Monday, January 19, 2015

Es Gibt Licht!


And so a new transfer has begun and already a life lived outside of the mission life feels like a long lost life that is now caught in time-space. I was simply always a missionary and will continue to always be one. Or at least that is the current mind-set. But I my new companion's name is Elder Pilling from Burly, Idaho. He is also only a transfer younger than I am. So once again I am to fill the role of the senior companion. Although, you could hardly say that I have much more experience than he does. But I am happy to note that he is definitely willing to work hard and to be obedient. And I have already seen the blessings that have been showered upon us because of our desires to please the Lord. To give you a quick explanation of what I mean. Last transfer with my former companion, we only managed to find one new investigator in the entire six weeks. However in the last two days my new companion and I were able to find 10 new investigators. Now I am not trying to say that numbers are everything or put the focus on numbers. I am just saying the Lord will bless those who desire to please Him and to follow Him. And this week certainly wasn't free of its downs let me tell you. Our very first day truly working together we were in Cuxhaven. And that day we ran into just about every opposed person to the church that we could have. I mean there were people who tried to call the police on us, another who I thought was going to hit my companion, another who tried to tell us what we believed in and told us that they knew that we do not do this work free willingly (HAHA!), and then to make it even better all of our appointments that day fell out. Our only comfort that day was when we stopped by one of the members real quick who were in the area and they ended up inviting us to have dinner with them before we headed back to Bremerhaven. But it is when you have endured through trials in an attempt to do what is right that you will receive your reward or the promised blessings. Because then the next two days as we were going by contacts and talking to everyone that we possibly could on our way.

We saw success that I have never seen yet in Bremerhaven. Just the other day as we were trying to get in contact with an old investigator and honestly having no idea where he lived in the apartment building, other than he lived in it. So as we haphazardly knocked on all the doors in an attempt to ask people, "If they knew where Herr Shap lived?" We came to a door where two young boys answered and then eventually family members started popping out from everywhere and although they could barely understand us and as they themselves tried to look for someone in the building who could speak both Bulgarian or Turkish as well as English or German. It was just chaos haha but during the chaos we kept trying to talk to them and actually did find out that they were Christian and eventually ending up saying that if we could find one of our books in Bulgarian we would come by the next day. And then even after that we found the person that we wanted and set out an appointment with him for this week. And then something even more ridiculous happened by complete accident on our part. So we actually ended up getting a Book of Mormon in Bulgarian from the Sisters and headed back to this same apartment building. Of course, we get there and we realize that we didn't catch or remember the last name to this family so we basically we just hoped we would ring the right person. And guess what....we didn't haha but the person let us into the building after having stuck his head out the window but a 3 or 4 stories above us and yelling down at us. So we went up the stairs and actually talked to him outside of his door and he actually end up being interested too and we set up an appointment with him for a later date as well. And then finally! We got to the Bulgarian family's door. And at first we were expecting just to drop off the book and leave because of the language barrier. But because they were an awesome family, they invited us in right away. It was pretty funny actually because as we struggled to talk to each other and tried to show them the lds website in Bulgarian so they could read or do something while we were there we ended up having the realization that we could use Google translate. Haha so basically we wrote to them over Google translate and asked them if they understood as we typed messages. It was one of the funniest and most interesting experiences I have had yet since being on my mission. And we are meeting them again later this week! It is definitely safe to say that this week was filled with new experiences and a long needed boost in our missionary efforts.

Other random news my companion cut my hair yesterday and I also cut his as well too. Oh the random things you learn how to do while on a mission. And my district has once again 4 people from my original group in the MTC. When I was in Hannover there were 4 of us from the same MTC group and now it is the same here in Bremerhaven, although last transfer there were only 3 of us. Other random news I gave a talk at church yesterday. Can you imagine me giving a 10 minute talk completely in German? I still can't imagine myself doing it, even though I am the one who did it! And now we are getting to the point of my letter where I am not sure what to say anymore. It is really weird being a missionary I guess. You can't ever forget what a marvelous work you are engaged in. You can't ever take for granted what you do and think and how you use your time. Or you will more than likely find that you have been slacking at something you once had been doing very well at. Sometimes it feels as though there are so many things to think about at once and in so many areas to develop in that you forget the end goal in order to try to fulfill all the desired prerequisites of said goal. I guess I am simply still in the middle of my journey. I can't see the beginning anymore and I cannot see the end either. It is as if I am traversing the arctic and I can see not only where I will be the next day but also the day after that. Well I hope all is going well back home. And you all are never too far away from my thoughts.



Elder Foster


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