Sorry for the long post, but it has been an eventful few months. We would like to give you a few updates of our activities:
In May we began to focus the missionaries on following the example of Christ and “fish with a net,” including the internet. New pass along card were printed with www.kirche-jesu-christi.org in large, bold letters and the missionaries have been diligent in spreading them, 300,000 plus. Here are a few of the miracles of the first few days after distribution (and the miracles continue):
·Elders got a phone call from a lady, "I got your card on my door. I would like to meet with you."
·Elders in the east part of Berlin were passing out cards to everyone they could. One grumpy man would not take the card so the Elder put it on the park bench next to him. Later the Elder got a phone call, "I found one of your cards on a park bench. I would like to talk to you." They have already had two discussions.
·Elders got a call from a lady who said, "Why did you put a card on my door?" Elders responded, "We prayed about it and felt it would be a good thing." She said she knew members of the Church and would check it out on the Internet.
·Sisters on a bus gave one of the new cards to someone. The person next to them said, "Can I get one of those too?"
·Elders placed pass along cards at an apartment complex and then went back later knocking on doors. At one of the door, they heard, "I got your card, come in." They had a walk-in appointment.
·Elders were teaching a golden family and all of a sudden they wanted no more contact. Elders ran into them on the street and asked them about it. The family had found inaccurate information about the Church on the Internet. The Elders asked them to check out the official site on the new card. They did, and liked what they saw.The Elders are once again teaching them.
At the end of June the first missionaries that we greeted two years ago returned home. It was a bitter sweet occasion. We have such a great love for them all.
July 3 was ahistoric Sunday spent in Plauen as the branch was divided and the new Hof Branch was formed. The forming of the Hof Branch has special meaning for Jay. He served in the Hof Branch as a young missionary in 1972 when it was part of the Germany South Mission. As the branch was closed in 2002 a sister said, "I don't know how or when, but we will have church services here in Hof again." As missionaries felt a great desire to work there, and worked diligently, (previously no missionaries assigned) the miracles began. A group was formed in December with about 15 attending culminating with the Hof Branch being formed. It was a day of rejoicing!
The distance we have travelled, in a van, with the assistants, has been near brutal, 4,323 km over a 3 week period completing interviews, Sunday visit to a branch and a Mission Tour as well. That is like driving from the West Coast to the East Coast in the U.S. Looking back, it was well worth the journey.
July 4 - 7 was an enriching few days spent with Elder Caussé. He is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the Church, coming from France. We were richly blessed, not only by his instruction but by the outstanding musical abilities of the missionaries who preformed. Here are a few principles that were taught:
·Allof the callings in the Church have the same Purpose, which is to invite others to come unto Christ.
·Missionaries, members and the Lord work together so there can be a harvest. (1 Cor. 3:6)
·The Doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31, 3 Nephi 11, 3 Nephi 27) is what we must know and what we must teach.
·There are many people in Germany being prepared to accept the Gospel. Germany is a sleeping giant to be awakened. There is urgency in this work. Even if the percentage of those who accept the message now is small, a small percentage adds up to thousands of people, so we need to talk to everyone in order to find those who are truly seeking the truth.
·Our family members are in the hands of the Lord as we go out to serve and they will be blessed an hundredfold for your service. (Mark 10:29-30)
We were happy our leader reported that the Germany Berlin Mission is doing well. The missionaries are dedicated, hard working and have a sense of esprit de corp.
Serving a full time mission is one of the most rewarding experiences we have had thus far in our lives. Our family has been blessed beyond measure. We see the hand of the Lord daily in his work. We know he lives and loves us and wants ALL people to come unto him. We are grateful for your love and support.