Monday, September 22, 2014

Wir haben keinen Salat mehr!!


Where to even begin this letter my mind draws a blank unfortunately. Not that it means I had a boring week. But it was actually a pretty good week. I think we taught more people and found more people this week than any other week I have had on my mission thus far. To sum up some things that I have learned this week or that I want to do better on goes a little bit like this. Number one: commitments, commitments, commitments. I repeated them for emphasis. Because far too often do we ask an investigator to do something as simple as read a few things out of the Book of Mormon and pray about it and then come to no avail. Usually when they tell us that they didn't read or something like that we say something along the lines of "oh it’s okay, I understand, it happens, people are busy." I know that I need to be understanding and caring but at the same time if you do not show those who you teach that you are disappointed and that it truly is so critical then they will never understand the importance and they will never progress. I cannot force them and I cannot do these things for them. But I care about these people and this is an important work with no time to waste. So I must help them to understand how important it is for them to keep the commitments that my companion and I give them.  

Another thing that has truly affected me this week is scripture study so much in fact that an hour of personal study is no longer enough for me. It goes by too quickly and I still want to keep going. When I study now I have my scriptures out, my study journal out, the student manual book out, and I frequently look at the cross-references in the footnotes. Never before in my life have I studied the scriptures this intently and also like never before have I been as blessed by the scriptures as I have ever been in my life. Never has my purpose or my understanding of Heavenly Father been so clear. Even as I read in the scriptures I see the same thing. Whenever the people went back to the scriptures, went back to the prophets, and went back to the Holy Spirit. They become a delightsome people that were not deceived and their minds clear between what was right and what was wrong. 

Even when you think you know everything about the most simple of saving principles you find out even more. Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." From this scripture and in Enos in the Book of Mormon, I realize something a little bit more about prayer. When we "wrestle" before God in prayer when we truly try to eliminate all vain repetitions and insincerity in our hearts and truly use prayer as not just a way to ask for our blessings and thankfulness but rather as a way to submit yourself to the will of God. You will find out that all the other blesses will come. Heavenly Father is an absolutely perfect, compassionate, understanding, patient, and forgiving Father. He does not delight in persecuting those of his children who misstep. When your prayers are used to submit yourself to the will of the Father, then will you receive the perfect blessings that you would've never have thought to ask for. 

Now I will take the time to answer a few questions. Number one probably being how is the language coming?!?! Haha well it is coming along just fine. It is up to where I want it to be? Do I sometimes still get nervous when giving a spiritual thought at a member’s house? No and yes. The more relaxed I am the better I can speak German and the more I can understand it. Can I function as a missionary on my own? Yes, yes I can. The language is never the problem. It is all dependent on confidence in yourself and of course your faith in the Lord. When you keep that bright attitude all is well. Something else about the mission when it comes to baptisms and confirmations is: the actual baptizing is usually done by a member in the ward but we always participate in the confirmation which honestly is just as important as the baptism. To put it in the words of the prophet Joseph Smith you might as well have baptized a bag of sand if there is no confirmation and the receiving of the Holy Ghost. Honestly I cannot remember much of my own baptism but I can still remember quite clearly my confirmation and how I felt during and afterwards. So it is very nice to have that feeling again when I was standing in the confirmation for Saud which was just yesterday actually. Also P-Days go by really fast. We just do some studying, cleaning, grocery shopping, emailing, and then whatever time we have left we got to sites around the area like castles, gardens, museums, and of course we wander around Innenstadt and go window shopping and what not then P-day is pretty much over. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to keep a strict workout every morning because it is so hard to wake up and you honestly just feel physically weak. I can't remember a day were I haven't been so very tired. So when I am not doing push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. I am laying on the floor with a blanket over me blinding staring at the ceiling for around a half hour or so. But yeah everything is going great and it is still only the beginning of my mission. I only hope to see continued progress as time goes on. As far as I can see everything only gets easier as time goes on. It won't ever be easy don't get me wrong. But I will only get better and better. Simply remember the happy state of those who keep the commandments of God. I am blessed both spiritually and temporally. I hope all is well back on the home front.


Elder Foster

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