So… yesterday as I walking over to do my laundry at BYUI I ran into Jenny again…. Wait. That wasn’t yesterday, that was 4 months ago!! Seriously, it feels like BYUI was just a little while ago. Where has all this time gone?!
So the man from Ghana that was baptized a little while ago, we figured out his plans. He found somewhere he can stay about 4 hours north with another family from Ghana. There are better work opportunities up there. And, apparently, there are more Africans in the ward up there! So we are happy that he is able to move onto a better part of his life. Hopefully he can find a better football team up there as well. That is why he is here; he came to Europe to play football for a little while. Then he will go back to Ghana. He will be a great asset up there.
Last Monday, after our P-Day ended at 6PM, we went the house of a lady named Schwester J. Her fiance is a member and she already wants to be baptized. She even has her own leather bound scriptures already. She is set! And she is super great too! Just an all around great lady. She told us that she had been praying to know something… she knew there was something out there. And then, a few months later, she met Bruder M! Sister Clark and Sister Dunlap are teaching her; I was a little bummed because I wanted to teach an actual German for my first time. All the Africans here speak English. And there is one lady from England that we are teaching. Heavenly Father has His plan; I will keep practicing my German wherever I can and be ready for when that happens.
On Tuesday we went to teach the man from Ghana we baptized. Afterwards, we really did not have much to do. So we talked to a lot of people on the street on our way back to the U-bahn Haltestelle. We ended up talking to this one African man who said he was on his way to his band practice. Elder Fuller was inviting ALL the Africans we talked to our Fufu Fest and asked if this guy could play for us at the Stake Activity. I was listening to what the man was saying and then… Elder Fuller says, without me knowing “Can we come listen for a bit?” He says yes and we walk with him. All I could think was: “What is going on? Where are we going? We don’t even know what kind of music this is!” We ended up walking into a Lutheran Church were there were some more Africans. Long story short, we ended listening to some… good?… gospel music for about half an hour.
On Thursday, Elder Fuller had to renew his Tempelschein (Temple Recommend) with President Kosak. We live about a half U-bahn and bus ride away from the Mission Office here in Berlin. We woke up and Elder Fuller said, “Elder, I had the weirdest dream. I had a dream that when we went to the office today, we both got two HUGE packages.” I didn’t think anything of it and said my sarcastic, “Wow! Cool!” When I walked into the front part of the office, Sister Snow, the senior sister at the front desk said, “Oh! Elder Hoffman! A few things came for you the other day!” Little did I know that I received TWO packages that day! One from my neighbors in Danville and one from my mom for my birthday – which I am waiting patiently to open until the 12th!! Elder Fuller and I ate the Swedish Fish as we rode the bus back home from the office. It was a good day. Ha!
As I have been studying German lately, I have been thinking about something President Kosak said when we first got here. Coming from America, we all know the language of the Restoration – which is English. And now we have the opportunity to learn the language of the Reformation – which is German, because of Martin Luther. What a neat opportunity that is! I learned in the MTC that Jospeh Smith actually knew German and studied the Martin Luther Bible. I love studying the Martin Luther Bible; I know that it is one of the closer translations that we can study. Joseph Smith even said that the Martin Luther translation is the best translation of the Bible. I feel good studying it and I enjoy being able to study it because I know the language. I have surprised myself with how well I really do know this langauge. I can follow a conversation incredibly well. I just need stuff that I can say now! Last night, we went to a member’s house to share a lesson on Family History work and Temples (hence why I need family photos!!!) and the daughter said, “Du verstehst Deutsch sehr gut.” “You understand German really well.” I then naturally responded, “Wie bitte?” or “What was that?” Ha! Sometimes I think I don’t understand, when I really do, and then I ask them to repeat it. It’s the worse when they speak REALLY slow for you and ask you 10 times if I understand. Ha!
Oh! Saturday was super cool, too! We had the big Football Tournament for the Stake almost all day! There were about 15 teams there. Anbd Bruder Klimpel, from our ward, organized it. He even invited a few semi-pro teams to come play with us. They came from Dresden, Switzerland, Frankfurt, and England to play with us. They came out for a weekend vacation and played with us for fun. A lot were members actually. But I thought the whole thing was GENIUS! The semi-pro teams added a great variety to the tournament with new faces, skills, and it brought some people who were not members into the tournament. Neukölln ended up having two teams and we had a good amount of nonmembers who came to play with us. Elder Fuller was a little disappointed because we could not play – President said we could not play because there were too many injuries… which was true. He is a HUGE soccer junkie. Then someone asked him to be a referee almost ALL day. In the beginning, I watched all his games and sat with Sister Clark & Dunlap and ate all the cake the members brought and drank tea and talked… We pretty much had a tea party… let’s face it. Then they left and I watched all of Elder Fuller’s games; we were both exhausted at the end of the day. I understand why he was so tired; but I was sitting all day and ate brownies and Pflaumkuchen and Apfelkuchen and drank tea and ate Bratwurst all day. We all have our own cross to carry I guess! But I loved that whole day and want to do something like that at home. It was a huge success!!
And on the tea: I am turning into a HUGE tea junkie here. I am still a little sick and the Tea helps me throughout the day. But I feel like I am on an episode of Downton Abbey with all this tea! Germans love tea and, again, I can live with that!
And General Conference is here!! What are you all looking forward to the most?! Any guesses about new Temples or announcements?! We are having a cooking competition with the other Neukölln missionaries. We have to go far away to watch and need to pack food for in between sessions. We are going to make a casserole. I still need to figure out how to make my banana bread. Sister Clark is famous for her’s…. But the missionaries here haven’t had mine yet….
That is all for now. No crazy photos today from the week.
Take care. SEND PICTURES FOR ME TO SARE WITH PEOPLE! And God bless!
1. Fufu Fest flyer that we put in front of the Church.
2. My desk during langauge study…. My life!
3. Pretty day. View from hanging my head outside my window.
5. We ate breakfast here today because we ran out of food yesterday (going to the store today). It is called “Brot und Brötchen” which means “Bread and little Breads.” Which is exactly what they sell. Donuts, pastries, muffins, loaves of bread. I had a Berliner, a muffin, a little salami sandwich, a banana, and a cup of tea for 5€. Oh Germans and their bread!