Monday, February 3, 2014


February 3, 2014
Dearest Family,
I just read President's email and a point of it really stood out to me.

"in the scriptures we find an example of a young man who obeyed his father’s directive that the family depart into the wilderness leaving their belongings behind, who went back to his hometown to retrieve things his father asked him to get and who was asked to help build a boat and depart for a promised land.
Normally, we would identify that person as Nephi, and it would be right too. But let us take Laman - he did the same but it didn't change him. He went through the motions, but he was complaining and murmuring, and he did not receive a change of heart that brought about conversion."
How true is that?  
I am almost to my halfway point on my mission.  At times I have murmured.  At times I have complained.  I have tried.  I have failed.  I like to think that I have succeeded.  Sometimes it's easy to question that though.  I want to be like Nephi though.  I want.  I know that "to want" or "to desire" is to precede something better.  
As I have been serving in Berlin for about a month now, I feel like I am finding some of myself that I've been missing a little bit.  The part of me that is a little stubborn, sometimes a little too competitive, that will not give up easily.  I really am trying, working hard, and I am really enjoying the work.  
Before I tell you that J*** is getting baptized on March 15th, I have to quickly knock on wood.  **klopf klopf**.  But Yeah, J*** is planning on getting baptized!! On March 15th!! After teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and about the Gospel of Jesus Christ he was feeling a little overwhelmed.  We sat there in the community kitchen of the Student apartments and he admitted shyly that he was a little bit confused. I really love thinking about the people here and putting myself in their shoes.  What would it be like to sit on the other side of that wooden table hearing some young girl tell me who God was, that he loves ME, that he has a plan for ME.  God wants ME to be baptized.  How would I feel?  I would probably feel a little confused too.  It was about two weeks ago that J***told us that he was uncertain if there was a God or not.  But in this lesson, we stopped at this point, and we invited him to say a prayer.
 We invited him to pray and ask for understanding, for peace, for a confirmation that what we taught him was true.  He spoke the prayer, and his sincere Chinese spoken English words really touched me.  After he ended his prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, I asked him.  "J***, how do you feel?"  He looked at me like I was slow or something, and then clapped his hands together!  "I'm ready to go!  What more do you have to teach me?!"  He described the good feeling that he gets when he meets with us and reads in the scriptures.  J***recognizes and identifies the influence of the Holy Ghost in his life.
He came to church yesterday, and I got to translate the Sunday school lesson for him from German to English.  In part of the lesson we read in the manual about steps we can take to come closer to God.
"We can know God if we will:
1.    Believe that He exists and that He loves us (see Mosiah 4:9).
2.    Study the scriptures (see 2 Timothy 3:14–17).
3.    Pray to Him (see James 1:5).
4.    Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21–23).
As we do these things, we will come to know God and eventually have eternal life.
·  Ponder what you can do to draw nearer to God." (Chapter 1, gospel principles).

I asked him if he believed that God was there.  Yes.

Does he believe that God loves him?  Yes.

At the last point, I asked him to ponder himself on ways that he could draw nearer to God. "Well, I can get baptized!!  And I can read more in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible.  Just like I read in 2 Nephi 31 and in the other chapters I've read!"

Let me restate the fact that I love Asians. 

Also, listening to Y*** Y***and J*** speaking excitedly in Chinese about “who knows what” is music to my ears.  Even if it is during sacrament meeting. . . 

Sorry I don't have a lot more time to write, but I hope you are all doing well.  I will keep on praying for you.  Please remember to pray for me as well :D


Something I also say when I leave people is "Tschüß!! Papa!!"

Ich liebe euch :)

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