Hallo Familie und Freunde!
What a crazy week! We really were not in Freiberg too much this week. And when we were, we were at home sick!
Tuesday started out with exchanging with the Meißen elders. Rather than meeting in Dresden, we took a half-hour long bus ride and met in Nossen, a village in Meißen’s area home to the German Custom’s office! We asked the bus driver where to get out and he told us – fairly unsure himself…. He told us to get out and we got out. Now, you know in movies when like a hitch hiker gets dropped of in some middle-of-nowhere town and the car drives off, leaving dust in the air and they realize, “On no. What just ? Where am I?!” That’s what happened with us…. The bus driver said to just walk straight until we see the street we need to the right. But there was no sidewalk. And it was in the middle of an industrial park. So, with nothing else to do, we walked along side the road. (Sorry mom! I know you told me not to do that…) BUT… we ultimately saw the building and made it there safely.
I went in and told them I needed to pick up a package. The man brought the box over and asked what was in it. I said, “I don’t know. It’s a birthday gift.” And asked when my birthday was, “October 12th.” He looked at the calendar, looked at me and said, handing me a pair of scissors, “Well, happy birthday! Now you get to open it and see what’s inside!” So I had to open it fo him and show him EVERYTHING which was inside. Including the mini pumpkin… which I a fairly certain is illegal…. 😛 And, the giant spider my mom tucked into the box. My family sent a small point-and-shoot camera and he saw that. He was thinking it over if I should pay tax on it or not. Longest. Thirty. Seconds. Ever! He waved his hand and said, “Eh! Just take it!”
Then we walked ALL the way to other side of the town, waited for the Meißen elders and made our way back to Freiberg. Exciting, right?!
Wednesday was my first District Meeting – or first one that I had to lead. It went… alright…. Ha! I ended up talkin about the power of our callings, trying to help us remember the worth of our callings as the Lod’s servants. I tried to help us remember when we were all set apart and the power we received then. I was short on time and none of my notes made sense. As I looked at what I had prepared, I thought, “This isn’t what they need! What was I thinking?!” I had my mini Preach my Gospel in my hands. I made a cover for it and put a picture of my grandfather on it as he was 18 years old in the navy. He looked just like me. I was impressed to share my mission scripture, D&C 84:88 and my experience going though the temple in Rexburg for him. I know that he is also on the mission with me. He is one of those angels sent to “be round about us, to bear us up.” I encouraged them to go back to the basics (scriptures, prayer, and obedience) and find strength and power in their callings. I hope it helped.
As we all went back to the train station, we found out that the train drivers were all going shortly on strike. As we found our train all the trains there started to fall out and drive away. We stood there for a while not knowing what to do. We wanted to go back to Freiberg, eat lunch, work, and then get ready to come back because I had to spend the night in Dresden for an early train to Berlin the next morning with the Zone Leaders. And my €80 ticket for Berlin was sitting on my desk at home. Luckily, there was ONE righteous soul who decided to keep driving his train between Dresden and Nürnberg. So we caught that and then the same one headed back in the evening.
The next morning I headed up to Berlin with the Zone Leaders and the Dresden district leader (Elder Ames) for a leadership training meeting. I learned so much about what is expected of me, what I need to teach the missionaries here, and so on. Towards the end of the meeting, President Kosak was giving a lesson on Christlike attributes. A voice kept telling, “Ask him for a sick blessing.” I was blowing my nose and coughing ALL day! I have been under a lot of stress and pressure this last transfer. I thought he would be busy and I should just ask the Zone Leaders or someone else later. After the meeting I asked him and he said of course. I waited while he finished an interview. He and the Zone Leaders blessed me; it was the most powerful blessing I have ever received. He blessed me that all the bad things in me would leave my body. I felt my cold go away and my stress, my confusion, tension, and worries. Afterwards he reassured of somethings and helped me a lot. It was such a building experience and has helped me enormously. If I didn’t have a testimony of President Kosak before, I definitely do now! 🙂
We spent Friday and Saturday at home trying to recover.
This next week we have several member appointments. We are going to talk about our goal as a mission to have 125 baptisms before the end of the year. We are going to teach them how to use pass along cards and how they can help us find people to teach. Most people have already told their friends about the church.
I am in he book of Deuteronomy now. Here Moses is reviewing all that has happened in his years as prophet. It is so humbling to see how much the Lord really did love the children of Israel. We read the first few books of Moses and see them has hard-headed, stiff-necked, slow to listen, and quick to walk away. We see the wrath and judgment of God fall upon them many times. But, in the end, they receive the land which was promised to them decades beforehand, they are a large people, and quite powerful. Somehow, during this hard testing time, Israel grew into an extremely blessed people. So it is with us, whoever we are, whatever we done, no matter how late we think it is, He loves us and always has a road prepared fo us so that we may return back.
Have a great week! I am in Europe and honestly have no idea what this is… but it sounds cool! It’s Meet the Mormons. Go watch it! All proceeds are donated to charity. The church makes o money on this. I hear great things!!
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission