Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Apples Galore!

We had a pretty good week.  Taught a lot of lessons and found some new people.  The work is really moving forward in this area!  We had an amazing lesson with the Schmidts, and I gave her a priesthood blessing. The spirit was so strong especially when she went into the other room and grabbed her last pack of cigarettes and gave them to me.   I got some photos of me with the cigarettes before I threw them away, maybe next week I will send them.  Sadly she smoked the next day and is still smoking. Andre is doing really good though.  He is able to walk a little bit which is a miracle in itself because he is in a wheelchair.  We are really working with them, their baptism is coming up soon but Elder Larsen and I still believe that they can be ready by then and so do they.  It has been amazing to teach them, my teaching skills have totally improved.

We are teaching another couple that we found.  They were actually taught by the missionaries in the city where they used to live.  They both have lots of interest even though they are both very active in their Evangelisch church.

  Had another lesson with Herr Ender.  Wow that man has sooo many apples.  He said he saw this tree by no where and picked and fulled his car with 30kg of them.  They do taste really good.  A lot of other people are giving us apples too, so don't worry I won't be visiting the doctor anytime soon!

Herr Ender
Herr Ender's Christmas decorations

Baked Apples and Apple Crisp that Herr Ender made for us!
 We went to a play in Hannover this week, Noah's Ark in a German way!  One of the guys in there     was so funny and totally German.  Germans have foldable meter sticks and everybody has one and every store sells them.  Literally they sell them even at sports stores with the sport logo on them.  This guy had one in his work overalls, which is also German.  They have overalls in all different colors with pockets in them and every German wears them when they work on the house or in the yard.  Anyway, this guy wore this as his costume and it was so funny because it was totally German.

A member came over and helped us with our shower so now the bathroom isn't flooded every time we shower.

I don't know if you heard about what happened in Hannover, but there were 5 bombs planned in Hannover the day we were there for district meeting.  The next soccer games was in Hannover and 3 people had bombs.  They were going to bomb the stadium, the bus station , and a train.  Well, they found the person on the train and cancelled the game so I'm still safe.  It was scary walking around Hannover right after they found out about the bombs, there were police all over the train station. Don't worry about me though but yeah we are on the lookout.  But life is back to normal in Hannover, they are going to reschedule the game but nobody knows when yet.

Today, I read Alma 42 and never have a I read a chapter that has impacted my life more than what I read today.  I learned so much when I read it and felt the spirit so strong because it was exactly what I needed to hear and answered questions that I had during the week.  Reading that chapter also enhanced my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I invite you to read that chapter.

Zone Conference is this week on Thanksgiving so that will be fun.. The Gills and us are going to have a nice Thanksgiving meal the day after though!  They don't really have big turkeys like they
do in America, but I'm sure it will be a great feast.  Happy Thanksgiving!  I am thankful for the opportunity to be on a mission, for a loving family, for the Gospel, for good friends, good health, safe country, freedom, and knowledge.
Elder Spangenberg

 The Gills making pancakes

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Surprise Visit From Elder Ballard

 This picture was stolen from Sister Brim's Blog!

Wow this week was full of lots of things!  Monday we had Pday in Hannover.  It was great to be with the other Elders in Hannover. 
 Tuesday, I went on an exchange with Elder Horrocks.  We had a great exchange and found 2 new investigators and taught a really good lesson with the Schmidts.  They both have been smoke free for about 2 days now!  They said their reason is that they really want to be baptised. It has been so fun to teach them, especially his wife.  We also taught our other investigator, Herr Ender.  He made us the best apple cake and baked apples.  It was sooo good!  I've never had it before and it tasted wonderful. Well he likes to talk a lot and that makes it a 2 hour lesson.  That's not good, but we are working on it.  Anyway we watched the restoration and it went really well, except Elder Horrocks fell asleep on the couch during the movie, it was really funny.  But Herr Ender is seriously the nicest German man I have ever met.  Yeah, some of them are really harsh and say mean things, but others like Herr Ender are just nice people.

Wednesday, we had a really spiritual District Meeting.  You leave those meetings just feeling so pumped!  We also met with our less active GML (ward mission leader).  Yeah he doesn't come to church which makes it really hard.  But hey all of us are working on something.  We committed him to come to church this week.......and he didn't come.  Well some people have a hard time keeping commitments and that's one of the saddest things as a missionary.  Moving on. 

Thursday, I had to go extend my Visa and that cost 100 Euros, so now I'm broke.  We met with one of our new investigators and we also taught his wife.  They were taught from the missionaries in Marburg.  He is a professor of Religion for the University and he is interested in what we believe.  We have an appointment with them again this week.  They are also really nice people.  They gave us lots of chocolate...I don't know if I have said this, but I love German Chocolate!

Friday was the pits for missionary work.  We had scheduled 3 appointments and every single one of them fell out!  The only good excuse was Brother Schmidt, he has something that makes it hard for him to move.  He had to get a wheel chair.  We had to do weekly planning instead...I do not like that.  It's pretty much just sitting in your apartment for 2 hours, which isn't fun.  But we had a conference call while doing it with President Fingerle and he told us he wanted all the missionaries in Berlin on Sunday, as Elder Kearon, President of LDS Europe Presidency and the Apostle Elder Ballard was going to be visiting our mission!  So we all canceled our plans including our only eating appointment this transfer:( to go to Berlin!  But it was totally worth it!!  

Saturday, we had the whole day planned for finding and we used our time well and found 3 new investigators.  
Sunday was the big day this week!  We had our Primary program this week in church.  There is only 1 primary kid, so Elder Larsen sang and so did the Primary Leader while I played the piano.  I practiced so hard during the week and then the Primary Leader called me up Saturday night and said they were changing some of the songs.  I was really mad at the time, but it turned out pretty well.
Then it was off to Berlin!  The Gills drove us and it took a long time about 4 hours. But it was fun,the Gills are so great, they really help us out with everything.  Then we had the meeting with Elder Ballard and Elder Kearon and Elder Christensen from the Presiding Quorum of the Seventy.  Wow that was amazing.  The others talked for only about 5 to 10 minutes cause Elder Ballard was the main speaker.  Yes, they talked about the terrorist attacks on Paris and they said all the missionaries were safe because they were obedient and where they were supposed to be.  Elder Ballard focused on being better teachers and talking with 10 people a day and that doesn't include during finding, he means at the grocery store or where ever.  He is also a really funny man. He was popping jokes through out the whole meeting.  I learned so much in that meeting and we also got to shake his hand and all of the others.  It was really a privilege to be there with him. 

That's my week!  In total we found 7 new investigators!  Our teaching pool is a lot bigger than when I came here.  It's really cool to see the area progress and have success.  I am dead tired because we had a sleepover in Hannover with the other Elders and of course we didn't get any sleep.  We did just see on the train screens that IS is planning attacks all throughout Europe so that was scary to see, but I know that the Lord will protect us and he has everything under control  It was really scary to hear about what happened but it's also calming to know that God has a plan for each of us and that no matter what happens, he is in control and Christ is always with us.  I want to share a scripture that Elder Kearon talked about. 
 Moroni 1:2-3  For behold their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ.  And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; Wherefore, I wander whither soever I can for the safety of mine own life.

I just love this scripture and the power behind it.  Moroni was just like Abinadi, willing to die rather than deny what he knew was true.  That testimony is so powerful and I hope that when faced with a tough decision in life we will also not deny the Christ just like Moroni and other fearless Prophets.

I need to talk to President before I try to find those addresses in Hannover, be patient it will happen..  
Elder Spangenberg   
 This cake is called "Vitamins Cake"

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Surprise Phone Call!

 Sunday evening, Grant's Parents, received a surprise phone call from New Hampshire.  This woman said she had run into Elder Spangenberg's Blog by accident and was related to us and had some pictures we would want.  She also said that when her friend had talked about having the Gospel taken to family in Hannover, she remembered that her distant cousin (Elder Spangenberg) was in Hannover.     

 Heavenly Father has his hand in missions!   There are 9 zones in the Germany Berlin Mission.   What are the chances that Elder Spangenberg is in the HANNOVER ZONE!!!!  The same area his Great Grandparents met and joined the church in.

 The next two pictures show his family circled.  In the last photo, the woman circled in orange has family still in Hannover.  This woman knew Elder Spangenberg's great grand parents well.  The two addresses he has been asked to find are less than an hour away from him.

Enjoy these treasures from Germany a LONG time ago!  Special thanks to Tammy Gribble for bothering to find our phone number and sending us these incredible photos!  She is a granddaughter of Elly and Johann Spangenberg. 

LDS Sunday School at Hannover Branch in Germany 1921
The middle of the back row, circled in blue are Elder Spangenberg's Great Grandparents: 
Elly Gragert and Johann Spangenberg.   They immigrated to the U.S. in 1930.

LDS Hannover Branch in Germany 1918.
Elder Spangenberg's Great Grandmother, Elly Gragert is circled in red.  Her family is not in the picture, they disowned her after she joined the church.

In this same picture, circled in orange is Elise Scrader.  It is this women's family that Elder Spangenberg has been asked to go visit.  She immigrated to the U.S. in 1921.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Stake Conference

I am crunched on time this week cause the wifi at our church is broken.  But this week was really awesome.  Our investigators are all doing really good.  Andre and Sabrina are working on stopping smoking.  We have faith that they will be baptized and we will be fasting for them this week.

 We also found a lady from Eritrea who speaks a language that I have never heard of before called Tigrinya.  So we will be working with her and our other investigators.

Next week I play for the Primary Program and there are 3 kids in it.! Two of them are from another area. We are working really hard and our success is showing from it!  We had stake conference this week and it was packed.  The Stake President gave a really good talk about hope.  Have a great week!

Elder Spangenberg

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

1 Year from Yesterday!

 Wow, I now have less than a year till my release date, that is so crazy!  Time flies by when you are working hard and having fun!  Not gonna lie, this week was awesome.  Elder Larsen and I did some hard work, but it all payed off in the end.
The big news is that Andre and Sabrina Schmidt are both on baptismal date for December 12th!  They are both really excited.  Andre reads church manuals and the scriptures all day and he loves the Gospel.  The only thing that is keeping them back is smoking, so if you could please pray that they will be able to quit smoking, that would really help.   Like I said before, they used to go through a 250 pack of cigarettes in 2 days, but they are both making really good progress.  They both bought an e cig and that's a start because the e cig has no nicotine in it, so it isn't addictive. Now that nicotine isn't a problem, we just need to ween them off the e cig.

We had an awesome experience with them this week.  So the lesson before this one we asked Sabrina if she would pray for the next lesson and she said she would.  So we followed up on our commitment and we asked her to pray after we talked about the plan of salvation, which went great by the way.  Anyway, she was reluctant to pray and scared but she ended up saying a very sincere heart felt prayer.  Here comes the cool part...after she ended she said, Uh, oh it felt warm.  Andre said, "That's totally the Holy Ghost!"  It was just so cool!  Elder Larsen and I  have no doubt that they will both be baptized.  Andre knows everything about the Gospel, we are mainly teaching Sabrina.

We also found 4 new investigators this week!  So we are continuing to build our teaching pool.  On a sad note, one of our investigators is moving to Oldenburg.  She is a teenage girl from Kosovo.  We gave her a Book of Mormon in English and she read part of it and she likes it and wants to learn more.  So we gave her the number for the Oldenburg Elders.  Hopefully, she continues to investigate the church.

This week we had a family search activity and it turned out to be really good.  We had 5 investigators there to the activity!  The ward was so impressed!  Herr Ender came and he had a great time, he wants to start up an indexing group. We told him we would be glad to.  We were not able to meet with him this week, but we are meeting with him on Tuesday and we look forward to then.  But the activity so awesome!  I learned some things about family search too.  I even found a new ancestor that needs work done.  A lot of the members here are really impressed with the work that Elder Larsen and I are doing.  Some have said that they have never seen so much success or hard work from missionaries in this area.  So that was good to hear because we worked really hard telling everyone about this activity!  Just goes to show that hard work does pay off!

Well as a result of the new investigators that we found and continuing ones, we have an appointment every day, which is nice because the worst thing as a missionary is to look through your planner and see that you don't have an appointment for that day, so you just do finding the whole time, which is not fun.  I haven't had that feeling for a while and boy does it feel nice!

I hope everyone has a good week!  Keep reading your scriptures and praying!
Elder Spangenberg    
Our apartment
These are drying bars that we do pull ups on! 

We got a lot of walnuts from a member and it took forever to crack them.  We didn't have a nut cracker so we just used pots! And now we have so many walnuts we are going to be eating them till the end of our mission!
Cool statue of a lion in Neustadt!

Fall in Germany!

District Photo!