Monday, August 17, 2015

Keiner, der mich je gesehen hat, hätte das geglaubt!

Hallo Hallo meine liebe Damen und Herren! 

Well here I am again, staring at the computer screen, just trying to figure out what I should start off with. I don't know this week was rough, albeit it was nevertheless a testimony builder. Seeing as my district just got a lot bigger I now have to be on exchange every single week of the transfer in order to exchange with every elder in my district and also exchange with the Zone-Leaders.  I guess it is kind of exciting because I get to look at other areas in the mission without actually having to serve there the entire time. But at the same time it is sometimes quite the hassle having to plan for these exchanges, especially because we don't really have the miles to spare on the car we have in our area. Mostly because we make a weekly trip all the way out to the border of Poland. Haha more than enough jokes have been made about having a small vacation in Poland.  

Now to get straight to the nitty-gritty parts of the week, I will now explain to you the fiasco we had out our street display in the city center (Innenstadt) of Neubrandenburg. So first and foremost it started off with a not so excited attitude from the other missionaries. Fortunately, unfortunately I was there to try to stir them up to action but they eventually got to it so that is good. The beginning is always the hardest part. But as time goes on and things are moving steadily along, nothing to exciting, except for a small incident where a 90 year old man on a bike stopped and tried to contend with the sisters for no reason in particular but the sisters were not having any of that and just told him bye and I guess he was disappointed with that and just left, although he did ride by later and said something against us as he was going by. But good readers. Haha it all began! Sometimes it really is just an uphill battle sometimes. So first bad sign which you wouldn't usually think would be a bad sign but it is. There was someone standing relatively close by, looking interested or at least looking like he wanted to talk to us. Bad sign, bad sign I tell you! So this middle twenty year old guy comes up to us and asks us if we are Mormons. Naturally we say yes and couple exchanges later we find out that he is from a Baptist community all the way down in Minden which is literally almost all the way on the other side of our mission. So I am thinking what are you even doing here?! And then moments later I come to find out he is doing his own special kind of missionary work. Which he then proceeds to try and bible bash with us and ask us what I like to call Pharisee questions, which have no real intent other than to try and catch you in your words and try and prove you wrong. He didn't do it very effectively though because number one he didn't even have a bible with him, which isn't going to get your point across if you can't even prove me where it supposedly says something in the bible. And you just get so fed up of hearing people try to quote revelations to you, trying to say there can be no more scripture because it says do not change or add to this book, although it is talking directly about the book of revelations and the fact that in Deuteronomy it says basically the same exact thing, so at the beginning of the bible. Or the biggest thing I think is the fact that revelations wasn't the last book written in the bible or even more so that the bible as we have it today didn't even exist at that point in time. Which just tells me that they are just quoting their basher-scriptures at me and actually have never truly read the bible or know anything about the bible itself or where it comes from......and after a painfully long conversation with him,we just kept telling him that we didn't want to contend or fight with him and just told him to leave. But oh wait this isn't the end of the story because about ten minutes later I see three other guys about the same age heading toward us and I immediately knew that they were also a part of this community of Baptists from Minden. Knowing that I couldn't avoid them and that we couldn't just leave our own street display, I decided to talk to them first and start a more friendlier conversation that would lead to contention. However unfortunately after they asked what we were doing exactly and I explained to them and gave a short simple testimony. One of them and this guy actually has a bible; dramatically flips open his bible and starts quoting scripture at me. So now the real war begins, although I was really not in the mood to do this again or ever really. And just for the record, don't ever try to bible bash me because you will never win, enough said. But in this situation there wasn't really anything I could do and I tried to be as nice as possible in everything that I said and just tried to bring everything back to the fact that we can get answers from God the ultimate source of truth, on the book of Mormon, or even the meaning of scriptures within the bible. It was very interesting though because he kept showing me scriptures that just sounded way off. He even showed me a scripture from a chapter in the bible that I actually gave a talk on in Prenzlau a couple weeks ago and I was wondering the entire could I have missed that. He really thought he had me at that point for some reason. I was mostly just keeping this guy tied up because one of the other guys was actually having a real conversation with the other missionaries and eventually even took a Book of Mormon and some pamphlets. But back to the point, so this scripture was bothering but then I had inspiration that I should check the English version of this scripture on the gospel library app on our iPads. And so I do and what do you know the verse in this chapter was just different enough in English to mean something completely different. Later on I eventually looked at every German translation of the Bible that I could get my hands on to see if they were the same as this other bibles translation. And what do you know their translation was the only one that was different from about 7 to 8 different Bibles which just irritates me beyond belief because that just goes back to the whole not changing scriptures thing and the so many different translations of Bibles and yadda yadda yadda. Sorry I am just going off on this haha, I just really do not like talking to these kinds of peopl that we met during our street display. 

To end off this letter with something good. I did have the opportunity to give a lady a blessing the other day. And I am very grateful for the privilege of carrying the priesthood and being able to give people blessings. Every single blessing I have given has truly been a reminder of the truth of this church and the priesthood keys that are strictly bound within it by worthy priesthood holders all the way up to the prophet. I cannot think of one logical explanation of how such good feelings could occur from a simple laying of hands on the head and a few spoken words uttered other than the divine out-pouring of the spirit upon us by our heavenly father as we perform these sacred ordinances in his sons name, even that of Jesus Christ. 

 Well I hope you all have a wonderful week and as always I think about you and pray for you daily. 


Elder Foster

 Random picture of the German backcountry


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