Tuesday Morning I dropped Elder Burri off at the train station, we also lost Elder Miles and Sister Bradshaw from our district but got 3 new fantastic additions! Sister Dunlap is now companions with Sister Turner and Elder King (from my group) is now companions with Elder Bendixon. I worked with the Altona Elders until I left early Thursday morning for Berlin! I got up at 4:45 to get to Berlin at 9:10. I have traveled alone as a missionary before but it is very interesting. I kind of put the thoughts in my mind that what if this train ride is me actually going home at the end of my mission? How would I feel? I thought about the things that I still need to improve and kind of shocked myself at what I still need to accomplish in 9 months. In Berlin I picked up Elder Liddiard from Eagle Mountain, Utah. He is great! Has the desire to really work and likes to have a good time.
His first day in our area, we had 4 appointments! Good way to start it out right? I thought so too and the Lord blessed us with that opportunity to do that. We taught and had a great lesson with R*** M***** who agreed to baptism! We didn't set a date because he doesn't know everything about his schedule but that is his goal. We brought him a reading plan so that he can read everyday something great out of the Book of Mormon.
On Saturday we played soccer in the morning and had fun with the ward. At 12 we had an appointment with Frau K*****. We only had 20 min for a lesson because we had to head off to Neumünster for Stake Conference after that. We started talking about what her goals are and really what she wants from us. We figured out that she actually really wants to be a member of the church and has the desire to give up smoking. We set the 12 of April for her date for baptism and we will work with her to reach that goal.
We headed to Neumünster for Stake Conference. I got to see my best bud Elder Harris! I haven't seen him since Groitzsch and he was in Halle. I also got to talk to Sister Vick and Sister Norton! It's cool to make that connection to other missionaries. The meeting was great and I hope that the members felt the spirit as I did.
Sunday we had the second session of Stake Conference which was amazing. The meeting came from Salt Lake City and was broadcasted here just for all of Germany. Elder Bednar gave his talk in German! It was so so cool :) His talk was great as well. 41 years since he served a mission here and can still speak great. He talked about pulling all with the same yoke and bearing the weight that we can. We should allways push ourselves though to learn to push more for the salvation of people.
My shoes are pretty done for. I still have money left over from Christmas that I will use to buy some new ones.
Yesterday in my personal study, I studied Mosiah 4. We all know the story of how the people fell to the earth and felt the power of the Atonement but I found some things interesting that haven't impacted me before.
Let's dive in: Mosiah 4:1,2 They fell to the earth because they had 'viewed themselves'. What does that mean? Something that my father taught me and that I will allways remember is to take my self out of the situation I am in and to take a look around. Who am I affecting with this decision? What will happen with my self? Am I connected with God in the moment or have I done something wrong? Does my family stand behind me? They viewed themselves. Next: How do we apply the Atonement in our lives?
Verse 2: If we really believe that Jesus died for our sins and that He brought forth this great sacrifice, why wouldn't we use this unmeasurable gift? If we don't apply the Atonement in our lives, we show Him that we don't care for what He did lay it to the side. Sure maybe we have repented a couple of times and have been baptized but TO USE the Atonement in our everyday lives is something different. To better ourselves from day to day. To make better decisions, be more patient, love more, and study better. All comes from repentence and made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We do this so that our 'hearts may be purified'. When we truly believe then we would use it to act everyday to better our situation and the situations of others.
Verse 3: 'and they were filled with joy'. Wow, joy follows repentance! Repentance is uplifting and never degrading. It can take us from the lowest to the highest. What does it take? Humility. When you got too much on your shoulders, kneel. When you get on your knees but still can't overcome but don't want any help from the Bishop or father or mother then pride is still there that shouldn't be. Humility.
Ezekiel 36:26 'A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.' Change. Everyday through the everlasting power of the Atonement that was given as a gift to all who will accept it. Use it. Understand it and apply it in your life. It builds you up, it takes you to mountains and most important of all, allows you to stand with assurance before your God on the great and dreadful day with 'A pure heart'. It allows you to not look down but to look up at His face with 'confidence'.
Repentance brings joy, joy brings a new heart and a new heart brings confidence waxing strong in the presence of God.
As missionaries we must do this everyday because our lost brothers and sisters count on it but I want you all to know that I know the power of the Atonement. I have left many tears on my pillow at night for my decisions but know that through the Atonement I have become a consecrated missionary to the Lord and that I understand what the Atonement means. I am grateful for it all and the love that comes from it we cannot comprehend.
CPR= Church, Pray, Read...It can save lives.
I love you, Elder Hays