Yesterday was my first actual Sunday here in Freiberg. They do the order of their meeting backwards… which is actually normal in America. They have Sacrament Meeting first. It was a little odd to have the big, spiritual meeting first.
Ah. Let me just tell you about Gemeinde Freiberg….
As soon as I walked into the chapel, so many people started coming up to me and talking to me and trying to figure why I am not a German even though my last name is German! So great! Always happens! I forgot how a lot of the East Germans will hold onto your arm and talk about two inches away from your face. I was talking to one person and like a minute into our conversation I realized I couldn’t even see them because they were all blurry. It sounds weird, but they are just full of so much love here. I could totally feel it as I sat in the meeting. The best way I could think to describe it was like taking an old, handmade quilt (from your great-grandmother or something) and snuggling up and just enjoying the feeling. One member next to me saw someone, got up, said hello, and came back. She knew I was new and said, “Wir begrüßen einander.” or“We greet each other.” I said, “Ja.” It was very true. I am excited to get to know them all better! There are really so many really great and cool people here who I just love and adore! I need to be better at taking photos! Our Ward Missionary, Alexander, cracks me up! He is so great and gives great testimony at our GEMIKO meetings. He had a petty fly looking, brown suit on Sunday. Pictures will follow!
As for the week, we had lots of finding time since we need to get the program back on standing legs. We went by on one contact – someone who may have said yes to the Missionaries coming by at a later time. He answered the door, thinking a friend was coming by and didn’t even see us standing at the door as he looked around. Let’s just say he didn’t have the best hygiene…. The couple of teeth he did have were brown.This is where I insert my testimony about brushing and flossing! He kept talking to us and talking to us about how he is lonely and wants company, but his care taker always says that they just want his money and he can’t meet those people anymore. But he talked to us for a while and it was kind of hard for me to hear at first because of his heavy, sächisch accent. But as I heard how all he wants are friends to come and stop by and ask “Hey! How are you?”, I realized how much worth he has in the eyes of God. As soon I looked past the unshaven face, missing teeth, and stained shirt, I saw the child of God who he is and I could understand every word he said. It was so great! Love does wonders! We are coming back in a few weeks when his care taker can be there to meet us and see that we don’t want his money.
On Saturday I called up a man who had referred himself on mormon.org a few weeks ago and reminded him about church the next day. He came to Sunday School and Elder’s Quorum. He understood everything when we taught about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. He is pretty quiet and just likes to listen; I think I was that way when I was being taught. (I sometimes feel bad now for the Sister Missionaries who taught me. I should have participated more!) He said he will pray about everything and wants to keep meeting. He is looking pretty great! Our ward is doing a 40-day fast and I have a firm belief that this man will be the fruit of their efforts.
I started reading in the book of Genesis for my personal study and am amazed at all the stories I hadn’t read for myself before and all the great, valuable lessons I have been neglecting. The life of Joseph, the son of Israel, fascinates me and inspires me. And I have two chapters left now. It takes really no time at all to read Genesis (maybe a week or two) – and I imagine the books of Moses. Try it yourself!Schöne Woche!
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission