Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mission Conference with Elder Ballard (continued) and Zone Conference for Thanksgiving

November 23, 2015

   Our meeting with Elder Ballard on November 15th was really good. He talked to us about talking with people on buses and trains and other cool stuff like that too. He talked about the importance of doing that because when he was mission president he implemented that and the baptisms in his mission went from 20 a month to over 80 a month by the time he was done being mission president. It was really cool and I really liked it. We got to shake Elder Ballard’s hand too. We stayed with the APs in Berlin that night and there were 14 elder staying in one apartment (including my companion and me).  We used most of our p-day time the next day to drive back from Berlin to Rheine.  My companion drove to Berlin and back because Californians aren't allowed to get a German driver’s license and no one else in the car had a driver’s license either. I got to see a few of my old companions but there was not too much time for catching up. My MTC group was all there and I think most of them are doing pretty good too.

   It sounds like you are off like a herd of turtles for the Christmas season already. (I think I am turning into dad, because I wrote that last sentence without thinking about what I was saying.) You got all the Christmas boxes down and that means this will be my second year not decorating with the family. Are you thinking about getting a small tree again this year or are you going to go big to welcome the new addition (Z’s fiancé) to the family? Sounds like you do not have to do too much decorating if Z & N are going to do a lot of it--that is good for you. My companion is really into Christmas and tries to decorate the apartment and listens to Christmas music. Do you ever have a companion that was really into Christmas?
The branch has activities about once a quarter I would have to say but it is still pretty fun. We have 3 youth in the ward but no young adults. My favorite family in the ward is a Dutch family that owns a ranch and is actually a part member family. The couple reminds me of you and dad just because of the way they act, and they are always super nice to the missionaries too.

   We had 4 eating appointments this past week, we ate döners at one eating appointment, we had ribs and fries at another one, we had rice, vegetables, and beef at another but it is called something else and was really good, and another we had a type of Pacific Islander food which was pretty much like an egg roll but wasn't rolled up and it had chicken instead of beef. It was good.

   I think my German is slowly getting better, I like reading the New Testament in German now because I think it says things more clearly in German than English sometimes.  I think it is pretty cool that I can read it in German and understand pretty much everything being said too!!

   The zone conference on Thursday (Thanksgiving) will be the whole day and they will be feeding us there and then we have to drive all the way back home the same night too so it will be a long day.

   In response to your “eating an extra slice of pie for me” comment, my scripture for the week is Ephesians 6:4 "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." I would say focus on the bold part of that scripture. Just kidding dad, I love you and hope that all the pie tastes really good and hope that you have a great Thanksgiving, too!!

   Quote for the week "Come on Elder you have to finish dinner before you get the dessert." -from a member in my ward.

   I love you and hope that you have a good week and that Thanksgiving will be wonderful and you get to know your future daughter in law a little better too!


Elder Spencer Fisher

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mission Conference and the Primary Presentation

November 16, 2015

    Hey exciting news! This week was really interesting because we had a surprise mission conference with Elder M. Russell Ballard! Last Friday, we got a mission conference call in the morning and President Fingerle told us all that we will be having a mission wide conference in 2 days (Sunday night) and Elder M. Russell Ballard will be there and will address us. So I went to Berlin this past weekend for a surprise mission conference. Because of the mission conference, we didn't teach Sunday school because we had to leave for Berlin after sacrament meeting (it was a 4 hour drive).

    This past Sunday was also the Primary Presentation.  The Primary Presentation was really good and, as always, some kids forget their lines, some are really nervous, and other do down right funny things up there.

    As far as teaching the gospel, some weeks are better than others to be able to teach investigators with the lessons but it usually is about 7 or so lessons a week right now.

    My favorite place to visit this week was a place called Vreden because we went dooring there and when we got to this one door, a lady answered and said in perfect English "it is the Mormon missionaries" and we were kinda shocked!  It turns out she kinda grew up in Utah for part of her life so that was really cool. That is also the coolest person I met this week.

   We have not had snow yet but I keep hearing that we will have a little bit.

   I heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris the day after it happened because it is really big news.

   Scripture for the week Matthew 6: 14-15: "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

   "We need great teachers" Elder M. Russell Ballard from mission conference.

   Love you and hope you have a good week. I love you and can't wait to talk to everyone in 5 weeks.

Elder Spencer Fisher 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Celebrating a Birthday on a Mission, Bad Bentheim Ward, and Thanksgiving plans

November 9, 2015

Elder Fisher’s dad asked: “Well, you're a year older but the question is, are you any wiser?  Did your companion sing happy birthday to you in German?  Any cake?”

Elder Fisher in his new suit.
And here is Elder Fisher’s response:
   Well the wise man built his house upon the Rock and I haven't even built a house yet so that might be saying something dad. My companion and most of the Germans sang the Happy Birthday song in English so that was pretty cool I guess. I didn’t get cake—but I got an apple pie from a member in my ward like 3 days after my birthday so that was good. As for the rest of my birthday, we spent it at a district meeting and the district sang Happy Birthday to me. We then had a lesson with a less active member and it was super spiritual and good.  For the last part of the day, since my companion had a meeting the next day in Hamburg, we drove somewhere and overnighted in a place called Leer (about 80 miles from Bad Bentheim) and those elders made dinner for us and it was a fun day (just not a lot happened).

   As for the Bad Bentheim ward, yes, we do have a branch ward mission leader. We are not sure what we are teaching in our monthly Sunday school (which is next week) but I am sure it is something good. We usually check it a few days before so we are not quite sure yet. Our ward does have the annual Primary Sacrament Presentation--it is next week here and the whole ward is so excited about it too.

   Since our ward covers so many cities, we work a lot in certain cities.  We decide which city we are going to visit and we go and work in one city for a few hours.  Then we switch cities after a few hours and basically, we set up our appointments to go with the cities we are.

   As for Thanksgiving, Germany doesn't really celebrate Thanksgiving but we have a zone conference that day so it is kind of a celebration for the missionaries.  However, there is a lot of Christmas stuff out already but the stores are not enclosed malls here--I would say everything it set up pretty close to how the W_______ Shopping Center near home is set up—all the doors open to a central area and the center area is open.

   I am looking forward to our Christmas call—you asked if I could read part of the Christmas story…can I read the scripture from Luke when the Angel visits the shepherds in the field?   I am excited to meet my future sister-in-law at Christmas during our Skype call.  I hope that they can get everything for the wedding planned, too.  Instead of holding up my pictures for the photos, I heard of these things called cardboard cut outs and that might work for me so I can be in the family pictures.

   Scripture of the week 1 Corinthians 13:4 "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up," 
Quote "I don't know many things, but I know some things" -someone

   Thanks for all of the stuff and the birthday email, I hope you have a good week. Love ya mom and dad.


Elder Spencer Fisher

Monday, November 2, 2015

Loving the Bad Bentheim, the Food Channel helped teach cooking, and Senior Missionaries

November 2, 2015
Elder Fisher called this his "cannon selfie"
at Burg Bentheim castle

   This week was pretty good and we are really getting along in the companionship still.  I still love the area and would love to stay here for Christmas and I would also be here for my year mark as well so that would be cool. I usually get to know everyone in the ward pretty fast but it is hard for the members to get to know the missionaries. However, I feel like the Bad Bentheim ward knows me pretty well--this area is probably my favorite so far and the ward really trusts me so it is really good. We do have a primary program here--we have about 15 kids in the program and that is really big for a small German ward/branch.

   There are about 25 towns in the Bad Bentheim branch area, but the big ones are Rheine, Schüttorf, Nordhorn, Ahaus, Lingen, Bad Bentheim, Ochtrup, and Gronau. In our area there are not too many refugees—I’m sure there are more than I know about but I don’t know where they are living or where Germany is sending them to.

...and he called this the "double cannon selfie"
at Burg Bentheim Castle
   There are six missionaries in my district, us in Bad Bentheim and 4 in Osnabrück.  We had a senior couple serving in our zone but they just went home. The senior missionaries usually work with the YSA in the stake and they help the missionaries, they inspect the missionaries’ apartments, they help the mission run from a different side of things. Their job is not too similar to what we (I mean finding and dooring and stuff like that) they also try to help the elders in any way they can.

   This past week, my companion and I met a Catholic deacon that talked with us for like 15 minutes and he said he has a lot of respect for us doing something like a mission at this time in our lives.

   Halloween here is just an excuse to party so the missionaries had to be inside at 6:00 p.m.  So on Halloween night, we stayed inside and talked for about 2 hours about important (maybe not so important) topics like music and other stuff then spent time catching up on writing in our journals for the next hour so we were somewhat enjoying Halloween plus we also had a few lessons earlier that day so I cannot complain too much.
A view from the Burg Bentheim Castle

   When it is my turn to cook, I cook pizza, Brot Wurst, bacon and eggs, french fries, country style potatoes, and a few other things. Watching the Food Channel so much before my mission really is starting to pay off.

   By the way, we actually changed the clocks a week ago! I was wondering why you didn't say anything about that last week! But yeah we changed the time a week ago, because that is when Germany did it.

   I am really happy for Z.--I am glad he found someone, it seems all the siblings are getting married about 3 years apart from each other so it looks like I will have to get married in about 2019 the way I look at it. And thanks for the considerate idea of holding up a picture of me for the wedding photos. At least I will see them sometime and since they are getting married after my year mark, I really won't have too long to wait to meet her.  
The castle's chemistry lab.

The Elder's are in the dungeon!!
   Thanks for the scripture 
you sent in my letter, I actually read that scripture this morning in personal study (Jacob 2: 18)!  My scripture of the week is: 2 Nephi 33:3 "But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry." We learn a few things here, 1) Nephi cries for his people in quite a literal way and 2) the Nephites used PILLOWS, it isn't some mind blowing doctrine but I never noticed that before and never thought that the Nephites would have used pillows.

   Quote for the week. "Don't thank me for the food, thank God that I woke up this morning and still had the ability to cook you this food." An African members of our ward at an eating appointment.

   I am having fun and hope that ya'll are going to have a good week! And have some cake and ice cream on the 4th for me!  I am super excited to be 19--finally my last year as a teenager and it will be completely spent in the service of the Lord. Then once I turn 20, I go home like 2 months after! Crazy, I have been out longer then a lot of missionaries now, but I am still younger than most of them!

Elder Spencer Fisher

Elder Fisher thought the chandelier
would be a great look for our house
A knight's armor

Elder Fisher's niece sent him a picture of herself making duck lips
Elder Fisher kindly sent one back in return