I just received an email from one of the very first friends that i made on the mission. Elder Lucerna was in my MTC District and we email every week between Germany and Australia. We are both approaching our One Year marks. He wrote to me: “But it doesn’t only remind me of the span of our service but it reminds me of the friendship that we have! We’ve been friends for nearly a year now! How great is that! It’s exciting to know that I have gained friends… ETERNAL FRIENDS.” I am so grateful for all the amazing people I have met and learned from on the mission. I was looking at the Newsletter we get from the Mission Office. There is a list of all the missionaries going home; all the ones that I know is crazy. I guess two years (or 18 months) comes to an end sometime… but not for me , yet… right? ha!
We spent last Pday hiking up to one of Bielefeld’s icons: the Sparrenberg Tower. It was an old Castle/Fort for the little valley here. The tower is very tall and has an amazing view of “my city.” There is part of the old ruins that cannot do much with because there are so many different species of bats that live there, right next to the castle!
Tuesday we had another dinner appointment with our favorite (and only) British Family in the Ward. They are such a great example of how i want my family to look like. I am grateful for their examples. that day, I had received a letter from my father. I had been talking about possible changing – quite drastically – what i would be studying at school after the mission. He told me which choice he liked and offered a few points that I had never thought of! Seeing the kind of family that the Taylor Family is, I know now the direction I need to take to start forming my future family… starting in a year… or maybe 5 years…. We shared a message about setting goals and why we need to set goals in this Church. We read in Proverbs where it says that if we have no vision, we are lost. We blindfolded one kid and had another one guide him to find something in the room. It went really well. I was kind of nervous since the topic is a little off from what we normally teach; but I felt the Spirit keep telling to go back to the page in Preach My Gospel when I was flipping through it to find something to teach them that evening.
Something we started doing in our Zone is setting smaller goals for our larger goals. For example, we set the goal to have 3 baptisms in the month of August. How? Maybe we need to invite more. Pray for people specifically, with names. Help prepare people more. Or even study it more in our personal and companionship study hours. This is something that I have grown to appreciate and know that it can help us at home to set goals and add direction to our lives.
I think my favorite day this week was our eating appointment with Schw. K. We brought our blind investigator with us and it was a hit! Schw. K. literally does not stop serving people, helping people, thinking about others, etc.! I am quite surprised she has not been translated yet. She tells me all the time how she no time for ANYTHING else and needs for 4-5 hours of sleep and that is all she needs to work the next day; mind that this lady is about 80 years old. Sch. K always prepares her own spiritual thoughts in addition to our own. She was talking about great Heavenly Father is. Then our investigator mentioned how it is hard for him to believe in God because of past experiences. What happened next is what I love the most. this woman did not even BLINK! And said, straight away, “But is it not great that Jesus Christ is our Mediator with the Father in Heaven?” She dropped her spiritual thought and saw the need of this person and catered to it. We then shared a thought, of unequal greatness to her’s, about learning from the Holy Ghost.
We did not have any investigator’s at Church on Sunday. So we were able to focus more on our relationships with the members here and how we can help them – in what ever shape or form or color it may be needed in. In Priesthood, we all talked about Patriarchal Blessings. I was glad that I started studying mine gain this last week and strengthened my testimony of all the tools Heavenly Father gives us here. We ended early and were making our way to Sunday School. There were a bunch of people who ended up talking outside the Sunday School room and didn’t make it in on time. So we were all waiting and realized, “Hey! We all speak English!” So our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Kennington, asked the Bishop as he walked by if we could have our own Sunday School “auf Englisch.” He said, “Of course! You can all talk about Missionary Work!” So we all left – the Australian Sister Missionary, the three American Missionaries, the three other Americans, a Fijian, and a British couple – left and made our way to Sunday School and talked about being an “everyday missionary.” We talked about how some people try to find friends they can share the Gospel with and, when it doesn’t all work out and there is no interest on the other end, we drop them like a hot potato. But that defeats the purpose. We want friends first, namely because we are human and want to enjoy time with those of similar interests and hobbies. We just need to emphasize the commission given by Christ, in Mark, to, “… preach the gospel unto every creature….”
That word PREAH, as stated by Sister Taylor on Sunday, is crucial. We can only share, invite, show, and ask. We can teach and invite everyone. But nothing happens until the other end willingly acts. And we remain friends no matter what; friendships in the Church are not exclusively based upon baptismal dates.
Tuesday will be a our Zone Training Meeting in Stadthagen. (Hannover’s church building is being renovate this month) I am excited to see what the Spirit has prepared for me to learn. The Kosaks will also be there for quarterly interviews. Thanks for all the support at home. Go through your old goals again and dust them off; what needs to happen and how can you make them happen? Goals do not need to be big. They simply ned to edify and improve. Chapter 9 in Preach My Gospel can help!