HELP!!!! My companion has already started listening to Christmas music. What is this world coming to!!!!! It’s not even November yet!!! UGH!!! ha!
Another week in Neokölln. This is the end of my first transfer! But nothing is really changing in our district. Everyone is staying. No new missionaries were added… yet. This morning someone had to come inspect our apartment because… get this… WE’RE MOVING!!! We will be right next to the Church. No more Karl-Marx-Straße unfortunately. I enjoyed it here. But the new apartment is nicer and has an oven!! So I can make cookies! Not sure when we will move. I will get the new address ASAP! Maybe send everything to the mission home address for now….
So… this week. Tuesday, Elder Fuller had a training meeting all day. So I went on an Austausch with an Office Elder. I was in the mission office… all… day…. I hope I am NEVER an office elder. Because I couldn’t work on any of their projects since I was new and only there for a day; I helped looked for good apartments online in a certain area and then I organized my emails into different folders and color coded them and organized my contacts and I may or may not have responded to a few emails then as well…. But that morning I went with Elder Taylor to visit a man. It was a stark contrast to the “ghetto” apartments we visit in Neukölln. This apartment was like an IKEA ad in contrast! Very nice! He served us cake and offered coffee- He wasn’t really interested in praying about the Book of Mormon. He just wanted to talk and find out more about us. Which I am perfectly fine with. Some Missionaries don’t like that. But if they have a good impression of the Church (and I get free cake), I am not going to complain! But we are representatives of the Church and we should do stuff like that every once in a while. But later that day, we had just finished an appointment somewhere – can’t remember – and we got a call from the Zone Leaders. They were at the Church and said that our investigator, V., was at the Church…. We don’t know a V. When we got there we saw him through the window and remembered. He had come up to us on the S-Bahn and talked to us. He had seen us in Nigeria before – the missionaries that is. He has been here about a month and is starting to work harder to learn the language and get his permanent papers. We think he is secretly a genius; he wants to go study at Cambridge someday and he just wants to go back to school here. We haven’t been able to really meet with him quite yet. We gave him a quick lesson at the Church; but he only had about 5 minutes. He has a Book of Mormon now though. I feel like I will really like him; so I am hoping that we will get to know him a lot better. I think he is having a hard time getting used to everything. But he really likes Berlin.
We ended up meeting with the member who is in charge of all the activities in the Ward here. We talked about Fufu Fest and all the fine details. We talked for a long time and ended up making plans to build a giant hut that will frame the screen on which our presentations will be. And he has a little fake fire that we will set up with some bongos that someone else has. It is going to be pretty legit. I am excited. We are getting a lot of the Ward involved, too. Fufu Fest is this week and we still have lots to do!!!
On Wednesday we met again with the lady with the black magic from a while ago from England. She was on vacation in Cyprus for two weeks. But we went over with the Tiergarten Sisters – who serve in her area – and kind of handed her off to them. She is so great and I really hope that she makes more progress. She had some serious questions that are hard to answer. She likes to practice all religions. I tried telling her that we can find beauty and truth in all faiths, but God has given us direct commandments that can only be fulfilled by reading the Book of Mormon and Holy Bible and by entering the Temple. I have been praying hard for her and her faith and the Sisters teaching her now.
Saturday was my birthday!! I was worried that I wouldn’t get to celebrate. But, when we were at the Church, I was in one room on the computer getting stuff ready for Fufu Fest, while the missionaries from Neukölln were getting a classroom together for my surprise party. It was a lot of fun. Elder Fuller has a video of me walking into the room. He’ll send it later. But, Schwester S. was there – my old lady best friend. She brought me flowers and tied a bag of marzapahn balls to the bouquet. Super sweet! She also tied a little €5 note to the bag. She said that it was just a “Kleinigkeit” or “a little thing” her Aunt used to do in the DDR. They would get together and on birthdays and she would give her nieces and nephews 5 Mark. I think that might be a little something that I continue, too. I was really touched. But the best part was when she played pin the tail on the donkey. She is such a great sport and had fun with all of us missionaries. I am glad that I got to celebrate, because it was getting late for me to treat myself and the bakeries were starting to close!
Scripture chain for the week is about prayer: 1 Nephi 17:45, Revelations 3:20, Moroni 10:3-5, Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-9, D&C 112:10
This week’s General Conference talk is from Elder D Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. His talk is entitled, “The Moral Force of Women” This is something I really enjoyed. Changed the way I think a bit. I fully encourage women to obtain an education and career. But I also know the important role of the family and building a societal population and morals. Society tells us that creating a family is old fashioned, sexist, and should be at the bottom of our list of things to do. And that by allowing women to work and learn, we actually compromise our societal morals. Yes,we should strive for equal opportunities everywhere. But, we need more emphasis on the family. We are all given roles to fulfill on the Earth. When we met with Sabia on Wednesday, one of her questions was about men and the Priesthood. Men have the priesthood to learn certain things for themselves. But, like sunlight, man can open the blinds, but the sunlight reaches everyone. Women have been endowed with Heavenly gifts to love and nurture and to literally create life.
“Sisters, I don’t want to overpraise you as we sometimes do in Mother’s Day talks that make you cringe. You don’t have to be perfect; I don’t claim that you are (with one possible exception who is sitting nearby at the moment). What I mean to say is that whether you are single or married, whether you have borne children or not, whether you are old, young, or in between, your moral authority is vital, and perhaps we have begun to take it and you for granted. Certainly there are trends and forces at work that would weaken and even eliminate your influence, to the great detriment of individuals, families, and society at large. Let me mention three as a caution and a warning.”
Elder RR Hoffman