December 30th – Merry Weihnachten

December 30, 2013

I am WAYYYYYYYYYYY behind on the blog.  Like a month and 1/2 behind!  So I’m going to try to catch up.  Starting with Christmas!  🙂  Enjoy!

‘Sup Family,

It was so great to be able to talk to you guys on Skype!  It was fun!  And I am way impressed with the lack of waterworks on your end Madre! Nicely done! So what did you guys do after I was done talking to you? What did Cade and Blake get for Christmas outside of the sword (still laughing at his extreme level of nerdiness) and the desk? And I did like all of my presents! I use the rubiks cube a lot! I finally remembered how to solve it! I love little puzzle things like that to occupy my mind in our “down time”!

Well after I talked to you guys, Elder Rock and I went and watched a movie with the Jacobs. We watched a movie called “Facing the Giants”. It was made in like the 90s and wasn’t my first choice of what we would have watched, but it actually was really good! I definitely am happy that we watched it! I had never seen it before and had a good amount of humor, heart, and cheeziness. I was happy! It just really made me miss American Football. Good stuff right there.

For the rest of the Christmas time we just went to some other member homes for eating appointments which was nice. Other eventful things that happened this week:  This Saturday I was on a split in Bamberg, which was cool. We went to the hospital and gave a blessing to a woman who was a member from Utah and was just there on vacation, but got pretty sick. We gave her a blessing and she was crying because she was so happy to see us. It was a really sweet experience. Other than that, not a whole lot has been going on since I talked to you on Wednesday.

So for New Years Eve and New Years we are not doing a lot. On New Years Eve we actually have to be inside of our apartments by 6:00 no exceptions. Apparently NYE is pretty crazy here. It makes sense. The Germans like to get drunk and then go play with fireworks. Bad combination for missionaries. So we’ll just be planning and hanging out in our apartment. We’ll probably order a pizza and play a game or something.

Things are going pretty good between Elder Rock and I.  We are both pretty chill.  We get along though, and he can be a pretty big dork like me when he wants to, so it’s fun.

I just sent a letter to President, we do that every week, and I got just a text back from him just saying how much he enjoyed my letter and that he was thankful that I was serving in his home ward, so that was cool! He did spell my name Elder Cassel, though. It’s okay, he does things like that a lot. One of his AP’s was Elder Jardine, pronounced “jar dine” and for the entire time he was AP, President would mispronounce his name and say Elder “jar deen” no matter how many times Elder Jardine would correct him. You gotta love President!

Well today for Pday we are gonna have a district Pday in Bamberg to celebrate Sister Fuller’s birthday, which was yesterday. Hopefully it’ll be fun.

Well gotta go! Love and miss you guys!

Love Elder Austin Cassell
SAM_1107e 2013-12-25 12.07.33Ew



Happy Thanksgiving from Coburg!

We had so many questions this week for him, that Austin pretty much just used all his time answered questions rather than composing a letter.  At least I got my questions answered!  🙂  Here is the Q&A from this morning – after his transfer to Coburg!

1.  How long did the train ride take?  Did you travel alone the whole way?
a. I took a 1 hour train ride from Saarbrücken to Kaiserslautern, followed by a 1.5 or so hour train to Frankfurt; hung out at Bahnhof (train station) for a while, then took a 1.5 hour train ride to Nürnberg. Did a small “finding” activity there with all of the other district frau’s (the companion of a District Leader – it’s a term they use only in Germany) (I’m still one, WHOO!) while the district leaders were in a zone leader/district leader meeting. Then another 1.5 hour train ride to Coburg. Lots of train riding. This is why the old mission president wanted to buy a mission helicopter.

2.  Who is your companion?  Where is he from?  How are you getting along?  How long has he been out?
a. His name is Elder Rock. He’s from Bountiful, Utah. He’s been out about ten months.  Seems pretty chill like me. We are both pretty hardworking too, though, so that’s good. We don’t really know each other that well yet. I haven’t shown him how insane I am…yet. I think that we’ll get along really well, though!

3.  When do you go to the Mission Home for Christmas?  (I just checked – and your package has been delivered there.  You are NOT allowed to open the box before Christmas!)
a.   I don’t think that we will go to the mission home for Christmas. We will just get our packages sometime at like a zone conference or something. I’m not sure when zone conference is, but I am sure that my package will get to me at some point. So sweet, I’m sure that I’ll love whatever you send me!  You are usually a good gift giver! Sorry that my package to y’all is gonna take so long to get to you. I wanna find you something cool at the Nürnberg christmas markt, so I probably won’t get my Christmas presents to you guys until later like in January. Lame, but whatever I’m gonna get you guys cool German stuff.

4.  How is the ward?
a. The ward here (actually it’s a branch) is really cool! We have got some really cool members, and some are pretty young! We’ve got about 50 or so active members.

5.  Have you had a chance to see anything yet?  What will you be doing for your P-day?
a. Nope, not really. We checked out the Christmas market.

6.  Are you plenty warm, and have enough clothes, blankets, etc.?
a. yep.

7.  Do you know if you will have access to Skype for Christmas?
a. We’ll see, but theoretically yes.

8.  How many people are in your District?
a. Us, the Coburg Sisters, and the 4 Elders in Bamberg.

9.  Any investigators in your new area?
a. Yep. We have several, actually. We play ping pong with them on Saturday.It’s really fun!

10.  I’m curious how your days are the same or different in your new area?
a. Very different, I’m much busier here.  We do a lot of things with the ward, and with investigators. Tonight we are running FHE (Family Home Evening) for the young single adults in the ward. So we make food, do a spiritual thought, and play games, should be fun. Tuesdays we have district meetings and some service. Wednesday we have some appointments with investigators. Thursday more appointments. Friday we have zone training meeting, and then at night we play volleyball with a lot of members and non members. We do that every week, I guess. We did it this last week, it was fun! That’s one thing sweet about this area, we have a really big church building (really weird not calling it a Gemeindehaus).  Saturday we have a ward Christmas activity, and then we play ping pong with a bunch of ward members and some of our asian investigators (we have a bunch). So yeah, busy.

11.  Where do you do your emails now?
a. At the church! Finally – I don’t have to pay to email/sit next to creepy foreign guys that are watching bad things!

12.  What is your new apartment like?  A friend on my FB group said her son spent several transfers there – and that the building you live in is really cool – and has really thick walls or something and some kind of cool history?
a. Good/ bad. The good is that it’s pretty comfy, has nice desks, good location, and yeah it’s got a cool 600 year old wall in the middle of it. The bad is that the oven doesn’t work, the flooring is a little weird, we only get reception for our phone in one corner of the room, so we have to leave our phone there and talk there for all of our calls. And the washing machine is broken and shuts off all of the power in the apartment when you use it, so we have to do our laundry at a laundromat, and that costs us about €8 each, so that sucks. It’s reimbursable, though, so that’s okay.

13.  Any problems with me sending your 2nd package to your new apartment?
a. Nope, my new address is Kleine Rosengasse 1, 96450 Coburg

14.  What are your thoughts about Coburg?  Have you seen castles yet?
a.  Coburg is a really pretty place! The town square is really pretty and cute, all of the shops are old and look nice. It’s like I live in a little fairy tale village. Have I seen any castles from a distance yet? (I turn my head to the right and look out the window.) Yep, I’ve seen a castle from a distance. We have a really good view of the Coburg Castle from the church.  🙂  (He took this while he was emailing me.)


15.  What did you do for Thanksgiving?
a.  We didn’t get to do anything on actual Thanksgiving, since we were traveling all day. I got a dönner, and that always makes me happy. On Saturday, though, our ward did an “American Thanksgiving Party” at the church. It was actually really good! One of the members is a German that owns an American goods store in Frankfurt, so he got two really big turkeys and cooked them up for everybody that came (about 25 people or so). He did a good job, they tasted really good! Not as good as yours, but good. He also brought a ton of root beer, so that was awesome, since they don’t have root beer in Germany. It was my first thanksgiving, though, where I ate Knödeln and Rotkohl as side dishes!

Well, I gotta go!  Love you guys.

Elder Cassell