Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hey everyone, and I hope you all had an awesome time during Christmas! Unfortunately I need to make this rather short since I am going to Düsseldorf in a few.

This week Elder Dean and I went to the markets one last time, and I was able to barter a guy down 5 euro and then get him to throw in some additional things for free that normally cost 3 euro. I was pretty proud of myself. Unfortunately I didn’t get to send that present home until just now. We also got all of our hair buzzed off since it was getting a little long, but luckily I still have some left this time. Since we had some stuff to do, we moved some time over to Tuesday, and we got to visit some really cool things that are normally closed on Mondays. We visited a cool old church and then we visited the Roman museum that had a ton of old relics and stone stuff. Definitely worth seeing! 

Christmas was fantastic! Christmas eve we took our investigator over to a family where we had amazing food and just a good time. They gave us new ties as well as a German candy that I really like. After that we went to another family and we opened gifts with them and then just hung out at the end. It was good to just kick back for a little. We got home around 11 and then we realized that we didn’t have our keys. After scrambling and calling the members, it turns out that someone had found our keys and turned them in at the front desk. What a Christmas blessing! The next morning we had a blast opening presents and we made a game of clay pigeons with the nerf guns and my RC Helicopter. Later in the day, we were over at a members house forever, and we were supposed to get picked up way sooner but the family got lost. Luckily we still got to their place on time and we ended up skyping our families despite what we thought to be a time crunch. After technical difficulties we finally got to see our families. Just like old times, it was fantastic!

This week we met up with a new investigator named Puke´ and she was super nice! She is way interested and I think she has real potential. We had a lot of fun, but we also had a really good discussion. Hopefully it ends in baptism haha. Lastly, we got a really cool referral from some elders way up north. This guy has driven them for missionary splits and has helped the church clean up after activities and his wife loves the church service so much more than her current. They feel different and happier around the elders too. Wow! So excited to meet this guy!

Well I am sorry this was a shorter one, but I have other things to do. I hope everyone has an awesome week and a fun new years eve! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas from Germany!

This week was quite an adventure! 

On Monday we had a pretty uneventful day up until the evening. We had four elders overnight at our place for the zone conference taking place the next day. We stayed up rather late and then had to get up way early and be on the bus the next morning by 730. The thing that made my pday, was that we went and visited the Solingen apartment with the elders. Sounds lame, unless you watch the video I took! They have a fan that they call "The lawn mower" because it spins so fast and because the blades are made of metal. There actually is a sign that someone put on the switch saying it will cut off your fingers yikes! So there is a second label on the highest speed called "Potato Cutting Speed". So, what did we do for part of pday? We threw potatoes into the fan and dove for cover when we started throwing more solid objects. Boys will be boys! 

The conference that we went to was pretty exciting, and I got to see a lot of really good friends. We talked mainly about obedience and the blessings it brings. It is something that is a process but that all of us are working on. We had a 1.5 hour bus ride and I was passed out for the whole thing after the long night. Everyone got their Christmas gifts too, and there was just such a fun exciting feeling of Christmas in the air! Everyone is very excited to skype and to open presents! 

Wednesday we started handing out He is the Gift cards at the Christmas markets, but we got stopped by the guy who is renting the space and told us we couldn’t do it. The sisters were there too but we split up. We called them 3 or 4 times, but they are notorious for never answering, so it wasn’t surprising when they told us the next day that the cops had told them to stop haha. I also had a split that night. Holy cow did everything go crazy! Elder Dean and I went to go deliver some BoM´s in Urdu to a member, but the streetcars were down for about 30 minutes because of a car crash on the tracks. We then got there and waited for another half hour, and by the time he showed up we had cancelled our plans and rescheduled to do our split early. Ready to go, we hopped on a regional train but two stops away from our destination we stopped because there were power lines down all over the area for some reason. All of the trains began getting 30 minute delays or falling out. Because of that, we had 2 really awesome contacts and the spirit was there.

We ended up getting on a smaller train that pulled right up next to us and it took us the rest of the way. We then had to wait for the other elders to come so we could split, but all the trains fell out on their end too. Finally we got together! I pulled in to Wuppertal around 9 thinking we were going to get home on time, but that was for naught haha. Elder Tischner saw a man in a wheelchair across the track and so we went over and took him down to the bus stop he needed to go to. We actually went all the way to his house to help him get in since he needed someone to carry his wheelchair up the stairs while he hobbled. We took him on the bus and met two really cool people, and ended up having really good conversations with them. As for the guy we were helping....he smelled really bad haha. The whole bus smelled, and when we picked up the chair we found out why. Use your imagination! As he climbed the stairs and walked to his apartment, I got mooned for a solid 3 minutes! Then, thinking that it was all over, Elder T asked him if we could come by the next day and teach him. My thoughts were something along the lines of "Are you crazy? This guy is one of the worst smells I have ever experienced!". As bad as he did smell, Elder T taught me that everyone is deserving of a chance to hear the gospel. We are taught that growing up in the church, but it is a little different when you experience or learn something. It’s like having a pilot who has had years of experience landing planes Vs. someone who has only read about how to do it haha. Hope that made sense!

Last thing for that night! On the other side back in Köln, Elder Dean and Nelson were going through the main station when they heard someone yell, "Elders! I need your help!". The guy was baptized a few years back, but is now homeless and an alcoholic and wanted our number and help. I haven’t heard anything from him yet, but if all of the train junk didnt happen, nothing would have! 

This week the sisters had a baptism! His name is Eric, and he is 11 years old. His mom is a convert from Brazil, but his Dad is not. He gets along great with the kids in the ward, and the service was great! We brought John too, and he really liked that. We ended up moving his date to sometime in early January because he wants his good friend to be there at his baptism. Hey I cant complain with that!  Ill stay updated with that

Today is long, so buckle up! The other day we had dinner at a Chinese members house with the sisters as well. The member had the sisters serve us up even when we wanted seconds, and wouldn’t let us do it at all! I laughed and said "Merry Christmas Kevin", but the sister didn’t think that was so funny and piled me up an absolute mountain of fried rice for seconds. I ate it. All of it. And continued eating and ate everything else they threw at me to the point where the sister called me an eating machine. I thought about swallowing my pride, but I was having too much fun thwarting her efforts so I just kept eating what was in front of me haha. Victory! 

Well there was a little more but we have stuff to do today like get haircuts...hopefully this time I come out with hair. We are also going to the markets and buying stuff one last time! Have a good week everyone, and Merry Christmas from Germany!

Monday, December 15, 2014


Last Pday we had over 20 missionaries visit Köln to visit the Dom as well as all of the Christmas Markets. I mean I cant blame them for wanting to visit the coolest city in the mission...just kidding! So I have already been to the top of the Dom twice, and since there were so many people who wanted to do it, I went on a mini split with Elder Ashton! It was only for an hour or so, but it was a lot of fun! After that, I tried to lead everyone around the Christmas markets so they could see them since I have known my way around for a while. They wanted to see everything but man they walked like a pack of turtles! Haha. Now I know Moses´pain haha. Nah, it wasn’t that bad, but it sure was fun seeing everyone enjoy the city I love so much. 

This week we had a lesson with a former investigator, and then his girlfriend came! It was really cool and we had a great discussion. We set up a return appointment and we also are trying to get appointments with two other former investigators.

Our Mission Leader, Casey, promised us blessings when if we would start contacting more. He said they would come through our efforts or by other means, and boy have we seen blessings! This week we got 3 referrals from in one day, and on that same day we got a text at 1 am from a former investigator. Needless so say we have tried getting a time together. I was warned by her previous missionary to keep my mind on teaching her and not on her. Asking what that meant, he said she was really pretty. Dang it! So, I’m hoping she’s not my type and I get past that! 

I would also like to say a quick but needed thank you to Brother Dance for going to the effort of getting my package to me here in Köln! It was awesome!  Great to see him, too.

On the 13th, we had our ward party! It was way fun and Santa brought us tons of food. Because of the package mom sent with Brother Dance, Elder Dean and I got all decked out in Christmas attire. One of the young men in the ward liked my tie so much that later he told me he had looked all over the Internet for it. He also told me that when I go home I should give it to him. Haha! Everyone loved my socks, hat, and tie, and I was asked several times if I was Santa. Our investigator John was there, and we think he really enjoyed it. We still have some things to teach him, so we pushed his date for baptism back a weekend. Things are starting to look up for him though! A member has started helping him out to get a job here since the process is just straight up ridiculous. So much paperwork and this and that.

This week was really good. Hope you are all having a good time back home, and that you have a white Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Markets!

I would just like to start this week out by saying that Elder Dean and I are pleased to say that John, our investigator from Ghana, will be getting baptized on the 20th of December. That is the plan now, but we are super excited for him and he is just a sweet humble guy. John has had such a hard life but he trusts that despite all that has happened, the Lord will help him. How right he is! 

We just got that news yesterday, and I couldn’t wait to share it, so now Ill kind of jump around on the news.

Last week just as well as this week, we will be touring the massive xmas markets of Köln with 8 or so other missionaries! Last week it was freezing, but for whatever reason Elder Dean wore shorts! Some people gasped and marveled, and then as we were leaving a cop came up and asked why he was wearing shorts. It was really funny and actually led to a great conversation. So that was a really cool day, and I am sooo excited to do it again! My favorite is Heumarkt, so if you get the chance to, look up Heumarkt Weihnachtsmarkt 2014.

I also had the opportunity this week to go to the Wupp-Nasty as we call it, or Wuppertal as everyone else calls it. I think our name is cooler. Well, I got adopted by an African family as their son from Michigan, which was pretty funny, but we also had a really cool lesson with a member family on the side of the mountain. Beautiful view! They have a son named Kevin, and he is serving in Russia right now. The reason it was so good though, is because I learned a truth; when the spirit teaches you something is true, just because the feeling goes away the next day doesn’t mean it isn’t true anymore. 

Because I am a missionary, it is expected that we contact people in the streets and trains everyday. I am terrible at this. Our mission leader asked us how the work was going, and I could sense he knew something, so I just told him. He gave us a really awesome pep talk and it really got me motivated to talk to totally random people. Something that I thought of this week is this question. How important is your word? After that, I made a contract with myself saying I would contact so many people each day. I signed it at the bottom and I have got to say I have not missed a single day. Things are just all of a sudden more fulfilling. It feels better! He also told us how when we contact people, we can make really funny stories. Boy was he right! I contacted a woman that night and she couldn’t believe I was from America because I was white! Apparently she thought everyone in America was black haha! The guy sitting at the other side of the train burst out laughing but never turned around. Such a funny night!

Other funny things from this week consisted of an American school bus turned into a party bus filled with dancing white haired women, a crazy man screaming at the top of his lungs, and me "sawing logs" while I sleep haha. 

That’s all I have time for this week, but hopefully it is enough. Have a great week, and enjoy the Christmas Spirit! Remember, Christ was the best gift we ever got!


Monday, December 1, 2014

No Transfer for me!

This last Pday was a lot of fun. A bunch of guys went and played Frisbee after going and looking at all of the crazy stores here in Köln.  Christmas is going up everywhere, and the city is busy. I also saw a Lamborghini Aventador on the streets....meine gute. I love my mission, and Xmas is going to be awesome!

We had our transfer calls and almost nobody got transferred. With that said I am staying for a 5th transfer in Köln, which I am mostly happy about. My district is so awesome and I must say that I think I have found 2 or 3 very good friends I will want to do things with after the mission. Also we have our Christmas already lined up with the bishop and the 24th lined up with 2 families. woohoo!! Hungarian food and traditional German food!

We had Zone Training this week, and it was so much fun! It was Christmas themed and everyone was wearing matching sweaters with their companion, so Elder Dean and I might go get one today. We had a lot of fun there, and one Elder had a singing and dancing hat that he bought. The messages were about the Savior and it was a great reminder of how much he loves us.

I also got the opportunity to go to Wuppertal for a split, and I got to meet so many cool people. It is so cool to see the special relationships that people attach to their elders, and it makes me glad for mine. I also tried two very good Berliners that were more American than they were German. One was filled with Nutella, so I guess that was German, but the other had frosting on top and was filled with vanilla pudding and blueberry filling! I will be going back to buy more this week when I go back to Wuppertal for another split! 

So every week we have a flea market outside our place, and so I found a pretty cool Adolf Hitler coin that I picked up. Not the best person ever, but a cool thing to have and buy when you’re in the country. We also ran into some Americans there, so that was way fun! 

Last thing! So with transfers, we as elders have what we call Dday. Dday is the day before transfers where President can call you to be a trainer, zone leader, district leader, or an AP Elder. Well, while I was gone Elder Dean switched Presidents number with someone else’s number. Well they called me and lets just say they do a very convincing impression! I totally bought it! It was so funny! 

That’s all I have for this week. Unfortunately, Investigators and other things just fell out one after another, so it wasn’t the most eventful week. Pray for me that I will be able to find people searching for answers. Have a good week!

Love from Germany,