Monday, December 29, 2014

Woche 28: Weihnachten!

Woche 28: Weihnachten!
Monday, after P-Day, we went to Brother Hönle's birthday party. There are seriously so many Filipinos in Germany. But, they made a bunch of Filipino food. It was amazing. At the end of the party, we gave a spiritual thought. We watched the "He Is The Gift" video. We asked everyone to think of ways that this wonderful gift of Jesus Christ has helped us. But another thing to consider, is how can we use this gift all year round? Christmas isn't the only time designated to celebrate Christ. Neither is Easter. We received an email a week ago from President Kohler asking us how we can keep this "Christmas" Spirit with us everyday of the year. Because, essentially, Christmas should just be a celebration of his birth and Easter His Resurrection and Atonement. They shouldn't be times where we turn nice and considerate. They aren't times to think about Christ and then forget about Him the day after. They aren't times to receive gifts upon gifts. They are truly miraculous days and events, however, they should motivate us for the entire year. Not just for a couple of weeks. They should bring us closer to Christ and prepare us for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, like always, we had District Meeting. And we discussed the importance of devastation. In a sense of when an investigator does not keep a commitment. Or we can apply it to whenever anyone does not keep commitments or the commandments. As Jeffery R. Holland said, this is eternal life in the balance. We cannot merely push off the fact that they are denying themselves blessings and eternal happiness. When someone does not read, keep the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, come to church, or anything else, we must be devastated. No matter who it is. We must still love them, however we must also show our concern for them. The fact still stands that they broke a promise to our Heavenly Father, whether it is the promise made through us on Earth, or the one made in Heaven a long time ago. And we need them to understand the seriousness of this matter. Afterwards, we gathered together in prayer before we set off to give a gift in Schaffhausen. The Schaffhausen Elders wrapped up "The Living Christ" And asked if we could help them hand them out. So we did and it was awesome. Then we went back home to attend another birthday party for Athena Justaga. She is the youngest daughter in the Justaga Family. There were someone different people there. It was quite a group. We had Germans, Filipinos, Americans, and Frenchmen. But we again had some amazing Filipino food. It was a great time.

Heiliger Abend
On Christmas Eve, Wednesday, we went and visited a less active in Tuttlingen. He is only less active because he is home bound. But we had an awesome time with Brother Wolf. We had a good discussion about Charity. I shared one of my favorite scriptures. It is in Colossians 3:14. It says: And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. We then discussed a little of how we can have charity for one another. In fact, there is a small test that helps us self reflect our personal charity. It is Hymn 223 in the LDS Hymn Book. Here is the song.

        Have I Done Any Good?
1. Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone's burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
2. There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, "Sometime I'll try,"
But go and do something today.
'Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love's labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.

We can take these questions and apply them personally morning and evening to better ourselves. After this discussion, Brother Wolf asked us to visit Sister Bous while she doesn't have many visitors. So we went with the other Elders, prepared to carol for her. But we knocked on her door, and we sang to her a couple of songs. She was so thankful. She then told us to sit and explained that her son  told her not to come over for Christmas Eve even though they live three blocks from one another. She was torn. But we saw gleam in her eyes as we answered a silent prayer of comfort and love during this special time. I am so grateful for this wonderful gospel and for the revelation it brings. Without Brother Wolf, we might have never visited her. And then she read us a Christmas story she wrote herself. It was actually really good and comparable to us. And then we went and spent the rest of the evening with the Schwarzwälder Family. They invited her parents, the Becker couple, the Gulla twins, Jagadish, and us. We had an amazing evening with them. We sang hymns, read stories and had an amazing dinner. They made some potato stuff, Spätzle, and some other things. It was a night full of fun and the spirit as well. We played out the Nativity. And I was the Donkey, but apparently I was a good one, so all is well.

Der erste Tag Weichnachtens
On Christmas Day, we had the wonderful opportunity to spend it with the Seeborg Family. They made such a delicious meal. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a very sweet but yummy cranberry sauce. Afterwards, they opened gifts, and they gave us Lebkuchen! It is so good! But then we were able to skype home! What a wonderful time that was. I didn't really realize how fast time was going by. I mean, I knew that time is just flying by, but as fast as I thought. I saw my parents, and felt like yesterday I said goodbye for two years. We really don't understand how little time we have on a mission. Every moment here is a time to be kept sacred.

Der zweite Tag Weihnachtens
On Friday, or so called here in Germany, the second day of Christmas, we had the chance to go caroling with a new convert, Sister Birk. She is such an amazing woman and example of being a disciple of Christ. But, she arranged Lunch for us and a fancy little restaurant in Zollhaus. I had salmon, and halibut, or however you spell it, with noodles. It was so good! It was just perfect. And then we went and visited a cemetery. Sister Birk asked us to come with her as she visited the grave of her parents. And then we went over to an elderly lady to carol. She invited us in and then we sang. And then we went to the Nursing Home to sing to the elderly there. There were four floors and they all loved it. Even the workers enjoyed it. Oh, and Germans love Silent Night. It is their favorite hymn of all time. Granted, it is a beautiful song. And on this day, I realized something, kind of a comparison. Christmas is like Sunday. Sunday, we go and partake of the Sacrament and promise to do better. Thinking of ways we can improve while reflecting on the Savior in some fashion. During the Christmas time, we should be thinking about the birth of Christ, as well as what resulted from that birth; a perfect life and a glorious ministry, ending with a sacrifice that would save us all. Then towards the end of this season, we make goals for the coming year. Thinking of ways we can improve and things we want to accomplish. However, much of the time, we forget to personally tell God. We forget to promise to become better. We forget to ask for help. While Sunday to Sunday can bring much success, we often forget to have a bigger picture, which in many ways is our New Years Resolution. When we use this time to become serious about lifting our selves higher and looking more deeply into the Light, we can have the eternal perspective and use Sundays as stepping stones to accomplishing our New Years Resolution. My goal this year, is to not reach and accomplish my New Years Resolution, is to give meaning behind it as well. I don't want it to just be a bucket list like every other year. I want it to actually be a Resolution. I want to resolve my flaws and weaknesses through Christ and lift myself higher. I want to use Sundays as times to reflect this yearly goal or resolution and work on the smaller goals I make in order to keep me focused.

Saturday, we visited Brother Wolf again. But, this time he invited us over to feed us! It was really good. We ate chicken, fired the German way as well as potatoes and veggies. And then we read out of the Book of Mormon. We read Moroni 7: 48. We discussed what it meant to be filled with love and to become His followers. Afterwards, we drove to the Gheorge's house. We ate the pig from last week and some cabbage roll thing. Apparently it was Romanian but it was very German as well. But, one thing you definitely learn on the mission is how to deal with crazy kids, haha. They are good kids, just extremely hyper.
Sunday was really weird, because we didn't have Church. We had too much snow for people to drive out. We were really confused and lost! I never realized how much it could effect us.
Happy New Years!

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