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