Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Finally 19!!

This week was my 19th birthday!!  Pday was spent buying a new suitcase, since my big one had the handle break off.  Tuesday was a member day.  We had an eating appointment with the members that were the mission president in the Alpine Mission.  Actually before that, our neighbor got really mad at us because our washing machine was running a little bit late the night before.  He was like really mad.  I just opened the door and there was a German man yelling at us!  Everything is okay now though, he thinks our washing machine is broken, but there's not really anything we can do about it because the person who takes care of that stuff is out of town.  A member called us during the day and we helped him paint.  It was actually fun, back at home I painted for my job and it reminded me of it.

Wednesday, we had district meeting.  Then we had another member appointment.  This time we met with  the Persian Member who went to America for 3 weeks.  He told us all about America, he went to Seattle and it sounded like he had a great time.

Thursday, was my birthday!  Family and Friends, Thanks for all the emails!   Mom and Dad, the package was really great!  We went  out to lunch for Chinese for my birthday and them we got ice cream.   Then we ripped out floorboard from the member's apartment that we painted at.  It was hard work, but I'm glad we were able to help him!

Friday, we had a fallen out appointment with a new investigator.  Then we had a member appointment with the family that we do emails at.  They are such a nice family.  Then we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders.  I was with Elder Blake and we came back to Delingsdorf for the next couple of days.  The exchange with him was great and he helped me a lot with my teaching.  We also went by a couple of contacts and got some appointments set up.   We set a goal to find new investigators.  Well it started to rain and we decided to stay in the rain and maybe we would meet someone that was prepared for us.  Sure enough, within the next couple of minutes we met 3 people who were interested in meeting with us this week!  Then we went back to Kiel to exchange back. On the way back there was problems with our train so we ended up being home way late.   There is always some problem whenever we go to Kiel.

Sunday, none of our investigators showed up for church.  The Memetovich family isn't making any progress now, we don't know what we are going to do about them.  They are definitely in our prayers.  He won't pray or read, even though he says he will so there is really nothing that we can do.
This week and last week were really hard, but we finally saw the rewards from working hard.  Right before Elder Blake and I found those 3 investigators, we met this one guy who was very mean.  He said something like, "Why are you here? You are not helping anyone; the world would be better off without you."  That was very discouraging, but we kept on going and we found the rewards from it.

The language is actually going good.  Me and my companion are only speaking German with each other for this week.  I have found the only way to improve is to listen to natives and speak it.

 I hope you all have a great week!  This week we have transfer calls.  I feel that I am leaving, but  I am ready for whatever happens!
Elder Spangenberg

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Slap in the face for a Yankee!

This week was a pretty normal week.  On Monday, we went to Lubeck for a baptismal interview for one of the sister's investigators. He was so nice, after the interview he drove us home from Lubeck.  It was like a 30 minute drive and we kept saying he could drop us off at the train station, but he was like, "Nope I'm dropping you off at your front door, nowhere else."  It was really awesome to meet him and he is going to be an awesome member!

Tuesday was interesting.  We went street contacting for most of the day.  Well in one city, we talked to this one guy.  At first he just shrugged us off, then he turned back and said, "What are you doing here?"  I said, "We are missionaries for our church."  He was like,"I'm Muslim, you can't talk with me." (Lots of Muslims say that they think that because they are Muslim we can't talk to them)  His German wasn't really that good, so my companion asked him where he was from.  Well he slapped my companion right in the face!  It was probably the hardest slap I have ever heard, his face was red for several hours.  We don't know why he did it, we think it was because he couldn't understand what we were saying to him.  It's interesting because last week, we were in that exact same area and some German guy pointed to us on the train platform and said, "Yankees you're not welcome here!"  So we probably are not going back to that area for a little bit.  My companion is fine, I thought his face would bruise after, but it didn't.

Wednesday, we were again in Lubeck for a District Meeting.  After District Meeting, we went on exchanges with the Lubeck Elders.  I went with Elder Jensen, he is fresh from Utah!  I felt very privileged to be the first person to go on exchanges with him.  He is super cool.  We went by this one street, and two of the houses had hosted exchange students from Utah and because of that, nearly all the houses knew about Mormons!  We called that street "Miracle Street".  We had some good conversations with them but sadly, none had interest in the church.  They said they probably would have about 10 years ago! 

Thursday, we were still on exchanges and we had a member appointment.  We had this food that is common in Hamburg, it's called,"Labskaus Eintopf".  It was really good, I ate so much food there.  They kept asking if I wanted more and usually I always say," yes" unless I really can't eat it, so I ate a lot of food.haha  After that they gave us a referral!  Then he showed us his book from when he was in Utah.  They are a really cool family and they love the missionaries, I have been there about 4 times, maybe even more than that.   We exchanged back, Thursday evening, and also had an appointment with the Memetovich family.  It was so hard!  They have a daughter who is 4 and she just couldn't sit still.  Sadly, they aren't going to be baptized this week.  We  realized  there is a lot his wife doesn't understand because of the translation.  But we are working hard with them.  I gave his wife a blessing because she wasn't feeling well.

Friday, we went by this referral.  It took forever to get to his house and turns out he wasn't home, so that was depressing.  But we had a less active lesson with a member.  It was a good lesson and she was really nice, but wow that lady can talk! Boy can she Quatsch! That's a German word, it pretty much means talk nonsense.  But one good part, we did talk about Christ during the appointment and it was really good.  

Saturday, we helped with a move in the morning.  I thought they had a small apartment, well it turns out they have a big apartment with a lot of stuff in it!  We just kept taking stuff out of their apartment load, after load.  We had to leave early because a Ward Mission Leader wanted us to go with him to visit an old investigator and a member.  So we went with him.  Well, the plan was to be with him less than an hour, and it turned out we were there for two and a half hours  They talked about everything from immigration to bad hospitals to Nazis.  It was weird.  (Mom's note: I asked Grant how they feel about the Nazis.  This was his response:  They said when they were in American, they got made fun of because they were German and people did the hail Hitler sign at them.  They hate the Nazis.  It's really sad that some people have totally the wrong view of Germans, they aren't at all like Hitler or the Nazis) 

After that we went to the baptism for the Lubeck Sister's Investigator.  We were debating the whole time about going and we went.  It turned out to be really cool!  I met some members who were baptized from a missionary in my Mueller Park Stake in Bountiful, Utah!  I even talked to this missionary right before I left on my mission, it was so cool!  We also got to meet the Lubeck Ward.  They all welcomed us, even though we were 15 minutes late because of train times.  There is only 1 train an hour to Lubeck.  We felt really welcomed from the ward even though we were late.  They have such a nice ward and wow their members love Lubeck!  I have never met more people that love the city they live in more.  Lubeck is really beautiful though.

Sunday, we had church and the Memetovich family came.  We tried to teach them during our investigator class but their daughter again wouldn't be quiet, it was really frustrating.  After that we went home for lunch because we had no members invite us over for dinner, which is weird.  We usually have 3 eating appointments every week, but this week no one signed up.  But that was no problem, we had a good lunch at home and then went out and visited the referral we got on Friday.

 This time he was home, he let us in his house and he is really cool.  He had a lot of wood things like the Christmas Pyramids.  Well, he doesn't really have much interest in the church but he loves Barack Obama!  It was very interesting, he totally admires everything about him and everything he does!  He also told us about his grandpa in WWII.  He was a Nazi and was captured and put in a prisoner of war camp for 2 years in France.  Well the camp was under the U.S. direction.  He made friends with the U.S. guards and helped the guards communicate with the other prisoners.  Then he came home and their family was in a financial crisis.  One of the American soldiers sent them a package full of food and they were so grateful for it.  It was a really cool story, he tried to speak English with us.  He was in his 80s.  He made me really want to go to an area called Schwarzenberg in our mission.  That is where all those Christmas decoration come from. 

During my scripture study this week, I have learned a lot about Nephi.  Nephi was willing to do whatever the Lord asked him to do, no matter what it was.  Adam was the same, when Adam was asked why he was offering sacrifices, he said, "I know not except the Lord commanded me to."  Let us all be obedient to all of the commandments even if they don't make sense to us because we know that because we are obedient we will be blessed.  As a missionary, sometimes it is hard because some of the rules don't make a lot of sense and it would be easier to not obey them.  But obedience brings blessings and exact obedience brings miracles.

I hope everyone has a great pioneer week.  Never forget what the pioneers went through.
Elder Spangenberg  
This is the Becker Family.  Elder Harris from the Mueller Park Stake in Bountiful, Utah baptized him!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Zone Conference with a New Mission President!

Elder Westbury and Elder Spangenberg
Hello Everyone!
This week  we met our new Mission President!  The Zone Conference was in German, before with President Kosak, it was in English.  President Fingerle also brought his kids to the Zone Conference as well.  He has 5 kids. His daughter is in Salt lake City at Temple Square serving a mission right now.  His 10 year old daughter, 16 year old daughter, and his son who served a mission to England two years ago, were with us.
We are now focusing on the Temple, our new mission motto is: Faithfully we baptize, focused on the blessing of the temple.  Now we encourage our investigators to have two dates; one for them to be baptized and the other date for them to take a relative that has passed on, to the temple.  Many Germans do not know their family history and many of their grandparents are not living.
He also spoke a lot about inviting people to come to church to all of the events.  His son spoke about his mission.  I really like his son.
This week went by so fast.  One of the days we had planned to go dooring for about 2 hours in the evening.  We weren't  having much success until we knocked on one door and we said we are the Mormons.  He said, "Oh come in!"  It turns out he went to Utah a year ago and went through Zions  and also went through the St. George Temple Visitors Center.  He had a book of Mormon and papers about genealogy.  We taught him the 1st lesson.  We invited him to come to our ward party this week.  Sadly, he didn't show up, but we have his address so we will definitely be going back this week.
We only met with our investigators on baptismal date once this week because they were pretty sick.  All of it depends on whether he will read the Book of Mormon to his wife and if she prays about it.  She can't read, so her husband has to read to her.  In the past they haven't, but we have faith that this time they will read together.
One of our investigators wanted to give something to one of our members.  So she decided that she would call the missionaries and we would deliver it.  Well, there was a little bit of confusion involved and we ended up delivering it to the wrong member's house. It was a bag of magazines and still has not been found!  We are planning to bake her cookies and hopefully things will be well between us.

Saturday we had our ward party.  Only like 50 ward members showed up total, which is not that great.  But one of our investigators came.  He made lots of friends in the ward as well.  The only problem is we aren't sure if we can keep teaching them because of his family being Muslim.  But we will find out this week.
We also received a very promising referral this week. She was an exchange student in the U.S. and she learned about the church there.  Also you could say I'm getting better at soccer cause I scored a goal!
I got the birthday package, thanks!  I haven't opened it yet, but I can't make any promises since there is beef jerky in the box haha!
(Mom asks what's the best thing on a mission  and what do you miss about home)  The best thing about a mission is seeing the change that people make and also the change within yourself.  I do miss sports at home!
I hope you all have an amazing week. Remember that is isn't just the missionaries job to share the gospel, it is every member's job.  Our mission President talked about that at Zone Conference as well.
Love you!
Elder Spangenberg

Zone Conference

Hamburg-Neumunster Zone Conference with new Mission President.

Elder Spangenberg is on the back row, directly behind the Mission President on the front row.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pday at Hamburg Rathaus!

Hamburg Rathaus- the city or town hall.  After the Great Fire of 1842 destroyed the old city hall, this building replaced it with construction from 1886 to 1897.  Built during a period of wealth and prosperity in which the Kingdom of Prussia defeated France in the Franco-German War. It cost 11 million German Gold Marks to build.  There are 647 rooms. It still houses its original governmental functions with the office of the first mayor of Hamburg and the meeting rooms for Hamburg's parliment and senate.

The Courtyard has the Hygieia Fountain.  Hygieia is the Goddess of Health in Greek Mythology and the surrounding figures represent the power and pureness of water.  It was built in rememberance of the Cholera epidemic in 1892.
Map of the fire in Hamburg, the red is where it was destroyed.

They gave these chairs normally for wedding gifts back then. It is really beautiful!

Parliment Floor
Look at the right corner, that is the original paint.

No bombs during WWII for this.  One of the bombs landed just outside of it.  Luckily it didn't explode, this is the detonator of it! 


Statue from South America because at this time, Hamburg was the only state in Europe to accept South American succession.

Look closely, notice how there is a blank space under the Catholics arm.  Well the original painting had a person bowing to him.  They painted over it because the only thing a Hamburg citizen bows to is God.  I thought that was so cool!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Baptism Date!!!

We met one of our new investigators who is really cool, unfortunately we probably won't be able to teach him anymore because his family is Muslim and they are hostile towards Christians. He is really nice.
 We did exchanges this week with the Zone Leaders, and me and Elder Morton were together for a day,just like old times!He told me about Herr Merankovich or now Brother Merankovich.  He said that 8 people related to him he thinks will be baptized and that 3 of his family members are on baptismal date!We picked up just where we left off and we found 2 new investigators just like old times.  
Two of our investigators are now on baptismal date.  We were wondering what we could teach them before our appointment, because we have already taught them all of the lessons.  We decided they needed a goal or a vision so we had the feeling to talk about baptism.  We have talked about it a lot in the past, but he always shuts down the idea because of them being uncertain if they are going to stay here in Germany.We committed Memet and his wife to be baptised on the 25th of July!
 Our zone now has 8 baptismal dates I believe. That's crazy!

We had a couple of member appointments this week.  One of them was at a Chinese Buffet again, that place is kind of getting old, haha.  But the member was really nice and we had to go in our Pday clothes, because we helped a member move a washer, dryer, and fridge around.This week was also so hot, oh my goodness, it got up to 37 Celsius. Which is like 102 I think. (Mom's Note: 98.6 Fahrenheit)
This week we have Zone Conference,and I am really excited to meet President Fingerle,he seems really awesome.  It was amazing to hear Elder Morton tell about how the gospel of Jesus Christ changed Herr Merankoviche's life. I have seen the gospel change my life and other people around me.  Now it is our job as members to help foster the change in other peoples lives!

I love you all and hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!  We had a good fourth.  I wore my American tie and socks!

Elder Spangenberg

 Goofy District Picture
Elder Spangenberg with Elder Morton

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Goodbye and Welcome of Mission Presidents

 These pictures and words taken from the last post of the German Berlin Mission Blog. 2012-2015

Goodbye Germany Berlin Mission-We Love You!
 The Best Three Years!
President and Sister Kosak
 President Kosak says,"We're home already-100 km South of Berlin.
We left the office and had tears in the car.
  Needed to stop since we couldn't see anything anymore.
  The fight  for Christ continues.  Love you forever!"

Welcome President and Sister Fingerle