Here are free resources about the Alpine German-Speaking Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Missionary blogs
- Facebook groups
- LDS Mission t-shirts and gifts
- List of past mission presidents
- Cultural articles written by returned missionaries
- Survey with RMs
*Other Mission Pages: Germany LDS Missions.
Alpine German-Speaking Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Alpine German-Speaking Mission. We try to keep this info up to date, but it’s a good idea to check with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
Phone Number: 49-89-724-48613
Mission President: President Christopher S. Brown
Alpine German-Speaking Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Alpine German-Speaking Mission (LDS). To access an official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Alpine German-Speaking Mission:
Alpine German-Speaking Mission Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Alpine German-Speaking Mission. This blog list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.
Alpine German-Speaking Mission Groups
Here are Alpine German-Speaking Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Alpine German-Speaking Mission.
- Alpine German-Speaking Missionaries, Pres. Miles (371 members)
- Schwester Ahlm Alpine German-Speaking Mission (225 members)
- Alpine Missionary Moms (146 members)
- Alpine German-Speaking Mission (88 members)
- Alpine German-Speaking Mission Moms and Friends (LDS) (6 members)
Alpine German-Speaking Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Alpine German-Speaking Mission!
Shirt designs include Alpine German-Speaking Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL. The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.
*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Alpine German-Speaking missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Alpine German-Speaking Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Alpine German-Speaking LDS Mission.
- 2017-2020, Christopher S. Brown
- 2014-2017, D. Brian Kohler
Alpine German-Speaking LDS Stats (2015)
- Church Membership: 39,401 (Germany), 8,895 (Switzerland), 4,607 (Austria)
- Missions: 3 (Germany)
- Temples: 2 (Germany), 1 (Switzerland)
- Congregations: 171 (Germany), 36 (Switzerland), 17 (Austria)
- Family History Centers: 100 (Germany), 14 (Switzerland), 12 (Austria)
Helpful Articles about Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Alpine German-Speaking Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Alpine German-Speaking RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- 2014-2015 (Alexis)
- October 2013-April 2015 (Chloe)
- 2012-2014 (Gabriela)
What were some favorite foods?
- The chocolate! All the different breads in the bakeries, schnitzel, and Knödel. (Alexis)
- The fruit available, Spätzle, Würstchen, Knödel. (Chloe)
- Cheese, chocolate, bread. (Gabriela)
What was a funny experience?
- Haha well this was a weird experience that’s funny in hindsight. My companion and I had arrived a little bit early to an appointment so decided to go dooring in the area until we were expected at our appointment. We chose a random apartment building and started at the top, and the first person we rang buzzed us in. We headed up to the room, where we were greeted by several naked men! We stammered something out about having the wrong door and ran back down all the stairs. Needless to say, we avoided dooring for a little bit after that! (Alexis)
- I prayed multiple times for the funniest things because I didn’t know how to say them in German. (Chloe)
- I saw a lot of funny things while riding the buses in Switzerland. One time I saw a man with a top hat skipping down the street and jumps up to clip his heels together, misses, and his top hat falls off. He stops his skipping, and calmly walks back to his hat, puts it on, and then immediately begins to skip again. (Gabriela)
What was a crazy/dangerous experience?
- A member of the branch I was serving in was a patient at a mental hospital for a few months due to some self harm habits. The elders and my companion and I were asked to go visit him, and the night we went, it was super stormy. We arrived at the building which housed the patients and got in the elevator to go to his floor, but midway through, the elevator shook a little and then stopped moving. We tried pushing buttons, but couldn’t get it moving again. The elevator was stuck! We pushed the emergency button, but no one responded for a long time, and none of our cell phones had any service. Eventually, one of the elders was able to force the elevator door open enough that we could climb out, but then we were stuck on the floor, because all the stairwells were locked. So we were stuck in a psychiatric ward for a good 45 minutes before we finally found a position to stand where our phone had enough service to call for help. (Alexis)
- We had gotten lost really late at night and there were scary people on the streets. We had to walk on and people would follow us. (Chloe)
- We went to have a lesson with a referral and he was not all there. The lesson went on for a very long time and he was very creepy. I couldn’t understand very well what was going on because he was speaking Swiss German and I couldn’t understand. But a few months later, he met with the elders and he wouldn’t let them go, locking the doors. I was just glad that that didn’t happen to us. (Gabriela)
What was a spiritual experience?
- Ah there are so many it’s hard to choose just one. I think one meaningful one was the very first baptism I got to see. It was a man who was in a rough place in life when we met him, and totally changed his life around. The baptism was such a sweet testimony of the power of the atonement and I felt so blessed to have been able to witness the begin of his conversion. (Alexis)
- The love I felt on my birthday helped me realize how much my Savior really loves me. I’ve never been overcome with so much love and emotion. (Chloe)
- There were many of those. We were teaching an investigator and she was reading the book of Mormon, and told us once that she knew the book was true because when she was having a rough day, she would read the book and feel happy. She got baptized 3 months after we met her. The lessons we had with her were always spiritual because she was receptive to it. (Gabriela)
What are some interesting facts about the Alpine German-Speaking mission?
- So the mission is really cool because it actually covers five different countries. It has all of Austria, southern Germany, northern Italy, the German speaking part of Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. You get a lot of different dialects of German depending on where you are in the mission. It is absolutely gorgeous! Take advantage of preparation days. The alps are incredible and there are castles all over the place. (Alexis)
- We have five countries; the Europeans and Americans usually don’t even know what each other look like and never meet each other; most travel is done by public transport; there are about 50 ways of greeting someone; it takes six hours on a bus to get to mission leadership counsel; we have one temple in Bern, Switzerland, but only half the mission ever gets to go; we have all the Alps. (Chloe)
- Trains and buses go everywhere. The people are polite and kind, but generally not interested in religion. The Swiss alps are in the mission. (Gabriela)
What was the weather like?
- I thought it was pretty similar to my home climate in Utah, at least temperature-wise. It gets pretty cold and snowy in the winters. The summers were warm, and more humid than j was used to. We also got a lot of rain. (Alexis)
- A lot like Utah, but not as hot in the summers (usually); snowy and cold in the winter, and a lot more wet. You will experience all four seasons. (Chloe)
- Cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Very humid and there aren’t a lot of AC units. (Gabriela)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- I absolutely love the German and Austrian people. As a culture, they are a little more reserved, but once you gain their trust, they are extremely loyal. A German friend is a friend for life. (Alexis)
- It’s beautiful. The people are so interesting and there is SO much diversity. (Chloe)
- I loved the members, they are all so genuine and we’re very kind to us once we were able to get into their houses. Very generous. The places were beautiful and full of history. (Gabriela)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- I would wait to get a lot of your clothes and especially things like boots and coats until you’re actually in the field if possible, because it’s easier to find something equipped for the circumstances when you’re actually there. (Alexis)
- Don’t buy jackets until you get there and see what people are wearing. Umbrellas are good. Bring multiple pairs of shoes. Colorful clothes are nice in the winter. (Chloe)
- Pack for a wide array of weather. You can also buy weather appropriate clothing on the mission. Good shoes and boots are very necessary. I dressed a lot in layers as well, in the cooler to cold months. Transfers are hard with a lot of stuff because you have to go on the trains, so pack light if at all possible. (Gabriela)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- I have been immeasurably blessed from my mission. I have grown closer to my Savior and Heavenly Father, I have become passionate in my testimony of the gospel, I have been blessed to meet some of my dearest friends and experience a culture that now completely has my heart. I have seen my weaknesses become strengths and my strengths become stronger. I have witnessed the gospel change people. My capacity to love has increased. I think about my mission every day and will be forever grateful for it. (Alexis)
- Everything has fallen into place after coming home. I can’t even count the amount of things that have been given to me. My family and friends have also been very, very blessed. (Chloe)
- A stronger testimony and something to fall back on in hard times. (Gabriela)
What are some skills you gained?
- I think I became a lot more confident in my mission, and more able to lead. I’m better at teaching, public speaking, and things like that. I became more patient for sure. I learned the importance of humility. I learned how to really connect with all sorts of people. (Alexis)
- Planning, socializing, speaking, time management, scripture study, interviews, commitment. (Chloe)
- A lot of people and leadership skills. (Gabriela)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- I think one of the biggest things was not being so afraid of making mistakes. I was new to the language and the missionary lifestyle and I was so afraid of messing up that I sometimes let it hold me back. I’ve realized that making mistakes is okay and Heavenly Father just wants us to try. He will magnify our efforts, however small they may seem, and make them enough. (Alexis)
- To focus on me and not compare myself to others. I also would have liked to know that the mission field is extremely different from the MTC and that’s not a bad thing. (Chloe)
- Trusted the Lord more and talked with more people. (Gabriela)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to the Alpine Mission?
- Go into your mission with the intent to help others feel of the love of their Heavenly Father. If your goal is to help someone feel loved each day, you will be successful. My mission is the greatest blessing in my life so far. It was an incredible privilege to be a set apart, full time representative of our Savior, and I miss it more than I can say. Go out ready to serve with your whole heart, and you will see miracles. (Alexis)
- Bring lots of things to organize with: files, folders, sticky notes, pens, markers, colored pencils, tape, scissors. Understand what a spiritual thought is. Get creative ways to teach. Understand your talents as a person. (Chloe)
- Look for the small miracles and enjoy every moment. The Lord knows what he’s doing and if you trust Him, you’ll see miracles. (Gabriela)
What was a funny language mistake?
- Oh man I made a lot. I trained pretty early in my mission so neither my companion or I knew the language very well, and there was one lesson where literally any time our investigator said anything, we just smiled and nodded because we didn’t understand a word. It was rough. (Alexis)
- In the MTC, one of the Elders was giving a lesson about chastity. He wanted to say that you can’t have any sexual experience before marriage (kein sexual Erlebnisse vor ehe) instead he said klein sexual Erlebnisse vor ehe, meaning you must have a little sexual experience before marriage. (Gabriela)
Joseph (Alpine German Speaking Mission)
–Paraphrased from Joseph’s mission interview–
Geography of the Mission
The mission itself is a little bit of a conglomerate. There was a Swiss mission with a German speaking part of Switzerland. Then there was the Munich mission which had Germany and Austria. That all got put together to form the Alpine German Speaking Mission. That included the German speaking part of Switzerland, the western border, Bayern in the South, and all of Austria. The entire country of Austria is in the mission. Down south they included the German speaking portion of northern Italy. Squeezed in the middle is a tiny country called Lichtenstein. That’s five countries. They all spoke what each of them would call the perfect language. I agree with most of them.
BYU and Karl G. Maeser
I started in Austria and was in the section that includes Vienna and the surrounding area. I went to Vienna for district meetings. It was really interesting. The history of the church as it is now is very concentrated in the big cities, because the stake in Vienna has five wards and one of them is international and English speaking. A lot of the member population is actually in the cities themselves. There is a lot of stuff that happened with WWII that caused people to leave the country. Regardless of if they were members of the church or any other group that had reason to leave, a lot of people just got up and left because that was the best thing to do. It’s interesting because Europe was one of the earliest missions that Apostles were sent to. England is a big famous one. Germany was one of the early places as well to receive the LDS missionaries. Here in Provo we have BYU and Karl G Maeser has a building named after him. He helped found the school and he was an early German member. He was an educational reformer and a very important guy. I think there is even a statue of him up in Saxony.
That’s a big deal because you don’t get a lot of the patriotism, but they have those same feelings of love for their land and fellow countrymen, but they can’t express it the same way we do. When they’ve been united under a single banner it’s been a time of war. The last one was WWII and that didn’t go very well for them. The world recognizes that it was a very evil thing that was being done by the Nazis. It is a good thing that they fell and everyone recognizes that. They were very patriotic during that time and were very into waving flags and going to rallies. They have this love of who they are, but they express it very differently.
Alcohol and Culture
Alcohol is a very big thing. We actually served in a city in Bavaria and many years ago there was a purity law that decided what was allowed nutritionally. It specifically had to do with what was allowed and what was not allowed when making beer. It goes back throughout their entire culture. There was the water filled with the risk of disease, or there was beer filled with alcohol that you could drink safely. It was carbonated and had flavor and so it was like heaven’s gift to man for them. It was a big deal and there is a lot of pride that goes into their brewing. It’s part of their national identity and is one of the ways that it is okay for them to show that love of land. I think it was Paul that said that to the Jews I became as a Jew, to those in prison I became as one in prison, just talking about how he was a messenger of Jesus Christ, but he wasn’t there to simply tell others that their lifestyle was wrong. He was there to show them that they were great people and there was a lot of good in what they do. He accepted and applied to himself everything he encountered and understood it at least. With the Word of Wisdom we aren’t going to go out and drink so we can understand the people, but we can learn more about it and try to understand who the people are and actually connect with them.
Steven (Alpine German Speaking Mission)
–Paraphrased from Steven’s mission interview–
The Alpine German Speaking Mission covers all of Austria, Southern Germany primarily Bayern, and most of the German speaking parts of Switzerland. I personally never served in Switzerland because of visa problems.
They speak a different language there, and we were trained in high German, but you learn to understand the dialects wherever you served, such as the Austrian dialect among others. They can be difficult to understand. I had a companion that came out of Switzerland and he tried to teach me a little bit of that German dialect and I had no idea what he was trying to say. The more you learn of high German, the better it will be for you switching from dialect to dialect. In my first area, there was one time where I heard three guys speaking pure dialect, and my training who was only a couple transfers from going home said he understood maybe 10% of what they said. There is a different dialect for every area you serve, but in school they speak high German so everyone will be able to speak and understand high German so it isn’t that big of a deal. The areas more in the countryside has the older generation that will only speak dialect.
Ward and Branch Sizes
Each of your areas will cover a ward. The church is reasonably small. You will switch between wards and branches. The wards are usually 150 average attendance. Don’t quote me on those numbers, but they will be a lot smaller than the wards in Utah. A lot of the active wards will be the size of your average student ward. Austria is a little slower than Germany I think. I served in Vienna, the biggest city in Austria, and I served in the least populated area of Austria as well. I saw where the church started in Austria and where the first baptisms were. There are a lot of older families that have been in the church for a while.
Changes in Missionary Work
The growth was slower, like it is in most of Europe, but I think that will change significantly in the next couple of years. I got to see an interesting change from traditional way of doing missionary work to the switch of focus to working primarily with the members to find people to teach. Working to reactivate members more and having members invite their friends to come to church was hard because Germans are very private people. It is very strange to just talk to a stranger on the street about personal subjects, especially religion. For a strange American to stop you on the street and ask you what you think about God is a little weird. Most of the time they said they didn’t have enough time or weren’t interested becuase it just isn’t very comfortable for most Germans. When they are talking wiht someone that is their friend that they know is a Mormon, they have a greater opportunity to talk about the Gospel and that opens doors. Of the people I taught, the most effective teaching was when the investigator was introduced to the church by a member. Those are general the teaching records you find that lead to baptism and activity. That is probably one of the hardest things out there, keeping someone active. You live in a world that is a lot different than Utah. Religion isn’t a huge thing out there. Most people in my mission are Catholic. They are born and raised Catholic and most of them die Catholic, but it is more of a tradition than anything else for a lot of the people out there. There are a lot of good people that are Catholics that were an example to me, but in general I feel like throughout Europe there is a turn away from active religion. I’m pretty sure it just comes from the history of what Europe has been through in the past hundred years.
Garrett (Alpine German Speaking Mission)
–Paraphrased from Garrett’s mission interview–
LDS History In Switzerland
Switzerland has a really long history within The Church- that’s part of the reason the first temple built in Europe was built in Bern, Switzerland. I believe it was one of the first places after England where missionaries were sent to help bring people to The Church. I think the first member of Switzerland was a shoemaker and the Elders in the field in Switzerland had shoes that were totally destroyed. And they went to the shoemaker and when they were waiting for their shoes to be prepared they started talking to this guy about the Gospel. He learned about The Book of Mormon, read it and then you had your first member in Switzerland.
The members in Switzerland- even people in Germany or Austria- will tell you the members in Switzerland are the strongest. It’s one of those things- it’s very family oriented. I think the Members of Switzerland- once they’re members, they’ll be members for generations. So that’s what is really cool about bringing a family to The Church in Switzerland- there’s a higher probability that not only them, but their children and their children’s children will stay strong in The Church- it’s very family oriented there.
American Missionary Visa Issues
The situation in the Alpine German-Speaking Mission is a little strange- two years ago any American could serve in Switzerland- you’d just have to apply for a visa. You’d generally get it in a couple months, but now strangely enough they’re not allowing any Americans into Switzerland- they’re only allowing Europeans- they might change that in the future. Throughout my whole mission there were 6-10 American missionaries and we were missionaries from America who got our visas before the cut off and we just kept updating our visas and just stayed there until we went home. Today I don’t think there’s a single American missionary in Switzerland unless they have some family ties to Switzerland, like being a dual citizen or something like that. American missionaries are still allowed in Austria and Germany. That’s what caused a sort of segregation in the mission itself, because of these visa problems we were having. I think they originally decided to do that because there were huge immigration problems in Switzerland- I think France is trying to the same thing. So to cut down on people immigrating into the country via visas, they made it so not only Americans, but anyone who’s not European couldn’t get a work visa.
I think every mission has one of those ongoing problems and for our mission it was visas- it was difficult for the missionaries to move around as much, because of the visa problems.
Chloe (Alpine German Speaking Mission)
–Paraphrased from Chloe’s mission interview–
Church and Mission in the Alpine Area
Our mission actually covers 5 countries: Southern Germany from Munich down, all of Austria, the german speaking part of Switzerland, the northern part of Italy, and Litchensutein is actually in there as well, but we are not allowed to proselyte there. Everywhere we served speaks German, but each country has a bit of a different german. Austrians are very sing-songy, germans just speak normal german but it is slightly different. Swiss people don’t even speak german: they speak Swiss german which is totally different, weird and beautiful. In the part where we serve in Italy they speak german as well.
Something interesting about Switzerland is that they speak 4 mother tongues: French, German, Italian, and Romanian, so there’s an influence of all those languages, even in the “high german” spoken by the missionaries. I can speak more about Switzerland since I spent more time there and I understood more. I do want to talk about my first ward in Germany. Attendance was great, there were 200 or more of attendance, with lots of visitors. There was lots of work to do since I was in a huge city.
In Switzerland they have 3 german speaking stakes, with lots of districts and branches. I only served in wards. My ward in Zollikofen was huge, and it was right next to the temple. We had french and Italian speakers always there because they lived in the temple district. In Zurich there’s actually an international ward. It was nice because we had a lot of visitors including Americans
The main religion in Switzerland in Christianity, with as many protestant or catholic churches every where as there are LDS churches in Utah. The people are very religious; they say they believe in God but they don’t attend church outside of Christmas or Easter. They stay at home and worship as they want, and a lot of people say they believe in nature. That’s a huge part of their culture and they’re always outside.
Something very cool about the Bern Switzerland temple is that Karl G. Maesar, who was a convert in Germany, was kicked out because of his missionary efforts. He crossed over the border, and because of him the church was built up in Switzerland. By the beginning of the second world war, there were actually quite a few saints there. Unfortunately, because of the war they had to evacuate the missionaries overnight. The members were left feeling isolated, but everything worked out. It is amazing that the temple was eventually chosen to be built in Baron. Swiss saints are very strong, and they were ready. Another interesting fact is that many saints also migrated to the U.S. and continue to be proud of their heritage.
The German People
With the fall of the Berlin wall and the events surrounding that, many of the people felt very lost. My trainer told me how the German people have such a rich history, but they have experienced so many tragedies as well. Today, you can still feel a lot of pressure, especially on the older generations. A lot of people are even scared to hope or to believe in God, because they’ve seen and experienced so much. It was crazy for a 20 year old girl to tell them they could find peace through Jesus Christ, find hope in life after death and be saved. Sometimes they would just shut you down, but it was incredible to be a part of these people’s life when they would let us.
Living in Zurich
Zurich is one of the richest cities in the world. People wear Gucci and Prada and look down on us a little. You see no homeless people. They have a great medical system. The lakes are beautiful and they are very proud of their geography. There are a lot of beautiful churches. You can just see that it’s a very wealthy place. A lot of people work for the bank. Swiss banks are just really good. I don’t know a ton about it, but most people do work for the banks. There are a lot of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East because they have such a good health care system. It’s not uncommon to see ton of people from all over Africa. The people are so cool. The outskirts of Zurich have a lot more immigrants. The Swiss are more downtown.
Living in Switzerland
They have all four seasons. It rains a lot in the summer. Every house has to have a bomb shelter by law. There are these big cement safehouses with bathrooms and a lock. Not everyone goes to college or university. It’s different than Germany. Every store closes by 6pm. Some places stay open until 8 and on thursdays the malls are open until 10. Everything is closed on Sundays. In Germany every business has a day that it is closed in addition to Sunday.