4/28/14: A Family Loss and President Schwartz

Thanks for telling me about Huba – I have been dreading this day. (We just had to put our 13-year old lab to sleep – and we were able to let Austin know right away.) I’m just happy that I am not there for it. I would be a wreck. I’m actually doing pretty well right now about it. Probably because I am not there to have to deal with it. I already knew that I wasn’t going to see him again when I left. I said goodbye to him already, so I’m OK.

We did pretty much nothing today. It was lame. We studied, then got groceries, then ate, then napped, then I worked on my flash cards/played with my 20Q/listened to music while Elder Brandner continued napping. Then we came here.

Transfer calls are this Saturday, so I will know by then what my future is. I really have no idea what is going to happen. President Schwartz came to church in Coburg yesterday, so I got to have an interview with him. And now I have no idea what is going to happen to me. We’ll find out. I’ll be happy either way.

It was cool that he was able to come to church here. It’s just strange because he knows or is related to about half of the members here, since this is the first ward he went to. I also got to lead Sacrament while he was here. So I had a little fun with it. I announced that he was here and told everyone that I didn’t have any problems with them going and telling him how great I am.

He laughed, but during my interview he told me that he saw it as a sign that I feel like I need to improve or something like that. I don’t know, I personally feel like it was just me making a joke because I’m like that. But President Schwartz knows how to read a soul pretty well, so he is kind of right in a sense. President gives really good interviews. He has a good balance on calling you to repentance, building you up, helping you out, and then motivating you to go out and be the best missionary that you can be. So I feel pretty motivated right now. Something that is funny about the interview, though, is that one of the things that we were talking about was how to keep me motivated to work my hardest, and he said that I needed a constant reminder to motivate me to do my best. So he took out his wallet, pulled out a €2 coin, and then put it in my sock, and then told me to walk around with that in my sock for a month, so that with every step I take I will be reminded to work hard. And then at the end of the month he told me that I need to take it and buy a Coburger bratwurst with it. That’s President for ya.

Well I am going to attempt to write a somewhat big letter describing all of the things that I was able to do this week, but we will see how it goes.

Tuesday we just had our p-day and then we went to Da M    ario’s, the Italian restaurant where we are loved. We were able to spend a little time there and get some pizza and talk to some people, so that was as lovely as ever.

On Wednesday we had an appointment with Jürgen, which was as interesting as ever. He gave us some metal CD’s and a VCR tape of some movie about the bible that he recorded for us during Easter. We haven’t watched it yet, but he was determined that we receive it because it is super valuable because the movie will never be seen again. Then we met with our new investigator, which went pretty good, and then we went and did some door at the Hochschule, which went pretty good. We found some new people and were able to hand out some Books of Mormon.

On Thursday we had district meeting in Bamberg, which was good. Then we just had some other appointments at the Hochschule that we went to.

Friday we went to a member’s garden (here in Germany if you have an apartment, and don’t have a garden, you can pay some money to have a garden on the outskirts of towns and cities where they have these little “garden neighborhoods” is I guess what you would call them) so we went to their garden and helped them for a few hours moving the stones in there and breaking up their concrete. So I got to use a jackhammer. I just forwarded you the picture. It was pretty fun. I felt like a manly man. Because I am. After working for a while we had an appointment with Karin, which went pretty well. After that we had volleyball, which was fun as usual. Elder Brandner accidently hit a 12 year old girl in the face…that part wasn’t so great.

Saturday we had a street display in Bamberg which ended up being ok. The weather was nice, and I was able to talk to a couple people. Not too many, though. Elders don’t usually have as much success at street displays, though, I feel. But we were able to help them out, so it was fun. After that we came back and did more yard work for the family, their name is the Wunderlich’s.

On Sunday we had chuch, interviews, and then weekly planning. I also cut my hair.

So all in all it was a pretty good week. I enjoyed it. We’ll see what will happen with transfer calls on Friday. Nobody in our district has any idea what will happen with Elder Brandner and me. Anything could happen.

Well I hope that you guys have an awesome week! I’ll let you know what happens!

Love ya!

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4/22/14 – Camping on the Balcony

4/20 – Hey since tomorrow is a German holiday, everything will be closed, and most of the mission is moving their P-days to Tuesday. So I will be emailing you guys on Tuesday. That is all! Happy Easter! Hunt some eggs for me!

4/22 – Glad you had a nice Easter. P-day today was fine – just usual pday stuff of getting our groceries and stuff taken care of, and then chilling in the apartment. Yesterday we and the sisters had a Easter Monday lunch appointment with Sister Jacob. She made us a goulash with lamb and stag meat. Was pretty tasty.

Church on Easter was good. We had a lot more people there than usual, because you know, Easter. So we had basically everyone show up, and then a few less actives. I gave my twenty minute talk. Rocked it, of course. Then after church Elder Brandner and I had a lunch appointment with our Branch President and his family, which was really nice because I have never actually had an appointment with them before, and they are one of my favorite families. Germans pretty much do the same thing as we do for Easter. They do the Easter bunny thing, they color eggs, and all that stuff. But they have more Easter holidays. Friday, Sunday, and Monday are all national holidays, and that means that everything is shut down. Everything.

I got a good amount of candy and goodies from some of the members, so I was well taken care of in terms of candy.

My talk was about how the Atonement can save us all from spiritual death. It turned out pretty good. I used it to talk a lot about agency and repentance and love and stuff. I can’t really send it to you. Basically for my talks I prepare a decent amount mentally, get my ideas and basic pattern down, and then go up to the podium with like a page of a couple bullet points and scriptures, and then just kind of free ball it. That’s how I like to give talks. Everyone told me that I did a good job, that my German is good, that I’m relaxed and funny, etc. So it was good.

By the way I am uploading a bunch of pictures on the dropbox at the moment. Most of them are still from the Veste. What is Cade wanting to do about BYU anyways?

Well I gotta go, so I will leave you with just some of the stuff that happened this week:

We had a ton of service hours doing yard work, moving work, and cleaning work in three different member family’s homes. We are basically working like slaves up in here. During one of the service days, one of the member families hid little candies and eggs and stuff all over the yard for us to find before we started doing yard work for them. So that was fun!

We had the baptism on Saturday, and that all went good. Quite a few members came, and he was early and ready to go. He wore a tie for the first time, which he borrowed from Elder Brandner, and he borrowed a shirt from me. Then he took it off after he was confirmed on Sunday. I guess he doesn’t like the whole tie thing. Koffi gave him grief for that. Koffi is awesome! He always calls me his brotha, and he is a freaking awesome little member missionary! And he was stressing out hardcore this Sunday because he blessed the Sacrament for the first time in his life! He was so stressed out and nervous about it, but he did great!

We helped people move this week, and they grilled a bunch of German barbecue, which was really good! Lots of grilled sausages, pork steaks, and other tasty things! So that was definitely worth it!

And last night Elder Brandner and I decided to go camping. We took our beds out onto our balcony and slept outside for the night. The weather was actually really nice, so we were comfortable. The only part about it that didn’t end up being so good was the fact that the birds were super loud this morning. That annoyed me.

I think that that is pretty much everything interesting that happened this week. So gotta go! Love you!Camping

 

4/14/14: One Year To Go!

4/14/14:

Hey. I’m emailing now if you are around. I should be able to upload more pictures later, but right now I am using the computer that is broken, and can’t do anything with flash drives, so I have to do that later. Thanks for the music. I’m listening to it right now.

We had a pretty lame p-day today, didn’t do anything cool. Just chilled. We had to go with a member to a hardware store to buy hoses for our washing machine. That’s about it.

So is Frito just gonna be alone with the Huba and Sheeba soon, since he’s gonna kill Cade and Blake, and you’re sicky? Haha.

We have a pretty busy week set in store, so that is good. We have a lot of service coming up, and we have a baptism on Friday. I am a little worried about whether or not he’s really ready to be baptized, but it’s not up to me. I just feel that there’s a lot that he still just doesn’t really grasp, and he only shows up to appointments like half of the time. Some other stuff too – it just worries me a bit.

I can’t believe my release date is a year from tomorrow. Crazy, right?

Karin is our only real other investigator that we meet with regularly, and she is doing well. She is basically a member because she comes to everything. We are mainly just trying to work on a couple of things, but there is definite progress. The people that we met at the restaurant are doing good, they’re awesome! We visit them almost every Tuesday night, and we talk with them for a little bit. They love us! Marissa, the owner, says that she is my Italian mama! They are so great!

Yeah I have a split with Elder Jackson tomorrow, so that will be good because he is a funny guy! We also are doing a bunch of service this week, so that is fun. This last Saturday we actually spent pretty much the whole day doing housework like sanding and sawing and stuff. Then they bought us pizza. So that was nice.

I am very happy here. I really love the Bayern part of Germany! It is spring/summer time and everything is so green and pretty! No – I haven’t eaten anything particularly bad in a long time. Just some boring things. We ate tuna pizza last week, that was pretty gross. But other than that, we eat pretty well.

I am still dead in the mornings. My companions always have to wake me up in the mornings, because I simply just sleep through everything. I don’t know if there is an alarm clock in the world that will wake me up. It drove Elder Rock crazy, but the rest of my comps didn’t really care. They would just throw stuff at me or something. I can’t help it – I sleep like the dead.

By the way, tell Cade that he needs a haircut. He be looking ridiculous. Oh – here’s an interesting fact: Voldemort’s name for “he who must not be named” is really long in German. It’s “der dessen Name nicht gennant werden darf” It makes me laugh.

Oh yeah, guess who has to give a 20 minute talk this week in chuch? This guy.  Yay being second counselor. Well I gotta go!  I’ll try and get some pictures to you! Love y’all!

District P-Day in Coburg

District P-Day in Coburg

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April 7, 2014 – P-day at the Veste (Castle)

4/7/14

Sup people!

So this is unfortunately going to probably be a really short and lame letter, so sorry about that in advance. We do not have a lot of time today since we are FINALLY going to the veste (castle) today for a district pday. But hey I will try to take lots of pictures today to make up for the shortness and crapiness that this letter will probably end up being.

So first off we had conference this weekend, which was awesome! Y’all probably didn’t notice, but Coburg was totally mentioned in President Eyring’s talk! He mentions it in the beginning of his Saturday morning session talk, because it is where his great grandfather comes from! Which I already knew, actually. But it was totally sweet and all of the missionaries and members here were totally pumped about it! But conference was really good this year! I actually had to watch the Priesthood session in German which was cool because I ended up understanding pretty much all of it! So that was pretty sweet!

We ended up doing a lot of service this week. We have a part member family in the branch that is moving closer to the church, so we have spent a lot of time there this week helping them renovate the new house. I had a split with Elder Palmer this week in Bamberg, so that was good. Elder Palmer is a fun and funny guy. We also did a lot of service on that split, so I have been doing a ton of service this week! Our investigators are all doing pretty good, no problems, just progress.

Did y’all like the birthday email that I sent Cade this week? I thought it was funny! And y’all are such dorks with Cade’s whole birthday thing! Snuffers!? That truly is our designated “we can’t pick of anywhere else to go” place.  I’ve seen and heard about the skydiving thing. I never really wanted to do it either, just because I don’t think it is worth the money. I just wanna actually go skydiving at some point. Well that’s really all I got/have time for. Gotta go! Love you!

Love,
Elder Austin Cassell

PS. I’ll try to give you a spiritual thought next week. I’m just not good at writing down stuff like that. I’m much more of a speaker, rather than a writer

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