Thursday, July 28, 2016

Safety Guidelines, Summer in Germany, Freiberg Temple Open House

July 25, 2016

   It has been hot here the past few days as well, finally, the middle of July and we are finally getting our summer for like a month!  It is also summer vacation right now in Germany, so a lot of people are out of town.

   Yes, I have heard about the terrorist attacks that have been happening recently in Germany as well, I know it is scary but I feel comforted by the Lord that I will be okay, and besides that, there is always terrorism in the world somewhere, sometimes it is a little closer than other times.

   This week like I said it was pretty hot, but we had a few appointments that we got to participate in, we also have another new investigator who is a younger mother and her son is pretty energetic. We also went to an eating appointment and they have bumble bees that live underneath their porch, and I thought that was really cool. I think I might want to keep bees in the future. (mom note: this is interesting because at one time he really didn’t like bees because he was constantly getting stung)

   We had Zone Training Meeting this past week and it was good, the president doesn't come to all of the Zone Training Meetings, but he does come to all of the Zone Conferences. We had to travel about an hour with train. I think there are about 10 or so zones in the mission.

Questions and answers:

1) What are the safety guidelines the missionaries have for keeping safe? (mom note: The mission president sent an e-mail to all the parents on July 19th after the train attack in Germany and told us he had reminded all the missionaries)  The safety guidelines have to do with teaching people from certain countries, or being inside at 9 at night or 9:30 if we have an appointment, being obedient, and stuff like that. Pretty much the guideline is to be smart. 

2)  Does Minden have a lot of apartment buildings? or mostly houses?  So everywhere in Germany has a lot of apartment buildings compared to America, but Minden does have many house as well.

3)  When you have district p-day, do you have lunch together?  do you pack a lunch or buy lunch?  Today we went for a 10 kilometer hike, I will probably send pictures next week when we have more time. We usually eat lunch together.

4)  Have you noticed if your teaching style is the same as when you arrived on your mission or has it changed as you have become more comfortable in teaching?  My teaching has, of course, gotten better, but my style is my style and I shouldn't really change it, because that is me and that is how I will connect with certain people.

5)  Did they feed you for zone conference?  This was a zone training meeting, not a zone conference. We had to feed ourselves.

6)  I saw that the Freiberg temple Open House start next month and that the re-dedication will happen in September....will they have a satellite system set up so people can watch who aren't close to the temple?  Yes, we get to watch it through satellite transmission, we even get a special temple recommend for it. (Frieberg Open House and Dedication)

   Scripture of the week:  Alma 17:35  “Therefore they did not fear Ammon, for they supposed that one of their men could slay him according to their pleasure, for they knew not that the Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands; neither did they know anything concerning the Lord; therefore they delighted in the destruction of their brethren; and for this cause they stood to scatter the flocks of the king.”

Quote of the week "come what may and love it" Joseph B. Worthlin

   Well I hope that you have a great next week and enjoy the last week in July! I cannot believe that it is already here!! Time flies I guess. Love you and wish you the best.

Love,

Elder Spencer Fisher

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Minden Branch, Pulling Weeds, and District P-Day

Elder Fisher's District
July 18, 2016

   Sounds like you have had quite the week there. Good to hear that the weather is staying relatively cool. I sent some pictures as soon as I read your email.

District P-day in Bad Oeynhausen--a park
   I am really becoming a member of the Minden Branch, it is really funny, by the time the next transfer comes I will have been in Minden 6 months.  My companion is really shy and doesn't really talk with the members unless I really encourage him so I get to talk with the members a lot, which is good for my relationship with them. If I were to someday have the means to return to Germany I would definitely come to visit this ward on a Sunday so that I could see everyone.

   The members in Germany do not celebrate Pioneer Pay, but we do happen to have a ward mini golf activity on Pioneer Day.

Another picture of the district
--without the big plant hiding the elder
   Finding service projects to do is not always easy to find and with Germans they are stubborn and want to do things on their own as well, but we do get service projects usually once a week. This past week we pulled out weeds for like 4 hours at a member’s house. I hate weeds. By the way, Germans have lots of little knick knack things in their yards. But most of them are organized for the most part.

   My favorite way to find people new people to teach is by talking to people on buses and at train stations and stuff like that. I am not a fan of talking with people on the streets. My favorite lesson was with a less active lady from Mexico she has some interesting ideas but she is nice.

The palace in Bad Oeynhausen
   There are 8 missionaries in my mission district. We usually meet once a week unless there is a zone meeting, like this coming week then we meet with the rest of the missionaries in the zone as well. The next Zone training meeting is this coming Wednesday. 

   My apartment does have a washer and a drier, I have not actually had an apartment without a washer and a drier combo.

Another view of the palace in Bad Oeynhausen
   Scripture for the week : Alma 16: 21 :And now after the church had been established throughout all the land—having got the victory over the devil, and the word of God being preached in its purity in all the land, and the Lord pouring out his blessings upon the people—thus ended the fourteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.”

   Quote for the week: "John, Let it go, nothing you do will bring her back, anything you do will make it worse, John let it go" Boyd K. Packer

I love you and hope that you have a great week. Love you.

Love

Elder Fisher called this a "mansion house"
in Bad Oeynhausen
Elder Spencer Fisher


A garden mosaic




The German People, Missionary Service, and the Benefits of a long Stay in one Branch

July 11, 2016

   The weather is also pretty nice for the most part as well. For 4th of July) I ate this huge plate with corn on the cob, shrimp, steak, and chicken and salad, and fries. Wasn't actually very Mexican for my food but it tasted really good. We found knockoff root beer at a supermarket, and yes most Europeans do not like root beer, they say it tastes like tooth paste.

   My favorite thing to see in Minden so far is probably the Kaiser Wilhelm Monument. It was really cool to see, also we see it on the top of the hill everyday whenever we go outside pretty much.

   We talked about the spirit this past week at district meeting and setting district goals, of what we want to accomplish in the coming transfer.

   Most members in the ward are German, there is a member from Peru, a member from Jamaica, a couple from Nigeria, and I believe that is it.  We met with a long time investigator this past week and that was pretty cool because we read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and he realized that the Book of Mormon really just talks of Christ and his mercy towards us and that we can be saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ, that was really cool to see and experience someone realize that at one time.

(mom note: the following are some specific question’s for Elder Fisher and his answers)

What do you like about the German People?  I like the way a lot of them do business and take care of thing. Also most are very clean and have spotless houses, I like that a lot.

What customs, traditions, personality traits do you like?  I like Christmas here a lot, kinda sad I do not get to celebrate it here again, culture-the bakeries are really good, also that art is very important to them, Personality traits-They are honest and for the most part do not beat around the bush, I have learned to really like that and picked it up myself to not beat around the bush.

What do Ward members do that help the missionaries?  They give us service a lot which helps us to get to know them better and to help someone as well.

And, what do you wish they did, or did better?  I wish they would do their home and visiting teaching.

What do you like about serving a long time in one area, and what do you not like?   I love knowing the members so good and I feel like I am actually a part of the ward now. I feel like I know most of the people on the streets or at least recognize them from finding or just going around the city.

(mom note: back to his regular letter)

   I got some much needed clothing and I was able to get the shoes repaired as well, I bought these shoes like a year ago in Germany but when you walk every day for several hours, it makes the shoe kind of fall apart. However, I got them fixed completely for 25 euro so no need to worry.

   How many refugees are coming into the US? I think I heard at one time that the US took in about 10000 or so but I am not sure. We see refugees almost every day walking around and a lot of the times they just seem so sad and we cannot really give them any comfort because they do not speak German or English, anything you do can make a difference though, I know that. 
    (mom note: If you would like ideas on how to help refugees in your community, please visit I Was A Stranger--there are videos and lists of ideas on how to reach out to help those who are refugees or in crisis in your community. You can also view: I Was a Stranger: Love One Another.  

   Scripture of the week: Alma 12 :8 “And Zeezrom began to inquire of them diligently, that he might know more concerning the kingdom of God. And he said unto Alma: What does this mean which Amulek hath spoken concerning the resurrection of the dead, that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?”

   Quote of the week "it [joining the church] will bring you into the greatest fraternity in the   world"-Gordon B. Hinckley

Love ya,

Elder Spencer Fisher

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fourth of July in Germany and Missionary Service Projects

July 4, 2016

   Thank you for the wish Fourth of July wish, I wish you a happy Fourth of July. For the 4th of July celebration we made root beer floats and ate at a good, relatively speaking, Mexican restaurant.

   This is transfer week this week, and Elder Illum and I are staying together for a 3rd and this will be my fourth transfer here in Minden. The work has been slow the last few weeks but it is a brighter future.

   This past week we ate at our Branch president’s house and had tacos, we also ate at an older member’s house this past week and she made us stuffed peppers.

   We have district meeting this coming week.   In Minden we usually write emails from the church.

   There is probably more farms in our area than houses, the farms are mostly corn, wheat, and raps plants.

   Mom said the sister missionaries want you to ask someone to the house to be taught.  I have been trying my whole mission to get such an appointment without success. I sympathize with those sisters. Something you could also have the sisters do that they will like is invite them to do service, either at our house or at a home teaching family’s house or something, the missionaries love doing that, as you may remember from your mission.

   Scripture of the week: Alma 4:4, “And they began to establish the church more fully; yea, and many were baptized in the waters of Sidon and were joined to the church of God; yea, they were baptized by the hand of Alma, who had been consecrated the high priest over the people of the church, by the hand of his father Alma.

   Quote of the week is: "One nation under God." The Pledge of Allegiance

   I liked the quote you that you sent me, I hope that you have a good week.   (The quote he is talking about:   Alma 31: 5, "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just--yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God."….the word of God was more powerful than the sword for leading people to do the right thing--because it is as Joseph Smith said, "I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves" rather than forcing people because then it not done by their own learning and agency.

Love you.

Love,

Elder Spencer Fisher

A Heat Wave in Germany, Grocery Shopping, and the Parable of the Prodigal Son

June 27, 2016

   It sounds like the heat has come to visit you guys too (we were having temperatures of 105+ Farenheit), it was hot for a few days here as well, but it has cooled off as well.  

   On Father's Day, I talked about faith in Jesus Christ, the 'Father's Day' (it is just called Man Day) in Germany is on May 5th and everyone in Germany just drinks a lot of beer that day.
We met a younger mother this week that has interest in eternal families. This past week we also had companion exchanges and I went to Bielefeld with the district leader Elder Casperson from Inkom, Idaho. Yes, there are sisters in my district and they work in Bielefeld. For district meeting this past week, we learned about humility. Today we went to a town called Bad Oeynhausen for district P-day and we saw a palace and played ultimate Frisbee.  Transfers are this next week and we will be finding out this weekend what will be happening, I could stay, or possible go to the last area on my mission. We will see what happens.

   For our grocery shopping, there is usually just one big store in Minden, pretty similar to a Stater Bros. actually. There are smaller (specialty) stores but we are not rich enough to go there so we take the cheaper route. I miss eating at Senor Campos, although I do not remember how it exactly tastes, I remember that it tasted good and it is good Mexican food.

   I read the story of the prodigal son this week in personal study this week, that is probably one of my favorite parable if not my favorite parables in the New Testament, it shows us that no matter what we have done even "which hath devoured thy living with harlots" as it says "But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." It shows how much love our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us.

   Scripture for the week: Luke 15:21-24  “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

   Quote for the week: "Es gibt nicht Gutes, au├čer man tut es" (Google translate says this means: There are not good, unless you do it.”  (mom note: I'm sure there's a better translation out there)  UPDATE:  better translation--"there's nothing good unless you do it"--and an even better translation "actions speak louder than words"  Thank you, Natalie!

   It's unbelievable how fast the time is going. 4th of July is next Pday and we are excited to celebrate.

Love,

Elder Spencer Fisher

The week before Father's Day and missionary work

Market square in Minden.
June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day!! I will say it on the actual day next year. Sounds like dad had a good Father's Day as well (even if he did have to speak in church), or at least a good dinner. If it is any consolation for him, I had to speak on Father's Day as well.

The weather here is weird, and all of the members say that this weather is not normal, it will rain really hard for like 1 hour and then it will be very sunny and hot for 2 and then rain again. It makes missionary work difficult sometimes.

I am doing good, I am healthy, happy and frustrated sometimes, the mission can be an emotional roller coaster but for the most part I am happy and I am having fun. It really is not an easy thing to be on a mission and every mission has its own difficulties I guess. Sometimes the days feel like they do not end and that the weeks feel like years, but it is all worth it. Just have to keep going.

The church Elder Fisher visited
This past week we went finding, had exchanges with the elders in Bielefeld, we helped another member with computer problems (I played with the dog because my companion loves to do stuff with computers), ate nachos for one of our lunches, we had Zone Training meeting and interviews with President Fingerle, we had a family home evening with the ward and we also met someone from Jamaica. It was a good week.

Today we went to an old church here in Minden and that was interesting.  I took some pictures that I will be sending.

During church on Sunday, we usually help with translation, sometimes teaching a class, and give talks in sacrament meeting monthly, but not always the case.

I studied the story of Abinadi this week and that was good, to see how someone can be both bold and loving with missionary work.
The organ!!

The interviews with President Fingerle went well I guess. Nothing too different happened in the interviews but it was good to just talk with him. I had a good week. This coming week we do not have a lot of appointments, but it will be okay, we will try doing surprise visits with the members.

Scripture of the week: 1 Nephi 21:15, “For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

Quote of the week "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyways." John Wayne.

Hope that you have a good week and know that I love you too!

The description on the card tells that
"even though there was death, there is life"
Love,

Elder Spencer Fisher




Mary and Jesus
Elder Fisher said the stain glass depicts knights


The Hannover Zone!!