Sorry for the lack of posts – Austin’s letters have been somewhat short (and non-informative), so it’s taken me a few weeks to update the blog. Here is a few excerpts from the last few letters:
October 21, 2014
So yeah Elder Olson and I got our new companions this Thursday. My companion’s name is Elder Slygowski, and he’s from Utah. He is great, and we get along really well. He did some pretty competitive choir stuff in high school, but then he also did some UFC type fighting, so that’s pretty cool. He also has a really good sense of humor and fun, which makes me happy. He’s also pretty trendy with European fashion and stuff, so he’s gonna help me look good today, and show me how to shop right at Primar (it’s a big store in Saarbrücken where people from all over Europe come to shop). I’m not entirely sure what that means. But it’ll be cool to go buy some nice but still cheap European clothes, so that I’ll be rocking it at BYU when I come back.
So Elder Olson got a new companion too, he’s training a new golden named Elder Cole, and guess where in the whole big wide world he’s from? Flower Mound, Texas. Yep. He went to Marcus and was in the Flower Mound 3rd ward. Weird stuff right? So yeah he’s brand new and fresh outta the MTC. He was there about 12 weeks though. He seems like a good kid, and he seems like a hard worker, so it’ll be fun with the four of us. I just think it’s funny that he comes from Flower Mound. Other than the new companions, not a whole lot of interesting things have happened this week. We spent a lot of time in the earlier part of this week meeting with some of the members in the ward that wanted to say goodbye to Elder Watson and Kalt, so that was fun. Other than that most of the week has been spent trying to get some of the things that we are working on all planned out, like a street display, mini MTC for the young men in our ward, and trying to start an English course to try and get investigators to come to. That and of course going outside and trying to talk to people, but that is never really effective, so President Schwartz doesn’t really want us to do that unless we have to.
So what kind of stuff do you people actually want me to get y’all for Christmas! I gotta start looking! And when you have questions for me, just list them, otherwise I will forget all about them. If I’m being honest. Which I am. Sometimes. Yeah, so how is work going? Get any cool stuff recently? How is the ward doing? By the way, when you send me my Christmas package, could you please send me some kind of old spice deodorant. They don’t have normal deodorant here, and that’s the kind I prefer. Also you don’t really need to send me any clothes unless you find something really cool and worth getting.
So yeah, gotta go, sorry for not having any good stories this week. Hopefully I’ll have some next week.
November 4, 2013
Another funny thing that happened this week is that we went to visit a less active guy in the ward, who is American. We went to visit him, and he let us in. Then he asked if it would be okay if we talked to his 88 year old father who lives with him, was a really devout member, but can’t really go to church anymore because of travel, age, and he’s getting a little crazy. Of course we said yes, so he went to go get him. A few minutes later this old guy comes down the stairs, does a nice little jig dance for us, and starts telling us stories for about an hour. He went on and on and on. It was so funny! He also told us the same story about his daughter about 8 times, and laughed every time. It was a good appointment and I know that they were both happy to have us visit them.
Not a whole lot else is going on. We have been planning for a little street display that we are gonna do this upcoming Saturday, which also happens to be Elder Slagowski’s birthday. I need to go find him a present during a split this week. Things with us are still good, we get along really well and we both have good work ethics and we work well together. He’s still teaching me how to have swag. It’s a work in progress.
Well now I’m off to the French border, since we didn’t get to do that last week!
Love you guys!
Elder Austin Cassell
November 11, 2013
So we did not have our little street display this Saturday, which is lame. It was raining a little too much, we weren’t all that well prepared, our banner was too big, and none of the ward members could come, so we had to postpone. One thing cool that did happen is that as we were taking it down, an American guy and his daughter came out of the mall that we had our thing in front of, and said hi to us. Apparently he is a member and the grandson of one of the old ladies in our ward, and he was just visiting her for the day. So when we told him that we had to cancel our display, he insisted on taking us to an ice cream parlor and buying us all Spaghetti eis, which was way awesome of him, and was way fun!
Let me think what else of interest happened this week. On Thursday we all went to a leadership training meeting in K-town. Our whole Zone was there, and we got to sit and talk to President, which was cool. It’s always nice to see president, the man is super awesome, inspiring, and spiritual. He’s also hilarious!
Friday was an interesting day. We started off the morning going with a few members from our ward to a funeral for the non member mother of a non member husband of a lady in our ward. The wife, the member, was in charge of the funeral, so she wanted it to be an LDS burial. So we had some members speak, dedicate the grave, and then she had the 4 of us missionaries sing. We sang “Näher mein Gott zu dir” which I’m guessing you can guess which hymn that was (“Nearer my God to thee” for those not acquainted with our hymns). Anyways it went well, and everybody told us that we sang really beautifully. She and her husband were super grateful, so they invited us over for lunch this week, which is cool, because he never invites the missionaries over to his house. So we’ll see how that goes.
The cemetery was right next to the French border, so we headed there after the funeral and all took pictures there, since we didn’t have time to do it on P-day. Instead on p-day we spent almost all of our time walking over to a KFC, which was in the middle of nowhere. But still totally worth it. I miss American food!
Later that day we went to meet at our bishop’s house, and he and his wife gave us a ton of French cheeses on french bread, which was actually really tasty. Smelled disgusting, but tasted really good!
Another just kind of interesting thing that I found out this week. So I was going through Familysearch.org for a little bit. So I went through the Cassell line, and weaved my way through there, and eventually was able to trace part of my lineage back to Adam and Eve! That was pretty cool. We have a lot of different kinds of royalty in our blood. I feel important. One thing that is really funny about that, is that as we were doing that with a lot of the other missionaries, I did this after the leadership training meeting so a lot of other missionaries were there, everyone was just talking about some of the cool names and titles of their ancestors. Elder Slagowski was really proud because he had a guy in his line called “Odin of Asgard” which just sounds cool, and everyone was laughing about how cool that was. Anyways I was going through my line, when who pops up at around 300 AD? Odin of Asgard. Yeah, we’re cool. So now Elder Slagowski and I sometimes refer to ourselves as “Sons of Odin. Brothers of Asgard”. We’re so cool.
So yeah, gotta go. You guys have fun in the US! Have my twit brothers write me at some point, I haven’t heard from either of them in forever!
Love you guys!
Love Elder Austin Cassell
PS. Hey I get to skype y’all pretty soon!
Here are a few pictures that he sent me a few weeks ago: