Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

Hey everybody!

Crazy that it got so cold there, and that you said it was colder than here at some times. That's pretty cold. But as far as news goes, there was a little surprise this weekend. We had transfer calls... and I'm going right back up where I came from haha. Not exactly Solingen, but pretty close. We'll be opening a new area in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Sounds pretty classy so we'll see. But that was a pretty big surprise. We call it getting "ghosted" when someone is only in an area for 1 transfer, and now I get to join that group haha. But this 6 weeks in Langen was pretty crazy. It was extremely hard, 6 of the hardest weeks of my life... but at the same time I love this place and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to serve here with Elder Squires and to work with this branch. The members here are really awesome and I learned a LOT about myself and who I want to be in the last 6 weeks, regardless of how hard they were. I'm excited for yet another new experience though. So yep, there was a bit of news there.

The meeting with President Osguthorpe and Elder Ridd was really good. President Osguthorpe just talked a lot about teaching and how to make progress with investigators, and Elder Ridd kinda took on the other parts of missionary life, like exercise and study and obedience. He made a couple missionaries come up and do pushups and situps and jumping jacks super fast for a couple minutes, and then was like, if you think you can't do good morgen sport in 30 minutes... you're wrong. It was pretty funny. I've actually done pretty decent on that though so wasn't chastened too much. 

Olivia's "this is incredible" made me laugh. Reminded me of Elf... "that's shocking!" I've found myself quoting that movie a lot in the past couple weeks. Can't believe Christmas time is already almost here. As far as Thanksgiving, I know a couple members who are doing Thanksgiving dinners... but they're American so yeah. But lucky for me I get to take a nice long train ride on Thanksgiving! Wooooo. Haha it'll be fun though. The senior couple in Darmstadt is actually making a Thanksgiving meal for us after District Meeting on Wednesday, so don't worry, I'll still be taking part. 

That's unfortunate about the BYU games. Sounds like the basketball team should be set up pretty well. I met Elder Emery the other day, he's a pretty cool dude. That's sweet that Payton Dastrup switched his commitment though. And thanks for the basketball scores haha, those will come in handy. 

I collected all the packages at the meeting on Tuesday, thanks for everything!! And since I got transferred, along with a lot of the missionaries in the district, we'll be eating the brownies today in Darmstadt. But really, thanks for all the stuff, it was sweet. And be sure to thank the Young Women for me, they sent me a little package with some candy, and some wonderful smelling hand sanitizer.

Anyways, the week was great. Had a great time with Elder Squires, and I'm going to miss him a lot. Like I said, I've learned a ton here in 6 weeks. Excited for the new challenge, but not really looking forward to packing up and shipping out again. I'll get over it though. Thanks for everything you do, and have a great week! Love you all,

Elder Brown

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hey everybody!

85 degrees..... I can assure you that it is not 85 degrees here haha. I can imagine that that is nice though. It's getting pretty dang cold over here. Getting closer and closer to the 0 mark on the thermometer (Celsius of course, but still...) Probably won't be too much longer before we start to see some snow. We'll see though.

We did get to go to the temple on Saturday, which was awesome. We actually went up pretty early in the morning and did confirmations for a baptism session. It was a ward temple trip so it was just us and members of the ward. So that was sweet. Two Americans doing confirmations in German of people with French names... it was beautiful. But then we were also able to do an endowment session with all the adult ward members officiated by our branch president and his wife.. so that was pretty cool. 

I did receive the first birthday package and it was wonderful. The Take-5's are already gone. 

That's sweet that Stake Conference had a lot to do with Hastening the Work... ours here in Heidelberg did as well. It's pretty nice to be a missionary now and have that as a resource in our interactions with members. It'll be interesting to look back down the road and see how these changes take shape. Pretty exciting. 

Well, it was good to have some good news about BYU sports... I'm glad the basketball team is looking good. I miss BYU basketball probably more than football. Crazy that the season is already starting up again. That's too bad about Todd Christensen... dang. 

But yeah, this week was good. The temple was a highlight, but we had fun. This is the last week of the transfer... which is insane. Time goes so fast. But we have the opportunity tomorrow to meet with President Osguthorpe, the General Sunday School President, tomorrow for a missionary meeting. It's just Frankfurt Zone, Langen, and Darmstadt districts so that will be pretty sweet. We're excited for that. 

But other than that, I hope everything is going well, and that everyone has a great week. 


Elder Brown

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Hey everybody!

Pretty quiet week here in Langen as well, so we're in the same boat there. But it was still good and had some good stuff happen. Just keeping it going haha. 

We had a pretty solid dinner appointment last night. We went over to a couple in the ward who are way cool. He is American, retired from the Air Force, and she is from here, maybe Austria... I don't know, she speaks German though. But they made us the biggest steaks I have ever seen in my life. I ate a LOT of steak and I still had like a fourth of it left. So we'll be eating those for lunch when we get back to the apartment. But she made some delicious potatoes and salad too so it was pretty solid. And he had gotten A&W Root Beer, either from a base here or from America, but anyways, we had it and it was wonderful. And he gave us a couple to take home so those are also waiting for me. They are way cool though, so yesterday was a good day.

Stonebriar... it's going to be crazy going there and NorthPark again because Germany does not have that kind of mall. They have little malls every now and then, but nothing like those places. Most shopping here is done on the Fuß, which is kind of like a big outdoor pedestrian plaza, kind of like the Southlake Town Centre.

Germany doesn't do anything really around Thanksgiving that I know of. Except our Elder's Quorum is having a Turkey dinner on the 29th for a Voradventfeier... Advent is the beginning of December as far as I know. I'll get my holiday knowledge straightened out here sooner or later. But as you read in that article you sent me... Germany takes Weihnachten seriously. I'm pretty excited. 

I haven't seen anything too historical or crazy since I've gotten here, but one little sobering but kinda cool thing they do here (Germany that is) as a memorial for the Holocaust, is in front of houses where Jewish people lived during the war, they have little tiles on the sidewalk for every person that say if they escaped or were killed and when they were taken from their homes and stuff. So that's a pretty eye-opening thing to see when we come across them. 

Too bad about the BYU game... I'm pretty sure I've given up expecting the football team to come through so I'm not as devastated as I would be before. My mind has shifted to basketball now haha. March Madness is coming up again! In like 4 months but whatever!

The work is going well. Pretty slow, and kinda frustrating at times, but it goes forward anyways. The branch is really cool and I love the members.  We'll keep going haha. I'm having fun, and time is flying. I can't believe it's already the middle of November. 

The language is going good, by the way.

But... anyways, that's about it from my side. Hope everyone has a great week, and know that I love you all!


Elder Brown

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013

Hey everybody, 

My November has also gone great so far. Halloween wasn't anything too special here... we taught English class to an older member in the ward, so that was fun, and then we watched On the Lord's Errand auf Deutsch for language study... pretty exciting stuff.

Thanks for the email addresses! I'll have to ask Landon if he's met an Elder Cottle (my friend Hayden) because they're in the same mission. He said (Hayden) that he thinks he's met Carina but he can't remember for sure. Cool connections though.

This week was good here in Langen. Still a little slow, but starting to pick up. We have started teaching the wife of one of the members in the branch, and that's been fun. She's from the Philippines, and she's way cool. We're excited about that. And then we met with a lot of members and had some great appointments. One of the sisters in the ward is from France and we made crepes and they were wonderful. I told her about Flip Happy Crepes and it made me want to go to Austin haha. But we also had some cool experiences talking to people on the street. We printed off a big QR code to a Mormon Message and just went around asking people to scan it, and one guy did. He then watched the whole video and we gave him a Book of Mormon. It was pretty cool. We'll see where that goes. Then on the way back from District Meeting, we were walking back to the apartment and two girls told us to come and tell them happy birthday... so we did haha. Then we talked about what we do and the Church for a couple hours. So we'll also see where that goes. Lots of potential... now we just wait and see what they do. So is life. 

Oh yeah, fun fact. President Uchtdorf used to be the Stake President here. Kinda cool. A member couple showed us a picture of them with him a while back and he looked way young. It was kinda funny.

I loved Dad's mission stories, I've definitely had many similar ones here. I need to start being more detailed in my journal, I've been pretty basic so far. New goal for the week. 

But yeah, that's about it right now. Things are going well. Have a great week everyone, and I love ya,

Elder Brown