Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 27, 2015

Hey Family!

This week was exciting. We went to an old ladies house and gave her a lesson. It was fun. Then I went on a spilt to Dortmond and I got to teach another old lady. That went really well. I got to teach about the Restoration. Then we went to this member’s house and her two twelve year old granddaughters were there. They reminded me of Abby except they both had phones and spoke German. haha. We told them the story of Ether.
Carnival at Erfurt
The next morning we went and helped this guy clean out his house because he is moving and we had to clean out his basement. There was a bunch of old stuff and I found magazines from the 1960's. There was one with the Beattle’s on it. Then I went back to Hagen and we did some finding.

On Friday we got to go to Frankfurt and hear from Elder Bednar! It was awesome. He did a question answer type thing and it was great. I think it was probably the best church meeting I have ever been to. It was about 5 hours long but it was really good. I got some pictures of the ride home but not too many sorry.
On our way home from Frankfurt from hearing Elder Bednar

Well I am glad you all had fun in Valdez! That burger place sounds good. Man I miss burgers. I haven’t had a real burger in a long time. Take some videos if you guys do a polar plunge at the lake! I bet Grandpa Fred will do it! haha
That’s funny that Sara broke through the ice and fell in Long Lake. She should have just gone swimming. I know we are going to be able to Skype on Mother’s Day. I am not sure of the time it is probably going to be after church my time probably around 1 or 2 pm here. I can’t wait!

They do feed us sparkly water here a lot.  A funny story about sparkly water… We went to an Asian restaurant and I ordered water trying to save money and Elder Anderson (this was back in Jena) got a apfelshorle (which is basically apple juice with carbonation) and his glass was bigger.  My glass was sparkly water and it cost almost a euro more. I was so mad.
In Erfurt
Good Job Abby on your basketball game! I am glad you guys did so well! That’s also cool you got a new receiver for the basement. You’re going to need to watch a movie for your birthday mom! Tell Jared he needs to have his lawn finished at least by the time I get home… or else! I have not heard anything about the Earthquake in Napal. That is so sad. I hope they recover okay.  
We haven’t played much soccer here because the zone is so spread out. We never even see other missionaries on P-day. I think there is one castle kind of close. We will have to check it out!
Hey Abby! Germany is good the language is coming along. Funky thing I have eaten lately is sauerkraut.  It was alright but still not my favorite. Haha no you heard right I have been eating lots of vegetables. More than you!
Sounds like you had a good time in Valdez! I am glad you made it on Varsity track team Abby that’s awesome! I did high jump and the 100meter in track.
Well I love you all so much! Can’t wait for Mothers Day! Have a good week!
Panorama of Erfurt

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 20, 2015

Hey Family,
This week was good I had my first member meal. It was good!  We had bratwurst, potatoes and mushroom sauce, and yes I ate the mushroom sauce. I have actually eaten a lot of new stuff. Carol Kenley would be proud, because I have eaten lots of vegetables.
Anyways, the member appointment went well and then the next day we went back to help them do some service. It was good and afterwards she made us lunch. She had these weird little sandwiches. One of the sandwiches I tried was a mett sandwich.  It is basically raw beef with onions and a pickle on top. Yes, it tastes like it sounds.  Actually, all I could taste was the onions.
A little village called Zurstraße
This week, I have also gone out and knocked doors in lots of weird little places. We went out to a dorf (village) called Zurstraße. We doored probably the entire little place. That is where I took all the pictures that I sent you this week. On Wednesday, we had district meetings and I got to meet the Elders in our district. I saw Elder Watts from the MTC. Then after that I went to Padderborn on a split. That was a small town and we just biked around and talked to people. One lady talked to us for a bit and gave us water (Sparkly water) and then said she had no interest. This week was good and we talked to a bunch of people, but not many want to hear what we have to say.
There are about 80 people, I think, in our ward here in Hagen. Yes, the church building is located on Straße. But it is Straße not Strabe. This thing ß is two s's so Strasse. There are only two of us in the Apartment. I don’t know why we have two extra beds. My address is Arndtstrasse 35.  Google maps street view doesn’t work on the street but the thing seems to be on the right building. My apartment is a 2 minute walk from the church again.
Outside Zurstraße
We didn’t have a baptism on Saturday. We still have a lot to teach. We do a lot of doors and a lot of meeting with members.
I didn’t realize Mother’s Day is in 21 days! That’s crazy! I can’t wait to Skype you! I think I liked Jena a little more but that’s probably because I don’t know too many people here yet. I have not met any new Farooq's.   I Hope I do though.  Farooq said he has family in Alaska and will visit when I am home! Hopefully I will have more pictures next week!
Love you all so much!

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015

Dear Family,
Well It was really sad leaving Jena.  We were in Erfurt for conference and I didn’t get home until Monday morning so I had very little time to say goodbye to everyone.  I am going to miss that place.
Erfurt Dome
We had five elders in our place the day before we left. We headed to Erfurt at 7:40 am on Thursday morning and rode to Frankfurt on the train. It was a long ride.

We got there and Elder Anderson’s parents were waiting for us.  It was cool to meet them.  They are really nice. It made me kind of home sick but I am feeling better now. I went and said hi to everyone I knew at Bahnhof, which is just outside Frankfurt.  It was cool to see all my friends from the MTC.  Actually, I really only saw about four of them.
 After that, I had to go so I got on a bus with 3 other Elders I didn’t know and we rode for 3 hours to Dortmond, which is northwest of  Frankfurt.  I got to see Elder Watts from the MTC there in Dortmond, and then met Elder Frickey. He is a cool kid. We then rode down to Hagen, which is just outside of Dortmond and I got unpacked.
The street we live on in Hagen
The next day we went and I got all signed up for my visa which should be here in three weeks, and then we went out to Irselohn which is a city near us in our area. We went and talked to a lady there who has a baptism date for this Saturday but we still have a lot to teach her.  We did some doors there and we found a guy who said he felt sorry for us and that we are not right. We talked with him for a while and then ran back to catch our train back to Hagen.
The next day we went to Lüdenscheid which is also another city in our area (Our area is huge compared to Jena) and we did some doors there. We found a dude and talked with him well over an hour. He mostly talked to us but we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it and call us when he was done. It was really cool. Then we went back to Hagen.
Our front door and Elder Frickey

Church on Sunday was crazy. We have all three hours which I got used to only having two in Jena. A member from Unna found a guy who was either mentally ill or on something because he was slurring his words and he was hilarious.  He brought him to church and we taught him the first lesson and then we went to sacrament and it was really funny because he was thirsty and he took two cups and drank both and then put the cups back in the tray. haha. Anyways, after that we had food with the whole ward because it was fast Sunday and they had a lunch afterwards.  I talked to a lady who had gone to Canada backpacking for six weeks. She was cool. Anyways that was all fine and then afterwards we took the kid to the train station and asked if he needed a ticket.  He said no so we took him to the train he wanted and he got on. I don’t think he had a ticket so I am afraid he will get a 40 Euro fine. Oh well! He said he didn’t need to buy a ticket.
Our kitchen in Hagen
But anyways Hagen is cool. It is a lot bigger than Jena. I was kind of of nervous my first few days.  I just felt really sad and I knew no one and was in a whole new area. I am pretty sure when you are only out for 2 transfers you don’t normally leave your area but it’s okay.  I feel better now and I am having a good time. I did realize just yesterday that I am a sixth done which is crazy. At the same time I still have a long time left.
My new comp is Dylan Frickey. He is (I was just about to say cool. haha) an awesome kid. He has been out for a year and he has been in Hagen for a while now.
I sent some pictures this week and last.  I think I put them in on Tuesday while in English class. I am glad all is going well and am happy you might finish the fire place like you planned to do while I was gone. Keep working hard in school Abby. Don’t worry; High school is not too much harder than middle school you just have to keep up. You should try doing the 200 meter in track. It may be a little harder but I think you would like it.
Well I love you all very much and can’t wait to see you again!!!!!

Love Devin!

April 6, 2015

Dear Family,

All is going good here in Germany!  We got transfer calls and I am heading to Hagen! My new companions name is Elder Frickey and I will be arriving in Hagen this Thursday! That’s all I know so far. I hear my companion is pretty cool though.
 Elder Anderson and the Ybarras

We got to go to Erfurt this weekend for conference. I got some cool pictures of the Erfurt Dome! It’s a giant Catholic cathedral and it’s older than the United States! We went in and they were having Catholic mass, so we sat in and listened and it was really interesting. They had a different looking sacrament thing and they sang Latin songs or something. It was really cold dark and echoy.

We watched conference in a weird order. I don’t remember exactly how it went but we watched Priesthood on Saturday night I think and then we watched Saturday morning and night on Sunday and then we watched Sunday morning on Sunday night. We haven’t watched Sunday night session yet. Also, in our transfer calls we got news that Elder Bednar is coming to Germany this month and he is talking to us and we are all going to get Ipads for the mission.  I think they said we would have to pay for them but I am not sure how that’s going to work yet!
Ralph Tandetsky and Elder Anderson in Jena

Last week we went to Werdau for P-day and had steaks and played basketball and ping pong. It was really fun. We also had a split with the Werdau missionaries later in the week because Elder Anderson and one of the elders out there were companions in the MTC. It was real fun. Saturday night after conference, we went back to the Erfurt Elders place and there was a carnival going on so we went to that, bought a bratwurst and rode some swings. It was fun!

Sounds like you had a good week. I am glad grandma and grandpa’s deck is getting put up.

I get my package this Thursday when I go to Hagen. When you send packages they get distributed at transfers or at MLC when the Zone leaders go to Frankfurt. So I get them every three weeks or so. I am sad to leave Jena and Gustavo but it’s okay. Megan is coming in May that’s awesome. I am jealous. We haven’t done anymore service projects just the two. We didn’t really celebrate Easter besides conference. I got lots of candy though.  
Somewhere in Jena

Well, have a good week I will post more pictures a little later tonight. We forgot the card reader thing. Sorry this email was so short we have been busy packing and doing things to get ready to leave! 

I will write next week from Hagen!

Love Devin

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 30, 2015

Hey Family,

How are things going?  Yes I have heard about the plane crash in France. It was all over the news here. Yes, my companion has 10 days left here with me. I find out who my next companion is this Saturday. I gave my talk in German. I did it in short simple sentences. When I talk to Gustavo, I mostly try to speak German. He knows German and Spanish and a little bit of English. But yeah it’s hard to communicate sometimes.
Missionaries and Farooq at the Buchenwald Concentration camp

Farooq likes talking about the Gospel and was really absorbing it, but he just left the other day to Stuttgart. It was sad to say goodbye to him. He was so funny. He makes us laugh every time we are with him. We hung out a lot with Farooq this week trying to teach him as much as we could before he left. Meeting with him was the highlight of our days. I miss him and am sad he is gone but he says he has family in Alaska and will visit sometime. 

We have not met with Pricilla or Hannah this week; they are busy which is kind of a bummer. The family that showed up to church, we haven’t heard from since that day they showed up at the church which is sad.

We haven’t met too many new people although last week we met a guy doing a service project and Elder Anderson said he is the creator of YO Stickers. Those are just stickers that say YO on them and they are all over light poles here. 

The language isn’t bad.  I can understand what people are saying some of the time. I got to talk to two ladies at church yesterday and I understood them somewhat. 

We bike here a lot and it’s really nice for staying in shape and getting around. You found a dead moose on your bike ride Abby? Gross! That’s sad that Jib died and the Peters cats.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Anyways this week was good.  We went to Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Weimar with our Mission President. It was a really interesting place. Most of the barracks where people slept were broken down but the camp was huge. It made the Holocaust much more real actually seeing the place where it took place. We had a good time. We also got to go to Nürnberg for Zone conference I think I might have already told you that, but it was good.  At Zone Conference we learned about health, being obedient and we got to watch “Meet the Mormons”. I guess it was the first time anyone out here had seen it. I got to see a few people I knew from the MTC too. 

Not to much more happened this week just the usual FHE Institute.   We didn’t have English class because we were in Nürnberg. Well I will put some pictures in drop box but I had better get off and let Elder Anderson on the computer! 

Love you all so much,