Sunday, January 8, 2017

Final Photos

As many of you know, Elder Fisher arrived home in December from his mission.  Here are a few last photos of his last days in Germany and his first days at home.

Preparing to go to the Frieberg Temple
Last picture with President and Sister Fingerle
Mission accomplished! December 2016 finsihers

Arriving home....
Elder Fisher's plane was delayed in Germany which caused a missed connection in Chicago.
We are grateful to United Airlines for arranging a new flight so it was ready for him when he reached Chicago.
And we are grateful to the kind stranger at the Chicago airport who lent Elder Fisher his cell phone so he could call
with the new flight information.
After 23 hours of travelling, he finally arrived at 10 pm.

Elder Fisher meeting "Flat Elder Fisher"

These 3 friends served missions at the same time and they all arrived home within 4 days of each other.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Final Email

December 12, 2016

Dear Friends and Family,

   I thought that I would write my first group email, the last week of the mission. Perhaps I should have started this type of emailing earlier as well, but cannot change the past I guess.

   Over the past two years, I have been able to meet a lot of people I did not ever think I would get to meet before my mission. Such as meeting someone who believed she was visited by aliens in her apartment, or meeting a German who did not use any technology except his bicycle, and last but not least people who have become life long friends to me.

   I have seen many things on my mission that I wish I had not seen in my life, let alone my mission, however on the flip side of that I have also seen many things which were absolutely breathtaking and things which made me marvel in wonder.

   I have learned a few things on my mission, one of them is that I am not a fan of bicycles on my mission. From flying over my handle bars right before church and ripping a suit, to the 7 other times being in bicycle accidents. I think I will take a break from bicycles for a while after my mission.

   However, on a more spiritual note, I have learned so much about the gospel and the many blessing that are in store for us when we are worthy and ready for them. I have also learned patience for answers to prayers, because sometimes the best answer for you is yet to be discovered. I have also learned perseverance and working hard.

   On my mission whenever I was having a difficult time, I would usually say one of two things to myself under my breath:

   First: "when the times get tough, the tough get going!"

   Second: a scripture from the Book of Mormon, Jacob 6:5 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts.”

   These two things have helped me get through the hardest of times I have experienced on my mission.

   Now I will not say that they were a perfect two years, or that I did everything right that I was supposed to, however they really were the best two years of my life. The past two years have been really something special and I wouldn't trade my mission for the world. Although I have not baptized thousands of people, it doesn't bother me, I am satisfied knowing that I have been able to help people come closer to Christ and that is the purpose of being a missionary for Jesus Christ.

   I know that Christ lives and that he loves us very much. Although this mission is ending another begins and I am excited for it to start and see if I can do some good during it as well. I love all of God's children and I can say that full heartedly even when they have yelled at me or called me not so nice things, because I have experienced it several times over the past two years. I know that God loves his missionaries and even though most of us are very young and know relatively little about life, he can make them into great tools for bringing souls unto Christ. I bear this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sincerely,

Elder Spencer Fisher
Elder Fisher at the Christmas market
Elder Fisher’s letter to his parents:

Well, I guess this is it. I cannot believe that is finally coming to an end, it is a bitter sweet.
I saw the Christmas markets I wanted to see.

A member took pictures of the baptism yesterday and I will send the picture tomorrow so that you can have it.

Cannot wait to see you Friday.

Scripture of the week: Ether 15:34 “Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen.”

Quote of the week: "You're going home!" Everyone in the Germany Berlin Mission

Cannot wait to see you on Friday!

Love ya
Elder Fisher
Elder Fisher and Elder Bullion
with their investigator/new member
The pre-baptism picture

Add caption


Friday, December 9, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Next to Last E-Mail

December 5, 2016

   The work goes good, we have a baptism coming up this next Sunday, so that is pretty cool. I went through the baptismal interview questions with our investigator and it was super cool to hear that someone is so prepared.

   We didn't go on companion exchanges this past week but we will be this coming week. I like learning and getting to know other missionaries on exchanges a lot, it is just a good time. My favorite meal was when we visited a family that made us mac and cheese and then some Italian dessert.

   The person who took the picture from last week was a member from Texas. He served in Germany a while ago and was here with his wife to visit and that was Elder Bullion in the picture. That picture was taken right next to our Christmas market here in Lauenburg.  We were able to visit three Christmas markets last week and that was really fun. We are visiting another one this week.

   Germans are kind of into putting up Christmas lights like Americans do but more than anything they just put things in their window sills and decorations in their house as well.

   You asked about my favorite thing about Germany--I love Germany landscape and the many colors in the sky in the fall and spring and just everything that is here.

   The German people value education a lot more than most teenagers that I grew up with. Also the people are very honest and blunt. Also they still hold to a lot of traditions and stuff like that. I really love the German people and have really enjoyed the time I was able to spend here.

   Scripture of the day: Malachi 3:10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

   Quote of the day: "This Christmas season I invite you to seek opportunities to “Light the World.” David A. Bednar

Love you and hope you have a good week.

Love,

Elder Fisher

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thankgiving, Zone Conference, and Finishing Strong

November 28, 2016

   Well, glad to hear that you had a good turkey day, and that you did not over eat too much on that day as well. I really hope that the missionaries were able to have a good time at the house too--I know that spending the holidays with the members is always a fun time for the missionaries and I hope that it is for the members as well.

The weather has been pretty cold here and I cannot wait to have a short hit of warmth when I am home for a few weeks, I like the cold but working and doing stuff in it all day, every day is not my idea of fun.

   For Thanksgiving, we had a combined Zone Conference that they called “Ho Ho Zo Co” because it combines Zone Conference and the mission Christmas celebrations.  I really enjoyed it. For the zone conference part, they talked about a lot of stuff that will be happening with the mission next transfer so I listened to it but the whole time I was just kind of thinking, this stuff will have absolutely no part of my mission, so that was kind of weird to realize.  For dinner, they fed us potatoes, red cabbage, and pork. Very german, very good. 1) For our German Thanksgiving meal, we had potatoes, red cabbage, and pork. Classic German meal. Yes ma'am I got the packages that you sent for my birthday as part of the celebration and all of the food is gone already, between sharing it with other missionaries and all that fun stuff too.

   The work is going good over here and I am enjoying it for the most part.  This past week, my two favorite lessons to teach: we taught the 5th lesson in Preach my Gospel and we went through the first lesson with our baptismal candidate this past week. That is always good. We had companionship exchanges this past week with the elders in Bergedorf and I was with Elder Drazin who is an Elder from the same group as me and that was fun, we have served together a few times on the mission and we are pretty good friends.

My German is good—however, it depends, because everywhere in Germany, there are    different dialects and different words they use for different things, so I understand most German in a certain area of Germany, however if I were to go two hours southeast of here, I would understand very little of what they are saying. My companion’s German is pretty good, so that makes life easy, he has trouble at times understanding the members here because he has heard a different kind of German his whole mission so he is used to something completely different than what they speak here.

   My favorite thing to study this past week was writing a lot of stuff for finishers (mom note: missionaries who are close to leaving) about what I learned on my mission and the lessons I have learned on the mission and all that stuff that I give to President in Freiberg when I finish, it has given me time to really reflect and think about my mission a lot. It was nice.

   For Pday, we are going to practice instruments and play foosball and that kind of stuff at the church.

   They did not really announce tithing settlements but the active German members are pretty 
active about going to the Bishop about that kind of stuff I think.

   I hope that you have a good week too, and just so you know my plan for my last Pday, I am just going to send a mass email to everyone about what I have learned on the mission and feeling about the last two years and calling it good. If you have any questions you want to ask me you can, but I do not think I will feel too much like writing my last Pday on the mission between packing and taking care of stuff for coming home. Just so you know my plan.

   Scripture of the week: Luke 2:10 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

   Quote of the week: "We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year!" Russell M. Nelson

Love,
Elder Fisher

Elder Fisher and Elder Bullion next to the Christmarket in Lauenburg.
A tourist took this picture and sent it by e-mail to Elder Fisher's parents.

This is the picture from "Ho Ho Zo Co" in Hamburg---can you find Elder Fisher?

This is the picture from the "Ho Ho Zo Co" in Berlin

Friday, December 2, 2016

Moving a Piano, German Pastries, and Member Referrals

November 21, 2016

   Well dad, I do not remember how mom's homemade pies even taste so HA! I will think of you while I eat Germany pastries and by fresh bread from the bakeries that are on every corner here.  We will be having our zone conference in Hamburg Wartenau ward on Thanksgiving day and we will be eating some German food, I do not know which ones yet.

   This past week we went to L√ľneburg and helped move a piano down from the second story of the apartment building and then moved the piano up to the upstairs of the person’s house we moved it to, needless to say I was slightly sore after that service activity but the brother gave us a referral afterwards so that was really cool.

   What I love about this ward is now that the ward trust us a lot, we are averaging getting one referral a week which is extremely difficult in Germany, let alone in a small town area with very few people in it. I would say that that is my favorite thing about this area. I have not had any companion exchanges recently but we are planning to do a few this week, we will see if they actually happen or not.

   I feel like I have been reading in 3 Nephi for the past several weeks, but I read in German and really try to understand everything the Savior taught the Nephites very clearly and understand the commentary that Mormon writes as well so I enjoy that.

   Scripture of the week: 3 Nephi 26:13 “Therefore, I would that ye should behold that the Lord truly did teach the people, for the space of three days; and after that he did show himself unto them oft, and did break bread oft, and bless it, and give it unto them.”

Quote of the week: "He is the Gift" Christmas initiative from two years ago.

Love you and I hope that you have a good week and enjoy your Thanksgiving feasts!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

Elder Fisher

Birthday, Focusing on Missionary Work, and Abendbrot


November 14, 2016

   For my birthday, we had dinner at a member’s home. We had Abendbrot which consists of bread, butter, cheese, and meats. It is one of my favorite things about Germany and I will definitely be missing it as well when I am not here anymore. We also had something called Gr√ľnkohl this past week and Schweinfleisch, and Kartoffeln, another very classic northern German winter meal.

It's snow time!!
   My new companion is Elder Bullion and he is from Tennessee and has lived in Kentucky as well, he is a convert of about 4 years now, he is REALLY into music and wants to go into music education as well. Before the mission he graduated high school and he also worked for some sort of factory and that is how he paid for his mission.

   Our plans for Pday are once again, emails, lunch, and naps.

   So we are going to have Zone Conference on Thanksgiving and they do usually make us food, but it is not a Thanksgiving traditional meal but a traditional German meal. I will be getting my packages on Thanksgiving.

   We met a very nice lady from Ghana this past week and we taught her the first lesson.
The Christmas Markets will be up in a couple weeks here and we will be going to go and see them and I am super excited to see them again, I love these markets.

   The investigators are coming along pretty good, we are hoping to get at least one in the water before I head out and so we are working on it. The companion and I are doing pretty good, I knew him from my MTC group.  I think that we have both changed since the MTC. I am trying to make the last few weeks good by not thinking about going home. I have actually gotten a lot better since my last companion left since all he talked about was home and kept saying that I am going home soon. I liked my last companion but that made it difficult to focus.

   It sound like the missionaries are doing some work over there, I would love to stay in California just to help them get people to church and stuff--that is a huge thing I am going to miss after my mission, missionary work. I know I can still do it, but it won't be the same.
Scripture of the week: 3 Nephi 17: 21 “And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.

Quote of the week "whom the Lord calls, he qualifies." Thomas S. Monson

Love,
Spencer