Yikes! WEEK SIXTY?!
I hope everyone really enjoyed General Conference as much as I did! It is just so fascinating to see the Church moving into a new era, an era full of social media, a hastening of the work of salvation, and a new, international face to the Church. How great it was to hear two talks from two members of the Quorum of the Seventy in their own native tongues (Cantonese and Spanish). Regardless of how large the Church may be, it will always be about the individual. Like Elder Bednar says, “we speak to collected ones.”
I thought of how much the Church has changed. President Monson said that this year marks 60 years since the General Conference was broadcasted via television in the Salt Lake Valley. And 90 years since the first General Conference was broadcasted via radio. Now, we can access it on our cell phones, tablets, computers, and everything imaginable! My mom, for 18th birthday, went to the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City early in the morning for General Conference. The building was built by the early pioneer settlers and has no air conditioning. Sitting way up in the “nose bleed seats,” she passed out because of the heat and had to leave! Now, we have the Conference Center in SLC, which can hold up to 21,000 people. Not to mention it is air-conditioned! From a group of a few thousand in the late 1800s, to an international broadcast to over 15 million members (just members). Translated into over 90 languages and shown in meeting houses in more than 100 countries. WAHNSINN!
There were so many great talks. I cannot wait to study them later when we get our German and English Liahona magazines. Modern day Prophets and Apostles spoke to us and counseled us about how we can set and achieve better goals – how we can apply real change in our lives. Several spoke of the importance of not only a Prophet on the earth today, who holds all the Priesthood Keys, but of the Prophet we have today: President Thomas Spencer Monson. We heard the call from multiple men and women to care for the needy and poor, regardless of who we are or how large this church my become. I love Elder Holland’s honesty, (I paraphrase because the written text is not yet available): “Now I’ll be honest. I have worried about finances. But I have never been poor.” He then continued on to testify of the importance of paying an honest titheand fast offering. We heard again of the importance of the Godhead – that they are three separate beings. And so much more.
Please, study these words. Here is a link to all the talks given. They are the words of God, spoken through his servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7). We can enjoy the Spirit we feel while watching, listening, and reading. But it is a completely different game when we apply what we learn from General Conference, work on these things, and make honorable and worthy goals to help us gain a testimony of these truths.
This last week was full of tender mercies of the Lord.
Every Tuesday my companion, Elder Geberding, plays the piano for the ward choir. I am not really much of a singer and have had a sore throat lately. So I sit and study outside in the foyer on the couch. A girl came up to me just as I was getting into my studying and said, “So, what should we play?” I thought, “Ummm… I’m petty sue the other kids are more entertaining….” I was somehow able to entertain her for the remaining 45 minutes. I think most of it was taken up by counting from 1 – 100 in english for her since she forgot how. Then we played “I spy.” And it took me forever to understand which game she was explaining (because she was speaking 8-year old German). Then she tried fitting underneath some of the couches in the church. I just sat there and took pictures…. Na ja!
Wednesday to Thursday I was on Tausch (exchanges for my “Amies”). I was with Elder Larsen. Elder Larsen is from Pleasanton. We made some plans for when we get back. He leaves the transfer right before me. So it works out perfectly! We really hit it off and became good friends. We met with this one man who told us to come back a few weeks ago. He just talked at us the whole time about everything and anything. We gave him our card and told him to call us when he had time again. I don’t think he knew we were missionaries…. Odd.
Thursday morning we tried going by on a less active member. We had just spoken a few days prior through his telecom and made an appointment. But we had to take a different train to Dresden that morning and couldn’t meet. We went to his apartment to make out a new appointment. He wasn’t home. So I left a note and we hustled back to the Bahnhof (train station). As we were walking back, a car pulled to the side of the road in front of us and a man got out and started walking toward us. It was Bruder V.! He gave us his number, we invited him the Conference, he said had work, and we told him we would call him later! Super great! Talk about tender mercies!!
October 3rd is a federal holiday here in Germany. Is called “Tag der EInheit” or “Unification Day.” It was the day the East German officials announced that the borders had been opened. That was exactly 25 years ago now. It’s so cool to be part of history. I know I don’t play that big of a role in this part of history. But I always think it is amazing that two Americans can walk around, freely, and share their religion. That didn’t exist back then and many people thought that it would NEVER exist. My college German teacher said he thought democracy in China was more possible than a united Germany. I guess it shows what can also happen in the future with the church.
This next week will be filled with many trips to and from Dresden and visiting new and less active members. I am excited to start study my notes from General Conference and to listen to them again. Because of the time change, we do not get to watch the Sunday afternoon session. So I will download it and listen to it at home. We will watch it during Priesthood and Sunday School on Sunday instead. Next sunday will also be my birthday! It’s the big TWO-ONE! Maybe President Kosak will remember to call me tis time and sing happy birthday.
Ich wünsche allen eine schöne Woche! Mach’s gut!
Bis zur nächsetn Woche!