Ward Mission: Neumünster!!! Workin’ hard, or what?!
This week wasn’t filled with quite as many appointments as I would have preferred. We tried meeting with a few people, but our schedules just never matched up. I don’t feel bad though. We tried and have plans or appointments for next week.
I really like the plan for our goals that Elder Fisher (my companion/district leader) developed for us. Our lessons are completely centered on the commitment. It’s not just something we slap on the end or insert in the middle so our lessons have purpose. The lesson is the commitment and the commitment is the lesson. I am excited to “execute” the new lesson plans we have this week with our investigators and less active members.
Everything here is just so spread out. Normally the members are all located in one city in the area. But here, everyone is everywhere. And it is hard to find time to get out to these places with the trains and buses that leave every one or two hours. But this week we have been better at planning and making sure we make those train times a priority. I feel good just going out to an area (like Wrist and Kellinghusen on Saturday) and just “exploring.” We talk to people, do doors here or there, go by on contacts or less active members. Even going by on active members!
As for iPads… we don’t have them yet…. They were supposed to be at our training in Berlin. But they weren’t, apparently. SLC told President Kosak that they would come “on a Tuesday….” So we are just playing a waiting game now.
On Wednesday I was studying in the morning (like ALWAYS) and turned to my Book of Mormon study guide. I have a picture inserted on a special page from the dedicatory site in Dresden, where President Monson dedicated East Germany. I realized that the date on the plaque was 27 April 1975. It was just about 40 years ago that he did that. And now we are receiving iPads to further the work ALL OVER GERMANY – in the east as well! The Lord’s hand is all over this country preparing hearts and sending His servants. I read a few paragraphs in our District Meeting in Kiel that day. Much has been fulfilled in that prayer, including the fullness of the Church and the missionaries returning to the country. I get goose bumps and get so emotional when I read that dedicatory prayer and think, “I am one of those missionaries who has come back.” Someone was thinking of me, even in 1975.
In or mission-wide study of the Book of Mormon, we read last week, in the so-called, “war chapters.” Here we see great tension between those who are faithful and those who have decided to go astray. Captain Moroni is such a great example of diligence and obedience in fortifying and defending the cities where the faithful Nephites lived. His work in building great walls around these cities and ditches around them is an example for us. In order to withstand the blows and temptations of the world, we must build our own filter systems. Moroni even put more of his soldiers in some of the weaker parts of the land so that they could be defended better. We, too, should focus on our weaknesses, for the Lord has promised:
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).
The problem with so many of us human beings is that we cannot always see the whole picture. We cannot know everything. But as we continually do those little things that are right, we can build up our own defense systems against addictions, guilt, shame, regret, and filthiness.
We sometimes refer to the voice of the Holy Ghost as a prompting. Sometimes we receive multiple promptings. In the beginning, it may be hard to follow such thoughts. There is not always a clear, audible voice. Those who have experience with the Spirit sometimes say that they were “moved” to do something or say something. We are all capable of feeling this. As children of God, He will guide us through Holy Ghost back to Him.
Some steps are big (i.e. baptism, reading in the scriptures, going to the temple, etc.) Some steps are even smaller, but yet build our faith little by little (i.e. daily prayer, controlling thoughts and urges, battling addictions, or even answering a prompting to serve your neighbor).
One of my favorite analogies of the scriptures is Manna. Elder Christofferson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, illustrates this principle:view here.
Can’t wait to see everyone in EXACTLY three months time!!!
Also! Happy Mother’s day to all the mom’s out there, especially mine
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission
My burger in Kiel!