February 17, 2011


Sorry it’s Thursday and I’m just writing. It has been a pretty eventful week and so was last week! This week we had another 3 day training meeting in Friedrichsdorf at the temple. Instead of staying overnight there though we had to ride a train to and from each day since we live pretty close. It was way cool though. It was basically the same as the last one a while ago but now that I was familiar with the stuff I was able to go into more of the details of it all. There has been so much change in the mission in the last six months that it was necessary to do it again basically the same as the first time. Apparently the training thing is supposed to be taking place a lot more frequently though. Until we learn how to do it all well I guess! It’s cool though it’s helping us develop our teaching skills; mostly in the area of focusing on the individual and their needs and trying to rely more on the spirit while teaching. I like it all though a lot.
There are advantages and disadvantages of living so close to Friedrichsdorf during the training. When you live far away you stay on temple grounds for 3 days and can just focus so easily because of the peace on the grounds so I missed that this time. But being so close we were able to get back to Frankfurt at night for at least an appointment each night. Then we were able to apply right away what we had learned that day and see how it changed the lesson. So that was also cool to see. I think though if I had my choice staying of temple grounds is what I would choose. It was a good 3 days though. I was able to see a lot of the missionaries I've met and worked with one way or another. It was nice hearing how they were doing and how things were going where they are serving. We were also able to do a temple session which just added to the whole feeling of being there. I really liked it, now it’s back out to your city and apply what we've learned.
Last week though was also cool! Elder Anderson and I had a list of a bunch of people who had formerly investigated the church but who hadn't had contact in a while. When we had time we would pick a few off the list and go by and see if they still had interest. Unfortunately we never had a lot of success with it. On Thursday last week after Elder Amandoron got here we chose a couple of the last few we hadn't gone by on yet and went by. At this one building we rang and nobody was home where we wanted, so we decided to try the people in the house. A guy answered and said 'I have no time right now but could you come back on Sunday at 2:00?' We said of course! And so Sunday we went by after church. He wasn't home at the time but his wife said he should be home soon and that we should try back in a bit. So we went back outside and were going to just go do doors on the street but we decided to try the family above them that we were trying to contact in the first place. A lady answered and wasn't interested at all at first and we just continued to say what we were doing and why we were there then she yelled something to someone in the house in some language we didn't understand then she said to us 'Ok we you have time right now can you come in?' (we love hearing this) So we went in and sat down with her and her husband. There were a few people cooking in the kitchen and a little girl was playing on the floor. They were all speaking Romanian as we found out a bit later. They were way cool though! They have a really strong faith in Christ already and were really interested in the Book of Mormon and finding out why it is so important for us. So we made out another appointment to bring back a Book of Mormon in Romanian tomorrow! Then as we left we asked if they knew anyone else who would be interested and they said yea you should try the family below us they also have a lot of questions about God. (Little did they know we actually were going to them anyway!) It was cool though.
We went down the stairs and knocked on the door and the wife opened again and said 'ok he's here now come in'. We went in and sat down with the father at the table and he put his bible on the table and sat down. Then said ok, why are you here. It was sweet. ha We explained a little then asked if we could begin with a prayer which he gladly agreed to. Slowly his children came in one by one and sat on the couch to the side of us and just sat and listened as well as his wife and the grandma. Before they were out playing and being loud so that was cool to see. By the end the whole family was sitting on the couches just looking at us and their dad talking. The dad by the way is 27, his wife around there as well, and they have 5 kids! 4 girls and a boy. It’s so cool! The Dad said ''We all believe in God. There is only one God. But there are so many different beliefs in the world and so many opinions about God. I believe that only one of them is right. I am not saying mine is right, I am not saying yours is right. I am simply saying we need to find the right one somehow so that we can truly follow God.'' You can imagine how we felt after he said that ha. We continued to teach about the Book of Mormon and then he said ''When do you have church? I need to come to your church and see how I feel there. I believe it is very important when thinking about a religion to visit their church services and see how you feel there before you know if it’s good'' So we told him when it was and explained to him how church normally went and that his whole family is welcome. He said that he and his family would try to come to church on the coming Sunday to see how it was. We made an appointment out for later this week to bring by a Book of Mormon in Romanian for him and his family. Then we said goodbye and went home for the night.
It was so cool! It all just went like almost too perfect it was weird, but a blessing! Both families are from Romania but speak good German and have been here for a long time and both had a sincere interest. We are very excited to continue to meet with them. Finding families is such a blessing and good feeling. It seems to be a rare thing here in Germany to find full families to teach so when it happens it’s really really cool. It’s a blessing and good feeling either way though simply finding someone who has a sincere interest in finding out if what we say is true. And if it is true, what that means for them.
It is such a significant thing that we are proclaiming. That God today, out of his love for us, has restored the true and pure church of Jesus Christ to this earth for the purpose of bringing to pass our salvation. Why a restoration was necessary, what it means, and how that affects literally every single individual person. It’s not just some nice thing that happened that can improve our lives or give us a hope to move forward. It is a very literal thing that is very necessary for us to find out if it’s real or not. Then to choose whether or not we will accept it and apply it. He has revealed to us the Plan of Salvation - God's perfect plan for us. When we understand this we understand better why things happen and what we are actually supposed to be doing here. We better grasp the seriousness of our use of our free agency. Almost every choice we make effects our progression or digression, either moving us closer towards God, or further away. There is no gray area. That is something I continue to learn more and more about. Light and dark cannot occupy the same space at the same time. We must realize this, and realize the magnitude of the effects of our choices. When we understand better and consider this more often we think much more about the choices we make.
God loves us very much. For that reason, he has created a plan to help us progress. We understand this better when we learn about the restoration of his church and the functions of the church today. Then as we do that we better understand our purpose and what our part is. How we can use these things God has given us to reach this divine potential we have inherited from our Father in Heaven. I am very grateful for the restored church of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for how much it has blessed my life and our family.
Before my mission I never really noticed how much it helped us. I'm sure I still do not realize what it has done for us, but I become more grateful for it as I learn more. I am also grateful for you, Mom and Dad, for raising us according to the Gospel of Christ. For putting up with us and being patient with us and for loving us no matter what we do. I am grateful for both of your examples in striving to live the Gospel, and I'm grateful for our Grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and that they strive to do the same. That we have had such a powerful influence all around trying to help us be better and do what God expects from us. You have been 'of God' as explained in Moroni 7:13, “But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.”

Thank you.
I love you all very much!! Thank you all for everything. Have a wonderful rest of the week!
Elder Puriri

No comments: