What a glorious week! Last night we saw the absolutely greatest sunset I have ever seen. We were walking down the Fußganger Zone and turned down this cobble-stone hill, and the sun was perfectly aligned with the road and was so big and orange! There were no clouds around, but the sky was the most brilliant pink and purple! Everything truly does witness of a Supreme Creator.
But over the week, we heard reports from investigators and members about a bit of uproar in the world... Japan, Liyba, North Africa, etc. They were so down-trodden with the terrors of the world, and many people on the street said is is very difficult to believe in a God any more because of all these terrible things that are happening. And it is difficult at times to understand why all these things happen, especially if we are personally affected. But let me tell you about a light amid all these terrible events- we call it 'The Miracle of Jürgen' oder 'Der Wudner Jürgens': This man, when we met him with Antonia, was dark, and cold, and had no life in his eyes or face. He was quiet, and almost always had a little bit of furrow to his eyebrows. When we met with him and Antonia the first few times, she did all the talking, blaming him for all their problems, and he coping with it by smoking a cigarette or arguing back. We were not quite sure how to handle it, but since Antonia had so much interest and was so excited, we kept coming over. One time, tensions were extrememly high, and we weren't sure if we should stay or leave. But that was when we read 3 Nephi 11, as I have shared before. The tension ceased, and the Spirit came. Over the next few appointments, I could see a change happening in Jürgen- and a very physical change at that. He began being even more friendly with us, and visibly loving towards Antonia. His ear ring came out without even mentioning it, and he shaved and cut his hair. His eyes literally changed from the black circles to color and light beaming out. His whole countenance was lightened. He has self-confidence that didn't exist before. He has an inner joy and a desire to do good and to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. This is what I think it meant when the Book of Mormon says the people became a white and delightsome people. As Jürgen has shown, that means they have light coming out of their eyes, their entire countenance radiates, they are an absolutely delight to be with, and they show the love of Christ in all that they do. Jürgen is such a great example to me of trusting in the Lord with all our hearts, for he is the one that will rally Antonia from a difficult time to pray and read. He reads and prays ever day, and really enjoys it! I could go on and on, but I think it sufficeth me to say, that it doesn't matter how terrible the world gets, how many countries go to war, and anything else that the people of the world or nature can do to destroy- the miracles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will continue to happen, without end, and even with increasing speed. This is a time of rejoicing, a time of hope and faith!! Miracles are happening every day in all or our lives- I just feel very blessed and honored to be recognizing that in the life of Jürgen.
I loved Easter weekend! It was truly remarkable to walk to church among some old old churches and hear the bells ring like they have never rung before! It was as it they were proclaiming the resurrection of our Lord! It gave me chills and helped give a real sweet spirit to the day. During my study, I was focusing on Christ and how I can better serve Him. Through my thoughts and revlation, this thought came, of which I am using as my personal theme: Live the Faith! These three words and exclamaition point can mean so much, and have so many applications! I began be going through the 13th Article of Faith and thought about how I could better live each of the aspects of our faith in that article. And the study continues- it is one thing to say we believe in Christ, it is another thing to act and do things because we belive in Christ. But it is yet even a greater show of our disciplechip of Christ when we Live the Faith! I am excited to continue with this study and way of living!
Another great study I have been doing in memorizing two verses of two hymns each week. It is a lot of fun and has been such a great experience! Many of the hymns in German have such deeper and great meaning, to me, that the English words. For example: (sentance structure changed to English grammar!)
Praise to the Man, verse 4
Powerful, excited, diligent Elders preach the Gospel in every land
And the Hour is soon here when His name will be said with respect.
Hail to the Prophet, now fled to Heaven for victory over Satan and the World
All you elect, remember the Prophet, godly in Heaven, the hero on earth.
Now Let us Rejoice, verse 3
Let the thunder roll in and the waves crash
God leads us in life to a safe and sure port
Therefore, come all, so full of joy,
And trust in the Lord's given words.
Then all that was promised will surely be given
And Zion will be the living place of the saints.
And what is not from God will terribly go away
And Earth will be as beautiful as heaven.
And every hymn has these little gems that are just amazing- I love it! And it is fun to go on a bus with the hymn book and quietly sing and memorizy- it sure gets a lot of people looking! And the spirit comes, and you would be suprised at how fast a bunch of rowdy kids can be calmed down just by quietly singing 'The Spirit of God' on a bus!
A few side notes:
1. PuddingBretzel is my new favorite snack of the week. Imaginethe best big soft pretzel you have ever eaten, then multiply that goodness by at least 3. Then fill said pretzel with banana pudding that was not made from a box of powder.. manna from heaven? I think so!
2. I never was a huge fan of gummy bears before coming to Germany, but I think I am almost addicted now... Haribo Gummy Bears are the kind of gummy bears that Dad is talking about in his candyland stories... Pure amazement!
The work is going strong, and it is all due to the faith and hope of these wonderful people here in the Mönchengladbach-Reydt area. The Lord's hand is so involved with the work, it truly is a miracle to behold! Jesus Christ lives, He truly is the Son of the Living God. This faith and hope is all we really need to see us through difficult times in life, and bring us to a safe harbor. O sweet the joy this sentance gives: I know that my Redeemer lives! How grateful I am for the Spirit in giving me this testimony, where I cannot doubt, and where I cannot leave Him.
All my love and best,