Monday, February 25, 2013

78-08 (130218 to 130224)
Sunday February 24 was a very good day for the Sister missionaries and the München 3rd Ward because a Sister they have been teaching was baptized. The Sister is a Geology student and was in Utah for a sort visit. She went to the temple grounds and was so impressed that she came back to Germany and wanted to be baptized. She was baptized today. After the baptism the members brought treats and they all were very good.
In the evening Sister Mason helped a YSA prepare the meal for this evening. As we started there weren't many at the table but they kept coming and we had 15 that ate with us and 2 more came later making 17 JAE's taking part in the evening activities Two were not members. A couple of the Spanish speaking young women came and took part for a couple of hours and that was great. The first ward’s bishop speaks Spanish and they have a number of Deutch/Spanish speaking families in their ward and one of the elders in that ward is Spanish speaking. He is from Uruguay. After the dinner some of the JAE’s played and hung out until nearly eleven. 
Near the summit. The trail we hiked up was the trail that we sledded down. The scenery was beautiful from the snows this last week. No – the snow isn’t this deep in Münchin. 
It was a real hike to get to summit. The walk was not too bad and it was not as cold as we expected so it was a good hike. We did not actually go to the top of the hill but very close at the top or in the summit where is a little shack where we had a good lunch. We ate lunch in the shack. We had to take off our shoes to go into the restaurant. The food that we were served was very good and we enjoyed the meal. We rented a sleigh for 8 each and started down the hill. It took us 3-4 hours to get to the top and about 1 hour to get to the bottom. The first part of the sleigh run was fast and the second half not so fast. Sister Mason took a good tumble in the first 200 yards and then slid well the rest of the way. Elder Mason’s sleigh wanted to turn right all of the time so he could not go as fast as he wanted to go. When we got to the bottom our YSA leader informed us that we only had 15 minutes to get to the bus. We did not think we could make it to the bus stop in time but the bus was a bit late and we all got to the bus before it left. 
It was Saturday evening and when we visited this church building. We actually sat through part of the Saturday evening mass.
Now back to the center
Monday night we had 7 for family home evening tonight. I gave the lesson on the fruits of the gospel and particularly focused on temperance which I like to do. We applied for our drivers licenses and they took our New Mexico licenses. We now have our papers that we have German drivers licenses and our real licenses will come in a few week. Sister Mason had her license renewed just before we came to Germany so she could not prove that she has been driving for more than two years. Consequently she could only get a temporary license. We got her driving record that we had sent to the mission office and gave it to the motor vehicle division so Sister Mason can now have the regular driver’s license. We also picked up our Aufenthaltstitels which I think it is the equivalent to the USA social security card. Our card allows us to be missionaries but not to work and earn money in Germany.
Brother Mason met with Munchen Stake President, he called Elder Mason to be a high councilman. He will not have a ward assignment but will go to the different wards and find ways to strengthen their young single adults. Sister Mason has yet to get a calling in the ward but one is coming.
Sister Mason used some of Elder Mason’s foot fungus cream and spray. During the day her foot started to itch even more and when she took her shoe off exactly where she had sprayed her foot and put the cream on was all read, swelling and a blister had formed between her toes were she had put the cream. She, obviously, cannot use Elder Mason’s foot cream for her feet. Elder Mason got both the spray and the cream form the Apotheke and it works well for him but not for Sister Mason.
Again the 19 number is magic, we had 19 attend institute on Wednesday. Sister Mason made American chili and about 14 JAEs ate. I believe they liked because they ate it all.

Saturday, February 16, 2013



Elder and Sister Mason with a mime on Mairan Platz – the center of the old city and location of the two hall or Rathaus.
It has been a busy week with nurse calls and at the single adult center. We have had several young single adults travel to Munchen staying with friends and they come to the center. The sister Missionaries have a baptism a week from Sunday, a 24 year old woman. We hope she will regularly come to institute and the activities that we have at the center. She came to the center and we showed her the baptism font. The font is tiled and it is very pretty. I think she was a little disappointed it was not on the back of 12 oxen as it is in the temples. She visited the Salt Lake temple grounds last year and the large font was her expectation. 

When it snows parents with small children put them in a toboggan type sled with a sheep skin to sit on and pull them around town and take them on public transportation. In our apartment complex the parking garage is not very full and every time we go down to the parking garage to empty the trash it looks like no one ever takes their car out of the garage. They must use their cars for weekend travel only. 

We had Zone Leaders over for lunch on Sunday. After the lunch with the Elders we went straight to the center and Sister Mason prepared the night meal for the JAEs. Again we had about 19 at the dinner. We had the Sisters over for lunch on Monday. Then again we went to the center to prepare the evening. 

Tuesday evening no one came for the scheduled English class but a number of the young adults came and played games and just relaxed. It was a successful evening because Tuesday is a night that YSA usually do not come and they are now feeling comfortable enough to just show up.
Wednesday we finished preparing Sister Mason's presentation for the new missionaries and then went to the mission office. Six Elders and a sister arrived. President Miles asked me what I remember tell the new missionaries my memories of the first day I arrived in Germany in 1967. Truthfully I do not remember that day. But I did tell the new missionaries a few things about my first days on my mission. Sister Mason did a good job on her presentation. Sister Miles presented her family for the first hour then president Miles began the interviews while Sister Mason gave her message on missionary health. Note Sister Miles mentioned that she is the daughter of Elder Russell Nelson.
Sister Mason and I went to the ADAC travel agency and got our drivers licenses translated so that we can apply for driver licenses for Germany. They did it much quicker than I suspected, in about an hour and it cost 49€ each so it was a bit expensive to have our driver licenses translated.
Sister Mason cooked fried rise Wednesday evening and I thought it was very good. It was a real rush to get back from the mission office and then to get the meal ready. Only 13 signed the roll for the institute class but I think there were more there than 13.
I gave a Brother from another region in Germany a blessing. He came to Münchin to get closer to one of our young women and she hasn’t wanted anything to do with improving the relationship. He is a good young man and has a good spirit and works for the church but the things of the heart do not always go as you plan. He has prayed about this relationship and feels he has received an answer but she obviously hasn’t received the same revelation. I counseled him that in these kinds of relationships the inspiration has to be received by both and when that does not happened then the relationship may not go forward.
Thursday, Valentine’s Day, and I didn’t get a flower for my wife. We just got too busy and could not get to the store. We went to the center and two JAEs came over. One left the other and took his sweetheart to dinner and the movie leaving the other with us. We were to meet with the sisters and waited for the sister missionaries until 19:30 and the three of us went to dinner. It turns out that the sisters came at 7:45 so we just missed them. The meal was good and we enjoyed young man's stories. He had a lot of great missionary stories to tell us.  After the meal we went back to the center and talked.
We had about 10 Friday evening for a movie night. Sister Mason popped popcorn and they brought pizza and we ate some of the fried rice. This was the first evening that they watched a movie. They used Sister Mason’s computer to watch the movie. We had to change the area on her computer. The USA is area 1 and Germany is area 2. We only allowed to change the area 4 times and we just used up one. Anyway, we watched “The Last Samurai.” After the movie we talked about the Holy Ghost. Again we got to bed about 1.

Monday, February 11, 2013


From the tower looking directly at the City Hall and across Munchen. Near the bottom of the Rathaus are two levels of Glockenspiel. That is at 11 and 12 each day bells ring and the life sized statues that rotate on a disk to represent a battle that München won. The lowest clock play depicts rejoicing that the battle was won. As you can see it was a cold winter day in München. If you look one direction you can see the Alps but this day it was too cloudy.

Munchen is a beautiful city as you cans see. We are enjoying our time here. We toured three of the Churches. This picture are taken in city center. The City has a rule that no building can be higher than the Churches. The churches stand out because they are the tallest buildings in the city. When we go to church on Sunday it is fun to hear all the church bells ringing.

Sendlinger Kirche and our bus stop. Directly behind the car in the center of the picture is the bus stop where we pick up bus 53 and are taken Schwanthalerhöhe U-bahn. We then take the U-bahn one stop and then walk to the center. I don’t believe tourists can visit this church.

It has been a good week. We are settling into a routine. Except for Thursday in was busy with sick missionaries. We had about 10 people for Monday FHE. Tuesday Sister Mason made yogurt-sugar cookies that she gave to everyone after Zone training and they were very appreciated. The theme of the zone training was demut or humility. There were 16 elders, 4 sisters and 3 couples at the training. We practiced the zero lessons. A zero lesson is introducing yourself to a person you have met and being able to carry on a conversation with that person or persons in German.

A good quote from Elder Walch, Progress and change come when you act so go act on the promptings of the spirit.

Wednesday we had a meeting with the Stake President and we discussed his vision for the YSA. Thursday was really busy and then we went to another ward. We got on the wrong bus twice, but finely made it at 8:30 pm and no one was at the church house as we went there to watch the JAEs play volleyball. It was snowing and the wind was blowing. Friday was a calmer day.

Saturday was really fun. We went with the Hunsakers and Sister Hunsaker was our tour guide. We went to the city center and visited two churches, markets, and two department stores. Sister Mason now knows where to buy a waffle iron and some pans to make pizza, all kinds of house items. Sister Mason looked at hats in a hat store but the only thing I like was 150€ so I did not buy one. 

Friday, while the JAEs were playing their games the JAEs were playing their games the young men/young women of the first ward had a Fasching party in the Gym and were all dressed up for the festivities. Members have told me that Fasching in Germany is like the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Many of the schools are closed the week of February 10.

Fasching or Carnival in Germany begins on November 11 at 11:00 but is really celebrated the last week before Ash Wednesday. The Thursday before Ash Wednesday begins with "Women’s Carnival.” Ladies can kiss any man they like after cutting off his tie. The next highlight is Rose Monday: Marching bands, dancers, and floats parade down the streets, throwing confetti, sweets, and toys. The elaborate floats often show caricatured figures mocking politicians and other personalities. On Shrove Tuesday, costume balls are held all over Germany, while the quiet Ash Wednesday marks the end of Fasching. Almost every German city celebrates carnival and organizes a street parade in its city center.

78-05 (130128 to 130203)
Our apartment is address

Elder/Sister Mason

Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage

Pfeufer Strasse 45

81373 Münich



The Mission office address is

Alpine German Mission

c/o Elder/Sister Mason

Lommel Strasse 7

81479 Münich



On Sunday we went to the 3rd ward sacrament meeting and to the 1st ward sacrament meeting. It was fast Sunday so I bore my testimony in the 3rd ward. We got to 3rd ward priesthood meeting and Relief Society meeting a bit late because the 1st ward sacrament meeting went overtime. We did go home and have a short nap before we went back to the church. We had the Sunday evening meal as usual.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

This is our first full week in Müchen.
I’ll start with Sunday the 27th activities. Friday night we were called by the Bishopric and were asked to speak this Sunday. I consented for Sister Mason and myself. Again Sister Mason did not take the call so I volunteered her. We talked on temple work. Sister Mason spoke German when giving her talk as did I. I was very proud of her. Without hesitation she said she would talk today in German and that is what she did. Some of them members congratulated her on her being brave enough to talk in German after being here only a week and I certainly agree. She was also asked and gave the closing prayer in Relief Society in German and she closed the meeting in German. I think she is fantastically brave and focused and will continue to do well in the Stake and Ward activities.
This evening we had the regular Sunday evening meal with young single adults. As with last week, we had 19 young single adults attend. Two young adults cooked the meal and we had two nonmembers join us, part of the 19, and they all had a good time and a good meal. 
Saturday we had a senior missionary couple join us for a lunch and Sister Mason trimmed the Sister’s hair. We had a good meal and good conversation. They left and we dove into getting our talks ready for Sunday. 
Sunday we had an interview with the 3rd ward Bishop. We have been assigned to the Münich 3rd Ward. He has some particularly difficult issues in his ward to deal with. Basically he offered to have some help with some of those issues. Sister Mason will probably be called to work with the young women and they, the stake and ward, are still not sure what they are going to do with me. The couple we replaced went to the international ward. They accept international members from all of the area around Münich but they only speak English. It will be more difficult for Sister Mason at first but she will learn the German and this ward needs our help and I don’t think we would be that helpful in the international ward.

We also teach an English class on Tuesday. We only had two folks come this week. One was originally from Iran and the other person is a basketball coach for one of the schools and is from Romania.

Wednesday night is also a very busy night. It is institute and we have a dinner before the institute class. The Office senior couple made the meal and it was good. This week we also planned young single adult (JEA) activities. There are some very fun and good singles that we are working with.
The picture is of our street. We live on Pfeufer Strasse 45. We are on the bottom floor and way in the distance on the left is a white building and that is our building. The church in the background is the Sedling Kircke.


Saturday, January 19, 2013


Elder and Sister Mason left for Germany Monday morning the 14th of January. We arrived at the airport in good time and immediately checked in. Two bags were exactly 50 pounds and two were 52 pounds. The two were over because we did some reshuffling of contents the night before and did not have the chance to re-weigh them. The airline attendant said he would pass them because we were leaving for a good cause. Later, before we boarded the flight, Sister Mason wanted Elder Mason to buy her a bottle of water. I asked the clerk how much a bottle cost, picked a bottle, and then went to pay the clerk at the counter but a lady in front of me had already paid for the bottle of water. She has a son out in the mission field who will come back this spring. I feel bad when people do that because we are better off than many of them but I do appreciate their kindness. The rest of the trip has gone well. 

We arrived in the mission field on Tuesday Jan 15. The Coverston trained us on the transportation system, the shopping, the Centrum, and the nursing aspect of the mission field. We are assuming the position that the Coverstons served for the past 18 months.  

It started to snow Thursday night and snowed all the night and through the day. The picture is of the apartment with the snow on the bushes that surround our small patio.

In this picture we looking at the bushes around our patio. The opening in the center is the entry way to the grass in the center of our complex. The window to left of the opening is our living room window.

Thursday morning we went to the anmeldung office and registered. We visited a few more stores and went to the mission office. Sister Coverston showed us how to get to the office by taking us on the bus and train. We stayed in the mission office for a couple of hours and then the Coverstons took us to the Mission Home. Sister Mason, Sister Coverston, and Sister Miles talked for a couple of hours over the mission nursing needs while Elder Coverston and Elder Mason relaxed in the living room and ate nuts and cakes. After the sisters finished discussing the mission nursing needs, President and Sister Miles took us to dinner. President miles is a high energy, very positive thoughtful man, his wife is very pleasant. 

Friday we were at the Centrum by ourselves without the Coverstons to guide us. It felt strange to be in the Centrum by our self’s. Elder Mason vacuumed and cleaned. Sister Mason mucked out the Kitchen and moped floors. The YSA’S are very accepting of us and express their appreciation to Sister Mason for keeping the center open until late (midnight) so they could stay and visit with each other. We arrived early at the Single Adult Centrum and one young woman came at 5:00 pm. She was dropped off by the women she works for. She said she was really happy that we were here, otherwise she would have no place to go and it is very cold outside. She had a safe place to go. She said she was not given a choice to stay home. Most of the families want their nanny out of the house as much as possible on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I made yogurt sugar cookies and dropped chocolate on the top of the cookies. They were a hit. They liked them very much because they were soft. 

Friday we joined the district leader and his companion to teach a single lady. She was curious about the church. She said she would read the Book of Mormon, but would not commit to go to church.