Hello My Dear family!
Time has taken my tomorrows and turned them into yesterdays! And it just keeps happening ha. The past week past quick as we continued to work in Gotha to share the gospel. I had the opportunity to go back to Nordhausen one more time on tausch. It was a bit strange leaving this time since I do not know when I will be back there. Walking the Nordhausen streets again brought a rush of thoughts and sparked a lot of reflection. Evening time when its dark and cold the streets kind of empty out. So we walked for a while pretty much in silence and it gave me time to think about that area and what I learned there. The inspiration that goes into the areas you serve in and with whom you serve is amazing. Each area and companion has provided me with the opportunities needed to make the growth necessary.
The last week it suddenly got really cold. It had been pleasantly warm up until now. I guess not warm but it definitely was not cold enough to bug me. It was nice that it stayed like that until this week though! I consider it a blessing because I left my big coat in Frankfurt back in May because it was worn and ripped. I have a smaller coat I picked up in another apartment and hoped it would be enough until the end and it was!
Last night as we got back into Gotha from a smaller village a bit outside we decided to go by on that older couple we had doored into a while ago. He was feeling better and the wife was happy to see us and let us right in. I told them I wanted to come say goodbye and all and they were a bit sad but excited to meet another new Elder. It was an interesting appointment. He is 79 and suffers from a stroke he had when he was 33. He said ''I was thinking about today and asked my wife if she knew how long I have been sick. She didn't and I told her about 46 years! 46 years! And everyday I can get up and continue because of the grace of God.'' His faith in Christ is solid. He then started talking to us about death and said ''to be honest I am a bit afraid of dying. I don't have that sure faith like Paul who was not afraid. I do not know what will happen after and how it goes on. That is a bit scary'' As he said that I opened up the Book of Mormon and asked if I could share with him some teachings from it. He gladly listened and you could see each dot connect as we taught about death, spirit world, and resurrection.
That's what we want to do! Inform people of what has been revealed and invite them to find out if it is true or not! The restored Gospel provides us with Knowledge and Integrity. Knowledge simply because of the truth, and what has been and will be revealed. Then it teaches us of what we need to change and do to set our lives in order. The Restored gospel teaches us how to internally conduct ourselves, which creates the outward effect of integrity, being guided by the knowledge obtained through the eternal truths of which the gospel is composed.
In the sharp words of Samuel Johnson ''Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.'' Luckily the gospel gives us both of them. The gospel will develop integrity in him who applies it, and this integrity will curb his pride and properly guide his knowledge. The gospel will help him develop knowledge who studies and applies it, then with his newly attained knowledge he knows how to better put his integrity to use in order to accomplish things of significance. It is all encompassing.
There is so much to learn! I am eternally grateful for this blessing called a mission. We give God a couple years, he sets us on a path leading to eternal treasures of knowledge and joy. Gods giving most definitely outweighs ours. I do not think I fully comprehend the culmination of it all. 2 years, 7 areas, and 15 companions later and I still feel like a brand new elder. I will be reflecting back on this experience forever drawing lessons from it. That blessing alone will never run dry. Who knows what else is tied along with it all. The Gospel is designed to change the individual.
We who go to teach and share it experience most likely the biggest change. God could do this work alone, he is not dependant on Elders and Sisters going to serve. He allows us the opportunity to experience what it is like, he allows us the opportunity to be molded by him. We need to take this opportunity and allow God to open our eyes. As President Monson said ''It is better to look up'', and so it is. The change and experiences available could be called the Miracle of a Mission. Available to all worthy who enlist to serve the Lord, humbly put everything aside, and allow God to change them. I love my mission. It has been the most enlightening experience of my life.
Thank you all for your letters, packages, and prayers during this time. I have felt the sincere care and love of my whole family during this time. Although apart, the bond has been strengthened. I love you all with everything I am.
Thank you for everything.
Elder Isaac Olsen Ahmu Puriri