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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Well, my week started in a zoo.  For P-Day we traveled to the city of Dortmund to gather as a zone and we went to the local zoo.  We had fun there, and of course some pictures were taken.  Immediately after P-Day, I went on a split with an Elder in my district in Dortmund, and we ran a Monday Family Home Evening Night in the Dortmund Church.

Tuesday we had district meeting, which was about the Holy Ghost, and then I continued on the split by visiting a member and an investigator who comes from Jamaica.  Even though the lesson we had planned with the investigator sort of fell apart, the lesson we did have focused on the needs of the investigator, and we had a really good experience.  Wednesday we ended the split and my companion and I went out to support a member in a hospital.  We also went out to visit a former investigator who has known the missionaries for a long time.  This lady runs an African shop, and while we were there we meet a couple of other people who all took an interest in our message.

Thursday was largely spent helping a member with his family history, and on Friday we planned for the next week, visited the member in the hospital, and met with a member and his wife (who is not yet a member), and talked about the Law of Chasity.  It turned into a really good discussion about the importance of families.

Saturday we had planned to work with a lot of the African people we know, but things didn´t totally work out.  Appointments fell out, people weren´t home or busy, etc.  Sunday came along, and self-reliance, physically and spiritually, seemed to be the theme of the meetings.  We had three investigators come to church, including our American investigators.  After church, we had a dinner appointment with a member and ended up watching the church film, "Legacy," with the member.  The week ended with call-ins with our district leader as usual, but this time I learned that the investigators I helped teach and found in Dortmund during the splits actually came to church, which was exciting to hear.

Until next week!

At The Zoo

Ultron went to the zoo too.

Sent especially to his little brother, Ryan

Look Ryan!  It's in Germany too!

May the force be with you!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Adventure Around Every Corner

I am now well into the middle of my first transfer in Siegen, and the adventure hasn´t stopped yet!  Starting off the week, for Pday we went around exploring the shopping region of the city so I could better familiarize myself with the city.  We ended up getting a parking ticket by accident, which we weren´t too happy about, but hey, what can you do?  After our Pday was over we teamed up with the senior couple that helps out our branch and visited a family in the branch.  A good experience.

Tuesday we helped out a member translate a letter from German into English.  Because I was the only English native speaker, I ended up doing a lot of the work.  After that, we were invited by an older member in Siegen to play badminton with his friends and students from the university in Siegen.  Elder Pfleumer and I ended up playing badminton with a bunch of guys from the Middle East who couldn´t speak German or English.  Wednesday we visited a member who was in the hospital to see how he was doing, and we drove out to meet our American investigators and had a good lesson and answered questions they had about how to read the Book of Mormon.

Thursday we drove up to Dortmund for district meeting, my first one in my new area.  After the meeting, I went on a split with our district leader in the city of Dortmund.  While on the split we passed out invitations to a Summer Grill put on by the church in Dortmund, and we stumbled upon a Romanian family that embraced us and the Gospel with open arms.  We were trying to find an apartment, and as we were going up the stairs, the family saw us as we walked by their door, and asked who we were.  Before we knew it, we were inside their home talking about how they wanted to come to church.  The next day before we split back we visited the family again and gave them copies of the Book of Mormon in Romanian, which they were excited about.  What a way cool experience!

Saturday was spent planning for the next week and getting into contact with members.  Sunday came along and we had three investigators come to church, probably a new record for my experiences on my mission, and after church we visited the member in the hospital again, with the senior couple, and in the evening we had dinner with a member.

Time is moving fast!

Ulton is still hanging around with the Elders

Monday, August 17, 2015

Defending Your Life

It has been quite the first full week for me here in Siegen, but it´s been a lot of fun!

Starting with Monday, we had a member call us wanting to meet us, implying we would go into a forest.  We ended up walking through a forest for something like three hours, while the member just talked with us.  There was a tower at one point along the path we were walking, and Elder Pfleumer and I got pictures up there.  After that we met with a family in our branch in the evening.

Tuesday we attempted to visit investigators, with some success.  We tried a potential investigator, but he was heading off to work and said we could try again on Saturday.  We then met with a woman who has known the missionaries for a long time.  She was friendly.  Other investigators or less active members we tried that day ended up not being able to meet.  Wednesday we met with two solid investigators.  They are a couple, and they come from America.  At one point, one of the investigators brought up the film "Defending Your Life" to try to get a point across, and thanks to my parents showing me that film years ago, I was able to understand where he was coming from and what he was saying!  In the evening we had some stuff come up in the branch that we had to take care of, because we have leadership callings in the branch.

Thursday we traveled to Dortmund for a zone training meeting.  There I was able to see a past companion of mine from Paderborn.  He is still there, and we were able to catch up, and I got to see some pictures of a recent baptism they had in a river in Paderborn.  That was really cool to see.  The meeting was all about the Plan of Salvation and practicing teaching this Gospel topic.  In the evening we came back to Siegen and took care of some more branch business.  Friday we planned for the next week, and met with the senior couple who is involved in our branch at an Asian restaurant, and discussed what we could do for the branch, and after that we went out to try to meet with a family in the branch.  Saturday we were able to meet the potential investigator and talk about the Restoration of the Gospel with him, that was a good experience, and we visited a member who is currently in the hospital.  We ended the day meeting with some more members in the evening.

Sunday came and we had a Ward Council meeting, which went well, and we had our American Investigators show up to Church!  I translated German into English for them during Sacrament meeting, something I haven't done much, but I for the most part was able to keep up.  After Church we helped the member in the hospital get some stuff in his apartment as he stays a bit longer in the hospital.  All in all, a good week.

Up in a tower in the woods.

Monday, August 10, 2015

I See Siegen

The start of my 12th transfer came and went on my mission, and I am now in a new area.

To start the week off, I spent my final P-Day in Schweinfurt by going to Würzburg and meeting up with the Elders there and visiting the Residence, a beautiful building located within the city.  We were not able to take pictures inside the building, sadly, but it was beautiful, and we even ran into some Mormons who were touring the area.  In the evening my companion and I, along with the other Schweinfurt Elders, met with the Bishop in our ward and said goodbye.

Tuesday we had a final district meeting together, and had a motivational speech complete with background music from an Elder who would be completing his mission within the next few days, and learning about the importance of the Sabbath by making sandwiches, a lesson given from the senior couple in our district.  After that, most of my time left in Schweinfurt was preparing to leave.

When transfer day came, my companion and I woke up early in the morning so we could drag my luggage through the city to get to the train station before 6:00 am. At Frankfurt, I got to see multiple missionaries I met in the past, and met my new companion, Elder Pfleumer.  He is my second Swiss companion.  We loaded up my luggage in the car for my new area (yes, my new area has a car) and traveled to Siegen.  From there, we unloaded and tried to meet with some people on Thursday and Friday.  Saturday came, and we got picked up by a member and traveled to the temple in Frankfurt, to visit it one last time before it closes until 2017.  That was a great experience, and then we traveled back to Siegen and met with another member and met the senior couple who works with the branch in Siegen: Elder and Sister Jones.  Elder Jones is branch president, my companion is first councilor in the branch presidency, and I am now the executive secretary in the Siegen Branch.

Sunday we had some meetings, and then I helped the member who took us to the temple pick up an older member to get him to church, and I met the branch.  After church, I helped get the older member back home, and my companion and I visited the member who took us to the temple.

Things are off to a quick start in Siegen!

Last time with the Schweinfurt District

At the Frankfurt Temple

Elder Pfleumer and Aaron see the temple

Monday, August 3, 2015

Into The Woods

What a week it has been!

P-day went pretty easy as usual, doing shopping and emails. My
companion and I picked up comp ties as well. Tuesday rolled around
with district meeting, where we did predictions of where people would
go for the next transfer, learned about learning German, and the
Würzburg Elders did a rendition of "Into the West" for an Elder in the
district who will soon be heading home. I had a split with one of the
Würzburg Elders afterwards, and together we did former investigator
work, finding, and having fun. Wednesday evening we ended the split,
and my companion and I made brownies for going by on people we know.

Thursday we helped out the other Schweinfurt Elders, met a man I met
before who just wanted to argue and left us on the street abruptly
when we wouldn't surrender to his ways, and visited a member with our
bishop in the evening. Friday during weekly planning I got a phone
call from the mission president saying I would be released as district
leader, and afterwards we did former investigator work and had a run
in with the arguing man from the day before, twice.

Saturday in the morning, we along with the other Schweinfurt Elders,
made breakfast and listened to our transfer call. There I learned
that I will be transferred to the area of Siegen, which is in the
Dortmund Zone, the zone I was in when I was in Paderborn. After that
we helped an American member cut wood in the forest, which was fun,
and in the evening did game night. Sunday was my last time in the
ward here in Schweinfurt, and I also called the woman who believes in
aliens and said goodbye to her. In the evening I did my last call ins
with the district. I can't believe how fast my time went as a
district leader! I enjoyed the opportunity I had to serve with my
district, and am anxious to see what lies in store!

Cutting wood