The third week has started! It is crazy how fast time goes here... it really is true that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days... not quite sure how that works, but that's the way it goes!
So this last week and a half have been real intesne German speaking days.. Elder Johnson and I have 2 investigators, Jonathan and Erwin, and in two weeks, we have taught them three times each. Of course, it is all a role play, but the Spirit doesn't know that... we have been able to speak better than we have learned and have that same Spirit testify of truths to us and to our investigators.
Our district discovered this week that speaking a foreign language is.. foreign! With rules and changes that we don't have in English... we have been keeping track of all the funny things we say in German, didn't realize what it reall meant, and then laughed afterwards after we figured it out the English translation. These were said in class and during lessons with investigators:
- Christ lives and in stuck to the side of the earth
- (Investigator) "I feel real bad whenever I drink beer" (Missionary) "That is Satan- He will tell you right from wrong."
- (In prayer) Father, please be obedient
- Jesus Christ sins for us
- Christ kills for all of us
- German people enjoy eating their families
HA! So we have good laughs at ourselves with the things we say, but realize the great need for improvement that will be required before leaving to Germany on March 21. I have never been very good at memorizing, but have made a goal to memorize 30 words a day. So far, I have the 90 word flashcard stack, and nearly all memorized and have been able to use them in conversation- the Spirit was absolutely essential for this miracle- and it really was a miracle, because it is something that would not have happened without the hand of the Lord.
Our Brach Presidency was changed on Sunday. President Dunn in the new President, with Brother Hicken and Brother Peterson as counselors. I guess the Lord really wants me to have a lot of family around, becase Brother Hicken, with Andrew and Amy, make three family members I get to see several times a week! Brother Hicken is a decendant from Addison (my 2nd Great Grandfather) Hicken's brother. So we are cousins of sorts! And Brother Bob Moss, I beleive you will remember Brother Peterson, who, after conversation with him, found out he served with you in Frankfurt on your mission!
I have been able to play piano in sacrament meeting the last two Sundays, and with 30 members of our Zone leaving on Monday, some of them play the piano, I will probably be playing every week- which is a great blessing to keep the music going! Also, several members of the Zone have asked me to accompany them for musical numbers that they will be doing in devotionals and sacrament meetings, so I am excited for that and for the great opportunities to share my testimony through music.
Initially, my mission theme scripture was D&C 84:88. But over the weeks, I have felt another one become the basis for all I do, with focus and excitement, spirit and power: D&C 128:22, "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backwards! Courage, Brethren, and on, on to victory! Let your hearts rejoice and be exceedingly glad." What power in that scripture! This, accopmanied with D&C 84:88 gives my great joy and excitement about the work I am involved in! Revelation 3:20 has also been one I have memorized in German (with the previous two) and has given great direction to me and focus for what this is all about: "I stand at the door and knock. Whosoever hears my vocie and opens the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, me with him, and he with me. (That may not be the exact English translation, but is from the Greman basis).
What a great work this is! Bringing others to Christ by helping them receive the resotred Gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentence, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. This truly is Christ's work. This has been reaffirmed to me many times over the past weeks, with great amounts of help, direction, and comfort from His Holy Spirit. This if His work, brough again to light by Joseph Smith, and carried forth by me. What a truly magnificent honor this is- to play a role in the great and marvelous work! I know Jesus Christ lives. His atonement is more far-reaching and wide-spread than to give forgiveness for our sins; but comforts, counsels, uplifts, gives excitement, and makes our yoke easy and our burden light. I know the Book of Mormon is true. With this Bible and modern prophets, we have the true gospel of Jesus Christ restored on the Earth- what a marvelous blessing from God- and how excited I am to "not bless my family alone, be [am] anxious to bless the whole human race." (Joseph Smith) Familes can be together forever- through all eternity- through the temple ordinances- death is not the end. What joy and peace this sweet message gives!
Thank you for all your support through letters and prayers. There is power in prayer, there is power in hope. Your prayers increase my hope and faith, bringing me closer to Christ, and preparing to give that faith and hope to the people of Germany.
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?!
All my best and with love,