Monday, May 25, 2015

I'm a Muslim - ha ha!

Well guys, I am officially Muslim! According to Francesco, the meaning of the word Muslim actually means,"Someone who finds peace in obeying God". Isn't that neat? Monday night we met with him, and he totally opened up to us about Islam. I must say. its pretty cool! There are things I don't really agree on, but what a cool and special belief. The people’s dedication to it is pretty unbelievable too, I can say pretty confidently that I don't think I would be able to do it. Pday was pretty stupid since nothing worked out, but our meeting with him made the day. He’s pretty much my brother from another mother, haha. 

As a lot of you know, we had our transfer call last weekend, but Elder Andrus and I stayed. Our district only changed by one person! So last week we said goodbye to Elder Fox, and this week we welcome Elder Gaijdos, who was actually in my MTC group! I am pretty excited to work with him again.

I had 2 highlights of my week but this one was unfortunately far from spiritual! This last week we had a split and I got to go on base in Grafenwöhr! This time I actually got on, and drove around. There were so many soldiers dressed in uniform and so many cars, that it really did feel like I was in America. It felt so good! But, then we went to the shopping center and was told I could buy whatever I wanted! So, walking around with a basket and looking like a kid in a candy store, I picked out....well...candy actually! I ended up spending only 10€ which was a total mistake. But, on the bright side I got pop tarts, Mountain Dew, some caramels, and a lot of sour patch kids. The people we were with just kept saying, "Don't embarrass me Elder!" just because I kept pointing and laughing. My experience was similar to a teen girl at a Justin Bieber concert, except that it wasn't anything that I regretted later on.

Saturday was a very very dry day, and there really was not much for us to do other than just talk to random people on the street, but since that is one of the most unproductive ways to use time (usually), we found some other things that we needed to do. Finally at the end of the day we had our one appointment that we were super excited for, but that fell out as we stood in front of the door. With nothing else to do, we did the only thing we could do, which is talk to random people. On the third or fourth person, just as everyone else, he said no initially. We said something though that got his attention, and he came back! Not only did we give him a book, but we ended up talking with this guy for 30 or 40 minutes on a park bench! It was awesome! That has got to be the second or third time that has happened on my mission, so it was quite a miracle, and something we really needed at the end of a harsh day. The Lord takes care of us! He said he would call us because he had a lot of questions, so we will see what happens.

Well I hope you all have a good week, and I can’t believe next Monday is June! I don’t know how the year is already almost half way over! Thanks for all the support and love,


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beautiful landscape

Last week had a perfect start to the week with a super awesome Pday! We went up to Fichtelberg with some members and some other missionaries and had a blast climbing and hiking rock formations. It was some of the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen, and it was just perfect weather too. I really can’t do it any justice by typing about it, so hopefully you can get an idea from the photos. 

Transfer calls were this week, and everyone including multiple members thought I was leaving! Of course I didn’t want to, but I sure felt like I would be transferred. Well, the news is that I am staying! Thank goodness too. I really like all of the people here, and I just didn’t want to leave them just yet. So I am super happy to stay at least 5 more weeks since this transfer is a little shorter than normal transfers. 

We had a few really busy days this week, which of course is always nice to have, and so we had to race back and forth to get here and there. The lessons themselves went really well this week and we also asked a friend of ours to be baptized. We asked him to pray about it to which he asked if he should fast! We laughed and said that that would help too! The same guy told me in a super thick African accent, "If I were a girl I would fall for you" to which I of course died laughing. I got a hair cut this week, and apparently he really liked it. We may have some trouble getting him in the water though because he is not legally married to his wife where he lives in Ghana. 

This week I also contacted a pretty cool guy in the train. He was actually in his cop uniform and we had a pretty fun discussion! He was visiting from Düsseldorf, and was visiting a friend here in Bayreuth for a day or two. Lastly I went to a messianic Jewish church meeting, which was pretty interesting, but not really something I would go back to. I liked it, but not the feeling necessarily. 

Today we are going to Bamberg for Pday, and are meeting up with about 10 other missionaries, so it should be a good time. Well have a good week everyone! 


Monday, May 11, 2015


Happy belated Mothers Day to you all, mother or not haha. This week was a ton of fun, and not just because I skyped my family. This week all sorts of things happened, including hitting my year mark, overnighting in Erlangen for a big church conference and some other things. 

I am finally coming to terms that I am one year out, and have less than a year before I go home, especially since a mission almost never lasts a full 2 years. Anyway, on Tuesday we had a conference with our zone, and to celebrate Cinco de Mayo the military base Elders bought everyone Taco Bell! I hadn’t had Taco Bell in 1 year! Ah, it tasted so good. The conference ended up being pretty fun, but due to a weeklong train strike, we were not able to get home in time for our appointment with a nice lady that doesn't come to church anymore. The conference ended at 2:30, and we opened the door to our house at 6, which is nuts. So that was an adventure dealing with that this week.

On Wednesday we met with our newest friend, Francesco. We met in Hof Garten, which is the city garden, and is just beautiful. We ended up teaching him the full second lesson all while he took notes. After the whole thing he told us that everything we had taught made perfect sense, and was almost identical to his beliefs with his faith in Islam. Pretty neat! We actually met up a second time, but at the church, and he brought a friend. The guy is way fun, so if I stay I might have to spend a Pday or two with him. 

That same day, we met with Frau Brown and the new member from Utah, who also brought her friend. It went pretty well, and Frau Brown was just as funny and sassy as ever, and told me I can be in her "crowd" haha. 

For my year mark I went to a famous garden here in Bayreuth called the Eremitage, and we took some photos and taught a lesson there, which was also fun. On the same day, we were riding in a train to split with the Grafenwöhr elders, and we had some Americans from Wisconsin sit next to us. We had a good time and laughed a lot. I forget sometimes how things are with other Americans, and how nice it is to understand the whole conversation 100%. 

On Saturday we overnighted like I said, and the Stake conference was really cool. The current president just finished, and so they got a new guy to replace him. Guess who? President Schwarz, my old mission president! Pretty cool! I talked with him and he gave me an unbelievable amount of hugs haha. He remembered me, told me I had great German, which made me feel really good, and we got a 1 year photo with Elder Arts too! 

Well that's all I really have for you all this week. Sure is nice having things warm up around here. Have a good week everyone, and I will let you all know when I’m back online with Facebook and whatnot. Still haven’t gotten iPads, so who knows when we will. Trust me though, you will know. Have a good week,


Monday, May 4, 2015


You know how time flies by? I thought that was only true for days and weeks, but truthfully I have felt that for this last year. On Thursday I will be hitting my year mark, and I have been told it only goes faster from here on out. Technically I am already over half way done because of the transfer system, so I will go home a week to about a month early, but I wont have to worry about that for quite some time. Still, I can’t believe it! 

Last week we got a new addition to our tiny church over here in Bayreuth. We got a new member from Utah (Of course), and is studying here to become a german teacher so she can teach back in the states! Pretty neat. After Pday last week, we paid her a visit and got to know the other Americans that came over with her, which was really nice. On the way home I heard more English, but from some Asians. One was from South Korea, Nepal, and one other place. I talked to them and 2 of them had to get off the bus, but we kept talking to the one from Nepal, and he had had contact with missionaries before. We got along really well, and he likes what we do, so maybe we will teach him sometime.

We had two days this last week that we were just not looking forward to. In one we had a full evening, but a blank day, and then the day after was 100% empty. On the first morning, I had the idea to call the Graf elders and see if I could take one of their bikes since they have a car. Everything worked out perfect! They were on their way to split back and so they brought the bike and we were on our way within 30 min. I have been using the bike ever since I got it, and am so happy to have a bike back. It makes everything so much easier and faster! The second day was, like I said; it was blank. I won’t lie to you, I was absolutely dreading that day, and neither of us wanted to go to bed just because of what we would have to wake up to. I prayed for guidance of what to do, but nothing came. Although nothing came, I kind of felt like everything would work out, even though I was still worried. After doing our study block, we had no food in the house, so we went out to eat, but the buses were all messed up because it was a holiday, and it was raining so we couldn’t take the bikes. After just missing a bus, we went to the student housing, and to our great surprise, found an old investigator at home! He had gotten back to Germany from Africa just the night before. Now what are the odds of that? 

After meeting with him, we were pretty hungry, and I was craving some fast food. As we went into one place and ordered our food, I sat down and realized that the only other customer in the shop was a former investigator that we had gone by on about 2 months ago! We had a fun talk and she was glad to see us, but we won’t be meeting again. The rest of the night, we took our media hour, and then decided we should go to the Uni to try and find a list of teachers, since we got a referral that is a teacher. His address is bad, so we figured that if we could find his info at the main office, we could find him at the end of one of his lectures. Being the only ones on campus, we saw a man over in the corner of a building reading a newspaper, and so we went to go ask him where the office was. Well, he replied in English and then took an interest in us. He had met with missionaries in the 80s and actually had a German ancestor that was one of the first Germans to join the church! Pretty neat! We talked for quite a while since we had the time, and then we got his email and he told us we could meet sometime. Never has a white day gone so well with so many plans made on the spot. 

Saturday was filled with meetings. In fact, by the end of the night we were pretty tired since we had taught back to back lessons for 6 hours! We visited Marco and Richard, and then paid a visit to Emnet, a friend studying here in Bayreuth. We were meeting in the commons room when we were asked to leave by a student that thought we were being quite disturbing to her while she was trying to study in a massive public commons room...Emnet didn’t like that and quite frankly neither did we, but I felt like I should suggest we go outside and talk. As we began our talk again, a friend of Emnets saw us, and asked if he could sit down and join us. After him, this hippie looking guy that had been over smoking the whole time says, "Actually I have a question too, may I?" It was sweet! So many awesome questions that helped us to explain all of our points so well. It just flowed. Eventually the hippie guy decided he just wanted to try and prove us wrong, but the friend saw what he was trying to do, and ended the conversation and ended the whole thing, which was good because we still had to visit Emmanuel. We got his number, and he set up a time with us to meet this Wednesday, so we are pumped for that. This week was full of blessings! 

Sunday we had about 45 people cram into our church! There was a baby blessing in the church and a ton of family and friends had come down from Leipzig. Right after we had a ward meal, and the cookies Elder Andrus and I had disappeared pretty quickly. You see, Germans make really good food, but Americans make really good sugary fatty things. Elder Andrus didn’t even get one and we brought 2 plates! 

All in all this week was a toughy, but it was super good. I should be getting my Facebook in a few weeks as well as an iPad, but I don’t know exactly when. Today I am going to check out some Lederhosen with a bunch of missionaries. Hope everyone has a good and safe week!