Starting the actual letter is always the challenge for me. But this week was filled with nothing and everything at the same time to say the least. We had zone training meeting, interviews with the mission president, and stake conference this week. So it was certainly packed with spiritual support for the missionaries. And I do have to say that it was quite fun to help Elder Karlen, one of the zone leaders, to set up for zone training meeting in our chapel at the Hannover ward building. Although it was quite hilarious as we were..ahem..practicing for it when we were speaking into the microphone. And then Brother Jensen, who is in the stake presidency, shows up in the chapel and tells us the whole building can hear us....haha then he said he was joking and that nobody really heard but it is still being broadcasted out in the foyers. So that was a memorable moment of the week. And I would say that the interview with president was good although it did make me a little nervous at first, for some unknown reason. Although, the president did say something very interesting to me during the interview which was that the missionaries in my group are going to be the future leaders in the mission. Whether that means he is foreshadowing something for me in the future or not I am not sure. But these next six months will be interesting because if we are the future leaders we are also the leaders that are going to have to make the transition for the new mission president that will be coming in the eventual future. There are some interesting insights for you about the mission if you cared to know.
On the actual missionaring side of things not a whole lot happened. I met my first person from Nepal haha so that was cool and she could speak English and better than German and Hindi....I feel like everyone in the world knows English. Something that really is cool that happened to me this week is that I have been sticking random books of Mormon in other languages in my bag this week and so far I have been giving all of them out. It is really interesting how the Lord works sometimes. And I am sure a lot of you have been wondering whether I actually teach any Germans. And the answer is...very few. And it is really quite sad. Sometimes when we have really bad days where no one talks to us or talks to us for more than 30 seconds, it is usually because most of the people we talked to were Germans. It really goes to show the kind of society the Germans grow up in. They have no desire to serve God or to try to find him. Many Germans say that the only thing they believe in is themselves. Sometimes members will ask why we don't bring any Germans to church or have any German investigators or only have very few. It is simply because barely any Germans ever listen to us or they think we are Jehovah’s witnesses. This is sometimes the bane of my existence. This thus is the reason why member work is so very important. Germans that are friends with Mormons or have family members that are Mormons are far more likely to open up and listen when we are referred to them by a member. And believe me referrals in Germany are almost none existent sometimes. If more members realized this and put it into practice then there would be a whole lot more Germans being taught. But no worries the work moves forward nonetheless. Next week we get to meet with Friedrich and he said he is going to take us out to get some Asian food and then have us teach him the gospel. Woo! And we are going to met with Frau Schlaa at the church with the Freimann's as well on another day. The Lord prepares people for prepared missionaries.
So far with every new companion and every new week I feel like the Lord is trying to teach me something. Sometimes I am not sure whether I get the message he is trying to send. But most of the time I realize the benefit that I receive from the experience. Sometimes my head is jammed packed full of things that I know I need to work on or that I need to learn about or to help someone else find out for themselves. But really it all just comes down to sticking to the work and to simply never give up and push on through. Real faith fosters hope for the future. It allows us to look beyond ourselves and our present cares. It is as I constantly try to apply that in my life and in my missionary work that I am able to see the fruits of the Lords work in my life and in the lives of others. Other than that I am not sure what to say. Other than I have accepted the cold, cold reality of the changing weather. And that there is no such thing as physical rest in the Lord's kingdom! Haha I guess I will leave you with a little spiritual nourishment German style!
Wenn ich einer Herausforderung gegenüberstehe, schaue ich zuerst auf Jesus Christus. Ich weiß, dass ich weiß, dass ich weiß, dass Er weiß! Das ist mir oft schon genug. Wenn es nicht genügt, habe ich Muster, die mir helfen diese Beharrlichkeit und diese Widerstandskraft zu finden und zu behalten. Das Gebet und das tiefe Schriftstudium sind ein wesentliches Muster dabei. Denken Sie daran, es ist die Veränderung der kleinen Dinge, die wir oft tun – jeden Tag. Der wunderbare Fortschritt der Kirche des Herrn auf dieser Erde ist dem Glauben an Jesus Christus zuzuschreiben, den schon unsere Vorväter und Pioniere hatten. Ich stehe in Ehrfurcht, wenn ich ihre Lösungen sehe und ihre Beharrlichkeit, niemals aufzugeben – „Niemals, niemals, von dir lass uns gehn“ ... „Immer, immer, zu dir wir nur stehn!“
Elder Foster ;)