Monday, January 26, 2015

A couple of Pics

New Companion?

Hey all!

This last week Elder Carson’s foot has really been hurting, so President told us to start taking half days to make it easier for him. We find out tonight whether he will have to get surgery or not. That will determine whether he goes home for the second time and second surgery on his mission. So that has kind of been the main thought this week. 

I got a call from Elder Dean back in Köln and the power was out in the apartment and he was trying to figure out from me what to do to get it back on since I knew how to get to the circuit breaker.  I also called him back later and found out that John is still meeting with them, but may not be getting baptized as soon as we thought, so that was a bummer to hear. 

Elder Carson has an amazing knowledge of the gospel and the scriptures, so we have been going over them together and he has been sharing all kinds of awesome stories with me, whether from personal experience or from the scriptures. My goal is that I will be able to better know the scriptures. Elder Carson thinks he is going to go home. He told me that he can’t stop thinking about helping his family accept the gospel, so if he goes home he will still be a missionary. That’s what we have been discussing, and he agrees. 

We got to help a recent convert with some errands because they are sick, and we also handed out two copies of The Book of Mormon, which was cool. This week we had a few good conversations with people on the streets, but nothing too big. Because we don’t have too many investigators, we mostly do street contacting. Its not all that fun but it is a lot better than dooring. Nobody likes you if you knock on their door. 

The best part of the week was almost setting a baptismal date with a guy. He told us he already knows the church is true, that the BoM is true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. The thing holding him back is that he is nervous, and so we committed him to pray about it. Hopefully he gets the right answer! He is really ready, he just needs some comfort. 

Lastly, we had lunch at the church after all of our meetings. We ate amazing food with all of the members and it was some of the best food I have had. We talked mostly with one of the members that serves for the American army and he updated us quite a bit on what is going on in the world. Sometimes it is nice not knowing, but I also feel like I should know what’s going on as a citizen of the world.

Well that’s about it! I hope you all have a great week! Congrats Hank and Marianne on your engagement! 


Monday, January 19, 2015

First Letter from Bayreuth!

Last Sunday was hard, as I am sure I already mentioned, because I had to say goodbye to many people that I love. This last pday we went to Bonn to visit some cool castle ruins, which were cool but as soon as we got there I was about ready to leave haha. On our way back we ran into this lady on the train. Boy, when we stepped on the train it just reeked of weed and we soon found out that it was her. One of the elders tried talking to her but all she was doing is laughing and nodding her head in agreement to everything he said. I must say it was kind of funny!

Because I had to leave this week, I had to say goodbye to all of my family in Köln that I have grown to love. We had a really fun time with Eric at the hospital, and he had lots of questions unlike normal. We ended up helping him we may have accidentally stayed about 2 hours. After that we had a little get together with the Kozma family, and it was really good to see them all one last time. They are a solid family. Right after and going a little bit late, we had some really really good ice  cream with the Nowaks and the sisters. We had fun, shared a spiritual thought, and then parted ways. That was actually hard for me because we had gotten to know them so well. Sister Nowak for me was kind of my mom on my mission, so it hurt a little more than the others. Luckily, they gave me a CD of a bunch of photos together, so I am very excited to go through them!

Wednesday was my last day in Köln, and I sent off Elder Dean to Frankfurt so that he could go get his Golden, or new missionary. Because I needed to have people to be with, two other missionaries came over. One was from Aachen and the other from Bonn. Together we got to see John one last time, and as we left we ran into Ansgar, an investigator we have stopped doing things with. It was a total miracle how we crossed paths, and hopefully he will agree to meet up with Elder Dean soon. After John, we had my last dinner appointment in Köln with the Markaj family and we had such a fun time! Three elders, an awesome dinner, two games of darts where I accidently threw one at the reset button, and a great lesson. Finally, we got home and found the other Aachen companionship waiting for us already. We decided to go on an evening adventure and toured the 3 story garage and looked at all the cool cars and then went to the top floor to check out the cool view of Köln one last time. It was sweet!

The next day was all dedicated to travel. We had our bus at 910, but it was an hour and then the driver took a 45 minute break. Because of all that we showed up to Frankfurt a little bit later as anticipated so I didn’t get to meet the two new training missionaries in Köln, and that was a real bummer. After a bit of waiting around, we hopped on another bus and took that to Nürburg where we had to take a train to Bayreuth. We ended up getting home at 730 so I just unpacked and ate dinner after a tiring day of traveling.

Elder Carson and I have been getting along really well, but unfortunately neither of us have been sleeping very well because of my snoring haha. The first morning in Bayreuth we went on a small split because Elder Carson had to go get his foot checked out at the doctor. He may have to go home, but we wont know for sure for a few days

Sunday, what an interesting day! The branch asked me to give a talk 2 days before, so I prepared a little talk. We then gave the lesson for the first hour and then for the second hour I gave my talk. Since one of the speakers didn’t show up, I tried to take more time. Well...what seemed like 15 minutes was actually 30. I have no stinking idea how that happened, but I talked for 30 minutes!!! Poor guy after me had 10 or so minutes haha. I felt so bad! Our branch is really cool though. It may have only had 16 people including all the really small kids, but they are really really great. Afterwards we visited the new convert and gave him a blessing with a member of the Army, and afterwards he and his wife gave us root beer, doritos, salsa, an amazing cake, and this amazing chicken pot pie casserole. 

This week has been quite the adventure. It has been fun, and it has been sad. I have already learned a lot here in Bayreuth and I am loving it even though it is very very small. Right now we are going to take our bikes to get fixed so we don’t have to do so much walking. After that maybe a little shopping. Slower day, but it should be good. Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Off to a new adventure in Bayern!

The weeks are going by faster...and my 7 months in Köln are drawing to a close. How is it possible! Arg! I have loved Köln, and it will be greatly missed, but it is time to move on to new adventures. I will definitely come back and visit! There are too many great people I have to see again before I go home. I just have to! 

Because I am leaving Köln, I will now be serving at the other end of the mission in Bayreuth, which is in Bayern. That means that everyone will probably speak Bayrisch, which is a dialect like Kölsch. Bayreuth is supposed to be a very pretty city with buses as our way of getting around. I haven’t heard if we have bikes or not, but I do know my companion a little bit. His name is Elder Carson and if I remember right he served in the marines and was studying explosives! Sounds right up my alley! Elder Carson and I served in the MTC together but he had to go home to get surgery on his knee. Good thing he made it and came back out! 

It was actually kind of hard to say goodbye to everyone in the ward. I didn’t think it would be all that bad but I think I already miss my ward! This week we went by an office to check if our third train card belonged to us. Another missionary told me he found it, but wasn’t sure. We took it back but they said there was no name on the card anywhere. They said it was nice that we brought it back, but that it didn’t do anyone any good. So they just told us to keep it. We decided to give it to our investigator since he has such a hard time getting around, and really doesn’t have the money to do so. He got so excited! We really hope things turn around for him soon. Unfortunately I wont be here to see him get baptized, but he just had his interview yesterday, so he is all set. 

This week we had our district meeting at one of the elder’s houses since one of the elders had a concussion. It was way fun and we ate a bunch of snacks while we were at it. This poor elder had been stuck inside for days since it was his 5th or so concussion. We later dropped by and gave them some of the board games in our apartment. 

We also had a few less active appointments and that was a lot of fun, and I wish that they had come earlier so we could have gotten to know each other! Too bad. We also ate lunch with the Schneider family, and I am so glad that I finally got to meet them; it’s just too bad it was right before I left. We got in contact with Daniel using a different phone, as we are blocked when we use our phone. What a bummer. We showed up but he didn’t. It’s always a bummer when you lose friends. 

We had a fun Pday in Bonn at some ruins of a castle. More to come next week for sure. Thank you for all the letters and love, I’m about to go send Elder Dean off to Frankfurt and then tomorrow I go to Bayreuth. I wish all of you a great week.



Monday, January 5, 2015


What a week! I would first like to start off by giving thanks! Thanks to all of you who helped me make this big change of my life and supporting me growing up. I also wanted to say thanks to my Aunt Mari for sending so many of my favorite sweets! Also, thank you McNerny family for sending the Christmas card - that was way fun! This year is going to be very special. This year is kind of a "Holy year" because for the entire year I will be working every day to serve my God. How cool is that! Not many people can say they have done that.

I hope everyone had an awesome New Years. I had a pretty lame experience but at least it makes a great story right? I’ll tell that later and tell the week in order of how it went.

Monday we went to Düsseldorf and had a zone pday with about 18 missionaries! We all went bowling and lets just say I need bumpers. I got the worst score both games scoring first a 30 and second a 45. If anyone has ever done worse please email me the story! It was still fun and Elder Dean "rolled" the ball by doing a penguin slide and then releasing it. It had to be one of the funniest things I had ever seen because I took two videos. We then started a small-scale snowball fight right before going back to the main train station.  

On New Years ever we were required to be indoors by 6 no exceptions. Being in a huge party city I was happy to comply. With so much time, Elder Dean showed me how to make cinnamon rolls, which I was very proud of! We then just cleaned up a bit and messed around waiting for the big moment of 12 to come. The whole night there were fireworks going off like crazy. It was better than home even before the new year had started. At 11:30 we decided we had better go up to the top floor with the elevator. Well, things didn’t look good from the start. The elevator would start and would start shaking every time it would get moving fast enough. Finally it just came to a dead halt and the doors would not open. We were stuck. The front desk called an emergency service, but our hopes of seeing the once in a lifetime firework show in one of the tallest buildings in Köln were shattered when they told us 20 minutes minimum. We just had to sit inside as we heard what sounded like WWIII. When we got out, we took another elevator up but got stopped by personnel because we didn’t know people on the top floor. They said "Oh that was you in the elevator!?". No, no that’s not what I said two times at all. Still a no go. Fortunately we were able to see a few cool fireworks at eye level on the 38th floor but by the time we got there it was 1:15. least we saw some good ones before midnight!

The next day was scary. Trash and fireworks both exploded and unexploded were everywhere. Nobody was to be seen except in the train station and the taxis. We then met up with the sisters and went to a member’s house where we got absolutely crammed with food. We ended up staying much longer than I had anticipated and I got very nervous as the family brought out dessert since we had a family dinner with a member family just over an hour later. I don’t know how, but I ate so much that day, and downed everything at the next house. My stomach is a tank! I don’t know how, but we did it! The food was amazing. That’s all I can say. 

Because of the new year, everything was on sale. This week I bought the heaviest coat I think I have ever owned, as well as a super cool World Cup Jersey that normally go for 100€! Instead I got it for 30€. I would consider myself quite the smart shopper ;) The zone training we had was really awesome, and really sparked motivation within me again. Every now and then I slow down, but I really got pumped up this time.

This week has been quite the adventure, and John is advancing towards baptism! We are just waiting for his friend to return. I hope everyone has had an awesome 2014, and that we all have some good goals for this new year. Set yourself in a good direction and lets go and get 'em!