Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pres. Uchtdorf visits Berlin

President Uchtdorf came to Berlin and included a meeting with the missionaries of the Berlin Mission in his schedule. President Uchtdorf's family joined the Church as he was a young boy living in the city of Zwickau - in our mission - and then his family fled to the Frankfurt area before the iron curtain went up. It was a joyous homecoming. His wife and two children were with him.

Saturday morning, Feb. 20, was the big event our missionaries have been looking forward to for weeks. At 9:30 a.m. we all gathered in the chapel to take a photo of the whole mission. We were all waiting quietly for the arrival of President Uchtdorf, Elder and Sister Kopischke and Elder and Sister Teixeira. When they arrived in the foyer, I went to greet them and all of the missionaries rose to their feet. President Uchtdorf stopped in the center isle and all the missionaries were invited to file by and shake his hand and the hands of Elder Kopischke and Elder Teixeira. Elder Teixeira and Elder Kopischke then each spoke to the group and a quartet of Elders provided a musical number - it was very, very inspiring and that was even before I turned the time over to President Uchtdorf to speak to us.

President Uchtdorf, speaking in German, spoke of the sacred nature of the call of a mission president and his wife and of the revelation involved in such calls and in the call of each full time missionary. He encouraged us to read and study Preach My Gospel. Study chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel again and again and again and we will learn step by step by step. Trust in the Lord, never look down, and the Spirit will help us learn and teach in the German language. To have the Holy Ghost, always be worthy and keep the mission rules with exactness – each missionary gave his or her signature to the Prophet and we will receive help from the Holy Ghost. The scriptures teach that now is the time to baptize and bring the Gospel to the ends of the world. He told us to try to BE the best companion – don’t wait to GET the best. Hyrum Smith was an example of thus right up to the end of his life. It is not all about us – it is that we circle around Christ. It is not our power – it is the work, it is the zeal that Christ gives us. Try to see in every person a child of God. We are called here for a purpose.

At the end, he bestowed an apostolic blessing on all of us. We were blessed to find joy in the work, to see the hand of the Lord in our work and to feel the angels who are with you and protect you. We were blessed with power and our family at home will be blessed because as we are true and faithful.

Colleen and I were also invited to a special sunrise meeting the following day, Feb. 21, with President Uchtdorf and about 20 or so other Church leaders. It was for the dedication of the country of Germany to missionary work. President Uchtdorf gave a talk in the meeting and said that the Church History Department had determined that there had been no recorded dedicatory prayer for Germany and President Uchtdorf explained how historic the occasion is and how he had prepared himself. President Uchtdorf said that President Monson had specifically commissioned him to give this dedicatory prayer. After his talk, he pronounced the dedicatory prayer in English. In short, the dedicatory prayer dedicated the entire land of Germany for the preaching of the gospel and for establishing of the Church. The dedicatory prayer was recorded and will be written out and translated into German. We look forward to having a copy when it is completed.

All of the experiences over the weekend testified again and again that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. The true church is again on the earth and that this true church is led by the Prophet Thomas S. Monson. We also had it confirmed again that President Uchtdorf is an apostle, prophet, seer and revelator. It is a delight to serve here and to work to fulfill the promises of the newly-pronounced apostolic blessing on the missionaries and dedicatory prayer on the land - to preach the gospel in Germany and to further establish the Church in Germany.

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