Monday, February 24, 2014

Great times this week!

Well I had some great times this week:)  

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 Neum√ľnster 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 Neum√ľnster 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'.  

Alma 12:14 For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemnus; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.

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




Monday, February 17, 2014

EXCITED TO TRAIN AGAIN

I'M SO EXCITED TO TRAIN AGAIN :)

Elder Burri is going to Chemnitz as a District Leader and I get to go to Berlin to pick one up fresh out of the MTC :)

I feel really blessed that the Lord has found me worthy to train a new missionary again. I loved training Elder Young, I truly have never learned from more from anybody else about missionary work as I did from him. I really have a testimony about listening to these younger missionaries to improve our efforts here in the field. They get us out of the normal ruts that we sometimes fall into.

We have been having some good weeks. I really owe a lot to the Joint teaches that we have brought along because they are the ones who really help us get return appointments haha. No, but the Holy Ghost definitly helps as well.

We have been teaching Fr. S***** who is progressing quite well. She is now fairly good friends with a ward member and her husband knows another ward member from work so the social converstion is there and the spiritual is increasing steadily. We talked about baptism last time and how it is one of the steps on the ladder to live with God again. The testimony of members in Joint teaches are just amazing I must say. She was sick and called us Sunday morning saying that she couldn't come but she came the week before and Loved it. So it is going really well with her.

I have made personal plans to meet with more less active as well this transfer. We have one who is working with the bishop again and is making progress. We just have to help him with smoking and coming back to church and bringing him back into the light. He has the desire and will to do it so that is what is important.

We had a great Sunday. We had 5 investigators come to church. 2 of which are new. They just showed up and we taught them then and there and made an appointment out for the next week! We also had a great investigator class with Fr. K**** who had a baptismal date in like 2004 or something and we found her again and will teach her.

I have never felt this way on my mission. I have a fire inside of me and it's hot haha. I am truly motivated and can't wait to learn even more from my new companion. I am still learning on how to be a leader and to help my district. I need to work on giving council and just expressing myself.  My ultimate goal is to truly become a consecrated missionary to the Lord and we can in all ways improve but I feel like I have made it to really just giving it all.  I am obedient and do everything I can to serve the Lord.  I can't wait to learn even more though.  

Oh the Olympics are great!  That sounds like a blast.  


Erika and NYU.  It fits perfect!  Too bad it's too far away from her big brother so she can't attend...It's okay Erika, BYUI is good too!  

I love you all.  Oh yeah!  I gave a talk on Sunday.  It went super good and the ward really liked it.  It was so cool!  I had a paper that I had typed and I read off of that for a while but I just looked up and talked straight for like 5 min haha.  Don't know what I said though.  

Love you!
Elder Hays






Monday, February 10, 2014

Pure love of Christ

I am absolutly loving Pinneberg.  It is a blessing to be here.  The people are nice and the ward is just great.  I do miss Dresden a lot and the ward there.  The work here is going great.  We have 5 investigators that are right on the edge of baptism.  It will be a good week :)  I can't believe that it has already been a transfer since I left Dresden!  Transfer calls are on Saturday. I will tell you about a experience this week though that I sent to a friend as well.  

So we found this lady in the list that we have of investigators.  We called her up and made out an appointment (this was 4 weeks ago).  We had a great first appointment and she took it all in with no problem. We then made out another appointment for a week later which ended up not working out for her so she had to cancel.  She said that she would call but that she is also crazy with work.  We then waited a week before we would call again and she never picked up for another week.  When we called at like 10:30 in the morning one day, she answered with a tired voice, all I said was, 'Hello Frau Lorenz,' and she hung up.  We had been praying our hearts out for this lady, had members pray for her and then we messed it because she was woken up.  (It is hard enough for missionaries to get appointments with people and experiences that that doesn't help haha).  I literally cried as I prayed.  I thought that I had made her turn away from the church in that moment because I had called too early and had woken her up.  I love these people.  I put my trust in them and give them my heart. Well, a couple more weeks went by with no contact and we were just going to go by on Tuesday, we felt that we needed to wait until Sunday (yesterday) for whatever reason I don't know but it was said to me clearly.  So we waited until yesterday.  I was scared but I knew that whatever happened, the Lord's hand would be in it.  We knocked on the door and she had a blanket wrapped around her.  She said she was sick but said that we could come in.  She seemed very down and sad but okay that we were there.  We just wanted to help her in any way.  We let her talk and come to find out, she had been in bed for the last 3 days with little to eat because of sickness and alone.  She had a son that would come and help but not much.  She said that if we had come any earlier than today she would have sent us away.  She said that she had been humbled and knew why she was sick now.  Being prompted, we came by and that is when she needed us.  We talked and just cried together.  She is just a normal, active, 50 year old women whose husband has died and has one son and work.  She just needed to talk.  We then asked if she wanted a blessing and we gave her one...That feeling that we felt last night was no light prick in the heart.  It was incredible, like the room was about to light on fire in the pure love of Christ for this women.  I don't know how else to describe it!  She felt it, was crying and said that we can come over anytime.  So grateful that I was able to live that.  

I love the work!

Always remember that time is how you can show love and that is what we all need.  

Happy Valentines Day! (Yes mom you can be my valentines :)) Next year as well but the year after that I can't say haha.  

Elder Hays

Monday, February 3, 2014

YEEEEE

Well it was a great but very hard working week haha.  I loved every part of it though.  We found 6 new investigators this week and taught a good 9 lessons!  It was a good week with lots of blessings from the Lord.  

On my mission so far I have learned a lot.  The Lord has really allowed me to be broken down.  I hope that the reason for this is so that He can build me up the way that He wants me to be.  An old story depicts the situation very well.

'There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi.  As they were studying chapter three they came across verse three which says, "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that, in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot - then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"  He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's the easy part -- when I see my image reflected in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep His hand on you and watch over you until He sees His image in you.

AUTHOR UNKNOWN'


This story is one of great worth to me as I let myself be formed into the man that God wants me to be.  Here is another one.  

The Touch of the Master's Hand

'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.

"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"

But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.

"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."

And many a man with life out of tune
All battered with bourbon and gin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.

But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.

Myra Brooks Welch



Might we allow the Savior to influence our daily lives as we go about as His saints.  He knows us and Who better do we allow the task of influence?  I love the Savior and His great sacrifice.  

2 Nephi 4 is a relateable scripture to those in loss or sorrow.  May we liken the scriptures unto ourselves and live in accordance to the standards that the Savior has set through latter day servants.  

A quote from our loving prophet,'From the bed of pain, from the pillow wet with tears, we are lifted heavenward by that divine assurance and precious promise: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Such comfort is priceless.'  

'Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.'

Thomas S. Monson


I love you and thank you for your prayers.  Pray for us, that we may not be found confounded before men, that we may keep the commandments and that we may find the brothers and sisters that need this Word. 

I love you all.
Elder Brandon Scott Hays