Elder Austin Fullmer – Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

1 August 2011

Family! I am so grateful to be in Germany! I am going to take this letter from my journal entry:

The past few days have been bizarre. I woke up on the 24th of July really early so I could see the Frankfurt missionaries off. Then at 8 AM, The Berliners set off for the airport. We found out that our flight from Salt Lake City to Amsterdam was not direct. We had to stop in Detroit. At the SLC airport I called Mom real quick to tell my family that I would call them when I got to Detroit. That first flight was fine. When we got to Detroit, I called my parents. It was awesome to hear from them. They were all in Oklahoma for a Family Reunion. After talking, my companions and I grabbed some dinner from McDonald´s and boarded the plane to Amsterdam. It was super hot on the plane, but it started to pull out of the gate. There were so many people on the plane. It was huge. Before we took off, the pilot came on and said that we had to go back to the gate. We pulled in for some problem and stayed in the gate for two hours. There were 14 missionaries on the plan and we were all nervous because we all wanted to speak to people about the gospel. At least, I was afraid to. Either way they eventually took us all of the plane. I went to call my parents again. It was nice to be able to hear from them again. We ended up staying off the plane for four more hours. They got us a new plane, but had to re-seat everyone. I went up to the counter to make sure that all 14 of us had a seat. I took all the boarding passes and passed them out. Our flight from Detroit finally left Michigan at one in the morning on 26th of July. The flight was like seven hours long and I believe that there is a six hour time change from Michigan to Amsterdam.

By the time to we to Amsterdam we had obviously missed our flight. We finally got through security and to the right people to ask about our flights. We found out that the last half of the alphabet (six people who were all connected in the travel system) all had flight to Berlin via Frankfurt. The rest of us, including me had no flights. We talked to a Danish woman behind the counter. She said that she could get us to Berlin via Copenhagen, Denmark. We asked if she could hold that option for us while we tried to get a hold of Church Travel or the Mission President. We could not get a hold of either. Eventually we decided to accept the flights. I reasoned that it would be better for us all to get to Germany even if we had to be separated. We all said a pray together and the people flying through Frankfurt ran off to catch their flight. We worked on getting our boarding passes. I had to speak to a woman who needed our passports and baggage claim tickets. She had to go talk to the other lady that I had spoken to. Eventually we got our boarding passes. They gave us all a bunch of coupons because of all the trouble. They included a five minute calling card that allowed us to get a hold of the mission home. We quickly told them what was happening, got some food and then left on the plane for Copenhagen. By this point it was about 1730 on the 26th of July.

We got to Copenhagen quickly, went into the airport, and stayed their for about 30 minutes. Then we got back on the same plane. It was very little so we got to walk outside in both the Netherlands and Denmark. I`ve breathed outside air in both countries. I got super excited when I saw Germany from the plane. It was super cool. We got off the plane to find our luggage. Miraculously it was almost all their. Elder Burnett was missing both of his bags and Elder Cloward was missing one of his bags.

Once we got our luggage, President Pimentel and Sister Pimentel greeted us. They are awesome. I really love them a lot. he assistants to the President were there too. The Frankfurt group was not there though. Their plane had been delayed again. Crazy. The two Elders that were the assistants took us to a restaurant to eat. Sister and President Pimentel stayed at the airport to meet the other missionaries. After dinner we went to the mission home, which is where the President and his wife live. By this point it was 10 PM of the 26th of July. We were at the mission home with out the Frankfurt group for another hour. Finally they came in and everyone was together. President then did his initial interviews with us and we got to write a quick email home. We stayed at the hotel that was above the restaurant. I finally got to take a shower. It had been like two days of traveling. We spent the night there and in the morning we woke up and Elder Burnett, Stovall and I said our last companionship prayer together. It was kind of sad. Breakfast was at the hotel in the same restaurant Everyone was there so I got to talk with the sisters and a bunch of the elders again.

We then got picked up by the President and his wife. They took us to what they call Maurplatz. The place of the wall. It is a path that marks the Berlin Wall on the south side of Berlin. We walked through a park which used to be called “no man´s land.“ If someone crossed into this land, they were likely to get shot by East Germans. We crossed it to were the final wall would have been. Here we read the two dedicatory prayers for different parts of Germany for missionary work. They were awesome. We then got a chance to pray by ourselves and dedicate our own missions. It was a really sweet experience and I felt at peace. We came back together as a group and left for the mission office.

There we got our permits to preach, our debit cards, and filled out a bunch of paperwork. We paid 200 € for the bike fund and then we went off to the Golden Conference. The Berlin Mission calls the new missionaries Goldens. It was nice to have all of the Goldens together. I guess I did not realize how much I loved them and how much I would miss them until I was not with them anymore. It was exciting to see where I would go. The assistants conducted most of the meeting. They went through a map and let each trainer talk about his or her area. Then President Pimentel got up and announced who would be training which Golden. When he called my name I went up. He called me to go to Bergedorf and to serve with Elder Lingard. You can imagine how excited I was when I found out that the city was in Hamburg. That was one of the places that I wanted to go! We took pictures with the Mission President and his wife (I think they are sending this picture to you) then my companion and I helped to make the sack lunches. Then we lugged my bags to the train station and we head to Bergedorf. It took at least four hours to travel there. By the time we got to our apartment, I was exhausted. The chapel is beautiful as well as the land, people, and houses. I am glad to serve the Lord here in Bergedorf.

So I have been in Bergedorf for 6 days now. I had to speak in church yesterday. It was super scary, but a really good experience. The branch members are super nice and they all complemented me. I am not sure if they are all just really nice, or if they could actually understand me. The talk was on missionary work.

My new address is:

Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer
Brook Strasse 19
21029 Hamburg
Germany

I will be at that address for at least four more weeks. Just for your information the mission office address is:

Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer
Zerbster Strasse 42
12209 Berlin
Germany

My apartment address is best to send stuff too.

Feel free to email me at austin.fullmer@myldsmail.net and check out the blog.

Love,
auf Wiedersehn,
Peace,

Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer

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