Tuesday, February 17, 2015

5/20/13--Experiences & Impressions

 I have especially little time today, so I just wanted to check up and see how Portugal was for you and Dad, and Jason and Kendra and little Noella, but it seems you've already done that so thanks!
I don't think I'll have time to upload pictures for this, but this week we had a district P-Day and all were going to go Mini Golfing, but it rained for only a few minutes and the place closed so we ended up at a huge, web-like jungle gym and we climbed on it. One Elder had brought his carnival costume with him, a bunny suit, so that was way funny. Then on Friday we had two service appointments. The first was painting this investigator's wall, but when we got there he wasn't quite setup yet so we moved his entire living room into his "kitchen" and then ended up painting his ceiling and pretty much everything in sight. It was way fun, I even got some paint on my clothes and Elder Davis got some in his hair, but that's why you wear service clothes and take showers everyday! Haha! The second appointment was for the Manzke family, but it wasn't at all as much work as we were expecting. We basically loaded the parts of an already taken apart bed and loaded them in a car, then rode in the car and took them up an elevator into their grandma's apartment. Piece of cake.
This Saturday was also a great day. It was a mission-wide finding day, so all at one time, there were about 200 missionaries out on the streets finding the Lord's prepared elect people. Very cool. We were in the city Bergisch Gladbach, where we had this big concert last week or so and eventually we found one potential investigator ourselves, but before that we were walking around the main market/walking zone area and there was this huge faire going on nearby called Kirmis (short for Kirche Messe, which means Church trade faire) and it was very similar to the  County Fair we have in Crescent City, so you can imagine it was really crazy with loud music and people screaming on rides. Ya, so as we were walking around nobody was listening to us one because they were there to have fun and buy stuff, and two because you could barely hear each other talk, let alone hear the spirit testify of truth to your soul. I felt like we had to get out of there. After we had said a quick prayer at the beginning, I told Elder Davis about it, and he said "Ok, where do you think we should go?". I said a quick prayer about whether to go right or left, and then turned in the direction of the fair and started walking through it  (there wasn't really a way around that I knew of). When we got through, I felt better, but we still didn't feel it was quite the right place, so we kept walking and praying until I got the impression there was a hill nearby. As we looked and crossed a street, found a hill and walked up it, I felt like every step I took away past the fair, the better I could think clearly, feel the influence of the spirit and be confident we were headed in the right direction. As we got to the top, there was actually a cemetary on top, which would have been was scary, except for it was way quiet and beautiful. I felt like I was somewhere familiar like when I go into the temple and leave the world and its cares behind. We didn't do much up there besides share a scripture with an old man who was mourning, so maybe he was the whole reason and really needed it, but it was really really relaxing after being in a city of 2.2 million people with crowds, trains, and buses for so long. Ya, and then we got a potential investigator, so it was definitely a good day. Especially after coming down from that hill it helped me to realize actually how much of a difference it makes being somewhere where you can pray out loud and actually listen for an answer. I probably won't be going to the temple very soon because I have a great work to do, but this experience was a testimony to me how much it can change one's perspective.
I Love you all so much and pray that you will always be able to hear the spirit to keep you in the way
~Elder Standring

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