God Bless America

Original email has been edited by Kelly (Mom). Some names have been protected for privacy reasons.

So this last week has been a pretty good week! Not a lot has happened, but it’s still been good. Last P-Day was a little boring, we went thrift shopping, but there wasn’t anything I really wanted to buy. There wasn’t a single lightsaber amongst the four thrift shops we went to! Hopefully this P-Day will be fun! We don’t really have any plans, but we’ll find something fun to do. I do plan on buying a harmonica at some point today. I’m not sure why. I just want one. It’ll probably drive my companion nuts after about five minutes, but I’m willing to take that risk.

So I’m just gonna run by what happened on each day, that will make it easier on me to write about things.

So on Tuesday I went on a split with Elder Williamson, one of our zone leaders. That went really well. He was a pretty cool guy, and I feel like I learned a lot from him, so that’s always good. We didn’t really do a whole lot that day. He said that my Gollum voice was too creepily accurate. He said that he could see the sound coming from me, but part of him didn’t really believe that I was capable of imitating him so well. He also said that he sees a lot of potential in me, and that I’ll be a really good missionary. I hope to prove him right. Challenge accepted.

Wednesday was definitely an interesting day. Elder Watson and I went to go visit a man by the name of Herr XXXXX (name protected). I had heard many tales of him prior to visiting him, but that certainly did not ruin the experience for me. He’s an Italian man who’s about 65 years old, and he’s spent 46 years of that time living in Germany. Despite the fact that he has lived here that long, however, he knows very little German. Because of this fact, he tells the exact same stories each and every time the missionaries visit him. Multiple times each visit. He told us about how his brother, and his nephew speak very good German about six times. He also told us about all of the bad things that had happened in his life, like his surgeries and the fact that he lives alone, is the devil trying to bring him down, but that he fights against him everyday. He doesn’t really have an interest in the church, but he likes us to visit him, so we do because he’s just a nice but lonely man, so we drop in and say hi about once a month. After visiting with him we went back to the dönner shop that we went to last time, and the guy remembered us and gave us each a free slice of pizza, so that was awesome.

Thursday was an awesome day because we were able to go to a member’s house for dinner that night. It was the Schröder family again, the same family where we got to have burritos last time. It was a great night! Since Sister Schröder knew that it was the 4th of July in the US, she made us some hamburgers because that’s the stereotypical American food here in Germany. They were really tasty! After dinner they had us stay a little longer to play Settlers of Catan with them. That just about made my week. I won of course. I’ve found that board games tend to bring out the competitive side in me. I blame my family for that. I play to win, because winning is fun, and I like to have fun. They’re an awesome little family. It was also awesome to be there because their little daughter, Anita, who is super cute, was watching “Tangled” throughout most of the night, so I was able to see Tangled in German. Awesome. At the end of the night, when Elder Watson and I headed back to our apartment, we faced the direction where America was, put our hands over our hearts, and sang along to the national anthem as it played out of the speakers from my iPod. I was so patriotic that night. There are a lot of things I miss about America. Like air conditioning. I don’t know why Germans haven’t started using it yet.

Friday we went to Zone Conference in Kaiserslautern for most of the day. That was good, we just mainly discussed news, and talked about how we could all be better missionaries in each of our areas. We also got to meet and have interviews with President Schwartz, which is always awesome. He’s such a great guy! He always makes me feel happy and motivated! Then at the end of the day we went to another member’s house from our ward for dinner. It was the Escobar family, and they were all very nice! There were a lot of people there, and the food was excellent! Some kind of delicious and tender meat, so naturally it was awesome. We weren’t able to stay that long, because we had some stuff that we had to take care of, but she gave us some tasty Turkish candy before we left, which was also awesome!

Saturday was a little lame, because all of our appointments fell out, but it’s all good. I bought a kilogram of Haribo Gummi Bears, so it’s hard to complain about life. And then yesterday we went to church which is always nice. The XXXXXX family, one of our investigators came, so that made us happy! Things are going really well with them, so that makes me really happy! We have a meeting with them later on today!

Well now I’m just gonna talk about all of the random stuff that has happened this week. Elder Kalt and I decided that we wanted to see what kind of phrase our full names can make when scrambled, like how “Tom Marvolo Riddle” became “I am Lord Voldemort”. Elder “Brady Logun Kalt” turned out to be “Dragun Bolt Lyke” and Elder “Austin Tanner Cassell” turned into “Nuns tear snail castle.” I’m pretty darn proud of mine, if I do say so myself. I also described the entire musical “Wicked” to my companions. Since we’ve heard the songs a lot of times, my companions wanted to know what it was about. My description got a good amount of “on no she didn’t” and “oh snap” comments from the lot of them, so that was fun. We walked past a “gentleman’s club” by the name of “Venus” and the men outside of it tried to get us to visit, but we passed on that “not so great and spacious building”. I witnessed some lightsaber fights, had some heated arguments about Digimon and Pokemon, and was told by a drunk guy that he liked my tie. Good week.

Well now I’m off to go on an adventure. Probably involving a harmonica.

Peace, Elder Austin Cassell

PS. If anybody wants a good laugh, go to

It’s an old and ridiculously cheesy/funny movie that we quote all the time here!

Here, I’ll answer your bloody questions!

1) Snoring…Companion ready to kill you in your sleep?
A. We all sleep like the dead, since we’re so tired.
2) Regular Toilet or “Shelf”? This references the “shelf” type toilets that I saw when I went to Europe several years ago. Austin was “warned” about these prior to going – so we wondered if he had one!.
A. Ours is normal, but I have used plenty of shelves. I don’t know why those horrible things exist. It’s nasty.
3) How is your German now?
A. Getting better and better. I understand a decent amount, and can speak to most people. Grammar needs work, though.

MTC (Missionary Training Center, Provo, UT)

MTC (Missionary Training Center, Provo, UT)

IMG_1396 MTC (Missionary Training Center, Provo, UT)

IMG_1411 MTC (Missionary Training Center, Provo, UT)

IMG_1421 Frankfurt

IMG_1424 Somewhere in Germany

IMG_1430 Austin’s church building in Saarbruken

IMG_1437E Austin’s apartment building

Bahn / Trains in Germany Bahn / Train in Germany

Mustard that looks like toothpaste Mustard that looks like toothpaste

Germany Building in Germany

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