Monday, October 27, 2014


This week was pretty good, but so many things fell through that by the end of the week we really hadn't had that much that had happened. P-day was very fun last week! We ended up not being able to make it to the very border because of time, but I did get to see both Holland and Belgium! We also visited the Dom in Aachen and the ceiling was most definitely lined with gold. A lot smaller than the Dom in Cologne, but a lot prettier for sure. Later, we had some extra time and Elder Arts wanted to go to a card game shop to pick up some cards for his mission buddy in Australia. There we ran into a girl who had always wanted a Book of Mormon, but had never been able to get her hands on one. She was so excited when we pulled one out of our bag haha. Anyway, we ended up stopping by the other day and she was very much interested, so I'm hoping that she turns into an investigator. Unfortunately since Daniel, things have been a little dry over here. I think that's kind of how it goes though in Europe haha.

We did have a bummer day because an investigator dropped us, but that happens every now and then. That's also what happens when you believe every little stinking thing on the internet. Ah! It still drives me crazy! I'll stop at that because I know I will rant about it for a good paragraph haha.

This week I got another package from Mom and lets just say I am living the good life with so many brownies!

We also had a very cool Friday night activity related to Halloween. We carved pumpkins! We even invited some Germans and they had so much fun! We got asked by the cashier if we were making soup and we said we were cutting them. You know us wasteful 'Muricans! But boy you should have seen her facial expression when we rolled up that shopping cart with 6 pumpkins. Priceless! After we were done, we cleaned up and went home leaving the pumpkins at the church, and then we realized we had to throw them out. The next day Elder Arts crushed one like Kahn in Star Trek 2 and that was pretty funny. Then I dropped one outside and punched my fist straight though one side and cracked the other side from top to bottom. Just when all of you thought I had grown up too! No, I assure you my personality has not changed a bit.

Lastly, we got our transfer call this week! I will be staying in Cologne for another 5 weeks for sure, so I will get to experience the xmas markets! Elder Arts on the other hand, is going all the way down by Nueremburg where even natural born Germans have a hard time understanding those people's accent haha. My new companion comes Thursday I believe, and his name is Elder Dean. All I have heard is that he is really funny, so I'm sure we will get along just fine! We had to let so many people in the ward know whether or not we were staying, and one of my favorites was so relieved when he heard I was staying haha. He said, "If you leave who is going to make me laugh?" Apparently I am funnier than I ever thought, but it's probably just because I'm an awkward fellow. Works for me!

Well that's about it for this week. Today we are going to Solingen to play Ultimate and hopefully do something else haha. Eine schöne Woche und bleib schön haha.


PS I rode a horse

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Street Car with the smell of death!

This week I got to read emails real early in the morning, which was awesome! Waiting to go to do emails is like going at the top of the stairs Christmas morning. Well, just a little! The reason that we went early is because we are going to Aachen today! Aachen has a huge church that is lined in gold, and after we visit that, we will be going to the border of three countries! There is a part of Germany where Holland and Belgium come together so hopefully we will see something cool!

This week we had a small problem getting to and from appointments. The Deustche Bahn decided to strike, making things rather difficult. This week we also had a very cool contact in a train. Those kind of things always just brighten my day. There are some people who will listen to you but maybe don't care, there are those that care, and then we have the "Elect", but who are really just a bunch of know it all don't bother me's. Steffan was way cool and he was really excited when we gave him a Book of Mormon. I don't know what will happen with him, but he got so excited when we gave it to him for free, and that was what made my day. This week I also had my first Italian pizza in Europe. Wow. It wasn't Costco pizza, but boy did I stuff my face! On the way back, we went to get on the streetcar and we saw a bunch of open seats. Pretty happy about that and unaware, we walked into the smell of death. I walked in and saw every. single. person holding their nose, but it was too late because I had already taken a big whiff. That's why there were so many seats! Well, that explains the cramped other end of the we joined them! Luckily it didn't smell over there, but exactly one half of it did. We looked back and there was a homeless guy sitting alone talking to himself and pointing around the cabin. Poor guy! I have noticed there are a lot of homeless people here!

This week we gave one of our investigators a blessing, that he would find the answer he was looking for, but also a blessing of guidance for work. Afterwards he told us he had goose bumps and couldn't describe the feeling he had. Yup! That's the spirit! It was really neat. So a few weeks ago we helped out a member from Uruguay to find his Hostel, and we got a thank you from him the other night. Well, just as we checked it we realized we had to go to get home on time. On the way home we ran into another guy that spoke english, and he too needed help getting to a hostel! So, of course we helped him out. That's what I love about here, you meet so many different people all from different places and have different stories.

Well that is kind of it for this week. This week we find out if we are staying in Cologne or not. Personally I want some change in my life. Either a new area or companion would be cool, but if not that is ok. We are still having a pretty good time in Cologne, 19 weeks is just a long time is all! Well, we will see. Have a good week everyone!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Scary Discovery!

Each week seems to go by so fast!

Quite honestly I think if I wrote home more than once a week it would be too much! There wouldn't be a whole lot to write about and the week just goes by so fast anyway! 

This week started rather odd when Elder Arts asked me to look in the microwave for him, so kind of cautiously I opened it. Well inside we found the long lost hamburger meat that Elder Arts thought he put back in the freezer. It was so nasty! These are the horrors that I experience as an Elder Haha. Not so bad though. Although, I did have somebody answer a door and they were wearing what seemed to be a towel around their waist. Yeah they were shorts, just pulled up so high he could almost tuck his moobs in. Sorry for the scarring image, but in my defense you are all here to read about what happens in my life haha.

This week I also had the opportunity to sit in a hammock hand-made by prisoners in Mexico! Our Ward Mission Leader served his mission there and brought one home for $50. Pretty cool, and pretty comfortable too. Our WML is from Kentucky, so we usually speak in English. Speaking of English, we ran into a ton of people from America this week! It is way fun because you just have this instant connection with them, so it is a snap to start a conversation with them. Generally German's have pretty good English, but it just isn't the same.

Since we don't always have plans, we had what we call a white day, meaning no plans at all. So, we did our normal study, our meals, and our weekly planning session. With the rest of the time in the day, we ended up doing some less active member go-bys to try and invite them to a big conference called stake conference. We didn't get any answers but as we were returning home we ran into an active member and his inactive sister on the train! Wow! We had an awesome talk and she even asked me if I was German. You could say I was pretty proud of my German then. We said goodbye for the night and then we ran into her and her daughter today on the way home from shopping. It was wild! The same person who I have never seen before I see two times within three days. Quite honestly I was blown away, but hopefully we will see her again, but this time at church.

The last part I would like to share took place just Yesterday. As most of you who read may know, Daniel was baptized last week, and just yesterday we confirmed him a member and gave him the Holy Ghost. Right after, he got up and gave a testimony that was so simple and so sweet. One of the first times we met with him, he had trouble getting here. Around here the train drivers have been going on strike a lot, and as he was on his way the driver announced he was going on strike and was stopping at the next station. Not knowing where he was, he wandered unsure if he would make our appointment. Somehow, he said he felt guided where to go and eventually found his way to somewhere he recognized. I love that guy so much! He is so genuine and so honest about everything. Plus we just have a lot of dumb little things here and there in common. So glad I am out here, because if I wasn't then I would never have met him. Sure maybe somebody else may have helped him get baptized, but we would never have become friends, and that is something I am very grateful for.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Please excuse my grammar. I have noticed that English is getting a little harder to write out. Stupid spelling and stuff! Have a good one!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week of Miracles

This last week was really special so I'm really excited to share my experiences with you all! Not only was this week spiritual, but it was also just a lot of fun as well, so that's what I want to start with.

So! This last week for P-day we went hiking and went to a gigantic bridge in sollingen where we hiked down below and played frisbee and soccer by the river. One of the missionaries that was there is a total red neck, which he too admits, and he caught a crayfish or crawdad using a stick! Everyone thought is was the funniest thing ever, and it started pinching him while we were trying to hang him from our name tags. The next day we had zone training in Düsseldorf and as part of an object lesson of multiplying the talents from the story in the bible, about four of us got to shoot a sister missionary with a nerf gun, but from really far away! Well, last but not least I was the first to land a hit! Second time too, and got her like 7 more times. I felt pretty cool being a crackshot, but then I realized I was A) shooting a girl, and B) shooting a nerf gun. Well it was pretty fun in the moment.

So, right after the zone training, I went on a split to Wupertal and I went with readiness to get it over with. Well, due to complications with all of our appointments both in Wupertal and Cologne, I ended up spending a second day there. I was pretty disappointed, but that soon turned around. We visited three guys from Africa for the second time, and I ended up using the scriptures to answer their question. As soon as I explained it, I felt the spirit telling me what I was teaching was right, but also told me of a simple way to explain it which worked perfectly. I then explained how God is always there and waiting for us, and so I extended my hand to one of them for a good minute or two, showing that it is always us that needs to make the effort to reach him. It was way cool. After that, we had a lesson with a family that spoke English. The mother was from Wupertal and had married a man from Utah that had left the church over 15 years ago. Together they have a little baby, and the mom has a 14 year old girl. Rather than teach the normal first lesson, we taught them the second lesson, and brought the Armor of God with us, which is a cool symbolic story in the bible. Elder Tischner built it all out of cardboard, and we put it on the dad as we read the scriptures! They really seemed to grasp the idea, and understood that it gives us protection, and that we need to wear it together and not just alone. Then that lead into the main lesson where we talked about where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going after this life. I can honestly say that the spirit there was so strong, and the whole time. Together, Elder Tischner and I taught better than we ever had with any companion. We answered all of the wife's questions, which weren't entirely easy either. Afterwards, the wife said, "Wow, I am really impressed. You answered all of my questions that the Catholic church could never answer for me. That was why I left. I wanted you to answer these questions, but I stayed quiet because I figured God would tell you." I was blown away. That was why we taught the second lesson first, and all I did was go with it and teach what I had always been taught as a kid. During her prayer at the end of the lesson she thanked God for sending the right people at the right time. It just made me so happy! The whole thing! It made my week, and quite honestly it was the single best experience on my mission so far. Afterwards, Elder tischner asked me where I learned to teach. "I don't know man it was in English, all I did was talk!". I couldn’t believe it, and it just kept circulating in my mind the next few days.

After that, I have come to see that it doesn't matter how I want my day to go. God will make things happen in my day so that the things he wants to happen will indeed happen. That wasn't the only time this week, but it was the most definite I think. I spoke with Elder Tischner just the other day, and the wife said she kept asking God to know that the church was true, but she kept getting the same answer saying that she already knew it was. I'm happy to say that she has decided to get baptized, and that he and she have decided to set the goal to get married in the temple. Wow.

I have been so excited to write this, but I also wanted to write about Daniel. I am happy to say that on Friday our Bishop baptized him and that his family came along with his aunt and his family. I also gave my first talk in German, and that went really awesome! The whole thing just went awesome, and I asked him how he felt afterwards. He told me that he was nervous before, but that he had this really strong warm feeling inside. I was so excited to hear that because to me that is how the spirit feels.

This week has been spectacular. Probably the most event filled, miracle filled week on my mission. I am beginning to see things the way they really are I believe. That is, that good choices lead to happiness and not so good choices don't. This week during General conference one of the apostles said something along the lines that ignoring God's laws is like trying to ignore earth's. Denying gravity after walking off a cliff doesn't mean you will float! Haha, that one made me laugh. Anyway, I hope you all have a very good week and find what makes you happy. I have found what makes me happy. Thanks for all the letters and until next time.