Hallo hier ist Elder Förster!
Welcome to the brand new season of Elder Foster's weekly letters. Why a new season you might ask? Because it is a whole new transfer and with every new transfer comes also change. And I will now begin to explain all the new changes that have now been made. So first and foremost, I am finally back in the Berlin Mission, whew! Although we will still have some Frankfurt missionaries here until they are transferred away on Thursday. But now instead of being the Erfurt Zone we are now the Leipzig-Süd-Zone. Which also means that the Chemnitz Zone is being dissolved and being split up between us and the Dresden Zone. So there have been a whole lot of changes in the Mission since I have been out here. And to the news more related to me, I will no longer be serving in Weimar but will be sent to Erfurt to serve there, although there is a catch. Because the churches in Weimar and Gotha were shut down the two Elders programs in Erfurt will be sharing a car together. So my companion and I will still visit Weimar during the week, as the occasion requires, and the other Elders program will go to Gotha when it is needed. So it will be another interesting transfer because I basically get to open up a new program in Erfurt but still manage to retain the investigators we have in Weimar. Oh and another thing is that I will still be District-Leader and now my district has grown a bit. So now there are now 6 missionaries, including me, instead of 4, and now I have 2 senior couples instead of just 1. And everybody is older on the mission than I am so that will be interesting as well. Hopefully I will manage to add to their already ever increasing drive to do more and be better.
Well now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I guess I can talk about other things. So naturally as it seems to me now, it takes a transfer to really get things going. Although this week was also a struggle to try and find rides for people to get them to church, we made some progress this week. The biggest news being that this week we were able to set up a baptismal date with a German family. Yay! Very exciting indeed, and I know that if they stick to what we have committed them to do that they will progress and be ready to be baptized when the time comes. And thankfully we managed to get them a ride to church, although we had to come back with them on the train. We almost made out another baptismal with the Henning family too. Their mother being inactive and the two children being 9 and 11. They have the desire to be baptized just not the desire to come to church. Unfortunately we were not able to get them to church. :( But actually the reason we didn't make out a date was because the children weren't sure how to recognize an answer from God and what someone has to do to be ready for baptism. So next time for sure we know what we want to talk about. Usually we have a hard time trying to keep their attention but this time they were definitely more involved. They really are so close, we just need to get them to church and I know they will get baptized (and be spiritually ready for it too of course!) Grr! But as a missionary there is something that you learn, and that is you can only do that which is possible for you to do. And then trust on the Lord that he will help you with the things that you don't have any control over. But you will always get there if you do everything that is physically possible for you to do. And all of this go directly along with what I have been recently reading in my studies and actually with my interview with president last week, and even this very morning! It is always interesting when it seems that everything you have been reading and thinking about in a given time suddenly has one big connection. Times like these I know I am being led by the Lord to learn something in particular.
So really the quote I would like to share is from Joseph Smith who is explaining the latter outcome of the march of Zion's Camp to go and help some members in Missouri who were being severely persecuted and many had actually been driven from their homes. In the end they did not manage to help the members in Missouri and actually suffered much affliction in this whole endeavor. But what Joseph Smith later said was "God did not want you to fight. He could not organize his kingdom with twelve men to open the gospel door to the nations of the earth, and with seventy men under their direction to follow in their tracks, unless he took them from a body of men who had offered their lives, and who had made as great a sacrifice as did Abraham." 5 months later the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Quorum of the Seventy were organized. And seventy-nine out of the eighty-two positions were filled by men who had been proven in the march of Zion's Camp. With also four of them being future presidents of the church. If I or anyone wants to truly open up the doors of this gospel to the world then we need to be willing to offer ourselves up as these men and women did. It was this very same question about Abraham's sacrifice that the Mission president asked me on Saturday. It was also when I was reading in Jeremiah where Jeremiah asks the age-old question of why do the wicked prosper despite their many abominations and asks that the Lord sends his righteous judgment upon them, and then the Lord reproves him for this outburst of ill-nature and impatience by telling him that he must patiently endure still worse. Showing his long-suffering towards a people ripe for destruction. That made me think upon my own endurance and own sacrifice that I must make for the sake of God's children. Or even when I later read in D&C where the Lord said "Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer." Where I once again thought that for the work to truly progress we must hold ourselves quite literally to the standards of the Kingdom of God. It now makes more sense when Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve said that we need to raise the bar of standards even more for missionaries and that what we need now is "the greatest generation of missionaries" that this world has ever seen. As always I only hope I can talk these things and make the decision to fully apply them into my life, and with assurance knowing that I will achieve the highest outcome. For I know in him I trust.
Well I hope this week’s letter was alright and that you will all have a wonderful week. I love you all and pray for your wellness.