Thursday, December 31, 2015

Letter from Elder and Sister Gill

This email was sent to Grant's parents from the Senior Missionary Couple that live in Nienburg, Germany.  

Dear Brother and Sister Spangenberg,

Thank you for your wonderful gift and Christmas Card.  It was so nice that you would take the time to write us and let us know that you appreciated what we could do for your wonderful son.

 Elder Spangenberg never let grass grow under his feet.  He and Elder Larson were two of the best missionaries that we have seen since we have been here.  When they took those two young men out of our little branch it seemed as though the walls came crashing down.  The energy, the enthusiasm, the faith, the talents and everything else we can think of left over night.  We found ourselves trying to fill in where they left off, and you can believe us when we tell you,"That ain't easy."  We struggle at times to make it appear that the work is going forward and to some extent it is, but Elder Spangenberg and Elder Larsen are in our hearts forever.

 We never let them go hungry.  Sister Gill is a good cook, just ask either of the two young men.  She loved sharing what food we had at any hour of the day or night. 

 Thank you for preparing such a wonderful young man to serve in an area that is hard on some days.  The very week he and his companion were transferred there was a baptism in our branch as a direct result of their proselyting.  Elder Spangenberg received permission to return and perform the baptism.  We are still planning on another baptism the first part of the new year, again as a result of Elder Spangenberg and Elder Larsen's teaching.

 So thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your wonderful thought and gesture on our behalf.

Elder and Sister Gill
Nienburg (Weser) Germany

Monday, December 28, 2015

Last Christmas in Germany!

Hello to Everybody! It was really good to see my family on Christmas!  This week was my 2nd and last Christmas as a missionary in Germany.  We had a lot of fun with the members and had some wonderful food.  Sorry, but the Germans totally have the Americans beat when it comes to Christmas!  They have 2 days of Christmas (the 25th and 26th) and the 24th is also another holiday as well called Heilige Abend.   It's cool how on the 24th they gather together and sing songs and the last one is always "Silent Night". It totally didn't feel like Christmas though because it was 17 degrees celcius here.  My family showed me the snow in Bountiful with the Skype camera.  Now that's the Christmas I know!

Well the holidays petty much kill missionary work because we are discouraged from going door to door on those days and no one is out on the streets either.  But hey, our apartment is looking somewhat decent because I spent most of the week cleaning it.

The church here is at 9:30a.m., but that's normal in Germany.  We have Sacrament meeting last as well, just like in Spandau(my first area).
I just got an email from the Mission telling me I can choose September 30 or November 11 as my release date. I want to think  about it before I decide.

 I am super pumped for the new year to start!  This will be my last year on a mission so I'm going to make it big!  Here is a good New Years Resolution for you all.  I invite you all to come nearer to Christ during the new year.  However that is, make a goal and do it.  That is mainly what we have been talking with the members about because we should really come nearer to him everyday and not just twice a year.

This week we can get back to the grind and start finding some new investigators!  This area needs a lot of work done because right now there isn't really anything or anyone to teach.  But that will change!  Till next year!
Elder Spangenberg

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Market in Hamburg with my companion Elder Halbleib in front.

Every German has one of these, it's a cool little wood nativity set.  You can make it either flat or pop out.  This one is mine, I will be sending it home after Christmas. 

We will be skyping from a member's house.  We have an eating appointment about every day this week.  Our mission President and wife gave us Grilled Cheese Sandwich Makers for Christmas.  Every companionship got one.  It's like a panini grill so it toasts the sandwich.

I got my Christmas package.  Thanks it was perfect!

You asked me what is good about this new area.  Hmm, well the apartment is really big, the ward is really nice.  We play soccer and basketball every week so that's fun too.  But it's still not Nienburg,   But Pinneberg is growing on me.  There is a lot of Youth in the ward and that's cool because I have never had that on my mission.
Love you,
Elder Spangenberg

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pictures from the last day in Nienburg!

 Andre Schmidt with Elder Spangenberg  

Andre's father, wife, daughter and Elder Spangenberg

Saying Goodbye at the Train Station

 Branch President with Elder Spangenbeg

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pinneberg Germany!

My new companion is Elder Halbleib.  He was trained by Elder Gibbs, my MTC companion.  Yes, the Gills are taking over our investigators.

We went back to Nienburg on Friday and Saturday and that was the greatest.  Pictures of the baptism are coming next week.  When I got to the Banhoff right after transfers to meet with the other missionaries my eyes were just full of tears!

  But Pinneberg is cool too.  The apartment is huge, like probably the 2nd biggest one I have seen in the mission.  The only problem is we have little hot water so we each get 5 minute showers and we have to turn the water off during the shower when we apply soap.  The ward is really nice, we have an eating appointment almost every day this week.  My companion is cool.  So yeah, it's good.  Thank goodness lots of people play the piano! haha  I guess it's cool to be in Hamburg, the 2nd biggest city in Germany for Christmas.  The Christmas markets are amazing there. 

We went to Hannover for the referal. (Remember the old photo of the lady that has family in Utah).  The older lady relative has been dead for over 2 years.  And the man wanted nothing to do with us or the lady in America.  He said contact with her would not be of any use.  He was nice about it but yeah, that was sad.  

The following are pictures from Hannover when we went by the referal.  

Cool old church

Organ inside

Elder Larsen had to stop me from taking a swim!

This translates to Everything for the Dog...I thought of Dad.

You can see what the war did to destroyed it.

"Heute" means "today" in English.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas in Hannover!

I thought of Grandma Jean when I saw these birds because she always had birds like these around Christmas.

Christmas Markets....Almost all is wood!

This is downtown Hannover and this enormous Christmas pyramid moves!

A huge church in Hannover called Market Church.

Front of the church.


Cool  Christmas Star.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Last Pictures of Nienburg!

This is the Schmidt Family with Elder Larsen and I.  He will be was baptized this week.
1st Advent in Nienburg.  We had a booth at it.

This is our Church Booth.  We sold cookies and alcohol free punch as well as hot chocolate at it and donated the money to a children's food program.

A huge church in Nienburg right by our apartment.

Our Branch President with Elder Larsen and I.

An investigator in Nienburg with his two dogs that he treats like his kids.  He is really nice; he doesn't have much interest in the church but he loves the missionaries.

The Gills took us out for lunch for our last Pday in Nienburg.  This place has the biggest burgers I have ever seen.  Like I couldn't fit my mouth around them, you have to cut it because it's so big.