Monday, June 29, 2015

Finding, Investigators, and a New Mission President

June 29, 2105

    I am doing great!!I will be honest and say that the past five weeks have been hard with the work but this week was one of the more successful weeks I have had on my mission so far!!!   We were able to enjoy the blessings from heaven to help us see progress in the work. This Sunday we thought we weren't going to see one of our investigators at church because we called him and didn't answer. However, half way through priesthood meeting we got a call and it was him!!!! He said he wanted to come to church today but needed someone to pick him up and he came!!!! We ended up having two investigators at church this past Sunday. It was so exciting and then we had two unplanned lessons yesterday with people we have been trying to meet with for a while. It was a good day.   We have also been able to make a lot of contacts this week.
    
   One interesting finding story happened this week. At the end of this one day, we were finding (talking to people to find those who were interested in learning about the gospel) at 8:45 at night and usually nobody is outside but we saw one person so we went and talked to her.  We had a 15 minute conversation about the Book of Mormon on the street and she was interested.  She didn't really want the Book of Mormon but said if we see her on the streets again to go and talk to her again so I call that a success.
    
   The ward is good for a German ward in East Germany. The have the family history program in another ward building and I do not really know much else about family history stuff that is going on here.
    
   Last P-day we ate cookies and kinda stayed at the church.  I played piano a little bit and we usually have our email time at the church now with our iPads.  I am liking the food here and you asked about some of my favorites.  A few foods I remember are Berliner (dessert), Kn√∂del (main dish really good especially with small muchrooms), Snitzel(german iconic thing), and that is all I can think of right now. And the kraut has never tasted better.

    I think President Kosak has been a great mission president and you can just feel his love when he talks with someone. He isn't afraid of chastising a missionary but at the same time he would rather work with the missionary than send them home. We have zone conference next week to meet our new mission president.  (Mom note—The Germany Berlin mission will be getting a new mission president this Wednesday, July 1, 2015. President Kosak and his wife have served as for the last 3 years.  If you want to see more about the mission, they have had a blog for the last three years at http://germanyberlinmission2012-15.blogspot.com/  One of my favorite blog posts is on http://germanyberlinmission2012-15.blogspot.com/2015/04/04-15-missionary-training-as-disciples.html  There are pictures from a mission conference and there is a video clip at the end with all the missionaries singing.

    We do not really celebrate 4th of July here but we will do something in the companionship so we can still feel a little American.

    Right now, I am studying the Book of Mormon and how scriptures relate to missionary work and it is really interesting.  This week’s scripture is from the Bible-- 1 Peter 4:8 footnote included "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity preventeth the multitude of sins."

    Quote for the week Gordon B. Hinckley "The woman you marry is taking a terrible chance on you." I heard that this week and thought it was funny and since I won't be thinking about marriage for a while I do not find it insulting.

    I hope you have a good week and I love the pictures you are sending. Do you have any more stories from grandma and grandpa about their parents? Those are fun to read. I hope you have a good week and keep cool in the hot weather. I love you and I am thankful for how much you have helped me in my life and how much you care about me
Love you!!

Elder Fisher

Monday, June 22, 2015

Five months and a visit to a 500 year old church

June 22, 2015

    I realized that I hit my sixth month mark next month and it made me realize how fast everything is going here in Germany. I have almost been out for 1/4 of my mission now. That is crazy. I found that really just getting lost in the work helps me to lose track of time and then I look back and it is 5 months into my mission!!!!

    I have lasted through another transfer which is pretty exciting and my companion and I are staying together for another transfer (about 6 weeks) which I am pretty excited about. This week, we had two companion exchanges because this transfer we have had a lot of stuff to do and it was only a 5 week transfer and not a six week transfer (like it usually is) so I was in a different area for 2 days because of that but it was a fun time

    This past week my companion and I didn't know what we should teach the new converts in our ward so we decided to pray about it and I suggested that we write the topic down on two different pieces of paper and show the papers to each other.  I wrote prayer and he wrote Holy Ghost which go well together and we finished planning the lesson from there. We showed up to the appointment and the man said he wanted us to see a film and it was an LDS church film about prayer and the Holy Ghost!!! It was so awesome and then we talked about experiences that we have had with prayer and the blessing that come from prayer. It was a really cool lesson and was totally guided by the Spirit.

   I am having a good time here, though, and the ward is great.  The ward has a choir but we always forget to plan for it so we have only been once but we want to go and participate a little bit more and try building relationships with ward members.  We have people we are working with right now but they just need a little push to get their gears in motion so it can be a little challenging at times but nothing too hard. Since we are close to the Czech border, we do meet people from there but the people that are Czechs really do not speak German. We have met and talked with someone that was from Moldova.  We haven't found any community service activities in the area but we are looking and trying to find stuff.

   Annaberg-Buchholz does have a markt platz, a little smaller but I like it a little more less crowded and more relaxed. They have a lot of wood work stuff here and the “holz” in Bucholz actually means is wood, so a lot of craftmanship. This area is kinda the redneck area of Germany I think.

   We have all types of fruits here. Cherries, raspberries, peaches, oranges, strawberries, and some other types of berries. A lot of them are with the desserts though. I love sauerkraut and rotkohl (a sweet & sour red cabbage) so much and I could probably eat that stuff every single day I just cannot get enough of it!!!.

   We visited an old church last P-day and it was interesting and different.  Different religion and way of remembering Jesus Christ. I think they had 30 or so pictures of the Savior on the cross and sculptures too, but still interesting. (mom note: it was St. Anne's church in Annaberg-Buchholz which was built in 1499)
A photo from St. Anne's  --Link to more photos



Since last week’s rain storm, I keep an umbrella on me all the time now which is very handy.

   Scripture for the week is Alma 29:1 "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!"

I hope you have a good week!
Love you!!!

Elder Fisher

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spring Storms and Frog Crossings!

June 15, 2015

   Thank you for the letter and yes, I received the letter that Audrey wrote me. I think she has very good penmanship for a 14 month old.

A bridge the Elders discovered when out finding one day.
    When we eat at member’s homes we usually have red cabbage and sauerkraut, which are like my two favorite food of all time, like I would eat these before I would eat a chicken enchilada casserole!!! (mom note—that is saying a LOT!) And the main dish is usually meat but it is different in almost every home that we go to. I keep forgetting to get recipes and I need to be better about that. We did have this really good apple with a thick apple sauce cold soup thing once and that was really good. And yes, I eat fruits almost every day.
  
FROG CROSSING!!!!! the signs are used to protect the
frogs from being hit by vehicles.
   There are not any museums here in Annaberg to visit but we also haven't had a normal P-day in Annaberg to visit anything until last week. We are going to visit this giant church today, though, and I will have pictures from that next week.   When we are in town, we usually take the bus but if we go to a smaller town we take the train there.  (a response to a question about boats/rivers/lakes) I haven't really seen a lot of people with boats here but on the river there might be a few and I haven't seen a big lake yet so I am not sure about that. It is weird to think that almost all my friends are now on missions starting this week
Elder Fisher after the rain storm (and are those
recycling containers in the background?)
   
New shoes! and more comfortable than the pair
they replaced
   The weather here is crazy, it could be stormy one minute but then the next could be a giant thunder storm and then it could be sunny again with no clouds two hours later. I experienced that last Saturday and it was an interesting day. We went out finding and it was hot and sunny but then a half hour later it was rainy and then hailing and then a thunderstorm!!! And, of course, we were wearing our short sleeve white shirts that day because it was hot so we had to run from cover to cover. We took a break at a McDonalds and used the hand dryer to try to dry out our clothes and the toilet paper to dry our hair and skin. We then noticed that lighting was striking above our heads like every 20 seconds and decided that it would not be safe to work in this weather. We decided to go home and do weekly planning for the rest of the week. By far the most interesting day as far as weather goes on my mission.
  
   I do not wear my jacket now because the weather is warm enough but I do wear my sweater now and then.  However, there are a lot of hills here so it keeps up a good sweat even if it is like 70 degrees out or something.
  
   I was able to find some new shoes and they are the most comfortable shoes that I could find and they are amazing. They feel great when I walk even if I am breaking them in right now.
   
   This has been a slower week for the missionary work here but that is okay because we have appointments this week and lots of other fun stuff to do for finding and working with members.
  
   I like the family history stories you’ve been sending me from you family history interview. I do not have any questions but reading the stories that you send me is cool reading about so those might help me think of questions if you want to keep sending them.
Companions taking selfies
Elder Tingey and Elder Fisher

   The scripture for this week is Ether 12: 2-3 "And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him. For he did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun, exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed, saying unto them that by faith all things are fulfilled"
   
   Please help the missionaries in the ward as much as you can because missionaries always need referrals and random treats given to them.

   I love you and can't wait to hear from you next week.
Love,
 Elder Fisher

Monday, June 8, 2015

Missionary Work and Last Zone Conference with President Kosak

June 8, 2015

View from a mountain near Annaberg-Bucholz
Annaberg-Bucholz is about a 1/10 of the size of Halle but the ward is about the same size. We have choir on Thursdays and we have ward mission coordination meeting with our ward mission leader on Wednesdays. Other than that, we do not have any extra ward meetings during the week but we are going to try to get stuff going where investigators can come to the activities and other things, so we will see.  My district just has 4 elders in it so it isn't that big--as a matter of fact, it is the smallest possible district that we can have. It is our ward and the branch that the other elders are serving in, but it really isn`t that big of an area.
  Elder Fisher saw the The Berlin Dome while he was in Berlin

We do not actually have any set community service here in Annaberg-Bucholz like we did in Halle (they helped with the soup kitchen once a week) but we are looking for places that we can go and do some service—it will give us closer ties with the community and give us an opportunity to do something besides finding and dooring.

The Berlin Needle is near the Berlin Dome
(and you can see it in the other picture)
In my new area/apartment, my companion does more of the cooking but the things we eat aren't as detail oriented as they were with my last companion.  We usually eat at a member’s house 1-2 times a week here which is fine and sometimes the members will give us food as well during the week or a chocolate bar or something.  My new apartment does have a washer and dryer in it and I think that most of them do here in Germany because I haven’t actually seen a laundry mat anywhere here.

Last week it was a zone conference and it was pretty great, we had a lot of inspiring talks and I got to hear what I needed to do to help out my new area. I think it was also kind of sad because it was the last zone conference that President Kosak will have with us because he goes home on June 30th. They normally serve us lunch for these big conferences but this time they didn't.  However, we spent the night in Berlin the night before so we went by a bakery and bought sandwiches before the conference for our lunch.


The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin is next to the Brandenburg gate.
The United States Embassy in Berlin


















I met someone extremely interesting this week and I have a story for you! This week we went finding and we were in a smaller town so we decided to do some dooring. At the end of the day we were both kind of tired but we decided to do one last building. In this building, a lady stopped us and said “I have a friend that is Mormon and I have met with you guys before in Leipzig (a city in Germany)”. However, when we asked what her religious background is and she said "Extra terrestrial worship".  She then told us that aliens out there and about are 51 in the U.S. My companion asked "How do you know that there are aliens?" and she then said "they appeared to me in my apartment because I am a believer."  We didn't really know what to say after so we ended the conversation and parted ways.


Scripture for the week is a chapter 3 Nephi 30: 1-2  “Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:  Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.”

Love you and I pray for you and the whole family every night, too.
Love,
Elder Fisher
June 2015 Zone Conference for eastern zones of Germany Berlin mission



Monday, June 1, 2015

Annaberg-Bucholz--Week 2

June 1, 2015

My companion and I have been working hard this week.  I have found that the German accent is different in every part of the country and it is kinda funny because a German in one part of the country might not understand German in another art of the country.
This last week we went to a less active member’s funeral. I didn't know her but we met her husband through doing doors this past week in a small town. It was an interesting experience to see how a funeral here in Germany differs from a funeral in America.
We have a conference in Berlin for all the zones in the eastern half of the mission which will probably be really fun, but I haven't had one like this before so I will see how it goes.
I told you about getting the iPads last week.  The iPad's make it easier for visuals and we can show videos from the church website in lessons which is helpful for some investigators.
The couple that was baptized are not tall at all. We meet with new converts for a year after they are baptized but it varies between wards on how long we meet with them after baptism I think.
My new shoes are good and there are broken in now so it is not super painful to walk in them but I do want to buy insoles for them at one point.
So that's that. I had a week of finding and there wasn't much that happened this week.
The scripture for this week is 2 Kings 17: 35-41
   “With whom the Lord had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:
   But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.
   And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.
   And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.
   But the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
   Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner.
   So these nations feared the Lord, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.”  It is kinda long but I think that it gets the point across about covenants and I thought it was a really good scripture.
Love,
Elder Fisher