Today is a holiday in Germany… again. Yes. I know. They have a lot. Today is Pfinsten (Pentecost). It is the day when the Holy Ghost came and visited the Disciples and they spoke in different languages. I am pretty sure it’s a catholic holiday… that the Mormons here still celebrate. Oh well! ha!
First of all, Elder Larson’s toe is much better. Back in walking condition… well. Is hobble isn’t as noticable now….
Monday evening we had Familie Heim Abend at a families house. The son had invited us over and did absolutely nothing to help his parents; so funny. About half-way throught the appointment, the Son, Robert, starts explaining how they won’t be a Church the next two weeks and will be in Frankfurt and what not and that this eating appointment was really Elder Larson’s farewell. Ha!! I just started cracking up on the inside!! Elder Larson doesn’t talk about the following things: Berlin, trains, packing, things to do when he gets home, etc. And so the farewells begin… and all the eating appointments for his last week. Good thing I’m his companion! His face when Robert said that! SO great! We took pictures afterwards with the family.
Then we spent most of Tuesday traveling to Hamburg for our Mission Conference. We spent the night in Altona with the Elders there. The Rensburg Elders spent the night there as well. I was pooped after sitting on a train for so long; Sister Hansen managed to pick all of the slowest trains possible. But we had fun!
Then. Mission Tour. Was. AMAZING!!!! Elder Dyches was a mission President in the Oregon Portland Mission. He has a great view on Missionary Work. He is very positive and forward looking. I think the biggest thing that I learned was from a question that he posed: “What can I do to not fail?” There were a lot of different answers. But the way I answered it in my head was: (1) we have to make sure our own goals are Heavenly Father’s goals. We can grow and learn all we want. But when it has no purpose, when it doesn’t help US to come closer to God, then we need to reevaluate what we are doing; sometimes we have to help ourselves come closer unto Christ. The Missionary Purpose in Preach My Gospel says, “Help others to come unto Christ….” My purpose may be something completely different than Heavenly Father’s purpose. Realizing what goals I need to set and what kind of missionary He wants me to be has made me such a happier and more obedient person. (2) I think it also goes back to what Sister Kosak taught at our DIstrict and Zone Training Meetings a while ago. She taught about being teachable: being humble, open, and being happier afterwards because we have a greater knowledge of who we are and who we are to become. I enjoyed having someone from outside of our mission tells us the same things President has been telling us, just in different words and a different perspective.
Besides my spiritual experiences at the Mission Tour Conference, it was so great to see both Sister Clark and Dunlap. They were the Sister Missionaries that served in Neukölln, in Berlin, with me while I was being trained. We have so many good memories together and get along really well. It was just great. It was very moving to hear Sister Clark give her testimony since she leaves this transfer to go home (with Elder B Larson) and then to also hear Sister Dunlap sing for our special musical number. It was truly perfect!
Then we gradually made our way back to Bielefeld; again, almost as south as you can get in this area of the mission! ha! We went a litlte crazy sitting on the train for so long and waiting at stations. BUT! We found a great ice cream place in Hannover! Elder Larson and I had to go back to Hannover for a District Leader Training Meeting and got ice cream again with the Nienburg Elders.
Friday evening was an International Dinner Night at the Church. Lots of good food. We had called a bunch of random people in our cell phone to attend the activity the day of and ONE person came! He said he wants to keep meeting. He is from Ethiopia and enjoyed all the children there; he misses his family and liked the atmosphere at the Church. The missionaries – including me – ended up deciding that the Cotton Eye Joe dance was “American,” so we did that for them. Bishop has a video…. One member even did a presentation on East Germany. (Hearing the accents make me a little trunky for the East again).
Oh! Last event of the week! We were invited to a barbeque at a member’s home. He said his friend was interested in meeting with us and wanted to learn more about the Church. It was really cool. It is very interested and, we believe, can make so much progress. He is 100% blind. So that will make teaching interesting. We are meeting on Thursday and need to download the audio Book of Mormon for him. He was showing us his iPhone; he was doing so many things that I didn’t even know were possible with an iPhone. Everything, time, weather, playing music, texting, etc., was all with Siri. So cool!! We are excited for that!
This next week will be loaded with lots of eating appointments and member visitis and eating appointments. Did I mention will be eating with members a lot? They all have to say goodbye to Elder Larson… and I have to come along! 😀
Saturday is trabsfer calls! So we will know what is happening on Monday for next transfer.
Tschüss! Bis dann! Pray for me… and my stomach!
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission