I wish I could have taken pictures through the whole meeting! This was before the meeting. We all took our seats, and stood as President Thomas S. Monson walked in through the door. He waved and got the audience laughing and even cheering! I love President Monson! The meeting began, and the Spirit was so strong. President Monson expressed his love for the German people, and said that he specifically chose to come back to Germany and to Hamburg because of his love and memories of this place. He talked with us about CHOICES and how we all had choices to make every day that will indeed determine our destiny. It was greatly connected with his General Conference address, but shared more stories and experiences. He invited us to join him in a pledge to; CHOOSE TO LISTEN; CHOOSE TO LEARN; CHOOSE TO LABOR; CHOOSE TO LOVE. It was such a simple and heartfelt talk. Every sentence was translated live into German. He was just being himself! At the end, he took time to look around at everyone and express his love for us. Then is happened... "Ich liebe dich"! He said it in German! What a choice experience to sit only 50 feet away from the Prophet of God and hear his words, feel the Spirit, and walk away with a greater desire to choose my life and what I'll be. This was one of the greatest days of my life. I felt so close to the Spirit. I realized that President Monson returned to Germany because of the great relationships he had formed, and the Spirit of the Lord had made them last. I thought of these great missionaries I met again in Hamburg. This life really is all about relationships: Our Relationship to God, with Ourselves, and with Others. When a relationship is formed through the Spirit, it lasts, for it is made of God. I walked out of the sports hall and back on to the bus with a deeper desire to strengthen and forge every relationship I have been blessed with, with the Spirit, to really feel the love of God for others, to serve them as best I could, to take genuine interest in others, and to do all I can to support them and show them that they are important to me, to keep the relationship through the years. So when I am in my 80's, like President Monson, I, too, can remember names, experiences, and feel the joy again throughout the ages. As we left, we all sang "God be with you til we meet again",... bis aufs Wiedersehen... I felt the Spirit again confirm to me that President Monson is the prophet of God. I thought then, that this may be the last time that I see him live and in person in this life. But his example of Christlike service and following the spirit to bless others will always stay with me. That is my hope and desire, even my vision; to always be able to discern the voice of the spirit, and to courageously follow the prompting, no matter, when, where, how inconvienient, or obscure it may be. That is how lives are blessed. That is how miracles happen. That is how the work of the Lord progresses.
I know this work is the work of the Lord. This is His Church and His Kingdom, again established upon the earth in preparation for the second coming of the Messiah. We all have a marvelous work to do! Shall we not go on in so great a cause?! We all have an important role to play, and this is really just the beginning of even bigger and greater things to come! This work is eternal, this work is lasting, this work is what matters. Let's go on!
Ich hab' euch alle wirklich Lieb!