Happy 3rd Advent!
Yesterday was the third advent here. We had dinner with the Schmidt family and lite the first three advent candles with them. Their ancestory basically is Freiberg. Their family has not moved away from Freiberg or near Freiberg for more than 500 years. He studied three semesters of Saxony History and Knows a lot about this region. He could have done a fourth and become a tour guide, but it was only on Sundays.
Before I proceed. We found out this week that the Freiberg Temple will be closing down in February. A while ago, the Dresden Stake asked for another endowment room. It was approved, after studying, by the First Presidency. It will be closed on the 9th of February next year and will reopen 16 months later. There will be another Open House here and another Rededication in June 2016. My goal will be to come back for that. I thought I could come visit in 10 or so years. But I am planning on being back in Germany regardless for the rededication. I would love to participate!
Br. Schmidt is going to make a film of the temple being constructed again, just like last time.
None of the Temple Missionaries know what will happen either. I hope some come to our mission! One will stay to talk to people who have question about the construction. One couple is leaving now. Sister Lehnhardt came up to us and reassured us that there are people who are developing interest and that their hearts are in the process of being softened. She has given out several Books of Mormon from she has told me since being here. We said we will see each other in Freiberg in 2016.
I know that with an enlarged Temple, the Lord will help us find more people to send to the Temple. Once it is rededicated in 2016, it will be an immense blessing – again! I keep saying that the members here all now have so much time to do missionary OUTSIDE of the temple! That would be a great goal: to find people who can go there when it reopens.
As fo our investigators from Mozambique… well… communication errors tend to occurs when both parties are speaking German as a second language! I scheduled the appointment for “DIENStag,” which is Tuesday. But they heard “DONNERStag,” which is Thursday. Happens. They didn’t come to the Christmas party, which was the BOMB! Neither did they come to the Fist presidency Christmas Devotional (we watched it a week late because of the time change and translation). So we went by Sunday evening and had a short “chat” with one of them. Their desire is sincere. We just need o get over some of these roadblocks that come at the beginning of this learning process. Satan is going to have a large role right now. Just as he tried to bind Joseph’s tongue before he prayed and saw God and Jesus Christ, I think he is trying to thwart these great young men.
But the Ward Christmas Party was great! In Germany, it is a tradition to have a fairytale acted out by the members. This year we had a play with Luke, one of Christ’s apostles, and Nephi, one o the prophets in the ancient Americas. Lke told his account of the birth and life of Christ, while Nephi told of the signs of His birth, death, and His visit to those in America after His resurrection. It was so great! There were Bible Videos added and wonderful music provided by the Ward Choir. (Bishop Smyth! We should do this next year!!!) It was honestly the fist Christmas where I felt like a true christian. I walked away with the thought in my mind, “I worsip Jesus Christ.”
We also had our Christmas Zone Conference on Thursday. It was so great. The Spirit was so strong the whole time. We focused on really refocusing on the Savior in all that we do. The Assistants talked about the point in Preach My Gospel that comes before the rest of the lessons, that we can be cleansed through Christ. He is why we are here. Sister Kosak talked about making Him our number one priority: which is better, 1000 or 0001? Where do we put Him? I loved that and it helped me so much.
President Kosak focused on the new Mormon Message that the Church made, He’s the Gift, which we are using as missionaries a lot.Discover the Gift. Embrace the Gift. Share the Gift.
I am excited for this next week. There are more people to be found. We are going to help them learn more about the Savior an Redeemer, their older brother. We have appointments with people we have already found. We are also meeting with the Ward Council to set new goals for 2015. My own personal goal has been to help them set good goals and plans so they can have success this next year. And I will be headed up to Berlin for a Leadership Training Meting. BERLIN!!! 😀
Today for Pday we are going to Dresden to visit the “Weihungsort,” where, hen, Elder Monson dedicated East Germany.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Welcome home, Sister Orgill… Natalie! 😀 See you in August!
Discover, embrace, and share, just like the shepherds.
Be like the wise men of old, in modern days, and seek Him.
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission