Monday, September 15, 2014

Taufe und Apostel

So this week was a very interesting week to say the least. First I got my new trainer or really more like my new companion because basically I showed him around and introduced him to everyone and led him everywhere. So I really don't feel like a trainee anymore. And then secondly the "entire" mission met together for the first time ever in Berlin to be taught by Elder David A. Bednar. It is already surreal just thinking back on it. And then finally came the baptism of Sxxx and of four other people. So you could say this week was quite an eventful week. 
I honestly do not know where to start. There is just too much too say about this week. It was a good week to say the least. It is nice not feeling like a trainee. It was a fresh change of pace when I became the one who had to explain our investigators and the area and had to lead the way to every appointment and essentially everywhere. Just honestly felt more like a missionary. I think I have opened up more to the ward and other people in general now. What is bold today is not bold tomorrow I guess. I still feel like there is so much to do in this area and in so many ways that me and my companion can grow our program. It is exciting to see when you start to see a pattern in your learning and growth progression. You start to see how you can improve with a little bit more clarity in mind. 
So as I said before the "entire" mission met together because Elder Bednar was coming to speak to us. So on Freitag everyone who lived a good distance away from Berlin had to take a train to go spend the night in apartments with other Elders or Sisters who lived closer to Berlin. So my companionship and the zone leaders were sent to Marzahn to say the night before we got up early on Samstag Morgen to head to the church in the heart of Berlin where Elder Bednar was coming to teach us. It was cool to see all the other missionaries that were in my group. But wow I can not even explain how crazy it was to have Elder Bednar literally a few feet away from me. And it wasn't like he came and he gave a one hour talk and then it was over and then we left. But instead we were literally taught by an apostel. There were microphones passed around in the audience as he asked us questions and we asked him questions. And we did that for three hours, no break and it went by in an instant. And really I learned so much from what he said but really as with me and with everyone else. We learned the most from the spirit. By the end of the meeting of course not everyone was able to ask what they wanted nor did we talk about everything that we wanted. But every single person raised their hand when Elder Bednar asked if we received answers to our questions whether they were talked about or not. As each week passes by on my mission, I slowly see my mission in a different way and change my goals of what ultimately needs to be accomplished. I just think about my mission and say wow Heavenly Father is a genius! A mission is so critical for the missionary himself and for those the missionary teaches. One of the things I am grateful for is the chance to truly know my savior. How can you truly know the master that you did not serve? To serve the Lord is personally know the Lord rather than to merely know about him. So in one way a mission has helped me so far is that it has helped me set a pattern for the rest of my life to serve God. Not just on my mission but beyond especially. And you can never lose when you serve the Lord, you always gain you never lose no matter how hard it may seem. You always end up on top of whatever it may be that is in your path. It makes me think of a scripture in D&C 82:20 which says in German "Ich, der Herr, bin verpflichtet, wenn ihr tut, was ich sage; tut ihr aber nicht, was ich sage, so habt ihr keine Verheißung." Unfortunately I have a ton of scriptures memorized in German but not in English which can be annoying when we are teaching people in English. Good thing I still know what they mean. So what that means is the Lord is bound when you do what he says, when you keep his commandments, or when you follow him. He will give you what you need, he will always keep his promises. Unfortunately, we break our promises with each other and with the Lord. But because we have the atonement and because we have sacrament and because of all of that we can repent. And repentance doesn't mean that we constantly scrub and clean ourselves of sins but rather that we constantly grow and become better. Perfect does not mean to be without failure but rather to become complete. And I know through the Lord Jesus Christ we can all become complete. 
Unfortunately, I am already out of time. And I didn't even have time to talk to you about the baptisms we had this Sunday. It was so nice to see so many people be baptized one right after the other. It was truly a miracle. I love this work it is such an important work. But I still hope that you all are doing well back home. And I pray for you all everyday. 
Elder Foster

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