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Rushing into August

We've had an amazing year so far, visiting 8 states and over 20 churches in just 7 months. And all during that time we were planning for what was to come later in the year: our Europe tour. We have been fundraising and preparing and praying that God would have his way when we went overseas. And the month of August has been amazing.

Final Greetings started off the month at Grace Community Church in Lathrop, California. They had us join them for Sunday morning services and then hang out with their youth during the day playing 9-square and board games. Then we stuck around for their back to school event where we participated in crazy games with chopsticks: picking up worms and walking them across the room, eating hotdogs as fast as you can and getting a banana out of a pair of tights. And after the crazy times, we held a concert for the kids with our rock and worship music. It was the first time people there knew the words to our songs and were singing with us. It was an amazing day hanging out with all the kids there. We also made a forever-fan with the youth pastor's daughter, Peyton. #theyknewoursongs

We spent the night packing our gear and took off the next afternoon for Europe. After a few antics in the San Francisco airport we found ourselves on a 12-hour flight to Madrid, Spain for a quick layover before we departed again for Frankfurt, Germany. We left Modesto at 12pm and arrived in Germany at 6:30pm the next day, making it one of our longest travel days at 23.5 hours. And after we landed, our friend Fritz picked us up and brought us to his house for his birthday party. Even though it was a late night, we had a blast and it helped us with the 9-hour time difference. #travelday #birthdayparty

After a good night's sleep we wandered into the town of Aschaffenburg to see where we'd be spending the next few weeks. We walked by the Main river(pronounces "mine") and explored the outside of the local castle Schloss Johannisberg, where we discovered their beautiful garden on top of the castle wall. There was also a park further into town where there was a church and sanctuary used by a monk in the 1450's. We also found a cafe and gelato place called Pano that quickly became a team favorite. #exploringaschaffenburg

Since we had an event soon, Fritz thought it would be a good idea to play a few of our songs acoustically by Gude Biergarten so people could hear our music and we could invite them to our full concert a few days later. It was fun to sit by the river and sing for people, and some of them enjoyed it a lot and asked us about our band. We got share a little of what we do and how we are traveling "musicianaries." #improvconcert

Final Greetings held a concert at Ottel's Biergarten on a Sunday afternoon, where we shared not only our music but the Gospel with the people there. It was a great experience, and we had Andy join us for "Control" since he and his wife Sarah were in town that day. Even through the technical difficulties, God still used us to touch a group of people there. One of the women there took a hat and gathered money from the people at the biergarten as a thank you for us playing. And another of our friends in attendance ordered Alissa the biggest water they could offer. #masswater

We also played Ultimate Frisbee a couple times while we were in Germany with some of the younger members of the church and community. They gave us quite the workout, and we had a lot of fun with them. They told us if we're ever in town on a Monday, we should come and play again. #ultimatefrisbee

Final Greetings was asked to hold a worship night at the church we'd been staying with, and we were happy to do so! It was a great experience to worship with people from another culture and show them how we worship as a band. They were very happy to spend the evening with us, and afterwards they introduced us to "spaghetti ice cream." #icecreamfromaroundtheworld

The next day we helped with some renovations they were preparing for at the church. We swept stairs, coated walkways, trimmed the roof, pressure washed the entryway and helped make lights out of old mettal barrels. Garrett kep the projects going over the next couple days by teaming up with Fritz to build a bar table with swings around it on the church's back patio. #serveday

We made our way north to Siegen, Germany for a weekend at Calvary Chapel Siegen. We met with Pia in their coffee shop and then found a few odd items in their secondhand store. Later that night we joined their youth group and put on a rock show for them, sharing the cow story and the Gospel to the students and their friends who may not know God. It was a great night of connecting with them through music, stories and then games. #youthgroup

That weekend we walked around Siegen with our friend Pia, visiting coffee shops and fry stops in the downtown area. We then explored the castle and got to see the city from above. We found ourselves in the middle of Pokemon Go-ers and wedding photos as we walked through the castle's flower gardens that had the brightest colors you've ever seen. #nofilterflowerphoto

On Sunday evening we teamed up with the worship leader of Calvary Chapel Siegen for their evening contemporary service. It was a really cool time playing songs that were being sung in another language , and it was great getting to know Ollie. Overall it turned out great, and we had a blast. #calvarychapelchurch

Final Greetings returned to Aschaffenburg, and we held another worship concert for the church that had been hosting us! Even more people came this time, and we were able to connect with one of the families we had met the night before that came to worship. Their son was really excited to try drumming, so the guys jammed with him for a little while afterwards. #jamsesh

That week we went on a hike with Fritz, his brother in law Michael, and his friend Mike. Brian and Jill Grant were in town as well, so they joined us as we hiking up the hills along the Rhein river. There were beautiful views, and we enjoyed getting to know the people we were hiking with. We also stopped at a Wineschtand for sausages and bread partway through the hike as a break. We walked about 8 miles that day, and we all slept great when we got back. #hikingtherhein

That weekend in Aschaffenburg was their yearly festival, Stadtfest. They set up stages around the city so music is playing constantly, and vendors set up stands to sell goods. It can get upwards of 30,000 people in attendance once the sun sets. We were able to play both days of the festival on one of the stages near the center of the city. The stage was run by a youth outreach group, and they gladly had us fill 30-40 minutes of their stage time with our original rock music. It was really amazing way to be an example of Christ and make God's name and story echo throughout the city. #stadtfest

Several missionaries from the US and across the continent of Europe came together for an A Jesus Mission conference so we could grow in our calling and grow together. We were able to act as tour guides for the rest of the missionaries and show them around Aschaffenburg. It was a great time of learning and fellowship, and we enjoyed every minute of our time there. #ajmconference

We had fun hanging out by the pool with everyone too. It was a great way to cool down, and a place for some crazy antics. #poolflips

Towards the end of the month, we got to celebrate our drummer Garrett's birthday! Fritz gave him a quick boxing lesson, and we ate pizzas and cake in his honor before visiting a local restaurant in his honor. Several people wandered around in a labyrinth that they had in the garden that evening as well. #birthdayboy

And finally, after a quick stop in Poland, we made our way into Romania. We met up with our friend Brian Fouts, a missionary living with his family in Bistrita, and settled in for the evening. #travels

Even though the month is over, our European adventure is continuing. Thank you for reading our blog, and make sure to check in again next month to see what else has happened on our journey overseas. You can also stay up to date by following us on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you again for all your support as we travel. We couldn't do it without you.

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