LDS Apostles when they were young missionaries

I taught a mission prep class this week and gathered what photos I could find of current members of the Quorum of the Twelve back when they were young missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Can you figure them all out? Answers at the bottom.

1 (the one on the right) –

2 (on the right) –

3 (on the right) –

4 (center with the tie) –

5 (with the amazing purple suit and tie) –

6 –

7 (on the right) –

8 –

9 –


  1. Elder Ulisses Soares – Rio de Janeiro
  2. Elder Gerrit W. Gong – Taipei Taiwan
  3. Elder Dale G. Renlund – Sweden
  4. Elder Gary E. Stevenson – Japan Fukuoka
  5. Elder Ronald A. Rasband – Eastern States. Cool story about this photo here.
  6. Elder Neil L. Andersen – France
  7. Elder D. Todd Christofferson – Cordoba Argentina
  8. Elder Quentin L. Cook – British Mission
  9. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland – British Mission (as far as I can tell, this photo was taken shortly *after* his mission)

Elders Ballard (England) and Bednar (Germany) also served missions but I couldn’t find photos of them.

Family Travel

Old Men in Zion with their families

Five years ago I met up in Zion National Park with old friends to celebrate surviving 40 years on earth. This time we brought our families.

Video evidence:

Photo evidence:

Faith Travel

Mormonen at Vienna Central Cemetery

We came to Der Wiener Zentralfriedhof, the Vienna Central Cemetery, to see dead musicians. The German-only map showed some Konfessionelle Bereiche (“sectarian divisions”) and featured a photo of a “Mormonen” monument – middle right below. How curious!

We made our way to section 57C and saw this statue of Christ and a child facing, presumably, the child’s parents. Given its location, the parents are apparently being welcomed into heaven where the child has already been for some time.

Vienna cemetery – LDS monument

I found an image of the original concept, which will be very interesting to temple-going Latter-day Saints. Note the yin and yang color differentiation at their feet.

The words around the base of the monument are: ich bin die Auferstehung und das Leben; wer an mich glaubt, wird leben, auch wenn er stirbt. In English: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).

Vienna cemetery – LDS monument

The statue is at the center of several family headstones:

This Mormon section of the cemetery has room for 165 graves and 6 crypts. More info here if you’re interested.

Vienna cemetery – LDS monument

Music Travel

Vienna – Music and Death

Vienna is a cool place for fans of music and cemeteries. On our bike tour we saw monuments to Johann Strauss, Franz Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruckner –

The Vienna Central Cemetery (Wiener Zentralfriedhof) is a few miles out of town, a quick Uber ride away if you don’t want to figure out the buses. If you can decipher the map or just wander around long enough you’ll find Group 32A, final resting place of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, and Johann Strauss.

Vienna cemetery – Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss

There’s also a monument to Mozart (who died in 1791 and was buried in a pauper’s grave in the St. Marx Communal Cemetery).

While you’re at it, you can find modern composer Arnold Schönberg (Group 32C), Mozart’s rival (in the movie Amadeus if not in real life) Antonio Salieri (grave 54 along the outer wall of the cemetery), and a nice little honorary grave to Austrian musician Heinz Neubrand.

Also, remember the weird 80s hit Rock Me Amadeus by Falco? His real name was Hans Hölzel and he was buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery after he died in a car crash in 1998 (grave 64 in Group 40).

All over town you will see Mozart chocolates (Mozartkugel) for sale. You almost can’t help buying a few but please try to resist. They are filled with pistachio marzipan, which tastes like powdered bones.

Mozart candies – not recommended

Instead, spend your hard-earned euros on the most amazing gummy candies you’ll ever try, at Bärenland –

Bärenland Gummi Shop

Favorite flavor: Rote Grütze.

Family Travel

London 2018

Got in some touristing during a business trip to London –

  • Oxford city tour and countryside bike tour
  • Lots of tourist sites in London, including As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe, The Churchill War Rooms, and the Tower of London
  • Windsor Castle

A few of the many photos below –