So I just finished my fifth transfer here in Germany (200days…ish). It was definitely one of the greatest learning periods of my mission, not to mention my life. I guess my mission president thought I learned a lot as well because he decided that I was ready to leave Bernburg and go to a city near Hanover named Braunschweig [Brunswick]. Not only that but that I am also ready to train a new missionary. If you don’t know the significance of that, it means that my trainee and I will be reopening a program. Luckily there is already a set of elders in Braunschweig, and actually there is a set of sisters as well. I am very nervous, but if my mission president says I am ready to train, I trust that I am. I guess I can’t go too wrong as long as I follow the mission rules.
Funnily enough, my current companion will also be training. He has 12 weeks left in his mission but he doesn’t like to think about it. I am reminded of The Best Two Years when Elder Rogers tells Elder Calhoun that he almost has less months that Elder Calhoun does years (If Elder Van Pelt were here, he would correct my English).
This last week we had zone conference with two other zones near us. There were many good lessons, and I had a lot to think about on the train ride home. The thing that occupied my mind the most was the idea of sacrifice. The Lord has always required sacrifices of his people. Each person is required to sacrifice something near and dear to his or her heart in order to remain or become faithful in this life. Joseph Smith said, “Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation”. Sacrifice requires us to give up “all that we possess,” to sell it you might say. Then and only then do we have the capability to go and buy the “pearl of great price”. As we lift our eyes from the world and all of the riches and enticements that go along with it, we see that in the eternal scheme of things, the worth of the pearl is infinitely greater than the price we have paid. Paul said “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”.
I would encourage you to look inside yourself, as I will be doing, and look to see what you are being asked to sacrifice. I know that as we sacrifice worldly living and replace it with greater obedience and increased loyalty to our Savior, we will see the hand of the Lord in our lives. He will uphold his own. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but eternity hangs in the balance.
I know that Christ lives and loves us. He knows us perfectly and knows our suffering. He will not allow us to suffer more than we can bear. I am sorry I ranted for so long, but those are some of the strong impressions that I have had this week after my study and experiences.
I love you all, and I pray that you will be faithful and find joy in being “true to the faith.”
Elder J Billings