Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Two Months in Germany!

This is Elder Fowler and Elder Spangenberg  at the Bukowskis after eating with them on Sunday. Editor's note: Notice the "House Slippers".  Everyone in Germany takes off their shoes when they go inside a house and puts on  "slippers" provided by the family.

This was a good week!  Monday, we went to 2 World Famous Museums.  The Neues Museum and the Pergamon Museum.  The Neues Museum was so big.  It had over 6000 artifacts most of them were Egyptian.  Basically in the 1800's German people went and dug up all of these artifacts in Egypt and brought them to Germany.  And they can't go back because they had them before World War II.  So yeah, it's pretty awesome.  We spent 2 and a half hours there not even looking at everything.  There are 4 floors and each has over 1000 artifacts.   The best thing they have is the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti bust.  It is 3,300 years old and was made in 1300 BC!

The Pergamon Museum was awesome too.  The Pergamon Museum is mostly stolen loot that the Nazis took.  The most famous thing there is the Pergamon Altar which was the entrance to the temple.  However, that is being refurbished so we didn't get to see that.  But there was a lot of cool stuff there as well.  Another famous thing there is the Gates to Babylon.  They are huge!  Yes, that Babylon is the same Babylon mentioned in the scriptures.  After seeing both of those museums, we were both exhausted and went back and did our studies.

We went on 2 exchanges this week.  I went to Glienicke for a day and was with Elder Frost.  We only had 8 hours, but we still got some work done and taught some people.  Then we went on an exchange with the zone leaders.  I love exchanges with the zone leaders, I always learn so much.  I got to go to Tiergaren; which is the center of Berlin, where all the tourists are.  I love staying there in the city.  I got paired with Elder Bankhead, who is from St. Louis.  He is a really good missionary.  Our day was great!  First we got to go to a class.  This class was for teachers who are teaching their students about American history.  Part of American History is the Mormons.  So the guy teaching the class asks the missionaries to come and talk about Mormons.  This only happens once every 4 months or so.  We went to the class and we just let them ask questions.  Of course, they were about polygamy and the Law of Chastity and abortion and stuff like that.  It was very good though, they said they learned so much about it and that they see it is a respectful religion.  Elder Bankhead said it is one of the best things we can do, because now they will say the same thing about Mormons to their students,"A good respectable religion with good normal people".

Then we went to the best doner place in Berlin and wow that doner was amazing!  It was pretty cheap as well.  American food is expensive here like McDonalds and KFC, but German food isn't.  So after we ate that delicious doner, we went district finding.  We found 2 new investigators and 1 of them I found speaking in German!  It was so great, I felt so proud of myself; that was the first person I've found on the street like that.   After that exchange I just felt so confident and was ready to talk to everyone on the street and find a million investigators!

We did teach Br. G and Br. A this week.  I was on my exchange and wasn't there for the lesson with Br. A, the architect. My companion said it was a good lesson even though he likes to talk a lot.  Then when we taught Br. G., we brought a member with us.  The member gave him a blessing.  It was a good lesson and the spirit was definitely there and I'm sure he could feel it. This week will decide whether we continue to have contact with Br. G..   President Kosak has told us, he is wasting our time and he has set over 45 baptismal dates and all of them have fallen through!  So yeah, this week  it's either we have a set date that we know is going to work for baptism or otherwise, it's tshuss, which means we don't continue to meet with him because he isn't making any progress.

Sunday, church was good.  I understood most of it.  Br. G came, and he had problems with what the teacher taught.  He literally has a problem with very single part of church doctrine.  Like he thinks Joseph Smith didn't translate the Book of Mormon.  He thinks tithing is giving your time and other stuff like that.  So yeah, he has a lot of work to do.  

After church, we went to the Bukowski family for lunch.  They are an older couple.  Brother Bukowski comes to church but his wife can't because of health reasons.  So his wife usually stays home and cooks.  We sat down and she just kept bringing out plate after plate of food.  Really good food too.  We had knodel and rotcol, which is my favorite thing.  Knodel is like a potato ball with wheat and sometimes they are stuffed.  That's a complete meal right there.  But she kept bringing out more food, there was 12 things on the table!  It was great and a perfect meal for fast Sunday.  After that we left and went back to the church.

We both learned so much on exchanges, we decided that we needed to find some investigators in our area.  So we went finding.  We talked to everyone and some had interest, and said they would check out mormon.org..  Then 2 turkish guys started walking down the street.  German is full of turkish people.  It was my companions turn to talk, but he was like, oh no they don't look like they would be interested and kept walking.  I thought differently, I stopped them and talked to them, again in German about the Book of Mormon.  One of them had interest and we talked for a while and long story short, we now have a new investigator that we are going by this week.  That is the first person we have found in 2 weeks!  That's also the only person that got found in the whole district.  Now our goal this week is to be finding machines.  So find 1 new person everyday which is totally do able.  Me and my companion hope that if we start finding new people then that will get the other missionaries in the district finding people also.

I'm still loving it here and my German is getting a lot better.  I can understand things and speak.  My main problem is my American accent, haha but that will get better after speaking German all the time.  Me and my companion are now trying to only speak German with each other.  So soon I will forget how to speak English, just joking!  Have a wonderful week!

Elder Spangenberg
Market Gate in Pergamon 
Lions in Babylon
Panarama of Ishtar Gate

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