Seid ihr gegrüßt!
Well. I am being transferred. This week I will be taking my own “journey into the West” as I travel up to Leipzig via Zwickau. Then I shall meander my way over into the West as I go to Hannover. Then from Hannover and I arrive in my destination city of Bielefeld. This should be an interesting experience: going from one extreme (East Germany) to another (West Germany). I am very excited for this next transfer and have really good feelings about it.
Elder Randell Hoffman
Lipper Hellweg 235
I haven’t talked too much with my new companion, Elder Larson (the other one in the mission). But it looks likes I will be sending home another Elder Larson since this is his last transfer. Oh well! ha! I guess I a professional at sending Elders home…?
This week was a quiet week. Friday we were driving around Schwarzenberg going by on old contacts and – lo and behold – the world’s hugest rainstrom enters town. The street was just flooded with water and pollen – so much pollen. We stepped out the car when it really wasn’t raining that hard. We started walking towards the contact’s door and it rains even harder. After not successfully finding his name of the doorbell box, we go back to the car and decide to just wait it out in the car. Ha!
On Wednesday, president Kosak came down to Schwarzenberg for our quarterly interviews. He shared a commerical for an insurance company in Korea. But it was all about paying it forward. This man went around giving money to a poor lady and her daughter, he helps a lady lift her food cart over the curb and onto the sidewalk, and finds a street dog that he feeds everyday. After a while, the girl he gives money to is gone and then, later, comes running up in her new school uniform and backpack from school. The lady expects his help everyday to lift the foodcart over the sidewalk curb and he helps her sell food. And the dog becomes his loyal friend. So often we don’t know what we are doing when we help.
I think something I have learned here in Schwarzenberg is that I much prefer the term “Helper of the Lord,” rather than “Servant of the Lord.” Christ went around helping people, inviting them to come unto him. He served the people; he did not serve God out of obligation. When we serve people, we help them: we tell them they a beautiful sweater or that they make the best Rouladen you have ever had. We help elderly members clean the dishes after she made us a meal. We tell them that they are not alone. What President Kosak told us, and what I have personally learned here, is that not every relationship we build with people on the mission begins with “Hello. I am Elder Hoffman from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I would like to baptize you.” These last few weeks, I have seen that even more as I had the opportunity to help members and even other missionaries develop a stronger testimony and endure just a little bit longer.
I have mixed feelings leaving Schwarzenberg. I excited for a new area and new things. But, at the same time, it feels so weird. Everyone keeps saying goodbye and wishing me luck and thanking me and I keep thinking, “I am just going to see you on Wednesday at Family Home Evening….” or “We have Ward Council on Friday, what are you talking about?!” But, yet, at the same time, I keep packing my suitcases and doing all my last minutes things. We were at president Seidl’s house for our eating appointment on Sunday as well and it felt completely normal – other than the 20 pounds of meat that they grilled. I ate too much meat and am now feeling it….
I love Schwarzenberg. To be honest, I couldn’t always say that. Coming from the hustle and bustle of my first area in Berlin, I felt like a duck out of water. But I grew to love the people here and will deeply miss my Erzgebirge. So many of the experiences and lessons to learn are so hard to describe. Some are so special and tender. And some are simply just a part of me. It truly was a privelege und ich danke meinem Himmlischen Vater, daß ich dienen dürte – daß ich hier helfen dürfte.
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission
Bis zum Wiedersehen, Familie Seidl!