Thank you to my leaders for teaching me to navigate

Hello all!
Well this week was great! So I got transferred out of Hull finally and let me tell you that it was so weird! Like it was almost leaving home for a second time, I am definitley going back there one day to see everyone :)

Anyways, so I was on the bus for like 5 hours on Wednesday to Leeds and then to Sunderland. It was pretty good seeing people that I knew again, like my trainer Elder Richards, who is a Zone Leader in Newcastle now!

On Wednesday I met my companion, Elder Mielecher, from Austria! He has siblings and his dad is the stake President of Austria!  He speaks pretty good English and is so fun! Its pretty great having a son/brother hahahahah.....(missionary lineage, just ask an RM). Anyway, umm...I am pretty all turned about here but I know how to get to the important things like the METRO (train) and Yup! On Thursday the most exciting thing was getting lost! I have no clue where I am :P Second area and wow...I knew Hull like the back of my hand but here I am lost. I must thank my Scout and YM leaders for teaching us to navigate during our Man Tracker camp :) Ahhh....The good times :) So my district is completely multi cultural!  None of us are from the same country.

Elder Dotschkat - Canada
Elder Mielecher - Austria
Elder McGee - USA
Elder Fischer - Germany
Elder S - Australia
Elder K - Latvia…..I think....will find out Wednesday.
So I'm going to be honest, I haven't unpacked yet because we are moving to a HUGE flat on Wednesday! I have been told that you could fit like 4 teams of missionaries there!

The ward is pretty good, everywhere I go they know Calgary, like one of the members daughters lives there and is friends with Brother Hall of the Fish Creek Bishopric or something....Anyways, people are familiar of where I come from and it is nice :)

We are getting fed! (DONT WORRY) We have this nice old lady named Mavis who feeds us every Saturday! And sooo much that we have to take some home!  She has had 33 foster children and I think 4 of her own! She is such a nice lady :) She has invited us over for Christmas. Apparently, she sends a taxi for the missionaries every Christmas morning and we go to her house for a bit :) That is where I most likely will be skyping home :) 

Well.....the ward is good and I'm still alive :) My companion is super funny! 

There are a lot of hills around here and I am working to get used to them again (lived in a flood plain for the last 6 months of my life :P). 

Well I'm gonna go now! I hope that you all have an exciting week because I definitely will by getting lost a few times!!!

Thats my week!
Love you all
Elder Dotschkat
ps- We sing Christmas hymns every morning :)