Yikes! I am starting to “peek into the next transfer” and I realized that I hit my “one year left” in July and “one year accomplished in August. Time really does fly by! There is a saying among missionaries. “The days are long and the weeks are short.” It feels like I was already here writing emails a few days ago! That is a big difference from the beginning of my mission, for sure. I look back at the past year and see how much I really did accomplish or overcome and experienced and look forward to the next year excitedly!
This last week was… quiet… you could say. Elder Larson had to keep his foot up on the couch and we could not walk too much – at all, really. So we just went to our planned appointments and did not really do any finding. We did some Area Book work at home and wrote in our journals and did other, productive activities.
We met with a family this last week that is excited to start preparing to go to the Temple. They are Russian and have a hard time talking to the Bishop who is so busy and speaks German. They lived in Hamburg and the wife got a Temple recommend there, but it got pushed to the back burner when they moved last year. But now it’s on the front burner!
Although… there’s a twist, as usual. The wife speaks really great German and Russian. The Husband speaks only Russian. Their son, about 30 years old, speaks German and Russian since he was raised here; he translates for his father during our lessons and at Church. Then, the son’s wife came from Siberia last week and speaks no German. Only Russian and English. So the question now is: which language do we speak? Or which one do we not speak? ha! YIkes!! (as Kat would always say!) But. The plus side is that the newly arrived wife can help us translate! She knows exactly what we are talking about because, whereas the parents and the son are relatively new members, she served a mission in Moskow and taught the Gospel Doctrines Class for 6 years. She is the answer to our prayers!
Oh! So we went to go visit this family on a holiday in Germany. Everyone had work off. It is called Christihimmelfahrt (kri-stee-him-mull-fart). It is supposed to mark the day Christ ascended into Heaven after his 40 day ministry. But it has somehow turned into a day of alcohol and staying at home. The rule is we have to come home at 6, unless we have a member appointment and they drive us to our apartment door… which is what we did that evening. We went to the Taylor’s home that evening. It was so much fun speaking English! They are a British family with the most adorable children. I talked about Sister Taylor’s talk last week. I told them that my favorite British candy were buttons and, at the end of the appointment, they gave me a bag of Cadbury Buttons that they picked up from the British Military base! I was complaining earlier because the little store where they all buy their British goods is right behind or apartment; we walk by it everyday and only British people are allowed to buy there.
But, really, other than all that, we stayed at home and waited for Elder Larson’s toe to heal.
This week we have a Mission Tour. That means a member of the Quorum of the Seventy is coming to visit and instruct us. Elder Dyches of the Area Presidency is coming this time. So we are traveling to Hamburg Tuesday evening, spending the night with the Altona Elders, and then things get crazy in Hamburg!!! I am really excited to see all the missionaries in the Hannover West, Hannover Ost, Oldenburg, and Neumünster! It’s LITERALLY my favorite part of the mission: meetings of all sizes. SO. MUCH. FUN! And the Spirit is always so strong as well! But I am very excited for the guidance and instruction that we will receive from Elder Dyches, probably his wife, President and Sister Kosak, and the Assistents.
Friday evening we also have an International Dinner Night at the church. There are a lot of members from all over and we are show casing it all and getting to know one another better. We were asked to do some American things. Sister Hansen’s parents sent some American candies and Oreo cookies. I am not quite sure what to do. Maybe I can make a pie. I also still have enough Crisco from my grandmother to make my great-grandma’s Texas Sheet Cake. I think I figured it out with German ingredients.
And today, for P-day, we spent a few hours with Familie Wagnitz. They showed us how to make Rouladen. It is always fun to have members show us stuff. Schwester Wagnitz bought the nicest meat though! It was beautiful. She went to town for us. So nice of her! I got to wear her Harrod’s apron. After the meal, she said she could hardly believe that I could eat so much because I am so skinny! I took it a compliment… even though it feels like I am starting to gain a little too much weight…. So, I have sent pics a bit of a recipe……. but, forgot to take a photo of my plate……. I was too excited to eat it!!!
I think the weather is also finally starting to warm up here. It rains a lot in the summer here; and the sun is up in the sky for SO long!
This week I have been reading a lot about “eine große Wandlung im Herzen.” A mighty change of heart and what it truly means to be converted. There are so many great scriptures about what it means to have repented of our sins and to be converted to the Lord. When we are converted, we not only change our beliefs, but a conversion requires an entire change of person: thus being reborn of God.
I am grateful to be serving in this mission. I know I am supposed to be here and at this very moment.
Don’t forget to ask the missionaries! They can help ;D
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission