Alpine German-Speaking Mission

Here are free resources about the Alpine German-Speaking Mission:

*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.

Alpine German-Speaking Mission
Lommelstrasse 7
81479 Munich
Phone Number: 49-89-724-4860
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 map for the Alpine German-Speaking Mission:

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here.

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.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

Alpine Mission 2018
Elder Logan Howell 2018
Elder Jared Keir 2018
Elder Brandon Muhlestein 2018
Elder Tanner Larson 2018
Sister Madison Clark 2018
Elder & Sister Lake 2018
Elder Mason Evans 2018
Elder Wyett Wiser 2018
President & Sister Kohler 2017
Sister Carley Lundskog 2017
Sister Savannah Thunell 2017
Sister Cassandra Anderson 2017
Sister Amanda Gach 2017
Elder Samuel Weisler 2017
Sister Mary Jo Grossen 2016
Sister Samantha Barnett 2016
Sister Katherine Lundgreen 2016
Elder Sam Hadfield 2016
Sister Calee Gardner 2016
Elder Jeffrey Lingen 2016
Sister Danielle Poll 2016
Elder Matthew Lyman 2016
Sister Aisha Lehmann 2016
Elder Kade Hunter 2016
Elder Addison Ashcroft 2016
Elder Colton Carter 2016
Sister Miranda Price 2016
Elder M. Howard Mitchell 2016
Elder Michael Albrecht 2016
Elder Ammon Robertson 2016
Elder Seth Bowers 2016
Sister Rachel Burgess 2016
Elder Alex Bowler 2015
Elder Joseph Seamons 2015
Elder Alexander Guzzwell 2015
Sister Megan Wonson 2015
Sister Brianna Selph 2015
Sister Shelley Bushman 2015
Sister Brooke Smith 2015
Elder Mitchell Ridd 2015
Elder & Sister Tew 2015
Sister Chloe Gilmour 2015
Elder Jason Jerman 2015
Elder Parker Eldredge 2015
Elder Joshua Spencer 2015
Elder Tanner Rodgers 2015
Elder Jason Jerman 2015
Elder Nathan Bartholomew 2015
Elder Dennis Schumaier 2015
Sister Natalie Motto 2014
Elder Brian Evans 2014
Sister Kori Peterson 2014
Elder Borkan Abd El Moeti 2014
Sister Nicole Packer 2014
Sister Schwester Harman 2014
Elder Anthony Martinez 2014
Elder Jacob Robertson 2014
Elder Houston Bodily 2014
Sister Sherry Henry 2014
Sister Miranda Regnier 2014
Elder Andy Merkley 2014
Sister Lillie Hammock 2014
Elder Jalen Gibbons 2014
Elder Chad Janis 2014
Elder Devon Kinghorn 2014
Elder Andrew Terry 2013
Elder Julien Huby 2013
Sister Jessica Linford 2013
Sister JeanMarie Stewart 2013
Elder & Sister Mason 2013
Elder Gentry Phillips 2013
Elder Shane Pope 2013
Elder Tavan Parker 2013
Elder Fabian Mueller 2013
Elder Scott McClellan 2013
Elder Cameron Jimenez 2013
Elder Ian Harris 2013
Sister Renee Fokken 2012
Sister Claire Pingree 2012
Elder Brendon Ronna 2012
Elder Eric Bond 2011
Elder Gavin Asay 2011

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.

  1. Alpine German-Speaking Missionaries, Pres. Miles (371 members)
  2. Schwester Ahlm Alpine German-Speaking Mission (225 members)
  3. Alpine Missionary Moms (146 members)
  4. Alpine German-Speaking Mission (88 members)
  5. 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.

*Click here to browse Alpine German-Speaking Mission gifts

Alpine German-Speaking Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Alpine German-Speaking LDS Mission.

  1. 2017-2020, Christopher S. Brown
  2. 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)
  • 2014-2015 (Amy)
  • 2014-2015 (Liam)
  • October 2013-April 2015 (Chloe)
  • 2012-2014 (Gabriela)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Burgdorf, Winterthur and Wien 1. (Amy)

What were some favorite foods?

  • The chocolate! All the different breads in the bakeries, schnitzel, and Knödel. (Alexis)
  • Spätzle, Mozartkugeln, Raclette, Zopf, Knödel, Schnitzel, Almdudler, Kürbissuppe, Kaiserschmarrn. (Amy)
  • Spätzle, Kartoffelgnocchi, Raclette, and most importantly Rösti. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • The Elders were kind enough to give us food, as they were home studying, and we were nearby and hungry. The food turned out to include a couple of extremely rotten oranges which an elder had received in his Christmas package months before! (Amy)
  • During lunch with less active member, he suddenly decided to bring out a bottle of dangerously spicy sauce. Putting a single drop onto half a slice of bread brought us to tears. We must have spent 10 mins proving our mettle to each other. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • Drunk stalker people who try to flirt with you; people trying to pickpocket you. (Amy)
  • Got myself stupidly stuck up a near cliff face one P-day. We seriously thought we’d need a helicopter to get us out of that one. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • We fasted on a Saturday with an investigator for him to receive an answer about whether or not he should be baptized. That Sunday at church he told us he had a dream in which the bishop approached him and told him he needed to be baptized. He said he knew it was his answer! We were both crying with joy!! (Amy)
  • One evening we were knocking on doors and I said we should quickly head up a street and try by a former investigator family. This quick try by turned into a 15 min walk (the street was a lot longer than I anticipated), but when we got there, we were let in and discovered that the family had been attempting to contact missionaries on an old number that entire evening, to ask for a blessing, as the mother had been doing badly for a while. We gave the blessing, reassured the family, and had a frankly magical evening. We really managed to comfort all of them during their time of need. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • Swiss German is very different from high German! (Amy)
  • 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 little more extreme than British weather – hotter in summer and colder in winter, but generally quite alright! Less rainy! (Amy)
  • I seemed to spend Winter in the heart of the alps and summer wishing I could jump in the river Rhine (I heard a story about a woman with a banana tree in her back garden, except she didn’t know it was a banana tree until it started producing them for the first time ever that year). (Liam)
  • 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)
  • Mountains!!! The mission is beautiful! Food – so so so good. Culture. Lots of things to see and do. The people are just wonderful once you get to know them!!! Strong members with great stories! (Amy)
  • Beautiful scenery, strong sense of culture and tradition in the communities. Many of the people I taught were immigrants often in desperate situations. The humility and pleasantness they showed- even the ones who antagonistically dragged us along for weeks – was always amazing. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • Waterproof and warm clothes – especially for in the snow during the winter. Don’t bring too much – there are loads of shops there! Some nice light clothes for the warm summer. (Amy)
  • I loved my cans of water repellent spray. I used it on my coat, boots, shoes, and bag and it was brilliant stuff. A range of layers can be useful. Big coat, light jacket, jumpers, short and long sleeved shirts. Don’t ignore anything on the official kit list. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • Increased faith and testimony Greater love for God’s children. Increase in confidence. Wonderful friends. So many others!! (Amy)
  • More aware about how best to use my gifts. My faith has definitely been increased by dealing with situations I know I could never have overcome on my own. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • Language, people skills, better time management, better at scripture study, map reading! (Amy)
  • German speaking, dealing with foreign cultures and institutions, teaching people of a variety of understanding capacities, networking. Even becoming incredibly familiar with public transport and being able to quickly learn the ins and outs of local system has been an advantage. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • Speak your language!!! Bible stories. If you want more baptisms, talk to more people each day! Learning the language will be hard, but very possible. (Amy)
  • I was probably far too closed off as a person before my mission and hesitant to accept any sort of help within certain areas. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • Work hard. Have fun p-days. Get to know the members – grow to love them – help them to trust you – use them in your missionary work. Trust in the Lord. Your efforts will bring forth fruits, even if they’re not immediately evident. (Amy)
  • Don’t stress out about language skills; familiarity with Martin Luther and his history (reformation, especially especially elector of saxony stuff) can get you a long way with some people in Evangalische Reformierte areas. DON’T BIBLE BASH; I could go on forever about how bad this is at bringing people closer to Christ. The number of denominations you’ll find willing to engage in this is surprising, it’s not just JW’s. (Liam)
  • 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)
  • Saying the word ‘scheide’ (vagina) rather than the word ‘schade’ which is used to express disappointment… It was awkward to say the least. (Amy)
  • I once meant to say Johannes der Täufer (John the baptist) but I said Johannes die Teufel (John the devil). (Liam)
  • 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.

German Patriotism

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–

Mission Geography

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.

German Dialects

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.

Church History

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.