Monday, May 29, 2017


Hello my Lieblings,

Let's just get right to it shall we. Tuesday was quite the day. We had an awesome day planned with a lesson with Andreas and a lesson with an inactive member. For a little back story on him, he stopped coming to church a while ago due to whatever reasons. Every now and then, he calls the missionaries up because he's ready to switch his life up and get on the right track. Wonderful, doing our job for us. The problem is, that he lives one and a half hours away from us by car, or 3 hours by train/bus. So the last time he called the elders was about 6 weeks ago or so, and they made out an appointment with him and got the legendary Brother Jablonsky to come be a joint teach/drive with them. They made the trio out, and low and behold, he wasn't at home. They called him and found out he was actually in Brandenburg, so that was a little lame. NEVERTHELESS, I didn't let this story take away from my faith in him this time. He called us, we made an appointment out, and Brother Jablonsky offered to take us again. We all had indubitable amounts of faith in this guy. We called him 2 hours before the appointment, no answer. 1.5 hours before/the start of our trip, no answer. Ever ten minutes on the drive there, no answer. The deciding moment, the ring of the doorbell, no answer. Unfortunately, we had a little too much faith. We also got ice cream to calm Elder Noland down a little bit.

Tschüß, son (another Best Friend For Life)

Later that evening as we were settling down, some thunderstorm clouds started brewing up which was quite the treat. We brought our chairs and a table out to play some chess in the beautiful weather, until it started pouring down rain. Instead, we sat there and just soaked in the sweet feeling of a good old thunderstorm, which you don't find very often in Germany. Makes me miss monsoon season, or better known as the best part of the year.

Thursday was the holiday I previously spoke about, known as Christi  Himmel Fahrt. It was just as was explained, and better. We were doing yardwork for a long time and about every 5 or so minutes, a trailer being pulled by a large lawnmower or something of the sorts would drive by with about 15 drunk men in the back partying and screaming. Amazing. Also these "cars" go so slow that they back up traffic really bad, and make it basically impossible to get around by car.

We had a Tausch on Friday with the Potsdam elders. It was quite the average day, until we needed to check out the Glienicke Bridge. This bridge is the one used in the movie, Bridge of Spies, and the one used in the Cold War to trade the dude. It was a sick bridge and sick to think we are at the same place where that all happened. Then there was a guy setting up stuff that made it look like he was going to blow the bridge up, but we won’t talk about that. 

Tausch with my boys, with Elders Penrose and Earl

Glienicke Bridge

Babelsberg schloss (and me)
Transfer calls came already! This transfer seriously flewwww by so fast with my legend. Elder Noland is being transferred to Hof with swag daddy Hansen. Hof is the southernmost part of our mission in Bavaria. He's going to earn the right to buy Lederhosen so that’s sick. I'm going to be staying in Brandenburg and receiving my Schatz elder Oliver. He's the Farsi group leader, so I’m super excited to be able to learn some actual Farsi. It should be a good couple transfers with my legend.

Sunday was quite weird, but that's also as far as we need to go into that. We ate lunch with some of the young women from the Berlin Stake so that was pretty solid.

For a spiritual thought today, I wanted to share a scripture that a sister in my district used during her lesson at district meeting.

It's in D&C 50:
40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
41 Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;
42 And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.
I really loved this scripture and how we are all children of the Father and none of us will be lost with Christ as our shepherd.

Sister Musehold, the legend herself

Water and Me

Amy, the greatest dog on the planet (besides a few from AZ)

Sick bye

Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Day on the Beach

Tuten Gag Frühlings,

👹Hello my sons. I hope you're all doing close to fantastic. I'm doing pretty great if I do say so myself. This week was pretty solid. We were packed busy like we always seem to be. We did some good old fashioned yard work for a family in our branch who lives on like a farm and that was wonderful. They fed us well after and gave us treat bags full of American stuff from Trader Joe's, so I'd say it's worth it.

👹Today was sick. We went to Berlin in the morning and went to see the Berlin cathedral there. It was super cool actually, we enjoyed the time. They were also starting some service thing when we were leaving, too bad we couldn't stay.

Berliner Dom

 Inside the Berliner Dom

Inside the Berliner Dom

From the Top of the Berliner Dom (Gorgeous Berlin waterway)

"He is not here, He is risen"

Anyways then we went to a beach volleyball place with our zone and played some freaking beach volleyball. It felt like California so that was sick, but nevertheless my team was insanely good and we wrecked every other team. 

👹Zone Conference was on Friday, great time as always. It's a great time to get a good roast from President. He's pretty good at those, but he's trotzdem a legend. It also gave some good food there.

Berlin Zone Conference

👹 This coming week, there's a holiday called "Christi Himmelfahrt" also known as Ascension in English. For some reason, the German men here take this holiday and turn it into the exact opposite thing as what it actually means, and basically drink their lives away hahaha. It gets to the point where it's too dangerous for us to go out, so we are gonna do some service in the morning and then go chill at home and read the Book of Mormon or something, do some sprach and call it a holiday. Maybe we'll get some alcohol free beer or something to celebrate the Ascension of Christ like a real German.

👹 Only fun, we won't do that. Oh  I forgot to mention something last week. Me and Elder Noland had a 45 minute discussion (argument) about whether an insect is an animal. He's pretty firm in his belief that an insect is an animal, and I call bull. Anyway, that was quite the discussion. Probably interesting for the Germans in the tram with us hearing two Americans discuss with each other whether an insect is an animal (which it's not).

👹 Anyways yeah that kind of sums up how things go around here. Elder Noland finally beat me again in chess, it was an intense match that's for sure.

👹 Well have a wonderful week I guess, bye

Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770

👹 Ogre. A hideous creature with crooked teeth, horns and lots of hair. ... Ogre was approved as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 under the name “Japanese Ogre” and added to Emoji1.0 in 2015.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Laughing Place

Hello my Klingelings,

Let's quit the small talk and get straight to it. Solid week, 10/10 would redo it. We had 3 eating appointments again, seriously so sick. This branch is insanely legendary. We had a great ole German lunch with a less active brother in our branch, and had a great spiritual thought/discussion with him on how you can feel the Spirit.

is this the Space Needle?

To be completely brutally honest, this week was quite normal. Not too much to report. We had the confirmation of Andreas on Sunday, and that was amazing! He's seriously awesome, and now we're working on getting him the priesthood and going to the temple with him! I just realized the other day that Andreas is the German name for Andrew. Pretty neat.

Skyping my family was of course a pain, but I bore through it. Ha, just another joke for you all--it was quite prodigious. They are all very good at laughing at me, and for that I respect them highly. Also my nephew was saying whole sentences to me and that threw me off. Last time I talked to him he still thought that R2D2 and BB8 were the same thing. Glad he learned some common knowledge.

my lovely fam

I had a pretty great week, even though there's not too much to show from it. We stay super busy here, and our next week is also crazy busy and that is sweet. We are eating with Sister Jaserick again Thursday, one of my favorite German cooks (except for Sister Linda Stewart), she's great.

I also beat Elder Noland in Chess this week and that was a nice victory, felt like I needed to share that with you. Speaking of Chess, did you guys know it's known as a sport in Germany? Cool stuff.

Speaking of cool, I was just thinking about Disneyland and the best ride there—Splash Mountain. Seriously, it doesn't get much better than a log ride with a big drop. Anyways, I was thinking about the story to that ride. I don't remember exactly the story of Brer Bear, (Brer Fox) and Brer Rabbit (even though my mom has told it like 1,000 times), but I remember that one of them (Brer Rabbit) is trying to get to "The Laughing Place" where he can have a good time and have fun laughing and what not, and on his way everyone is saying like my dude it’s time to turn around, you're getting yourself in trouble you don't want to go there. That happens throughout the ride, and towards the climax (also known as the best part of the ride), you are pulled up the last big hill where you're told you’re making a terrible mistake and you need to turn back. Nevertheless, you make it to the top and there's the light of the day and the park and everything and, of course, the falling down to the bottom. Once you're to the bottom, you're greeted with many welcomes Bentheim other characters and everyone sings "zip-a-dee doo-da, zip-a-dee ay, my, oh my, what a wonderful day plenty of sunshine heading my way" and other tunes similar to that.

I was just reminiscing on this wonderful ride today, and realized how that can be applied to the Gospel and this church. Like our whole lives we try to get to this state of Celestial happiness and eternal salvation (or also known as the laughing place), and we are always told by others not of our faith or even in our faith that we need to turn back, it's not worth it and we're being dumb going this way. Then we will have times where we are super tried where we are going up this hill of just people against us or things tempting us to "turn back" but we need to push through to the top so that we can see that light. Sometimes you won't be able to see that light at the top until you're there, and you have to believe that you're doing the right thing so that once you make it down that steep wet fall, you will be embraced by your loved ones who knew you could do it.

Yes, I just related a Disneyland Ride to a Gospel principle. Someone go to Disneyland for me, thank you. 

Berlin sightseeing P-day Pictures from earlier today

on top of the Empire State Building (notice the Berliner
dome in the background)

"my dude, striken Sie ein Pose" - a sentence i hope to never hear again

always with the surprise selfies from this kid

I hope you all have a beautiful splendid week.

Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770

Monday, May 8, 2017

„Und ich bin der Teufel"

Welcome, my Täuflings,

I hope this collection of letters on a pixelated screen finds you well. It is a pleasure to be here.

This week was quite a crazy, busy, and stressful one over here in Brandenburg. We had a baptism!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. Someone, taught by Elder Glenn Johnson himself, allowed himself to be baptized. The service was Sunday, and it was great. We had a great amount of members there, and it was great to experience Andreas receiving this great ordinance. Getting up to that point, not the easiest might I say.
Baptism of Andreas 7.5.2017
We also had three eating appointments this week, which is amazing. The branch here loves us, not too sure why, but I'll roll with it. At one of them, I was asked to give a blessing to a sick Sister in our branch, both sick as in ill and sick as in cool. But it was my first German blessing, so naturally I had some fear, but all went well fortunately. 

Saturday was quite insane, we started off in a city called Tüplitz, where we ran 6.2 kilometers in a race that the missionaries always participate in. It was quite the run, I'm quite surprised I am still alive to tell the story. Elder Mehr would've loved it. But then we had three more meetings that day until 9pm, so it was pretty packed.

We also had interviews this week which, as usual, were great. Andreas was also interviewed by President that day, so that was also pretty good. We got lost in Berlin after though, and ended up being there for a little while longer than we were planning on.....

Interviews with the President and Andreas
The baptism was great!! I played the piano and gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, and Elder Noland was the baptizer. It was a really great experience and wonderful to see the impact this ordinance makes on the lives of others. This actually brings me to explaining the subject line. When we were at our apartment planning the baptism, Elder Noland wanted to say, "and I'll be the baptizer," but since he is speaking only German right now, he meant to say, „und ich bin der Täufer." BUT if you'd like a good laugh at what he actually said to me, go ahead and google translate the subject line. It's worth it, trust me.

When we were riding home with Andreas from the baptism, I asked him how he likes our branch. After explaining to him what a branch is, he said something I really liked. He said, "it feels like I've found my family." I really liked that, and how our church really is a big family. As we try to love one another like ourselves, we will really find eachother to actually be our family.

Here are some pictures from P-day sightseeing earlier today.
Brandenburg Tor
Part of the Berlin Wall

Jewish Memorial in Berlin

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and we will see us next week.

Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Purple Swag

Probably one of my favorite things about the West would be the word "Moin".

Rumor had it that nobody here in Brandenburg (or East Germany in general) said, "Moin," to each other (Moin is a friendly greeting for the cooler Germans). Elder Noland had never heard of it before, and assured me that nobody here says it. So far, I have successfully got: 2 people in Berlin, 1 man in Potsdam, and a lady in Brandenburg to say, "Moin," back to me.

A letter that I read last week told about a good friend of mine, namely Elder Mehr, witnessed a real live moose. Annaberg is truly an odd place. He wrote about it in his previous weekly letter, but I found it especially ironic/funny though, because some people at home called me moose.

You know, I'd say Brandenburg is pretty awesome. The time goes by really fast here and we're always busy with something. I like it. The branch is quite small but I like it, and they are all super friendly and loving. I guess I could compare it to an average Mormon family in Utah or Gilbert. I recently was asked to be the branch pianist, because they had heard about me from the Oldenburg branch and how soothing I played, and because nobody else in the branch plays.

Four different times this week, we were mistaken for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Two in particular were quite humorous. The first time was when we went by a contact in a city called Rathenow. When we were leaving his house, there was a dude going in who saw us and mumbled to himself something like, "That’s right, Jehovah’s Witnesses, get out of this building." I had to stop him in his tracks, and assure him that we weren't from that church, but that we are Mormons. And he said no (for my friends who speak German, he used the word, "doch" about 7-8 times). He promised us that we are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I then again explained that we are different religions . He wouldn't accept the fact that we weren't Jehovah’s Witnesses, so I threw a Book of Mormon at him. Unfortunately I didn't actually throw a Book of Mormon at him, because that's not respectful. 

My Legend and Me

That same day we heard some guys, in the street train we were on, talking in English about us. One said to stay away from us because the Jehovah’s Witnesses are bad. I also heard one of them talking about someone having their birthday party on the beach in California, but turns out he was just talking about some guy named Mickey. But anyways when we got out at the same stop I used my fluency in English to ask them where they were from. One was from Sweden and the rest were Germans speaking English. Then they asked us what we were doing here. I explained about the Church and missionaries, and he apologized for calling us Jehovah’s Witnesses.

On Saturday evening as we were heading back to our house, a group of drunk young women/men passed by and they started furiously complimenting us--it was wonderful. They kept screaming that we were beautiful in our ties and shirts, it was quite the experience.

Really though, Brandenburg is great. It has been going well with Andreas, our friend getting prepared for baptism. He will have his baptismal interview this Friday, and when he passes, we will have his baptism on Sunday! I'm really excited to get to experience this and see him make this covenant of baptism! He has really changed his life because of this Gospel, and you can really notice the change the Gospel has brought to his life.

But other than that, our week was just filled with appointments and service and being missionaries. Life is great as a missionary, and we get to go to Berlin on Friday for our own interviews with my boy, President Fingerle.

On two separate occasions this week, we woke up to find our apartment door was completely wide open. I'm not sure if someone's messing with us or if this place is haunted, or maybe we just have a bunch of homeless people who sleep over every now and then. In that case it's legal. We've decided to keep one person up to take "shifts" so that one of us is always watching—we'll see how well it works.

Oh yes, last Saturday as we were walking home, we walked by a big huge Catholic Church called St. Catherine's, I believe. It was dark, and as we walked by this church, we could hear the organ being played in there. The organist was playing some great classical music and we decided just to stand next to it and just listen for a little while. It was quite the experience. It's not very often where you can be walking in the middle of Germany and just stop next to a huge church and listen to some beautiful organ music. I will try to get a picture of this church next week for you all—my deepest condolences.

To end, I'd like to just say how much I love this Gospel! It's seriously such a blessing, to be able to give up 2 full years of my life just to serve the Lord. Tomorrow (Tuesday, the 2nd) is my 6 month mark already. That's crazy, I feel like just yesterday. I was with Elder Mehr when he hit his 6 months. It's seriously so great to be able to see all the blessings that come from missionary work and being able to study from and teach from the scriptures so often! I hope you are all heeding to the words of President Monson and reading in the Book of Mormon every day—it works.

Old Town Hall By Our House
Russian Memorial in Rathenow
Is there a more pure picture on the planet? (Besides the picture of the corgi and a rainbow behind it)

You are all wonderful and I wish you all the best in your endeavors this coming week. We will talk next week.

Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770