This week was probably the craziest week I have had on my mission. I spent the first half in my old area, and then Thursday I went to Berlin to pick up my new companion. We had some interesting adventures, but we finally made it to our area in Braunschweig (near Hanover). It is actually not too far from my last area, just a little west… and about ten times as big. I rode the bus the wrong way the other day, and it ended up taking almost an hour to get to where we wanted to go.
My new companion is named Elder Chadaz (the name comes from east Europe). He is really an amazing missionary, and I am excited to work with him. I have already seen how well he listens to others and is able to listen to the Spirit before he acts. He is a little scared to talk to people but that is only because he doesn’t trust his German enough to use it. But even in the last couple of days, I have seen him improve and talk to others in German.
Saturday we went back to Berlin for a conference with Elder Bednar. It was so amazing! He gave time for the missionaries to ask any questions that they wanted to. He was able to discern what the real question was and then answer it. He also would ask questions back that helped the person to find an answer that they didn’t know and exercise faith is a way that helped them to learn from the spirit. The spirit was so strong that everyone was able to find answers to their questions whether they had the chance to ask them or not.
One thing that stuck out to me was that we are all agents; we act for ourselves. When we want to learn or teach, we have to understand that the only way the knowledge will make any impact is if the agent will take the steps to receive the information. An example in the scriptures is when Nephi is having the vision of the tree of life. The Spirit asks him what he wants to know then builds from there. By asking the right questions, the Spirit was able to help Nephi to learn for himself what his father saw.
I know that Christ is at the head of this Church. He leads it through his servants the apostles and prophets. I know that as we listen to them and hold to the scriptures, we will progress and mature spiritually and learn for ourselves of the truthfulness of the things we hear.
I love you all so much and I pray for you. D&C 84:88
Elder J Billings
Elder David A. Bednar, “Teaching is not talking and telling; teaching is observing and listening so that we can discern and then know what to say.”