Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Week

Fresh Snow Right Outside my Apartment
Today it snowed a good 5 inches, I couldn't believe it.  Yesterday was probably the coldest day I have ever witnessed in my life, everything was frozen.  Today for Pday we are visiting the city and seeing the Holocaust Memorial for all the murdered jews. So that should be interesting.  We are also going inside the Berliner Dom, which is a huge church looking building.  Then to the Rittersport Factory and getting a ton of chocolate.  They sell 6 pounds for 6 Euros, which is a great deal.  Look for chocolate in the mail!

This past Christmas week we didn't find and talk to people because there was no one to talk to because they were all inside.  Christmas Eve was great.  We went to a members house and played the game, Settlers of Catan, which  I have played with my family in Utah.  It was fun to play that game again.  I ended up winning of course.  Then on Christmas day we went to the Doudous'.  He is our Ward Mission Leader.  He is fairly young, about 23, and just returned from his mission to England in like April, so he is awesome.  We went over to his Mom and his house.  They cooked Turkey Routcol and Knodel(dumplings).  It was really good.  After that I talked to my family for 40 minutes. It felt very short but it was good.  So good to see your faces and hear your voices on Skype!  I had a wonderful Christmas and it was so great to see everyone in my family.  Everyone looks great and healthy.  I'll see you again in 5 months!

The 26th was our Pday, but a member signed up to have us for lunch.  We went over to the Richters and it was good.  They are an older couple and that invites us over often.  We have been going over there every other week.  We usually sit at the table for an hour just talking.  This time they cooked pizza.  One pizza they cooked had ketchup, Rotcoul, Wurst, and Cheese.  It actually tasted pretty good.  After that we were so tired, my companion and I went back to the apartment to take a 30 min nap and  then go out and go shopping for the rest of Pday.  But we were so exhausted from the week, it ended up being a 3 hour nap.

We did teach a couple of lessons this week! One of our investigators Brother R. was a referral from the church office.  We met with him and he came and said, "I already know everything about your church, that's not why I came".  He said he believes and knows our church is true, however he has strong opposition from his family.  His friends and family are Muslim and they think he is going crazy and will not accept him.  He has to hide his Book of Mormon from his family, and he has no friends in the church.  He asked us what he should do, and we asked if he prays.  He said he does when he can come to church.  He then asked if he could come on the 26th and pray in this church.  We then said, "You don't have to be in a church to pray."  At that point he was surprised, he didn't know that!  We gave a lesson about prayer.  At one point there was a good silence for about a minute and you could feel the spirit so strong in that lesson.  He said he wants to be baptized and he would try praying everyday, now that he knew he could.

Our second new investigator, Brother A was the older man we found on the street.  He forgot our first appointment but we called him and he showed up right on time to this one.  He has golden written all over him!  Golden means "ready" in missionary language.  So yeah, he is in his 60s and was a Protestant and is way cool.  He talked about how he believes it was no coincidence we found him.  He said the day we found him he had a voice say to him, "Hey those 2 nicely dressed young men are going to talk to you, pay attention to what they say to you."  He described the voice as a whisper and then said that he thinks it was God saying that to him.  SO that was amazing.  We know that it was definately the voice of the Holy Ghost.

We didn't teach him too much doctrine because it was the first lesson.  He complimented us on our dress and said we always look so nice.  He even saw our watches and my companion's watch is a square touch screen ipod nano.  He was like,"Wow, the missionaries even have ipods for their watches, Wow what a church!"   He is an architect and he builds American Houses in Germany.  The houses here are so different and small compared to the U.S..  He showed us some pictures of the houses he built that would be huge compared to German houses but normal compared to U.S. houses.  He also gave us a cookie mix.  We are now pretty good friends.  He told us some good places to eat at and to go see.  He even said that one Pday he is going to take us and show us some places in Berlin.  So hopefully he thinks we are normal people like him, and we will stay in contact.

On Sunday we had church.  A cool story is that one of the sisters investigator's Mom came to church.  She drinks, smokes, and uses drugs.  She had her kids taken from her because she isn't able to care for them.  So she came to church for the first time and nobody knew who she was.  The spirit touched her so strong you could tell.  She would always nod and be like, "Oh veah um hum, yes" to the talks that were given.  After that the sisters got her number and now she is an investigator.  The sister that sat next to her said that she smelled so bad and smelled like smoke, but she still came.  So that was a cool story worth sharing.
After church we had a dinner appt at a members house.  Br. Silva picked on me so much because my German isn't that good.  His German isn't that good either, it's just that he likes picking on people who don't speak German as well as he does.  He is from Brazil.  But he is awesome and really funny.  Then we had a meeting with the mission leader.  Just before the meeting started we got a call from the zone leaders saying that a dad of one of the investigators in the different area called the missionaries and said he is committing suicide.  He lives in our area.  The Zone Leaders told us to go to the man's house and see if we could help him.  Then the AP's called and said NOT to go, that the Mission President doesn't want the missionaries involved, so we didn't go. The man called the missionaries again asking if they were coming over and instead, the police went over.  Hopefully everything went good.
Elder Spangenberg

Thursday, December 25, 2014

This is the letter the Mission President posted on the Germany Berlin Mission Blog

Dear Missionaries,

What is Christmas about? There have been many great and wonderful people, even religious teachers who have taught men how to live, but there has been but ONE Messiah, ONE Christ, the ONE Annointed, even Jesus Christ.
I testify of Him, Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is the Savior, the Messiah. He made the Atonement for our sins and opened the Resurrection.
This is what Christmas is about.
Those of us who know the plan of happiness, know what Christmas really is all about!
When we were children we were more "Believing is Seeing". Then, unfortunately, we leave often the Christmas of childhood disillusioned. It is easy thereafter to feel that "Seeing is believing."
When we're fixed on that, we do not have the hope of ever again finding Christmas as it once was and as it ought to be, because it works the other way around: "Believing is seeing."
See in Moroni 7:41-48.

President Boyd K. Packer taught, "If you would see what you get in exchange for giving up the childish illusion of Christmas, you could look forward to the greatest of all discoveries. No matter what your age, you can find and can keep that "little-kid" feeling about Christmas."

(Hence, we don't need toys in the mission field - we're disciples and find joy in helping others to come unto Christ and in sports and in Germany chocolate :))

Therefore I would like to suggest that we all read the Christmas story in the second chapter of Luke EVERY DAY this WEEK. It will take a minute and a half to read. It might take a minute more to ponder on it - but FIND YOURSELF IN THE STORY as Angels who proclaim, as Shepherds who take care, as Wise Men who seek after the true meaning of happiness, as Sheep who follow the Master, as ... FIND YOURSELF.
The Christmas story does not end there. It is only the beginning. With Christmas and because of it we have Easter. When we, as adults, accept a new status as children of our God, our Father, we may humble ourselves and believe again and in so doing begin to see that in exchange for the fanciful poetry of The Night Before Christmas comes the miracle of the first Christmas that grows in every season.
The whole account—from Bethlehem to Calvary—is the Christmas story, and it takes simple, childlike faith to find that out.
Missionaries, use your time wisely. Show it to investigators and members whose errand you're.
If there is no finding time, WATCH the "Work of Salvation" DVD you have in your apartment, PREPARE your "My Family" pamphlet for further usage in finding and teaching, MASTER scriptures we want in the mission, etc.
This is a time of preparation, this is a time of listening and teaching, this is a time in CRESCENDO.

We love you and wish you a Merry Christmas!! He is the Gift!

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's Begining to look a lot like Christmas!

Today is my 2 month mark from the start of my mission!  Wow time has flown by, I still remember when I got dropped off at the MTC.
Everybody here is preparing for Christmas.  They love it so much they have 3 days for it and the city shuts down.  Everything is closed and nobody is on the street.  We are going to a member's house for all 3 days of Christmas, so that's good.  We did get to check out the market in Spandau.  It is the biggest Christmas Market in Germany.  It was huge and we kept asking ourselves,"When is this going to end?"  It was street after street full of Christmas Markets!

We had a lesson with Br. G and he made a ton of progress.  He said he will make a baptism date when his daughter enjoys coming to church and knows why he is baptized.  So that was great to hear and she usually comes to church and in the past has enjoyed it.  
We had a few appointments fall through but a couple of them were because they forgot and we set up another one this week so that is good.  We didn't find any new investigators but we did meet this really cool African on the street.  He said he was moving back to Africa but he would come back later next year and would call us when he got back to Germany.  He was really nice and spoke English, thank goodness!
We did receive 2 referrals this week which is awesome.  My companion and I believe part of it was us trying so hard to find people and it not working out.  One man just called the church headquarters and said he wanted to meet with the missionaries ASAP.  We called him and he is from Saudi Arabia and he speaks English.  He said he wants to meet with us soon and wants his brother there too.  We are excited to meet with them and it sounds like they are very interested in the Gospel.

Our second referral is a man from Serbia.  He lives right by us but he traveled almost an hour to go to the church in another area.  He just walked in the church and said he wanted to meet with the missionaries! We called him but couldn't understand him and thought he said to call next week.  Last night we received a call and it was his friend saying he wants to meet tomorrow and asked where we could meet.  We told him there was a church by his house and he was surprised and excited.  So today we have 3 meetings, it's crazy!  My companion and I have never had a day like this.  My companion has also never received a referral either, so we are both very excited. They both sound interested in the Gospel so that is different from our other investigators who have been investigators for 7 or 8 years!

For Pday, we missed our train to go to Potsdam because of having to find a McDonalds.  The Germans don't believe in public restrooms, its the worst!  The only ones are at McDonalds!  After missing our train, we decided to go to Potsdamer Platz instead. Its a huge city with stores everywhere.  We went to a Nike store, Sony Center, and a Lego store.  It was huge with 2 stories full of legos and they had bins full of specific replacement parts.

 After that we went to this old church that got bombed during WWII.  It is in the center of the city and it very cool looking.  It is called the Gedachnis Kirche and it looks awesome.  They left it how it stood after the war.  It is an amazing site to see.  Then we went to the Mall of Berlin.  It is the Biggest Mall in Europe, it's 3 stories tall and has 2 buildings that attach.  There were so many stores we spent forever just walking through it, we got lost in it.  That's how big it is!  After that the weather got bad so we had to go to our apartment.
The weather here is terrible, it rains every day.  That's the worst for this reason....Nobody will talk to you if it is raining and it gives them an excuse to ignore you.

Me and my companion did make cookies from scratch!  We also made chocolate covered pretzels. We are giving them to our investigators and members in the ward.  We are pretty proud of them. They tasted amazing.  I'm gonna gain so much weight..I've already gained 5 kilos (about 10 pounds) but I can't help myself the food is sooo good!
Elder Spangenberg   
Huge Nutcracker

Christmas market

Spandau Rathaus lit up with stars at night
Our Christmas tree we made!
Our home made Chocolate Pretzels!

Thigh of a Doner Beast!

Falkensee neighborhood

Monday, December 15, 2014

Second Week in Berlin-Spandau

Grant in front of the Brandenburg Gate

This was a really good week!  We found 5 new investigators which is amazing!  That is the Standard of Excellence for our mission, so we felt pretty good and we hope to find even more this week with the "He is the Gift" initiative.

This week for Pday we went to see the Brandenburg Gate and the Rathaus and the space needle thing.  We also went to this store called Saturn.  It's pretty much like Best Buy and Sears combined, it's huge.  One of the things in that store is a 20,000 Euro TV.  Yes, that number is right.  Most of the missionaries just go there and stand and look.  We all say it's better than actually being there!

The chocolate here is amazing.  They have this thing called Ritter Sport and its sooo good and its pretty cheap too.  My favorite kind is Kakaoo Mousse.  It's milk chocolate with chocolate mousse in the middle.
Everyone loves pronouncing my name and I've explained my family history to it feels like every ward member!  One of the members even said that they work with someone who has the last name Spangenberg.
So something I thought you should know is that I love veggies now!!!  Weird huh.. Salad is like one of my favorite foods.  Yesterday we had a vegetable stir fry and it was so good.  I literally eat everything now except fresh tomatoes.  Those are still hard for me to stomach down but hopefully I'll get over that.  One of the sisters in our district only eats bread and cheese.  She will not eat anything else so its sad when the members prepare huge wonderful meals and she says all she wants is bread and cheese!  But it's okay cause I end up eating her serving anyways haha.  They all love me cause I eat so much.  Last week we also had cucumber soup and that was amazing.  So yeah I'm finally normal now!

 So this week we went on exchanges with the zone leaders.  I was companions with Elder Bankhead, the zone leader for a day.  We spent like 2 hours helping this guy write a letter so he could have his girlfriend visit him from Ukraine.  She only knows English and he only knows a little bit of German but not enough to write.  We helped him so that was good.  Then we spent an hour finding and no one listened or they said, "No time" or "Get a job and do something with your life!"  At the very end, I felt like we should talk to this guy walking his dog.  Turns out he is actually a less active who hasn't been to church in like 20 years!  So we invited him to come to the Christmas Party and he said he would.  Although we didn't find anyone new that day we both thought it was cool that we established contact with a less active.

Wednesday, we had a little time before our appointment.  We met one Russian who dissed on our church for baptizing dead people.  We were hurrying to our appt and there was this older man and we both thought to stop and talk to him even though we would be late for our next appointment.  So we did and it turns out he really liked what we said, especially about how there are 3 parts of life.  He said he believed the exact same thing and he never met anyone that thought that besides us.  He was like ,"Can I talk with you more, I really want to hear more about your church and what you have to say?"  We said we had another appointment and asked about next week.  He said,"What works for you?"  At that point we were speechless because this never happens to us.  We made an appt for next week at a coffee shop.

                           Christmas Market in Alexander Platz

                                   Space Needle Building

                                                     Berlin Cathedral

                                                       Berlin Reichstag             

This is right by my apartment.

Spandau is essentially a dead area.  There hasn't been a baptism here for about 6 months and that was the sister's investigator, the elders is a lot longer than that.  We have 2 investigators that talk the whole time and don't let us teach anything.  They have been investigating for years and years and are not ready to take the plunge of faith to be baptized.

We had Zone Conference on Friday.  It focused on Christ and the "He is the Gift" initiative.  They gave us 400 cards and my companion and I made a goal to hand out all the cards by Christmas, which is 40 a day.  President Kosak and his wife talked about their history and how they had nothing and she visited him in the East German Army and after he got out they got married.  I'm very glad he is my mission president.  Pres. Kosak also knows more scriptures than anyone, he literally just quotes scriptures that come to his head to something that is said.

Saturday, was the Ward Christmas Party and there were a ton of non members!  It is a tradition to act out a Fairy Tale and the ward performed "Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs".  It was a little different than the U.S. version but it was still great.  Sunday, we went to the Bishops house for dinner after church and it was really good.

Elder Spangenberg

Main Train Station in Berlin

    This is called a Pyramid.  Lots of people have them and they are very expensive.  This is the coolest one I've seen.  This lady's husband made it.

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 2014 Zone Conference with Christmas Packages

                                                    Grant is in the back on the left.

Monday, December 8, 2014

First Week in Germany!

Well I'm finally out of the MTC! It took forever haha. So our flight was good  and we all got to everything on time and arrived at the airport safely. The airport however lost one of my luggage so I was without that for a couple of days but luckily they found it and I have it with me now. 

We arrived in Germany on the 4th and we were so tired. We met the mission president and his wife. They seem really nice.  He is really funny but he's also very serious. She is always serious. I'm sure all of us missionaries when we got there were afraid of Sister Kosak but I'm sure she's nice after you get to know her. We took a bus to a church and there we had interviews and lessons. Then we paired off in twos and got to go finding for a little bit. It was very cold. However we did find one man who was a Jehovahs Witness and he said he would read the Book of Mormon and call us, so woo hoo!
After that, they took us to a hotel and told us they would pick us up tomorrow at 11, so we could sleep in because we were all so exhausted. Everybody in my room fell asleep at like 8 that night we were so tired.
Then the next day they picked us up and we had a meeting and we found out where we where going.

I got assigned to Spandau. It's pretty much the heart of Berlin so I was excited that I got to see the city. So about Spandau its only about 15 minutes away from Brandenburg and In the 2 Berlin Zones. On P day you can go to any place in Berlin so this P day we are going to the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Cathedral and the Berlin Rathouse.

Then my companion and I took a S Baun ride to Spandau and it was very short. In the city of Berlin they have what's called a Monats card. Which gets you on any public transportation in the whole city with that card. It's great! Their transportation is rated the worlds best. There is no need for a car in Berlin; we have bikes but we barely use them.
We haven't got to teach anyone yet cause we were getting settled in. My companions name is Elder Fowler, he is from South Carolina. I really like him, he's also the district leader so we are always busy. He's also only 2 transfers older than me(3 months) so we both are pretty much greenies.
Saturday was service day. We went to this old building that used to launch blimps and we pretty much ripped a part a whole room. It was kind of fun to destroy something. He wants to turn it into a refugee house; there is a lot of work to do there. He served a mission in England. Everybody that served a mission from Spandau either served in England or the Alpine Mission so most of them know English.

Sunday was fast Sunday and we went to church.  I understood some of church but not a lot. They speak so fast, it is so hard to hear what they are saying. After that we went to a dinner appointment. They fed us so much food! I've never ate so much in my life. First, they brought out a huge plate of salad then a full bowl of soup and I was full by then. But then they brought out potatoes and meat and then pudding and whipped cream, it was crazy! I'm definitely not going to starve here!
So the food:
They have what is called a Döner. It is pretty good and tastes similar to a Gyro. It's Turkish and they load them so big! It's hard to eat it cause everything falls out when you do. Then they have these things called kinder  eggs, which are really cool. It's hollow chocolate with a little toy inside and the chocolate is way good as well. Every food here is cheap except American food. A loaf of  bread is only .7 Euros. My companion said that he and  his past companion only used about half of their mission budget every month.  So I'm going to be eating a lot of chocolate haha.
Well, I love it here!  I would send photos but my camera isn't letting me send them for some reason. Hopefully I can fix that by next week.

Elder Spangenberg

This is the German Berlin Mission Map. There are 10 zones. Grant is now in the Berlin North Zone--Spandau.

Friday, December 5, 2014

First Companion!

Grant with Elder Fowler and Sister and President Kosak

This the letter that the German Berlin Mission President sent to us when Grant arrived.

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Spangenberg

5 December 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Spangenberg,

We are pleased to announce that your son, Elder Grant W Spangenberg, is safely with us in the Berlin Mission.  We have had the opportunity to get to know him, and he is ready and excited to be here.  Sister Kosak and I look forward to working with him and will do all that we can to help him serve a happy and successful mission.  Elder Spangenberg's first companion will be Elder Fowler, and they will be working together in Berlin for the next several weeks. If you would like to send letters to your missionary, please send them to the mission office address:

Elder Spangenberg
Kirche Jesu Christi HLT
Zerbsterstrasse 42
12209 Berlin

We have discussed the mission goals and agreed that we start right, work hard, and finish strong in order to fulfill our purpose to invite others to come unto Christ.  We, along with your son, appreciate the support which you give through your weekly letters and daily prayers in his behalf.  Thank you for raising your son so that he can be part of this amazing work.
For a glimpse inside the mission, including occasional pictures of your missionary, you can check the blog we maintain at  I've included a picture of Elder Spangenberg, his companion, Elder Fowler, Sister Kosak, and me.

May the Lord bless you in all that you do.

Henry W. Kosak, President
Germany Berlin Mission

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Elder Spangenberg arrived in Berlin, Germany Wed., December 3, 2014.


Elder Spangenberg with Provo MTC Germany Berlin  Missionaries at the Berlin,Germany Airport.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

That we Might be One:The Story of the Dutch Potato Project. This was posted by the Germany Mission President, Henry Kosak.

he Germany Berlin Mission President, Pres, i  

I was asked by a missionary's family to post the movie below "That we might be one".

"I just saw the remarkable story of the “Dutch potato project” and the testimony and experience of your father.  I tried to relate the story to my son, Elder ..., as best I could.  I hope you can include the video on the mission blog.  It was truly inspiring and uplifting.  Brother ..

My Dad just turned 89 and has a strong health and still loves herring and potatoes!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

5th Week at the MTC!

One more week till Deutschland!

This week was a good week at the MTC!

We had a really cool experience with our real investigator. He didn't know the Book of Mormon was true so we shared our testimony of it and talked a lot about it. He said he still didn't know and we asked him to read and he said he would try. Anyways that night as we were returning from dinner we saw him on a bench in the dark with a flashlight reading the Book of Mormon! It was sooooo cool to see him reading it for the first time.
Our other investigators are doing good too.

This week I gave my first priesthood blessing! One of the sister in my zone wasn't feeling great about serving a mission and was having some trouble at the mtc. She asked me to give her a blessing I did and it was amazing the spirit in the room when I gave it was so strong I cried after and so did some of the other people in the room.

I got my travel itinerary and I'm in charge of all the missionaries at the airport that are going to Berlin so that's a pretty tough task haha. Especially since some of them have never flown on an airplane before. We fly to Seattle then the Amsterdam then Berlin it's a really cool flight we go over Greenland and Iceland so I'm excited!

This week we are going to have 2 general authorites speak at the mtc. Last night elder Oaks did and he talked a lot about how it's the lord's time not ours and how we shouldn't be silly and goofy but that we still should express ourselves in a good way. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and there's a huge program planned. Another general authority is coming for thanksgiving and supposedly that's elder bednar! I can't wait to hear what he has to say he always says good talks that people will quote for a lifetime. Also on thanksgiving the mtc is making 350,000 (yes that number is correct) bags of food for less fortunate kids and families by having all the missionaries come together and make about 60 bags each it's going to be really cool and we also watch a movie that day and supposedly it's Meet the Mormons so hopefully it is that.

Anyways I'm doing still really good at the MTC I've only gained 4 pounds which is surprising cause I eat way more than anyone else and they've gained over 10. No mischief this week we decided to finish our stay here strong. The German is going very well I'm surprised and happy! Love you all!
Elder Spangenberg

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

4th Week at the MTC!


This week has been very good!  First of all we committed one of our investigators to baptism.  It was really cool!  This was only his 5th lesson and he was drunk when we first came, and he slept the whole time so we progressed a lot.  It was really cool the spirit in the room when I asked him to be baptized was amazing.  We weren't planning on having him commit that lesson, but I felt that I should ask him and it turned out great!

Also our other 2 investigators also went to church including the real investigator.  He thought church was really cool, and not as weird as he thought it would be, so that was good.

The German is actually coming along well.  I'm very surprised I can hold a conversation in German now.  It's amazing what the gift of tongues can do.  Our teachers don't even talk in English anymore and we can understand 90% of what they're saying.

I love our main teacher, his name is Brother Jones.  He just returned from his mission to the German speaking Alpine mission in August.  He's really cool and helps us all a lot and is fun.  We all love it when he talks in what's called Weinerish.  It's the accent that the Swiss and Austrian people speak with and it sounds so funny.

                                    These are the German Speakers at the MTC.
Some of the Russian missionaries on our floor locked themselves out of their room.  SO instead of doing the easy way of going to the front desk for a key,  we attempt to help them break in their room through the ceiling.  We were in the process when our branch president walks through the doors to our resident hall.  He sees my companion's arm in the ceiling and about 25 missionaries surrounding us.  Luckily, he didn't get mad at us though so that's good, he just said,"I have a better idea".

I'm playing the piano in Sacrament next week.  All singing is done in German.  The tunes are a little different.  I am practicing piano every other day.  Thanks for sending me with the German Hymn book.

On Sunday, I have meetings all morning because I am the District Leader.  Then we have Priesthood Meeting and then Sacrament Meeting.  My companions and I are also in charge of preparing sacrament and assigning people to bless and pass it.  After sacrament we go on a temple walk.  Then finally we have a fireside and then it's bed time.

I figured out we fly to Seattle, then to Amsterdam, then to Berlin on December 2nd.  I'll let you know the time we fly out.
Elder Spangenberg

Friday, November 14, 2014

Handwritten Letter!


Well lucky me I got assigned to give a talk on this GERMAN. I thought that bearing my testimony last Sunday would give me immunity cause only 1 elder and 1 sister talk each SUnday.  SO that means only 5 elders out of the 17 will give a talk at the MTC.    The district President said that he liked my testimony in German and asked me to talk first.  SO I have a lot to prepare this week.

I'm the only elder that plays the piano, so I have to have 2 songs every week to play.  That means I am practicing the piano a lot.

I love you all,
Elder Spangenberg

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

3rd Week at the MTC!

Well I'm almost halfway done with my MTC stay. I've loved it so far. Me and my companions are trying to talk in German with each other and that's pretty tough. We have fun by trying to find cool sounding German words like Krankenwagon and Ganseblumchen which is ambulance and daisy. we had some really great devotionals this week that I really liked. One sister spoke and she spoke with this very heavy German accent that sounded way awesome. My companions and I are practicing are German accents all you do is talk really loud and clear when you speak it's pretty fun haha.

I got called as District leader this week so my new name is ein Fuhrer which is leader and it's also what everybody called Hitler haha. Now the language is starting to get really tough German has all these weird rules for things that make no sense in english and nothing is a direct translation. I always say something like was Seight ist es which is what time is it? and my teacher would be like no no no Germans say what hour is it or something like that so it's very confusing. we had something called TRC which is where we teach members who can speak German we taught this  returned missionary and she talked so fast it was so hard to understand a word she said. And that's how German talk so that's gonna take some time to get used to that.

I just want to share one of the Devotionals that someone spoke cause it was one of the best talks I've heard. The guy that spoke was Bishop Davies he was actually born in bountiful, Utah!! Anyways he talked about it's just to compare things in like which is so true! But what I really like is he talked about how he chose to go on a mission. He said he was praying one day to go and he had a dream that night, in the dream he was driving down Beck Street when he saw a couple over on the side of the rode he stopped to help them. He remembered what they look like he remember hearing the holy ghost say in his dream if you will listen to what this couple has to say you will be blessed your entire life because of it. He woke up after that. Then he decided to turn his papers in he got called to the Paraguay Argentina mission. As he was stepping off the plane he saw the couple in his dreams greeting him to start his mission. That couple turned out to be his mission president and he decided from that point he would obey everything they would tell him to do and he did.

 He also talked about how he was in charge of picking out land for temples to be built on and he talked about how it's a miracle how Temples are built especially the canadian one right after 9/11. It made me think about President Utchdorfs talked during the Ogden temple redidication when he talked about the Germany Freiburg temple being built and how that was a miracle it was built because they built it before the Berlin Wall came down. Anyways I thought I would just share the main parts of his talk. I love it hear and love hearing from everybody hope everything is going well.
Elder Spangenberg

Friday, November 7, 2014

2nd Week at the MTC!

Hello Family and Friends,

Well the second week was a little bit tougher than the first.  It was also a sad week because one of the elders in my district went home so now I am in a tri companionship.  One of my companions is going to the Frankfurt mission and the other will go with me to Berlin.   Two of the Elders in the Germany zone went home so now there are 24 missionaries going to Germany which is relatively small compared to the last group that had about 50.  Half are Elders and half are Sisters.

Anyways this weeks we started studying language a lot more.  For those of you that don't know German, it's very confusing compared to English.  How you say sentences is different depending on how many verbs are in the sentence.  So if I were to say "I know the church is true" in German that would be "Ich Wisse die Kirche Wahr ist" which translates in English to  "I know the church true is" so it's very confusing and hard.  With that said I know for a fact the gift of tongues is true.  I bore my testimony on Fast Sunday in German, without any notes or anything! SO the language is going very well.

We are teaching full lessons in German.  We have 2 investigators who really aren't investigators they are just our teachers disguised as someone else.  But they are pretty hard to teach one of them was supposed to be drunk when we were teaching him so it was very hard, he wouldn't let us in for like 10 minutes. It was good practice because that's likely gonna happen in Germany.  However, we have a real investigator which isn't common.  The last missionaries gave us their investigator who is not LDS.  The only problem is we only know how to say gospel words so our investigator asked us "what do you like to do in your spare time?"  Me and my companions were like..."uh "preach my gospel" in german cause we didn't know what else to say that would make sense, so he was like,"Oh well I guess that's cool"...  So we have got some things to work on!!!

AN interesting fact is that in almost every devotional Germany is mentioned!  We had another devotional Tuesday night and the speaker told a cool story about the holocast and mentioned a man who ended up saving more jews than anyone in the concentration camp by bribing the guards.  The man grew up and always wanted to become a business man, he took a chance at a company not doing so well.  He ended up succeeding greatly from that company and when he left it he had to have 2 dump trucks to carry all the money out because he had so much.  Then the war happened and he saved tons of jews from the creamatoriums.  After the war he said this,"Oh how many more I could have saved.  This car right here could be 2 more people, my coat 1 more, my house many more".  I really liked that story, it taught me to give everything you have and to have no regrets after your mission.

I saw Keaton Ashby a lot.  He will be a great missionary.  His companion seemed really cool as well.  He left this week for Halifax.

My companion and I got to go off campus and take a shuttle and help a missionary get a perscription.  We loved that and joked that the "real world still does exist".

We went last Wednesday to the temple and did a session, it was really cool.  The temple actually has a separate section just for missionaries like missionary clothing and missionary locker rooms.  Laundry went great...all you do is put your laundry in the washer and press whites, colors, or dark colors!!!

My companion was a skateboarder.  He is legit!  He got sponsored to travel to championships across the U.S..  He also owns a helmet making company and sold helmets for like $300.  He's way cool.

I love the alarm clock; I wake up on time every morning!  I am trying to learn 30 german words a day and it has really helped.  My teacher says I am working very hard and he can see me progressing because of it.
Elder Spangenberg

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

First Week a the MTC!

Hello family and friends!

After my parents dropped me off I went and got my German books. They weigh about 10 pounds which is bad news cause I don't have room or weight in my suitcase. Then i went to my classroom and right as I sat down the teacher starts talking German to me and I didn't understand a word he said so I just keep saying nine nine nine haha. My companions name is Elder Gibbs. He is really cool he used to be a skater and he is from Orem Utah so he's not too far from home. We get along really well which is good.

There are 4 Elders in my room the other two are Elder haberkamp and Elder Coombs. We all get along really well. Fun fact for everybody we all can make a voice impersonation. I do bane. Elder Gibbs can do mickey mouse and a British rock star, Elder Coombs does a southern farmer and Elder Haberkamp does gollum and smeagal it's really scary. So yeah as you could have guessed our room is very noisy sometimes haha.

Our second day we had to teach an investigator in German. It was very hard. Me and another sister are the only German speaking missionaries who didn't take German in high school or live there. So I came into the MTC at a disadvantage but I have learned a lot about it in only one week. However everyone thought it was cool that my last name is German we looked up the meaning and proununciation is mean clasp the mountain and it's pronounced shpangenbearg it sounds really cool when you say it like that. I know how to bear my testimony and say my prayer as well. We have taught 4 lessons with that investigator and each one goes better than the last one.

When I arrived here there was actually 80 German speaking missionaries which makes that group the largest foreign speaking language in the mtc. The reason there was so many is because the past missionaries going to Germany had to stay in the MTC an extra week. There wasn't really a reason why they had to stay an extra week which is pretty odd. They were told they needed to stay an extra week and they were to find out the reason why they were told to stay. It was nice to have the older German missionaries around to teach us some things about the MTC, like don't drink the orange juice and studying tips. So we all were good friends by the end of this week.

Sunday is my favorite day in the MTC. In the morning we get interviewed by the branch presidents then it's personal and companion study then off to our meetings. Our sacrament meeting on Sunday was the most spiritual sacrament meeting I have ever been too. For those of you that don't know how sacrament work its that everybody has to prepare a talk each week on a chosen subject in German. The branch president will then pick 1 random Elder and 1 random Sister to say their talk in FULL GERMAN. The new missionaries got the week off which is nice. So anyways he chose two missionaries to give their talks then the older missionaries did a special music number which was a duet of we will bring the word his truth that the sister and elder sang together. It brought everybody in that Sacrament meeting to tears you could just feel the spirit when they sang it was beautiful.

After sacrament we had a fireside which was really good then we all said goodbye to the older missionaries. As we were doing that they said "we didn't know why we were told we had to stay, we were told to find that reason. That reason is you Elders and Sisters". So that was a really sweet and touching moment. Tuesday we had another fireside and the primary general president spoke. She gave a really good talk what I really liked was she talked about a world champion swimmer being interview by someone. They asked him why are you so successful? his answer was I kept on kicking when I didn't want to kick and I kept on stroking when I didn't want to stroke I really liked when she said that cause that definately applies to a mission especially Germany.

So anyways life here is great I love it. The food is amazing I haven't gained any weight which is weird cause I eat a ton. The language is also going really well, we have another lesson tonight with our investigator in German so hopefully that goes well. If any of you have any extra ties I would love them because there is a huge tie exchange that happens on Sunday night. I'd love to hear from you all. Just send me a letter or email.
Diese ist meine mitarbeiter (this is my companion)

Elder Spangenberg

Saturday, October 25, 2014

First Day at the MTC!

Dear Family,

Well I survived my first day in the MTC!  My companion's name is Elder Gibbs.  He's from Orem, UT.  He's really cool and we get along really well.

I don't even know where to start it all happened in a blur!!  After you guys dropped me off I went and got my tag, it felt really cool to actually wear one of them.  After that I went to my German class.  Well lucky me, everybody in my district knows German so we move really quick.  Yay! (I'm being sarcastic).  So anyways the teacher literally only speaks German so he just says things to me in German and everyone is like "Gut" which is "good "and I just sit there and say "Nine! nine!" Which means, "No I don't understand".

I also saw Keaton today! Me and my companion ate dinner with them.  Let me just say dinner was amazing! I had unlimited steak, soup, lasagna, and pasta.  Plus they have 2% chocolate milk.  It's a dream come true!  So I'm probably gonna gain some weight.

Finally we had a meeting and then we got to talk with 3 investigators in a sort of role play thing.  The district leaders said tomorrow we teach a lesson in German, oh boy, I can't wait! (Again sarcastic) All the other kids either lived in Germany or took it during high school.  But everyone thinks that my name is awesome so that's cool.

Anyways, I love it here don't worry about me I'm fine.  Pday here is also Wednesday so expect emails then, not Monday.  Well I gotta go to bed I have a big day tomorrow.  I love you guys!!

Elder Spangenberg
P.S. They know I play piano, yippee! And our name is pronounced  "Shpangenbeorg", it means clasp the mountain.