Friday, November 11, 2016

Last Email

 2 Years Later!  Elder Westbury,  Elder Gibbs (my MTC Companion) and I all came out to Germany together.  Here we are ready to finish together.

Hello Everyone!
This will be my last email from the mission field.  My time as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ is coming to an end.  I will be flying home on Friday, November 11th.  I am giving my homecoming talk on November 20th.  Sorry, I don't know the address of the church but it's the A Frame by Mueller Park Junior High.  I always thought to myself, well I still have time.  But it's crazy how fast time flies and before you know it, it's your last Pday!

First off, I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to fulfill my mission and serve Jesus Christ for 2 years.  To be honest, it hasn't always been easy or fun, but it was so worth it.  My mission has totally changed my life.  I would like to talk about probably the biggest things I have learned and experienced on my mission.

The first one is that I know God knows each and every one of us because we are his children and that he truly cares about each and every one.  On my mission I have seen how God works with all of his children, no matter what religion they are a part of.  He really wants what is best for us.  I will admit sometimes I did question why things happened the way they did.  But now I know it was because he saw things that I didn't at the time.  As I look back, I can see how he was with me and led me through the good and also the hard times.

On my mission, I have seen the power of the atonement in the lives of my investigators, but also personally in myself.  I am so thankful for Jesus Christ and him going through the atonement so that we don't have to.  Repentance is totally real.. Jesus loves us and he lives and wants to help us.  I am in no way perfect, and I have needed the  atonement just as much as my investigators.  I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.

No matter how many doors were slammed in our face, people yelling and cussing at us, others telling us Yankees, to leave and never come back, I still love Germany.  As some of you know, my Grandpa was born in Germany and many more of my ancestors are from here.  It truly has been a privilege to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the land of my forefathers. I love this country and these people have a special place in my heart and this is my home away from home.  Just like Paul, I can say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

I know that this gospel is the only true church on the earth and that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet to restore the gospel and translate the Book of Mormon.  I know the Book of Mormon is true and the influence it can have in our lives when we read it.  I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he loves us so much.  He suffered for every single person on this earth so we can return to live with him and our families forever.  We really are children of God with the potential in us to be Gods.

I'm so thankful for the Gospel and that I had this opportunity to fulfill my mission.  Now it's time to move on to the next chapter of my life.  To those of you still serving, keep fighting for the truth and be valiant in your testimony of Jesus Christ.  And to the others, I will see you soon!

Elder Spangenberg

Family Hachmann.  We have Family Home Evening with them every week.

FAMILY SCHUMAIER.  He is the Branch President and they invite us over every week.  They are also the coolest grandparents ever!

FAMILY DAHLEKE.  He kept me up to date with sports scores and is also an amazing cook.

FAMILY RICHTER.  We did service for them every week.   They have so  many animals.

They are putting up the Christmas Markest now!

Dying Photo.  Cause every missionary going home has to have one!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Stuck in the Mud

 Village Tonning

Hey everyone!
It's been a while since I have written, so let me update.  Right now I'm in my last transfer in Heide.  It's a pretty small area with a population of about 20,000 but we have lots of little dorfs (villages) in our area that we go to because we have a car, so that makes things nice.  My companion is Elder Jensen and he is from West Point, Utah.  He is a funny guy and we are getting along good.

Lately, it has been a struggle finding people to teach.  We did have a lesson this week with Manfred.  Last week Manfred accepted a baptismal commitment for the 19th of November, but this week we found out that he won't be able to make that, as he is going on vacation for a week.  So that was kind of a let down.  He still wants to be baptized, but that won't be for a little bit.  Besides that we had some fallen out appointments and lots of knocking on doors.  We have met some nice people that respect us for what we do, but none of them have interest to meet with us. 

On Tuesday, this week we had planned to overnight in Neumunster because we had zone training meeting the next day.  Neumunster is pretty close to Kiel, and it would save us kilometers for the car because we are only allowed 2,000 each month. We also had an appointment that was pretty close to Neumunster right before that.  So we did some dooring, went by on some less actives, you know, normal missionary stuff.  Then the family called that the appointment was supposed to be with and canceled.  So we did some more dooring in another dorf.  Well, we decided to pull off the road to decide where to go next before we went to Neumunster.  It was raining really hard because that's the constant weather here in Northern Germany.  So I pull off the road into some dirt and didn't think much of it, until my companion is like, " I think we just pulled into mud, we better not be stuck."  Then I was like, " Oh nonsense we aren't stuck," so I put it back in drive and press the gas pedal, and as luck would have it, we didn't go anywhere, the wheels just kept spinning.  So we sat for a little bit deciding what to do, then we remembered the stick trick.  So we got out in our suit pants and dress shoes in the mud to gather some sticks or pieces of wood.  That didn't work so well because we could only find branches from off a tree, and keep in  mind it's raining really hard and we have been trying for about an hour already.  Cars are driving by us not noticing that we need help. We said a prayer and finally some girls stop by that are about as old as we are.  They said they had to go home quick but they would come back.  We kept trying to get ourselves out, but were doing more harm by spinning the wheel and getting us deeper in the mud.  The girls came back and brought their brothers and they pulled us out.

We then drove to Neumunster to stay the night covered in mud and dirt, but thankful for the people that helped us get out of the mud.  That experience was literally a perfect example of the atonement.  Without those people that helped us, we would not have been able to get out, and trust me we tried for about 2 hours on our own.  But ultimately we just got ourselves in more trouble.  Sometimes that's how we are in this life, and that is why we need the Savior and the Atonement, so that he can lift us out.  I know that Jesus helps us when we need him because I have felt his help lifting me. I know that only through his grace can we make it back to live with him.  In the Name of Christ Amen.
Elder Spangenberg

Monday, October 10, 2016


Companion photo in the woods
 Busum, it's a huge tourist area.
 Memorial for people who died in WWI, who were from Albersdorf.
 This means: these people gave everything for the well being of others.

This says: Traveler! If you linger here your hands will wrinkle silently...?
Selfie in Albersdorf, this town is so pretty!

Memorial for people who died in WWII from the Dorf.  Each gold block has a ton of names on it and this is just a tiny little Dorf.

 Cool windmill

German Crest
 Dog looking out of a window from the 2nd story.  I thought this thing was going to come down and eat us, his bark was terrifying.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Conference was great..We only saw the first 3 sessions and next week at church they will show the last session.  One of my favorite talks was Elder Nelsons, when he talked about having joy.  The joy of the world is different than the joy of the Gospel, but the joy of the Gospel is worth more in the next life.  I also liked Elder Hales talk.

 I said good bye to Elder Williams this week.  He ended up getting us a parking ticket right before he left, so I had to pay for that, but that's okay.  My new companion is great, we get along really well.  He's a hard worker too.

That's sad that Grandpa fell.  I hope I get to see him.  I can't wait to talk to him in German.  It's been really cool to come back to the land of my forefathers and I'm really proud to tell everyone my Grandpa was born in Germany.  They all look at me and say, "Ah Spangenberg, that's a German name".  I say, "It is, Grandpa was born here and moved to America when he was 2".  I love saying that, it makes me so proud that my ancestor came from here.

I've learned to love the north. I think I needed to come again to the north to change my attitude.  The LeVitres gave me a book before my mission and there is a quote in there that says, "Life is 10% of your circumstances, and 90% what you make of it."  Heide is really a great place.  The members are really good to us, we have a great relationship with them.  This last week we had 4 member appointments and this coming week we have 5.   I feel like there is a reason why I'm here in Heide.  We are working really hard.  One day we were dooring and it was raining all day and we had people say mean stuff to us.  One man chased us down and told us he was going to call the cops on us.  He said, "Why are you guys going around asking for money?"  We had to explain that we didn't ask for money and talk to him about what we do.  Its been tough, but I really like it and feel stronger because of it.

The time is coming to an end soon and I'm going to try to make the most of every minute.

Elder Spangenberg

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Last Transfer!

Zone Training Meeting

Transfers happened!  I am staying and getting Elder Jensen.  I have heard he is a quiet guy, from Utah, and was a beekeeper at home.   He has been out for almost a year and was trained by Elder Stott. 

 My current companion, Elder Williams, is getting transfered after being here for 6 months.  

We taught our one investigator AND he came to church!  He really likes church.  We also ran into some mean people this week doing doors.  One guy told us he'd sic his dogs on us if we didn't leave.  Yeah, just normal German hospitality to missionaries! 

 But really things are going good.  I made friends with a less active who now texts me all the sports scores and we are going to play wheelchair basketball next week because his daughter is in a wheelchair and she plays basketball, so they invited us to go!  We are super excited for that!  

Elder Spangenberg

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hog Time!

                                        This is a boar I found in a neighbor's yard.

Wow, time goes by fast!  I don't have many more of these to write!

This week we received a ton of referrals.  By a ton, I mean like 4, which is actually quite a bit if you aren't serving stateside.  We have tried to contact all of them, but only managed to get a hold of one.

So this guy just sent a letter to the church last week saying he wanted us to come by.  Now the letter was kind of interesting in the way he describes himself.  So we were kind of worried, but he is actually really cool.  He is definitely not all the way there, but this guy has a ton of interest in the church.  The problem is that he met with the Jehovah's Witnesses as well, so some of their beliefs are mixed up with ours in his head, but we are working on that!

We had another lesson with an investigator that we have been meeting with for a while.  The problem is that she doesn't want to do anything and hasn't been keeping any of her commitments.  So we have to stop meeting with her.  It's sad, but if she doesn't keep her commitment, then it's not worth our time to meet with her.

Other than that, we went dooring just about the whole week.  We have a district goal to get a least 15 rejections everyday before we head home, even if it's dinner time.  It's kind of like reverse psychology, but it actually works pretty well.  It helps us see how many people we talk to and gives us motivation to keep going despite the "Nos" we get.

Other than that, some meeting here and there and lots of driving!  We found other people throughout the week and we are looking at a very busy week coming up!

Elder Spangenberg

Monday, September 5, 2016

Service with a smile!

I don't have a lot of time this week because we have district Pday today.  Most of the week was helping people move and doing service.  We were so tired after carrying so many dressers up three flights of stairs!

I was sick a couple of days this week.  But the highlight was definitely the Freiberg Temple dedication.  Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar spoke German.  Well Elder Bednar mostly read German, but it was still cool.  Of course, it was too far to go to in person (8 hours) so we watched it with other church members.

I did kind of a challenge this week that I had read about, to write a list of 100 things that you are thankful for.  It really helped me to think of everything.  I'm trying not to complain.  I have an interview with President Fingerle this week.

Have a Great week!
Elder Spangenberg
 Duck with an Afro!

We found Mexico!