Monday, February 29, 2016


Transfer week! As expected, I will be staying my last transfer in
Gelsenkirchen and Elder Rogers goes home. We kind of thought this
would be a perfect opportunity to close one of the areas by having a
trio for only one and then leveling off after one transfer, but thats
not the case. Instead I will be joined by Elder Lewis from Duisburg!
Elder Lewis just finished being trained, so it will be good to have
someone energetic and excited for the work. I don't know really
anything about him,  although we should be getting him on Tuesday and
then be a trio until Thursday morning when we ship Elder Rogers (I
might as well just say Jesse) to Frankfurt to catch his flight! Its
going to be a fun week!

We had something funny happen this week as we showed up for an
appointment! We rang the doorbell and almost directly after I got a
text from the person saying he wasn't home yet and therefor couldn't
meet. We waited for a minute, I grinned, looked at Elder Rogers and
said,"now watch this!" I rang again, and we were let in and climbed
the stairs. As we knocked on the door the children asked who it was.
We heard some shuffling and after a minute of waiting the door opened
with the wife standing behind it. She told us her husband wasn't home,
and then all of a sudden I see him walking up to the door!! The look
on his wife's face was priceless as she said," are home" to
which he said "Yeah I was sleeping in the other room". Gotcha! Well,
they were nice about it and let us in so we could reschedule but once
we were out of earshot we busted up laughing.

We also went by to find a potential we got from our street display,
but we couldn't find his name on any of the doorbells, so we just
doored the whole building and ended up finding a little romanian
family. They just moved there a week ago, and had we gone by earlier
we wouldn't have found them. Tough thing is that they don't speak a lick
of english or german, so we might have to get in touch with the
romanian mission which we are allowed to do if we need translators, so
Im hoping I can get in touch with my buddy Helaman in that mission and
have a skype lesson with him. How cool would that be?

One morning as I was doing my studies and got a text from a member
telling me to call Annegret for some exciting news. The day earlier we
had taken by a triple combination to her from a member, and to those
who dont know what that is, its just a bunch of our scripture crammed
into one binding, kind of like the old and New Testament being put
into one binding. Anyways, she read the word of wisdom on her own and
said she felt God wanted her to quit smoking NOW! So what did she do?
She threw all of her smokes and treys out. Now how cool is that? We
better start filling up the font, because she is amazing and making so
much progress!

Stake conference with all of the congregations in the Dortmund took
place on Saturday and Sunday, and it was so much fun. Annegret went
Saturday, and on Sunday I got to see all my mission buds. Elder Sommer
is training! The thing that surprised me the most was when I ran into
Sabine, a member from Köln! It was so good to see her, and she's
engaged now. Crazy how the time flies by.

Not much else to report on my end. That's it for now, love you guys!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Things are picking up!

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great week! Things are starting to
get real crazy over here in a couple of different ways! Im pleased to
say that things are starting to pick up, but its also getting crazy in
the sense that this week is Elder Rogers last full week as a
missionary. We find out on Saturday who my new companion will be! I
wont lie, its weird seeing him pack up his stuff, but at the same time
it doesn't really phase me all that much since it just seems like he's
getting transferred. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy to good
adventures this next week.

Well, we certainly had an unwanted adventure this week! We forgot our
phone at an elderly woman's house, and the consequences followed us
the rest of the day. Oh sure, it's funny now, but at the time we were
livid because when we went by at the end of the night not only was she
not home, but she took our phone too haha. Luckily we got it back
thanks to another member and order was once again restored to
Gelsenkirchen! Crazy how much we depend on that thing.

On Wednesday we paid a visit to the family we began working with a
week or two ago, and the wife just became a new investigator! We had a
great lesson, and I think back when the Elders first taught them there
was a lot of confusion because of the language barrier, because when I
told her that Joseph Smith was only a man, you could just see the
gears in her head turning, and that she didnt think we were crazy
anymore. She began opening up to us which was really exciting, and we
have a lesson this week with that family.

Ok, get ready for this one. On my split in Dortmund with the zone
leaders we were just going about business as usual and had a great
talk with some people right? Well we talked to the next person we saw
who happened to be from England! It soon turned into one of the
weirdest conversations Ive had on my mission. She kept calling us a
sect and telling us that what we teach is wrong and that we don't know
Christ, but she didn't stop there! She went on to tell us that we
should know that John and Revelations are the only true books in the
whole Bible, and that the Old Testament is of Satan, and that Jesus
was sent to destroy the Jews but failed...right...I'm sure you didn't
take any drugs previous to our conversation. Finally I was fed up with
it and didn't want to talk any more, so I told her we had to go, have
her my testimony that I do know Christ, grabbed my companion, and
walked away.

The funny thing is, is that we had meant to go to a building before it
closed, but because of her there was no point, so we had to go to the
subway stations where she went to. So, we just waited outside a few
minutes to make sure that Psycho woman had left for sure. It was
pretty funny! Thats one of the joys of a mission-having a bunch of
crazy stories. Kind of like one of my favorite sisters who got kissed
by a drunk hobo.

We are steadily making progress with one of our investigators. She
comes to every activity, love the Book of Mormon, and comes every week
faithfully to church. She comes away every time more and more sure
that this is the right way, and tells us again and again that she is
reconsidering being baptized. We hope so.

Things are starting to move along over here, and it's going to be
exciting to see what happens with this last transfer. Crazy to even
think I'm at that point, but don't worry, Ill make you guys proud!
Talk to you later!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fun Little Miracles

Probably one of the highlights of my entire week was hanging out with
elder Sommer at our zone training! It was so good to see the kid, and
see how much he has grown since I left him about 2 transfers ago. I
got him our companionship fruit as a snack for our district leader
council afterwards. Every companionship has their own thing, ours just
so happened to be a fruit haha. I don't know if anyone has ever heard
of a palmelo, but it's this fruit from China that is bigger than a
grapefruit, but you peel it like an's weird but super
tasty, and only recently did they bring them over to Germany. Are they
over in the states yet??

Things are beginning to wrap up over here for elder Rogers, it's kind
of weird. He just had his leavers interview with president, and he
will probably start packing next week. It's eerie!

I went on two splits this week, and on one of them I was able to give
a woman a blessing. We were visiting her son, and she walked in, said
hello, and told us how she has been wanting to come to church lately
and get a blessing from the members, but things just hadn't worked
out. She's going through a very challenging health issue right now, so
she was a little tense. I didn't know why, but the spirit told me to
suggest one then and there as opposed to her waiting until Sunday. She
agreed, I gave her a blessing, and she was so much calmer afterwards.
It's truly amazing what God can allow us to do in His name. It truly
is a miracle that we can give and receive blessings of comfort or for

Anytime I see a cool or weird car, I just have to stop and stare and
check it out! There was a guy that pulled onto the side of the street
with a Chrysler crossfire that had police stickers all over it. Don't
get me wrong, they looked cool, but they weren't meant for that car!
We talked to the guy for a good while about his car and then we
started talking about missionary work and why we are here. We are
having an event on the 20th to watch meet the Mormons at the church,
and we invited him. He said he'd like to come, so I hope we see him on
Saturday, and he took down our number.

That same day we went by on a potential we found at our street
display, and he invited us in to tell him more about the Book of
Mormon! What! It was crazy and he he committed to start reading it. It
would be super fun if they came to church because he has a small
family, and our ward could really use that. He's actually from
Romania, and a pretty cool guy. He invited us back, so I hope we can
start working with him regularly.

I don't know if any of you remember me talking a while back about
contacting a guy at a kiosk, but anyways we found him again. We kept
pushing to meet with him, but since he doesn't have an apartment it
makes it kind of hard. He was so much happier by the end of our
conversation, and he asked, "why do you want to help me? Why does your
church want people like me? I'm a junkie." Maybe you have experienced
this before, but I just have so much love and hope for this guy I have
barely met. I wonder sometimes if I once knew some of the people I
encounter here, it's hard to describe!

Saturday's street display was probably one of the hardest and most
taxing street displays I have ever had. Nobody would stop and talk,
nobody was being friendly, and it was kind of disheartening because
normally those things pick me up! Luckily the Lord sent me something
to keep me going that day. We were on our way to visit a member that
lives way out there, and in the train we heard some English right
behind us. When we talked to them they instantly recognized us as the
Mormons and told us how they have an American friend that "opened
their eyes" to Mormons haha. Well, he's the exchange student in our
ward! These two were from Romania and Belgium, and we think the books
we just gave this member were for them. How cool!

Things are getting really weird over here with my companion going
home, but we are being shown some pretty fun miracles over here right
before he leaves.

Thanks for your love and care, love you all!


And thank you aunt Mari for the awesome Christmas box, I just got it!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Special picture sent home to mom from a missionary couple

Pictures at the coal mine

WOW what a week!

Lots to write this week! Lots of fun and miracles happening in Gelsenkirchen.

Elder Rogers and I have been really trying to do a better job of
finding underway, and when we hear stories from others, a lot of the
stories take place underway. So to make an effort, I contacted two guys
from Africa on the train. It didn't really lead to much, but a woman
waiting for her stop came over and approached me in English which took
me completely by surprise. She didn't stay long because she got off,
but I got to tell her what I do and why. Blessings!

We began teaching a woman whose husband just died, and its very hard
because she can have a really hard time in a moments notice. Poor
thing, I hope I never have to lose a spouse at that young of an age.
Anyways, we taught her the restoration and we watched the 20 minute
video which she really liked. We now have a standing appointment with
her every week, and her mom is a member and is there every week.

On a split with Elder Heiner from Herne, we got a new investigator!
Elder Rogers and I had gone by on him and his family, but they couldn't
meet, so we made out an appointment but it ended up falling out. So
this time we met, and he and his wife want to meet and learn more
again after taking a 3 or 4 year break.

Later on our split, we met with a super member in our ward. This woman
helps us with everything! We had a lesson scheduled out, but the guy
that was supposed to come with bailed. So, last minute we asked if her
son could be there. He accepted, on the terms that we could talk and
eat but not have a lesson. So we went, and we got there and just
clicked with him really well! I was told that not long ago he didn't
even want to be in the same room as Elders, so he has been making
major improvement. I was a little worried about how the appointment
went, so I talked to the woman on sunday, and she assured me that she
was happy that it went as well as it did.

Saturday was payday! We had wanted to have a street display every week
this transfer, but neither us or the Herne Elders or sisters had put
one together, so we decided to go apply for one for saturday. There
was actually a good chance we wouldn't get the permission in the mail
with such short notice only a few days before, but the woman said she
would email it to us, but she didn't. So as we were going over to steal
a members wifi and check, we saw the postman throw the letter in our
box right as we opened our door! After a major struggle of carrying
all the books and a super heavy table across town, we finally made it
to our street location.

We ended up getting a few new potential investigators, and we are
going to go by on all of this week. One girl just came up, and after
hearing what we were doing went and got her sister! We are going to
try and meet on Thursday. Another woman I talked to for 15 minutes,
and referred her to meet with the Dortmund Elders. I was so happy with
all the books we gave out, not only because of how many, but because
how much lighter the trip back was going to be! Good thing the other
elders showed up!

Upon closing up, we were approached by a Ukrainian woman who thought
she heard us speaking english. She was just curious about what we were
doing; the whole stand was already gone. A member and I talked to her
and she was very interested, although we weren't able to get any
contact information.

Last story, I promise! On our way home in the train, Elder Rogers and
I were so burnt out but so excited. A little boy about 3 or 4 years
old sat next to me and his parents stood behind us. I asked how old he
was and they just told me they were from Poland, so they didn't
understand what I was saying. A station or two later the husband took
the open spot next to Elder Rogers, and I kept getting the thought to
give him a polish book. I had this kind of inner fight because I knew
just handing him a book might be kind of weird, and I didn't even know
where in our little trolly our polish book would be. I finally made a
deal in my mind that if it was on top I would do it. Well, it was the
second book! He looked at it and smiled, and then showed his little
boy and said, "Look, Jesus Christ!" It got me so excited even though I
couldn't further communicate with him, but I motioned that it was for

This work is true! This work is awesome! Last week was so rewarding to
be out here, and I know that there isn't anything better that I could
be doing with my time. Thanks to everyone for the love and prayers,
you are awesome and I miss you all. Love you guys!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I'd rather be a missionary than a coal miner!

Are things as warm over in America as it is here? There are plants
with matured leaves and some trees are starting to bud! It's quite
strange, but I like not needing to wear a heavy coat.

This ones going to be relatively short, but I hope it is still good.

Today we had our PDay because we wanted to go to a German coal mine!
It was super cool and I got to use a drill, or rather I got to hold it
and activate it, but not drill anything out of the tunnel wall. Pretty
tiring stuff! Our tour guide was pretty funny, but I had the hardest
time understanding half of that tour. Boy, I felt like I was a brand
new missionary again. The vocabulary is nothing like what I hear in
every day spoken German, so it was kind of a bummer. But, after our
tour we ran into a cool college group from Delaware, and that was one
of the best parts of the day. It's so funny how when you're in a
different country you just click with other people from your own
country. They thought what we were doing was pretty interesting. We
just had to laugh because they asked us question after question when
normally Germans keep to's pretty different over here
I guess. I guess I've just forgotten how it is back home!

We had the opportunity to go to a German funeral and burial this week,
and it was so sad even though I didn't know the guy. A woman that left
the church had invited us to her husbands funeral, and she is so
determined to rejoin and do everything she can to get active again.
She has already planned to go to the temple and do all of his work so
they can be together in the next life. It's just such a beautiful
thing that the gospel offers! And, it's just so refreshing seeing
someone who has such a desire to join the church.

On our way there, our bus had problems going further because somebody
had a medical emergency, so we couldn't go any further with the bus.
Or any bus for that matter. We both looked at each other and decided
to take a taxi, and once we set foot outside the bus we saw an elderly
woman trying to get to the funeral as well. So that was a fun little
miracle of the week, and we got to take our first taxi ride on our

Well that's all time allows me today. Love you all! Pictures of the
museum hopefully next week!