The 5th and strangely last week of the transfer went by quickly. We had another tausch and a couple other things going on. Then the week ended in Transfer calls. Which of course brought changes. I will be transferred to Gotha. A city by Erfurt in the Nordhausen district. So I will have the chance to get up to Nordhausen again on tausch probably which will be way cool. My companion is Elder Rechter from Australia which is about all I know about him. He's pretty young on his mission so it will be cool.
So my new address is
Pretty crazy though this will most likely be my last area. I never would have thought I'd end up back in the area of the former Berlin mission. I am excited though to see whats going to come as we continue the work that is moving forward there. Sadly leaving Elder Anderson here in Nürnberg with Elder Jongejan. They are both getting new companions and Elder Wilkinson and I are going. It will be a bit weird going back to just 2 Elders in an apartment. Transfers bring changes and changes bring opportunities to learn and grow.
Last week though we had a pretty cool experience. We found a family from Nigeria while doing doors and said we would come back the next day with an english book of mormon. When we came back the lady who we talked to couldn't come to the door so her sister came. She was at first quite against anything we had to say and didn't really want her sister to have the Book of Mormon. She started asking questions and we began to explain and teach about where the Book of Mormon came from and why its so important. Towards the end she was way open and sharing her testimony of Christ with us and invited us to come back the next day to talk to them more. It was cool to see the complete change.
Then we called Br. Igbinoba in the ward who is also from Nigeria and organized that he come with to teach and bring one of his daughters to play with the girls they have there so that the relationship could be built up well. As we all got there and walked into the apartment building to ring their doorbell Br. Igbinoba was like ''This place looks familiar...'' then the lady opened the door and he just said ''Hi sista how are you today?'' and then she said ''I think I recognize you'' He wasnt sure where from and neither was she so we just went in to sit down and talk. As he came into the living room there were 2 little girls coloring at the table and he goes ''OH! hello!'' and went and said hello to the girls and goes ''I know these girls, this is my sisters house.'' Then he turned to the other lady and went off in some tribal language and she and he talked for a while and laughed. Then we realized that the lady who we were talking with was the real sister of a good friend of Br. Igbinoba. The sisters lived there and Br. Igbinoba had just never really met the one we were meeting with that day. Then the doorbell rang and it was Sister Igbinoba and another one of their daughters. Since they were just out waiting in the car and were in the area she thought she would come visit her friend. Turns out we were there teaching them ha. So that was pretty sweet. It was a cool lesson and Br. Igbinoba ended with the book of Mormon in his hand as he shared his conversion story and testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it changed his life. As he finished the lady we were teaching took the book out of his hands with a smile and said ''I think this one is for me''. She said ''If it is the grace of God I will be a part of your church''. It was a cool appointment. The family already has such a strong faith in Christ and are looking for the best way to follow him. I am excited for the Elders to continue to work with them.
I really liked that quote thing you from your email though mom. I have actually been thinking about that lately. Related to the gospel and how my testimony has grown throughout my mission. How my conviction has been strengthened. I was thinking about it just because it isn't new stuff I've been teaching or studying. I've heard this stuff my whole life and had it taught to me at least weekly as long as I can remember. In actually thinking about it for myself though and this process described in that thought has been happening. It is the most amazing thing I have experienced and will continue to experience. I have found it hard to describe but this guy did it quite well.
The quote I sent him is from Arthur Schopenhauer's thesis - On Thinking for Oneself. It was this -
"A man may have discovered some portion of truth or wisdom, after spending a great deal of time and trouble in thinking it over for himself and adding thought to thought; and it may sometimes happen that he could have found it all ready to hand in a book and spared himself the trouble. But even so, it is a hundred times more valuable if he has acquired it by thinking it out for himself. For it is only when we gain our knowledge in this way that it enters as an integral part, a living member, into the whole system of our thought; that it stands in complete and firm relation with what we know; that it is understood with all that underlies it and follows from it; that it wears the color, the precise shade, the distinguishing mark, of our own way of thinking; that it comes exactly at the right time, just as we felt the necessity for it; that it stands fast and cannot be forgotten. This is the perfect application, nay, the interpretation, of Goethe’s advice to earn our inheritance for ourselves so that we may really possess it: Was du ererbt von deinen Vätern hast, Erwirb es, um es zo besitzen.
In all situations of our lives there are things to be thought about and to study out in our minds. Thereby accessing the knowledge available for us. One of the coolest things I have experienced is described by Paul in Galations 1:12 ''For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ''. As we go through this process we are literally taught through revelation. We believe in revelation, that God speaks to his children. Collectively and individually. We can receive revelation ourselves. It is not a made up thing or some trick. It honestly comes from God to the true seeker. As you attempt this process, with a sincere heart and real intent, with faith in Jesus Christ, you will feel in your heart that it is of God. And it is seared into your soul. It is a beautiful thing and one of the sweetest experiences of life.
God desires to give us knowledge and understanding. He does not want us to be confused or have vivid ideas of why we are here, what our purpose in life is, where things go afterwards. That makes no sense. He doesn't want people guessing about what to do to have a happy life or how to prepare for whats to come. He is not a God of confusion. He has restored the pure gospel of Christ, the organisation of Christ's church, as well as the authority necessary to act in his name. Providing us with the resources we need to understand the deeper things of life. Through restoring these things there is continuing revelation. God is there for us today. If we allow, he will teach us through the spirit in our experiences. It all depends on each individuals choice to allow God to come closer to them.
In Mosiah 15:27 it talks about redemption. It says ''...neither CAN the Lord redeem such...'' speaking about those who willfully rebel. The point is though that in that sense he can't. He simply cannot. Because his power to save is conditional upon our repentance (Heleman 5:11), or our choice to set our life in order with his teachings. We learn from this that sometimes God simply cannot, because of our own choices. Sometimes the lack of God's influence in our life is simply because we do not allow it. Not always, but sometimes. We should just always be doing our part to allow God to work in our lives whenever he sees necessary. I'm sure there are times where He sees it necessary and would like to do something but because of eternal laws He cannot just step in and take control. That would be overriding our agency at that point and God will not do that. If we would like to experience getting answers from Him and feel his influence through the spirit in our lives. To learn from the spirit about whether or not something is true or to simply increase our knowledge and understanding, we must do something to learn. We must do something to create an atmosphere in our surroundings and in our minds where it is possible for the spirit to speak to us so we can recognize and understand it. To learn something through our own efforts by receiving revelation is literally possible. It is always possible on Gods side. He is eternally capable of giving it. It simply depends on our efforts to receive it. It is however always possible for us to prepare for it and do our part for it. Its possible on our side, its possible on Gods side. Our side is what we control and decide. We must be conscious of that in this process.
I would encourage you all to work more of creating at atmosphere in your surroundings and in your mind where you can learn from God. That you may learn who you are and what you are doing here. That you may learn of Jesus Christ and his teachings. If you learn it in this way it is seared into your soul and becomes an ever influential part of you.
The Gospel is true and it is real. We need to continually experience this, continually be ready. On your toes on the field, on your toes in life. Don't get caught on your heals.
I am glad ammon is back home. Sounds like things are still real busy though, as always. I hope everyone is doing well. I love you all!!! I'm excited for the future. For what I have ahead of me here and for what you all have ahead of you there. Enjoy it and make the best of it!
Have a wonderful week!