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Monday, October 28, 2013

Living in crescendo!

     This week, I decided to depart from my usual style and to discuss a topic that has really been on my mind. It may partially be due to that fact that I have a new bugle that I purchased for only 40 Euro two weeks ago, but it is of a topic that our mission president introduced to us and really comes from some of the earlier prophets of this dispensation. That is of Crescendo, which means: "an increase of intensity."
     What that entails for us missionaries is that we try to always push how we teach, how we find, and how we study; we try to become better missionaries. In a more general sense, it means that we try to push ourselves beyond what we normally achieve. In other words, reach a new potential that you have not yet lived. Of course, such a thing will take some work, but that is exactly what it means to "arise from the dust" and to "put on the whole armour of God." That is what it means to live in Crescendo- not to change who we are, rather to change ourselves into who we should be. That is my challenge for you, family and friends, is to be the person that you hopefully dream of being but have not yet been.
     That is what I have been trying to do for the last year, and just the mind-set has helped me to improve myself. It has been a wonderful experience, and I hope that you take a bit of your time to ponder the idea. Are you a better person than you were last year? Last month, even? Try to increase your intensity this week to become a better 'you'.
     I would leave it there, but I know that you also want to hear how the week went. Things are looking really well in Hamburg. We have been working hard with people and have been seeing some changes through it. Last week, we focused a lot on how to find new people. The results: we tripled the number of new investigators last week in comparison to the week before. It was really cool to see our new focus and the miracles that followed. We also had a lady that referred herself through the mission office. She has met with the missionaries in Hamburg before, and she decided that she wants to meet with us once again. She seems really honest about it. We are meeting with her today, so we will see how it goes.

Thanks for your support and your prayers. Please don't stop, they really help the work here. Have an awesome week and make sure that you are living in crescendo!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sound the Bugle- Weekly Letter

 We had a really solid week of missionary work. My companion and I, Elder Becar, are running our engines on full again; all of his foot problems are completely behind him. This last week, we tore it up, and we did so much finding. The saddest part of the week was on Tuesday. We found out that our baptismal date moved far enough away to be in a different ward. I bet that such things happen often in the states with the smaller ward boundaries, but the first time that I have ever really experienced it was once I started working in the big cities. We introduced him to the other Elders that should be working with him now, but it was not the smoothest trade off. We had to move the appointment a couple times, so we ended up just having him shake hands with them, exchanging numbers, and then taking off. It will work out fine though- the other Elders seem like capable, efficacious teachers that will ensure that he makes it to baptism.
     The rest of the week was really good. We spent quite a bit of time in our area book calling a lot of people that have had contact with us or the church. We had the bright idea of taking the book to the church and keeping the doors wide open for any people that wanted to come in and ask some questions or who had interest. [Note: If you don't know what our building looks like, it is worth checking out. The address is: Wartenau 20 22089, Hamburg. It is a beautiful building made from red brick.] We were able to get in contact with a plethora of people, many of whom were very excited to hear from us.
     Yesterday was also really awesome with church. The bishopric based the talks around "impressions from General Conference," and it was a very successful meeting. All 3 of the talks were really good, which was great because we had 10 people who were there for the first time. They all felt the spirit, and many of them said that they were planning on coming again next week. Score!
     Have an awesome week, read from the scriptures, and keep praying for the missionaries so we can continue to bring people to salvation!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Meetings and Councils- Weekly Letter

 This last week was really amazing for us as missionaries in Hamburg, but we were left with very little time for the work. We had so many meetings (Zone Training Meeting, Leadership Training, and 2 sessions of Stake Conference) that I felt like I did more sitting than walking, which is certainly not the regular. But I enjoyed all of these meetings so much that on Saturday night I made a compilation of all the thing that I wanting to do better and made a personal "repentance sheet" for myself. It is a good list of things that I feel could be improved, and I am really excited that I can use the Atonement as a means to change who I am as a missionary. I am grateful that I can become a more Christlike missionary than I have been up to this point on my mission. It is amazing, because I know that I am and will be closer to the Spirit and more ready to respond to spiritual impressions.
     There have been many times where I can say that I have had an impression from the Lord, and it gives me confidence that I am doing the work His way. One of the other missionaries that I am living with said: "if you can feel the Spirit when you are working, then you are doing exactly what He wants you to do; if you can't, then stop and pray for the revelation on what you should do." I feel like that also has a fairly auspicious role in all the aspects of life- if you can feel the spirit, then you are a the straight and narrow path.
     One of the really fun experiences that I had this week was during the leadership training. The assistants to the president gave a lesson on how we can improve our district councils by doing a role-play of the War Council found in Alma 52:19. One of the Assistants was dressed as captain Moroni, complete with a shield and plastic sword. We all gave an accounting of our armies and then made a decision of how we hoped to get an upper-hand in the war. They then applied it to our own districts and how we could use the same principles to make our councils more effective. It was fun to act as a Captain.
     As far as transfer calls went, there will not be any changes. I am going to stay in Hamburg and with Elder Becar. It is pretty awesome that I get to stay with a Colorado man for another six weeks XD
     Please continue to keep praying for us. We really need your faith and prayers in our behalf. The work of the Lord is moving forward here in Germany, but it still has too much potential that is not yet being reached. I love you all and wish you the best for the week!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Being grounded - Weekly letter

     Well, my companion and I had a pretty slow week. Elder Becar, after weeks of trying to get it out himself, finally had to go to the doctor for an ingrown toenail last Monday after we did E-mails, and so he could not walk for the entire week. We stayed in the apartment the whole week, save for when we would go to the doctor's to get a new bandage for him. They started out really big, and now we got it down to just a band-aid. It felt we were being grounded for not doing something wrong, haha. All I know is that I am certainly one that likes to be active (at appointments, finding, anything but sitting around twiddling my thumbs!), and that staying inside all week was not at all relaxing nor exciting. I was very happy on Saturday, when the Zone Leaders finally found some time to go on an exchange with me and let me run around a bit. I felt like a 3-year-old in a candy store because I was finally able to be outside doing something again.
     We did see a miracle or two though. On Thursday, we got a call from the investigator who I have been mentioning over the past few weeks. He came for conference on Sunday (exclamation point!), and I feel like it really has turned him back into investigating the Church from a spiritual perspective again. He wants to meet with us again, and I think that his questions will be question from the soul rather than that anti-mormon junk. Our other investigators are doing fine. We have a man who seems to be really set for the 19th of this month for his baptism. He has made some great progress and his faith is so awesome to watch and experience.
      I loved conference. There were some amazing talks given, and the spirit was really strong, especially the song that was played just before President Monson gave his talk on Sunday night (Sunday morning session for all of you in North America). We have such powerful teachers in the church, and they are all able to teach so clearly and effectively! I was also able to get answers to almost all of my questions that I had for conference, so it was pretty awesome to get some really clear answers from the servants of the Lord.
     Well, this week should be a bit better for us. We went to the doctor's office today, and he said that he should be able to walk again, but that he needs to "take it easy", whatever that means. TO THE STREETS!!!

Have a great week and I love you all! I know that this work is true and that this church lead by inspiration from the Almighty God. He lives and he loves us. Always remember that, and you will have the humility and power to overcome all trials that will ever befall you.


- Elder Eric Gibson
  Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage