Elder Aaron Baxter
Germany Frankfurt Mission
Kirche Jesu Christi
Corneliusstrasse 18
60325 Frankfurt am Main

Monday, December 29, 2014

First Christmas In Germany

Christmas finally came and went over here in Paderborn!  On the 24th, Christmas Eve, or Heilige Abend, my companion and I celebrated the day with our branch president and his family.  We had a proper German dinner with them, and they opened presents and read the story of Christ´s birth with us.  It was interesting having a Christmas with a family that only has daughters, having only brothers growing up, it was the complete opposite of what I usually experience for Christmas concerning opening presents.

On Christmas day, my companion and I opened our presents from home, and we went around to the other churches, to experience what it is like during Christmas time.  There were not as many people attending church as I thought there would be, two of the three places we visited nobody was there.  We also visited with a member and read the story of Christ´s birth with him, and then in the evening we did skyping with our families.  That was interesting because where we were first trying to do it, the internet died, so we had to scramble to an internet cafe to do skype.

On the second day of Christmas (the 26th) we had an appointment with our recent convert, and a single mother and daughter.  The appointment was hectic, and while we didn´t get to do much teaching, it was still great to spend time with these people.

On Sunday after Church the first counselor of the branch invited us, Joachim/Brother Seeger (our recent convert), and another member over to dinner.  There we were able to have a true teaching opportunity, and it was great to have multiple members there to support Brother Seeger.

Have a Happy New Year!

 Aaron Opening Presents

Ultron Getting Into Aaron's Stocking

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas is almost here!

This week started with a zone conference in the city of Dortmund.  There not too much happened, but still was a good time.  Christmas packages were there, missionaries were able to chat together, and the Christmas season was discussed.

Throughout the week, we worked with members and as always, hit the streets.  We were able to meet with Joachim and start going through the commandments again to make sure he really understands them.  We also had a nice meal appointment with a part member family.  While out talking to people on the streets, the weather was cold, rainy, and windy, but we were able to talk with people.

On Saturday evening we had the branch Christmas Party.  There they had activities for the children, soup and dessert, and presents.  There was one activity where every time a word was said throughout a story, a group of people would have to act something out.  My companion and I were assigned as reindeer, and I may have flipped over the chair while jumping out of it, resulting in the chair crashing into the Christmas tree.  My companion and I also had to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in front of everyone before we could get our gifts from Santa.

The week ended with church and visiting the Branch President and his family for the 4th Advent.  We had an investigator at church who couldn´t speak German, so for the first time I translated German into English for someone, it was tiring.

Have a Merry Christmas!
Elder Baxter (and Ultron)

Christmas Fun with Aaron and Ultron

Monday, December 15, 2014

"He is the Gift" Split and Moves

The week started off with a bang when we traveled to the city of Dortmund to see the giant Christmas Tree and Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market).  Following that I started a split with my district leader in the area of Unna.

While in Unna, we met with a few less active members, and worked on two street displays.  With the new "He is the Gift" initiative from the Church, and finally receiving the pass along cards in German (which took forever to receive) we centered these street displays on the campaign.  We used a projector and speakers to play the video on the street, and then we had multiple missionaries show up to help out pass out cards.  For awhile there, during our prep time for the street displays, it looked like things were not going to work out (for example: getting power from the city, bad weather, getting access to the video in German).  Thankfully, due to dedication, hard work, and answers to prayers, we were able to have the street displays.

After returning to Paderborn, we helped some members move apartments.  The first family we have been meeting with for awhile now, and while we were not expecting to help them move, it was a great opportunity for unplanned service, and we had a wonderful time with the family.  The other family was moving into Paderborn, and with that move multiple members from our branch in Paderborn were able to help out, allowing things to move much faster.  My companion and I also shared some talks in Church this past week.

Christmas is fast approaching, so let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas as we get caught up in the whirlwind of the Holidays.  Jesus Christ was born so we could be redeemed and because of him we will all be able to return to our Heavenly Father.

 Aaron and his companion with the giant Christmas tree

"He is the Gift" street display

Monday, December 8, 2014

December Begins

It is now December!  It was an odd week that went by fast, and not a whole lot of teaching happened unfortunately, but good things did happen.

Early in the week We traveled to a small city and went to a clinic owned by a member and there we helped him and other people he works with bake Christmas cookies.  It was an interesting experience, trying to make cookies with a bunch of Germans.  They would give you instructions, and I had no idea they were saying.  Still, it was a fun time.

We did teach a less active/part member family later in the week, and that went really well.  The son, who is reaching the teenage years, had a few questions concerning alcohol and smoking, so we went into the Word of Wisdom with the family.  A few years earlier, the father of the family, who is not a member of the Church, gave up smoking and drinking, so it was a great experience to have, and to see the father teach his son about this stuff and motivate him to live a healthy life.

Our recent convert, Joachim, is also doing well.  We met with him once and kept in contact by phone, and he is as happy as ever.  He even surprised us by getting us a gift.  Scarves for the different Soccer teams in Germany are pretty popular, so he got us Paderborn scarves, and then one for himself, as a way to celebrate his baptism.  It was really nice of him.  He also gave a lesson in Church, and while he really needs to work on his teaching skills, it was cool to see him lead a lesson in Church.

Until next week!

Aaron in front of the Paderborn city hall.
They have made the lower windows into an advent calendar.

Monday, December 1, 2014


This week was a good one for the area of Paderborn, because we now have a new member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!

The week started with the Paderborn Weihnachtsmarkt opening, so the Christmas season is fully running now.  Throughout the week, we had a apartment cleaning check, and Transfer calls, where my companion and I learned that we would be staying together in Paderborn for another 6 weeks.

On Thanksgiving, our investigator, Joachim, had his Baptismal Interview, which went well, and then after that I traveled to Unna for a split with my District Leader.  We were able to celebrate Thanksgiving by making a Thanksgiving dinner.  The next day there was a zone training meeting  where we learned of the new initiative from the Church called "He is the Gift."

On Saturday was the baptism, which was in the city of Hagen (because they have a baptismal font there).  There was a baptism for the Hagen ward before ours, so our investigator was able to attend that before he had his own baptism.  I did have to baptise Joachim twice because his leg popped out of the water the first time.  The next day in church he was confirmed as a member and received the Holy Ghost.  A few members made comments that throughout Church they could feel the Spirit really strongly, and that this Sunday felt really special.  Members are also supporting Joachim now in finding a job and a place to live, which is amazing!

It was a wonderful experience to have a baptism.  To see the joy Joachim had from the experience was priceless, and I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this experience.  I know the Gospel truly makes a difference for the better in people´s lives.

 Elder Black, Joachim,and Aaron



Monday, November 24, 2014

A Birthday on the Mission

This past week was a continuation of helping our investigator prepare for baptism and celebrating my birthday!

For my birthday, I went out of my way to make a nice breakfast and then opened a package from my family.  After that I traveled to a District Meeting, where they sang Happy Birthday and made a chocolate cake and cheesecake to celebrate.  I am now 20 years old, and it does not feel any different from being 19.  Ultron got in on the birthday also.

Missionary work wise, we have been continuing to work with our investigator, who will be baptised very soon.  One day we met with him and a friend, and introduced the friend to the Book of Mormon, it was a cool experience, and the first solid referral I have received on the mission.

We also worked with members and visited a few families.  We taught about the life of Jesus Christ to a part member family, and with another family they made pumpkin pie for us because Thanksgiving is coming up.

This new week we will be looking forward to the baptism that has been planned, and so far everything looks good.  I of course will let you know how that goes next week!

 Ulton getting in on Aaron's birthday

Aaron's birthday!!!  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Week, Another Zone Meeting

This week flew by like crazy!

Our investigator with a baptismal date, Joachim, is still doing well, and is excited for his baptism.  We have been going through the commandments with him, and he has been loving it.  He is such a happy guy!

We also had a Zone Training meeting in the city of Essen during the week.  I included some pictures from that experience.  The city was putting up Christmas decorations, and they had a pretty cool train station full of changing lights.  At the meeting they focused on how the Dortmund Stake will be working with missionaries next year, and how it will be a big focus, and then after the meeting as a zone we all went out finding people.  My companion and I were assigned to go door a University housing complex.

To end the week, we had three investigators at church.  One of these investigators had been waiting a long time to get to church because he lives so far away.  It was a good experience, and afterwards, we met with Joachim and the Branch President and Joachim got to know the Branch President a lot better, even if the meeting ended up being three hours long because Joachim went through his life story, starting from his birth.  That man can talk your ear off!

Anyhow, things continue to move forward.  I am grateful for the opportunities I have been having on my mission, and know that I have been receiving help in the work.

Aaron at the train station

Aaron in Essen

Monday, November 10, 2014

It Finally Happened!

The week started with a district Pday in Unna, where there was a carnival going on.  I got to go on some rides, and get authentic Bratwurst, which I was pretty happy about, still have yet to have a companion that likes Bratwurst.  After the Pday, I started a split with an Elder from Unna and together we worked in Paderborn.  Nothing was really working out for us, but at the end of the day, we were able to get into contact with Joachim, our homeless investigator, which was great, the man has been giving out copies of the Book of Mormon like crazy!

After the split my companion and I continued to work with Joachim by going through the third missionary lesson with him, and then inviting him to join us when we were going to visit a less active member (all of the members we tried to get help from fell out).  The less active member fell out, so we were left with just Joachim, and we went through this really meeting about how many baptisms could happen in Paderborn before the end of the year (Joachim enjoys statistics).  After the meeting, I reminded him that he could be baptised, and then we went back to our apartment.  A few minutes after our arrival, Joachim called us, and told us to get ready, because he is going to get baptised!

We established the baptism date the next day, which will be the 29 of November.  He wants me to baptise him.

Outside of that, we were able to have a new investigator come to church, and we were able to get back into contact with an investigator we had not heard from for a while.  I would call this week a success.

What made Joachim decide on baptism?  To be honest, I think the Spirit just worked on him really hard, until he was able to make a decision.  I thought it would take a lot longer for him because we tried last month, but he had his thing with Scientology.  I really think the reason for the success was because we stuck with him, and with his love for the Gospel, the spirit was able to work and do the rest of the work.  Miracles DO happen!

Aaron, Joachim, and Aaron's companion, Elder Black 

Aaron with the giant metal door at the University

Monday, November 3, 2014

Our Investigator Is Doing Missionary Work!

So apparently Paderborn has its own movie now, so I thought I ought to get a picture of that.

This week we were able to meet a few times with our homeless investigator.  He has agreed to start inviting his friends with him when he meets with us, so he is giving us referrals now!  He also has given out two copies of the Book of Mormon, what a champ!  Even if he is having trouble with baptism, he is finding joy with the gospel in his life, and one day it will totally click for him.

We also met with the part member family I mentioned last week.  We ended up just teaching the son, who we were told to focus on, and his father, who is not a member, it was a wonderful experience to be with both of them.

Halloween was non-existent in Paderborn, sorry about that.  We did get to meet with members, including the branch president and his family, and a member who was in the hospital.  We were able to give him a blessing there, which was pretty cool.

And that is everything this week!  Until next week!

Paderborn the Movie!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mission Adventures

Due to Deutsche Bahn strikes, my companion and I were not able to get back to Paderborn until Tuesday afternoon this past week, so we kind of had a slow start to the week.  Immediately when we got back we had to go grocery shopping in the rain, and then cleaning up our apartment for apartment checks the following morning.  Fun times!

We spent a lot of time in a town called Lippstadt, working with members.  On one instance, we were doing service by moving a wall, and my companion ended up breaking into a dentists office (which is a long story), startling all of the young, attractive dental assistants.  We bought a box of chocolates to say sorry, and later in the day, when we were leaving, two of the dental assistants were waiting for us to say thank you and asked if we would go to the movies with them.  Naturally, we refused their offer, but now I can say I have been asked out to a date by a dental assistant!  Haha!

There was a fall carnival in Lippstadt also, so I made sure to get a picture of that.  We also met with a part member, less active family, and they asked us to meet with them every week so their son could become better acquainted with the Church.  We are really excited to be working with this family!

With our transfer calls we learned that my companion and I would continue to work together in Paderborn, so no drastic changes there.

To end the week, we had our stake president and a member from the area seventy of the Church, Elder Leimer, come to Paderborn.  That was pretty cool to have in our small branch, and afterwards, we were able to meet with our homeless investigator together with Elder Leimer and his wife.  Most of the time our investigator just kind of talked (he likes to do that), but it was good.

As always, the work carries on, and will continue to to be a great adventure!

Aaron at the fall carnival

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week of Trains on Strike!

This week was hectic, because of a WWII bomb being deactivated, causing trains to not run, and then later in the week, Deutsche Bahn workers going on strike, causing even more trains to not run!
Why was this so bad?  Because it happened when we had to travel.  As I am writing this letter, I am  currently in the area of Hagen, because we couldn´t get back to our area.  Fun stuff!

Other than frustrating travel by train, my district came to our area for district meeting and then a day of finding.  It was great to have everyone in our area, even though finding turned out to be difficult.  After that I had a split with an Elder from Unna, together we helped a member with his home teaching assignments, and then the next day we met a man in a town called Lippstadt, who gave us a tour of the town, that was fun!  He had met missionaries before, but he was on vacation.  When he got back, there were new missionaries, so he showed us around town, and we got to know him better.  He was a really friendly guy, something that honestly is kind of hard to find in Germany.

After the split, my companion and I were stuck in the town of Soest for an hour waiting for trains, so we walked around at night, and got some cool pictures, one of them is included with this update, along with evidence of the WWII bomb being deactivated.  We also were able to meet with our homeless investigator again, and we got to teach him the first lesson, which he already knew, but we hadn´t taught it to him yet, so that was fun.  Later that evening he even called us up to bear testimony, which was pretty cool.  He even came to stake conference by getting a ride with members, which I am sure helped him to develop relationships further with the branch members.

Because of the Stake Conference being when the strikes were taking place, after interviews with the mission president, we couldn´t get back to our area.  So  Elders in our district, from Hagen, said we could overnight with them.  It has been a fast week, with so much happening, and we are now fast approaching the end of the transfer.  I will of course update what will be happening for the next transfer by next week.  Until then!

 Aaron in Soest at Night

Trains won't be running

Monday, October 13, 2014

So close!

What a week!  We did a few things this week like knocking on doors at the University in Paderborn, but the main focus was on our homeless investigator.

We had been dying to invite him to baptism for a while now.  He already had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and loves to come to church, so we were pretty excited.  When we asked early in the week, we didn´t get a direct answer right then, but he did recognize the need to pray for an answer concerning baptism.  We continued to meet with him throughout the week, and talk about it, and he was excited about it.  He told us the idea came to him that I baptize him this month in a lake in Paderborn, and when we proposed the idea of doing it on the 25 and confirming him on the 26, he really liked the idea.  However, it came up that he also believed in the Scientology church, and was a little torn between that church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He told us he would have an answer concerning baptism on Sunday.

After church (which he attended) we met with him to talk about the decision.  Ultimately, it came down to choosing between the two churches, and I committed him to pray right then and there to know what was right for him.  So we knelt in prayer, and he prayed.  It lasted a while, but at the end of the prayer he indicated that he had received an answer.  After it was done he said his prayer was answered and that Scientology was the right church for him.  I was heartbroken, of course, but testified to him that I knew that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was true, but we would respect his decision.  He is still completely open and happy to meet with us and come to church every week still, but as of right now, he has made the decision, and only the Spirit can work on him now.

What a roller coaster this experience and week was!

Aaron in front of the Paderborn City Hall

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference Week

In this weekly email update, I have finally added a new addition to my Ultron pics.  Feels like it had been a while.  So, here he is with me in a train.

This week my companion and I did not get to work with any of our investigators, but we did meet some people who have potential of becoming investigators.  One man from the Phillipines approached us while we were shopping on Pday and just started to talk to us (likely because he heard us speaking English)  and apparently he had encountered missionaries in the past and he gave us his information, which was cool.  We also met a man on a train who is a student in Paderborn, he has traveled to Germany for his education.  He too speaks English, and we got to talk as we were all traveling, he was going to pick up his wife, who will also be a student in Paderborn.  He was a very friendly man and wanted to stay in contact also.

Outside of meeting new people, we were able to meet with a less active member whom we home teach, and help out another member with his home teaching.  During the end of the week we had Zone Training in Dortmund, and afterwards our district got together to find people in the area of Hagen.  During that time my District Leader and I met a man who was suicidal and thinking about killing himself that night.  He said he was without hope, and we did our best to help him out and support him.  We invited him to General Conference, and while I don´t know what happened to him (other than he did not show up to conference), I know we helped this man out during a difficult time for him.

For conference we traveled to Hagen to watch it, while our branch traveled outside of the mission boundaries to watch conference.  We spent the weekend with the Hagen Elders, which was fun.  They were also doing a "mini-mission" at the time with someone who will be receiving his mission call in the coming weeks.  General Conference was great, unfortunately we still have yet to see the final session of conference.

The week flew by fast, and I am half way done with General Conference on my mission now,  all I have left are the two conferences next year, crazy!  Anyways, the work continues on!  Until next week!

Aaron and Ultron on the Train

Monday, September 29, 2014

Who said missionary work couldn´t be fun sometimes?‏

This week was kicked off with a split with my district leader.  While we were out talking to people, we wandered over to the cemetery where a light show was going on.  We were talking to a lady who was very friendly and interested in meeting with missionaries, and then without us saying anything, she bought us tickets to the light show that was going on!  It was very kind of her to do, and my district leader and I had a lot of fun with it.

Throughout the week, we met with some investigators, made brownies for a member, and visited a few part member families, who were all very friendly.  We met with our homeless investigator a few times throughout the week, it has gotten to the point where he actually calls us to meet now because he wants to talk with us!  I was hoping we would be able to invite him to baptism this week, but it never happened, and I am dying now to just ask him!  At one point he was teaching his friend about the Book of Mormon and testifying to the guy, he has a rock solid testimony of the Book of Mormon.  He also came to church this week in his suit, which surprised all of the members.

Another highlight in church was the member we have been working a lot with receiving the Aaronic Priesthood.  It was such a great moment, and later in church he got to pass the sacrament.  It was so cool to see!

It was pretty cool week, and I feel privileged to have been a part of everything that happened.  I absolutely love it when we see others progressing, the feeling you get from it is so fulfilling!

 Aaron at the light show

 Also at the light show

Making brownies

Monday, September 22, 2014

Crazy Member Work!

This week consisted of working a lot with a member, getting him ready
for the priesthood!

We meet with him every week, and this past week we met with him like 5
times! We went suit shopping with him, and Sunday he came to church
the first time wearing a white shirt, tie, and suit, which impressed
the branch. I have included a picture so you could all see. We found
out that next week he will receive the Aaronic Priesthood, which is
pretty exciting!

Outside of that, my companion took care of his German Driver License
stuff, in which I have included a photo, and we have a new
investigator! My companion found him on the bus a few weeks back, and
we were able to get an appointment made and shared the message of the
restoration with him. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and he said that
he had already been praying to find the true church, which was pretty

We were also able to meet with our homeless investigator again, while
walking down the street we ran into him. He got himself a suit for
church, which he was pretty excited about. Unfortunately, while he
tried to make it to church, he didn´t quite make it. Hopefully next
week he can make it!

As always I will keep the posts coming every week. This is an
exciting work, and it is wonderful to see people make progress and see
the light develop in their lives!

 Aaron working with his member,
who is going to get the priesthood!

Driver License Fun

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mission Conference

This week was an unusual one, but it certainly had some great highlights!

To start off with, for Pday we got together with Elders in the area of Hamm and explored an abandoned factory.  There was a lot of interesting grafiti to see, and it was interesting to see how the building has been treated over the years.  Oh, the things missionaries do for Pday!

Unfortunately, all of our previously planned appointments fell out during the week, so we didn´t get too much teaching done.  We were able to meet with a member multiple days to help him prepare to receive the priesthood, which is exciting!  On September 11 we spent the entire day doing service for a member who is in another area, but works in our area.  We helped him move furniture for a place where he hopes one day firesides will be held, and then helped him clean out trash out of a woman´s apartment.  This member was grateful for our help, especially when it was short notice for us, and he even gave us a referral!  We also helped out with a street display in Unna, which was fun.

The big moment of the week though was the mission conference.  Elder Ballard, Hallstrom, and Teixeira.  Elder Teixeira talked about how his family was found by the missionaries, and about finding people.  Elder Hallstrom talked about how missionary work is increasing, and Elder Ballard talked about the importance of internalizing the doctrine and being yourself and having a positive attitude.  It was a really cool experience to have, and it was also fun to have the entire mission gathered in one place and talk amongst each other.

Out of all of the things said, I think the point about being yourself hit me the most.  It really is important to know who you are, and that makes you all the more unique.

Until next week!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kissed By A Homeless Man

This week I learned that I will be staying in Paderborn, with my current companion, but that was probably one of the less exciting things that happened this week.

For Pday we went to Dortmund and did some shopping.  We ended up going to the soccer stadium there, where the the Dortmund BVB team plays (this team seems to be a favorite, out of all of the German soccer teams).  That was cool to see, even if we did kind of just wander into it not knowing if we had permission to go in there or not.

We got our bikes repaired this week, which needless to say, makes our bike rides a lot better now, and the bikes run much smoother, which is a great feeling.  Our brakes actually work now!

The most exciting thing though, was our new investigator.  Our homeless friend I believe I mentioned earlier in another email became a new investigator for us when we found a triple combination scripture for him (Book of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of Great Price).  We shared a short lesson, in which I shared a scripture.  After I shared it, he kissed me on the cheek, which needless to say was awkward for my companion and I.  This guy is a very happy man, and has funny ways of showing it.  We committed him to come to church, and the next day he did!  He participated in all three hours of church, and even sort of shared his testimony during the testimony meeting!  It was exciting to get someone to church, and for him to have a good time.

This week will be fun, a whole new transfer, let you all know how it goes next week!

Aaron at the Stadium

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Good Week

This past week was pretty good, missionary work wise!  We were able to get into contact with a few people we had been trying to for a while and had another good zone meeting.

Finding this week, didn´t go exactly as planned (does it ever?)  but we did talk to a guy who was really friendly and open and became a referral for missionaries in another area, and we talked to a Hobo who was incredibly happy to see us.  He had had experiences in the past with missionaries.  It was cool.

Outside of finding, we tried to contact a less active member, but he wasn´t around, but later in the day he actually called us.  He is a super busy guy (he is a doctor) but he was very happy to talk with us and we will be able to meet with him sometime later this month.  We also met with a former investigator, who was super friendly, and we gained a new investigator.  The new investigator is from Africa, and she will be returning there sometime soon, but we were able to pretty much give her the lesson of the Restoration and introduce her to the Book of Mormon.  It has hard, because she was having a hard time accepting anything outside of the Bible, and this other German guy who started to listen in on our conversation had to go all Catholic on us, but she did take the copy of the Book of Mormon and was open to meet again.  Hopefully we can move forward with this experience!

This week certainly had it´s hard aspects, but at the end of the day, it was all pretty positive.  I know that trying to do your best with this work, you will receive help in your efforts from the other side, which is a blessing!

[Aaron was at a place where he couldn't upload pictures this week. -Aaron's Mom]

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mission Tour and Member Finding

I finally got to visit my first castle!

For Pday we went to to the Schloss Neuhaus castle, which was about a 20 minute bike ride away from where we live.  With school back in season, there were a lot of students hanging around the area.  It feels like we will be seeing a lot more kids out now that school has started.  We even had some come up to us and ask about our name tags.

This week we continued our assignment from the branch and sought out those who were on the member list.  Unfortunately, about 99 percent, it seemed, moved and their telephone numbers didn´t work.  So now with this assignment over, we will be focusing our efforts on finding people!  That is neither mine or my companion's strongest trait, so it will be an interesting time, but I believe we can do it.

The highlight of the week, however, was the mission tour/zone conference we had.  We were visited by Elder Patrick Kearon of the first quorum of the Seventy, and it was a great experience.  He was fun to listen to because of his British accent, and he was actually a convert to the church, so it was interesting to hear about finding from a a guy who was found on the street.  It was definitely a big spiritual and motivational boost, and we all got to shake his hand, which was cool.  It was great!

Aaron at the branch's meeting place

Aaron at the castle

Also at the castle

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Search Begins

This week consisted of going on a split, and a lot of less active finding.

The split was in an area called Unna, and I was with a "Golden" or new missionary.  We attempted to do some finding in the evening, but there was a big soccer game during that time so it was pretty fruitless.  The following day we did service by helping a less active member clean up his backyard from a lot of trash.  It was nice to help out and to get out and do something out of the normal activities you do as a missionary.  Following that experience, some assistants came to the missionary apartment in Unna, and we "renovated" the apartment, which lasted the rest of the day.  Did a lot of painting and cleaning, along with some new furnishings.  

Back in my area we spent most of our time going through the member list and attempting to find less active members.  Most of the time, these people didn´t live in the address provided and their telephone number didn´t work.  This is something the branch has asked us to do however, and it is good to find out who actually is in our area.  Side note, found Elvis while looking for a member.

In the end of the week, we visited a member on Sunday, and on our train ride back to Paderborn, we missed the stop we needed and traveled farther than we intended too.  Let´s just say we might have ended up in the Berlin Mission for a little bit.  I thought it was pretty funny.

As far as member list finding, we still have a lot of work to do, and that will probably be the main focus for us for a while.  This week we do have a mission tour to look forward to, so I will let you know how that was next week!


 I found Elvis!!

I wonder how we missed our train stop...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Crazy Week

Hello Everyone!

This past week has been hard, but not without small success.  Early in the week we did go bys  [Mom note:  Go bys are when they just visit someone without letting them know before hand]  less active members, and we actually got let in by one member.  We will be working with him, and hopefully reactivate his testimony, which is cool.  We also were doing go bys another time, and no one seemed to actually live where they said they lived (the branch list we had was very outdated).  Things were not looking too hopeful, and the last one we wanted to visit lived kind of far away.  We were not sure it would work out, but we tried, and thankfully this person was actually there and we were able to briefly talk to her (plus the town this member lived in was really pretty).  Later in the week, we got a call from someone we didn't  know, and we were able to find this guy, he has met with missionaries before and seems to have not too much interest and just wanted a visitor, but hey, we got to visit with the guy.  I also was able to meet with the one investigator we have, and long story short, after a journey through the forest and autobahn and arriving to a lake, it was too late to teach her.  We didn't  have a joint teach, so we though we could find a place to sit down outside, but ended up not finding a place.  So we didn't  get to teach her, but we did get to know her better. Hopefully next time things work out better!

Past those adventures, we went through the entire former investigator list and tried to contact all of them through phone, but we had no success.  It was interesting to dig through the area book though, and learn the history of this area, there were some pretty interesting things learned about this place I am at right now.

I was able to get to a computer that can upload pictures this week, so here is a picture of me on a Pday in Paderborn from last week.  Hopefully I can get more pictures of my new area as time progresses in future emails.

Aaron on a Pday

Monday, August 4, 2014

Welcome To Paderborn

Well, I have finally made it to my second area!  The day before transfers, I got to go help out with the new missionaries in Frankfurt, which was fun, and during then, I said goodbye to my trainer, because he was going to be training again.  The next day I took a bus Dortmund, and met my new companion, and then traveled by train to my new area.  It was a bit of a struggle with all the luggage to get around, but I made it.

My new companion, Elder Black, is my first companion from Utah.  He has been in the area for one transfer now, and in a few ways is a little like me.  We are both quiet and have similar interests in TV and movies, so that´s cool, but we have a lot of work to do in my new area.

Paderborn is a beautiful area, and there are a lot of college students here, but the church itself does not have too much of a presence.  There were only about ten people in church, and there are no youth in the branch. As of right now, we only have one investigator, who I still have yet to meet.  We got our work cut out for us in Paderborn, that is for sure!

The bad news of the week is that I currently have no way to send pictures through email, hopefully in the coming weeks, something can be figured out, but until then, no pictures.

Hope you all have a good week, and I will report again next week!

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Final Week In Offenbach

Well, I have finally reached the end of my time in my first area.  I had a split, ate authentic chinese food from an investigator, and had other Elders move into our apartment.

So, I had another good split this past week with another elder from Offenbach, only thing was that it didn´t feel like too much of a split because we spent the entire time together with the other Offenbach elders.  We had two member appointments, one which was saying a goodbye because they were about to move.  It was still a fun time though.

The following day the other Offenbach elders decided to move into our apartment to get ready for when they move into their new apartment (it is in the same complex as us).  So, it has been fun to have a bunch of elders in the same place, but it can get kind of distracting. 

We have an investigator who is from China, who will be heading back soon, so he invited us over to his place and made real Chinese food for us.  We had some weird stuff to eat, like stomach, but most of it tasted pretty good actually.  This investigator is the same age as me and is studying in Germany for school but now his time in Germany is over, sad to say goodbye.

Finally, transfer calls happened this week, I will be going to my second area, Paderborn, and serving with a new companion, Elder Black.  I hear that it is a beautiful area, but far away from other areas.  Should be a fun time though, and I get the opportunity to see more of Germany now.  I will be heading to Paderborn Thursday, which is crazy! Time seems to be flying by.

Hope you all have a great week!

Aaron with his investigator

Aaron in a beautiful country

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ultron has a new friend

This week was pretty eventful:  two splits, a sick companion, and the branch calling me Jesus.

So early in the week, my companion took a sick day where he slept a lot.  For most of that time, I studied, cleaned the apartment, and started to work on my 3D puzzle I got from my zone leaders.  I finished R2 a few days later, and he looks pretty good, he even talks when you press a button!  Ultron is not so lonely anymore.

I also went on two splits, one in Hanau, and the other in Offenbach with a zone leader.  They both went well, and in Hanau we went to a smaller German village that actually felt like Germany.  It was beautiful, with lots of trees, old buildings, and actual German people!  

With the Jesus situation, there was a member who has a mental handicap, but for whatever reason, didn´t take his medicine, and started telling me a bunch of crazy things.  He said I was a higher intelligence and that he saw me create the universe and that I was better than Jesus.  It was weird, and at one point he even sort of attacked another Elder when he was pulled outside of the church (the church was open that day for Basketball).  So, the entire branch found out about it, and on Sunday they started to call me Jesus.  Yeah, not sure what to think of all of it, but on the other side of things, we did get some new investigators to come to church, which was awesome!

Well, I hope you are all doing well, until next time!

 Ultron helps build R2

 Aaron with his R2 puzzle

Aaron in a small German village

Monday, July 14, 2014

Germany for the Win!

Crazy World Cup week for Germany, and I got to watch the final!

This week was interesting in its own special way.  We had some good appointments with members of our branch, including our branch president, and also appointments with some investigators.  I had a split with one of the other Offenbach Elders, which is always fun, and we got to talk a lot about our mission area and trying to figure it out.  We tried throughout the week to do some street displays, but everytime we tried, it would rain!  The weather here has been full of rain, thunder, and lightning, we actually got caught in the rain walking home from church, thankfully I brought my umbrella.  We were able to successfully go through one street display, where we tried things differently and brought a TV, a laptop, and American lemonade.  It was different from all of the other street displays before, which I think was good.  

World Cup wise, when Germany played against Brazil, it was right around when we were getting ready for bed.  We started to hear a lot of screaming out in the streets and wondered what was going on.  One of the members started to text us and tell us whenever Germany made a goal, that was an intense evening!  Then with the final, we got permission to watch it if we had an investigator with us, so we found one and went over to a member`s house and enjoyed watching the game.  I am happy I bought the national jersey now that Germany has won, and now I can say I was there in Germany when they won the World Cup.  Pretty cool.

So now that things have cooled down, hopefully mission wise we can find more success.  This transfer seems to be flying by, and my training days are almost over! Yikes!

Until next time!

 Aaron and his companion stuck in the rain
(I don't know how to rotate the picture.  Sorry. -Aaron's Mom)

 Street display

Germany wins the World Cup

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Fourth of July in Germany

This week flew by quickly.  I had a split and the fourth of July in another country, and met the new mission president.  

The new mission president, President Stoddard, is from Utah, and both he and his wife seem very friendly.  He talked about when he was being trained, he and all of the other new mission presidents went to the Thanksgiving Point Megaplex to watch the new church film with one of the apostles.  I thought that was cool, considering that I worked there for a year and a half.

The split I had was fun, the elder I was with, Elder Moore, loves to cook, so everyone likes to have him around because he always makes something good!  He also enjoys talking about movies, so he and I got along really well.  It was fun.

The Fourth of July was honestly kind of sad.  I missed all of the fireworks, but we did make cheeseburgers for dinner, that was fun.  We also did a street display that day but no one was out because there was a World Cup game going on at the time.  Oh well. . .

Everyone seems to be pretty excited about the World Cup, it is fun, but it will be kind of nice when it is all over.  

Sorry I don't have any pictures with me in them this week!

Aaron's 4th of July Dinner

excerpt form his letter to his mom:
I am doing well, and yes, I like my new apartment.  Apparently it is the nicest apartment in the whole mission, or so I have been told.  It has a balcony where you can see Frankfurt in the distance, some big speakers hooked up to the portable DVD player so we can listen to music, and it is pretty big.  The only down side of the apartment is that the bathroom has no door, and the bathroom is pretty tiny.  A door should be coming soon, but as of right now, we have to use a sheet as a makeshift door.  Germany is really excited about the world cup, after the games everyone is out in the streets partying, not the best time for missionaries to be out in the open.  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Germany vs. America

A few highlights of this past week were saying goodbye to the mission president, getting the opportunity to watch the Germany vs. USA game for the World Cup, and a lot of service.

We had a zone conference which was our mission president`s last one.  Everyone said goodbye to him, and it was cool to have a bunch of other missionaries around and to chat.  Right after that my companion and I rushed back to our apartment to change clothes and get ready for the World Cup game.  We got invited by some members to watch the game in a stadium in Frankfurt.  So, I was surrounded by a lot of crazy, drunk, smoking Germans, but it was a lot of fun!  Of course, the game was not the best and America lost, but Germany was happy they won.  It felt like everyone in the city was dressed up for the game, with all of them wearing the national jersey. The S-bahn ride home was crowded, and you could clearly tell who had too much to drink during the game.

The next day we started early in the morning helping a nonmember move.  They were pretty happy to have us there, and they kept on asking a lot of questions about the church and what we, as missionaries, do.  The next day after that, they had us come back to help them build some IKEA furniture, so that was cool.

On Sunday I had my first talk in German.  It went alright for my first time, and I am just glad now that it is over.

So, anyways, Germany is all hyped about the World Cup right now, and it was cool to actually be a part of the fun for a day.  This week I will be meeting my new Mission President, President Stoddard.

Until Then!

Watching the Game

The Elders at the stadium 

Aaron at the stadium to watch the game

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Week of Change

Hello everybody,

This week consisted of a lot of change in my district.  But before that, I had some interesting experiences.  We had a street display in Offenbach, where I and some other Elders encountered a Nazi!  He was blaming the Jews for everything and just kind of went off on hating the Jews.  He apparently had a Book of Mormon, but of course he hasn`t read it.  Fun stuff.

On Wednesday the new golden missionaries came to our Ward building for their first day.  We went street contacting with them, and I and a golden had a pretty cool experience where he and I approached an older couple and we talked for a good 40 minutes and we gave them a Book of Mormon and they had us sign our names in it and put the date in there so they could always remember the experience.  They didn`t seem interested in meeting again, but they really enjoyed talking to us.  It was cool though, for me, who is still a golden, to be paired with another golden, and have that experience.

After that my companion and I moved to the apartment in Offenbach.  It has a balcony, so my companion was pretty excited for that.  We then said goodbye to the Elders who were serving in Offenbach but have now finished their mission, and said hello to the new missionaries taking their place.  We had the opportunity to go to the leaving Elders testimony meeting, which was pretty cool, and I even got a 3D R2-D2 puzzle afterwards that another missionary found and gave to me.  The next days were about getting to know the new missionaries in our district better, so we went to a street display in Hanau, and we did a service project for a member by trimming her hedge.

Finally, on Sunday we had a special meeting where multiple stakes got together and a new stake was announced.  It was a pretty busy week and a lot happened, but I survived it!  Things will probably start to settle down now, and I will continue to update every week.

Pictures from the Street

Aaron doing a street display

Thought I'd post this picture in honor of the World Cup.
Aaron's first souvenir 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Finding Week

This week was the final week of my first transfer, and boy, did this transfer feel like it went by fast!

The week started with hot temperatures, but somehow I was able to get away without getting a serious sunburn.  Tuesday we went to the Frankfurt Temple as a district, and I got some pictures of that for all of you.

The week consisted of a lot of finding activities, because it was "finding week" in our zone.  We had two street displays, one in Offenbach, and one in Hanau.  The one in Offenbach was rough because a Muslim came up to me and another elder and for 40 minutes talked to us straight about why his religion was the closest to God.  We also did a "bingo" activity in Frankfurt where we looked for different types of people to contact.

Other than finding activities this week, I went on a split with one of the other Offenbach elders, all of our appointments fell out, and I cut the bottom of my toe.  That was the end of my Transfer!


From the letter he sent his mom:

Unfortunately, this week I cut the bottom of my big toe Friday night, and I slipped in the shower and skinned my elbow today.  The toe cut is not terrible, but it is really annoying, because as a missionary, your life consists of a lot of walking, and I don`t want to walk too much with my toe!  It looks like it is getting better every day though, so that is good.

It was chocolate that got on my shirt, when I used tide to go, since you wondered.  German chocolate is better than American chocolate, but it does seem to melt faster.

 So, the transfer ended, I am still with my trainer, no big surprise there, and the mission president will change around the 26 or 27 of June, I believe.

Temple Pictures

Aaron at the Frankfurt Temple

Also at the Frankfurt Temple

Ultron getting "taught"