I went through my contacts and updated my groups. Some may be getting my email for the first time. Something I have been meaning to do since FOREVER.
Well. I am being transferred, again! I will be leaving Neumünster and taking the very LONG journey down to Hamburg. (The train ride will take 45 minutes and then maybe 20 minutes my assigned area there). I will be serving in the Wilhelmsburg Ward. And my companion… excuse me… my companionSSSSSSS will be Elders Morely and Enenkel. The former an American, the latter an Austrian. How this will work, I don’t know. Ask me in a few weeks. I am in for something new.
As of a few months in our mission we have been reciting “Our Purpose” (found on page one of Preach My Gospel) and Doctrine and Covenants, section 4 – both in German. While it is boring to say these every single morning, I am so glad to have a purpose, a goal, and a direction as a servant. It’s about so much more than WHY am I here on a mission. It’s more about the fact that I am here and need to know what to do now. the HOW.
So many people may wonder why we are here as missionaries. I have mentioned this in previous posts. I have found that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are much more than a church who comes together on Sundays. The revealed organization of the Church as it is now develops a community – a worldwide one at that – that allows every man, woman, and child to become like their Savior. God has revealed how His kingdom is to be organized again through a prophet. He continues to guide us through a prophet.
But today I want to share my testimony of having a purpose.
In the last General Conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf asked the brethren of the Church, “What is your ministry?” Granted, it was indirect. But I took this question to heart. What is MY ministry? Christ had a ministry. Every leading political figure had a ministry. I studied this and came to the conclusion that I, as a missionary, am to become a “teacher come from God.”
But in the larger picture, as a person, as a saint and disciple, I want to become like Jesus. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
As a missionary, I can think like those of the “mainstream” world. I can see these two years as a burden. As a load, that I for some reason, took upon myself. For two years I wake up on 6:30 AM, study, talk to people on the street (which goes against EVERYTHING my mom taught me), help people understand the scriptures and even something stranger – that there is more than just the Bible, but the Book of Mormon and prophets today. And all in a land that seems rather “unfriendly” to such news. Oh, and let’s not forget all that I gave up to be here.
Something I have seen as I invited others to follow Christ is that the Gospel, what Christ taught, is not easy. It requires change. Hard work. Giving things up. And even growing up. Words that people don’t like to hear. As we move forward in a process of change, we tend to look back, like Lot’s wife. In the process of change, what lies ahead is the medicine we need; in front we can see the outstretched hand of the Savior. We must reach forward into the future as we sit down and make out a plan for when we feel vulnerable and tempted, as we study the scriptures for answers and added wisdom, and pray on our knees and beg for His helping power to overcome what it is that challenges us. Behind us lies sorrow, regret, tears, and sadness. We cannot live in yesterday because it is already today.
Elder David A Bednar’s sentence rings in my ears: “It was the load.” When we take on a load, Christ’s load namely, it pushes us forward. We hunker down and focus only on that was is important. When we take HIS yoke upon our shoulders, we get so much further in the world than we possibly could with any professional sport coach, expert therapist, or skilled politician.
These thoughts have been in my head as I study in the Book of Mormon and Holy Bible, talk to people on the streets of Neumünster, and teach people of the Restored Gospel. We can all have driving forces. I find mine here and know that God wants this one force for all. Just as we should strive for success in our career, we should also strive towards that perfect example of the Savior so that we can obtain all the virtues we can in this life.
I have seen all this last weekend. As I found out that I had been transferred, I reflected (but did not turn back) upon what I had actually accomplished here. I am so grateful for that the Lord showed me what to do, day-by-day. He takes the load with me. He strengthened me along the way. I know that when we go forward with faith in Christ (maybe even a desire to believe), our burdens and loads, our pains and struggles, our worries and doubts, can be turned into magnificent strengths. Then we can turn to others and tell them how great they are and what we can reach.
I find this film to be so inspiring. Please watch.
I know that my redeemer lives. He is my comforter when I am in distress. And I serve Him. I wear His name everyday. What a privilege.
I hope what I wrote makes sense. I love knowing why I am here and hope to help more find their purpose here on earth.
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Germany Berlin Mission