Monday, February 24, 2014

2-24-14: Called to serve

Just over a year ago, I was called to serve. In Germany.
Though the past couple of weeks I've begun to forget that as most our Germans have gone MIA, yet our Cameroonian count goes ever upward. Remember how I called Hamburg the other Ghana? I think the other Cameroon is growing in Berlin. It's like every time we find one Cameroonian, we show up and he has five friends that want to meet with us too. We came home from an appointment on Friday night with a handful of aforementioned Cameroonians and the other sisters quickly opened the windows and exclaimed that we smelled like fish. Which neither of them happen to like. Which is also the smell of every African apartment. And, on that particular night, also the smell of our clothes, skin and hair.
Sometimes I love teaching Africans. Sometimes it's really hard. They either cling to every word you say or want to fight you (and almost always want to marry you). We had many appointments this week where they mostly just wanted to fight/marry us. It is exhausting to be talked at for two hours. And to smell like fish. Okay, maybe the smell isn't that exhausting. Just a strange side effect. So that's that with our Cameroonians.
Oh also remember the story of Winfred last week? We get texts about all the people who are getting baptized in our mission every week and found out that Winfred is getting baptized in Cottbus. Mystery solved.
Moving eastward in our world cultural microcosm, Annie is still great. Every lesson that we have with her is so awesome somehow, like a perfect balance of true principles, questions, scriptures, testimony, personal experience, and joint-teach-ness. She still hasn't made it to church yet though so we asked her why she thinks we keep asking her to come. Her response: to come closer to the God.
Exactly. Because we go to church to come close to Him and remember Him and to prepare for the upcoming week!
 We found out yesterday that Elder Bednar still speaks really good German. We had a stake conference broadcast that was special for Germany and while they translated most of the talks, Elder Bednar just whipped out his German and gave an awesome talk. T'was sweet.
Back to an every-person-in-the-world-problem. The greatest obstacle I feel like we have as missionaries: busy-ness. Because there is so much to do in the world and so many things that compete for people's' time, but actually, in case you were wondering, we choose what fills our time. There are things everyone has to do, like eat and work and sleep and study, but our lives are made up of so much more than the mundane things of everyday existence. We ask investigators, "Why haven't you been praying or reading in the scriptures or coming to church?" And they almost always respond, "I was too busy." Okay people, you can say like a 30 second prayer. You can read in the scriptures for two minutes. "I was too busy" is not a valid excuse. Please try again.  President Monson said, "Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, God is with us." So are we with Him?
I know I'm a missionary so the only thing I have to do with my time is pray, read, my scriptures, go to church, and meet with other missionaries, but I personally know it’s possible to do those things at home too as a working student who still sleeps. Someone else will have to back me up with the extra responsibility of parenting. But I believe it's true. We fill our time with what is important to us.
I think I got a little stuck on that. Or maybe I really am just angry about busy people. Righteous indignation I mean.
Ok, end of rant.
Make time for the things that matter most. And watch this video while you ponder.
-- Sister Claire Michelle Woodward

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