Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011

            Okay, first sorry that I am emailing on Tuesday, Monday was a holiday here so all the businesses were closed and so we switched our p day. Second, sorry but this email is going to be short. Today was really busy. We tried to get my visa, but we had some issues, don't worry, we will work it all out, but it took along time. And we met with President Condie today, so we haven't had tons of time. So this email will be short. We did see a lot of good stuff. Rathaus, Wien's city hall, is so awesome! It is huge. We also saw the Austrian Parliament building. These buildings are crazy. They put America and the White House to shame. We also saw a huge catholic church. Not the famous one, but another really big one. It was cool. Yes I know all about Reisenrad. We live pretty close to it. It is in this way cool amusement park, and right next to it is the biggest park ever! Like it is 2 miles long or so. HUGE!! It was way cool. We played in it last p day. (Editor’s note:  Two Sundays ago my mom suggested I watch “Amazing Race” because they were going to Vienna.  So I did, won’t do it again, and one of the places they went to had a Ferris Wheel with enclosed dining carts.  The carts looked big on tv, with a table and chairs plus room for a violinist and a server, plus they would have had a camera person.  That is Reisenrad.)
            Okay, yesterday was the worst day for food ever. My faith was definitely tried. One of the big rules in our mission is that you have to eat all the food that touches your plate. Literally clean your plate off. And so we went to this older member ladies house to celebrate Easter, and she invited one of her neighbors so we could teach her, and the first item on the menu was leber knödel, which is a big ball of liver, probably about the size of a tennis ball. And I had to eat two of them. They eat them in soup, and the soup wasn't bad, but I thought I was going to throw up the entire time. Then we had this weird salad with sauerkraut in it. Yeah it was just gross. But I had to eat all of it. Then we had some weird meatloaf with some nasty semmelnknödel (a ball of bread. normally it tastes great, but these weren't good). It was a lot of food, and I barely ate all of it. Then right after that appointment we ran to an appointment with some recently baptized members. And they so kindly gave us some food. A brautwurst, some smoked ham, and then....BLUTWURST!!! For those of you who don't know what blutwurst is, you might want to skip a little bit. It is nasty. So pretty much, blutwurst is a wurst or sausage made from pig blood. We actually aren't supposed to eat any because it can make you sick, but my companion didn't tell me that and we couldn't offend the members, so we ate it. It was disgusting. I was already stuffed, and then I was trying to eat a giant pig scab. Gross. It definitely tested my faith. Anyways I survived somehow, and I lived to tell the tale. The worst day of food ever. Liver and blood.
            Anyways the work is going good. Last week was hard because appointments kept falling out (only 4 of our 17 planned appointments went through) because of Easter, but this week is looking a lot better.
            Last Wednesday we had lunch at Pres. Husz house (he is an Area Seventy and First Counselor in mission presidency) dinner was good, and he had to leave to go do something important, but we gave him a card that the police had left on our door. We couldn't understand what it wanted. So he called the police and talked to them.  In Austria and Germany you have to register with the police and tell them where you live. It’s called anmeldung. When you go somewhere else you are supposed to abmeldung, or unregister at that address. Well apparently the last couple of missionaries hadn't filled out an abmeldung, so on the police record 10-15 elders were living in this one apartment. Pres Husz straightened that all out, but unfortunately I wasn't anmeldung yet because I was waiting for paperwork from the mission home, but by law you have to register within 3 days. Normally it isn't a problem because the police don't check very often, but in this case it was bad. Luckily president Husz explained everything and I filled out my anmeldung the next day. So I didn't go to jail. Anyways that is just a cool story I wanted to share. Oh and also they don't speak German here. They speak wienerish, which is a difficult to understand dialect. Yeah it is great. hahaha it is actually really funny to hear. Anyways I love you all, keep praying for me and our investigators, and the work WILL go forth.

Love Elder Terry

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

            My first letter from Europe! yes!!! I'm writing this as a reply because I want to be able to make sure I cover everything. Oh and on German keyboards the y and z are switched so if you notice that it’s really not my fault, I'm trying to catch all of them but it is pretty hard.
            So first the plane rides. It was long. Really long. But the flight wasn't full so we got to spread out and I so I got some sleep. Maybe a few hours. The mission president and his assistants were at the airport to greet us. Pres. Condie is great, and so is Sister Condie, and the assistants are... strange. haha not really they are amazing, but they seemed strange at first because they just smiled and waved at us and they looked really goofy. But right after they greeted us Pres and Sister Condie took our bags, and the assistants, Elder Adams and Elder Baird, took us on the U bahn (German subway) to go contact people. I was so out of it, and I was more then a little scared. But it was crazy to watch how good the assistants were. They would sit down next to someone and within a few moments they were talking about the gospel. Crazy! The first guy I tried to talk to spoke English, so that definitely helped. We talked about the city and stuff, but not about the gospel. Then Elder Sanderson and I tried to talk to this old lady. She freaked out and started yelling at us, but we couldn't understand. So we left her alone and went somewhere else. Eventually we came back to that car and tried to talk to someone else, but the mean old lady started talking to everyone else and we still couldn't understand. Afterwards Elder Baird told us what she was saying. She was telling everyone that we were scientologists and that we should just go back to America. Yeah crazy lady. We pretty much didn't talk to anyone else, instead we observed the Assistants. They are good. They got like 2 or 3 appointments in just our hour train ride. They showed us a few tricks, like when you ask to make out an appointment say "we can make time for you on Monday at 2 or Tuesday at 4, which day is better for you?" just things like that where you word things so that you are bold and turn their thoughts to do what you want them to do. Pretty nifty. Oh and they talk to everyone, and never take no for an answer the first time. Like literally we were running after people to talk to them. Really cool. Then we had meetings at the mission office for the rest of the day, then went back to the mission home and had dinner. My first real German meal, and it was rice and chicken with gravy. It was really good. Oh and they told you where we were going, but they didn't tell us until the next day.
            Here are some of the cool things I found out about German on the first day. First the windows in their houses are AWESOME!! They all have handles, and if you turn the handle half way then the window swings open like a door, but if you turn the handle the whole way then it tilts open from the top. How cool is that! Oh and their toilets are backwards, so that the hole leading out the bottom of the toilet is in the front. I think it uses less water that way. Pretty cool.
            Anyways we spent the night at the mission home, then the next morning we had more meetings and stuff where we got taught, and then we found out our area and our trainer. I am serving in the Vienna 5th ward, and my new companion is Elder Pieper. Our address is

Schlosshoferstrasse 50/14
1210 Wein

 or you can write Vienna, Austria, it will get here too. The only thing is that if you send stuff and it doesn't get here until after I am transferred I might never get it, so if its something SUPER important send it to the mission home, and we get mail from the mission home about once a month, when the zone leaders go to Munich for zone leader conference. Elder Pieper says it takes about a week for mail to get here, and about 2 weeks for packages. And yes I got the package, thank you very much, it was great!
So more about Elder Pieper, he has been out about 7ish months, he is from Salt Lake City, he likes to play soccer, and he is kinda quiet. He is way cool though, and we going running every morning so that’s good. Elder Sanderson and Elder Sullivan are also in Vienna, so that’s pretty cool.
The train ride from Munich to Vienna was cool. Our trainers actually came to Munich to pick us up, so we didn't go alone. It is about a 4.5 hour ride, and we actually missed the train we were planning on taking, so we got in way late, and it was too dark to see a lot of the scenery, but what I did see was beautiful. Munich was so beautiful and green, and so is Vienna. We live in the city of Vienna, in a district called Floridsdorf. Vienna is divided into 22 sections or districts, and we are in the 21st  I think... I'm not sure. Anyways part of our boundaries are in the city, but we also have some of the nicer home neighborhoods in the outer regions of the city. There are 5 wards in Vienna, and one of them is an English speaking international ward. We are in the Vienna stake, which is pretty much all of eastern Austria. Vienna is so cool though. We are a walking district, but we don't really walk anywhere. There are like a million kinds of public transportation. U bahn or subway, Schnell bahn which are more like real trains that we use to travel far distances, Strass bahn, which are street trains, like in San Fransisco, and then buses. We have month passes so we use them all the time, and its cool because you can get anywhere on the trains and such.
            So my first real thing we did was we had a lunch visit with an old lady member in a retirement home. We had this really weird meatloaf stuff, called stephaniebretten, which is meat loaf with a pickle, half a hard boiled egg, and a brautwurst baked in it. I didn't know if I could eat it, especially the egg, but I did, and it tasted pretty good. We also met with a young man named Thomas, who had tons of questions about the Book of Mormon, and he spoke almost perfect English, and asked us to teach in English, so that was great. We also taught a college student named Johannes and his girlfriend, and we met with some newly baptized members named Horst and Ilsa. We didn't have tons of time to teach because..... it was stake conference, and Pres and Sister Condie came to give a training meeting, and we had lots of meetings. Elder Texeira of the Area Presidency came because they are reorganizing the stake presidency. It was really cool. Yesterday as the meeting was closing Elder Texiera was bearing his testimony and he said that if the members work hard the day would soon come when there would be more than one stake in Vienna. It was so cool! Talk about awesome!
This is a long email, sorry, but there is a lot to say, and since Riker and Sidney and dad didn't email me I can't email them, so maybe next week :) I have a lot of time to email so please have them email me.
            I think I've almost covered everything... we don't have tons of appointments right now because everyone goes out of town for Easter, but supposedly we normally have about 13-20 appointments a week, we also teach an English and German class, and we meet with the Husz family once a week. Pres Husz is 1st councilor in the mission presidency ( I didn't know that those existed, but it makes sense I guess) and an Emeritus Seventy. Yeah that’s intimidating. I haven't met him yet but we meet with him on Wednesday so everyone pray for me.
We talk to everyone we can. We haven't even gone dooring yet, because there are so many people on the streets and on the trains that we never run out of people to talk to. Most people ignore us.  We can normally get about 3 or 4 kontakt informations a day, so that's not too bad. We are going through the area book right now to see if we can find anyone that we should try and get in contact with.
            German is coming, but slowly, especially since I'm in Vienna where people talk with a accent. Especially old people. I can't understand them at all. But it’s coming, and soon it won't be a problem. It is still kinda scary to talk to people, especially on the bus, but I try hard every day, and it is slowly getting easier.
The food here is great, I love it, and we just went shopping and I love the food, and the prices. I don't know about the prices since they are in euros, but a liter of milk is .89, 2 kg of oranges is 2 euros. Bread here is amazing of course. They also have this really cheap bread, which they call toast because it’s not even worth calling bread, but it’s a lot like American bread, and it costs .45! sweet eh? It’s against the law to fortify anything with vitamins so its a good thing I have my vitamin pills! We have some peanut butter, and I'm starting to love Nutella, but I'll let you know if I need some peanut butter. Oh and dad, liederhosen are 180 euro here, but supposedly they are cheaper in Germany, so we will see. Anyways I love you all, thanks for everything, the church is true, the work is great, and here in the Alpineländisch mission münchen we baptize people. It’s what we do. Because we are the only church that can! Keep the people in your prayers and the work will move forward!
Elder Andrew Terry

Sunday, April 17, 2011

He made it!

This is the letter we received letting us know Andrew had arrived safely in Germany:  
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear Brother and Sister Terry,

We are delighted to tell you that Elder Terry arrived safely in Munich this morning.  He is tucked away in bed now after a long day of orientation.  Tomorrow he will meet his companion and travel to his first area in Vienna, Austria.

We thought you might enjoy these pictures from this evening.  Next Monday is Preparation Day and he will have time then to email you with more details.

We are thrilled that he is here and are very impressed with his preparation and enthusiasm.  He will be a great missionary.  Thank you for all you have done to help him become the fine young man he is today.  We love him already, and we will do all we can to help him grow as a missionary and have a successful mission.  If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.  May the Lord bless you and your family at this wonderful time of missionary service.


President and Sister Condie
Alpine German-speaking Mission

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week 8! the final days of Americanness.

            Wow! I can't believe that soon I will be in Germany! Time here at the MTC has really flown, and I'm so excited to go teach the gospel to the German people. Okay apparently I have offended some people with my reference to German being better than Spanish, but I was just quoting Joseph Smith. Anyways the language is going great. Well as great as it can go here at the MTC, I am fully prepared to have my world rocked once we get to Germany. I am hoping that I will be able to understand at least a few words. Our teachers have been getting us super pumped up and ready to go by telling us all sorts of fun stories. I can't wait to have some cool stories of my own.
            And I'm grateful to be going to Germany, especially after hearing about Caleb's shower and lovely little house. And we had a health meeting this week to teach us a whole bunch of things we need to know. All of the missionaries going international go to the same meeting, and they were talking about some crazy stuff. Purifying water with Clorox, mosquito nets, tropical disease... yeah I probably won't have to worry about most of those things, but if the world happens to end or something else crazy happens, I guess I will be prepared. Purifying water with Clorox still sounds risky to me. Isn't that stuff deadly? That’s a rhetorical question, I know it’s deadly, so I guess just make sure that you don't add too much???
            Well having General Conference here at the MTC was definitely a huge blessing. I learned A LOT. It was really cool because everyone watches it all together in the gym, and the spirit was just so strong there. Every talk was amazing. I really liked Elder Bednar's talk about revelation and Elder Uchtdorf's talk about using the Priesthood power. (Just a note, Elder Uchtdorf is German, for anyone who might of forgotten that) But all of the talks were awesome. We still had a fireside on Sunday after conference, and it was so cool. Via Sikahema, who played football for BYU and played in the NFL and is now a sports broadcaster in Philly, came and talked to us about how to make missionary work fun, and how his mission changed his life. It was way cool. After that we got to watch the MTC news clip thing. It was way funny. Everyone was laughing a lot because it was a pretty accurate depiction of life in the MTC. I love how Caleb was on it too. What a stud. 
            Well besides having an awesome conference weekend and a random weird last Utah snow storm, MTC life is still going great. On Tuesday Elder Oaks came and talked to us for the devotional. Not THE Elder Oaks, as in Dallin H Oaks, but Elder Robert C Oaks, an emeritus member of the Seventy. Yeah somehow a rumor of Elder Oaks coming got circulated around the MTC, so people were very excited. Then a lot of them were disappointed when it was not the Elder Oaks from the Quorum of the Twelve, but I really enjoyed this Elder Oaks talk too. He is a way cool guy. He is a retired 4 star general. That is pretty cool. But that’s not as cool as being a former president of the Seventy. Anyways he talked to us about missionary work, and how we need to follow the spirit, because the spirit is everything. He told us about a conference of mission presidents that Pres. Uchtdorf presided at. It was all the mission presidents in Europe, and they were talking about how they were having a hard time baptizing people. Elder Oaks said that "they were making excuses". Then President Uchtdorf stood up and said "Gentlemen, we can baptize everywhere." and explained that if we incorporated the spirit into everything we did then the Lord would lead us to those people who He has prepared to receive the gospel. It was very inspiring and I loved his talk a lot.
            That is pretty much it for this week. My next email will be from Germany, so this is goodbye, of sorts. I love everyone, and thanks for all of the support. The church is true. I know that for myself, independent of any other person. The work will move forward until it has filled the earth. Alles fur den Herrn!

Elder Terry