January 6, 2014
We got transfer calls on Saturday, and guess who is heading to Berlin! ME! I will be serving in the Lankwitz gebiet (area). I guess "Blondie in Berlin" will actually be a blondie in Berlin for the next few months . . .
There are some times in your life where you find yourself saying, "I am never going to forget this," and this week for me has been one of these times.
I knew that we would be receiving transfer calls and I knew that there would be a high chance I would be leaving, but I never really thought about how it would be or what that meant.
I talked to you on Skype on Christmas and you saw me in tears crying of sadness but also of joy. There was a time where I just wanted to leave this area, because it is true that I have struggled A LOT here. I thought it would be easier to just leave because I didn't feel like I had done that much, easier to just start over and do it right somewhere else. But this week I really had my eyes opened to the difference that I have made here. Langenhorn has changed me, and I know now that I have changed Langenhorn.
What a wonderful week it has been...
Remember H***? We met with him this past week and we also met with him this morning. He has come back again. He had read the chapter we gave him in the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 27, and we discussed repentance. He was determined that the reason for Alma's change of heart and repentance was because an angel appeared unto him. "We can't all see angels. If Alma wouldn't have seen an angel he wouldn't have changed like he did." But I must disagree. It is not how the Lord makes himself manifest unto us, but that he does make himself manifest unto us.
We read verse 14 in the chapter and I compared Alma's father unto Sister Darrington and I. Here we are, just two sister missionaries, but we pray in his behalf as well as all the other people here. We pray with faith, not asking that angels will appear to these people, but that they will be able to feel of the Spirit in their hearts and recognize the Lord's role in their life. My testimony meant a lot as I bore it this morning.
Repentance means a lot to me. I consider my own life as saved as I have personally come to understand and feel of the joy of turning my heart and my will to my God. My heart was feeling very full as we sat there together. I told H*** at the end that I would be leaving to Berlin on Tuesday. Of everything that I could have imagined I never would have imagined what actually happened.
He slowly lost his composure after my simple statement that I was leaving. We took a photo and you can see the tears in his eyes. He has always called us his angels, but as he sat across the table from me and told me that again, with tears in his eyes, my heart was truly touched.
He has rekindled his faith in God and in Jesus Christ, and is now trying to repent and come unto Christ again and find forgiveness. He told me about how Sister Nilson and I had had such an impact on him, how we had helped him to really remember what was so important about life, about remembering God even when the way may seem easy. He had felt the spirit as he met with us. I will never Forget the day that he prayed in the Name of Jesus Christ. The day that he started crying as we testified that God lives and loves him. After taking our photo today he just looked at me again, and just thanked me so sincerely from the bottom of his heart. I had made a difference in his life. I just leaned in to give him a hug and he just pulled me in so tight and just started bawling and then he kissed my shoulder. "H**, ich weiß dass diese Kirche wahr ist. Sie ist die Kirche Jesu Christi." ( "H **, I know that this Church is true. It is the church of Jesus Christ.") I see how much my testimony means to me personally, because in the last goodbye, I feel like it is all I have left to offer. This is what I know. Please, just remember it.
I had many goodbyes just like this one. People I didn't even realize that I had affected, but really I had.
Ab** met with us and we heard him speak with such dedication and humility, how this year would be different. A new year, following Christ with new strength. He talked about the promise that he wanted to make with God, to commit to follow him again from now on. What an amazing reminder we could give him, that he has already covenanted and committed himself to God. He did that when he was baptized last October. The wonderful thing is, is that we can always repent, always come back, even when we feel like we have wandered far away. Ab**will always have a Special place in my heart as well.
So many of our appointments fell out this week, so I don't really know how E** is doing, how Eve** and the kids are, how so many people are on a Level of Progression. But I really feel like things have happened in these ways for a reason.
The first several days of this week I remember speaking with Sister Darrington .... telling her that I was sure I had never been happier ever before on my Mission. I was studying hard, going to work, and I was just so grateful to be here.
Then there was Saturdays memory of eating chocolate chip banana pancakes on the kitchen floor, pulling out mattresses into the living room and sleeping next to her on the floor. Her holding me in her arms like a baby last night as I bawled about leaving my first area. I got to bear my testimony in church one last time. And with that I am grateful, that I was able to share MY testimony again. What I know. It has been a week of many experiences, many moments of reflection, many goodbyes that were very difficult.
Did I Change Langenhorn one smile at a time? I sure hope so. I just know that more than anything, Langenhorn has changed me. I will never be the same again. The people, the land, the culture, everything. I have experienced a Change of my own heart, learned to love more fully with that heart, and learned to accept love from others.
The members here have really been like a Family to me. I am so impressed by their levels of conversion. They have helped me in my own conversion.
I am ready to go on to Lankwitz and serve the people there. I have learned so much here, and I am ready to go on and apply everything that I have learned.