Week 27: Schwarzenberg

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Hello Friends and Family!

Schönen Valentinstag!
Transfer calls were on Saturday! Elder Larson and I are staying for another transfer. We will keep working hard to get some people to work with. I have a good miracle that I will talk about later. But we will miss Sister Hansen, who is going to Halle. She started the Sisters Program with Sister Helzer, who is staying. The two of them came here when I got here in Germany – beginning of September! They were very successful! We will miss Sister Hansen and her smile!
This week, we had a shorter Pday on Monday so that we could have a personal tour from a member of the Erzgebirg! Lothar is probably pushing about 80 and wanted to drive us all over and show his “stomping ground.” He has helped the Church in this area grow so much. He joined in the DDR during when there was a big famine here. He helped build the Freiberg Temple as well. He has been a great help to the Church; as missionaries, we owe him a lot. Without his help, missionary work here would be very different.
We went to Seifen and saw all of the beautiful wood work there is in the region. Many of the carpenters were so poor and could not find work, they started carving toys and creating different things to sell. Now it is a huge part of German culture – and pretty much IS Erzgebirg culture. They take slices of a log and create the shape of an animal and then cut it, like a cake, to get little wooden animals. We saw the progression of woodworking from the 1800s until today! It was all so very pretty!
The drive before and after was so pretty! The rolling green hills and the forests. He took us to see a ski resort that his family goes to a lot. We could see all of the Erzgebirg region and into the Czech. Oh! We drove along the Czech border a lot too. We could see little stones with a “C” on them marking the border.
After Transfer Calls, I, for some reason, was dreading the next transfer. How are we going to find people? We have NO idea what to change! I later got out of that mood and back into work later that day. But on Sunday, we drove up to the Church building and I saw a red car sitting in the parking lot. I thought that was odd didn’t know to whom it belonged. And then i saw the sticker on the back of the car and thought, “Huh… the Fabians in Neukölln had a car JUST like that. Weird.” And just as I thought to myself… “Wait a second…” Sister Fabian stepped out of the car!!! The family we lived under in Neukölln were the Fabians. I was so excited to see her! She had something to do near Chemnitz and came to surprise me and her friend in the Branch. It was nice to see an old face – a face from the past that is…. I knew Heavenly Father sent her to our Branch for a reason. It was for me. I needed a pick-me-up. Something different to look at and to remember my successes from Neukölln. But, every time I thought how nice it was to have Sister Fabian there, I heard a voice that kept saying, “This next transfer, everything is going to be alright.” I had set some personal goals for this next transfer that I am really excited to work towards and felt good about them; I felt Heavenly Father confirming my goals. Sister Fabian is coming back next Sunday again with her husband and we will have dinner and her friend’s house who lives in our Branch.
President Kosak asked the Mission to read the Book of Mormon when I first got here and to finish reading it before Christmas. Well… I may or may not have just started reading Moroni today…. But I have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon was written for us in this time. There were ancient prophets who saw us. They know what we are experiencing and then gave us advice. The Book of Mormon answers the questions of the soul: the spiritual ones and the temporal, everyday ones.
As we read the Book of Mormon, President Kosak asked us to concentrate on the Atonement. The Atonement is for everyone. If we humbly repent and then follow Christ, His grace can be with us. As we actively do all that we can do – repent, pray, serve, study, and act – those promised of blessings of exaltation, visitation of angels, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and even temporal blessings for our families, friends and ourselves can all be our own. I know that and see it all the time as people in this Mission come closer to their Father in Heaven.
Elder RR Hoffman
Missionary
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission
Scwarzenberg
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