Monday, July 27, 2015

Thinking in German, New Investigators, and the Best Ward in Germany

June 27, 2015

A member of Elder Fisher' ward
in a club uniform
   Sounds like you had a good week and that you have been keeping busy with everything.   I also have sent pictures this week in a separate email.

   I have had a good week this week and it has been a good transfer.  The transfer calls will be this Saturday and transfers are next Tuesday. I do not think I will be transferred but I really have no idea what will happen.  I can’t believe my birthday is in 3 transfers. It is weird I will be 19 in just a little over 4 months!!!! I am getting old.

   We were able to meet with our investigator this week and it was good.  He has interest in learning the gospel but he studies lots of other religions and we are looking for a way to help him keep him focused and to want to read and study.  We think that "cliff hanger" idea of teaching might be a good idea.  We also found three new investigators this week.  They are super nice people from Syria.  They said that they will read the Book of Mormon and they are really trying to learn from us I think. We already had one lesson with them and it went really well.
Elder Fisher sent proof to his mom that
he was actually eating fruit!

  What I like about Annaberg is the ward--it is probably one of the best wards in Germany or our mission so I have heard. The members are super nice and trying to always help us. This week we ate at a members’ house and they made beef steaks for us because they said that was very American and that pork steaks are the normal steaks that they eat.  I was really grateful for that food, it was so good.  We didn't do anything to celebrate Pioneer Day here but there are plenty of other things that the ward does to celebrate the random things that happened in history.
Elder Fisher bought a nutcracker--and it has
a place of honor with his German language study cards

  At our last zone conference, the sister missionaries serving in Halle (my last area) told me the weather in Halle has been hot and rainy.

   The language is coming well---I think in German usually before I think in English most of the time now--it is really interesting but freaky at the same time.

  I study a lot from Ensigns in my free time (20 minutes in morning, lunch break, dinner break, and after 9:30) and a lot of articles are concerning education and/or written by people highly educated, and it has helped me to realize the value of an education and makes me have a desire to have a goal of a Ph.D. some day. It is interesting what a mission helps me realize.
Playground rules:
No soccer (football)
No dogs
No bike riding
....and can anyone guess the last one??

  Mission life is good, a little trying at times but nothing a prayer and rethinking of my purpose can't fix.  I am trying to be a better person everyday.  My district leader gave a quote the other week which is: "hard happens...awful is optional" and then said that he hasn't had a day on the mission which he didn't enjoy, and I think I can honestly say the same thing because there is always a small miracle or a thing I read that makes the day or everything worth it.

   Scripture for the week Ether 12:26: "And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;"

  Quote of the week: "Whate'er thou art, do well thine part" David O. McKay

   Next time I email you, I will be in my 5th transfer and Connor will be 3 years old. That is weird. Time goes by so fast it is ridiculous. I love you and wish you the best.  I hope that you have a great week and enjoy the summer weather before it gets cold again.


Elder Fisher

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Teaching Investigators and Member Missionary Challenge

July 20, 2015

      I’m doing good and it was a good week.  The lessons we teach are divided about 50-50 so each of us has a chance to teach--it is best when we participate equally. I had a really good lesson with an investigator last week. During this past week, we role played for this investigator twice and then we saw him on the street and were able to make an appointment for that day.  We ended up having the best lesson with him that I have had so far. AND a referral from a member turned into a new investigator.
   My current area of Annaburg Buchholz is probably about 1 hour train ride from north to southern end and 1 hour bus ride from east to west end. Some of the towns’ names in this area are Zschopau, Marienberg, Mildenau, and Wiese. We visit these towns outside of Annaberg-Buchholz the most—oh, and Oberwiesenthal. That town is a huge resort place and the other week I met people from Halle (my first area) and I was super excited. 

    When people find out that I am from California, they don’t really ask questions, they just kinda go straight to assumptions about California and then ask if I do the normal California thing. 

    Scripture of the week: 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!”

    Quote for the week "It is impractical for us to expect that (full-time) missionaries alone can warn the millions in the world. Members must be finders. The valuable time of our teaching missionaries is too often spent in 'finding'." Spencer W. Kimball

     On my mission I have learned of how simple and easy and necessary missionary work is for the members to do. I truly believe that if members do missionary work and help the missionaries with this great work, we could double the amount of current membership in 2 or 3 years. I know I wasn't the best with missionary work before my mission but when I come home I have a desire to live wherever I can do the most missionary work possible and help change the way people view missionary work in the church. I ask everyone to please pray and diligently ponder a name to give to the missionaries and help teach this person. The best way to help me on my mission right now is to help the missionaries in Whittier, California or wherever you are right now, with the hastening of the work. I really plead that you at least contemplate this challenge in your hearts. 

   Thanks for the prayers and I hope that you have a wonderful week.  I love you tons, 
Love, Elder Fisher

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Zone Conference, Service, and Pioneers

July 13, 2015

   Zone conference was good.  I learned a lot but it is too much to type in an email to be completely honest.  My new mission president is super nice and he has two of his daughters living with him too. He also has really cool ideas for doing member missionary work which is really cool.  We weren't able to find any new investigators this week. In Annaberg-Buchholz, almost everyone knows the missionaries so finding new investigators here is a little more difficult but we still try. We go to other cities, too, and not all of the people there know who the missionaries are.

   No one has signed up for service because of the service poster yet but I was figuring it would take some time to get some people to sign up--also half the ward is on vacation right now so that is another reason they aren’t signing up but people in our ward will for sure sign up though; they love it when missionaries are around them.   However, we did get to do some service.  Last Saturday, there was an Open House at our church building (like every Saturday) and this car pulls up and out comes the married couple that serves in Freiburg.  They said there was going to be a Young Single Adult (18-30 year olds) activity in our building and that they needed a little bit of help with it. So we set up tables and chairs and cut fruit for the people. They gave us free food for helping, too. It is actually really cool because this married couple’s actual calling is the remodeling and documenting the remodeling of the Freiburg temple. So they talked to us about the construction of the temple, what they had to do, and how they received the actual calling as well. It was really cool talking to them about all that.
At the entrance to Martin's Cove.
Elder Fisher's 4th great-grandfather was
in the Martin Handcart Company

  (Mom note: The next part is in response questions about Pioneers, Pioneer Day, and a family trip we took.  Last summer Elder Fisher went with his parents and one of his brothers on a Pioneer/family history trip—we traveled to Salt Lake to visit Temple Square and “This is the Place” park, Fort Bridger, Martin’s Cove, and Fort Casper/Upper Crossing of the Platte river) 

At the beginning of the hike to Martin's Cove
Lots of sagebrush!!

   I remember the trip all right, we saw lots of sage brush between all that traveling that we did. I am not sure if the Germans celebrate pioneer day--I do not think that they do though, at least in East Germany. I am not sure if there were any German pioneers at that time. I am sure there were but I just don’t really know. A lot of the German members here move to the USA for one reason or another. A member in my ward here has 7 siblings in his family and all live in America and his parents live there, too.
Martin's Cove--the Pioneers sought shelter from
the winter storms in this location.

   For my personal study time, for the next while, I will be studying Book of Mormon while thinking of missionary work and I read Ensign articles about how to become a better teacher, too. Sometimes I study scriptures listed under a hymn or something like that but it isn't as common for me to study that way. For my German vocabulary study, I do not take a vocab card with me every day but when we have a 30 minute bus ride or something I read a page in my dictionary and try to work on the words that are a little more useful than the other ones.

   Scripture for the week is Alma 21:16  "And they went forth whithersoever they were led by the Spirit of the Lord, preaching the word of God in every synagogue of the Amalekites, or in every assembly of the Lamanites where they could be admitted." the first part I related to the transfer call at the end of each transfer only theirs was a little more direct from their source.

…Quote for the week "there will be hundreds of stakes in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland."-Spencer W. Kimball. This quote inspired me to help change Germany as much as I am able/allowed to.
 I am taking pictures but not as much as I was. I will send pictures next week.

Love you and have a great week.
Elder Fisher

Leipzig Nord, Leipzig Süd, and Dresden Zone Conference
We were able to spot Elder Fisher (hint: you might need to enlarge the picture)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Teaching, Learning German, and a new Mission President

July 6, 2015

This week has been a good week here in Germany and we had lots of time for finding this past week. We taught a lesson to a less active member this week.  We have been trying to work with this person.  We taught the plan of salvation and the man really understood the plan of salvation he said.  When we meet with him, he tries to get to the lesson we have prepared as soon as possible when we get there now.  He seems to enjoy our visits and teaching strategy. It was really cool to see.
My favorite lesson to teach is the first lesson in Preach My Gospel because I think that it has the information that really sets us apart from other churches
We do not have regular service in the community going. We set up something with our GML (ward mission leader) where we took a picture in our service clothes and with tools, and put the pictures on a paper where the members in the ward can sign up have the missionaries over to do service at either their house or a friend’s house so hopefully we will start having service opportunities.  We usually see the bishop and GML (ward mission leader) quite a bit and in Germany usually the ward is made up of 1-2 families that are all related to each other somehow so we see everyone pretty regularly. The ward has people that play the piano so the missionaries don’t play the piano for the ward.
We are having zone conference this week and we will meet our new mission president. I am excited. My new mission president worked for Church Education System I think, but I’m not too sure about that.  We heard about President Packer’s death because we got a text Saturday.  It was a little hard to keep working after that but we kept going.
My German language learning is good and there is definitely a difference from May to now, I am always improving. I still learn lots of German and notice continual improvement.  My companion, Elder Tingey understands the language principles well (his mom is a German and his dad is a German professor) but sometimes his accent is really hard for me to. His German is better than mine but I’m not sure how big the gap is because I know my German isn’t anywhere close to perfect.
In my area we use public transport and walk everywhere just like my last area. In East Germany, they have lots of little markets and stuff because it is still very much like the old German with the manners and customs of former East Germany which I really like. They do also have a few stores which are like a Walmart or something but there are more of the smaller stores than the bigger ones.
Those are really interesting stories about how my great-grandparents came to live in California. Interesting how things work out the way they do.
I was glad to hear that you and the high priests are still making those pancakes for everyone at the 4th of July breakfast. I have one question I was curious about too because members have asked me and if you could really research into it that would be great. Can firefighters in America be colorblind? I thought yes but I wasn't entirely sure.
         Quote of the week Joseph B. Wirthlin "Come what may, and love it"
Scripture of the week Alma 10:7 “As I was journeying to see a very near kindred, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto me and said: Amulek, return to thine own house, for thou shalt feed a prophet of the Lord; yea, a holy man, who is a chosen man of God; for he has fasted many days because of the sins of this people, and he is an hungered, and thou shalt receive him into thy house and feed him, and he shall bless thee and thy house; and the blessing of the Lord shall rest upon thee and thy house.”
Hope you have a great week and that you have fun with little Miss Audrey when you babysit.

Elder Fisher