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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Traveling With a New "Friend"

Since last I wrote a few interesting things have happened.  First off, I got my travel plans!  I leave the MTC at 4:30 AM May 6.  My first flight is at 8:20 AM to Dallas/Ft Worth, TX, I arrive there at 12:00 PM.  I depart from Texas at 3:45 PM and fly straight to Frankfurt, which I will arrive at by 8:30 AM May 7.  I am the group leader, which means I make sure everyone makes it to the flights.  There are only four of us going to Frankfurt though, and one of the Elders going to Frankfurt might not even make it that week because of an illness he just recently picked up.  Speaking of which, a lot of the elders in our zone have been getting into these medical scares, its rather unnatural how often they have happened.  I've been completely healthy here, so thats good, but many of the other elders have had to go in for operations or tests.  Yeah, fun stuff . . .

On a lighter side note, Dallin H. Oaks and D. Todd Christofferson came by for devotionals.  We have had four general authorities of the church come in a row by now, which is apparently unheard of for the MTC, so I feel kind of lucky in that aspect.

Wednesday I hosted new missionaries coming to the MTC. I only hosted one Elder, and he came from England, so naturally I asked if he liked Doctor Who, he said he never got into it.  My cousin Matthew also came to the MTC this past week, I got to see him briefly and say hello, I wasn't able to get a picture with him yet.

Speaking of pictures, I've got a new "friend" I'll be using for pictures for fun.  I picked this guy up while doing our service assignment.  We go around cleaning a residence, and the janitors in charge pick up stuff that is left over.  His name is Ultron.

Yes, Ultron is going to be the villain in the next Avengers movie, and I have an action figure of him now.  I thought I would have some fun with him and take pictures of him in Germany every once in a while.

This is likely my last email before I head out to Germany, which I am excited to get too!  I know that those first few months are going to be hard to adjust to, but when I get into the rhythm of things it should be fun.

Until the next time!

Elder Aaron Baxter


Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter at the MTC

This week has been interesting at the MTC, because of Easter.  For our Tuesday devotional, the Apostle Neil L. Anderson came by, where he talked about using the Book Of Mormon and getting to know it.  Then on Sunday/Easter, President Uchtdorf came to the MTC for a MTC wide sacrament meeting, and he spoke about the Easter Story and missionary work.  After the meeting, he went around the room shaking missionaries' hands, and I was like five people away from shaking his hand!  We also had some Elders and Sisters in our zone have a photo shoot with him, I am sure those pictures will be posted on some Church website. Also, the leadership was changed up in our zone and I am no longer District Leader.  That is nice because I get to relax a little and focus more on German before I head out to Germany.

That new Mormon Message, Because of Him, has been making waves here, but it sounds like its been making even bigger waves out in the real world.  They made sure everybody saw the video here, and we heard about how on Easter it was to be on the main page of YouTube.  That,s pretty cool.

Other than that, life here has been same old, same old.  I am looking forward to getting to Frankfurt, which is now nearly two weeks away!  This upcoming Wednesday my district will be acting as hosts for the new missionaries arriving, so that should be fun.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Trouble with Russians

During this past week, our "investigator" we had been teaching revealed that he was really a teacher, surprise, surprise.  We all knew that it was coming.  Now we have two teachers acting as investigators and we practice teaching almost every day now, and they will be adding more "investigators" in the coming weeks.  Sometimes the practice teaching can be frustrating, because it is hard to understand what anyone is saying, and sometimes my companion and I don't understand each other.  Other times though, things work out well and we feel confident about how things went.  We also had our first TRC lesson, which is when you meet with members who speak your language and give a lesson.  It wasn't too bad the first week, because the members would just talk about how their children are currently on missions or how much they love Germany, so not too bad.

We have had some trouble in the residence area during the week with missionaries living down the hall from us.  We call them the Russians because they will be serving in Russia.  Anyways, they started to pull pranks in our bathrooms, and some of the pranks got pretty disgusting.  We ended up telling our branch presidency about it, and it seems like for now that things have calmed down, but those Russians sure are a rowdy bunch.

On Sunday, my companion and I got to bless the sacrament in German, that was an interesting experience.  There are no microphones for you to speak into, so you have to speak loudly saying words you don't really know.  For the devotional in the evening, the BYU Men's Chorus came by.  I was able to spot a few familiar faces in the chorus, including my cousin, Paul Stephenson.  I forgot that he was in the choir, so when I saw him that was a nice surprise.

I was also able to get a pocket sized German Hymn book this week, they finally got them in stock.  It's interesting because the Hymn book is smaller than the English version, because it's missing a few songs.  It also has a few songs that the English version doesn't have.  On P-days I go to the temple in the morning, do laundry and write emails, and then we have the optional gym time, which of course everyone goes too. I don't really care for gym time though, four square and basketball isn't really my thing. Then in the evening we go back to class after dinner. The food here is what it is, I find myself eating an apple almost every meal time now.  Its nice to have food be provided for you, but I am looking forward to getting to make my own meals and trying out German food in Frankfurt.

Easter should be an interesting time in the MTC, and I will let you know how it goes next week!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Aaron and His Companion

He Did Send Us a Letter!!

    Hey family, I got your package, including the pictures.  That was nice, although the food was a little too much, and you know I don't eat much.  I am well fed here at the MTC!

 My scripture/quote can be 1 Nephi 3:7, unless I can get away with "Do, or do not, there is no try."  That would be awesome if I could use Yoda's quote.

Concerning the German Book of Mormon, I believe they are having a shortage at the bookstore, so that's why I didn't get one right off.  You see, I got a German Bible, and my companion got the Book of Mormon, I will probably end up having to buy my own copy when they get some in stock.

General Conference was a nice break for the daily MTC life.  My schedule consists of waking up, going to breakfast, gym in the morning or evening, two periods of three hours of class each day, and three to four hours of just studying (i.e. personal study, companionship study and language study).  Being District Leader also means I go to extra meetings. There have not been any classes yet concerning German culture, I don't think they do that until the last week. I am certainly looking forward to getting to Germany, rather than being at the MTC.

I love all of you guys and look forward to keep on hearing from from you!


Brothers got letters but Parents didn't

From Ryan's letter:
I have not gotten a German Book of Mormon yet.  Some of the food here is good, I think you would like it. One day for lunch they had Bratwurst and German potatoes.  The funny thing was that my companion and I were the only people that got that meal, everyone else going to Germany got hamburgers instead!

From Tyler's letter:
General conference was a nice break from the MTC, but it was still General conference, which means sitting around.  So, anything you want to know about.  I will tell you that there is a lot of food here, and I have barely put a dent in what Mom gave to me in her package, I can't eat all this food!  Ha ha, oh well.  A few nights ago, some of the elders tried to make a sauna out of the bathroom, I had no part in it though.  There is also a really loud guy from New Zealand a few rooms down from mine, and he talks late into the night, its pretty annoying, because you can hear him from wherever you are.

From Carlton's letter:
The MTC is pretty draining, and I am looking forward to getting into Germany.  The days are long, and I actually had a little bit of an argument with one of my teachers.  He was trying to tell me that the MTC is not a place for learning your language, but how to be a missionary.  All I could think of was why am I here six weeks then rather than two.  I tried to tell him the language is a little part of the learning, but we wouldn't have any of it, but he chews out everyone, not just my companion and I.  Everyday  this teacher teaches he will pull a companionship aside and then just lecture them.  My companion and I just happened to be his first to lecture.  Other teachers are nicer though.

My companion reminds me of Riley, and we are getting along ok.  We are both quiet, so we don't talk too much.  Some of the other guys in my district are much more social, but overall we are getting along well.