Well, it looks like I am being transferred!
I have been in all of my cities now for three transfers each (1 transfer = 6 weeks). We’ll see what happens in my next city. I am being transferred diagonally to the other corner of the mission (and, the side of the country) to Neumünster. My companion will be Elder Thompson.
This last week ended up being a good last week here in Freiberg. The Temple closes in February for 16 months. I will miss going to the special Ward-Session for the Freiberg Ward, the last one before it closes. That would have been cool! But I will come back for the rededication!
I really think the highlight of this whole week was Friday, when Elder Erich Kopischke came to visit the Germany Berlin Mission. He is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
First we talked about QUESTIONS. We wrote down a few questions that we personally had about our work, members, investigators, etc. And then we read D&C 4:7: “Ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” In order to ask a question, one must first have a question. We recognize a need that we have, formulate a question or identify the need (a misunderstanding of something, a desire for something more, or a need for a replacement of something that is now missing), and then we ask our Father in Heaven this question and look for an answer.
So often we come to church and just expect a “spiritual shower,” as Elder Kopischke called it. We think, “I will just go to church and see what God has in store today.” No. We must be prepared in our minds first, then He will help us and give an answers during our meetings and classes and interactions.
As missionaries, we have “Our Purpose,” which states: “To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ….” Elder Kopischke said we invite people already as a mission. But then helping them is another thing. We invite someone to come to church or to read in the holy scriptures, but then we can help them by formulating their own questions so they can identify their own answers and see the process of revelation working in their lives. We promise blessings, offer to walk with them to church, read with them ANYWHERE in the Book of Mormon.
I have tried these things this week as I met with some people. It really does not matter where in the Book of Mormon we read. It is holy scripture and should trust its words. The Book of Mormon can answer any and all of life’s greatest questions. I have seen people do this an receive greater peace in their lives, which the world cannot offer. I know this for myself.
On Saturday we were invited to a couple’s home to eat an Eintopf, or stew. This member makes one every weekend. His father did that and it has become tradition. He is a pro. He said he wasn’t going to be in Freiberg on Sunday for church, but it didn’t register to me that it would also be my last Sunday here. I told him that I was transferred and he stopped pouring more stew into our bowls and stared at me, “Well, I guess this is the last time we’ll see each other!” His wife was busy elsewhere and he said, “Ah. I just have to go tell my wife.”
I could hear him in the other room, “Der Elder Hoffman ist versetzt.” “Ach! Nein! Ich komme!”
We had a nice evening together. We promised to Skype each other after my mission so that I could keep up my German. The Schlüters are such a sweet pair and I enjoy them so much! We recently started helping him learn how to navigate his iPad that he got for Christmas. He’s a fast learner.
After I bore my testimony on Sunday, so many people came up to me after the Sacrament Meeting and said goodbye and that they would miss me. People I didn’t even know. (Maybe it was just the German-formality). I was confused. But later, as I wrote in my journal (of which I have a testimony!), I learned that there was probably a lot more that I was doing here in the ward than I actually thought – more than I would give myself credit for.
In all my cities so far, I have usually been able to find the ONE whom I was supposed to help or find. In Freiberg I felt like I never really did find them. That is also why I felt like a failure. “Who did I even help here?!” I asked myself.
I realized that through the sharing of my testimony, I was able to help people. Sometimes we help people and we can see the fruits of our labors. Maybe it’s a prettier garden or a new roof. Maybe you can simply see a new, restored light in their countenance. Maybe, we don’t see it all. I share my testimony every Fast Sunday – even at home. I love sharing it.
Here’s to more new adventures in Neumünster.
Here we go! 😀
PS: Sorry for the lack of photos. I’M SLACKING!!!
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission