Week #8 Neukolln

General Conference is seriously… I don’t know how to describe it. I have already said to some people that it is Manna from Heaven. In the words of my High School English teacher, Mrs Little, “SOOOOOOOOOO good! SOOO good!” ha!
 
I remember it like yesterday going to the Taylor Chapel at the end of my First Semester of BYUI with Alicia and Shannon Sturgess to watch Conference. And now SO much has happened since then! Even when President Monson said that he made the new missionary age announcement ONE year ago I could not believe that. ONE year ago, already?! WOW! I just remember where I was a year ago and I learned and grown so much. Since last conference, all my friends have gone separate ways – mostly on mission, just like Sister Shannon Sturgess in Philadelphia – and, WOW, I am just amazed at what has happened since last conference. The Church has gone from missionaries that I can count on both hands in the mid-1800’s to 80,333 missionaries around the world today. The Church is true!
 
So, in each of my coming emails, I will try to pick ONE Conference talk to feature shortly. This time I want to highly encourage everyone to watch Elder Robert D Hales’ talk. It was the first talk of General Conference. He talks about the pattern of Conferences from ancient times that we follow and the modern pattern that we follow: that we come, completely prepared to receive guidance from God through His servants, then go home, ponder, and apply what we have learned. We can come with questions, have them answered, and use what we have learned for the rest of lives. If anyone out there wants to know what General Conference is in the LDS Church, this is the 10 minute talk to study!http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2013/10?lang=eng
 
On Mittwoch (Wednesday) we were walking around trying to find people to talk to. We saw a man walking in front of us, he was African. And Elder Fuller, naturally, grabbed a Fufu Fest flyer to hand to him. We started talking to him in German and asked if he ate Fufu, because ALL Africans eat it. He said that he didn’t care for it. And we were surprised, “Where are you from?” we asked. “America.” I cracked up so hard! ha! This guy was from Texas! Of all the Africans we speak to, I would have never guessed that! He even said later that he would rather eat grits than Fufu. Too good!! Hopefully he reads the Book of Mormon that we gave him.
 
Berlin is funny in that, when we walk out of our Apartment Complex, it is noisy and loud and crazy like any other city. But on Saturdays it is super quiet and there are no cars. Sundays are even quieter. So I was even more surprised when I walked out on Donnertag (Thursday) and there was no one in the street. What was going on…? It was actually “Der Dritte Oktober” or “Der Tag der Einheit” or Unification Day. It was the same day that the Berlin Wall came down and East Germans and West German could travel freely across the border. Everyday I am incredibly thankful for that piece of miraculous history. God’s hand was definitely in the event.
 
In District Meeting last week, the Zone Leaders (Elders Barr and Atkinson) shared Alma 19:8-10 from the Book of Mormon. Here Ammon tells the King’s wife that the King is not dead and that he liveth. They applied that to the work here in Berlin. They said that the work is not dead and there are people, all over this city ready to hear the Gospel. We just need to find one another. I thought that was such a great comparison and found that interesting. I made a not next to that scripture in my English Scriptures.I can feel our district coming more and more together each time we see each other. The Sister Missionaries are really fun! As transfer calls come up soon, we are all a little apprehensive about what might happen and who might leave.
 
Another thing that I am going to try to do in these emails is to share a scipture chain: a series of scriptures that all go together and help us understand something. I have been using teh footnotes in my scriptures like crazy in my personal study and it has helped understand how the scriptures are connected. Which I need. It always take me to new parts of the scriptures that I don’t read too much. Which I need as well.
 
My birthday is this week (the 12th) and I am excited. I will make sure to celebrate. Not quite sure how yet. I’ll keep you guys posted next week! I am nervous to turn twenty! YIKES! Do I need a mid-life crisis or something…? ha!
 
This weeks scripture chain is a little different: 1 John 6: 38, 51, 57, 61, 62 Here we read about how we need Jesus Christ in our lives. Just like God sent manna to the Jews while they wandered in the wilderness and partook of it to survive. Christ is the bread of life, we must “partake” of his teachings in order to “survive” this life.
 
That is all this week! I hope all is well at home. I enjoy getting all of your emails and seeing what your impressions of Conference were and what is going on in your lives.
 
Tscüsi!
 
Elder Hoffman
 
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