(sorry for the long letter this week)!
What another great week! It was CRAZY hot and CRAZY humid!!! The climate in Germany is very humid. Thick, humid summers and wet, cold winters. It should start cooling down this week.
At the beginning of the week I went on an exchange with Elder Perkins. We had a lot of fun and saw success. He studied Political Science at BYUI, so we had A LOT to talk about.
We have also started sharing spiritual thoughts as a district via text everyday. The Altona Sisters were up. They quoted the booklet “Adjusting to Missionary Life.” I loved it and it really describes our week: “While respecting the dignity of your calling, rediscover humor, savor the beauty in the world, notice the kindness of others, and delight in the Spirit’s presence.” With the hot weather and simply appreciating and enjoying more we were able to see so much more success this week. It is easy for missionaries to focus too much on one thing and then get frustrated or sick.
In my letter a few weeks ago, Week 97, I wrote of our purpose on earth and priesthood power. I would like to expand this and touch upon yet another gem I gathered as I allowed my mission to pass through me.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (yes… A German) spoke of a stake president who was setting yearly goals with his counsellors. The goals and plans had been made. As he reviewed them he realized how completely wrong they were. (Here’s the talk)
‘He began to wonder how their stake’s goals might have been different if they had first asked, “What is our ministry?”
‘So this stake president went back to his councils, and together they shifted their focus. They determined that they would not allow “the hungry, … the needy, …the naked, … the sick and the afflicted to pass by [them], and notice them not.”
‘They set new goals, recognizing that success with these new goals could not always be measured, at least not by man–for how does one measure personal testimony, love of God, or compassion for others?
‘But they also knew that “many of the things you can count, do not count. Many of the things you cannot count, really do count.”’
You and I each have a ministry here on earth. More important than finding our purpose on earth is afterwards figuring out how we are going to fulfill our purpose on earth – in figuring out what our ministry is. I challenge every missionary to find what their ministry is. Mine is different than others, just as the ministry of Paul was different than that of Jeremiah or Alma, or even that of the Savior.
In my ministry, we do our best to make sure everyone has a song book before sacrament meeting and that they all get put away afterwards. We serve until we love and love until we serve. We know the doctrine and then teach to the needs of those in front of us. We know where our feet are and focus on the current task. We understand that strife displaces the Spirit. We bare testimony every Fast Sunday. And we make sure those around us feel the Saviors love.
I simply do what a Hoffman would do. I love learning with these missionaries in the GBM, for they all have their own ministries, too. They’re so great!!
In his talk, “Our Personal Ministries,” Elder Hugo E Martinez said:
‘I testify to you that Heavenly Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ, know us individually and personally. For that reason, They provide what we need so we will have the opportunity to reach our divine potential. Along the road, They place people who will help us. Then, as we become instruments in Their hands, we are able to serve and help those They show to us by revelation.
‘In this way, the Lord Jesus Christ will reach all of Heavenly Father’s children. The Good Shepherd will gather all His sheep. He will do so one by one as they make good use of their moral agency–after hearing the voice of His servants and receiving their ministrations. Then they will recognize His voice, and they will follow Him. Such personal ministry is integral to keeping our baptismal covenants.
‘Likewise, being a good example of a disciple of Jesus Christ is our best letter of introduction to those with whom we can share His gospel. As we open our mouths and share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we become “His undershepherds, charged with nourishing the sheep of His pasture and the lambs of His fold”; we become “the weak and the simple” “fishers of men.”’
We need not have fear in who we are. Let us be proud of who we are and what we believe, even if it’s different. If the Spirit told you, and did not mix it with your own emotions, it’s true.
Elder RR Hoffman
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Deutschland Mission Berlin