Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mission Tour, Temples & Family History, and going to church in a small branch.

August 24. 2015

     This week we had a mission tour and it was awesome. The person who spoke was Elder Paul V. Johnson and he had some really good remarks. I feel like I learned a lot from the conference and it rekindled my drive to do the work more than any P-Day could have done.

      The teaching is going good--we have a few investigators and they are doing well.  My favorite thing to teach is the Temple and Family History lessons.  The new mission president wants us to focus on family history and the temple more in our teaching and it is totally changing the work in the mission.  I feel like the spirit of Elijah is truly touching the hearts of the people (And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, ad the heart of the children to their fathers~Malachi 4: 6) It is really great to see and watch happening and to be a part of it too!!!!  I feel it is going to be the thing to change missionary work and the retention efforts of the church once the members and all the missionaries get onboard because it is really helping our mission change the focus of saving one soul to saving thousands of souls.

   The branch meets in a church building that really isn't that big but it is big enough for the branch, I want to change that so that soon the branch will be too big for the building. We teach the youth Sunday school class every 3rd week of the month which is the week everyone has Sunday School. In a branch, 3 hours is not required or recommended so the meetings are like 3 weeks Priesthood/Relief Society and 1 week of Sunday School. It is really interesting to experience.

   I haven't given a talk in German yet but I have had to teach many classes to members and missionaries alike and those are just as fun. But it sounds like I will have the opportunity to give a talk very soon in the branch though.

    I told the sister from the Dominican Republic that my cousin was serving his mission there but I didn’t remember the exact mission.  This week I met another person from the Dominican Republic and he plays baseball and just lives and works in Germany. His name is Eddy and he is a friend of a less active member of our ward. He is a pretty funny guy--he showed up to play soccer with us wearing sandals and still played decently. We did play basketball again this past week but those guys we met last week all had excuses not to come like sleeping or sickness so we played with a couple of other of our friends.

   Eastern Germany is very traditional Europe and everything is a more conservative lifestyle. In western Germany it is like America but everything is written in German.

   Scripture for the week is 1Thessalonians 5:19 "Quench not the Spirit" and the quote for the week:  "there are three great '-tions' in this church; revelation, inspiration, and relation. I wouldn't have amounted to a dang thing in this church if my father hadn't of been Heber C.Kimball." J. Golden Kimball

   Love you mom and dad and hope you have a great week!!! It is almost September aren't you excited?!?


Elder Fisher

(mom note: if you would like to know more about starting your family history or about temples, please visit Family History at or Temples at

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rheine, Bad Bentheim, Opels, and Basketball

August 17, 2015  (today’s blog is a combination of e-mails to parents and one handwritten letter received in the mail)

I am enjoying my mission and I love being in the Lord’s service.  I meet lots of interesting people every day and I am learning more and more German every day. And honestly, I didn't even realize I passed my 7th month mark this past week, time just flies by in this area.  I was thinking that I have moved 6 times in the last year and 4 of those times have been on my mission.

I love the city that I am in (Rheine)-- it is so beautiful and the people are so nice to everyone. (mom note: Elder Fisher is assigned to the Bad Benthiem branch but he and his companion live in the city of Rheine—about 17 miles away).  The language is like night and day here.  Imagine speaking to Cajuns one day and then the next day you speak to Californians that surf all day. That would be the amount of difference in the accent between eastern Germany and here--it is ridiculous.  My trip on the train between Annaberg-Buccholz and Bad Bentheim took longer than planned.  It was supposed to only be about 7 hours but there was a 3 hour delay so it was a much longer ride. 

I am enjoying my new area.  The branch has about 25 active members and 70-80 members altogether in the area (I think) so it’s really not that big.  We pretty much eat at all the members’ houses and we eat at this single sister's house every Tuesday and Thursday on her back porch. She is from the Dominican Republic and has 5 kids. She makes really good food and she made us a cheesecake last week that was just beyond good!!!  

We have members that live in Rheine (where we live) who are less active but we see them all the time. Rheine is in the area we assigned to but it is still a half hour away from Bad Bentheim, that is how spread out our area is.  Besides Bad Bentheim and Rheine, we visit Schüttorf, Ochtrup, Ahaus, Lingen, and Nordhorn.  There are a lot of farms and small towns but we still work hard and have pretty good amount of success I think.  We do meet Dutch people and we talk to them in English.  The Dutch people like to speak English with us because they speak it better usually and they do not like the German language usually. We tend to have more appointments in western Germany than I did when I was in eastern Germany.  We have a car and it is an Opel Corsa, Opel is what GM's company are called so these Opels are everywhere. It is a hatchback type of car that is pretty nice I have to say.  

My companion and I get along pretty good.  My companion does the cooking and he was actually a cook at a restaurant before his mission so it is really good food and I have no complaints about doing the dishes.

We play basketball every Friday for finding at this one place and 3 guys asked if they could come and join us and of course we said yes, they also happened to be drunk. But we played with them and afterwards, they asked why we were in Germany and especially in Rheine, so we told them and they said that is pretty cool and they will come play basketball again next week but sober this time. It was a pretty fun experience.

I’m glad my letter arrived.  It only took a week because I got priority stamps for free in my last city because the lady that worked there liked us so I was able to use the stamps because I still had some.

Scripture for the week 1 Corinthians13:8  "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away"

Quote for the week "Each of us should read and reread the parable of the lost sheep found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke, commencing with the fourth verse:" teaching of the president Howard W. Hunter.


Elder Fisher

Monday, August 10, 2015

Train Travel and a Car ride--and Elder Fisher is in his new area

August 10, 2015

It has rained pretty much every day since I have been here in the Bad Bentheim area and it is really cool.

To get to my new area, I traveled by train. We are allowed to travel alone on the trains but we have to have someone waiting at the train station when we arrive or we have to change trains or something. I went through Chemnitz, Leipzig, and Hannover before I arrived in Osnabrück and then my companion and I drove from Onsabrück to our apartment (mom note: according do Google maps, this is about an 8 hour train ride).

            My companion is Elder Rosenvall and he is from Magna, Utah.  I think he is been out a little over a year on his mission.  Before his mission, he did a year of school at a community college in Salt Lake City.  He and I seem to get along pretty well.  He is a good missionary and he is actually the District leader so I get to hear the calls every night that he has to make to the other missionaries.

We actually live in a place called Rheine which is a half hour away from Bad Bentheim. We live in the nicest apartment that I have had on my mission so far and the shower is actually a good one!!! I am so happy!!! 

The other side of Germany is a night and day difference. The western part of Germany is like America except that everything is in German. The German is totally different, too, but it takes like a week to get adjusted to the accent I think and then everything will be okay.

We go to other towns all the time. In most of the German wards, the ward boundaries actually cover a very large area (even several cities) unless the missionaries are in Hamberg or Berlin or something like that.  Our area is very spread out and so we get to use a car (Mom note: I'm sure Elder Fisher loves this!).   The next is in response to a question: The gas stations here are all self-service and thank goodness because that would be really awkward if someone had to pump my gas for me. My thought anyways.

The branch (a small group of church members) is about 25 active members and there are like 25 or so inactive families in the area so even if everyone was active we would still have a smaller ward. Me and my companion are the only missionaries assigned to this branch so that is fun, I guess so in answer to your question, we don’t have any senior couples serving in this branch. 

(Mom note: The town boundaries of Bad Bentheim are also the boundaries between Germany and The Netherlands and we asked Elder Fisher if they saw many Dutch people in their area)  We see Dutch people all the time and actually we have a Dutch family in our ward here and he (the dad?) is pretty funny.

Scripture for the week is Luke 15:4-6:  “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”

Quote for the week "Stop It!" Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  My mind is blank so this is the only thing I could think of.

I haven't really been taken pictures this past week but I promise that I will this week and try to send them. Love you and I hope you have a good week and please keep me updated on what is going on in everyone's lives. I promise pictures next week.

Love you lots,

Elder Fisher

Monday, August 3, 2015

It's Transfer Time!! Auf Wiedersehen Annaberg! Hallo Bad Bentheim!!

August 3, 2015

I am being transferred across the country and will be going to the other corner of the mission to a place called Bad Bentheim which is next to the Holland border (mom note--it's about 8 miles from the border of the Netherlands--if you can look on a map, Elder Fisher is basically doing a diagonal move across the mission--he's going from southeast to northwest) The place I am going to is actually a branch and I do not really know anything about it yet.  My companion here in Annaberg will be staying and will be training a new missionary.

The new mission president is all about focusing on the temple and he will be doing a lot more stuff in Freiberg now because that is where the temple is at in our mission. Also he is HUGE with member missionary work and he always says, “Do not invite the one, invite all your friends to hear the gospel”. The mission has a totally different feel to it now I think but it is really cool.

The Annaberg ward does do a lot of activities but the specific activities are not printed out for people to see.  However, they happen every week and everyone knows about it. They do all kinds of things for ward activities. They do not have Young Single Adult (YSA) wards in Germany but there are stake YSA activities and institutes in the bigger cities.

You asked what a “cliff hanger” lesson was.  The cliff hanger idea is when we finish the first lesson and then at the end have a huge lead in into the Plan of Salvation or other gospel topic and then say we don’t have time today to talk about this though so could we come back again to explain because this it is a large part of our church.

The iPads are useful but still it is a trial and error kinda deal right so we are still trying to figure it out. We can show Mormon messages now in lessons and have much more material for lessons on hand to use since we have these iPads. For instance, we have the Liahona, general conference talks, pamphlets, and scriptures in every published language almost.

We usually aren’t able to do too much if we meet someone who doesn’t speak German or English but we can use Google translate if we have wi-fi with our iPads.  But we did get to translate for someone this week-- There is this family in our Annaberg ward whose son lives in America.  Their family came to visit and the son’s wife and daughter do not speak German. We translated for them and we got to talk to people in English which I really haven't been able to do in three months--other than at missionary conferences with other missionaries.

As for interesting people this week, we were dooring this one street and the last person whose doorbell we rang, come down and said that we should have learned last time (have never seen this man before) and said he forbade us from coming back last time (not legal to do) so that was a funny experience to have.

When we go shopping, we buy everything at once (at the grocery store) but we might go to a bakery a few times a week to get a dessert or bread or something.

My favorite thing that I ate this week was grill meat with homemade French fries and a broccoli cheese soup. It was amazing. (mom note: I’m assuming someone made this for them—Elder Fisher’s cooking abilities do not include soup).

Scripture for the week is Ether 12: 37 "And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father."

Quote of the week: "In distinguishing communism from the United Order, President David O. McKay said that communism is Satan’s counterfeit for the gospel plan, and that it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. Communism is the greatest anti-Christ power in the world today and therefore the greatest menace not only to our peace but to our preservation as a free people. By the extent to which we tolerate it, accommodate ourselves to it, permit ourselves to be encircled by its tentacles and drawn to it, to that extent we forfeit the protection of the God of this land." 

Love you and hope you have a good week.

Elder Fisher