Posts Tagged ‘ Elder Stovall ’

Elder Austin Fullmer – God is Faithful

Hallo Family & Friends!
So we had transfer call this past Saturday. Turns out that Elder Redd and I will be spending another transfer here in Annaberg together. I am pretty excited about it. Elder Redd is a good companion and the ward really likes us here. & I really like them. We have a lot of really strong families in our congregation. Usually we sort of just invited ourselves over for Family Night on Mondays to different families in the congregation, but this Sunday two families came up to use and asked if we could come over to give a lesson for Family Night. Super Excited.
The other crazy thing about transfer calls is that our whole district stayed. So the Elders in Schwarzenberg are staying too. That means Elder Stovall will have been with his current companion for three transfers. That is pretty crazy long for our mission. Although I have heard that in other missions people can stay in the same city for upwards of 9 transfers and with the same companion for 5. The maxes for our mission seem to be around 5 per city and 3 per companion, but usually you stay 3 transfers in a city and only 1 or 2 transfers with a companion.
This week we also had a exchange. I stayed here in Annaberg and Elder Goliasch came here from Schwarzenberg. He is a pretty cool kid and our district leader. He is from Germany near the Swiss boarder. He told me that he was tired of speaking English, I told him I was too, so we spoke German the entire day. It is sort of surprising how many Elders don’t like to speak German with each other.
My cool Aunt Sarah, sent me an email this week & I would like to quote something from it reall quick. It really struck me. She said: “I’ve learned that basically everyone that is trying to follow Christ is having the greatest trial in their life to date … right now! It makes sense because the trial before the current trial prepared you for the current trial – with success it made you a stronger person; so if we but persevere, we will be made stronger for the next and next and next. So in the end … yup – super hero like strength!”
I thought that was so interesting. I totally see that in my own life. The challenges of High School were harder than those before. The challenges of the Academy were harder than those of High School. & now the the challenges of a Mission are much harder than the Academy. It is sort of a blessing that Heavenly Father gives us. He knows when we can do harder things.
It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures in 1 Corin 10: 13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Your challenges right now are preparing you for the ones to come. Das weiß ich. Go team go.
peace,
tschüß,
love,
Elder Austin Fullmer

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Elder Austin Fullmer – Should I be my brother’s keeper?

Family & Friends,
I hope this week was a good one for you. It was pretty good here in Annaberg. We were sort of all over are area again. I really like being able to get out of Annaberg itself. It feel like every single one of the 22,000 citizens in Annaberg have already been spoken to by other missionaries. We were able to finally find some new people to teach. We met with Frau Küchler and her friend Jürgen. They both live in Cranzal which is a smaller town three stops down the train line from us. It was a cool lesson. We are trying to set up another appointment, so I hope that works out.
We are trying to meet with a lot of the older members in the ward too. We meet every week with two older members that both live in different types of assisted living. The woman can’t read anymore and can’t come to church so we read from the Book of Mormon out loud with her. The man comes to church, but really likes the missionaries. We go over to his apartment and play chess with him. This man has a brilliant mind even though he sort of had a mental break down a couple of years ago. I would have loved to see him at his prime. He speaks German, Russian, and English and translated for both Elder Oaks and Elder Nelson when they visted the DDR (Deutcher Demokratik Rebulik). He taught me how to say ‘I am a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ’ in Russian. I figured there were so many Russian speakers when I was in Bergedorf, that I should try to get that basic sentence down.
We had Zone Conference this week. It was pretty fantastic. I got to see Elder Stovall (which I guess is not that big of a deal because we see each other like twice a week), Sis Schaerr, and Elder Wride (Elder Wride was in my district in Bergedorf). We had a lot of good workshops, and President’s talk was way awesome!
I gave my second talk in German yesterday. The topic was ‘Soll ich meines Burder Hüter sein’ or ‘should I be my brother’s keeper’. It was pretty sweet. Way Way better then the talk I had to give my first Sunday in Germany. The funny thing was I got up there got two minutes into my talk before realizing that I had forgot my Bible, since all but one of my scripture references came from the Bible, I just laughed, told the congregations what was up and went back down to my seat and got my bible. All in all a success.
Good luck this week.
Peace,
tschüß,
Love,
Elder Austin Fullmer

Elder Austin Fullmer – Annaberg-Buchholz

Hallo,

Well guys, I am officially not in Bergedorf / Hamburg any more. I can’t believe that my last email actually was written in Bergedorf. I feel like I have been in Annaberg for a long time already. The city of Annaberg-Buchholz is beautiful. We are right next to the Czech Republic in the Mountains. It pretty much went down like this: some German a thousand years ago was hiking through the mountains and thought to himself this mountain top is pretty…. let’s build a city right here on top. I think it is beautiful. It is a quite a change from Bergedorf. Hamburg is really just a German version of NYC or Chicago. Annaberg has a population of about 22,000 while Begedorf itself has about 222,000. The Annaberg area is also about three or four times the size of the Bergedorf area.

The Ward here is awesome. It is a really big Ward for how small the population is. We have about 80 to 100 active members every Sunday. That is way bigger than the Ward in Bergedorf where we had about 40 people each Sunday. Elder Van Miltenburg and I sing in the choir here. And this Saturday the Ward Choir is singing at the opening of the Weinachts Markt, the Christmas Mart. I am way excited about it, but also way nervous. Sister Richter the Choir director was sort of really, really excited when she heard Elder Van Miltenburg and I singing before choir practice. She promptly declared that is was wonderful that she had two missionaries that could sing and gave us to duets to sing at the performance. Meine Gute. We are singing Jingle Bells and The First Noel. It is this Saturday. I will let you know how it goes.

So this week is Thanksgiving, I think. I think it is the third Thursday in November. No one here celebrates Thanksgiving. It is way American. So my district is celebrating it today. I have a small district again. Only four elders ( side note: Elder Stovall one of my MTC Companions is in my district. Way Cool). After this Elder Van Miltenburg and I are going to go buy food and then we are all going to cook it together. I would like to take a moment to think about the things that I am grateful for. 1. I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 2. I get to spend Christmas in Annaberg, Germany. 3. I have an awesome family that loves me. 4. I have amazing friends all over the county (Connecticut, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Utah and Michigan to name just a few). 5. I was privileged to attend the USCGA for two years. 6. I have an awesome ward and stake president in both Connecticut and Michigan. 7. I am starting to understand German better. 8. Prayer is real.

The pictures. The first one is of me in the Harbor in Hamburg. You might think me a nerd, but I say that Buoy and I thought, ‘oh my goodness I buoy. I want to be an a buoytender some day.’ so… I took a picture with the German buoy. The second is of me and me last companion. I finally got him to take a picture with me. I think you can tell that Elder Guthrie does not like taking pictures with me. The third picture is of my new desk in Annaberg.

Also I the address I gave you was sort of wrong. I talked with Elder Van Miltenburg over the phone to get it and I heard him wrong. I accidentally wrote E instead of B in the street name. Also there are no dashes. So here is the correct address:

 

Elder Austin Fullmer

Karlsbader Strasse 25

09456 Annaberg-Buchholz.

 

If you already sent something it will probably get to me anyways.

You guys are awesome. Good luck this week and for you all at the Academy: two day ’til Thanksgiving break. You made it.

Peace,

tschüß,

Love,

Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer

elderfullmer.wordpress.com

mormon.org


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Elder Austin Fullmer – Christmastown

14 November 2011

Hallo,

I got transfered…. I have mixed feelings about it all. I absolutely love Bergedorf and Hamburg. I have really enjoyed my time and service here in Northern Germany. My ward is amazing and I know that I certainly have made connections here that will last for a very long time. So transfer call was on Saturday. President read off the transfers starting with Hamburg Zone and then going in Alphabetical order. So I found out very quickly that I was getting transfered. President said that Elder Guthrie would be getting a new companion in Bergedorf. So that took away some of the suspense. I knew that I was getting transfered. Then he went through all the other Zones. City after city based by and my options were limiting. I turned about that he got to the last Zone the Dresden, Germany Zone and my name still had not been called. The suspense was certainly building back up again. He went through each city and still my name was not being called. He got to the last district and then the last city. I was the last name that he said. So, I figure with this long explanation, you are also ready to hear where I am going. Annaberg, Germany.

I don’t really know a whole lot about this city, but here is what I do know. It is way little. Bergedorf is part of the second largest city in Germany, so that will be way different, to got to a really little town. Annaberg is really close to the border with the Czech Republic. I will be in another District with only four Elders. One of the Elders in the other city in my new District is Elder Stovall. Elder Stovall was one of my companions at the MTC. I am way excited to get to see him regularly for a couple of weeks. Also Elder Burnett, my other MTC companion, is in the Dresden Zone. I will get to see him at President Interview and Zone Conference. Lastly Annaberg has the nickname amongst the missionaries as Christmas-Town. Apparently my area is the hub of all things Christmas in Germany. I must admit, I am pretty excited about that.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity. To go on a Tausch (Exchange) with Elder Wride in Lauenburg. It was way cool. We taught a long time investigator named Walter. He has pictures with every single missionary that has ever entered his apartment. So we took a picture and I gave him my address. That evening we did street contacting in the Altstadt (the old town). The church that is old town was build in 1598. That’s right, before James Town. American is so young. We contacted into this man from Bayern which is Bavaria in English. We was way cool and got really excited when I told him that I was born in Bayern too. We talked with him about what were were doing and our message. In the end he did not want to take a copy of the Book of Mormon, but he did take our card. I am always amazed how Heavenly Father, but us where we need to be. I know that that German Truck Driver felt prompted to walk down to Altstadt and look at the beatiful Elbe River. We were supposed to find him there. I was able to place my Book of Mormon a few minutes later with this young guy who was just getting back from playing soccer. Hopefully he reads something and can feel the spirit. Also, as a side note: Lauenburg has a car and your American license is good for the first six months in Germany. So I got to drive the whole day since Elder Wride just hit his 6 month mark in Germany. I got to drive on the Autobahn. Sick.

I love you all. I hope that you have success this week. I have to pack today and then have a 5 hour long train ride to the former GDR, German Democratic Republic. Go Communism Go. That was a joke.

My Address in Annaberg is:

Elder Austin Fullmer

Karls-Eader-Strasse 25

09456 Annaberg-Buchholz

Germany

But as always the safer bet is the address at the mission home especially for things bigger than letters:

Elder Austin Fullmer

Deutschland Berlin Mission
Zerbster Strasse 42
12209 Berlin
Germany

Sweet. Talk to you later.

peace,

tschüß,

love,

Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer

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

Elder Austin Fullmer – First letter from the MTC

Mom, Dad & Family,

So the past six days, I have been thinking in the back of my head about what I wanted to write today. Believe me it has switched a lot. Hopefully this letter is a fair display of all that I have felt this past week. First, I want you to know about this cool website DearElder.com. It is a free service where you can write to me and the me and the letter gets to my mailbox the same day. Anyone can write me this way. It also saves time. I only have ~30 minutes a week to email, so it will be nice to read letters from DearElder.com during the week instead of during those 30 minutes. It gives me more time to write you back. For reference my box number is MTC Mailbox #224. This service only works at the MTC, so will have to stop when I leave.

Anyways, about the MTC. Instead of having only one companion, I have two because there is an odd number of new German speaking missionaries (27 of us by the way, which is unusually high). They call us the Dritt which in German means “there are three of us.” My Companions’ names are Elder Burnett and Elder Stovall. The three of us will all be going to Berlin. Elder Burnett is from Colorado Springs, CO. He is really awesome. He helps me a lot with German; he is really good at the language, and I am not so good at the language. Elder Stovall is from St. George, UT. I like both of them a lot. We get along well together, which is good seeing as I will have to be with them 24/7 fro the next nine weeks. Oh, that reminds me: I’ll be at the MTC for approximately nine weeks. I have this little card that came in my packet that says my estimated departure date is 26 July.

The first day was pretty cool. We got our I.D.s, name tags and companions. My name tag says: ELDER FULLMER KIRCHE JESU CHRISTI DER HEILIGEN DER LETZTEN TAGE. Way cool. We also met our teacher Bruder Evans. I really like him a lot too. He served his mission in Switzerland. We also got organized into Districts. My district is my class that Bruder Evans teachers. There are nine of us in the District/Class. There are two other sets of Elders and one set of sister missionaries. Then there is me and my companions – the Dritt. Those other four Elders are going to Frankfurt and then the sisters and the three of us are going to Berlin. I really like my District alot. It is pretty neat that we all get along so well.

After the first day, I began to feel very overwhelmed to be honest. Here is a bit from my Journal entry on 28MAY11:

“Oh, my goodness. Today was the fourth day at the MTC. I have just felt so overwhelmed. My teacher is Bruder Evans. He is awesome. My companions are awesome too … Despite all this and a great district, I have just felt so much self doubt. On our third day we taught an “investigator.” He teaches her, but for the lesson he only spoke Deutsch and we had to teach him! I understood absolutely nothing of what he said. Luckily Elder Brunett understood most of it. I didn’t say a single word. Today was our second lesson. I said a broken prayer and one other sentence. Elder Brunett & Elder Stovall did the rest of the talking. THey both said they could feel the spirit so strongly, but I felt nothing. Why?! I just felt defeated, like I would never learn the language … Later that day during class, we had a moment to ourselves and I prayed. I prayed to feel the spirit. To feel some comfort … I really felt the spirit. Then Bruder Evans asked us all to to turn to Matthew 14: 24-33. I felt an immediate response to its truth. The disciples were scared. They were in the middle of the storm on a boat. Like me they were overwhelmed. They they saw a man out on the water. Not knowing it was Jesus they were frightened. When Peter realized that it was his master he walked on the water to Christ. However he lost faith and began to sink. I have felt like this the last four days. I went on my mission; I walked out onto the stormy sea, but I began to sink and I was beginning to loose faith. The language was overwhelming me and I didn’t feel like I was a asset. When I read verse 31 & 32, I felt an immense rush of of the spirit and comfort over me. I felt embraced in my saviors love. He immediately reaches his hand out for mine. What Glory! I started to cry and just felt so much peace. I know my savior loves me. With out a shadow of a doubt, I know that he loves me. What Glory! I know that through him I can learn German.”

The language is definitely hard. We were told that the German speaking branch is on the Church’s language pilot program. Which means they are making us learn by immersion. We never learned the alphabet or pronunciation. We just jumped in. This was especially hard for one of the sister missionaries and myself who never took any German in high school or college. I’m trying to stay positive. We all start as novices, you know? The better your spirit, the better your German. It doesn’t work the other way around. That I am grateful for.

Yesterday was Sunday and it was the best day. My Branch President’s name is President Dunn. He and his wife are both great and has so much love for the German speaking missionaries. Our first Priesthood meeting was great. President Dunn spoke about recognizing the spirit. He used parts from a talk that Elder Bednar gave in General Conference a couple conferences ago. Sacrament Meeting was mostly in German except for the main talk. My companions and I went to choir too. I quickly realized that I am no longer a tenor or at lease I can’t hit some of those high notes. Sunday night we had a fire side. Brother Allen and his wife spoke. Brother Allen is the director of the missionary department at Church headquarters. Oh, we got to walk up to the Provo Temple too!

Will you please send me one of those fleece blankets up in my room? I have instituted my I-am-not-going-to-sleep-under-my-sheets-because-I-never-want-to-make-a-bed routine. However just sleeping with a sheet is a little cold. Could you also send me a new bottle of Cetaphil Facial Moisturizer? Feel free to use money from my acount. Also please send me my pea coat and my colored pencils if you can find them. The color pencils should be in the desk draw up in my room.

Can I leave you with my testimony auf Deutsch? Ich weiß, dass Gott sie liebt. Himmlischer Vater will alles gut für sie. Ich bin dankbar für die Lieve. Ich liebe mein Himmlischer Vater. Ich weiß, dass Joseph Smith ein wahrer Prophet war. Durch Joseph Smith stellete Gott seine Priestertumsvollmacht. Ich weiß, dass das Buch Mormon wahr ist. Wann sie beten, werden sie das Heilige Geist in ihre herz fühlen. Der Heilige Geist hilft sie die Wharheit zu wissen. Sei sind ein Kind von Gott. Ich weiß, dass Jesus Christus sie liebt.

Finallz I waled into the Bookstore office with my companions and vocally said that I loved this paper poster of Gordon B Hinckley quote. One of the ladies there gave me a copy. It says, “Things will work out. Keep Trying. Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get discouraged. Things will work out.” This is my new motto.

I love you all very much,
auf Wiedersehn,
Peace,
Elder Austin Arthur Fullmer