This week was a somewhat normal week.
This last week we experience two tender mercies of the Lord.
My last two transfers here in Schwarzenberg, since the beginning of January, we had been experiencing one or two miracles every week: finding someone, helping someone, or bringing one more person to at least a more correct knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But, since the beginning of April, which was the beginning of this transfer, I had not really seen any. I am sure there are many to be counted. But as they were before. No new people or amazing lessons. I learned a lot, of course!
So I had been praying a lot for a tender mercy. Just to see that God is helping us to find those whom He has prepared, and vice versa.
On Friday, we were Eibenstock and rang the doorbell of one man. Elder Ustach told him that we were sharing a message about Jesus Christ and asked, through the telecom, if we could share it with him. He said he wasn’t really too religious, but asked if we wanted to come up for a beer. We declined the polite offer. Then he asked if we wanted to smoke. Again, we declined the very generous offer. Then he asked, “Well… do you want to come up and just talk…?” We accepted this one. He came down and we met in his garden. We taught him about prayer and faith – which is built through prayer. We a great conversation. We gave him a Restoration Pamphlet and asked him to read and if we could come back next week (which is this week now). He said we could and then we could talk some more about the pamphlet. We are excited. There are absolutely NO contacts or former investigators in our Area Book from Eibenstock. So we got the first one now! Hopefully we can turn it into a member record ;D
Then, just yesterday, we had an appointment in Schwarzenberg with an investigator. But we rang his door bell and called and there was no answer. So we went back to Aue, parked the car at home, and went to go do some doors nearby. Elder Ustach thought it was later and was going to go home. I said, “Let’s just do these two apartment complexes. Then it will be time to go home for studying.” Almost the third button on the apartment building, a man let us in and we started talking. He is a very strong christian. At first, he was against the Book of Mormon. He kept saying that Holy Ghost told him to talk to us. He also kept telling us that nothing else can be added to or even compared to the Bible, not even the Book of Mormon. (He actually talked so much that we really couldn’t say too much). We were finally able to talk a little bit and, long story short, at the end of the conversation he was saying, “Well, I actually don’t know what the Book of Mormon really is. Maybe you can come by again and you can show me.” He has met with so many other religious people and tried to prove them wrong and they have nothing – maybe because they know it’s not true…? Not sure. But he liked how positive we were and how we agreed with everything he was saying. He noticed that we weren’t really going to back down from what we know.
I think every now and then we all doubt our own testimonies. I’ll admit it! Peter even did it as he walked on water. He had faith in Christ enough to walk on the water, but then he looked down and sank. We build our testimonies and build our testimonies until they are so high! And we look down and think, “Woah. I am pretty high off the ground.” But just like what Elder Dube two General Conferences ago said, we cannot look back (or down). Sometimes I think my testimony weak, but I share it despite the fact, knowing that doing so will strengthen it. But others will in return notice how strong it is – just like the man we found on Sunday. I gave what I could: my “little” testimony. And something amazing developed out of that. Share your testimony! If you love something, share it. If you love someone, help them! Learn and grow!
Sunday was also Branch Conference. I think it a little funny. At home, when it is Ward Conference, we normally don’t find out until right when we walk into the Chapel before Sacrament Meeting. But here in Schwarzenberg (not sure about the rest of Germany), it is much different. We have been practicing a song every Sunday after Church for Branch Conference. It was announced every Sunday beforehand. And there was a traditional, what we call, “ling-longer” prepared afterwards. The Sunday School lesson from one of the Stake Presidency Counselors was really great. It was prayer and how we need to ask the right questions, i.e. not “Help my wife to understand me.” But rather, “Help me to understand my wife. Help me to understand what I need to do here.” God cannot “make” things happen. He helps us make them happen – so that we can learn.
This next week is our last week of the transfer. Transfer calls are on Saturday. We will see what happens then!
PS: For my other missionary friends, I guess we do things a little differently in the Berlin Mission. On Saturday morning, the Assistants to the President call every companionship and tell them if they are staying or leaving and other details they may need. Sunday we say our goodbyes at Church. Monday we pack, say more goodbyes, write our emails, and have our P-day. And then Tuesday, we hop on a train for our new city to meet our new companion. Then we work again.