Elder Austin Fullmer – A brother named Dirk

Dad, Mom, Family, and Friends!

I cannot believe that it has already been three weeks. Well, almost. I guess the three week mark is actually this Wednesday. It has been a very rewarding but difficult experience. My friend Nate wrote to me that he thought the MTC sounded a little bit like Swab Summer. In a way it does. While nobody is yelling at me, the schedule is really fast paced as Swab Summer was. It feels like we are always going to the Cafeteria and once I even forgot what meal I was going to. The days feel really, really long, but the weeks have gone fast so far. It is already another P-day.

We get to hear from awesome people here at the MTC. Last Tuesday, Elder Kikuchi from the 1st Quorum of the Seventy came to speak to us. He was awesome to hear. He talked about missionary work (I guess that is pretty obvious), the First Vision, and his own conversion. He lived in Japan during WWII during which his father died when a US Sub destroyed his father’s commercial fishing vessel. He grew up paying for his high school education by working during the day at a factory and then taking night classes. When he was 14 or 15 he got really sick and had to go to the hospital. At the hospital he was scared and prayed. A couple of days later two American missionaries knocked on his door. He was the only one home and answered it. He told the two missionaries that he hated Americans and that they should leave (remember that his father just died because of an American sub a few years earlier). The missionaries told him that they had a message about a young boy just his age. He told them that he would give them ten minutes. Within those ten minutes he felt the spirit and now is a General Authority. What a powerful testimony.

On Sunday, President Dunn called my two companions and I into a class room. President Dunn is my Branch President. He is awesome! Anyways, he talked to my companions and I about our companionship and how were getting along. My heart was beating so fast, because I new it time for new leadership in the Branch. He asked me to serve as the District leader for my District. I guess I’m excited. I don’t really know. The last three weeks our District leader was Elder Hymas and for the next three weeks it will be me. The final three weeks with be somebody else. My job is to lead the District for the next three weeks (right now there are four districts, three of which all reported in on 25MAY like me). I’m supposed to conduct meetings that we have as a district, check the mail twice a day, interview with all the senior companions, and report to the Branch President. I also have to go to Branch Council on Sunday mornings and Leadership Council on Tuesday evenings. President Dunn asked me what type of leader I thought I should be. I told him my philosophy was servant leadership.

Ok, so for some comic relief: Yesterday when I was walking to the temple (we get to go on temple walks every Sunday) I passed beneath a tree and felt a thump on my head. Why did I feel a thump on my head you may ask. I was cautiously asking the same question. I slowly reached my head toward my head and touch the top of my head. When I brought my hand down and saw my finger tip I started to laugh. A BIRD POOPED ON MY HEAD. I told everyone that was around me. Half the MTC probably knows that I got pooped on. Then I walked into the nearest MTC building and proceeded to wash my hair. What on earth are the chances of that!

We had two districts of Elders leave for the field today. I will really miss a lot of them. Fortunately my favorite, Elder Whitehead, is going to Berlin. I really hope that I will get to be his companion at some point. They all got here at some point in April. So there nine weeks ended in June. A new set of Elders and Sister will be coming in on Wednesday. New German-speakers come every third Wednesday. All of these missionaries will be going to the Alps mission which includes part of Germany, part of Switzerland and then all of Austria. Pretty cool.

I am still really loving my district. They are all awesome people. My companions too. Elder Burnett and Elder Stovall are really helpful and are fun to be around. We’ve become good friends. I’m glad that we are all going to Berlin, so that we won’t really have to say goodbye. I’ll be sad when we have to say goodbye to the four Elders in our District who are going to Frankfurt.

I have a new favorite Hymn here at the MTC. It is now “Come Thou Fount.” It is an original German hymn that used to be in English Hymn book, but isn’t anymore. I love it. My favorite part about learning German is singing in German. So Good. The German is coming along. Slowly, but surely. I’ve set some concrete goals for my language training, so I think that will help.

We are teaching two new “investigators.” One is Bruder Evans who is playing a Swiss man named Marcello. The other is Bruder DeCosta is playing a German named Dirk. It is way cool to have this sort of practice at the MTC. It makes teaching way more personal. I find myself thinking about these investigators all the time. How I can help them.

I love you all! I’m sorry if these letters are two religious for your liking. I’m primary writing to my parents and then to a variety of friends and family! That is sort of the nature of the next two years of my life.

Also, I only have a week more of teenager-hood. I turn twenty next Monday. Weird.

Love,
auf Wiedersehn,
Peace,

Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer

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