October 5, 2010

LETTER #46 - NORDHAUSEN

Hello family!
Conference was amazing! We haven't had a chance to hear the Sunday afternoon session yet but we might be able to tomorrow. It’s been amazing so far though. Saturday afternoon we went down to Erfurt for conference and watched the Saturday morning session. Then we stayed with the Erfurt elders for the night so we wouldn’t have to go home then come back down for conference Sunday. While we were there the zone leaders phone rang and they just had it on speaker and it was one of Presidents assistants and he said yea we just wanted to tell you guys you’re staying. None of us understood what they were talking about until we realized that was their transfer call. We totally all forgot and were thinking they would come Sunday night. Then our phone rang!
 
After 6 months and 3 weeks I'm leaving Nordhausen. I wasn't really surprised but I didn't realize how attached I've become to the city, its going to be sad to leave. I have been transferred down to Heidelberg though. It’s a little bit bigger city up in the mountains and in the south of the mission. It’s supposed to be pretty beautiful so I'm excited. My companion will be an Elder White, he is from the Hamburg mission and that’s all I know about him. It will be good though. Leave on Wednesday, its going to be weird!
 
This past week was pretty good though. We did a tausch with the Elders in Weiman on Wednesday which was pretty good. I was in Weimar with E. Goodrich. We went and taught this young couple they had found the day before. They are both early 20s studying chemistry at the University in Jena (a city close to Weimar). They had the book of Mormon for one day and had read up to 1 Nephi 14 so that was pretty sweet. They had a lot of questions about Joseph Smith though so we taught a bit about him. As we were telling about him I started talking about how he had his question and read James 1:5 then I recited it, then I was talking about the first vision and I said that to them as well in Joseph's own words. It was such a cool experience. I haven't actually memorized either of those, or so I thought. Usually we open up to both and read them with the people but we didn't have time this appointment. So I was basically just trying to tell the story and they both just came out!
 
As I was telling about Joseph Smith's first vision I said 'yea I can't remember it in his exact words right now but...' then as soon as I said then it just came out of me. I was really right about there in my sentence then I just started saying 'Ich saw gerade ├╝ber...' (The beginning in German) and the whole thing came out perfect. I felt like I wasn't even speaking. It was like I interrupted myself in mid sentence it was kind of funny. The spirit came so strongly though. It’s amazing the power that that story has.
 
As we were on the bus later I was talking to Elder Goodrich about it and told him that was the first time I've actually ever just said it like that and he didn't believe me. I've never really sat down and tried to memorize it. Elder Gassman has been memorizing it this transfer so I hear him saying it throughout the day and I guess I just learned it like that and the Holy Ghost brought it to my memory in that exact moment. It was a really cool experience.
 
At General Conference yesterday there was an investigator from Nordhausen that came down with a member. During one of the breaks Elder Gassman and I were outside and the investigator was inside with Elder Muhlestein. Then when we came back in the baptismal font was open and Elder Muhlestein, the member, and the investigator were standing in front of it. Then Elder Muhlestein tells us, yea he asked to see the baptismal font so we showed him and answered some questions he said then he asked when he could be baptized! So that was a cool miracle as well! We will begin to meet more regularly with him and help him prepare for baptism. He was a bit stand-offish to baptism before but I think the spirit of General Conference changed that!!
 
I am so grateful for these experiences we are blessed with as missionaries. It is also such an amazing blessing that we can hear from Prophets of God!! Their words are so inspired. Revelation is such a real thing and we all have access to it. God loves us and wants to help us as I have said before. Therefore he gives us ways to receive revelation from him. Now we just have to be patient and wait for the Liahona copy of General conference. Our notes will have to do until then.
 
Something that I really liked was said in the closing prayer of the Saturday morning session. The brother asked that we would be able to keep the spirit we feel during conference and be able to say 'your will I will do, and your words I will keep'. We feel such an amazing spirit during this and as Elder Holland said, we pledge anew to be better. If we work on keeping the spirit we felt we will be able to achieve this. It is not something that we can only feel 2 times a year. It can and should be a feeling that dwells with us. Motivating us to be better. We owe that to God, to our family, our friends, and to ourselves. As Elder Scott said, you become what you want to be by consistently being what you want to become. It takes a conscience and consistent effort like Sister Beck said last conference. We should be set on becoming better each day and settle for nothing less. Because really, if we are still the same at night when climbing into bed as we were that morning when climbing out of bed, what was the point of the day? I will work to keep this spirit so I can say to God 'I will do your will, and your words I will keep', and I hope that you will all do the same. Ponder in your hearts the words that were spoken to us this weekend. I love you all so much. Be happy!!
Elder Puriri

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