Transfer calls were this last Saturday and…. I am staying in Schwarzenberg! Elder Larson flies home to America and goes to the mission officetomorrow morning. I will be working with the Zwickau Elders while I am companion-less. I will then pick up Elder Ustach who is coming from Spandau, Berlin! We are both very excited to work with one another. Sadly, we all have to wait until next week for pictures…. again.
After we did emails on Monday, we headed over to the Church to cook with Schwester Schürer. She showed how to make Rouladen and Rotkohl! Now I can make it when I come home! She is such an amazing person and is one of my idols that I have found on my mission. She served a mission in the DDR and has really sunk deep roots into the Gospel. She told us that she was at Church one Sunday and the Mission President during the DDR times approached her and asked her if she who accept a call to serve a mission for the Church. And then she said yes. Crazy!
We also went by on a man that we found earlier in Stollberg: the men was very excited to hear that the Book of Mormon was scripture and that Joseph Schmidt saw God and Christ. His wife had had a serious, life.threatening operation on an artery in her neck and he was very worried about her. That is why we could not really make an appointment with him. We went back this week to seek how he was doing. He answered the door, and before I could ask, his wife came to the door to see who he was talking with. He then introduced us to his wife as “the young men who were praying for her during her operation.” She was extremely thankful for us and started crying. She really should not have survived her surgery and said that her faith in God had been strengthened. She was still very weak and has to regain some of her motor skills and had to go back inside. We talked with the man and found out that he had managed to read in the Book of Mormon in between everything. It sounded like he read the introductions and the testimony pages; he was confused and found the language to be very complicated. We told him to keep reading and it will start making more sense and he will be able to learn more if he just keeps reading… and then PRAYING! I will go by on him again this week and try to make an actual appointment to teach him so he can start progressing… even more!
We also went by on the farmer man that we found a while ago (the one that shook my hand for a long time…). Elder Larson wanted to say goodbye. We talked to him… AND HIS GIRLFRIEND! His dachshund was not there sadly 😦 But his girlfriend said that we can come by anytime to teach them and share a message! She will just listen; but Herr K wants to really progress – slowly…. Anyways, at the end of our appointment, we shook hands and I was nervous he was going to do another weird handshake… which he did…. And it was even longer than the last one. I started looking at the other people in the room and is got SUPER awkward. I didn’t know what to do! My hand was lost in his and he had a pretty firm grip, which I was returning. Then Elder Larson said, “Sie mussen seine Hand weglassen…” “You need to let his hand go….” HE was waiting for ME to let go of HIS hand! OH MY GOSH! SOOOOOOOO embarrassing! I usually wait for the other person to let go. But he still likes me. He said that I have a good energy and he wants me to come back again. Oh boy. Ha!! #TypicalElderHoffman
Yesterday. Sunday. Sunday was such a special day. We had our combined Priesthood and Relief Society and the teacher said at the beginning that it really is not enough to have questions or to come with questions and then expect answers from Church or from the scriptures. We have to ASK and then we have to LISTEN! He who does not listen will not hear!
I ended up using in my SECOND talk in German. It was Doctrine and Covenants 43:8-9. But Elder Larson’s farewell testimony turned into a Farewell sermon and my Church Talk was condensed into a testimony about the Sabbath Day commandment. But! It was perfect! On Tuesday, I received a letter from my former Bishop, Bishop Littlejohn. He letter fit perfectly with my talk. I ended up translating part of it and read it. (Bishop Littlejohn: if you ever want part of letter in German, you know where you can get it). I talked about how important it is that we come everySunday for ourselves and how much doing this can bless us!
After Sacrament Meeting, one of the Young Men was going to be ordained to be a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood. The young man came up to me and Elder Larson and asked if we could participate in his ordination. I was so touched!
Then, later that evening, we had a big farewell party for Sister Helzer and Elder Larson. Sister Helzer is being transferred to Marzahn in Berlin. There were a lot of members there and, what’s better, we had a lot of investigators come. Which is weird because we have not had ANYONE at Church since I have been here. It was so much and I really got to know the members better and grow closer to them. And our investigators finally got to see our Church! There was even a Less Active Member there whom we have never met. We just invited him and said that he HAS to come. The members enjoyed seeing him.
I am excited and extremely hopeful for this next transfer with Elder Ustach. I was walking around Schwarzenberg a few days ago and… I know it sounds weird… but I could smell change in the air. The air is different now that Spring is coming and the flowers are blooming. I think that is a sign. I know that there are “good things to come,” like Elder Holland says.
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission