My group! (well… a small part of it…)
Well this last week started off… early. Tuesday morning Elder Thompson and I woke up at 5AM for his 6:30 train to Gera. I put him on a train to Hamburg and then went to Kiel to meet up with the Zone Leaders… only to find out my train was delayed half an hour. Because the Office Elders bought my companions ticket for so early in the morning, we couldn’t find a member to wait with me. So I just waited there by myself. And then, out of nowhere, Bishop Bartsch shows up! He was waiting for the same train. So we both rode up to Kiel.
The Zone Leaders and I helped Sister Seare carry her luggage to the train station and then we all traveled down to Hamburg together. And there I waited a with BUNCH of other missionaries. It was a lot of fun. I got to see Elder Bretzing (I was his District Leader when I was in Freiberg). We had to coordinate when certain missionaries were coming in and when certain ones had to go. Then we would pair off and carry bags up and down the stairs. It was a fun day. Plus I got to eat at my Indian Food restaurant at the Hamburg Train Station.
I saw a lot of missionaries and caught up with some. One Elder was being transferred from Bielefeld and I got the low-down on everything happening there with members and investigators. And one served in Neumünster and explained some good stuff to me. Things have also changed and I updated him. I also saw Elder Paul, who cam to Germany with me. Our mission is so big. I honestly do not think I have seen him since our New Missionary Conference when we were assigned to our trainers. We got to catch up.
My companion now is Elder Bryce Fisher. He is from St. George, Utah. We get along really well and have been working hard this week. I am looking forward to the remaining five weeks and what we can accomplish. Five week really is not much and we will need to be using our time even better!
I may have talked about this in my last letter, but I just feel much more motivated than ever to do all that I can in the following six months (until the next General Conference) to apply what I learned, heard, and felt at this last General Conference. I think one of my favorite talks was President Henry B. Eyring’s talk
on, not just the fast, but the fast OFFERING as well. I understand it much better and look forward to coming Fast Sundays when I can practice and better my own fasts.
This last week we had a lot more success with finding. We went by on an old contact and the man there was really happy to see us. We made an appointment out for this week. And all two of our investigators in our teaching pool are progressing!
I was assigned to give a talk this next Sunday
(on the 19th) on the 6th Article of Faith
. When I got the topic, I actually wanted to give it back and ask for an easier one. But, I asked around and did a little brainstorming of my own and have a good talk put together. One of the missioanries in Kiel recommended that I read the Wentworth Letter
, written by Joseph Smith. That helped me the most in preparation.
– – –
In my study of the Book of Mormon this week I have been noticing an interesting pattern. I Alma, chapter 28
, tens of thousands of loved ones are killed in a large battle. But this one verse describes how these people felt: “While many thousands of other truly mourn for the loss of their kindred, yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never ending happiness.
These people had experienced something so terrible. So many people, even today, loose loved ones thinking that they will never see one another again. But through faith in Jesus Christ and the sacred words of the scriptures, we can come to a knowledge ourselves that there is something after this life and that we will see one another again. “… and thus we see the great reason for sorrow, and also for rejoicing – sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.”
In Alma 29
, Alma speaks of his own conversion and how this joys filly him up so much that he wishes he could share it with everyone so that they may experience it as well – even with the voice of an angel.
And in Alma 36
, Alma, the prophet, relays his conversion story to his son Helaman. Even though he saw an angel as he was amidst going about destroying the very church he now oversees, Alma still had to fast and pray and work for his own testimony, his own conviction that this is all true. He tells his son in verse 3: “… for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.” I find it so wonderful that, regardless of our situations, we can rely on a trustworthy, constant God. Whenever. Wherever. Regardless of how we feel.
He continues to speak of the torment that came over him as he came to the knowledge of the truthfulness of the God and His Son. “I was racked with eternal torment…. Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities….in fine so great had been my iniquities that the very thought of coming into the presence of God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror. Oh… that I could be banished and become extinct both body and soul….” Heavy stuff, right?
“17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of he world.
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and amen circled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!”
This is what the Gospel of Faith brings to us. It makes me whole and can make all whole, if we humble come before Him, willing to change and obey. God is not only the Author and Finisher of our souls, but (as I learned from President Packer last Conference) He created our bodies and knows how we are to use them best. Let us listen to Him in our prayers and studies.
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission
They’re getting married!!! 😀
Tschüss Sister Seare!